A look back at 2011

With the sad death of iSyndica, it’s just too difficult to pull together the small details in numbers for 2011.  But the overall numbers show a growth in sales for me, which is a good thing.

But there’s a bit of bad news mixed in with the good.  Sales on Catooh have dropped dramatically in 2011… by over 50% in fact. I mostly attribute that to a jump in the number of submitters to the site and my slow growing portfolio there.  Most of my best selling clips are 3 years old or so and I uploaded very few new clips last year.

Pond5 was up over 2010 sales, but sales started to drop near the end of 2011 and so far in 2012 they’ve been dismal. I added less than 500 new clips in 2011, but Pond5 nearly doubled it’s overall portfolio size last year. So my clips are a tiny droplet in the “Ocean” that is Pond5. Of course, it also probably didn’t help that Pond5 went on auto-pilot in 2011 with almost no new features and they slashed their advertising budget.

RevoStock sales overall were down from 2010.  There was a minor surge in November and December, but it dropped back to a trickle after the new year started. A very pleasant surprise was ClipCanvas which really took off in 2010. It was a nice replacement for lost sales at RevoStock and in fact last year ClipCanvas tripled the amount I’ve earned from Revo lifetime. I have a couple friends who aren’t doing as well on ClipCanvas, but I think it’s only a matter of time for them. Things have slowed down a bit since the start of February, but I’m hopeful for another great year there.

Sales at iStock were dismal in 2011 and after 6 consecutive months of zero sales plus all the “stuff” that happened there, I decided to close my account and pull my tiny portfolio there.  The submit process was extremely difficult and it took 3 to 5 months to get anything accepted.  A couple of my friends are still selling there, but they report sales are way down from last year and the year before.

ShutterStock was the big surprise last year.  Sales trickled the first half of the year, but late in the year SS decided they were tired of having their ass kicked in sales by Pond5. They hired a new person to take over the footage side of ShutterStock who immediately got aggressive.  As a result sales on my relatively small portfolio there jumped dramatically. We’re talking several hundred percent. It was a very welcome source of revenue at the end of the year and in January of this year.  Sales have dropped off since mid February, but I’m hopeful it’s just a tax season thing (which appears to be affecting every microstock agency this time of year every year).

I got really side-tracked on trying to start a full-time photography studio business and didn’t shoot much for microstock last year.  I did manage to shoot about 600 to 800 new clips, but I only got around to editing and submitting about half of them. My photo studio isn’t working out and I closed it a few weeks ago.  So, I’m working hard on getting back into the swing of microstock and my goal is to double my online portfolio this year with at least 1500 new clips submitted.

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