25 Aug 2007 How Often do you Check your Microstock Earnings?
I love my statistics. I track my microstock earnings at each agency separately. I create little charts of my earnings over time, both by agency and as a total. I use statistical tools such as moving averages to spot trends and better compare performance. I’ve recently started tracking my acceptance rates too, and the total quantity of images at each agency, and my referral income.
I update my spreadsheet twice a day. That’s ten microstock agency websites to check, plus the currency exchange website I use to convert my earnings back into Australian dollars. I track the currency too. After each time I update the spreadsheet I spend another few minutes analyzing each chart.
My spreadsheet is getting big and complicated. I have little macros to automate some parts of the ‘new month’ process. I haven’t annotated it well, so I’m starting to forget how it works and what all the columns mean.
Last week I concluded I was fanatical about my statistics. Each update didn’t help me achieve anything or give me any great insights. So I made the decision to stop.
It’s now been a week since I updated my statistics and my hands aren’t shaking as much anymore. At that time August looked like being a slow month, but now I have no idea if it’s continued or turned around. It feels good. Not the fact that I don’t know, but the fact I’ve saved so much time. I estimate I’ve saved myself two hours this week. I can almost write a blog post in two hours!
I know bloggers and website operators suffer a similar infliction with their website statistics. I read that it lasts a few months and then wears off. I haven’t always tracked my microstock earnings like I do now, but I’ve been doing it for more than a few months.
I know a professional photographer who is now working full-time on his microstock portfolio from the Microstock Group forums. He updates his stats twice a day, and I don’t blame him. If I was able to survive on my microstock earnings I’d want to have a good idea of where they were at any moment too. He too has a complex spreadsheet to analyze trends.