The following are my thoughts and experiences related to becoming exclusive with Dreamstime. When I first started six months ago, I had dreams of selling thousands of images a month on multiple sites. After the first month of uploading images to 13 different sites, I began to see the time commitment involved to upload to multiple sites. After three months, I began to see the sites that were able to sell my images (wildlife and nature) and the volume they were selling. Of course, it was no where near the thousands of images I had dreamed. But, I could see the long range potential.
On DT, I was selling 40-50 images every month with a limited portfolio. I had roughly the same portfolio on the other sites. On 11 of the other sites, I had zero sales. On two of the other sites, I had a couple images sold every month.
I quickly learned, for my type of images, they were selling much better on DT; if I was exclusive, maybe they would sell even better because I would be featured higher in searches. Problem is: all the sites had contracts, some for a short time and some for a longer period. It took six months to get all the contracts cancelled so that I could apply for exclusive status on DT. Upon becoming exclusive with DT, Immediately, my account balance jumped because of the upload bonus. Time will tell if my sales increase but my RPD will certainly increase.
Over the past six months, I lost at least $200 because I was not exclusive with DT. I also lost hundreds of hours and many dollars in internet fees uploading to other sites.
I like the incentive of the upload bonus. This encourages me to carry my camera with me to everyday locations; obtaining photos of street scenes or local buildings. Getting quality wildlife images, at times, takes hundreds of hours of waiting for a couple decent images. Local buildings take just a few moments of time to click the shutter and I receive 20 cents for each acceptance. I like watching my account balance inch up everytime my files are reviewed; it inspires me to work harder.
What is my advice for new comers and established DT contributors; look seriously at your portfolio. Think carefully at how much time you have to contribute to uploading images. Maybe it is better to go exclusive now; you can always change at a later date once your portfolio gets so large you need to hire staff to do the uploading, keywording, processing, etc.