10 of less popular microstocks worth your time

March 4, 2020 / by Taras Kushnir


One of the main advantages of microstock websites is that they offer you an opportunity to earn passive income. And many popular sites offer these opportunities. The only downside of these sites is that they not only have millions of contributors but also have extreme conditions making it hard for beginners to standout. That’s where less popular microstocks come in handy.

In this guide, you will find information about viable but less popular microstock sites that you can work with, how much they pay, what you can sell as well as essential resources on them. Their common advantage is high royalties and common disadvantage is small customer base, but they kind of compensate each other in the end.


Freepik website

Currently, this microstock site has over 600 million downloads for a good reason: the Distinct contributor model! It has gained applauds even from personalities all over the world, including, Kristy Pargeter, a microstock celebrity. It is a site that boasts of hundreds of unique resources, including stock photos and vectors.

So how does it work? Unlike other similar platforms, users here can access hundreds of graphic resources for free provided you attribute the images you subsequently download or use. This is known as the Free Business model.

Freepik was founded in 2010 and by now acquired 18 million monthly unique users that generate 100 million downloads. Freepik accepts mostly vectors, but you can sell photos too. FTP upload is only available after you got 120 files uploaded and approved on their website. Contributor royalties are calculated per diem based on total subscription fees amount at 50%.

That said, before you upload any content, you must fulfill specific requirements before they are approved. For example, for images, they must be jpg format and 100 percent original and vectors should have a preview. To get started, create a contributors account, upload your pictures and then start earning cash. It is as easy as pie. Just make sure you create good quality and unique artworks that are potential, usable, and profitable.

Register at Freepik

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Vectorstock website

Vectorstock is a microstock site that is primarily committed to vector graphics designed for artists, designers, and anybody looking for royalty-free content. So if you are a vector illustrator or artist, this is the ideal place for you to sell vector arts.

Counting almost 20 million vectors, this site is becoming more and more accepted throughout the world thanks to its lenient upload requirements as well as reasonable rates per artwork for contributors. Though you will not sell thousands of pictures here per day, the prices are more generous compared to other microstock. Here is more information on VectorStock:

  • After signing up, you will have to submit jpeg samples of some of your vector designs for assessment by VectorStock.
  • Once approved, there is a ‘my home ‘section on your account’s dashboard that displays all your details including earnings and download volumes.
  • You can only request a pay-out after you clock $100 and above. The payment will be processed within 14 days and made through Skrill or PayPal account.
  • Credit sales start at 25 percent and continue to increase depending on the number of your sales. For instance, if you make 25000 sales, you will get 50% of your total sales which is around $15 for every expanded license and $0.50 for every standard license.

For example: if you have had over 25,000 sales (Platinum status) and your vector image is exclusive to VectorStock, you would receive 50 % of all sales which is $0.50 for each Standard license and $15 for each expanded license.

The pay-out is $3.75 for each Standard license and $7.50 for each Expanded license. For subscription sales, the pay-out is about $0.20 for every download.

VectorStock accepts only EPS vectors of format V8 without any trademarks.

Register at VectorStock

Yay Images

YayMicro website

Yay Images (previously Yay Micro) is essentially an online marketplace based in Oslo, Norway, where thousands of photographers throughout the globe sell their work directly to clients. The site claims to be the best editorial and creative microstock platform in terms of quality, price, customer base, and reputation. How is the pay? The commission is 50 percent to all contributors on a single sale.

For subscriptions, the commission is one euro for every download. Actually, this is one of the most lucrative contributor-microstock deals. Another benefit of working with the platform is that it is easy to upload via FTP, fast review time, and high acceptance ratio.

Other Details

  • Once you sign up you can start uploading files. You can either upload directly through the web browser/FTP or send by mail on a portable drive, DVD or CD
  • Image size; At least 6 MP with a minimum of 1500 pixels on every side. They accept images, illustrations, and vectors.
  • You will get a 50% commission on your sales. For subscription sales, they pay $1.5 commission for every download. Payments are made through Skrill or PayPal. The minimum payout is $45.
  • They have a referral service where you get 30% if a customer you referred purchases

Register at YayImages

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Graphic River

Graphic River website

This is one of the fast-growing and dynamic agencies from this list. Here you sell or buy royalty-free vectors, photoshop files, design templates, and icon packs. Graphic River, offers free registration, and commission rates starting from 25 %. Also, you can make more money when you refer new customers - 30% of their first deposit.

Though Graphic River is not one of the most popular sites currently, there are many good reasons to become a contributor; connection to other digital marketing platforms and high-per download earnings, which is more than a good source of inspiration.

  • To start selling, you must sign up for a contributor account and take a contributor review quiz. If you pass, you start uploading your content.
  • You can upload up to 5000 high-quality images per day through a web browser or FTP.
  • For standard contributors, pay starts at 33 percent for every image sold. For instance, if a customer downloads an image that costs $5, your commission will be $1.65.
  • For exclusive contributors, commissions range from 50 to 70 percent depending on a contributor’s level.

