Three months ago, Pond5 contacted me informally. The typical email that when you read the topic you realize that underneath there is definitely something positive and maybe something big:
My level of English is good enough to have a good pronunciation in the videos I produce and not to have problems when filling the keywords of my stock footage (by the way, let me tell you: this post, like the others, has been adapted and translated from Italian). Frankly, for business, I don’t like direct Skype chat in English. First, because I do not have an optical fiber connection, and I don’t like to be in a call that starts crashing when I’m talking about money:
Did you say one hundred or one thousand dollars?
That’s why I prefer to receive the same proposal by e-mail.
People who live in the U.S.A. (Pond5 has his headquarters in New York, even if he also has an office in Switzerland and pays from Dublin) are much more pragmatic than the average Italian, at least in business. I feel ashamed while saying, but also in a world conformed by globalization:
I think stereotypes are almost always true.
By the way, I love spaghetti and pizza.
Like Vito Corleone would say: Ariu sure you dont buy mai cors?
The business relationship I had with Americans, or at least with people who work in the USA, was fantastic for someone like me. They don’t waste time with useless problems (otherwise they would’ve not be in the business anymore):
What’s the price?
The price is 100.
- Ok, let’s do it.
- No, I’m sorry.
That’s exactly the kind of relationship I love. With my fellow countrymen, the person I was facing would have insisted on seeing the other via Skype (or probably in his office), because
looking at each other is better.
And then after wasting hours, the end would have been:
I’ll let you know
The employee of Pond5 who contacted me fifteen minutes after receiving my counterproposal wrote to me.
At that time, if I were a union representative of the manufacturer category, I would have said:
No thanks, you’re killing Microstock’s market.
Given that the subscriptions are pushing down the average price of sales.
This is what a dreamer would have done, but I abandoned a permanent job in 2013, because I believed I can be better than the person that simply waits for fate to change his life. I had realized that the Internet was allowing the world to evolve into a meritocracy, wherever that person lived as long at that person is connected to the web.
In real life, which is very different from dreams, I have to buy food for me and my family, so 10 minutes after receiving Pond5’s message, I replied to my partner overseas:
Yes, let’s proceed. Thank you.
The agreement, in addition to the 50 cents of monthly dollar for each selected clip was also a bonus tied to the possible success of the new membership area, which could be worth more than $1,000 per month (although I didn’t really believe it), apart from the revenues of the normal sales which should continue coming with a natural decline due to the introduction of subscriptions.
Yesterday, on the eve of the start of this new phase, I got an email saying they had chosen 1582 clips of mine. Do you remember my post where I talk about that thing called passive income? That’s exactly what the deal with Pond5 is:
By the mere fact that part of my collection is sold in their new membership area, I now will receive $791 per month fixed, whether I continue to upload or I go to live on a white sand beach in Thailand, where my only concern is not burning myself in the sun.
That $791 is just a small part of my Microstock income, because every month I have:
- Normal sales on Pond5.
- Bonus for Pond5 new membership area.
- Sales on Shutterstock .
- Sales on Videoblocks.
- Sales on other Agencies, even if I’m not uploading my content there anymore.
- Direct sales generated with my Youtube Channel.
The new membership area collection I’m sure will be slowly renewed over time, so those 1582 clips of mine won’t always be there for sale.
One of the selection reasons of my content was my seniority of registration to the site, as I am a “grand old man” (at least I started when Pond5 collection included less than 1 million clips, today there are more than six million). Probably those 1582 clips will decrease, as I now focus on the project of this website where I spend my days, and I’ll contribute to the stock footage agencies less frequently from here on out.
To make you understand the success that represents this new phase of my activity as a producer, let me tell you something:
- To get $791 a month with Google AdWords advertising, you need to have an average of 500,000 unique users a month. It’s an average number because it depends on many variables.
I know many of those who read this post do not have any experience to understand the magnitude of some figures, but I am one who goes straight to the point of things, and I can easily explain it:
Maybe after years of effort and spending tens of thousands of euro (without even the certainty to succeed in the end).
I also emphasize that to earn my digits in Microstock starting today is very, very difficult, especially if you do it without first spending months of your time to study (the good news is that thanks to this site you can at least shorten that period).
Here I was shooting a time-lapse in Sardinia in 2008
Buying my course can allow you earn a lot more money than you can do without buying it. If you are a rare talent (of filming but especially of entrepreneurship) in the long run you can approach what looks like a monthly salary. However, this happens to one student out of 10, so I take this opportunity to say:
Do not buy my course if you do not believe in yourself and your ability to be better than average.
Making money in Microstock is boring for someone who starts today, because first you need to study for months, and just when you are finished you can enjoy your time leaving the house with your camera and finding your place in the globalized world.