From John Griffin, Founder / CEO at Cutcaster, I want to echo this Microstock Decalogue for a new kind of industry:
1. Remove any links you have to sites that lower payouts without giving you notice or keep the details hidden in confusing press releases. Don’t market sites that don’t care about YOUR bottom line.
2. Do link to sites from your blog, website or portfolio site that pay you higher commissions even if they have less sales for you. You need to turn the tide in favor of you and help the sites with less money that you trust get links. Don’t stand idle while the established players lock you into this future.
3. Stop referring and directing buyers to your lower paying commission sites and start sending them to sites that pay you more commissions. Only you have the power to change this by sending buyers to your higher paying sites instead of going along with the status quo.
4. Start an upload embargo for 6 months to a year and don’t upload new or exclusive content to sites that lower payouts without notice and discussions.
5. Upload to sites that have lower payout thresholds and commit to keep those limits low.
6. Don’t go exclusive with one agency. Only go exclusive with certain new uploads that you know sell better at certain sites, which pay you a high commission rate
7. Delete your portfolio from sites that are non-transparent with commissions and pricing strategies
8. Tell a buyer how these royalty drops hurt your individual business and how they can get the same image for the same price at another site but that you get paid a higher commission if they buy from the newer, higher paying site. Photo buyers care so you need to let them know you are getting unfairly screwed and they can help change that without spending more time or money.
9. Commit to a new agency that you trust on a non-exclusive basis and support them with your uploads and, if you choose, a small amount of exclusive content so they have something unique to market. Write a blog article or post in a forum about the agency and why you chose it.
10. Convince one fellow photographer to act with you and take concrete steps TODAY towards changing your situation for the better.
Read more on Cutcuster Blog Photographer’s Frustration and a Path for Change
Discussion on MicrostockGroup Forum Concrete Steps you can make to Change the Industry.