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Author Topic: Referrals - are they worth it?  (Read 8266 times)

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« on: September 06, 2006, 16:42 »
Some sites (e.g. Shutterstock) pay a tiny commission for every new photographer you enrol. Is it worth it?

On the one hand, you're getting paid a little bit for other people's sales.

On the other hand you may be increasing the competition for yourself.

Then again, you may refer people, they get excited about it, but then get rejected, which could bounce back on you if you're friendly with them (e.g "You told me about this great site and encouraged me to join, and they've told me to 'get lost'. What sort of a friend are you?")

So, are referrals worth it? Any experiences with this, or views on it?

« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 16:57 »
No hard evidence but the way some microstock review sites hide their links to make them not look like referrals and claim to make big incomes on relatively small numbers of lackluster images I would think there is something to them. Just like with everything else though I would imagine it's a numbers game.

If I were, say, a photography teacher, I would totally make my students sign up for microstock as a class project and of course using my referral link. Since I don't know that many people interested in photography or in need of photography I just ignore the referral/affiliate programs.


  • Rust in Peace
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 21:53 »
At Shutterstock I have two referred photographers, but one of them never seemed to upload anything. The other one, has uploaded a few pics, and I keep getting some money from her, although it's not much.

I just signed up at Dreamstime and they at least have a nice referral programme in the respect that you get 5USD just for posting a badge on your site, but you only get percents for half a year(and the first half year is not when the big money comes).

« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2006, 01:56 »
They are better than a kick in the head!!

Problem: increasing competetion (but there are already millions of images to no major)
Pro: YOu refer a good photag and you will have income for life (at SS anyway).

« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 06:30 »
Can someone please explain Featurepics referral system.  I just noticied that I received 3 cents for a "referral" on a $2.00 sale.  The date is the same as when one of my images sold for $2.00.  I do not have any links, badges, etc for someone to have clicked on.  Is there a section for the buyer to say who referred them to the site??

« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2006, 06:45 »
Not sure how you refered them but any link to your photo or portfolio is a referral link.

You get 1.5% of any sale or purchase so their total referal payout is 3%.

If you go to referals on the left hand menu, it will list if you have referred a photog.

THat has to be the easiest 3c you ever earned - you didn't even do anything.  If only it was more!

« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2006, 07:09 »
The image link actually showed up when I googled one of my

« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2006, 03:06 »
Hi, here is all the info I collected so far about the different referral/affiliate programs. If somebody finds more information feel free to post it here or if you have further questions pm me. All is well and recently researched but I cant take any responsibility for correctness as the site politics may change.  BTW these are all referral links, feel free to use them ;) SY

Galastock You make 10% from each pic a referred photographers sells and 10% from each purchase a referred buyer makes.

LuckyOliver you get 1$ for each referred photographer who has at least 3 pics approved and 5$ for each referred buyer who has made at least one purchase of tokens.

ShutterStock, 0.03US$ per download if the photographer/artist was referred by you as long as these artist is a member of SS !!! Best affiliate/referral program in the trade J

123rf: for 1 year 15% of every purchase of a buyer referred by you and for 6 months between 0.03US$ and 2.00US$ (depending on license) for every image sold by an artist who was referred by you.

Fotolia,10 % commission on sales and 15 % on purchases, no time limit/5 years time limit?

GimmeStock, referral by email or try to make your own link out of a referral email sent to your good self ;) For each download made from the person you referred 0.01 US$ will be credited into your account. So if some of your friends join GS and 30.000 downloads are made from their images, that might be the friends that will help you buy some new gear!

CanStock: For 6 months and up to $50 you can earn 10% of a referred member's purchases and $5 for every 50 photos a referred photographer sells. If they become a photographer and purchases photos, you can earn double commission!

BigStock: 25% of buyers first credit purchase and 5US$ when new photographer hits 75 approved photos.

Dreamstime, 5US$ instantly for putting a badge on your website (pending approval), during 6 months youll get 10% for all sales a referee of yours makes.

Featurepics, will pay 1.5% for referring an Artist whose image has been sold and 1.5% for referring a Buyer. The total referral fees are 3% per Image. Timelimit?

iStock, For each successful referred buyer iStockphoto pays US$5. You have to enrol in this program from your account.

