Freepik: a contributor review

December 9, 2019 / by Stacy


Have you ever heard of Freepik? Freepik is the world’s top search engine for free vector designs, as well as the largest graphic designers’ community around the globe. It is the ultimate resource for any designer as it opens you to an assortment of exclusive illustrations, high-quality graphic designs, in addition to innumerable user-based content you simply cannot afford to miss!

Freepik has garnered an astounding 700 million downloads currently, and this is primarily due to their distinct ‘Contributor Model,’ which has gained appraisal even from global personalities such as Kristy Pargeter, a renowned microstock “celebrity”. There are approximately 18,000 registered contributors and more than 400 dedicated designers that contribute to the library.

If you are looking to get started with Freepik and don’t know where to start, here is a detailed guideline about what it is, what it offers, and how you can exploit its resources to make money.

What is Freepik?

In essence, Freepik is a platform that boasts an assortment of unique design resources inclusive of vectors, and stock photos for designers. This platform ideally uploads more than 80000 distinct free resources each month, typically designed by the team of professionals within the company or the large community of vector artists and graphic designer contributors.

The best aspect of this site is that it is packed with free design components; with the only ‘catch’ being that you must attribute the images to Freepik. Nonetheless, while the platform offers these elements for free, it also has exclusive models that open you up to more downloadable assets and, better yet, models that don’t require you to attribute the images.

How it works?

Freepik plans

Unlike other microstock or stock platforms, users in Freepik can access a wide array of graphic resources absolutely free - about 40% of the available content - although under the mandatory condition that you attribute the images you use or subsequently download. This provision is known as the Free Business Model.

Freepik also has a Premium Plan, which allows users to alternatively access all the content it offers for just $8.25 a month - all without being obliged to attribute. What’s more, this plan opens you to some distinct graphics and illustrations that are only available for the Premium users. This constitutes an “unlimited downloads model” where users with subscriptions can download unlimited content, while author profits are calculated as 50% of the net profit, made for Freepik by users with subscriptions.

Content category: which content can you sell?

Essentially, Freepik only allows you to upload three types of content, mainly: Photos, Vectors, and PSD files. They also accept CSV files with metadata for virtually any material. Nonetheless, each of these types of content must fulfil specific unique requirements before the platform approves them.

Requirements for Freepik content

Vectors: You must upload your preview image in standard .jpg format, while the editable ones in .eps format. Each of these files must have the same name.
Photos: They must be in standard .jpg format.
PSD files: The preview image must be in .jpg format with the editable in standard .psd format. Also, they must have a similar name.

Besides this, the other fundamental requirement is for designs and images that you upload to the platform. They need to be 100% original. If you find inspiration on the site, you must ensure that you have an original design.

How to earn money on Freepik: the Contributor and Referral models

One of the main reasons why Freepik has established itself as the top design resource in the world is the fact that it allows you to make money for producing content.

So, how can you earn money on Freepik? Simple…Create a distinct Contributor’s account, then upload the images required, and start making money. It is that easy!

Provided you create high quality and unique content that is potentially profitable and usable, and that people like, you will grow significantly.

What is the Contributor Model?

This is a unique model that allows you to earn royalties for your work. Like with the previous models, the restrictions and benefits available for this plan depend on whether you are on the free or paid plans.

Established in 2015, the Contributor model was purposed to help users make money on the platform. The Contributor model has three primary levels, each with a specific set of requirements. Each level defines the standard procedure required to attain expert status as a contributor.

Freepik Contributor Model Levels:

  • Level 1: This is the first level and the first step for a new contributor. In this level, you need to upload 20 images. You remain at this level until your account attains 20 published images. Level 1 users typically upload their images using the Web Upload Method.
  • Level 2: Once you have your 20 published files, you go to the next level. In this level, you can upload a maximum of 100 images. Like with level 1, you must upload the required 100 files before you proceed to the next level. Level 2 contributors also use the earlier mentioned Web Upload Method.
  • Level 3: This is the final level a contributor must get to. In this level, you must upload between 20 -1000 files. However, as a contributor to level 3, you begin using the distinct FTP Upload Method. With this method, you can upload as many files as you like, provided they do not exceed the 1000 limit.

