Monday, December 10, 2007

Personal milestone: 1000 photos sold on Shutterstock

Although I joined Shutterstock last year, I only started uploading 5 months ago and just reached this month my 1000th download.

Having earned $ 260 so far, it means also that I am only $ 240 short of the 20 % raise. Despite the fact that SS is the site with a lowest price per picture ($ 0.25) of all the microstock agencies I contribute, it is the biggest earner every month due to the high volume of sales.The two graphs below plots different parameters over the 5 month period: portfolio size, DL/UP ratio, performance, total earning.

After the first month, a perfect linear correlation is observed between the size of the portfolio and earnings (graph 1). Performance went down after the first month but it is slowly rising to the initial level (graph 2). Performance averages 50 % over five months which means that each picture of portfolio earns $ 0.50 every month. It is quite good but some contributors can reach $ 1 or more. The way to maintain or increase this number is to keep uploading small batches of pictures regularly and having from time to time a best seller. New uploads are usually downloaded the first day being on line then downloads slowly or quickly decline.

The ratio download to upload ratio increases steadily and is currently above 6 which is the highest of all sites. At the time of writing I calculated that 90 % of the portfolio was sold which is far higher than all the other agencies (top 10 pictures take 25 % of the total earnings).

It will be good to know at what size if any a portfolio is sustainable i.e generate a stable amount of money without uploading any new pictures. Some contributors are reporting what indeed revenues are falling with no uploads but a performance of $ 0.25 per picture should be realistic.

But it is time to resume uploading and work on the 2000 target….

Graph 1: Evolution of earnings with the size of porfolio

Graph 2: Evolution of performance and ratio uploads/downloads

Selected frontpage screenshots