Top Six Content Marketing Myths DEBUNKED!

Top Six Content Marketing Myths DEBUNKED!

Top Six Content Marketing Myths DEBUNKED!
+ Q&A Session

By Michael Shatravka | March 9th, 2023

In today’s digital age, content marketing has become an essential aspect of any business strategy. It involves creating valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a target audience and ultimately drive customer action. However, there are many misconceptions about content marketing that can prevent businesses from reaping its benefits.

Misconception #1: It’s Just About Creating Content

Content marketing is more than just creating content. It involves a comprehensive strategy that includes content creation, promotion, and analysis. To start, understand the target audience and tailor the content to their interests and pain points. Optimize content for search engines to ensure it reaches the intended audience. Promote content effectively through social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and other tactics. Regularly analyze content performance to refine the content marketing strategy and ensure it reaches the target audience.

Misconception #2: It’s Only for Large Businesses

Another common misconception about content marketing is that it’s only for large businesses with a large marketing budget. However, this is far from the truth. Content marketing can be effective for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.

In fact, small businesses can often benefit more from content marketing than large businesses. By creating valuable and engaging content, small businesses can attract and retain customers, build brand awareness, and establish themselves as experts in their field. This can help them compete with larger businesses and grow their customer base.

Misconception #3: It’s a Quick Fix for Sales

Content marketing is not a quick fix for sales. It’s a long-term strategy that requires consistency and patience. While it can ultimately drive sales and customer action, it’s not a magic solution.

A content marketing strategy should focus on providing value to the target audience and building trust and relationships. By doing this, businesses can establish themselves as a credible and trustworthy source of information, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.

Misconception #4: It’s All About Quantity Over Quality

While creating a lot of content can be beneficial, quality is more important than quantity. Content that provides value, engages the audience, and aligns with the brand’s values and messaging is more effective than a large volume of low-quality content.

Businesses should focus on creating high-quality content that meets the needs of their target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, social media posts, and other types of content. By focusing on quality over quantity, businesses can ensure that their content is effective and valuable to their target audience.

Misconception #5: It’s Easy

Content marketing is not easy. It requires a lot of effort, resources, and expertise to be effective. It involves creating high-quality content, promoting it effectively, and analyzing its performance to continually improve the strategy.

Businesses need to invest time and resources into their content marketing strategy to ensure that it’s effective. This can involve hiring a dedicated content marketing team, outsourcing content creation to a professional agency, or investing in training and resources to build internal expertise.

Misconception #6: It’s Only for Online Businesses

While content marketing is often associated with online businesses, it can be effective for

brick-and-mortar businesses as well. Content can be used to showcase products and services, provide valuable information, and attract and retain customers both online and offline.

For example, a brick-and-mortar clothing store can create content that showcases the latest fashion trends, provides styling tips, and highlights new arrivals. This content can be shared on social media, email newsletters, and the store’s website to attract and retain customers both online and offline.

By creating high-quality and engaging content, businesses can attract and retain a loyal following, build their brand, and ultimately drive customer action. However, it’s important to approach content marketing with a clear understanding of what it entails and how it can benefit the business.

In conclusion, content marketing is a valuable and effective strategy for businesses of all sizes and types. By understanding and dispelling common misconceptions, businesses can approach content marketing with a clear and realistic understanding of what it entails and how it can benefit their brand. By investing time, resources, and expertise into a comprehensive content marketing strategy, businesses can attract and retain a loyal following, build their brand, and ultimately drive customer action.

Q&A Session
w/ Michael Shatravka

What is Content Marketing?

“Content marketing is simply a cog in the machine. It’s one of the many pieces working together in the sales process. In most cases, content marketing alone will not close the deal, but it is vital for creating awareness, building trust, and establishing credibility, all of this makes it easier for you to close the deal.

For example, let’s say you went to the dentist, and everything on Google looks good. The website phone number checks out, but then you get to the office and see a secretary, but there’s no chairs. You just see a bunch of people sitting on the floor, and it doesn’t make any sense. This single moment causes you to lose all faith in this business, and you simply walk out the door.

So even though they were a real dental practice with good doctors, a nice website, and nice equipment, this one simple thing of just not having a waiting room, made you lose all trust in the business. The same thing applies to content marketing; it’s just one of the many factors in the sales process that you need to have in order to make an airtight case to your potential customers.”

What are some realistic expectations for Content Marketing?

“I meet with so many people who think content marketing is the solution to all their problems. They believe that one piece of content will blow up their business and make them a million dollars, and that a single piece of media will go viral. However, this almost never happens. Of course, in rare circumstances, it does happen, but in most cases, it doesn’t. You should not expect a single piece of content to transform your life. What will transform your life is a long, consistent series of valuable content posted over a long period of time. Like 6-12 months. Content marketing is just a cog in the machine; it’s one of the many gears working together to make the sale an airtight case.

