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Author Topic: Why use agencies other than shutterstock? (my story so far)  (Read 8067 times)

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« on: December 17, 2009, 00:33 »
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I've been in this microstock thing for almost two months. I'm a member of shutterstock for a month. All the agencies i'm a member of (stockxpert, 123rf, iStock, BigStock, dreamstime) have earned 6$ total in two months. At shutterstock, I've earned 55$ in a moth. So, my question is - what's the point? Or better - what's the problem?

I'm thinking of going exclusive with iStock since I barely sell anything on other sites and iStock at least gives the highest revenue - for a photo sold there, I've gotten 1.68$. On other sites, I get about 0.3-0.5$ a photo sold. Doesn't make sense. Seems just like waisting time uploading to these sites.

Does it get any better and do you have some tips about this, since you're longer in the "game"? I'm kind of getting desperate.

Btw, depending on the site, my portfolio is around 75 photos (except for istock).

Thanks


« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 01:16 »
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Spike, I don't know what you're doing wrong. In two months, you should have made enough to retire and buy your own tropical island.  :D

I'm kidding, of course. Everyone has their own experiences and it takes time to build a portfolio that sells. Some people see immediate results and others it takes longer. Some agencies work for some people, but are lousy for others. My advice, would be to monitor your sales and do what you think works best for you. You can always change your mind.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 01:46 by cthoman »

« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 01:33 »
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Spike, How can you get desperate after only two months?  ???   What were you expecting?

« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 03:32 »
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Not sure if the OP is being serious, I was amazed I could sell anything when I had 75 images up against the millions on the sites.  Believe it or not, you do sell more with a bigger portfolio.  My solution was to upload over 1,500 in my first six months.

« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 04:36 »
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If youre thinking of going exclusive with Istock you should know you need 250 dls and 50% approval rating.   

« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 05:04 »
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If youre thinking of going exclusive with Istock you should know you need 250 dls and 50% approval rating.   

Before February 24th...

« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 05:45 »
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I've been in this microstock thing for almost two months. I'm a member of shutterstock for a month. All the agencies i'm a member of (stockxpert, 123rf, iStock, BigStock, dreamstime) have earned 6$ total in two months. At shutterstock, I've earned 55$ in a moth. So, my question is - what's the point? Or better - what's the problem?

I'm thinking of going exclusive with iStock since I barely sell anything on other sites and iStock at least gives the highest revenue - for a photo sold there, I've gotten 1.68$. On other sites, I get about 0.3-0.5$ a photo sold. Doesn't make sense. Seems just like waisting time uploading to these sites.

Does it get any better and do you have some tips about this, since you're longer in the "game"? I'm kind of getting desperate.

Btw, depending on the site, my portfolio is around 75 photos (except for istock).
Thanks

If you're doing so well at Shutterstock, why are you thinking of going exclusive with iStock !?

Am I missing something !?   ???


« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 09:31 »
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If you have no patience, then this is the wrong business to be in.

« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 09:48 »
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"Why use agencies other than shutterstock?"

Because some don't believe subscriptions plans offer the best route for a contributor.

« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 09:54 »
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"Why use agencies other than shutterstock?"

Because SS brings me 25-30% of my monthly microstock income, and other agencies (combined) bring the remaining 70-75%.

Remark: my portfolio is about 1400 photos; and it's too early to make any conclusions until you get 400-500 photos online...

« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 10:24 »
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My first mont at Shutterstock I made $54 second month $30 with about 50 images.  I saw a steady decline with a few ups and downs over the next 18 months until I was making about $20 a month with 300 images.  My BME was my first month until this month when I finally broke it - but it took two EL sales to do it. 

My experiience may be uniique - I don't think so - but you should not depend on continung to make $55 a month with 75 images.  Shutterstock apparently gives big search breaks to newbies the first few months but you gradually fall back into the pack.

iStock has been my best site over my 30 months with them on a pretty regular basis - until this month - and I only have about 1/3 the number of images there as on Shutterstock.  That is why I contribute there.  My other sites (FT, DT, BigStock, StockXpert, 123RF) average about $7 a month but if you are uploading to 2 sites uploading to a few more isn't that much extra work.

fred

 

« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 10:54 »
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Shutterstock earnings will give you a burst of quick sales as your uploading increases as those photos show up under buyers "new" searches, however, this is short-lived in many cases as other images replace those in common keyword categories. More unique images / keywords will have this effect last longer. It will provide primarily short-term income which can be maintained by uploading a new batch every time one it processed by the reviewers. This "feeds the monster." Building up your portfolio on sites that have significant credit sales is worth the effort over the long haul. On a few sites your Revenue Per Download (RPD) will average over $1.00 per sale.

I hope this helps.


-Mark
http://markwpayne.wordpress.com
 

helix7

« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 11:03 »
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I've been in this microstock thing for almost two months..

Relax. No need to hit the panic button just yet.

It's way too early to figure out any trend from a couple of months online and 75 images. Heck, after a few years most people still can't make much sense of trends and patterns, as things change frequently.

But if you did want to take what little data you have and draw any conclusions about it, I'm not sure how you are arriving at istock exclusivity as a good option. Shutterstock makes up about 90% of your current earnings.

And lastly, if you are seriously considering exclusivity, remember that Dreamstime locks your images in for 6 months, and BigStock for 3. So to go exclusive at istock, you need to stop uploading to DT now, BigStock in 3 months, and wait a total of 6 months from now to get your exclusive application approved. Assuming you have enough DLs and acceptance ratio at istock by then.

« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 12:23 »
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My best advice:
1. Never go exclusive. This market changes so rapidly, why restrict yourself?
2. Load lots of images to as many of the top 5 sites as you can. What works great on one site sucks on another. See #1.
3. Get your technical side right re: noise, color balance, etc. Then re-read #4.
4. Expect lots of rejections with sometimes odd justification. What one site takes, another rejects. See #1.
5. Disregard much of the gripping as to who is shafting whom. Shoot more images instead.
6. Never upload to brand new sites with no track record. When solicited, read comments about them on this blog first. Then wait at least six months, minimum, to benefit from the sorry experiences of others more rash.
7. And, most importantly, re-read #1.

« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 13:11 »
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After 3 months with SS and several others I'm finding that new images sell well then drop of a little...but also that my original uploads are still making sales even though I feared they would drop off the radar.

I can only reinforce the thoughts of others that you need to give it time and upload to as many as you can and see who sells for you. Already I'm finding that sites that work for others do nothing for me and vice versa.

All the best and don't give up


 

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