Register at Graphic River


Mostphotos website

This platform represents a photo community and microstock agency counting 100k contributors and 27 million royalty-free images. One of the useful features about the site is that you can also download your uploaded files for backup. Though the commission percentage is good, the selling price is a bit low. So do not expect a mega jackpot payout!

Uploading images is easy and fast. It doesn’t have reviewers to reject or accept your photos, this means everything will be taken. Other contributors can also like and share your images. You get 50% commission for your sales and you can request a payout through check, PayPal or Skrill after you hit 25 EUR in royalties.

Register at Mostphotos


Colourbox website

Though not known in other parts of the world, Colourbox, a Danish microstock has been around since 2003! It started as a royalty-free image distributor and grown over the years, venturing into footage and vector.

Colourbox accepts photos, vectors and videos as well as editorial versions of these. You can upload your artworks via FTP into separate directories. Colourbox has a restriction for 30 keywords maximum.

Now, while the platform represents a relatively marginal source of income for microstock photographers, the effort and time required for submission is minimal. To become a contributor, all you have to do is sign up for an account! Yes, that’s all and boom! You are good to go.

The pay is 20 percent on files sold with on standard royalty-free license. This means if a customer’s subscription is $1, you will receive $0.20, which is the least amount for a single license sold. Single purchases go for $12.5, which means the maximum amount you get as an author will get is $2 or less.

Register at Colourbox


Pixta website

Pixta boasts of over 40 million stock photos from all over the world. Actually, it is one of the largest in Asia. To join the site as a contributor, you must sign up and pass an introduction examination before you can start uploading. The firm’s website is user-friendly such that you can easily find whatever you want on the contributors’ icon.

Sales are usually impressive even from the start because it has a well-established Asian audience. However, note that Pixa only approves high-quality work, so expect a few rejections here and there.

Other Details

  • To become a contributor, you must sign up and pass a contributor examination. After that, you can upload your content and sell it.
  • If you have a large portfolio of over 500 images, you can apply for bigger upload limits.
  • You must own the copyright to every image you upload. Similarly, the images must be of high and impeccable quality. Check here to see what you can and what you can’t upload.
  • There is a pixta exclusivity feature on the platform that raises royalties of particular images described as exclusive. You are not allowed to sell these images to any other site. You can apply to be an exclusive contributor once you hit 150 sales.
  • The commission rates are 20% to 53% and 0.25 to 0.4 credits for images and 40% to 50% for videos. Payments are made through Payoneer or Paypal.

Register at Pixtastock


iClipart website

IClipart is fairly new to this game. Many contributors are finding it to be a viable selling point because of its business model. Its primary focus is on fair pay and developing sustainable careers for members. And unlike most sites that are usually stingy with payouts, this one pays 50 % commission, which is more than fair for photographers.

Other Details

  • Before you start uploading images, you will have to register and submit an application by sending a few samples of your images for review
  • Once accepted, you can start uploading your images. Image requirement 3.8 Megapixels (around 2400×1600) JPG format in RGB. You can use FTP to upload.
  • The pay is 50 percent commission on every sale while the minimum amount you can withdraw is 50$, via PayPal, Moneybookers or Webmoney.

Register at iClipart


Cliparto website

Cliparto represents another well-established microstock firm yet little known by many in other parts of the world. They have paid out over $300 million in royalties over the years by offering non-exclusive, royalty-free licenses.

Now, as an author on this site, you can earn up to $50 for an enhanced or custom-designed license photo. They also have a referral program that can earn you money when you refer another photographer or buyer to the service.

Other Details

  • Just create an account and submit your application. Once it is approved you can start uploading images almost immediately. You must own the copyright of the images and they must be of high quality.
  • FTP is available on request
  • You must describe your images with keywords and model releases.
  • You can also sell the images to other agencies as long as you own the copyright
  • You will get 40-50 percent on every sale and around $0.30 if your image is purchased through a subscription. Payment is made through various platforms including WebMoney, Payoneer, Paypal, and Moneybookers once you hit $50.

Register at Cliparto


Crestock website

Crestock offers another excellent opportunity for photographers to earn money if you don’t pay attention to their website design from 90s. All you have to do is set up a free account and then upload images. The Crestock team will evaluate the pictures, and if approved, they will add them to your portfolio so that clients can buy them.

The platform pays contributors between 20-40 percent commission rates based on the total downloads. Also, Crestock has multiple other programs through which you can easily earn cash.

Other Details

  • Crestock doesn’t charge any upfront payments
  • All sold images can be used by the purchaser as they please. You are not allowed to collect royalties on them.
  • You can upload images one by one or in bulk through FTP for review.
  • If your content is accepted your portfolio will be created
  • Beginners earn $0.25 for every image downloaded through subscription while established contributors earn $0.40. Payment is usually processed after you hit $50
  • The royalty is 20 percent for beginners. So, if you sell an image for $200 you will get $40.

Register at Crestock


This guide covers a good chunk of the less known microstocks currently. While there are other similar sites on the web, these are some of the most viable ones that you can make some good money through. Their considerable market share, sizeable catalogs as well as easy to understand regulations make them great first options.

Also checkout out first part Top-10 microstocks for contributors.

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