Sell Photos on Microstock Sites & Build A Passive Income

Building a Passive Income Through Microstock Sites

If you are thinking of selling your photos online via microstock sites, I thought you might find this income graph interesting. I haven’t included the $ values as I don’t really want to give away my income details but I wanted to show you just how much passive income you can build if you put the work in early.

As you can see, I started uploading to Shutterstock, Istockphoto, Dreamstime and Fotolia in 2006. It was actually August/September time so the graph is a little misleading in that the other years shown are all full years. Over the course of 2007 and 2008, I grew my portfolio on those sites to around 350 images. In 2009, I added 123RF to my list of stock sites too.

The vertical black line at the end of 2009 is the last time I uploaded new photos to any of these sites (life got too complicated!) but the interesting point I want to make is look at how the graph moves in 2010 and 2011. My portfolio almost maintained its’ income level and in fact, in 2012 at Shutterstock it even went up!

All that income after 2009 is passive income  I didn’t do anything on any of those sites and that’s with a tiny portfolio of just 350 photos and a huge increase in growth for all those websites!

Whilst my numbers aren’t that high any more, it’s still ‘free’ income – probably enough to buy a new lens each year at least.

Part of my journey to making a regular income from my photography is to start submitting to these microstock sites again. My circumstances have changed drastically so I’ll have to work out how I’m going to even create new images but I know it’s do-able and I have to get started soon.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to dig into the submission guidelines on each site and try to summarise them for you as well as give some hints and tips to make the whole process easier to manage and save you time.