Well, it is that time again. Time for another monthly passive income update. April was the best month of the year so far, and my 5th best month ever. It was only about $20 better than March, but I’ll take it. Here’s the breakdown:
Clipartof led the way again with 30% of passive earnings. Shutterstock clung to 2nd with 16%. It was followed closely by MyStockVectors (16%) and Toon Vectors (14%). Dreamstime was 5th at 8%. Can Stock (4%), GL (4%), and Big Stock (3%) trailed the pack. And the rest were 1% or under.
Everything still seems to be growing, so I can’t really complain. It would be nice to add another agency or two to the ones I regularly submit to, but everything is working now. So, I guess I’ll just keep plugging away.
Up next, May. May was my best month last year, so I hope I can repeat its success this year.
My best month of the year so far, and my 5th best month ever. Also, my highest earning month since last May (Narrowly beating last August). Here’s the breakdown:
Clipartof crushed the competition with 32% of my passive earnings. Shutterstock showed some of its old life with 20%. MyStockVectors was a strong third at 15%. Toon Vectors continued its rise with 11% of earnings. Things were a little slow after that. Dreamstime was sluggish at 7%. Can Stock didn’t even break $100 at 3%. GL and Big Stock were both 2% and Drawshop was 1%. Everybody else was under 1%.
Other than that, there is not too much to report. RPD seemed to slip a little this month. Some of that could be the increase in sales at SS though. Also, it seemed like Big Stock’s subscription sales were building this month. I’m not too pleased about them adding those, so they probably won’t be one of my partners for too much longer.
It was a decent month. I needed a couple more days to make it a good month, but that’s February. Here’s the agency breakdown.
Clipartof was my top agency again with 29% of my passive earnings. My own site, MyStockVectors, barely edged out Shutterstock with 15%. Shutterstock was 15% as well. It really only came down to a few dollars difference. Toon Vectors jumped up to 4th place with 12%. Dreamstime was next with 10%. Can Stock was 6% and GL was 3%. Everybody else was 1% or under.
As George Peppard (Hannibal from The A-Team) would say,”I love it when a plan comes together”. It’s nice to see the three agencies I’ve been concentrating on lately (Clipartof, Toon Vectors & MyStockVectors) becoming my top agencies. Hopefully, the trend continues. I also started uploading more to Drawshop, but I haven’t seen much growth yet.
On a side note, it was a very strange month. The changes at Google (specifically Google Images) halved traffic to my site, but sales were still strong. I’m not really sure what to make of it, but I’m glad it didn’t destroy everything I’d built so far. It’s kind of scary that Google has that much power. I guess that’s the internet though.
The first month of the year is in the books. January made my top 10 best months as far as earnings. It came in at number seven. January can be a hit or miss month, so it was nice to see the year start out great. Here’s the breakdown:
Clipartof led the way again with 27% of earnings. My own site, MyStockVectors, dethroned Shutterstock, the reigning number 2, with 22%. Shutterstock slipped to third with 15%. It was followed by Dreamstime (8%), Can Stock (7%), GL Images (6%) and Toon Vectors (5%). Big Stock showed a little life this month at 3%. The rest were 1% or under.
I’d like to say that one month in I already hit one of my goals for the new year. I wanted to earn over $500 in a month at my own site. Mission accomplished!
Overall, I’m excited about this year. Things seem to be shaping up for a good one. Hopefully, things don’t stall out too bad in a short February that starts with a weekend.
I killed my iStock account a couple years ago, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have problems. No, I’m not talking about falling sales. I’m also not talking about them paying independents less than 20% royalties. Nor am I talking about forcing contributors onto their partner programs. Any of those reasons would be enough for any sane contributor to pack up their bags and leave, but they pushed even farther with their newest “deal”. So, what is this deal? Basically, they are allowing Google to redistribute images from iStock for free through their Google Drive.
Well, it looks like this might be the straw that broke the camel’s back because contributors are up in arms. They are threatening to delete their accounts, images and probably more. You can read more about it on Warmpicture.com. You can also see contributor’s reactions on MSG.
All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that mess.
Since I did a half way report earlier, I thought I’d revisit this and see how it turned out with the whole year of data.
