31 May 2007 Microstock Referral Program Progress
I wanted to follow up my review of microstock referral programs with a progress report. The review showed that there was a lot of variety in the details of the programs across all the microstock websites reviewed. My experiences so far have been equally varied.
Let’s take a look at the numbers so far.
- Departures – number of times the referral link on my website has been clicked (not a perfect measure)
- Arrivals – number of referred visitors arrived as recorded by the receiving website
- Conversion – number of referred visitors who registered on the receiving website
- Earnings – amount of referral income since starting this blog in March 2007 until now
A family member has just completed his university study of photography. He had been interested in what we were doing with microstock, and we finally convinced him to give it a go. Looking over his shoulder at his computer, I directed him here to my blog and had him click the referral links and create accounts at each website. Now, he’s a great photographer, but doesn’t yet have a large portfolio, and much of what he does have are not electronic. Therefore, he wasn’t accepted on all the websites, but it’s interesting to see which websites showed him as a referral and which didn’t!
Let’s have a quick look at each one:
iStockphoto – Two buyer referrals. Not bad for a blog targeting contributors. I had low expectations for this one, but it’s already my second highest earner!
ShutterStock – I love this referral program! High conversion rate, transparent reporting and actually performs!
Dreamstime – Disappointing reporting, disappointing conversion and disappointing earningsl. Room for improvement.
Fotolia – Great reporting, disappointing conversion, and no earnings yet.
BigStockPhoto – Actually reports received referrals, and seeminly very accurately. Great conversion, but yet to see any earnings. I presume I’m waiting for referred contributors to reach 75 approved photos for my one-time $5 referral bonus.
CanStockPhoto – Hard to know what’s happening here. Limited reporting and no results to show.
123rf – Reports all details but so far no conversions or earnings.
StockXpert – Excellent reporting, everything except identifying registration. Terrible conversion rate. Nothing yet.
LuckyOliver – Only reporting is when you get paid for a referred registration, but it seems to be working. Very happy here.
I’m pleased with my humble beginnings in microstock referral programs and I look forward to seeing which ones grow with the blog. I’m collecting monthly earning data and once I have a few months collected I’ll post a chart.
I’ve spoken with others who blog in the microstock space, and they’re reporting better results. Once my traffic is a little higher I’ll start tweaking to see if I can positively impact the performance of the programs. Fun times ahead!
Do you use the referral programs? How do your experiences compare to mine?