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Messages - marcbkk

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General - Top Sites / Which Of The Big 6 Allow Editorial?
« on: May 10, 2009, 03:23 »
From what I understand, DT, BS, and SS do allow editorial and FT, StockXpert, and iStock don't. Is this correct?

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. In answer to my question about BS, 123, and CanStock, it seems some people are getting decent results with 123RF as a second tier site, but most everyone is doing the best with Bigstock out of these 3. Of course, as a few mentioned, it comes down to your individual portfolio and some types of photos do better on some site than others. The only off-putting thing about BS is the fact that the picture submission process is so slow once you have uploaded your pictures via FTP. I guess if I start uploading there I will get used to it.

Oh, and as for CanStock, it seems that Yuri's better results as of late is not quite the same results that others are getting so I will probably give it a pass for now. 

3 / Re: EL Images on Shutterstock?
« on: May 08, 2009, 02:12 »
So don't put it on a Microstock site. That is the point of microstock, high volume and low prices.

Er, I know what microstock is. You are completely missing the point. At least 3 of the other major Microstock sites (DT, IS, FT) allow you to choose which images you want to offer an EL license on. My question was simply is there a way to do it selectively on SS as well.

4 / Re: New Submission Limits
« on: May 07, 2009, 23:54 »
That is what I was thinking, a new Getty rule. But for a site that is losing market position you would think they would want to continue to build a bigger archive at a faster pace.

5 / Re: EL Images on Shutterstock?
« on: May 07, 2009, 23:47 »
Thanks. You didn't answer my question, but to answer yours; In some cases I have some images which would be good for a poster or postcards and I don't want someone to be able to make a heap of money from the image and pay just $20 for it.

Thanks guys, but I am afraid I am getting a bit lost in the abbreviations  ::)

Anyway, if you were to put say Big Stock, Can Stock, and 123RF in an order from 1 to 3, how would that shake out?


I have read various MS forums and blogs and each one lists the top 6 MS sites in different order.

I would place the top 4 as iStock, Fotolia, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime. As for the next 2 slots I thought the first one should be StockXpert, but I have put up so many images with minimal results so I think StockXpert is not really in the running anymore. Since most of my sales are coming from the top 4 sites I am thinking of adding 2 more possible sites.

Yuri has been writing recently about Can Stock and I have heard some good things about Big Stock. But neither of these are listed in the top 6 on this forum. Instead you have StockXpert and 123RF in the top 6. As I said, I have not had good results from StockXpert and I have heard 123RF is not really worth the time.

I would appreciate some good feedback on what other 2 sites you would contribute to if you were already contributiing to the top 4.

Many thanks...

8 / EL Images on Shutterstock?
« on: May 07, 2009, 14:24 »
I was wondering if it possible to specify which images you want to offer with an EL license and which ones you don't like you can do on some of the other sites like DT, Fotolia, and iStock for example? Seems you can either offer (or not) the option on your whole portfolio and that is all. Bummer...

9 / New Submission Limits
« on: May 07, 2009, 14:18 »
All of a sudden I am only allowed 25 uploads a day as opposed to 50 just a few weeks ago. I don't have a bad acceptance ratio and in fact I haven't even submitted anything to them in a couple, few weeks. Has something changed or am I missing something?


10 / Re: Makes you wonder...
« on: May 07, 2009, 14:17 »
This would be my last concern. I'm waiting for them to solve the zero views problem. And zero sales on images from march on. Or february on. I stopped uploading to them for now.

Strange. I had stopped uploading to them as well because it seemed like a dead in the water shell site with no contributor support or anything, but just in the last week I started having some good dollar value downloads. Go figure...

Needless to say I am starting to upload a bit to them again.

11 / Re: Shutterstock Questions
« on: April 21, 2009, 01:18 »
Thanks. That is good info.

On the search you are talking about you still have to enter a keyword or category. You can't simply search the latest photos. Understood though.

Thanks again.

12 / Shutterstock Questions
« on: April 20, 2009, 20:38 »
I have a couple more questions on ST please:

1 - Is the 25-A-Day reconciliation info under Download Stats on the ST site an all time running total of the number of downloads since day 1 or is it done on a monthly basis?

2 - I head heard that subscription buyers often peruse the most recently uploaded images on SS and buy from there. But I went to the photo buyers end of the site and didn't see a way to search for the most recently uploaded pictures. So how are the buyers able to search for new pictures in this way I am wondering.

