Friday, August 29, 2008

Microstock: Dreamstime and Referrals

At Lorraine's suggestion, I'm going to start with Dreamstime since they don't have an approval process; you can just start submitting as soon as you register (but the images still need to be approved to go up). I've heard their acceptance policies are relatively tough though.

Of course, that bring up the question about what images to submit -- which is exactly what I've been dragging my feet on. I've got another post brewing on that subject...

Signing up for Dreamstime brings up another important thing to consider when entering microstock: referrals.

You'll notice if you put your mouse over any of the Dreamstime links that it has a little bit of text past the normal URL -- in my case, that extra text is my referral id, or res895237. This means, if you clicked on any of the links (and it was your first time to the site) it'd track me as the person that refers you. Then, if you signed up, I'd get some sort of reward (in terms of Dreamstime, that is 10% of purchases and 10% of sales). Dreamstime also gives you $5 for posting a referral ad (see mine on the right).

But, I'm not bringing this up to solicit everyone to click my links -- I have a larger point.

Microstock is all about making money -- referrals are another way to bring in cash -- and honestly, if you can drive a lot of traffic to sites, referrals can easily be worth more than image sales. Referrals cut across all areas of the internet -- eBay, Amazon, clothing stores, poker sites, etc. all have referral/affiliate programs. And as a photographer, you are silly if you give up this free money.

And it really is free money, by the way. If I had just gone straight to Dreamstime for my signup instead of using a referral code, the 10% of my sales that Lorraine will make would have just stayed with Dreamstime. So, before you sign up for any new site check for a referral program. If there is, figure out who you want to give the referral to and make sure they get it. The easiest way to do this is to clear your browser cookies (by clicking on Clear Private Data or a button like that in your Tools menu), then click on the link and sign up for the site. Most links will automatically tag the referral and you don't need to worry about it from there on out.

I tend to make it a point to give referrals to friends or people who have really helped me. It helps them out and costs me nothing, which is a win-win situation.

So congrats, Lorraine. Of course, no guarantees... 10% of $0 is still $0!


That said...

so I just googled Dreamstime referral code while signing up and this was the first thing that came up in the search... Congrats you win! I'm using your ref code. Thanx for the info!

Sean said...


For whatever reason, my page is highly ranked. No idea why, and I don't think there is much advantage for someone to use my code, but I appreciate it!