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Author Topic: How am I doing on Alamy?  (Read 12432 times)

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« on: October 07, 2009, 11:39 »
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I'm still pretty quiet on Alamy in terms of sales and zoom statistics. Was wondering if anyone can take a look at my images to see if there's anything I should be doing to help?

Is it ok to post my alamy link here?

Thanks.

Cheers,
PTLee


lisafx

« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 11:52 »
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This would be one way to improve your zoom ratio.

« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 12:01 »
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You only get a zoom if one of their group of buyers looks at your image.  I think it is a good way of doing it.  The average seems to be around 20 zooms to every download.

« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 12:12 »
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Thanks, so would that be 20 zooms of the same image, or just 20 zooms of images in a portfolio.

Ok... here's my link Images by PT Lee

Cheers,
PTLee

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 12:33 »
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You only get a zoom if one of their group of buyers looks at your image.  I think it is a good way of doing it.  The average seems to be around 20 zooms to every download.

So if we follow the links he/she doesn't get a zoom? 

« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 13:10 »
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Thanks, so would that be 20 zooms of the same image, or just 20 zooms of images in a portfolio.

Ok... here's my link Images by PT Lee

Cheers,
PTLee


No following the links shouldn't get a zoom.

Ok... I should warn you that this advice is blunt - so feel free to disregard it if it upsets  ;) 

Your MS portfolios seem to have material that is well suited to microstock. Having similars doesn't hurt, because the way images are used often makes it important to have different crops and formats - people will come back to you if they know you have a look they want and cater to different formats and dimensions.

Basically I think your problem is that your Alamy portfolio is full of sets of very similar images that would get rejected on most microstock sites for "limited commercial value". Just because they don't reject many similar images, and low demand images, shouldn't mean that you treat it as an invitation to upload anything in your portfolio that isn't going to make it to microstock. I mean technically you can, but you won't do well.

To do well you really need to think about whether there is a market for an image before you upload - sometimes images that are highly specialised will do well, but I suspect this applies more to images that are highly specialised and hard to find. I don't think this applies to animals and landscapes.

Basically having lots of images in your portfolio that come up in the search and don't get zoomed will hurt you in the alamy ranking. So you need to keep your keywording very tight, and only upload images that people will want to look at. the system works very differently to microstock - and that doesn't just mean having different images.

For me the zoom to sale ratio is more like 1 to 10 - of the whole portfolio. It often takes a long time between a zoom and sales to register, so if you're getting zooms, then you need patience!

« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 13:38 »
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Thanks Holger for taking the time to view the portfolios. Your comments are quite valid, I appreciate it, and understand your points.

I do note the emphasis on 'tight' keywording in Alamy, though I don't receive much 'feedback' in terms of zooms statistics, while I do see improvements, the numbers just doesn't seem significant. I've uploaded these images in the past few months, and perhaps I should be more patient.

I'm aiming to work with different set of images for MS & Alamy, perhaps I should include more 'landmarks'? Would that constitute images that people want?

I'm also exploring using smugmug, how is yours doing there?

Cheers,
PTLee

« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 13:43 »
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Thanks, so would that be 20 zooms of the same image, or just 20 zooms of images in a portfolio.

Ok... here's my link Images by PT Lee

Cheers,
PTLee

20 zooms of any image per sale is often quoted in their forum.

« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2009, 14:20 »
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Basically I think your problem is that your Alamy portfolio is full of sets of very similar images that would get rejected on most microstock sites for "limited commercial value". Just because they don't reject many similar images, and low demand images, shouldn't mean that you treat it as an invitation to upload anything in your portfolio that isn't going to make it to microstock. I mean technically you can, but you won't do well.


Holgs, All advice you give is good even the above with a some exception though. Alamy does sell a lot of stuff that micros would certainly reject. It's nice that there is a different market and that not everything overlaps. It depends somewhat on what you like to shoot. Here's a couple of examples of sales I've made which I'm sure you will agree with me are rather poor images. However they still fill a need for a buyer.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 14:26 by Zeus »

« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 14:31 »
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Last month I had three sales of images without zooms... since the roll-over introduction zooms have become somewhat less a predictor of sales (it used to be around 20z/dl).  It is very very unpredictable!

