It’s 2012! I hope you had a great 2011. This is the time of year when I review my goals from last year and see how I did. Here we go…
Earn $3000 in a month with my stock art/passive income.
Well, this one kind of got squashed. I ended up leaving some good paying agencies like iStock, Fotolia and Vectorstock because I have been trying to focus on and support the better paying agencies. My income took a hit because of that, so I failed on this one.
Make $500 in a month at myStockVectors.com.
I was close on this one, but never achieved it. My traffic has been growing lately, so hopefully it will translate into sales.
Increase my freelance earnings by 15%.
Hmm… I guess I forgot this one was on here. I didn’t see a huge surge in freelance work. I may have to adjust my prices if I’m going to make this one happen.
Learn and submit 3D illustration files.
I worked on this one, but didn’t get very far. It was a little more work than I wanted to put into it to learn the programs. I may revisit it at some point, but there’s not much time left after freelance work and stock image work gets done.
Get to 4000 stock art files.
OK. I did this one. So, I’m not a complete failure. I had 4300 images at the end of the year.
Well, that wasn’t a very good job with my goals. Oh well, let’s get on with the new goals (some of them are the same as the old ones):
Double my stock portfolio (8000 images).
Increase freelance earnings by 15%.
Make $500 in a month at myStockVectors.com.
There they are! My new goals for 2012 are ready. Barring any end of the world shenanigans, I hope to work hard to accomplish them.
I thought it was time to update my site with a new image. I chose this Design File of a cartoon little Greek guy in a variety of poses.
You can purchase this file or see a larger version here.
November was the worst month of year as far as earnings. I guess ditching iStock, Fotolia and others finally caught up with me. Clipartof had another solid month, but nowhere near where it was last month. Other than that, not too much to report.
I guess I’ll have to reevaluate my position about limiting the agencies I upload to for next year. I haven’t uploaded to Dreamstime or Shutterstock at all this year. They’ve had pretty stable earnings, but obviously aren’t growing. I’m still holding out hope that my own site makes up the difference at some point. I guess only time will tell though.
There’s a new sheriff in town and its name is Clipartof. Clipartof was my number one earner this month at 30% of my passive income. I hope this trend continues too. I’ve sacrificed a lot of agencies (and income) this year in an effort to clean up my house, so it’s nice to see some of that starting to pay off.
Speaking of sacrifices, this was my first month without iStock. That income will be missed, but I think it was the right thing to do. That said, I was actually fairly surprised that my income was as good as it was. Still nowhere near where it was, but with Clipartof stepping up, I’m optimistic about the future.
Hopefully, some of that optimistic future lies with my own site, myStockVectors.com. I had a fairly solid month there. I can’t say my 50% off sale brought in a ton of business, but it definitely attracted some past customers to take advantage of the sale. Repeat business. Yay!
The only other news this month was about Drawshop. After a solid month last month, their site spent most of this one offline. So, they ended up with zero sales for the month. Oh well. There’s always next month.
Feel free to share how your October was below.
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September is done. It was a pretty decent month. I’m still nowhere near my record months of last year, but my income is stable. That said, I deleted my portfolio at iStock this month, so that should set me back a little more.
It’s a shame these agencies just keep changing their policies to give contributors poorer deals. Oh well. All I can do is what I’ve been doing this year. Eliminate the sites that don’t work for me, and concentrate on the ones that do. Hopefully, that will shape the industry or at least my income for the better.
Speaking of better paying agencies, I had a really great month at Drawshop. It seems like most of it came from one buyer, but hopefully the trend continues. Other than that, I don’t have too much to report.
August is over and another month is in the books. A pretty average month as I continue to try to grow my stock library ONLY at agencies I think pay fair commissions like Graphic Leftovers and Clipartof. Also, I’ve continued to build my portfolio at my own personal store, myStockVectors.com. I’m over 3800 images there and traffic seems to be increasing lately. Hopefully earnings will start to increase as well.
The only other big news this month came from the bombshell that iStockphoto dropped at the end of the month. Basically, they announced that they were going to force independent contributors to have their content mirrored on the partner sites like Thinkstock and Photos.com. Frankly, I’ve had about enough over there. Between the insulting royalties, falling sales and forced partner programs, I think I’m ready to pack it up and leave. I just don’t see the point anymore.
It’s a shame because iStock was the first site I joined back in 2006. There are still a lot of things I like about the site, but the negatives are just adding up too fast. That and the company seems to have a clear direction that isn’t contributor friendly. Oh well, I guess it happens.
So, I’ve been told that I need to get off my lazy butt and write my July review. OK, so nobody actually said those exact words, but I think that was the gist. Anyway, here we go…
July was a solid month. My numbers are still lagging compared to last year, but I’m hanging steady after ditching Fotolia and stopping uploads at Dreamstime, Shutterstock and iStock. I’ve mostly been concentrating on my own site and I’ve definitely been busy creating new content there. As far as numbers there, it’s been a steady stream, but I can’t seem to break into the next level. I’m sure I’ll eventually figure it out, but it’s going to take time.
Other than that, not much to report. I experimented a little with increasing my prices on the sites that allow me to adjust them. Overall, it didn’t have the punch that I wanted. So, I guess I’ll have to continue to tweak them or adjust them back down.
Well, that’s July. I’ll just keep plugging away for August with new work and promotion. Speaking of promotion, feel free to become a fan of my stock art Facebook page.
Another month in the books. It was my worst month of the year, but it is the summer. iStock seems to have stabilized at its new lower level. I wasn’t sure if they were going to continue to go down or not. Most of the other agencies turned in fairly ordinary numbers. Nothing too spectacular.
I’ve had several really good months at 123RF. Well, good for 123 anyway. They seem to be pulling away and leaving Bigstock in their dust. I don’t have many images there, so I guess I need to evaluate if I want to send more images over there. Their growth really reminds me of what happened with Fotolia several years ago. They just started growing out of nowhere.
I had a down month at my own site, myStockVectors.com. I was really hoping after last month that traffic was starting to pick up. I guess I’ll have to put my thinking cap on to figure out how to drive more consistent traffic to it. It’s really up and down every month.
I’ve recently launched a new series of files I call Design Files at my stock site, myStockVectors.com. These include several images from a series in one file. It also contains a font and other elements like word bubbles and backgrounds. The idea is that it contains all the elements you need for your design project in one file. The best part is that it is cheaper than buying all the files individually. I have an image of one of my Design Files with a cartoon space theme below. So if you are interested go check it out!
This post was written on IllustrationInfo.com. Content copyright 2011 Cory Thoman.