January 2017 microstock earnings - Starting isn’t easy

A long time ago, I promised to publish my monthly earnings I made from microsock photography. It’s now almost March, so I’d better release my numbers for January before it’s too late.

For me, microstock was always just something I wanted to try for the sake of it. I had no hopes at making serious money and my suspicions were confirmed when looking at this month's numbers. It’s not much, but I still decided to share. I hope, by sharing my numbers, I can set the expectations for other amateurs thinking of starting with microstock. This month only three agencies made me any money and none of them were above $5. This is with about 500 photos on each of the agencies.

Month Agency Earnings
1 123RF $0.22
Adobe Stock $0.00
Alamy $0.00
Bigstock $3.00
Can Stock Photo $0.00
Depositphotos $0.00
Dreamstine $0.00
Shutterstock $2.75
iStock $0.00

Conclusion

Microstock doesn’t pay well. There, I said it. It’s the truth. I never had any hopes at picking up more than a little extra to support my (rather expensive) hobby. My motivation during the first couple of weeks was still high. Making just $0.50 was thrill and I was continuously tagging, uploading and submitting new photos. But as always, motivation is not what keeps you going, it’s discipline. I still upload and submit, but the amount has certainly decreased. I’m not giving up though and I’m certainly not removing any of my photos. I’m still hoping the sales will increase during the year, after all, my portfolio is only a few months old.

How to find me

My microstock is distributed across a number of agencies. I can be found on 123RF, Alamy, Adobe Stock, Bigstock, Dreamstime, Shutterstock and iStock.