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As we quickly move into the year 2020, I wanted to bring you all a detailed recap of exactly how much money I made selling stock photography and stock footage in 2019.
First, for those of you who don’t know me yet, my name’s Beth and I’ve been a stock contributor consistently for a little over a year now. I have stock photos and videos that I sell each month on Shutterstock, Pond5 (just video clips), and Adobe Stock. By the way, if you’re interested in my opinion on which stock site is the best, you can read all about that here.
I’ve been sharing my monthly income from stock photography and videos here on the blog since June of 2019.
When I first started thinking about uploading my own stock photos and videos, I wondered if it would be worth all the effort involved. From what I read, it seemed like a ton of work to only be paid a few cents per sale for each photo. But at the same time, I was intrigued by the idea of receiving some regular passive income each month from my photography. Especially the work that I had just sitting on old hard drives not doing anything else.
As I researched the internet for how well others had done as stock contributors, I realized there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there that clearly shared exactly how much money could be made each and every month. Sure there were a few stories of fluke cases where someone had a video or two go viral and they made thousands. But realistically, I wanted to know what would be possible.
This past year as I started to see consistent results with my sales, I decided it would be fun to document my progress. I’ve learned a lot along the way and felt like I would also enjoy sharing the process with you all. I’ve always enjoyed reading, researching, and learning. Teaching is the next step in that process of knowledge gathering and I’ve really enjoyed sharing what I’ve learned with you all.
I hope you all know that I don’t share my income to build myself up. I share it because it’s what I had searched for and hoped to find early in my own journey as a stock photographer and I hope that it will be helpful to you as well.
In January of 2019 I had a goal to shoot, edit, and upload 10 clips per week to all three sites. If I could maintain that goal throughout the year, I would add over 500 clips to my catalog by year end. This would more than double my current catalog and therefore, my monthly earnings (in theory).
Guess what… I totally missed the mark on my goal. I have been SO busy this year that I’ve hardly uploaded any new clips. In fact, I don’t think I’ve uploaded any since June when I started sharing my monthly stock income.
Find all you need to start making money with your photos and videos right now.
If you’ve read my monthly income reports then you already know that I haven’t added a single clip or photo to my portfolio since January this year, and yet I’m still making hundreds of dollars each and every month from photo and video sales.
It’s the easiest money I’ve ever made.
I’m walking you through exactly how to do it, even with a small portfolio of HD clips.
For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you’ll receive a beautiful 20 page PDF filled with valuable content packed full of insider tricks, including
(28 total downloads)
My current catalog includes 444 images and 469 videos.
It’s been an awesome month on Shutterstock and I am incredibly happy to see sales picking back up after a few months of low sales August through November. I had a major video sale on December 18th where one video sold for $120.55.
(4 total downloads)
Photos: none (I don’t think Pond5 markets photo sales on their site anymore. I almost never get any photo sales here.)
(3 total downloads)
Now that we’ve taken a brief look at this month’s total sales, let’s look at the yearly totals:
As you can clearly see, Shutterstock is by and far the winner this year in terms of sales and amount earning. I have roughly the same amount of clips and photos on each of these sites, so they are pretty closely comparable. The reason my catalog size is different for each site is because some sites are pickier than others and not all of the clips I submit are accepted to each and every site.
Overall, this year has been a great blessing. Obviously this isn’t enough money to live off, but I’ll take an extra $3k any day. In the future I would love to double, triple, quadruple the size of my catalogue, but as you know that takes time and effort.
For 2020 I have some exciting new ideas. I’ve decided I’m going to give Blackbox a try if they’ll have me. I’m planning to keep my current catalog going as is, but I will add an equivalently sized catalogue on Blackbox. I will then have a way to easily compare Blackbox’s results with my own. It’ll be helpful and interesting to see many of the ways they compare in terms of number and frequency of sales, ease of use, and overall whether or not it’s worth the cost (15% of earnings per clip).
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