If you’re trying to have a better life using your job to achieve it, you’re doing a wonderful thing, but only if you:

  • work 8 hours a day for five days a week.

In 2013, I tried to produce a TV show. I lost a lot of money, and I worked for months, but nobody wanted to buy it. I’m strong, and I soon started to work to find another way to create a business (do you know how many failures Ellon Musk had before founding PayPal?).

So, in 2014 I worked:

  • 12 hours a day for six days a week

To create new job opportunities for me. I wanted to be a full time online entrepreneur, and I needed a boost to succeed. There are two kinds of boost you can use:

  1. Money.
  2. Time.

As I told you, I had a failure that cost me a lot, so I didn’t have money, but I had time.

Working too much means building your life around a job, and I don’t want that as I’m not 20 years old anymore.

The best part of my life is the people around me, not my CV. If I use to spend all the day in front of my computer, there is definitely something wrong, and I have to find a way to change it. Working 12 hours a day for six days a week can only last a few months of your life. I was just trying to have the chance to have a better job, moving to something that could commit me fewer hours, to have the time to stay with my family and to do more what I liked to. I didn’t want to find myself inside an office with a nervy boss and unfair colleagues.

Producing microstock was what allowed me to achieve this goal. Then, thanks to the passive income I get every month by selling stock images and stock footage, I found the way to create other projects, such as my Italian blog about microstock and my home movies film archive. Today I feel free:

  • I love to film
  • The more I study, the more money I get
  • I spend many hours with my sons
  • I can live wherever I want
  • I don’t spend hours to go to the place where I work
  • Somedays I wake up and check my emails finding sales reports that can make me say:

Ok family, let’s go to the beach!

Daniele Carrer watching the camera

Last summer I spent many weekends (sometimes Thursday to Monday) sunbathing in front of the Adriatic Sea (North-Eastern Italy). For a couple of times, I spent the whole week in one of those beautiful cities not too far from the place I live in. When I came back home in September, I checked my sales reports in microstock agencies. Here they are:

Screenshot of Pond5 August 2016 payment1

Pond5 August 2016 payout (and also $792,50 for joining the membership area)

Screenshot of Shutterstock August 2016 payment

Shutterstock August 2016 royalties

Screenshot of Videoblocks August 2016 earnings

Videoblocks August 2016 earnings

That’s why I love producing microstock. You have to work hard, but after that, every day is a good day. By the way, during summertime, buyers purchase more or less what they use to buy in other periods.

We as contributors give a large share of our earnings to the agencies. It means that we hire someone who works for us, but it also means that on if you receive an email like this:

Screenshot of an email Email requesting stock footage

You like it more than any Pond5 sales report because you don’t have to give 50% to anyone on direct sales. A mail like this was part of the first step to create footageforpro.com that today earns me thousands of euros every month, and it’s completely automated.

Paypal payment for stock footage I sold

It’s not easy to find direct customers. You have to study a workflow, and before that, you need to build a collection made of stunning content that can kill your competitors’ business.

Sylvain contacted me two months before, and left me with a common message:

Ok, I’ll let you know.

Communication is important when dealing with potential buyers. I needed to talk with potential customers because their feedback was important to know what direction to take.

After understanding my client’s needs, it was time for:

  • Engineering

I needed to create a workflow that made me spend the less time possible to close the deal.

Two years ago I used to upload the files my clients wanted to buy on demand on my cloud. It meant that sometimes, months later, if another buyer wanted the same video, I had to upload those same files, wasting a lot of time. Then, when I got the money on my PayPal account, I just had to spend my time to find the exact link to the footage.

The second step of the business was to upload all my collection made of hundreds of historical videos shot in specific cities, in a specific year/decade. Something like:

  • New York 1967
  • Paris 1949
  • East Berlin 1960s

In this way, I avoided to work twice for uploading the same footage, but I still had other problems:

  • Sometimes clients wanted to buy without first contacting.
  • Answering too many emails was a loss of time for me.

So I automated the payment using PayPal buttons, which allow a redirect after the sale. I spent hours to do it, but today I have the time to think about other projects.

Looking at the sales report, I published on this page; you can notice a decrease in my Shutterstock profits: something that frequently happens in microstock. Pond5 compensated it ($ 1010 + $792.50 as a fixed payment for giving my content to their membership area).


August 2016 sales report for stock footage sold on Shutterstock

There is a little thing that I incredibly love in those reports. It is the detail of the stock footage I sold. I hope you too can get some inspiration from it, even if you’re now just a contributor getting  $20 per month. Earning $90 for:

  1. 2009 time-lapse of the Colosseum
  2. 2011 time-lapse of the leaning tower of Pisa

That I had already sold a lot of time, makes me think that my collection can be a lifetime benefit. You too can be happy: everybody can take those same shots (millions of visitors come to my country every year!). It means that I paid my last holidays with the content I created many years ago during other holidays of mine.
By the way, answering the question of the title, in my case it’s around

  • $3,000 per month

The amount missing in the screenshots above is because it is compensated by direct sales (like that of 250 euros I quoted) or like this:

Satisfied customer email after buying stock footage
Aren’t you tempted by starting producing microstock?