Here’s an example: imagine you had a website where you had a hundred video testimonials from top business executives, industry leaders, and celebrities, all vouching for you and the types of results you generated for them. On top of that, you have project case studies with photos and video clips of you going through the process, explaining the obstacles, the solutions, and how you brought your clients to an outcome. It’s total transparency; people can see exactly how you work and how you create these incredible things. You’ve got a hundred of them on your site. If you had such a powerful online presence, would it make any significant difference in your business? Would it make it easier to get new clients? Do you think you would even have to look for clients at this point?

That’s exactly what content marketing is. You are taking the most valuable moments of your career and packaging them into bite-sized chunks of information helping people go from point A to Point B. You position yourself as a trusted advisor in your industry, and if you do this consistently over a long period of time, it’ll start to compound and snowball, and pretty soon you’ll have an avalanche of success. That is pretty much a dumbed down explanation of content marketing.”

What mistakes do I see people making?

“I would say the number one mistake is not planning and thinking it through. I like to call it “doing your homework.” Ultimately, this means doing some research and being knowledgeable about the subject you are talking about. So many people go on Instagram and just read text they ripped off Google or some site like Zilbert, and they just repeat it word for word straight into the camera.

I like to use an iceberg as an example. Everybody sees the tip, which is the final content that goes viral. You see a post and think, “Wow, that’s so easy. I can’t believe this post is getting so many views.” Then, you try to go and recreate something similar, and it gets nothing. Simply put, it’s because you have not done your homework. No research, no preparation, no strategy behind the post, no call to action. Your post is just a post that doesn’t lead to anything. That’s the biggest problem I see. Everybody is just making content to make content. Nothing is thought through, nothing leads anywhere. If you want to have a successful campaign with your content, it needs to lead to something. That’s what a call to action is (CTA).

You have to offer something good to your viewers and not just some copy-pasted text off Google. You need to provide some real insight, some real practical knowledge they can apply to get closer to their dream outcome. I’m sure you’ve heard of Russell Brunson and his funnels. That’s exactly what this is. That’s how you effectively create content.

Another thing I see that drives me crazy is people slapping together some professional-looking graphic templates from websites like Envato. They stick some stock photos into it and tag a bunch of local fancy restaurants, making it seem like a top-five restaurants in your city type of guide. This is what I call lazy content. These people don’t even have the decency to just go to the restaurants themselves and take a photo. Even if they don’t buy anything, they could just snap a quick photo in front of the restaurant and say something authenic, but they aren’t even willing to do that. LAZY!”

Why is content marketing important?

In 2023, your online presence is your social credit, whether you like it or not. It’s people’s first impression of you, and the best part is that it’s all in your control, and it’s free. You are the captain of your story, and by adding to it every day, you can turn it into an avalanche of success. That’s what content marketing is all about.

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 10AM to 6PM

©2024 Copyright Shatravka Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

10 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Content (And How to Fix Them)

10 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Content (And How to Fix Them)

10 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Content (And How to Fix Them)

By Michael Shatravka | March 9th, 2023

Creating content is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. However, many people encounter challenges that can hinder the content creation process. From writer’s block to technical difficulties, there are many hurdles to overcome when creating quality content. In this blog post, we’ll explore ten common problems people face when creating content and offer some solutions to help you overcome them.


In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to create content can be a significant challenge. Here are some practical steps you can take to overcome this challenge:

Set realistic goals: Start by setting achievable goals for your content creation. Trying to produce a blog post every day can be overwhelming, so start with a more manageable goal, like writing one post a week, and increase your output gradually.

Create a content calendar: Use a content calendar to plan your content in advance. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re creating content that’s relevant to your audience.

Repurpose your content: Another way to save time when creating content is to repurpose your existing content. For example, you could turn a blog post into a video or a podcast episode, or you could update an old post and republish it.

Set aside dedicated time: To create content consistently, it’s crucial to set aside dedicated time for content creation. Whether it’s an hour a day or a few hours a week, scheduling time specifically for content creation can help you stay on track and avoid distractions.

Outsource: If you’re really struggling to find the time to create content, consider outsourcing some of the work. For example, you could hire a freelance writer to help you with your blog posts or a video editor to help you produce videos.


Writer’s block is a common issue that many writers and content creators face. Here are some actionable tips to help you overcome writer’s block:

Take a break: Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you’re stuck is to take a break. Step away from your work, go for a walk, or do something else that you enjoy. Taking a break can help clear your mind and provide you with a fresh perspective.

