Virtuosity and the Art of MicroStock

Maybe as we age we really do slow down… or perhaps we actually do grow more patient with age… or perhaps it has nothing to do with age and I’m just a naturally patient person.  I bet you have no idea what I’m talking about by now.

I read a post in a forum on a MicroStock site where the contributor was announcing that he was quitting because he had sold nothing.  Not a single video clip.  The rest of us who post about our sales are all liars because obviously nobody buys anything since they didn’t buy any of his clips.

So, I clicked on his name to view his portfolio…  he had only been on the site for 4 months.  He had 23 video clips.  And I won’t comment on how badly his stuff sucked… oh wait, I guess I did comment on it.

So here begins the lesson:  The number one key to success in the MicroStock industry is PATIENCE. This industry will frustrate the heck out of you.  Rejections for reasons that make no sense, review times that linger into “months”, and long periods of time between sales are all a major reality.  If you are easily prone to frustration, this is not the industry for you.  If you don’t have patience then you’ll find your blood pressure fluctuating from day to day.

How could he possibly expect to have sold anything when he only had 23 videos out of “hundreds of thousands”?  Did you ever actually try to find a needle in a haystack?  It’s quite difficult, no matter what Bugs Bunny tells you.  When the industry was much younger and there were far fewer items online at the various MicroStock sites it was very easy to stand out with just a small amount of clips.  But those days are long gone.

Those of you just starting out in the MicroStock biz have a HUGE mountain to climb and when you get to the top, you’ll find an even bigger ocean to swim on the other side before you get to where you want to be.  To start selling your work has to not only be outstanding in quality, but you need a minimum of 500 to 1000 items for download on a site before you can expect to even sell 1 or 2 items a month reguarly.

Of course, there is a shortcut…  A very difficult shortcut…  UNIQUE.  Photograph or video something that is truly unique.  A tough job because it seems like everything has been photographed or filmed.  But there are things still off the beaten path that haven’t made their way into MicroStock.  You just have to make the effort to find them.  But if you can’t find them, then upload, upload, upload and when you’re done upload some more.  It’s about volume folks.  Without it, your work simply won’t get noticed.

If you are out there shooting clouds, flowers, traffic, wind mills, farm animals, pets, etc… don’t have any expectation of selling any of it.  Just be happy on the rare occasion that it does.  And if you just got into the business within the last 6 months or so, LEARN PATIENCE.  You’ll live longer… trust me.

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