So you’ve heard that you can make money in “Microstock”. But how? Just what is microstock, and how does it work?
The word “Microstock” is derived from the two concepts – “micropayment” and “stock”. The micropayment model refers to the ability for online sellers to earn money by making many small or “micro” transactions. “Stock” refers to stock media, or commercial artwork that has been created and made available for use in creative projects.
Imagine you’re designing an advertisement for a large magazine and you’re on a tight deadline. You need a picture of a cowboy roundup. You could hire a photographer, set up on location, and hire a cowboy to get your shot. Now, what if you could just choose a picture from an online catalog that had lots of cowboy shots and just pay to use it. That would save you a lot of time, and money.
This is exactly the service that microstock agencies offer. They maintain an inventory of photos, videos, illustrations, artwork, music, and audio that companies and individuals can use in their creative projects.
But where do they get all of the photos, videos, and other digital artwork? They get it from us “microstockers” – a huge community of photographers, videographers, artists, and musicians that supply all of the digital artwork to these online agencies.
How it Works
The model is simple, let’s use a photo as an example:
- You take a photo (and maybe touch it up in Photoshop)
- You upload your photo to your microstock agency
- Your agency markets 24/7 to buyers all around the world
- A buyer selects your photo and pays your agency
- Your agency pays you (less their commission)
The process is the same for other types of digital artwork.
The Passive Income Cash Machine
Once you have one photo in your online portfolio, it keeps working for you while you create the next. Like compound interest, sales of your portfolio items build upon each other providing an ongoing income stream that grows over time.
“Freelancing” is a Business
Microstock “freelancing” is a business and, like most businesses, you get out of it what you put into it. Sure, the freelance model allows you to work when and how you want to. But consistently producing high-quality material, and adding more over time, increases your long-term income potential.
For those people who are willing to put in the time and energy, microstock may offer a way to transform your artistic passion into a part-time or full-time business.
If you have questions about microstock or ideas we can cover in future blog articles, we’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below.