Brainstorm: Set aside some time to brainstorm ideas. Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems silly or unrelated to your current project.

Change your environment: Changing your environment can help you get unstuck. If you usually write at a desk, try writing in a coffee shop or a park.

Talk it out: If you’re stuck on a particular topic, try talking it out loud, see if the words roll of your tongue.

Set a timer: Set a timer for a short period, like 10 or 15 minutes, and write without stopping, don’t worry about grammer.

#3 Inconsistent quality

Creating high-quality content is essential for engaging your audience and building your online presence. Here are some actionable steps to help you maintain consistent quality for your content:

Develop a content style guide: A content style guide outlines your brand’s voice, tone, and style. It can include things like grammar rules, formatting guidelines, and preferred language. Having a style guide can help you maintain consistency across all your content.

Use an editing checklist: An editing checklist can help ensure that your content meets your brand’s standards before publishing.

Get feedback: Getting feedback from your audience and peers can help you improve the quality of your content.

Set realistic content creation goals: Setting realistic content creation goals can help you maintain consistency in quality.

#4 Limited resources

Creating great content can be challenging, especially when you’re working with limited resources. Here are some actionable tips to help you create great content with limited resources:

Be creative: Find creative ways to produce content that doesn’t require a lot of resources.

Focus on quality over quantity: Instead of producing a large volume of content, focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

Repurpose your content: Repurpose your existing content to distribute it in different formats and channels.

Collaborate with others: Collaborating with others can help you create great content even with limited resources.


Creating content that resonates with your target audience is essential for engaging them and building your online presence. Here are some actionable steps to help you create content that targets your audience effectively:

Define your audience: Define your target audience by considering their demographics, interests, and pain points.

Conduct research: Conduct research to learn more about your audience’s needs and interests.

Ask for feedback: Ask for feedback from your audience to get a better understanding of what they want from your content.

Create personas: Creating personas can help you visualize your audience and tailor your content to their needs.

Use language that resonates: Use language that resonates with your audience. Use their vocabulary, tone, and style to make your content more relatable.


Creating great content is essential for engaging your audience and building your online presence. Here are some actionable steps to help you distribute your content effectively:

Use different content formats: Use different content formats to distribute your content.

Use different channels: Use different channels to distribute your content.

Guest posting: Guest post on other blogs and websites to distribute your content to a new audience.

Repurpose your content: Repurpose your existing content to distribute it in different formats and channels.

Cross-promotion: Cross-promote your content with other creators in your industry.


Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts is essential for understanding what’s working and what’s not. Here are some actionable steps to help you measure the success of your content marketing efforts effectively:

Define your goals: Define your content marketing goals before you start measuring success.

Track the right metrics: Track the metrics that align with your goals.

Use analytics tools: Use analytics tools to track your metrics.

Conduct A/B testing: Conduct A/B testing to test different content formats, headlines, and calls to action.

Review and adjust: Review your metrics regularly and adjust your content strategy accordingly.


The world of content marketing is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends is crucial for creating engaging and effective content. Here are some actionable steps to help you adapt to changing trends and keep your content strategy up-to-date:

Stay up-to-date with industry news: Keep up-to-date with industry news and follow thought leaders and experts to stay informed about the latest trends and best practices.

Monitor your competitors: Monitor your competitors to see what they’re doing and how they’re adapting to changing trends.

Analyze your metrics: Analyze your metrics regularly to see what’s working and what’s not.

Experiment with new formats and channels: Experiment with new content formats and distribution channels to reach your audience in new ways.

Stay flexible: Stay flexible and adaptable in your content strategy.


Creating original and engaging content is crucial for standing out in the crowded online space. However, with so much content available online, it can be tough to come up with truly unique ideas. Here are some steps to help you create original content:

Brainstorm ideas: Use tools like Google Trends and Buzzsumo to identify popular topics and themes. Brainstorm with your team or colleagues to generate new and unique ideas.

Add your unique perspective: Share your personal experiences, insights, and opinions to make your content stand out.

Research your audience: Gather insights about your audience’s behavior and preferences through surveys, social media monitoring, and analytics tools.

Experiment with different formats: Video, podcasts, and infographics can help create unique and engaging content that stands out.

Collaborate with others: Work with other creators, influencers, or brands to offer a new perspective or insight.


Technical difficulties can be frustrating when creating content. Here are some actionable steps to help you overcome technical difficulties and create high-quality content:

Invest in quality equipment.

Plan and prepare: Plan and prepare for your shoot in advance.

Edit and enhance: Edit and enhance your footage in post-production.

