Stock Report: First Half of the Year

I was going over my statistics for first half of the year, and I noticed some interesting things. So, I thought I’d try something new on the blog. No, I’m not talking about writing more than one post in a month, although that is something different. I’m talking about sharing some stats. Besides, I know how much artists love math.

Anyway, I was filling in the stats for my top seven agencies. Why seven? Well, these are the agencies that typically earn me over $100 a month, so that seems like as good a bar as any to judge them all by. My over 100 bucks micro sites include: Clipartof, Shutterstock, MyStockVectors, Dreamstime, 123RF, Can Stock Photo and GL Stock Images. Now that I’ve introduced all the players, it’s time for the stats. Hooray, stats!

Top Earners (% of Total Earnings)

For all of you that love decimals, I apologize that I rounded the numbers.

1. ClipArtof  (25%)
2. Shutterstock  (21%)
3. MyStockVectors  (11%)
4. Dreamstime  (10%)
5. 123RF  (8%)
6. Can Stock  (7%)
7. GL  (6%)

You’ll notice that these sites represent about 90% of my micro income, so the rest of the sites don’t contribute a huge amount to my overall total. You may also notice that my own site came in 3rd in total earnings. I know! I’m pretty proud of myself too.

[pauses to do happy dance]

OK, I’m back. Where were we? Oh yeah, earnings. So, how much did I earn? I’m not telling. I will say that my best month at Clipartof came in at around $900, and my worst month at GL was around $70. Hopefully, that is enough to satisfy your curiosity. If not, you can probably dig through some of my old post on this site. Next up, download stats.

Most Downloads (% of Total Downloads)

Again, I rounded. I’m just not that into decimals.

1. Shutterstock  (52%)
2. 123RF  (17%)
3. Dreamstime  (11%)
4. Can Stock  (6%)
5. ClipArtof  (5%)
6. GL  (3%)
7. MyStockVectors  (1%)

OK, this is where things got interesting for me. I knew Shutterstock had a lot of downloads, but I didn’t realize that it was over half of them. The other big surprise was that 123RF was my second most downloaded site. Also, you can see that some of my better earners have some of the lowest download totals. That’s because they sell less, but pay more. This brings me to my next stat, RPD (Royalty per Download).

RPD (Average Royalty per Download)

Here are the decimals. I hope it was worth the wait.

1. MyStockVectors ($16.28)
2. ClipArtof  ($8.55)
3. GL ($4.11)
4. Can Stock ($1.92)
5. Dreamstime ($1.77)
6. 123RF ($0.78)
7. Shutterstock ($0.67)

Again, everything shuffles around, but there definitely seems to be a correlation between low royalties and higher download numbers (not necessarily better earnings though). I would assume price and subscription models have something to do with that.

Speaking of subs and lower prices, I’m surprised at how much 123RF is starting to look like a mini Shutterstock. I guess that is a good thing if you love Shutterstock because it looks like it has a little brother. For me, I found it a little disturbing. Knowing that the majority of my sales (nearly 70%) net me about 70 cents, makes me a little queasy. Especially since I’ve been trying to increase the value of my work by concentrating my efforts at better paying agencies.

Well, that’s it. You made it through it, and there were even decimals. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for June 2012

June started out pretty fast, but dropped off at the end of the month. Overall, it was still a decent month, but not as good as the last couple months. It was better than June 2011 but not quite as good as June 2010.

Clipartof was my best earner again. Shutterstock was a close second. I had a single sale at Shuttestock that I received $120 for, so that helped bump up the earnings there. My own site, MyStockVectors, was a distant third, but it was still about $100 over fourth place Dreamstime.

Speaking of my own site, I’m still plugging away on my goal of 8000 images by the end of the year. I’m over 6800 images now, so I’m getting a lot closer. With half the year left, I should definitely reach 8000.

My only other news is that I pulled the plug on Stockfresh. I liked the fact that they paid 50%, but sales were so few and most sales netted under a dollar. Maybe, they will grow into something more profitable, but I just didn’t really see a great future there.

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for May 2012

Great month! I’m back, or at least I was this month. It was my 2nd best earning month ever. Hopefully, the trend continues. Here’s the breakdown:

Clipartof led the way again with 32% of my earnings. Shutterstock was a distant second with 15%, and my own site was a close third at 14%. GL snuck into 4th which I’m not sure if they have ever been that high on the list. They just beat out Dreamstime, 123RF and Canstock. Finally, I sold a couple more files on Toon Vectors, so it’s nice to see them getting some sales.

Aside from my earnings, the stock companies seemed to be throwing a lot of money around this month. Shutterstock announced an IPO, Fotolia sold part of their company and Getty is possibly up for sale. I’m not sure what any of that means, but I’m sure somebody (other than me) will make a ton of money off of it all.

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for April 2012

Recent image at MyStockVectors.

April was another good month and May seems to be starting out fast. Hopefully, this trend continues. I’m still down from my heights of 2010, but my numbers are pretty comparable. All it took was two years.

