I really like the fact that Lee Torrens at Microstock Diaries shares all his earnings information with the general public. It really puts a lot of things in perspective to see real numbers and real performance comparisons.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, here are my results for the first two months. I've essentially earned a meal at In 'n Out for maybe 30-40 hours of work (yes, folks, that's a big 10c an hour). Blogger doesn't do tables very well so it takes a little creativity to read it. The first column is the number of images in my gallery at the end of the given month and the earnings are specified per month (not cumulative).
Total Earned to Date: $5.01
I sold two images at Dreamstime and three at Fotolia.
I won't lie; I'm realizing Microstock isn't really a huge moneymaker and it takes a LOT of time and work to achieve anything. Like many things, it is a hard way to make an easy living, and I don't foresee anyone but the top 1% of microstock contributors making enough to make a real living.
I'm not abandoning it yet, but I am going to focus on shooting specifically for microstock to see if I can get more sales for less images. The main complication for that is I can't use my kids for models and I don't want to pay pro models, so that doesn't leave me with much.
As long as it stays a fun hobby, I'll keep going, at least until I can get my first payout.
For November, my goal is to finish getting my archives online (which I think will result in 10-20 more images at each site) along with maybe one or two microstock specific non-model shoots. My income will be tiny and inconsistent and I would be unsurprised if I earned absolutely nothing.