Learn from mistakes: Learn from mistakes and identify areas for improvement.

Practice and experiment: Practice and experiment with different techniques to improve your technical skills.

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 10AM to 6PM

©2024 Copyright Shatravka Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Achieving Success on Pond5: Lessons and Strategies for Selling Stock Footage

Achieving Success on Pond5: Lessons and Strategies for Selling Stock Footage

Achieving Success on Pond5: Lessons and Strategies for Selling Stock Footage

By Michael Shatravka | March 7th, 2023

Ready to turn your passion for photography or videography into a lucrative source of passive income?
Don’t miss out on my top tips and hard-earned lessons from my first year on Pond5! In this article, I’ll reveal how I earned $4,683.32 by consistently uploading 4,640 clips and selling 111 of them. Discover what sells and what doesn’t, learn how to save time, and make the most of your footage. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this article has everything you need to succeed on Pond5.

Commercial Stock Footage Example

Editorial Stock Footage Example

What’s Better: Editorial or Commercial Footage?

Let’s get real: whether you shoot editorial or commercial footage, it probably won’t make a big difference to your earnings. In my case, a whopping 95% of my sales came from editorial clips, with only a handful commercial clip sales. So, it’s safe to say that my bread and butter is editorial footage. And the best part? You don’t need release forms for editorial footage, since it’s already out there in the public domain. However, if you’re planning to upload commercial footage, make sure you have release forms handy. Without them, your footage will either default to editorial or get rejected altogether. Keep these tips in mind and start earning on your stock footage platform of choice!

Benefits of Being a Contributor on Pond5

Let me tell you, I’m a big fan of Pond5. The way they treat their contributors is top-notch. I also get to set my own prices and keep most of the earnings, which is pretty sweet. Plus, the payment process is hassle-free, and they even pay me from Ireland without any fees. Talk about convenience! If you’re in the market for a stock video platform, I highly recommend giving Pond5 a shot. And if you’re not already with them, I suggest signing up and going exclusive to score that sweet 60% commission and pricing control. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Behind the Scenes: What it Takes to Create and Sell Stock Footage on Pond5

Curious about what it takes to make it on Pond5? Let me give it to you straight. It’s a year-long commitment that involves around 1,500 hours of planning, preparation, and brainstorming every day. And that’s just the start! We then have to get to the shoot location, which can mean carpooling, taking a bus or train, or driving ourselves and shelling out cash for gas and tolls. Once we’re there, it’s a race against the clock to capture the perfect footage. Sometimes we hit the jackpot, and other times, we walk away empty-handed. It’s all part of the game.

But the work doesn’t end there. We then have to edit the footage for the client, ourselves, and for Pond5. We even create a reel to showcase our Pond5 clips and then upload everything to the platform. Next comes the crucial step of adding a title, description, metadata, keywords, and collection to make the clips searchable and relevant to potential buyers. Once approved, it’s time to promote the reel on platforms like YouTube and direct people back to the Pond5 collection. Phew! As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to this process, and a lot of elbow grease that goes into getting those stock footage sales. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the payoff can be worth it.

How to Turn Your Videos into Profitable Stock Footage on Pond5

Are you tired of capturing aimless footage of nature and wildlife with no real returns? It’s time to get strategic and focus on relevant content to start earning real money. A simple way to stay updated on what’s relevant is by tuning in to different news channels and identifying common themes. It doesn’t matter which channel you watch; everyone uses the same footage, but with their own spin. Take notes and start capturing footage that aligns with these trending topics in your local community. You can even sell the footage directly to your local news station and then upload the remaining content to Pond5. The key is to keep an eye on what’s relevant and use it to your advantage. Follow these tips and start cashing in on your stock footage with Pond5.

First attempt at shooting covid pandemic footage.
(wasn’t a complete failure / actually got a sale!)

Why Mining Old Projects Might Not be the Best Approach for Making Money on Pond5

Let me tell you about a lesson I learned the hard way. I spent hours combing through my old footage, only to find out that most of it was shaky and unusable. And even after putting in all that effort, I barely made any sales. That’s when I realized the power of editorial footage, which was selling much better during the same time period. I decided to shift my focus to editorial footage instead of wasting time mining old projects. However, if you’re a hobbyist with old niche footage of a historic moment or archived event, it may be worth your time to go through it and upload it. Who knows, you could be sitting on a gold mine that pays off in a few years or even a decade. Just remember to approach it professionally and with a strategic mindset. Making money from stock footage can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Follow these tips and start turning your passion for photography and videography into a lucrative source of passive income.

How Many Usable Clips Does a Shoot Yield?

