Glenn Nagel Photography | Microstock Earnings Through May

Microstock Earnings Through May

June 21, 2018  •  4 Comments

My monthly microstock earnings were $1,074 for the month of May. This is the fourth consecutive month of earnings over $1,000. Year-to-date earnings through May, 2018 exceed the year-to-date earnings from May, 2017 by about $271, or 5%.

Shutterstock posted another good month with earnings surpassing $700. iStock's revenues of $168.15 were within 3 cents of last month. 

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:

Shutterstock applies an algorithm to determine the most "popular" images in a portfolio. The computation isn't clear, but certainly takes into account how many times the photograph has been downloaded in recent times. This photograph of the Detroit Institute of Arts is currently a top seller within my portfolio:


Glenn Nagel Photography
Thanks Elliott...and best of luck to you with the microstock sales. I wouldn't let the rejection rate impact your ego too much. With microstock, it's the subject that often sells the image--not necessarily the quality of the photograph. To your point, photographs of flowers typically won't sell as well as a picture of a famous landmark. The subjects that I most often submit (editorial travel pictures of architectural subject) probably don't sell as well as commercial images with people. Glenn
Elliott Bignell(non-registered)
You're certainly doing well, and I love the horse composite, by the way. Your numbers give me hope for the future. I was recently off sick for a long period with depression and burn-out, then a job change, and I left off putting up microstock because my ego kept getting injured by the rejections. Now I've got past that it's mostly a numbers game. I have more shots on at least one stock site than you give, and I hope to catch up on all sites in a year, as I have decades of backlog to process. The quality and appeal are a different matter. The rejection rate is quite high, as I was never shooting for stock and am new to the game, but I hope that will improve as I study the master. :) At about 50,000 shots, perhaps 15,000 useable once series and variations are cut down, I hope to get at least 10,000 pictures up based just on legacy material, and to fit my future shooting more to the market as I learn about it.

One day, maybe! But one thing's for sure: Flowers and spiders aren't the most lucrative niche.
Glenn Nagel Photography
Hi Artur,
Most of my uploads are editorial photos. So, the vast majority of the earnings that I report are from editorial images. It is difficult to make much money through microstock as it pays so little per download. In a typical month, I have to sell about 1,000 pictures to make $1,000--or an average of about $1 per sale. Of course, many sales pay just 38 cents, but others pay $30 or even $100 for a download. In the end, the $1 per sale seems to stay steady. Glenn
I am really afraid of uploading Editorial photos because I feel the demand is not that strong for that kind of photos. But simply your photos says that there is a demand for that. Would you mind sharing some info. how often the editorial contend is purchased in terms of downloads per month/ or any other figure to determine if this is a worth spending time business?


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