Clipartof was my top agency again with 28% of my passive income. Shutterstock was a distant second at 17%. My own site,, came in 5th at 11%. Dreamstime (13%) held onto third and a surging 123RF (11%) just snuck past my site.

Other things to note: I passed 6000 images at MyStockVectors. Only 2000 more to go to hit my goal of 8000 by the end of the year. Toon Vectors had its first sale. Hopefully, there are more to come.

I’m Sorry!

I apologize to anyone that showed up yesterday and was greeted with a big red warning. Apparently, Google decided to flag me for malware. I’m not sure if I was hacked, but I had to get my extermination equipment (a blowtorch) out. I burned the house down and rebuilt it yesterday. Then, resubmitted my site to Google for the all clear (no evil bugs).

Please, bear with me over the next few days while I fix things I broke during my “housecleaning”. Ironically, one of the things that got purged was Google Adsense. I guess this hurts Google too.

Speaking of Google, it’s great that they are fighting the nefarious forces on the internet, but it is a little disturbing that they can just slap a contaminated label on your website with no questions asked. There seems like there should be a more gentle way to do that.

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for March 2012

It seemed like all the agencies I participate at did pretty well this month. The result was that it was my best earning month in a year. Clipartof passed Shutterstock for the second time and was my top earner.

My own site,, was my 4th best earner this month. Dreamstime just barely edged it out. I created a few new series of images at my site and ended the month with over 5800 images.

New characters from the Armored Animals series.

Other than that, there is not too much to report. Canstock had a solid month and I did some custom work through Drawshop’s interface (which seemed to work fairly well). Feel free to add a comment below or post a link to how your March went.

Toon Vectors A New Stock Art Site

What is Toon Vectors?
Toon Vectors is a new stock art site focusing on vector images. The site pays a generous royalty to artists of at least 70%. Images cost $19.99 for the standard license and $99.99 for an extended license. Here’s a little bit more about them from their FAQ:

Toon Vectors is an online collection of royalty-free stock vector graphics and clip art available for download at affordable prices. Toon Vectors is based in Austin, Texas and was launched in early 2012 by Chris Thoman, a software and web developer.

In a marketplace of oversized stock agencies that have become increasingly greedy and hostile to the interests of the actual content creators that make everything possible, our goal is to provide a smaller, more intimate venue for artists and illustrators to sell their creative works. We believe that the original artists, and not the middlemen, should receive the largest share of the profits from their own hard work.

Who runs it?
You may have noticed the site owner’s name above and thought that it sounded familiar. There’s a reason for that. The site was created by my brother, Chris Thoman. While I’m not an employee there or have any special affiliation with the site, I do know the owner pretty well.

How are the Sales?
It’s a brand new site (still has its new car smell), so I can’t give a review on how the sales will be. That said, I am excited about the potential of it.

Can I Sign Up?
Yes and no. Currently, the contributor side is unfinished, but you can contact Toon Vectors to get signed up for when the submission features go live.

Well, that’s all I have to say. It’s nice to have another fair paying agency out there, so go check it out!

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for February 2012

February is always an interesting month because it’s usually a couple days shorter than the other months. Sometimes those extra days make a difference and sometimes they don’t. This year it didn’t seem to be a big factor for my earnings. I was still hovering right around the $2K mark (which seems to be about average after I eliminated iStock.

Things of note this month:

Clipartof continued to push Shutterstock for my top agency. Veer leapfrogged several agencies to end up as my number three earner. They seem to do that every so often, so I’m not going to read too much into it.

My own site was a bit sluggish in the sales department in February, but I completed a lot of new and great (at least I think) illustrations. I also got my Affiliate Program up and running. I’d like to get more of an ad campaign going and get the word out. If only it was as easy as buying a few Adwords ads. I guess if it was, then everyone would be doing it.

I hope everyone had a great February! Has an Affiliate Program

My stock art site,, has just rolled out its Affiliate Program.

Here are the details:

You can earn 20% from purchases of customers that you refer. Our Afilliate Program makes it easy to promote by providing a variety of banners and text links that you can add to your website.

The affiliate program is free to join and only requires a minimum payout of a dollar. We payout once a month on the first of the month through Paypal, so you should get a payout every month as long as you refer at least one sale a month.

Sign up today and you can be making money promoting yetis, dogs with sombreros, vomiting peanuts and other characters in no time at all.

Passive Income and Microstock Earnings for January 2012

January is in the books. It was a solid month, but down from January 2011.

Shutterstock was my number one site again with 28% of total earnings. Clipartof was my second best earner, but they were kind of slow this month. Hopefully, things pick up there in February.

I had a good month at my own site, It was my number three earner at 12% of my total earnings. I added 600 images there, so that might have helped.

Overall, I’m excited about this year. I think I have a good game plan for increasing my revenue. Hopefully, it works out. Anyway, one month down in 2012. Only eleven more to go.