Are you wondering how many usable clips you can get from a single shoot for Pond5? Well, the answer depends on various factors such as your shooting style, the location, and the subject matter. But in general, a 60-90 minute shoot can yield anywhere from 50 to 150 usable clips for Pond5. Of course, the number of usable clips may vary based on your individual shooting and editing skills. So, make sure you focus on capturing high-quality footage that aligns with the current market demands to increase your chances of success. Follow these tips and start maximizing your earning potential on Pond5.

“Batch Editing Your Clips for Pond5: The Time-Saving Strategy That Helped Me Maximize My ROI

When I first started selling on Pond5, I spent hours crafting individual descriptions and titles for each clip. It was tedious and meticulous work, and I poured all my time and effort into it. But soon, I realized that this approach wasn’t sustainable. Batch editing was the smarter way to go. Instead of spending 10-15 minutes per clip, I could edit 100 clips in just 15 minutes! And you know what? My batch edited clips started selling like hotcakes, while my individually edited clips were just sitting there without any views or sales. Of course, I’m not advocating for half-assing your work. Do your research, use accurate and relevant keywords and descriptions, and make sure your clips align with market demands. Batch editing will save you time and help you get the most ROI. Without it, I wouldn’t be doing Pond5, and neither should you! Follow these tips and start maximizing your earning potential on Pond5.

My Personal Guidelines for Pricing Your Work on Pond5

Pricing your work can be a daunting task, especially for those just starting out. But fear not! Based on my experience, there are some guidelines you can follow to set reasonable prices. For 1080p footage, I usually price it at $79 for a good, 15-second clip with interesting and relevant content. A mediocre 3-5 second clip will cost around $50. For high-quality, one-minute footage, I can sell it for up to $149. For 4K footage, I start pricing at $149, and for really good quality, I may charge up to $249. Keep in mind that drone footage requires a license and could result in a hefty fine if you don’t have one. Pricing ultimately depends on the quality and uniqueness of your work. For hard-to-get, once-in-a-lifetime clips, I charge up to $499. Don’t sell yourself short if you have something valuable to offer! Follow these guidelines, and start unlocking the secrets to setting reasonable prices on Pond5

Generic Clip / 1080p

Unique Clip / 4K

Rare Clip / 4K

Collaborating with People: Cash, Commission, or Portfolio Exchange?

How I collaborate with people and models to create amazing content:

First and foremost, the easiest way to handle a collaboration is to pay them cash and have them sign a release. It’s a straightforward deal – they get paid, you get your footage, and you can use it forever. Just pay cash, and you’re good to go.

However, if you’re on a budget, there are other ways to collaborate. For instance, you can offer a commission to the artist. For example, with one artist, I said, “Hey, I’ll give you 20% of the gross clip sale, and you cover the PayPal fee.” PayPal takes a small fee, so they get their clip at 20% plus the fee. To make sure everything is transparent and legit, I include a report showing how many sales the clip has made.

Lastly, maybe you have a cool friend who will do it for free. They may need something for their portfolio, and in that case, you can do a portfolio collaboration where they help you out, and you shoot them a couple of things or give them a photo shoot, or a free favor. It’s a value exchange – they get something they need for their portfolio, and you get the footage you need for your project.

So, those are the three ways I handle collaborations with people and models. Remember, there’s always a way to collaborate, no matter what your budget is.

Do You Need Expensive Gear for Stock Footage Sales?

Some of my top-selling videos were shot with a $500 Panasonic G7 camera using a cheap kit lens, and even though they weren’t shot perfectly, people still paid for them.

It goes to show that you don’t always need the best equipment or perfect footage to make a sale. To be honest, I thought most of these clips were garbage and nearly deleted them. But, I remembered the original clip I sold way back in April, which was only three seconds long. I thought, “If someone is gonna pay money for that, they’ll pay money for whatever.” So, I stopped deleting clips unless they actually were shaky, blurry, or just straight garbage.

The lesson here is that if the footage is usable, it’s worth selling. You never know who’s gonna buy what, and sometimes, imperfect footage can still be valuable. So, don’t worry too much about the quality of your equipment or footage – just shoot what you can and put it out there. You might be surprised at what sells!

Shooting Top-Selling Stock Footage: My Camera Gear Revealed

I want to talk about the gear I use for shooting my videos. My main camera is a Panasonic G9, which I chose because of its stabilizing features. The body and the lens I use (a 12-35mm f/2.8) are both stabilized, which means I don’t need a gimbal. With this setup, I can shoot outdoor footage in a guerrilla-style because the camera shots are super smooth, giving it that cinematic look. The Panasonic G9 shoots 4k 24fps 10-bit, 4k 60fps, and 1080 180 fps – it’s an incredible camera that can handle both photos and videos.

