My aim in microstock is to be different. I have realized since beginning that I could not compete with the kind of Yuri Arcus
or Iofoto, that are far beyond my league (for now).
The best I could envision to get my slice of cake and get some success, was simply to be creative. Creative, means to try to make something really different. One way to do so was to search for neglected keywords or 'holes' in the database of images at Dreamstime.
Another way, is to restrain yourself from the desire to compete with topics that are well covered and would require from you to provide extremely good images.
My way to deal with tis competitive world, is to create my photos mostly in form of montages and composite of images (and sometimes a mix of illustration and photography). I think they are enough unique, original and creative. I tend to choose a topic and go with it for a while, trying to put down a rough sketch of the idea and then move on to realize it.
I show below some of my montages (along with few from other creative DT artists), to show examples of what I was telling in the text above.