01 May 2008 Microstock Earnings Report April 2008

Normally a relatively slow month, I was very pleased with my earnings for April. While my top two agencies both experienced dips, the next three all rose sharply, two recording new record highs. Total earnings for April were slightly higher than March and just $12 below my current record.

Agency Earnings US$ Portfolio Size Return per Image
Sell-through Rate %
iStockphoto 219.77
733 0.30 72
Shutterstock 170.10 791 0.22 90
Dreamstime 145.10 694 0.21 60
Fotolia 62.16 579 0.11 46
StockXpert 55.30 242 0.23 28
BigStockPhoto 15.50 352 0.04 28
123rf 7.32 269 0.03 15
1.80 288 0.01 17
3.75 277 0.01 18
Total: 680.80 Avg: 0.13 Avg: 42

Microstock Earnings Chart - April 2008


Next Month

Historically, I’ve always earned more in May than in April, which is also the experience of other contributors with larger portfolios. Add to this the anticipated commission rise at Shutterstock and the potential earnings increase from iStockphoto subscriptions, and it looks like May will set a new record for total earnings.

  • Marek
    Posted at 10:53h, 01 May Reply

    5 months of data from my microstock photography and I see the first drop in my earnings despite of the portfolio growth, no ELs last month, IS and SS went down, FT went up:
    Pixels Away microstock

  • Matt Antonino
    Posted at 11:07h, 01 May Reply

    Portfolio growth, sales are up! Good words to hear! Soooo close to your BME – but maybe that will inspire even more. 🙂 Thanks for the comparison to last year’s sales as well. For those of us who’s records don’t go back quite that far, that’s very helpful!

  • Han Cheng
    Posted at 12:24h, 01 May Reply

    Wow. Your sales earnings is great!

    It will be nice if we can see your portfolio.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 13:04h, 01 May Reply

      Hi Han,

      There are links to my portfolios on the About page.


  • James
    Posted at 15:14h, 01 May Reply

    Great post and numbers as usual Lee! 🙂 I *really* like your html formatted table. Awesome! I certainly wish I had more time to dedicate to shooting so that I could take part in your challenges, oh well! With my new daughter (2nd), I’m lucky to have time to check sales! 😉

    My numbers are very similiar to yours and I had the same dip at Istock and Shutterstock. I’m really hoping May will be as good as we all predict! 🙂

  • Tony
    Posted at 17:30h, 01 May Reply

    When you become exclusive at Istock, the number of pictures sold jump by about 30%, plus there’s the exclusivity bonus.. Your Istock results are not very significant, I was exclusive on Istock since 2005 and actually, my return per image is around 2.75$ (with a portfolio made of 98% 8MP pictures). There’s a lot you can do to improve your sales; good keywording, effective lightboxes system, erasing the not selling pictures on your portfolio to improve its overall quality ratio (with buyers, reputation is king).

    Good luck to all, but remember; the results you get are proportionnal to the time you spend on your business.

  • Brainsil
    Posted at 18:42h, 01 May Reply

    It was a great month for me too!
    I can’t wait to see what happen in May 🙂

  • Laurent
    Posted at 07:27h, 02 May Reply

    Nice numbers Lee. I put my earnings in a new graph like you suggested before , looking forward to May !


  • Mandy
    Posted at 06:37h, 13 May Reply

    I’ve recently found this blog through DPS and I will definitely be visiting again, it’s great to see somebody elses journey. It’s very inspiring… and informational!

    Thanks for sharing.

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