Which Are the Most Profitable Earning Days?

Looking through the popular microstock discussion forums, notably Microstockgroup and the Shutterstock forum, it’s clear that contributors like to complain!

Conspiracy Theories

Here’s some crazy theories doing the rounds:

  • Earnings are “capped” each day;
  • New contributors’ images have a preference over veterans’, as some argue, they cost less to the agency as they’re on a lower earning tier;
  • Linked to above, new algorithms that favour some while punishing others.
Grotesque Face of a monster sculpture on a Church in Venice
Conspiracy theories will drive you crazy

Focus on Producing Quality + Quantity

Personally, if it’s something I can’t control, I don’t worry about. I’ve uploaded close to 300 images in the past 3 weeks. If I spent even 1 hour a day on forums discussing conspiracy theories my productivity would be much much lower.

Allow your passion to show in your work

Weekends Suck

As a stock photography, ironically I don’t look forward to weekends. In terms of earnings, these are quieter times with few and far in between.

However, this doesn’t stop some contributors complaining, but do they really know that most buyers are of the corporate type and it’s their days off?

A small note: in Islamic countries, Sunday is a normal working day and Friday is a weekend

Snapshot of my month

To illustrate which were some of my most profitable days, I’ve taken a snapshot of my March earnings at Shutterstock, focusing purely on downloads and days of the week. March was a good month since there were no bank holidays, unlike April which got off to a slow start.

March 2018

  • Most profitable days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Least profitable day: Saturday

In yellow, I’ve highlighted some anomalies. Even if they’re “highly profitable days”, sales were poor. It happens and no big deal, just like once in a while I may get a flurry of downloads on a weekend.

I’ve casually checked on other microstock agencies, and patterns are similar. At Midstock Alamy, I’ve never had a sale on weekends.

The Power of the Headwind

There’s a psychological phenomenon called the headwinds-tailwinds asymmetry:

“To illustrate, imagine you’re out for a walk, run, or bike ride. A headwind—the sort that is blowing against you, into your face—is felt acutely. It’s annoying and frustrating. You’re not able to proceed as quickly and easily as you’d like, and it’s really hard to stop noticing this.

On the other hand, a tailwind—one that is at your back—is much easier to ignore. It’s always there, pushing you along, making life easier. And yet you very quickly adapt to it, such that you don’t even notice it after a minute or two.” – Psychology Today

In other words, it’s much easier to ignore those huge Extended License sells and focus instead on those inevitable weak sales day. Take the good with the bad.

Go relax on weekends for fuck’s sake

So my advice would be to enjoy the weekends and not worry about lack of sales, and certainly don’t spend one minute of your day trying to justify crazy conspiracy theories!

Until next time – Alex


  1. I noticed too, the weekends are quiet when it comes to sales…
    I love to use the weekends to relax… and to shoot some more potential big sellers for stock!!! Ultimately, both these activities are combined! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a healthy work ethic!

      I admit that I do check my earnings on weekends, that’s only because I’m hopelessly addicted to those pop ups on the map lol. However, I don’t get upset if sales are slow. On a Wednesday, I expect strong sales though! Today has been a good day for me on Shutter, 26 downloads. On Adobe Stock 5.

      Ended the day with 32 downloads on Shutter and 7 on Adobe Stock. A reasonable result for 6,000 image portfolio (shutter).

      Need some SODs though…


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