Just a recap, I chose these 6 agencies because they typically earn me over $100 a month, so that seems like as good a bar as any to judge them all by. Also, I eliminated 123RF from the results because I deleted most of my portfolio there. My over 100 bucks micro sites include: Clipartof, Shutterstock, MyStockVectors, Dreamstime, Can Stock Photo and GL Stock Images. Now that I’ve introduced all the players, it’s time for the stats.
Top Earners (% of Total Earnings)
1. ClipArtof (27%)
2. Shutterstock (20%)
3. MyStockVectors (12%)
4. Dreamstime (10%)
5. GL (7%)
6. Can Stock (7%)
The percentages changed a little, but the order pretty much stayed the same. GL ended up jumping Can Stock, but not by much. These agencies ended up at 83% of my micro income. That fell a little bit from the 90% I had at the half way point, but 123RF probably accounts for some of that.
Most Downloads (% of Total Downloads)
1. Shutterstock (55%)
2. Dreamstime (11%)
3. Can Stock (6%)
4. ClipArtof (6%)
5. GL (3%)
6. MyStockVectors (1%)
Not much change here either. Shutterstock was still the big winner as far as number of downloads. But, number of downloads still didn’t translate into the biggest earner. I guess that’s why I’m a big defender of keeping track of RPD.
RPD (Average Royalty per Download)
1. MyStockVectors ($16.73)
2. ClipArtof ($7.94)
3. GL ($4.32)
4. Can Stock ($1.91)
5. Dreamstime ($1.81)
6. Shutterstock ($0.70)
No too many changes here either. Everybody stayed in the same spot.
Well, I don’t know if anything new was revealed in adding the last half of the year numbers. I suppose my numbers are skewed too because I have way more files on sites like MyStockVectors and Clipartof than the rest. But, that has been my strategy over the last 2 years. Basically, the idea was to build up at sites that reward me the most per sale, and cut back or eliminate the sites that pay me the least per sale. So far, I’ve been happy with the results, and I had my best year this year. Hopefully, that continues. I just wish there were more sites that met my criteria to sell at.
December never disappoints in how awful it is for microstock earnings. This year was worse than December 2011 and 2010. That said, I still made money and it pushed me over into a best year ever for passive income earnings. So, it wasn’t all bad. Anyway, here’s the breakdown:
Clipartof led the way again with 26% of my earnings. It was followed by Shutterstock at 23%. My own site, MyStockVectors, was third at 12%. Dreamstime came in fourth with 9% and Toon Vectors jumped up to fifth with 8%. Can Stock rounded out the top 6 with 6%. The rest were less than 5% a piece.
Well, that’s it for 2012. Hopefully, 2013 is a prosperous year for everyone.
I can’t believe 2013 is only a few days away. I guess time flies when you are creating illustrations. Anyway, it’s that time of year again to revisit how I did on my goals from last year, 2012. I had three goals from last year, so let’s see the results.
Goal #1: Double my stock portfolio (8000 images).
This was a lot of images, but I crushed this goal. I hit 8000 images at the end of September, then I started a project of converting all my images to a black and white version. I ended up with over 15,000 images. I guess it’s good I did so well on this one because it wasn’t as positive for my other two goals. Anyway, Goal #1 was a success!
Goal #2: Increase freelance earnings by 15%.
I definitely wasn’t sure about this goal when I set it, and I think it shows. I really didn’t have much of a game plan to accomplish, and my freelance earnings didn’t increase at all. In fact, they went down. I doubt I’ll rollover this goal either. I’m just not sure if I can really do much with it. Projects either come in or they don’t. Goal #2 failed.
Goal #3: Make $500 in a month at myStockVectors.com.
Another failure for this one, but I was very close. I had a couple months that were over $400, and my site traffic seemed to improve in the last quarter of the year. It should happen next year, but I probably said that last year too. Unless close counts, then goal #3 was a failure too.
Another one out of three year. I seem to be good at those (too bad that wasn’t a goal). Anyway, let’s set the bar for next year.
Goal #1: Get to 20,000 images on MyStockVectors.
Goal #2: Make $500 in a month on MyStockVectors.
