I have thrown my hat in the ring in the last few months and joined a few of the microstock image libraries. So far, the earnings have been fairly minimal. But I have found that some are better than others. Alamy is my favourite, but the sales seem to be very slow. But at least they pay well when there is a sale. You can get 50% of the sale from Alamy, most of the other sites only give you a 15% commission.
After Alamy, Shutterstock seems to be the best site. The sales are much more frequent. But they only pay $0.25 for a monthly subscriber image. $0.81 for a small/med on demand image and $1.88 for an on demand image large. When you reach a certain threshold of earnings i.e. $500-$3000 the payment goes up but only minimally (a few cent).
So far, food and drink and some of my historical landscape photos seem to be selling best, so this is where I am concentrating my portfolio, for the moment.
I have been on istockphoto for about a year. Initially earnings seemed quite good. But I soon saw that every now and again I was only getting $0.03 an image. I have since left my gallery live, but I have not added any more as it doesn’t warrant the time it takes to keyword and it completely undervalues the pictures that I have online at other sites.
I have also uploaded to Adobe stock, Deposit photos, Crestock and Dreamstime. But it is too early to tell if these sites are going to be successful. Crestock also seems to have an extremely slow review period. Alamy and Shutterstock are the best in terms of review, as images are considered and accepted or rejected within 24 hours, which means I can add to my portfolio every day.
Looking at a lot of research on this subject, I have read a lot of information about how to start selling images microstock image libraries and have come across this book. It may be worth reading for people that are new to the microstock library world and would like a comprehensive guide on how to get started. https://www.victoriaashmanphotography.co.uk/recommends/817-2/
I have decided that I am going to add the option to download and buy stock images from this website. Digital backdrops were added last week, and the process seemed fairly easy to setup. But it is quite time consuming. So it should take me a couple of weeks.
To my mind microstock image libraries must be extremely difficult and time consuming for buyers to find what they are looking for, (if they have a specific image in mind). Microstock sites surely will become overwhelmed with images. So maybe there will be a trend for photographers selling stock images independently. Or maybe small niche image libraries will become a stronger force in the market again. For now though I am keeping my hat in the ring.
ADOBE STOCK Portfolio https://stock.adobe.com/uk/contributor/239766/victoria%20ashman