I’d become accustomed to two things recently in my earnings – one was the lack of large priced sales on Shutterstock and the other was the non-existence of sales on Alamy! This month (in fact the past week) has shattered my expectations (and in a good way!)
Normally, I get almost zero sales on Alamy. I don’t know why – I have 5500 images on the site under my own account. I think there are elements in the Alamy search that I either can’t be bothered to get to the bottom of (including that well selling pseudonyms tend to always come up higher in the search results) and that the positioning of keywords in the descriptions and in the list of keywords themselves make a difference to the search as well. As a result, I have outsourced some of my best images to another agency that manages them on Alamy on my behalf and I usually get a couple of hundred dollars a month via that route. Anyway, this month I have had nine sales in my own account with this one selling for $159 gross:
All told, I will have earned $195 from Alamy sales this month alone. Now it is hard to get that particular shot – which is why it is only available as RM on Alamy – but it is certainly nice to see some sales from that site. It perhaps illustrates a key point in deciding where to submit an image. If anyone could turn up and take a particular travel shot, then put it in the microstock agencies. If it is harder to get (either because of location or because of the light conditions when you took it) then going for the occasional high value sales on a site like Alamy is the better option.
On Shutterstock, I have been seeing a real drought of Enhanced and higher value Single sales for several months. This past three days I have had one enhanced license at $20:
Then three single sales for $27:
and finally $60:
The ice bag shot was originally done for an Image Brief request (which I didn’t win) and so I uploaded it to the micro agencies as a shot that was relatively easy for others to reproduce. So far, it has sold 1171 times for a total of over $1500. It shows the power of many small sales and I doubt I would have achieved this level of success on a more expensive site.