Many thanks...   

13 / Re: Shuterstock Pay Scale? I'm Confused...
« on: April 18, 2009, 01:01 »
Thanks Fred. Also, in the FAQ it actually says "After earning a total of $500, your rate increases to $.33 per download".

So it is not actually clear if this refers to lifetime earnings or $500 earned within one month!?!!?

Adobe Stock / Editorial On Fotllia?
« on: April 18, 2009, 00:48 »
Is it possible to post Editorial images on Fotolia? I don't see any place to mark a photo as editorial in the submission area. I put a note in the note to editor and the image was rejected saying it needs a model release. What to do please?

15 / Shuterstock Pay Scale? I'm Confused...
« on: April 18, 2009, 00:47 »
I am a bit confused on the current payscale for contributors.

On the contributor's main login page it says this:

"...Once you reach $500 in earnings, your commission goes up to 30 cents per download."

And in the FAQ it says this:

"...After earning a total of $500, your rate increases to $.33 per download. Once you surpass a total lifetime earnings of $3,000, your rate will increase to $.36 per download, and after you reach $10,000 in lifetime earnings, your rate will increase to $.38 per download."

So there is conflicting information on the ST web site and I am wondering if the rate increases to $.33 or $.30 after $500 in earnings?


General - Top Sites / Re: Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 09, 2009, 23:37 »
This is all good feedback and it is interesting to see some people are having similar results to me in that they are having the most sales on SS, then Fotolia, followed by DT, StockXpert, and finally iStock.

I think I am going to go back into Fotolia and slowly start optomizing the top seven keywords as Lisafx suggested. It seems like it is worth a shot to see if I can improve sales that way. A shame though you can't add new keywords after the fact on Fotolia.

I assume my sales on iStock will also eventually start going up as the size of my portfolio starts increasing over time. Right now the number of pictures I have online on iStock is just too small to amount to any number of sales.

What I find interesting though is that there is a blog written by a Microstocker who has been doing it for about 3 years with about 1,200 pictures online and he shows increasing monthly sales over the 3 years on SS, Fotolia, and DT, which is contrary to what some of the people are sugessting on this thread. iStock, even though he started early with them, is one of his lowest earners as well, despite some people saying the best earnings potential are on iStock. I guess alot of it comes down to your own individual pictures, but based upon his experiences in general, this would suggest that the theorey that the most recently uploaded pictures on SS make the most money doesn't hold that much water:

I noticed he also doesn't do StockXpert, but does some of the other lower tier ones instead.

General - Top Sites / Re: Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:45 »
That makes sense, but only to a point. If they didn't have an actual need for such a large volume of pictures, then they probably wouldn't be paying the subscription charge in the first place. Also, there are new subscribers signing up all the time, so this also means new members could be buying up old photos as well.

General - Top Sites / Re: Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:38 »
That makes sense, but even subscription buyers will be searching for photos by keyword. So they may not have a need for a certain photo now when it is first uploaded, but they may have a need for it later. So I think photos can also be downloaded based upon need and not just because they are new and buyers have a quota to fill. And as you said, they also have the On Demand option as well for nonsubscription buyers.

General - Top Sites / Re: Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 09, 2009, 09:52 »

Shutterstock is very good with new images (with new contributors) It is hard to increase your monthly earnings, while on other sites most images are selling over a longer time period.
Also you have to consider that Yuri has his price set at 4 Credits at Fotolia, because he has such a high ranking.  So he gets four times as much/dl as the average contributor gets. In addition he also receives a higher commission because of his ranking (I guess around 10% higher than the average contributor).

Then you have to consider that as a non-exclusive he is not able to keep up with uploading all his images to iStockphoto.

So for us average microstockers who do not exceed with our production the upload limit at iStockphoto, I believe iStockphoto should generate the most earnings according to Yuri's statistics.

Thanks for your input. That all makes good logical sense.

What I am wondering about is why you say new images on Shutterstock do better than old ones? I don't understand the logic behind that. In fact, it would seem that over time, as images sell more, they gain better position within the keyword search results based upon their popularity, and thus should lead to a greater number of sales over the long term.

I have now written STX another support message letting know that the model releases on the 35 rejected photos are attached and asking them to review them again. Who knows. They never seems to respond to any inquiries. Maybe you are right about them having become an empty shell.