Before I got my G9, I was a loyal Panasonic G7 shooter for three years, and nearly all of the videos I shot were with that camera. Even though the G7 is an older and more affordable camera, it still produced some of my top-selling footage. So, my point is, you don’t always need the latest and greatest gear to get great footage – it’s all about how you use it.

At the end of the day, gear is just a tool. It’s up to the user to make the most of it and produce great content. Don’t get too caught up in having the best and most expensive equipment. Instead, focus on developing your skills and using the gear you have to its fullest potential.


As of March 7, 2023, if you own an iPhone 12 Pro or similar spec model, you will shoot way better quality with your smartphone than the Panasonic G7.

Bitrate & Compression

Let me tell you a story about how even mediocre footage shot with a low-bitrate G7 camera can still sell. I once had someone ask me about the bit rate and compression of my footage. Despite its web-quality look, my footage has been purchased by major news networks and used in documentaries. I’ve seen some of my clips on Vice and even on television. When someone needs a specific clip, they need it, and the quality of the footage becomes much less important. So, don’t get too hung up on the technical aspects of your gear and footage. Focus on creating relevant and usable content, and the sales will come.

Gear Does Not Matter for Selling Editorial Stock Footage

I know there’s a lot of talk out there about gear and specs, but honestly, don’t fuss about it. At the end of the day, what really matters is how relevant your stock footage is. You could be shooting with your iPhone, and still make a sale because someone needed that clip and there was no other version of it.

I shot with a Panasonic G7 for three years and made a living from it, so I know firsthand that you don’t need the latest and greatest gear to be successful. Sure, upgrading your equipment eventually can be nice, but it’s not essential for making sales.

So, my advice to you is this: work with what you have, get good at it, and don’t worry too much about gear and specs. Focus on creating relevant and valuable stock footage, and the sales will come.

What Drone Do I Use for Stock Footage?

I currently use a Mavic 2 Pro, and I have to say, it was worth the investment. While I considered the cheaper Mavic 2, I ultimately decided that if I’m going to sell stock footage professionally, I need to invest in high-quality gear. The Mavic 2 Pro offers 10-bit color, is D-Log, and produces incredible footage that allows for amazing color correction. With the right filters, the footage looks like it came straight out of a movie. So, if you’re considering a drone setup for shooting stock footage, I highly recommend investing in quality gear like the Mavic 2 Pro.

(As of March 2023, I am using the DJI Air 2s for ALL my drone videos and this is what I recommend for everything / check out this article with actual video examples from some of my projects)

Making Money through Stock Footage Sales on Pond5: One-Year Income Breakdown

Let’s take a look at our one-year income breakdown from selling footage on Pond5.

In April, we started strong by putting in 300 hours to create COVID-19 related content, and we made $468.45 in sales. May was even better, and we made $588.02 by selling footage of empty streets and other pandemic-related scenes. However, in June, we hit a decline of $464.27 and decided to take a break.

During our vacation, we invested in a professional camera, a G9, a gimbal, and a drone, a Mavic 2 Pro, to future-proof ourselves by exporting footage in the highest bit rate. In July, we started selling more drone footage and had some sales related to the coronavirus pandemic, totaling $379.62.

Throughout August, we shot commercial real estate drone footage, which resulted in $335 from editorial coronavirus pandemic sales. September brought us $491.24 in stock footage sales, featuring clips of the coronavirus pandemic and homeless individuals.

In October, we made $238.82 by selling stock footage featuring an outdoor morgue during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as footage of an EZ-Pass sign. November was a great month for repeat clip sales, and we made $620.39.

December was our lowest month, but we still managed to make $152.35 from editorial coronavirus footage. In January 2021, we made $502.74 by selling footage of outdoor rallies, protest events, and even some footage from an old moving company video.

February brought in $200.25, and we sold a commercial clip from a restaurant. In March 2021, we had our biggest month yet, making $710.32 exclusively from editorial sales. Our footage included stock market footage of the pandemic, as well as footage of closed businesses, empty streets, and a local food bank charity.

So, what did we learn from this year of selling footage on Pond5? Quality isn’t everything – a clip is a clip is a clip. The most important thing is to have relevant clips that people are looking for. Don’t worry about the clip’s quality; you will make money with it.

Making Sense of Pond5 Trends: To Follow or Not to Follow?

You can never predict Pond5. It’s constantly changing and evolving, and what sells one month might not sell the next. This can make it difficult to know what to shoot and how to allocate your time and resources. On their front page, Pond5 showcases whatever is trending that month and has all these different ideas, including cool and goofy things. However, following their advice and shooting these clips is a gamble because Pond5 does not include the number of sales on these clips.