Referral program

Another way you can earn money on Freepik is through their Referral Program. This is a distinct Freepik program that affords you the chance to make some extra cash for every friend that you refer, and who ultimately signs up as a Freepik contributor.

Once in the platform, you will find your own link within your contributor panel. However, to get your reward, your friends need to register using your link and subsequently become active contributors.

Usually, once your friends sign up to the platform by using your referral link as a contributor, they need to publish material on the platform to attain ‘active contributor’ status. On meeting these requirements, you will immediately earn a $50 reward for each recommended friend.

How much money will you get as a contributor?

The Freepik contributor model usually bases the earnings of the contributors based on the accumulated downloads within their portfolios. Contributors earn royalty (50%) from the total number of downloads of the resources they publish.

The payout and royalty calculation are monthly with all the total downloads (under subscription or free) adding to your earnings. Typically, the platform does not have a fixed price for a downloaded file.

Unlike the free option, contributors also earn more if they are in the Premium Plan. How? The bigger your collection of PSD files, photos, and vectors gets, the more new users subscribe to the plan to access more content as updated each month. This way, your earnings also increase.

How Payment is calculated:

Commission from the premium contributor plans is calculated using a distinct formula as follows:

After each day, Freepik calculates the overall subscription fees amount and then calculates the exclusive ‘per diem’ subscription total amount. Afterwards, they proceed to calculate the overall number of downloads. The average total daily subscription is then divided by the total number of downloads.

This determines the overall ‘per illustration’ price exclusively for that particular day. This number is then multiplied by 0.5, effectively determining the 50% rate. Typically, the price for each illustration often varies per day, as per their calculations.

What are the accepted payment methods in Freepik?

All the payments in Freepik are usually made through Skrill or Paypal.

Alexa rating of Freepik

Freepik Alexa rating

Freepik, since it was launched in 2010, has transformed into an astonishingly prominent free image platform, with Alexa ranking it in the top 600. The platform has evolved with time and is ideally an exciting introduction that represents new opportunities within the industry. Besides ranking in the top 600, Alexa also has some interesting statistics that can guide you in determining how to reap maximum benefits, including:

Freepik’s Audience Interests: Freepik visitors have shown a significant interest in the Computer and Technology category. 71% of the audience visiting Freepik visit sites related to Graphics.

Global Engagement and internet traffic: Freepik ranks #1,897 concerning global internet traffic and Engagement.
Audience Geography: As per the Alexa rankings, most of the individuals that visit Freepik come from the USA (17.4%), with India (17%), and Brazil (5.7%) coming in second and third respectively.

Contributor’s cool stories

Kate Mangostart: “Our earnings in Freepik have enabled us to invest in generating more resources, including upgrading equipment, hiring models, and working with many more individuals as their company expands."

Kate is among the top contributors in Freepik, and she heads MangoStar along with her business partner Pavel, the company director.

Natalka Dimitrova is also another example of success stories courtesy of the Freepik Contributors model. According to her, “The fact that Freepik allows me to earn regularly and allows me to create virtually anything I want is what that led me to join”. “The contributor panel is amazing since not only can I see my earnings, I can also keep track of my downloaded content, among others."

Freepik’s roadmap

As noted in the recent interview with Esmeralda Baños, who is a Product Manager at Freepik, they plan to add video and sound assets to be sold. Also they are still growing, moving from 100 to 400 employees in the last 3 years so contributors can expect changes.


Since its establishment in 2010, Freepik has developed into a profitable and successful business. As they have proven with celebrity Kirsty and many other contributors, it can be valuable for the right images and the ideal contributor.

To register as Freepik Contributor, head over to the Contributor portal and start earning today.

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