Friday, June 3, 2016

How I Earn money online by selling images on Shutterstock

food cart icons, one of my most downloaded images on shutterstock

I have been a part of this Shutterstock since 2014 (here's my portfolio link) and now I want to share with you what i did to earn money online by selling images on Shutterstock.

You might be interested on Update on my Shutterstock Journey. This blog article will tell you some updates on my Shutterstock journey after one year of being a contributor.

Before we start, what is Shutterstock? Shutterstock is a global marketplace for buying and selling high quality photos and videos. Shutterstock was launched in 2003 and their Headquarters is located in New York. They are currently operating in more than 150 countries and provide digital imagery licenses. Their basic aim is to help digital contributors and buyers to connect with each other and make successful transactions. There are two types of accounts on Shutterstock, Customer and Contributor. Contributors share the digital media that they have created and Customers buy it.


Shutterstock offers a great opportunity for those who create digital content that includes unique photos and videos.

How did I started as Shutterstock Contributor?

First, I registered  as contributor. Here is there registration page.

Secondly, I submitted my first 10 vector images for initial review. If you are  going to submit your vector/photo/video see to it that you meet their technical requirements or standard so that you can be approved as CONTRIBUTOR. The best way to do it is to be familiar with their submission guides. Here's the LINK, i recommend that you read them carefully before submitting your work.

Once approved, you can now upload your work as many as you can.

And, upon registration be sure to have with you an official government issued photo identification because shutterstock will require that you, as contributor, to verify your address and identity by uploading an official government-issued photo identification for review as part of the registration process. This is according to them, due to heightened security concerns.

Upon approval of my application as shutterstock contributor, I started creating illustration, icons, logo elements and patterns. After a year of being a contributor, I also started to upload photos I took using my DSLR camera.

In my case, I only upload vector and photos, however, they also accept jpg illustration and videos. So basically you can earn in number of ways on this great website depending on your skills.


sliced fresh orange, my newly approved photo on Shutterstock

Uploading and key wording. For me this is a tedious work especially key wording, but of course i want to earn some money so i have to work for it.

I studied how to keyword my works properly so that customers will find it. I made sure that i described my works properly. The article Improve Your Sales with Keywording would help you a lot.

Types of earnings from Shutterstock

Shutterstock offers a number of ways that you can earn money from your digital content. They are:

25-A-Day Downloads: Customers have the option to subscribe on monthly basis and they can download images over a period of 30 days. Every time you image gets downloaded you will receive 25 cents. Now this commission can increase up to 38 cents as you reach greater milestones.

On Demand Downloads: Subscribers can get an On demand subscription which allows them to download and use images up to an year. In this model you will be getting $1.88 per download. It will increase as you get more visitors and downloads.

Enhanced Downloads: Customers can get an Enhanced Downloads license which allows then to download images for commercial use. In this case, you will get $28 per download.

Referred Subscriptions: You can also earn 20% commissions by referring more customers to Shutterstock. To join their affiliate program click HERE.

Single Downloads: If you photos get sold as single images without any subscription, you will get 20% of the sale price.

Now the question is, HOW I GET PAID?

Shutterstock pays very good commissions on sales that are generated by any of the methods mentioned. During my first 2 years as contributor, I was paid through SKRILL however, as of today, I changed my payment method to paypal. Shutterstock pays their contributors using theses three methods, Paypal, Skrill and Bank Check. The minimum payout for Electronic payment is $50. Payments are calculated on the 1st of every month and are paid after 2 weeks.

Lastly, I want to share with you some DOs and Don'ts (from Shutterstock) in uploading your work.

DoDon’t
Do choose the correct category for your image (the list of categories is below). If your image cannot fit into two appropriate categories, please only choose one. Don't send images with date stamps or copyright notices. 
Do inspect all images at 100% before uploading them to make sure they are free of noise, dust, and scratches.        Don't send snapshots. We do not accept photos with heavy shadows from the on-camera flash. Make sure your images have a clear topic and focus.    
Do vary the subject matter of your initial 10 images.Don't send the same image with slight variations on the angle.   
Do send full-sized images. Don't upsize or downsize images. Don't caption flower images with “Flower” or “Spring Scene”. We only accept images of flowers that are captioned with the scientific or common name of the flower. 
Do keyword your images carefully. This is how people find your work. Make sure all keywords relate directly to the image. Do not use trademarks for keywords in commercial content (however, it is ok in editorial content).  
Do keyword your images in English only. We have a language algorithm that automatically translates the image's description and keywords into every language in which we offer the site itself.Do not copy entire captions and/or keywords of other submissions.

My question, are you interested to become a shutterstock contributor? If so, Join now. Its free! Just click this LINK.

You might be interested with my previous articles

REFERENCE: Shutterstock.com