To back up what I’m saying, during my hardcore month on Pond5 (April, May, and parts of June), I had my clips featured on the front page in the Pond5 Select galleries. I’ve had several clips featured in these galleries, and many of them received a lot of views, but zero sales. Having trending content and featuring your stuff does not guarantee sales. What does get you sales is having stock footage that is relevant to today’s world.

Therefore, look for current events such as news and create footage related to them. This is probably the fastest way to make money by selling stock footage. The news is always changing, and there’s always a demand for relevant footage. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, footage of masks, social distancing, and closed businesses was in high demand.

Another reason I don’t follow Pond5 trends or try to come up with my own stock ideas and trends is because it’s like thinking of a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. You’re thinking up footage for a project that doesn’t exist. Instead, I view stock footage as a byproduct of a paid production. Whenever I’m hired for a paid production or job, I stick any leftover or unbought footage up on Pond5. It’s just part of my process. This footage came from a project that had a real market demand, and someone actually paid me to produce it. Shooting stock footage from thin air has no demand, so it’s just supply with no demand.

If you’re a photographer, videographer, or a big production company, figuring out how to systemize Pond5 into your main process can create a secondary source of income for you. So, definitely check it out. Whether Pond5 is worth it or not depends on your situation. If you have a lot of leftover footage or are consistently producing content that could be repurposed for stock, it’s definitely worth considering. But if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of extra footage, it might not be the best use of your time and resources. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if Pond5 is worth it for your specific situation.

The Bottom Line: Making the Most of Your Time and Efforts on Pond5

The answer to whether Pond5 is worth it depends on a few things, like your goals, career, and how seriously you want to take it. So, what do you want to get out of it? Take a moment to think about that.

Regardless of whether you make a lot of money on Pond5 or just a little, consistently contributing to the platform will definitely help you value your time, work smarter, and improve your craft. You’ll get better at shooting, working with people, production, and editing, all of which will make you a better photo and video production person, and you’ll start making more money. Over time, this builds and compounds, and Pond5 can significantly help grow your business in just one year.

If you’re interested in being successful on Pond5, it’s important to be involved in the video world. If you’re involved in production or have a steady supply of new content to upload, you can definitely make money starting today. However, if you’re a hobbyist looking to make money selling videos of your hobbies, it may be much harder to make significant money as the content may not be in demand.

Now, if you’re looking to get rich quick and make some free, passive internet money, Pond5 is not the way to do it. You’re better off working at McDonald’s, where you’ll make way more money. Pond5 is not for you if you’re looking to get rich quick.

However, if you’re a production person looking to create a solid passive income stream each month, Pond5 can help. It’s paid for some of my big purchases, like my Audi S4, and the money is real as long as you put in the consistent work. So, implement Pond5 into your workflow, and make it a routine part of your job.

In conclusion, Pond5 is worth it if you have realistic expectations, are willing to consistently contribute, and are involved in the video production industry. Thank you, Pond5, for the steady income stream, and thank you for reading this article. If you learned something, please subscribe to my newsletter, and be sure to check out my YouTube channel for deeper insight!

Michael Shatravka / Guerilla Camera Operator
2020 COVID LOCKDOWN – Brighton Beach

Photo Credit:
Rais Muharamov

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DJI Air 2s: The Ultimate Real Estate Drone for 2023

DJI Air 2s: The Ultimate Real Estate Drone for 2023

DJI Air 2s: The Ultimate Real Estate Drone for 2023

By Michael Shatravka | March 6th, 2023

Looking for the ultimate real estate drone for 2023 that will help take your photography and videography to the next level? Look no further than the DJI Air 2s. With its lightweight design, long battery life, impressive video quality, and 6K flexibility in editing and cropping, this drone is the ultimate tool for capturing stunning footage. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the DJI Air 2s is the perfect drone to elevate your real estate and lifestyle branding content to new heights! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at why the DJI Air 2s is still the ultimate real estate drone in 2023.

Lightweight Design and Long Battery Life

The DJI Air 2s is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry around when you’re on location. This is especially important when you need to be mobile and ready to capture footage quickly. In addition, the drone has a 30 minute battery life, which is more than enough time to capture an entire listing, neighborhood, and some lifestyle branding shots for the agent.

Impressive Video Quality

One of the main advantages of the DJI Air 2s is its outstanding video quality. The footage is incredibly sharp, with vivid colors and excellent contrast. This is thanks to its 10-bit color and 6K resolution, which provide a large frame size and plenty of flexibility in editing and cropping without losing quality. You can even use the video stills as high-quality images, which is a major advantage for those who need to use their drone footage for print marketing materials.

