It’s been quite a while since the last time I updated this blog. I got busy with my graphic design studio projects and had no time to add more illustrations to my portfolios. Still, my income from microstock has been quite steady so far. I think it’s quite good despite my absence uploading new images to the sites.
With a bit less than 80 images in my portfolio in most microstock sites (the only exception is Shutterstock with 139 images, but that’s because I have to upload the same illustration twice: one vector and one raster version), I consider myself pretty lucky in terms of income. My biggest earner is still Shutterstock, which averages me about $100-$150 a month, followed by iStockphoto with $50-ish a month. Fotolia comes next with roughly $40 a month, and then the others.
Now the fun fact: contributing to microstock sites has indeed generated me some residual income, but that’s not the biggest benefit. I found out that by selling through microstock sites, I gave a significant boost to my portfolio exposure, leading to more freelance works and meeting new potential clients. I’m estimating a 30%-40% boost to my studio income ever since I began my microstock journey in November 2010. I know it’s still a rough number considering I’m still pretty new, but I’ll be keeping track of this fact.
So here’s my 4-month conclusion: if you’re a freelance graphic designer / illustrator, start creating some vector arts and do give this microstock business a shot. It’s worth it. I know there are a lot of people there saying that this microstock business is going dimmer by the minute, but in my case - I really don’t think so. Vector artists have a big opportunity in this business, especially if their arts are original and high quality. Don’t aim for the residual income only, but also consider this as a mean to get your work noticed by the public, gain more exposure to your portfolio. This makes a great combination if you also have a personal / business website ready. So what are you waiting for? Grab your slice o' pie while it's still hot! Good luck!