This blogpost explains how to read the data you will find in the newsletter and how to execute the content ideas.

How to use the data

This is an example of data presented in the newsletters: (1K = 1,000; 456K = 456,000)

# Search Shutterstock Traffic Existing Results Google Volume
1 example query 123 456k 789k

green - highlighted as “better” option
red - highlighted as “worse” option
neutral - not highlighted
- good potential

Search: What customer enters into the search field.

Shutterstock Traffic: (Higher number is better) Estimate of average organic search traffic per month generated by this page on Shutterstock. Calculated as estimated search volume of Search multiplied by the Click-through Rate (CTR) of the URL/website with search results. This allows to estimate how many customers are truly interested in the topic.

Existing Results: (Lower number is better) Amount of results of Search on Shutterstock (already created content) also known as “existing competition” or “niche saturation”. The more results - the harder for new content to get noticed.

Google Volume: (Higher number is better) Estimate of monthly search volume of the same Search phrase in Google. This shows total public interest in the Search (for example, on other microstocks too).

Note: data presented in the queries is not the exact data (which is available only inside Shutterstock or other microstocks), but an estimate received after analyzing ClickStream databases. While it does not show exact number, it is very useful for relative comparison inside each niche.

How to execute on ideas


The most important is that you should execute only on those ideas where you will be able to use your strongest skills. Don’t go for the all of ideas that are sent to you, pick few which are the best match to your skills. This might be your unique style, your theme or voice of the content a customer can find in your portfolio.


Once you choose the niche, open the link from the customer query and see your competition. Sort content based on popularity and note if there’s any prevalent theme. See if you can improve on the best selling artworks in that niche. Don’t create clones, try to make a better content than there already is.


Prepare the content, but upload it approximately one month before the actual event. Don’t rush to upload too fast as you will have chances to get your content buried under the similar content. Don’t upload content too late as most of the customers would already find something they were looking for.