Goal #3: Get to 500 Design Files on MyStockVectors.
Goal #4: Earn $3000 in a month with my passive income.
Well, that’s it. Hopefully, I can accomplish them all next year. We’ll see.
Unless this is your first time on this site, you probably know that I create stock art and sell it on the internet. There are a variety of places out there that you can partner with to help you sell your work, but many of them take a large cut of the royalties. So, some artists (like me) have created their own sites and keep 100% of the royalties.
I wanted to compile a list of those sites, so I enlisted the help of the people over at Microstock Group to help. Here are the sites that they listed (in no particular order):
Artist: Cory Thoman (That’s me!)
Description: MyStockVectors is a premium collection of cartoon vector illustrations by artist Cory Thoman.
Site: Real Stock Photos
Artist: Tyler Olson
Description: Real images of real people. I like to shoot candid portraits of professionals and outdoor adventure lifestyle.
Site: Clip Art Candy
Artist: Amanda Bodack
Description: Clip Art Candy sells fun modern clip art and illustrations with an emphasis on people and vector characters.
Site: Jareso Stock Database
Artist: Boris Jaroscak (jareso)
Description: Personal website of enthusiast photographer. Website features selected photos of landscapes, animals and architecture.
Artist: Cihan Demirok – Cidepix
Description: Stock Vector Illustrations and Design Elements.
Site: Denis Pepin Royalty-Free Stock Images
Artist: Denis Pepin
Description: Beautiful and useful images for your home or limited commercial purposes from $2.00 to $10.00. Extended commercial purposes, $28.00.
Site: Travelling Light
Artist: Colin and Linda McKie
Description: Mainly travel/scenic and food images direct from the photographers at microstock prices.
Artist: Elena Elisseeva (Elenathewise)
Description: Diverse portfolio of more than 12,000 stock images covering lifestyle, concepts, travel, food and nature photography.
Site: About PhotoStock
Artist: Colin and Linda McKie
Description: Mainly travel/scenic and food stock photo images direct from the photographers. Rights Managed and Royalty Free.
Site: Cascoly Software
URL: http://cascoly.smugmug.com and http://cascoly.com
Artist: Steve Estvanik
Description: World travel, maps and people from Europe, Egypt, Syria, India, China and the Americas. Patterns, backgrounds and textures.
Artist: jean schweitzer
Description: Stock pictures and local pictures from Denmark.
Site: SweetSham Stock Illustrations
Artist: Melissa Patton
Description: Royalty-free stock food and drink illustrations in jpg and vector formats. A growing collection including cakes, sweets, and food characters.
Site: Pixels Away Stock Photography
Artist: Marek Uliasz
Description: Concepts in business, education, science, internet and self development. Vintage typography. Fitness and outdoor recreation. Healthy food. Colorado and southwest.
Artist: Lisa F. Young
Description: High quality collection of royalty free stock photos at reasonable prices. Areas of specialty include people/lifestyle, business, education, medical, and industrial.
Artist: yuliang & szefei
Description: We specializes on south east asian, chinese and malaysian content. Prices are at microstock level.
Well, those are the ones that people sent me. Hopefully, this will be a useful list for buying illustrations and photos directly from the people that created them. Feel free to add more suggestions to the comments. Please try to limit them to sites run by one or two artists.
It wasn’t a horrible month just not quite as good as the last few months. I guess they all can’t be great. Anyway…
Clipartof led the way again with 27% of my total passive income. Shutterstock was 2nd with 20%. MyStockVectors was my 3rd best site with 11%. It was closely followed by Dreamstime and GL at 10% and 9%. Can Stock and Toon Vectors were 6th and 7th at 6% each. The rest of the sites didn’t make up that much.
Well, there is just one month left in the year. Overall, it’s been a pretty good year. It looks like it will be my highest earning year selling stock art. I’ve noticed a few trends this year. My RPD has steadily improved throughout the year. While my total number of sales has decreased, my income has seem to improve. Some of this might have to do with getting rid of 123RF. Also, I’ve noticed that Shutterstock has slowly been decreasing in both sales and income. I haven’t uploaded in a long time, so this may just be natural. Either way, it will be something to monitor for next year.