Also, I don't understand the purpose of moving images over to the briefcases the system creates when you move photos from the SPX briefcase to a regular briefcase and the other folder areas. It seems like the system keeps your images in 3 different places and I can't understand the point of all this convoluted picture navigation and archiving within the same site???

General - Top Sites / Re: Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 09, 2009, 01:35 »
I usually use Yuri Arcurs as a gauge on which of the sites is drawing in the highest incomes. According to this link, he makes much more on Fotolia than Shutterstock and his earnings on Fotolia have even surpassed his earnings on iStock for the second half of last year:

Anyway, it is good to hear that your experience between earnings on Shutterstock and Fotolia is similar to mine. Why though others are selling more on Fotolia than Shutterstock is a bit of a mystery to me.

Also, I noticed that Shutterstock has 6.5 million images online whereas Fotolia has only 5.5 million. So the argument that one site has more, and thus your images get seen less by photo buyers as a results, holds no water either it seems.

Do you think it has anything to do with key wording? I can't think of any other reason why Fotolia probably sells as many photos, if not more, than Shutterstock.

General - Top Sites / Sales on Shutterstock vs. Fotolia
« on: April 08, 2009, 23:56 »
I have been doing MS for about a month now and have about 280 pictures up on Shutterstock and about 225 on Fotolia. Both sets of pictures are nearly the same, but of course they vary a bit since some seem to get approved on some sites and not on others and vice versa.

What I found though is that my sales on Shutterstock are about 10 times what they are on Fotolia with the same pictures. I realize I have about 15% more pictrures on Shutterstock, but still it seems like a huge discrepancy. At first I was thinking it is because of the subscription issue and generally low pricing on Shutterstock, but I see Fotolia is offering cheap subscriptions now too. I am also starting to get more "On Demand" sales on Shutterstock, so it is not all just subscription sales on Shutterstock.

I would be interested to hear if other's experience and observations between these 2 sites has been the same and what the possible reasons are as to why sales on one is much greater than on the other since they both are about the same size in terms of market penetration. I also wonder if this issue might have something to do with key wording order on Fotolia in any way?

Thanks to all...

General - Top Sites / Re: Is iStock worth the effort?
« on: April 08, 2009, 23:46 »
I am also new to MS and am also contributing to 5 of the big 6 so far. As a result, following are my observations so far on iStock:

I was lucky enough to get approved on iStock the first time and they reviewed and approved my 3 photos in less than 24 hours.

But this means nothing, it has also been a major slug for me with iStock getting photos approved since the start and I have had countless problems with model releases and various other technical issues. I have been uploading to iStock for just over a month now and still only have a total of 16 photos online, while I have close to 300 hundred already on Shutterstock. So it is obvious it is much harder to build up a portfolio on iStock and sales so far haven't amounted to much of anything either yet.

Out of the 5 sites I am submitting to, I give iStock the least priority since their upload limits are so low and their approval process so slow and stringent, but I do keep them in the mix as I believe eventually things could improve in terms of sales on iStock after I am able to build a bit of a bigger portfolio there. It will of course take more time to build up a sizeable portfolio on iStock and that is why I don't make them my biggest focus. For those who are just starting out with iStock and not using any of the other sites at the same time, I can understand the frustration of seeing things progress slowly.

What I do now though is I use my top sellers on other sites to submit to iStock since I feel they are tried and proven images. Since I can only upload 12 a week on iStock, I am hoping by being selective in terms of what I upload, and limiting the uploads to good selling pictures, that eventually my approval rate and sales on iStock will start to climb, even though I have a smaller portfolio on iStock than on other sites.

Time will tell I guess...

Thanks, would be great if I could attach a model release without having to re-upload. I added model releases to a few of the ones that were rejected the other day, but they still show as being rejected even though I have added the model releases in now. Is there a way to get them to re-review them or will they eventually get around to it?

I am quite surprised that they got to be one of the Big 6 with such poor contributor support and/or explanations on how things work in the their FAQ

Thanks, that is good information.

Sometimes I transfer them and come back to them a day or two later. So probably I am waiting too long it seems based upon what you said. But one time they were actually reviewing pictures as I was adding the model releases. That was bad timing. It would simply make more sense though if there was a submit button to click before pictures actually get reviewed like they have on all the other sites.

So I guess all the ones that got rejected on the basis of no model release need to be uploaded again and resubmitted that way or is there another way to resubmit them with the model releases without uploading them again?

I am surprised to hear that you can submit without adding categories in at all though. Interesting.

Thanks again...

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