Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Microstock report for January 2012

Here's my latest microstock report:

This month I've decided to include lifetime totals for each of these stock sites.

I thought it would be informative to see what each of these sites has actually made.  It might help anyone looking to submit photos or illustrations to microstock to pick the right ones - or at least focus on the ones that pay the most.

Shutterstock leads the way this month and every month.  They've been the top money maker with licensing my illustrations from the beginning.  They were the easiest company to get approved on (you have to submit 10 images).  My wife and I have been submitting images for about 2 years now (we got our first sale/download on January 31st of 2009) and there have only been a handful of days (less than 5) where we didn't make at least one sale.  In the Spring of 2009, when we were at our freshest and we devoted hours a week to uploading, we were making almost $300 a month.  But now, sitting on a big portfolio of illustrations, and not uploading anything new - we still make at least $100.  And that's why I got into stock illustration in the first place.  I had drawings that were just sitting around on my computer collecting dust - so I brushed them off (colored some of them) and uploaded them and now they're making money.  Some make more than others...but it's nice that they all have a chance.  And by uploading to several sites we increase our chance of having that file make more money.  And our ultimate goal with Shutterstock is to reach the lifetime total goal of $10k because we get our final raise from 36 cents per download to 39 cents.  It's a small raise, but it adds up - and, as you can see, 2 years (or 24 months) of those small downloads have made about $5,500.

Dreamstime and are the next two big companies.  Istock used to be my second best performer and, at one time, threatened to overtake Shutterstock - but last year they changed their royalty structure and they slipped below Dreamstime in the amount of money they bring in.  I hope it comes back around, but it doesn't look likely...Dreamstime is probably the company I upload to and focus on the most - but only because they have a monthly contest that I like to participate in.  I have yet to win, but all the images accepted into the contest sell for a higher price point which still makes it worth it.

The rest of the companies are hit and miss from month to month.  I still upload to them because the money adds up eventually.  And ya never know when a big sale could come.

Anyway - that's all I have this month.  Hopefully I'll never be this long winded in another microstock report...

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