Flexibility in Editing and Cropping

Thanks to its large frame size, the DJI Air 2s provides plenty of flexibility in editing and cropping. You can zoom in and out, reframe shots, and stabilize footage easily. This means that if you miss a shot or need to tweak it, you have plenty of flexibility to do so. You can even cut the footage for vertical format and it will still look super sharp and clean.

Professional and Clean Footage

The DJI Air 2s is a great option for those who need to capture footage for professional use. Its 10-bit color and 6K resolution provide a professional and clean look that is perfect for real estate listings and lifestyle personal branding content. You can use the footage for both social media and print materials. As a bonus, the DJI Air 2s is reasonably priced, which is a huge plus if you’re just starting out with drone photography or videography.


If you’re looking for a reliable and versatile drone that won’t break the bank, the DJI Air 2s is definitely worth considering. Its lightweight design, long battery life, and high-quality footage and stills make it a great option for those who need to capture footage on the go. Whether you’re shooting for real estate or lifestyle content, the DJI Air 2s provides plenty of flexibility and professional-quality footage that will make your work stand out.

Check out my 2022 luxury real estate demo reel all of this drone footage was shot on the DJI Air 2s!


What is the difference between the DJI Air 2S and the DJI Air 2?

The DJI Air 2S is the upgraded version of the DJI Air 2. In fact, DJI discontinued making the Air 2 because the Air 2S is far superior. The Air 2S has 6K quality versus 4K, longer battery life, faster flying speeds, and better obstacle avoidance. Don’t waste your money on the DJI Air 2, get the Air 2S instead.

How high and far can the DJI Air 2S fly?

From my experience flying this drone in outdoor rural environments, for example, when I was in Colombia with Open Fields and mountains, I was able to fly up to 4 or 5,000 ft without any interference. The only problem is flying back and having enough battery life. Flying in an urban environment is a whole different story because you have legal regulations, signal interferences, people walking around, obstacles. It’s a lot more dangerous to fly and usually, when I’m shooting in New York, the max distance I can get is usually around a thousand feet. In some areas, it is legally not allowed to fly more than 100 ft and in some areas, you can’t even lift the drone up off the ground. But overall, flying in Florida, I’m usually able to get up to 15,000 ft in flight distance but the signal quality starts to get choppy so usually, I try to keep it around 500 ft. Always remember to keep your drone in your line of sight! One word of advice is to never fly around buildings because you will lose signal and possibly lose your drone!

What is the maximum speed of the DJI Air 2S?

When I put it in sports mode, it gets around 35 to 40 mph. But if you’re looking to get those cinematic commercial shots, you want to actually put this thing in the slowest speed it can be in, around 0.1 miles per hour. That’s how you get those butter-smooth magic shots. This drone is not meant for high speed, if you’re looking for that, pick up a DJI FPV drone that goes up to 90 miles an hour.

How do you shoot lifestyle social media content with this drone?

Disable the sensors. This will require a level of experience flying the drone. I’d say it took me at least 100 hours to get comfortable flying close to people, controlling the drone, and working in tight, close proximity environments. If you are still a beginner and want to shoot this type of content for people, I would recommend being in a more open space so you don’t risk crashing your drone.

DJI Air 2S or Mavic 2 Pro?

If you’re trying to decide between the two, I would go with the DJI Air 2S. It is superior to the Mavic 2 Pro in quality and resolution. The one thing that I actually did not like about the Mavic 2 Pro was that it kept giving me this green-colored calibration on all my footage, and I had to color-correct it in post. If you’re able to find a Mavic 2 Pro for a few hundred bucks, then get it, otherwise, the DJI Air 2S is a hundred times better.

How is the DJI Air 2S in windy conditions?

It’s a pretty strong drone. I’ve flown it dozens of times in super windy conditions by the ocean at a thousand-plus feet, shooting luxury penthouses. You can definitely get away with shooting wide-angle shots of a building, but shooting lifestyle up-close content when windy is not recommended. Fly at your own risk.

How long does it take to charge the DJI Air 2S batteries?

I would say about 30 minutes per battery.

Is the DJI Air 2S waterproof?

I have flown it while it was drizzling before the rain, but I’m pretty sure it’s not waterproof.

Can the DJI Air 2S be used for professional commercial work?

Absolutely. I’ve used it for commercial lifestyle campaigns, as well as shooting multi-million dollar sky mansions.

Can the DJI Air 2S be flown indoors?

Yes, but I do not recommend it because of the low light conditions. The quality of the footage will not look good.

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