How Much Money Did I Make This Month? July 2019 Income Report
In this article I am spilling the beans and revealing exactly how much money I made this month selling stock footage across three of the major stock agencies: Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Pond5. In fact, this has been my best single month on Shutterstock yet, so stay tuned!
Becoming a stock contributor is fairly simple, but actually making money doing it is not. Your work has to be noticed and sold often to actually become profitable.
Once you understand the amount of work involved in shooting, editing, and uploading stock footage, you know how important it is to take a little extra time up front to make sure your efforts will be worth it.
Understandably, you want to know how much money you can actually make selling stock footage. As I said, the time commitment involved is high, so finding out some real numbers from an actual stock contributor makes sense.
Not only am I sharing my exact earnings with you each month, I have also decided to start sharing many of my own secrets to uploading stock that will help you find success quickly as well.
In the next few moments I’ll show you exactly how much I made this month, what my best selling clips were, as well as some helpful extra hints to get you started on your own journey into the stock footage world.
Any of you who are already Shutterstock contributors know the pure excitement you feel when one of these little notifications pops across your iphone screen. I don’t know why, but they often come through for me in the mornings when I first check my phone. Talk about a great way to start the day. These pop ups are from the Shutterstock App, by the way.
Let’s jump right into the earnings numbers. First, I’ll break them down by what I made with each agency.
1 | SHUTTERSTOCK EARNINGS
Shutterstock Total Earnings for July: $289.33
(Update: total was actually $304.90 from a last minute sale after I wrote this post)
(30 total downloads)
Photos: $41.89 (note: one photo sale was for $37.50, so this number is higher than average for the month)
My current catalog includes 444 images and 469 videos.
Video Versus Photo Earnings
As you can see there is a big discrepancy between video earnings and photography earnings. This makes sense since you make such a smaller amount on average from each photo sale ($0.25) versus video sales ($15-20). It’s one of the reasons I have begun to shift my focus from stock photo to stock video. If you are thinking about shooting stock footage and you own a DSLR camera, you should check out a recent post I made about all the settings I use to shoot stock video footage on my camera.
Best Selling Footage for July
Newborn Baby Yawning: As always, this is my top seller for the month. It was downloaded four times for a total of $54.82.
Black Lab Dog Trying to Catch a Ball: This one sold for the first time on Shutterstock. It’s an HD slow motion shot of my dog trying to catch a ball and failing. It sold for $40.20.
Best Selling Image for July
Here was the best selling image for the month. As I mentioned earlier, it sold for $37.50, which is incredible for a single photo. It’s an unusually high amount for a photo and doesn’t happen for me very often, which is why I wanted to include a few more details about it in this post. 1 - so you aren’t deceived into thinking it’s normal to make this amount from most stock photos and 2 - to analyze why it sold for so much.
The reason it sold for this amount is because of the different ways in which customers can buy media through Shutterstock. If they have a subscription, if they are buying for a one time use, or depending on what type of license the customer needs, these factors will all determine the price that your clips sell for.
I have been digging around to find out some exact answers for how each subscription or type of sale translates into what percentage you get as a contributor. I plan to post a detailed post on my findings at some point soon. Until then, it’s still a bit of a mystery. All I can say is that this image was purchased under the ‘Single and Other’ category.
2 | POND5 EARNINGS
Let’s take a look at my monthly earnings from Pond5 in July.
Pond5 Total Earnings for July 2019: $94.99
(4 total downloads)
As I have discussed in thorough detail when we compared the three major stock agencies: Shutterstock, Pond5, and Adobe Stock, from what I can tell Pond5 has all but eliminated their stock photography sales. That being said, all of my Pond5 sales are from footage clips.
Here are the clips that sold for this month:
Setting your own price for clips on Pond5
As you can see, two out of the four clips here sold for very low amounts in comparison to typical video sales. With Pond5, when you upload a clip you have the option to click a little box that allows Pond5 to set the price of your footage for you. You then get 40% of whatever that clip sells for.
When I first began uploading footage, my rationale was to always click this box. I figured they are the experts and they have just as much incentive to sell my clips as I do. I’ll leave it to Pond5 to decide at what price point I will make the most sales. But maybe this just isn’t true?
I have heard the debate back and forth about whether to set your own price and what price is best. Some argue that higher priced clips give the impression to buyers that your footage is higher quality.
While others argue that lower priced clips will sell more frequently resulting in higher total monthly sales. There is a third camp that argues you should price your clips according to what you believe your time, energy, and talent are worth.
In any case, when I see numbers this low, it makes me want to go back and set my own price for these clips. I do believe they are worth more than the price they were sold for in this case. Perhaps I will go back and change a handful to see what happens. As always, it’s my plan to keep you all updated on any new findings that I learn along the way.
3 | ADOBE STOCK EARNINGS
Adobe Stock Total Earnings for July 2019: $3.30
In direct contrast to Pond5, most of my sales from Adobe Stock have been photo sales. As a result, I have not made nearly as much as a contributor to Adobe as to some of the other stock agencies. Here is what sold for this month:
If you’ve been following along on my journey with stock footage and photography, you’ll remember that my last few months with Adobe Stock have been extremely low in earnings. I am not sure the reason why - maybe the competition is ramping up or maybe they have changed something in the structure of sales on their end. If anyone else has experienced the same issues and has insight to share, please leave a message in the comments below. I would be very curious to know your experiences.
I am happy to say that this has been my best month yet with Shutterstock. It was a busy month for me with summer trips and some other work stuff going on, so I wasn’t able to upload any new footage. Once things begin to slow down I hope to catch up with some more uploads so that those earnings will continue to grow.
But it is a great example of how passive income works for you. I did absolutely nothing on any of the stock sites this month. I didn’t even log in. And yet I sold more than I ever have on Shutterstock in a single month.
If you want to experience the same type of passive income from your footage and photos, then you need to make sure that you are shooting the right type of footage, using the best settings, and doing all you can to ensure that your work is actually going to be noticed so that it ranks high and ranks often. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check out my post about the 5 tips you need to know to sell stock footage.
I share with you all the top tricks that I have found to help me on this journey. If you are interested in more monthly income reports, you can check out my income report from June 2019 as well.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. Thanks for joining me on this journey!