20 May 2007 Microstock Earnings Report April 2007

In line with my recent post considering why doesn’t anybody show their microstock earnings online I’ve decided to start a monthly post showing and discussing my earnings for the previous month. Despite the fact we’re already more than half way into May, I’m going to post my April results now. In future I’ll post my results on the first of each month.

So, here is my earnings report for April 2007:

Agency Earnings Portfolio Size
iStockphoto $222.88 548
ShutterStock $123.30 511
Dreamstime $76.50 474
Fotolia $26.60 383
BigStockphoto $9.05 139
CanStockPhoto $3.25 281
123rf $0.30 10
Total $462.33

All microstock agencies performed in their usual order and each one was down on last month. I did zero uploading during April due to major life events. Due to the near-passive nature of stock photography, I still got paid a little.

Microstock Results Chart - April 2007

This chart shows more graphically how my earnings were down for April at each agency. April wasn’t a great month compared to March, but as you can see from the dotted moving average lines, we’re still coming out of a slump that started at the end of 2006.

This is actually a cropped chart as I estimate earnings for the current month which I had to strip off the right side. This is why StockXpert and LuckyOliver appear in the legend even though we didn’t sign up with them until May.

The pie chart in the top-left corner represents the portion of total earnings since we first started. Obviously iStockphoto dominates, but we have been with them longer than any other website and have the largest portfolio with them.

May is already looking like a much better month based on extrapolated daily averages, and we’re already experiencing some early results with our new registrations. The good part about posting April’s results so late in May is that there’s not long to go before the next update!

How were your earnings in April?

  • Sheila
    Posted at 01:14h, 06 March Reply

    Wow! Thanks for posting this, very helpful as I’m considering both iStock and Shutterstock. I am wondering- do you do any paid search to help drive traffic to your photos and increase sales?

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 09:55h, 06 March Reply

      Hi Sheila, no, I don’t do any paid advertising for my portfolio. I don’t think that would be worthwhile unless you were sending people to your own website where you sell photos. The agencies do a lot of promotion already.

      Also, I have some much more up-to-date earning reports which will give you a more current insight into agency performance. This one is now quite old.


  • David
    Posted at 15:04h, 05 February Reply

    First please no that I am a 100% amateur photographer. Currently researching to purchase my first DSLR Camera
    Here is my question.

    Does your portfolio on the different sites contain the same photos or are they all different?
    also have you noticed which subjects appear to make you more revenue?

    I have read that People as subjects tend to fetch more sales. Any insight?


    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 15:22h, 05 February Reply

      Hi David,

      Yes, my portfolios across all agencies have the same photos. I answer that and other frequent questions on my selling photos page, which may accelerate your research.

      I’ve also done various blog posts analyzing which topics sell best for me, but the most useful one is the LookStat collections analysis.

      Also check out some of my more recent earnings reports. This one is now very old.

      Yes, generally speaking, photos with people are in higher demand, but there are LOTS of other factors which have more impact on sales performance, most notably the quality of the photo.

      I hope that helps.

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