Is $20,000 In Second Year of Selling Possible?

Reading Time: 4 Min

New Years – a great time to step back and take “stock.” Here are some ambitious (but possible) new reach goals for in 2018.

2018 Stock Footage Income and Production Goals

As you might have seen in my 2017 Stock Footage Sales Report, it was a great year for Stock by Numbers – over $6,500 earned in side-income, after only about 18 months shooting and uploading video clips. This came as a surprise, so my goals for this year are meant to be pretty ambitious – but may be possible.


Why These Goals:

I recently sat down with my partner and discussed where we saw ourselves in three years and what it would take financially to get there. Doing a simple back-of-envelope calculation revealed that we would both need to be earning an extra $35,000 per year by 2020 if we wanted to own a home and begin saving to potentially have children. There is no clear path at where we work that could lead to such a significant raise, so we are faced with either changing career direction or finding another way to earn extra income. Considering that we both are lucky enough to love our day jobs, quitting isn’t a desirable option.

While an extra $17,250 per year may be ambitious on top of a full time job, I think selling stock footage can make it possible – without giving up all of our free time.


How I Hope To Accomplish Them

While I wasn’t tracking my time as rigorously as I plan to do this year, I believe It took me roughly 200 hours to earn $6,500 last year. Most of these earnings came from the first 300 unique clips of stock footage listed, meaning that I earned roughly $20 per clip. I was able to double my portfolios at Pond5 and Shutterstock by the end of the year as well, which took me less time per clip than the first 300. I ended the year with 742 clips, some of which have already started selling. 2017 Year End Portfolio With 748 Total Clips

Based on all of the above, I think that I could earn an additional $17,250 by producing an additional 800 clips. Considering that I have become more efficient, and expect to speed up even further over the next year, I think I could produce 800 clips in 300 extra hours of total work. If so, this means that my time invested in stock footage would pay a rate of around $60 / hour, after just the first year – pretty good.

Since these are broad estimates, I am going to strive to round 800 clips up to 1000 clips. Giving me a nice even number to shoot for and hopefully some cushion.

Lastly – While Dissolve and Adobe Stock have yielded close to $0 this year, I am going to try to list more to those portfolios so that they are roughly equal to the clips listed on my big earners. I have seen that this industry can change quickly, and it seems that Adobe is dumping a huge investment into marketing their stock  photo and footage offerings, so I want to play things safe. Since most clips are already finished and keyworded, I think I should be able to do this in under 10 hours. Worst case scenario, I have more data that can help guide my time in regards to these agencies in years to come.



While I already own much of the necessary equipment, to produce the 800 clips, I’ll need to conduct at least three more stock footage shoots. I was able to conduct the last shoot for $500, so a $2,500 expense budget for 2018 seems pretty appropriate. I’m hoping that the extra 350 clips or so that I uploaded over the last two months will generate at least this much, hopefully also giving me some contingency funding to reach my goal.



My goals for 2018:

  1. Earn an additional $23,750 total from stock footage.
  2. List 1000 new clips.
  3. Populate Dissolve and Adobe Stock Portfolios.
  4. Keep total expenses below $2,500.
  5. Spend less than 310 hours working on stock footage.

Finally – I am going to try to keep tracking and updating my progress to the best of my ability and as time allows. Please share any thoughts on my direction if you think I could be doing something better and bring any questions or ideas to me in the comments below. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great year earning money from stock footage!



Posted by L.B. - Stock by Numbers

Team of filmmakers and videographers who started to provide and source helpful information for stock footage producers. Looking to increase stock footage sales for the whole contributor community, greater passive income, and more free-time to focus on even greater creative pursuits!

  1. Hi!

    I’d love to have a chat with you about stock footage and perhaps we could collaborate on a video or blog post? I run a small YT channel on stock footage.
    my website:



    1. Hi William – thanks for reaching out about this and apologies for such a late reply. I would love to discuss this at some point. I’m shooting like crazy for the next month, but if you’d like to talk in June let me know!


  2. Nice post and very helpful information about stock footage in this post. I like to read this post.



    1. Thank you for the kind words here Gary! Appreciate getting positive feedback about the site!


  3. hi thanks for article, can u share your equipments list thanks


    1. Hi Erdinc – Will do shortly! Thanks for reaching out and let me know what you think when I get it posted.


    2. Also – this post might be helpful on what cameras I think are the best for shooting stock at the moment: The 7 Best Cameras For Shooting Stock Footage in 2018 I’m currently using the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K package, largely because I shoot a lot outside of stock footage as well.


  4. Wolodymyr Black March 23, 2019 at 5:40 am


    Since the last post on this blog was in March 2018 and its been a year ago, I would like to hear from you how your stock profiles changed during the year.
    Have you reached the 20k $ goal?

    I strated to upload footage for stock in mid 2017, at the end of the year I had about 100 clips, but started to take it more serious in 2018 with the first big sales.
    So at the end of 2018 with almost 400 clips in my portfolios at Shutterstock, Pond5, Adobe(it actually strated to sell way better in the last 6 month!), Storyblocks, Videohive and iStock(two last are horrible and good at the same time) I earned about 2000 $. No as good as 6500 $ but Im on my way to bigger goals!


    1. Hey Wolodymyr – Thanks for sharing! Really helpful to know. Right after I started this site I took a new job that pulled me away from stock footage in a huge way. I put almost no work into it over the last 12 months, which has actually been interesting from a data standpoint. I’ll update sometime soon though.

      Again – I really appreciate you sharing as well!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: