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Author Topic: This boat is sinking. So why aren't we jumping?  (Read 24630 times)

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« Reply #100 on: May 12, 2020, 17:35 »
I agree it's completely nuts that people go to the trouble to take great images, modify them in Photoshop, then spend all the effort to upload them basically for nothing, except to help the owners of the web sites.  I suppose getting a lot of likes and attention is great for many people but they won't pay the bills.  Totally bizarre.

That's because you underestimate the dopamine hit a million views or a 1000 downloads gives people. That's the reason people spend hours and even money on instagram liking and following other accounts (and buying likes and followers) while uploading their photos there even if they make no money from it. An ego boost or validation can be more valuable to people than a few dollars on microstock. The free sites offer those in spades.

Also sites like Pexels and Unsplash pick out images to showcase on its front page. They need not necessarily be the best pictures (or even good pictures) because the point of the exercise is to give people an incentive to upload more pictures. People like their pictures being showcased. That's the reason people kept uploading to flickr, in the hope that they would make the Explore page. So vast majority of people on the internet upload images for reasons other than money. And it, of course, hurts the people who do it because they want to make money.

I guess it's the new version of the old timers I've run into at local photo clubs. They spend a fortune on equipment to win ribbons at local fairs and be recognized as the "pro" at the club. They're happy to give away their work to local publications and get ooohs and aaahs from it. Their ego boost is pretty expensive.

« Reply #101 on: May 13, 2020, 03:42 »
As the author of the original post, I might as well weigh in with my current perspective.

First, the tiny sliver of good news, at least for me. My 2020 'feels' pretty similar to 2019 so far. Even in these early days of the virus ravaging the planet (and yes -- these are still the early days -- it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better), my sales 'seem' pretty flat to last year. I say 'feel' and 'seem' because a few years ago I stopped doing detailed, daily tracking that I had been doing my first 8 years in micro. It had become too depressing tracking the downward spiral. So now I'll occasionally check SS or AS to see how much I made in the same month a year ago and based on these infrequent checks, I'm holding the line.

Now for the bad...

I decided a year or two ago that continuing to upload at a breakneck pace was pointless. New uploads just don't sell. For me anyway, they take a while to get noticed and then start selling. And this lack of instant gratification has been seriously demotivating. So now, I'm uploading a small fraction of my old daily output, for two reasons: I still get a bit of creative fulfillment, and I fear that if I completely stop, my sales will drastically drop. (Still have to 'feed the beast' just to keep it alive.)

My overall micro revenue is down about 1/3 from its peak in 2014.  At that time, it accounted for half my total income. I was comfortably supporting a family of six on my two incomes, and thankfully I had saved a lot for my kids' future college tuitions. Now the kids range from midway through college to about to start, and that financial burden is no longer a concern. So in a large way, my objective for microstock has been met, and my expectations for it to be a big money maker for me are no longer there.

Plus, my 9 to 5 career has done well as micro has been sinking -- earning a fair amount more in my "real job" than I did in 2014. So I don't lose sleep over micro's future. With the risks much lower for me, I'm even considering what I'll do when the inevitable happens and the big agencies start cutting our royalty rates. I'm toying with setting up a site that could eventually give away all my work for free, supported by Google and affiliate ads. Prior to doing micro, I ran a few sites like this and made a decent side income from it, and I may just return to those roots if and when the big players slash my micro income to the point of being a footnote on my tax returns.

So, thanks microstock, it has been a nice ride, and I'll continue to enjoy the view as the train slows for its eventual stop. But when that day comes, I'll move on, thankful for the experience but ready for the next chapter.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 03:46 by stockmarketer »


« Reply #102 on: May 13, 2020, 04:10 »
Good read guys.

Not that groupies/hobbyist crap floating around here but a realistic view on the situation!

Niche and factories might still do well but I think that's pretty much it, well besides those who can live from 500 bucks a month and believe me there are still plenty.

SS used to do more then 1k for me with less then 2k images, for some that's a lot (especially newbies or hobbyists who don't have a clue) for others that's similar to what they make/made on a few hundred clips or illustrations. Now it's 1/3 of that on a very good month!
Since there are no sales on new images anymore it is impossible to get back up and extremely difficult to even get into the game.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 03:26 by Snow »

« Reply #103 on: May 15, 2020, 04:32 »
Add to that the mass rejections, with crappy rejection regions. All the "new exciting news" announcements and all the very translucent subscription sales. It is a bigger mess today but not a mess that can't be cleaned

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