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Lesson Learned: $3,268 lost from outsourcing

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Hey my amigo,

As I told you in the previous post I’m about to reveal how I lost $3,268 from outsourcing and got almost nothing back.

What did I do?

There are many projects where I’ve created the system and hired experts to do jobs for me. One of these were creating vector icon sets and selling these graphics to top stock photo sites. I hired three graphic designers to do this for me. They got $11 or $12 (depending on each person) for one icon set.

I thought passive income was coming

ShutterStock Earning Screenshot

ShutterStock Earning Screenshot

The first two months went very well. My workers sent me 7-8 icon sets a day and I had more than 300 sets in my portfolio in a short time. Also, I decided to hire one more guy to rearrange the icons I had in a new layout. So, my portfolio contained more than 1500 sets in the second month. I spent over $3,500 for these icon sets.

As a result, my revenue just from ShutterStock, the top stock photo site, was more than $15 a day on average. Other sites produced more than $5 a day for each too. The total passive income I made per day from this market was about $20-$30 a day at that time.

ShutterStock, iStockPhoto, and Fotolia sent the first payment to me. I got around $200 in return after spending more than $3,000. I didn’t care how much I needed to pay to my graphic designers as long as I could create a passive income stream. If my portfolio could make $100 a day without doing anything, it would be worth the money.

The road to success is not always easy…

Near the end of the second month, I woke up and checked the icon sets from one of my workers as normal. I remembered I didn’t like that set and I wanted this worker to edit it for me. I went to Google to look for a design I liked.

What I found was that there were many icons the same as this worker had done for me. He had simply copied work from the internet…

I asked him why he did this. He said he didn’t know he couldn’t copy icons from the internet and transform them to vectors. He begged me and asked to keep working with me because his family needed the money.

My friends who hired designers to do the same job as me also got the same problems. Many designers on the internet copied others’works and submitted them to us while saying that they didn’t know they couldn’t do it, and that they were innocent.

What the F*CK?

How did he not know that you can’t just copy another person’s work?

I asked him “Is it ok to copy work from the internet and make it your own in the Philippines?”

He said “No”…..

I fired him immediately and removed all works created by him from my portfolio to prevent suspension.

But it was too late

ShutterStock sent this email a few days later…

Greeting Email From ShutterStock lol

Greeting Email From ShutterStock lol

My account was suspended because there were serious copyrights infringement issues in my portfolio. I didn’t get paid from the earnings I made in that month. They also banned me from creating a new account.

I tried to negotiate with them and explain that it was a mistake just from one worker who I’d already fired but it didn’t work. They still didn’t reactivate my account. So the $30-$40 passive income from ShutterStock had already been taken from me.

ss2

ss1

One person destroyed all of the things I’d made in this market.

What I done next

Fortunately, this person worked under a staff leasing company so I could get refund of the work that he had done for me. It wasn’t that much compared to what I had lost.

Anyway, there are still other stock photo sites where I can submit the icon sets I have. I removed all files from this worker from my computer and start submitting the remaining icon sets I had to other stock photo sites such as Dreamstime, 123RF, etc.

I don’t hire graphic designers from this market anymore because there is just too much risk. I don’t want to check whether they copy work or not every day. It takes too much time to check all icons. So I quit this project and decided to earn only from the icons on the existing sites I have. They are making about $20 a day though.

New plan for stock photos

I think hiring people to do this job is too risky, especially if they work from home. It’s difficult to see how they do and check whether they copy works from the internet. So I decided to do this market again on my own. I personally like taking photos and traveling. Also, I’m used to traveling once a month.

Anyway, I don’t aim to sell my photos on the stock photo sites because there are many better photographers already doing this. If visitors see a photo of the same attraction from me and other photographers, I’m pretty sure they won’t purchase mine lol.

After researching the stock photo market, I think the market for stock videos is growing and there are lower competitors compared to stock photos. Moreover, the price for one download of a video is much higher than a photo. So I think this is a good opportunity to go back to this market.

Final thoughts

You might wonder how I can tolerate losing more than $3,000 and keep working, right? Maybe. I have always been a person who makes mistakes since I was young. I’m one of two students who failed the biology exam in high school. I also failed many exams during my Bachelor and Master degree. When I started learning paid traffic, I lost more than $4,000 in trial and error. I think these failures protect me from desperation.

I’m going to finish strong 🙂

About the Author Bank

Bank has been working in the affiliate marketing industry since he was an undergrad in 2008. His favorite traffic source is PPV (Pay-Per-View). In 2013, he started sharing his journey on this blog AlcheBank.com and developed AffLanders.com to help people create PPV landing pages.

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Leave a Comment:

6 comments
Desm says September 15, 2014

Trouble begins the moment you stop checking work. Happened to me a few times before.

Reply
    Bank says September 15, 2014

    haha Yup!

    Reply
Carlos says September 17, 2014

I remember one guy told you and its true, Its impossible to make 8 icones per day without copy or modify existing ideas. Design is creative work. Anyway is good that you share with us this episode.

Thank you

Reply
    Bank says September 17, 2014

    Nope it’s possible. Other two of my workers can do it without any problem 🙂

    Reply
      Carlos says September 17, 2014

      Do you really believe they create from scratch.
      They coud do good good modifications.
      Its creative work create a set of icons completly new with quality would cost tons of money. But good modifications will work well for type of bussiness you have.

      Reply
        Bank says September 17, 2014

        As long as icons are different from others and they can be used in any businesses, I’m okay with good good modifications. They’re okay with ‘graphic stock’ work 🙂

        Reply
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