Surviving Ups and Downs of Microstock

© Defess

In life, things can go up and down. Just like any market, sales in microstock comes and goes too. Over time, I think you can see patterns and trends here and there. Those that are here from the beginning will have a lot more insights. This article is to offer some bit of cheer if you are experiencing a bit of a slum or just feeling down.

Portfolio Diversity and Volume

In the long run, this will certainly helps in maintaining continuous sales. There are many people here who's portfolio I am simply in awe of and something to inspire. Time can be your friend. It is ok if you have a portfolio, I have a small one too. Just concentrate on what you can do best now and slowly build up over time. Take pride in what you do. :)

Ebb and Flow of Market Demand

Seasonal demands can fluctuate sales. For example, in USA, Europe summer is almost here. Blue sky, flowers may be in greater demand. On the other hand, New Zealand and Australia are going through winter now. Or in December when winter photos are in greater demand than flowers then. Great if you can offer different types of images when needed by buyers.

Advertising, Design and Turnaround Time

I can offer this insight because I used to work in an advertising agency and later to marketing line. Most marketing plans and advertising budget are planned for well ahead before the start of the financial year. So the agency have some ideas what's coming and may download some images ahead of time. So there may be a constant download at one point and then sale slow down. The Creative Department decides on the design and layout. No matter how pretty an image is, if it does not fit the layout and concept, it is not going to sell. A vertical image will not fit into a landscape layout. Offer variation in layout and let the designer decide. Different media have different deadlines for submission. For a monthly print magazine, the ad must reach the printer a month before. At the very latest, maybe 2 weeks before printing. Availability of needed images matter.

Holidays Are Here

I think we all know weekends and holidays can slow down a sale. Take a break too! Go out, have fun!

Break Free of Repeated Cycles

This applies for both your photography/illustration and personal life. If you find yourself constantly doing the same theme, like photographing tomatoes, do something else instead. How about kitchen utensils? If you travel the same route home everyday, revise - take an alternative route. If you take the bus, stop at two-bus stops before your stop, walk home. Re-organise brain patterns and thought process because brain cells go to auto mode doing repeated actions and that may take away creativity.

During the Slow Time

If it is a slow period now, join the discussions in the forums, comment and write a blog. Someone may find the information useful. A change of ideas may spark off a creative idea and who knows positive thoughts attract positive reactions.

© Nicku

I use my slow time to experiment and learn more on post-processing. There were times when it had been disastrous but the point was to try something new. To avoid multiple rejections, I normally just upload one photo, see if it is accepted. It not, stop for a while, think it over and do something else.

Sense of Humour

They say laughter is the best medicine. So, don't lose your sense of humour when things are down. For a bit of chuckle, check your spam box - emails or blogs. Such flattery and why would I want things I don't need?

I write this as a reminder for myself as well. Hope it gives you a bit of encouragement. Think positive. Cheers!

© lzf

Photo credits: , John Takai, Defess, Enrique Gomez, FabioConcetta, Heathse, Karunaimaging, Lzf, Jacek Sopotnicki, Mariaam, Nicku, Remus Grigore, Rozenn Leard, Dragos Daniel Iliescu, Craig Barhorst, Tammyfullum, Virgil Naslenas, Yelena Rodriguez.

Your article must be written in English



Thanks for your comments, ladies and gents. Well, maybe except for one. Hi, Joe. Isn't it funny and ironic that the very thing I wrote happens here? Well, it makes me chuckle alright ;-0


Good one.
And I like that ..... check your spam box - emails or blogs.
When you want a laugh, that is the best place.


Great advice! I will work hard on it!


I like your blog. Very interesting. Thanks :).


Great advice. Wonderful insight. Very useful thankyou.


Loved your article. Thoughtful, well written and practical, with a dose of humor. I love reading articles that are encouraging and informative. It's especially nice to see so many images in this post that are so lovely, funny, etc. and match the tone. Well done!


Great blog!!!!!!


There are so many wonderful pictures and illustrations in DT and they all deserve moments to shine. All the better when they match the theme of an article, I will try to string them altogether. Some of these images come from those who participated in my thread way back in April and from those who commented in my last blog. I will continue on writing whenever inspiration comes by. I always believe that by sharing information, we all can learn from one another, revise our thinking and improve for the better. Cheers!


Excellent blog! I hope you keep writing, it makes us all reflect and be challenged. Thanks for using my photo.


so thoughtful, to feature one of my images, ive been active here only a short time, thats sweet. Important to me is networking with creative thinkers and artists worldwide, gratifying. I cherish my experience here thus far and expect only wonderful moving forward. Thank You again, sweet Blog and super images


Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. I am glad if this article make you smile because the images make me smile too. :) Sometimes all it takes is a bit of fresh air to lift up your spirit. It is 9.47am Saturday morning as I am typing this. Went out on a walk at 6.30am. Though it is cloudy and there is not much sun, it is great to commune with nature. Have a great weekend, everybody! Hope you find something in your life to make you smile. ;)


Thank you for the wonderful and very useful article!
Indeed sometimes there comes a creative crisis ... and then your article,
I have become a very useful tool.


A really useful article pulling together all the things that we should take notice of but certainly for me many that I kinda take no notice of on a regular basis...

I am on the stock plateau at the moment but and looking forward to the Ups ;)


You made me smile, thanks!


Great blog!


Very good blog, you got point there. and, you have pictures to put up all those theories.
I was looking a little at your portfolio and your picture "Jetty Point of View" reminded me so much on end sequence of the movie "Dark City".
Keep up the good work, and keep you sense of humor always.


Nice blog, thanks for using so many photos including one of mine :-)


I very much agree with that sense of humour.


Thanks for your thoughts and ideas.


Useful and interesting blog, congratulations!!!


Great blog, great tips... Thanks for using my Happy Feet image.


Beauty blog, congrats!


Amazing article with very nice and useful tips. Thanks for using one of my illustrations in your blog article!!! :))))

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