My latest images for sale at Shutterstock:

Monday, 1 November 2010

Income Stats for October

As you can see from the spreadsheet, my final earnings for October were $213.86. As expected, this was quite a way down from previous months where I averaged about $350. I dropped exclusivity roughly mid-month at iStock with $115.96 of income at that point, so made $77.20 there as an independent in the remaining half of the month. Income from other agencies combined for a lowly $20.70 - to be expected given that I had only a few images for sale for a short period of time.

So too early to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions from this, apart from the obvious - there will be a lean period as you transistion from exclusive to indie. I am still confident that I will be able to match my exclusive income at some point, but that will obviously be dictated by the speed at which I upload to other sites.

My portfolio is finally visible on Dreamstime so I start the month with a presence of sorts on all the big four sites. I'm off now to do some more keywording into Exif - a wee tip for any non-Americans looking to get a head start with this - Shutterstock don't recognise non-US spellings so you will have to use color, aluminum etc instead of the proper spellings.....


  1. Glad you're still making reasonable money from istock and you know I think you should keep that going. The whole question of what buyers are willing to pay is very difficult to work out. I've been pleased with my move into e+ but I probably ought to take out some that were put in there in the first place. I am sure independent will suit you and it's really interesting having feedback. I miss you :(

  2. Thanks for that Jean, it is good to get feedback and hear that people are interested in this. And its nice to be missed too. If you check out the stats spreadsheet then you will see that my other sites are begining to take off this month which feels great.

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I'm myself an exclusive silver contributor at istock and my earnings are similar to yours, although I have fewer images (~400) making 90% of my money with 5% of my portfolio. It will be very interesting for me how your sales will develop.
    How do you choose the images you upload first to the other sites? The ones with the most sales? Are there upload limits on the other sites?
    I'm also very curious about the time effort you are spending for preparing and uploading all these images. In the end you will have to calculate your 'wage rate per hour' to judge which stock site is worth the time and which is not. (Every hour uploading is one hour not shooting images).
    At istock I examined that newly uploaded images often sell higher than average in the first two weeks and then have a drop in sales. That is because there is a bonus for new files in the search function. Downloads then start increasing when the file was downloaded several times, because it moves toward the top when customers use the 'by downloads' search criteria. I'm interested if you will experience the same behaviour at the other sites.
    Good luck with your new independence and please keep on blogging.

    Greetings from Munich,

  4. That transition period is what worries me. I'm spending a lot of time right now getting myself into a better financial spot come January so that I can make the big move with out too much trepidation.

    I still firmly believe there are buyers who are price conscious on iStock -- or for a while there are. I dropped all my E+ files back into the main collection two weeks ago and have seen them start getting downloads again, quickly, almost like people were waiting for them! It was strange!

    But even though as a non-exclusive our photo prices will be more affordable, buyers will still have to wade through Agency and Vetta in order to get to them. You can't sort of price, I presume?

  5. Hi Tracy, no you can't sort by price, but you can sort by BM then skip to p4 and scan the page for non-crowns.....

    So far this month has started well and I may not be too far behind my old exclusive income by the end of it. I could be doing a whole lot better if I had more time, but I have other issues that I have to deal with this month (thousands of pounds at stake, rather than a few measly dollars) so I haven't been very proactive about getting my port online elsewhere.

    In answer to your question Bernd I have just randomly grabbed a few images to send to the different agencies - ones that I think have a wee bit of punch and are technically competent in the hope that if I can establish myself as 'reasonably good' in the eyes of the inspectors they will look more kindly upon my submissions.
    I am a single parent so once I put my son to bed at night I am pretty much under house curfew so this is the time I go to work on stock. For this reason I don't count the hours I spend on stock activities too closely - I would just be watching TV or something equally unproductive otherwise. As I said already, one of my indie contacts has said they can upload to several sites in the time it takes to upload to iStock alone. Once you have the keywords in the metadata it is just a matter of chosing the categories, agreeing the terms and conditons and away you go. I was at a friend's house on Saturday evening and in the time it took her to chop vegetables for the dinner, I had made full use of her wifi to upload a batch of 12 images to 5 different sites (and carried on a conversation while doing so!). Once you have the magic keywords in metadata it is really just going through the motions and doesn't require much effort.