Imagevortex, requires separate registration, free with a company called sharesale, which manages the referral program on behalf of IV and depending approval of your website, you can get 10% of all image purchases made by referred buyers for 90 days following the first website visit.

Stockxpert, 10% of the value of each credit purchase that has been made by customers who came through ads from your website(s) if they make a purchase within 30 days of their arrival. This only applies to new customers, and only for the first 3 months of their membership. Also here you need to have a website and apply separately for this affiliate program from your account.

Not a micro stock site, but a place where you can sell products with your design without any upfront cost, for the basic shop. Give it a try, its really easy: CafePress Generally, Affiliates can earn up to 20% commission on each sale of a Qualifying Product in accordance with the Affiliate Commission Schedule. Additionally, Affiliates can also earn up to 5% of the base price for each product sold by a referred Shopkeeper in accordance with the Affiliate Commission Schedule (for one year).

« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2006, 03:24 »
Shutterstock and Fotolia are the only ones really worth tryng to "sell" to new people.  The others, the benefit is so short lived it is not worth it.

« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2006, 05:00 »
Shutterstock and Fotolia are the only ones really worth tryng to "sell" to new people.  The others, the benefit is so short lived it is not worth it.


I was hoping lucky oliver would bring us a nice referal program... unfortunatly not. :(

« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2006, 06:19 »
I would say DT, BS, FT for referrals in my own experience of actual money earnt from referrals. SS have good rewards on paper but as yet I have no referred photographers. DT will give you $5 for displaying a site badge.

BS strange rewards of $5 for when the new photographer reaches 75 accepted photos is nice got another $5 today I am keeping my fingers crossed for the other 6 photographers who signed up.

« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2006, 17:32 »
I don't mind the US$12 I got from DT.


« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2006, 10:31 »
Further to my comments above, referrals are worth it.  I just got a $15 referral from DT.  They must have sold a photo for $150.

« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2006, 10:47 »
wow :)

« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2006, 16:34 »
Hey 8) That must have been me, i just had a 150 $ sale today ;)

« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2006, 16:47 »
Congratulations to both of you.

« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 02:23 »
Leaf:  You must have a few referals off the links on the right, how are you finding it?  I notice you didn't respond to the comment about sites hiding the referrals.. 

Just for the record, I don't really care that you've done the links that way, I do click-through stat collection on some of my sites as well, although I'd not throught of munging the links in the logging code... 

« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2006, 02:28 »
well i am not sure i have much more to add other than echo what has been said.

shutterstock and fotolia are the only ones really worth working for.  Luckyoliver is ok, and dreamstime and bigstock apprently are ok too, but i haven't seen much for earnings from those site... unless of couse your referal has an extended license sale like enjoylife :)

I have the links set up on the right tab, in that way so that I can count the clicks they each get.

« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2006, 03:33 »
Why is Luckyoliver OK.  I thought theres was just a once off $1?  Fotolia had this but stopped due to people setting up multiple accounts.

« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2006, 03:35 »
well that was all i meant, it is ok to get the $1.00

better than nothing. 

Yes fotolia and shutterstock have a MUCH better deal... especially with fotolia had the $1.00 deal plus a % of the earnings.

« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2006, 11:17 »
Hey 8) That must have been me, i just had a 150 $ sale today ;)
Did you do it again. I just received another $15 referral.

Congratulations (or just on the other one if this one wasn't you).

This is starting to get annoying (but in a good way). I keep thinking I have sold something big.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 11:19 by CJPhoto »

« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2006, 11:25 »
And i just had another 300 credits sale 8)= another 150 $ CJ .. now i,m sure you have me as a referral 8)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 11:28 by Enjoylife »

« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2006, 11:29 »
wow, what license did they buy?

do you care to post a link to the images?

« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2006, 11:31 »
A (print, P-EL, $150.00) license!
I,m happy  ;)

« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2006, 12:11 »
Were they both yours.  How about a link to the photos.  Always interested to see what earns the big money.  My few EL have ben on rather boring photos.


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