About your portfolio, it seems ok, but there are lots of similars, so you have a lot of images of a few themes.  Also you have lots of RF images.  Always keep in mind that RM sells more often at Alamy, so it can be (theoretically) against you, if we take percentages into account.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 14:34 by HermanM »

« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2009, 14:53 »
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I like the portfolio.  Keep building it up and I am sure the sales will follow.  It is very different to micro there.  Buyers seem to take a long time deciding what they want.  With over 16 million images to choose form, a big portfolio is probably more important.  It is going to take me years to build mine up at the rate I am going but I am pleased with 12 sales from under 300 uploads so far.

« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 14:53 »
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I stopped uploading in July.  I usually got a break every couple months when I got tired with they reviewing policy, they reject whole batch when they check one picture. This forces me to upload in small numbers, wait many days for reviews just to learn that whole batch was rejected. I managed to put 67 files online this year. The stats are as follows:

Total Views for     :     863
Total Zooms for    :    10
Average CTR for    :    1.16
Total CTR for    :    1.16
Average CTR on Alamy for last month    :    0.78

I got one sale this year so it does not seem to be worth an effort.


« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 14:58 »
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Zeus: Glad you like the advice - maybe I should clarify though - I think most of my sales there are things that the MS agencies would reject, and that wouldn't sell in volume there in any event. My point was really about large sets of similar images that don't really have a point that makes them unique or that usable. The image you linked looks very natural and has a certain look that you won't find on MS.

I think your point about RM reflects more the content of the image than the choice of subject matter - there seem to be a lot of editorial sales of editorial subject matter. To me the difference about MS is that what works there is images that will sell a product or bring attention to a particular design. What sells on Alamy is images that will tell a story - sometimes there is an overlap in what that is, but not always. I think in a way most people here are still getting a feel for Alamy. The thing that I like is that it stops me from thinking like a microstock photographer when I'm out and about - I don't worry about what people or billboards are in the shot, because usually they make the story.

re: Smugmug - so far so good. I've really only had it up and running for a few days, so not expecting the orders to rush in any time soon, but the main point for me was to be able to support my blog, be able to share high quality images with friends without them being publicly available, and to be able to sell the occasional prints. It seems to do all those things pretty well, and generally I'm pretty impressed with it... so far!

RT


« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 15:03 »
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Your images are absolutely fine for the Alamy market, don't compare it with microstock in anyway whatsoever, one thing though nothing pisses a buyer off more than having very similar images in a series from the same photographer under mixed licences, I know why you've done it but my advice would be if you have to license an image as RM because you haven't got model releases then keep them all as RM, to be honest the type of images you've done that to will appeal more to a RM license buyer than RF one so you're only shooting yourself in the foot.

Another thing you might want to consider for your type of stuff is hide your keywords, i.e. you're putting your keywords in the comprehensive field and as a result everyone can see them, that might lose you the edge.

Finally, I sell quite a fair bit on Alamy and one thing I've learnt is ignore the zooms conspiracy theory thing, it's complete b****cks you'll have a sale when you have a sale irrelevant of how many or few zooms you've had. FTR it's only certain buyers with accounts that count towards your zoom figures, not all buyers.

You do need to get more images uploaded though, good luck.
 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 15:05 by RT »

« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2009, 18:39 »
+1
Another thing you might want to consider for your type of stuff is hide your keywords, i.e. you're putting your keywords in the comprehensive field and as a result everyone can see them, that might lose you the edge.

This is quite important, since the comprehensive keywords field is less relevant than the main keywords field, which is less relevant than the essential keywords field.  The bad thing is that the IPTC annotations embedded in the images populate automatically the comprehensive keywords field and you have to manually move them over the more relevant areas.

« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 18:57 »
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Finally, I sell quite a fair bit on Alamy and one thing I've learnt is ignore the zooms conspiracy theory thing, it's complete b****cks you'll have a sale when you have a sale irrelevant of how many or few zooms you've had. FTR it's only certain buyers with accounts that count towards your zoom figures, not all buyers.

Hi all

@RT
Do you have same (RF) portfolio at MS and Alamy

Kone

« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 00:32 »
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Thanks to everyone (Sharpshot, RT, Zues, Herman, Holg, melastmohican) for your kind advice and feedback. I really appreciate it. It has given me a better perspective of what Alamy is about.

RT, you raised a very good point about the RF & L images. I will be more careful at how I classify them in future. Don't think I can backtrack on the current RFs I have there, though they haven't sold any. By RM, would you be referring to Licensed, or the one with 'Rights Protected'?

Moving forward, I shall have a go at uploading a wider range of images, and the tough part of having to go through the keywords of my current images again.

I still have a number of images uploaded and as well as waiting on my harddisk, so I'll have lots to catch up on.

Anymore things I need to know?
Cheers,
PTLee

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 00:49 »
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Thanks to everyone (Sharpshot, RT, Zues, Herman, Holg, melastmohican) for your kind advice and feedback. I really appreciate it. It has given me a better perspective of what Alamy is about.

RT, you raised a very good point about the RF & L images. I will be more careful at how I classify them in future. Don't think I can backtrack on the current RFs I have there, though they haven't sold any. By RM, would you be referring to Licensed, or the one with 'Rights Protected'?

Moving forward, I shall have a go at uploading a wider range of images, and the tough part of having to go through the keywords of my current images again.

I still have a number of images uploaded and as well as waiting on my harddisk, so I'll have lots to catch up on.

Anymore things I need to know?
Cheers,
PTLee

When you go to the new 2.2 editor, double click on the first image, highlight the keywords in the Comprehensive box, Control+X, then move up to the main box and Control+V you're done. Good thing is you don't have 1000 images yet, so you can do that in a few minutes, cut and paste. Then you can click next image and keep going. Just click save when you are done and it saves all of them.

No you can't change a license type once it's set. Sometimes Alamy will adjust things if you write and ask, but they make it a point to say it can't be done.

Most of your mountains, highways and trees look like RF shots anyway. Keep in mind that the license type also makes a difference on whether someone may want to purchase the image. If they can buy it for $36 RF and it's $200 Licensed (and yes you are correct it's the same as RM, just a different name) they will go buy someones else RF photo and you'll get nothing. License the photos according to the type of content.

If it has copyrighted subjects or people with no model release or anything like that, just make it Editorial. You've done your job and the buyer is responsible for the end use.

« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 01:24 »
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When you go to the new 2.2 editor, double click on the first image, highlight the keywords in the Comprehensive box, Control+X, then move up to the main box and Control+V you're done. Good thing is you don't have 1000 images yet, so you can do that in a few minutes, cut and paste. Then you can click next image and keep going. Just click save when you are done and it saves all of them.

No you can't change a license type once it's set. Sometimes Alamy will adjust things if you write and ask, but they make it a point to say it can't be done.

Most of your mountains, highways and trees look like RF shots anyway. Keep in mind that the license type also makes a difference on whether someone may want to purchase the image. If they can buy it for $36 RF and it's $200 Licensed (and yes you are correct it's the same as RM, just a different name) they will go buy someones else RF photo and you'll get nothing. License the photos according to the type of content.

If it has copyrighted subjects or people with no model release or anything like that, just make it Editorial. You've done your job and the buyer is responsible for the end use.


Thanks for the editing tips. Would the extra effort of putting some in 'essential' keywords help a lot in the search process, or just copy everything across to main keywords? There's a tighter limit on the number of 'essential' keywords we can put.

By Editorial, I guess you mean applying restrictions on all but 'Editorial' use. Correct?

Cheers,
PTLee


Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 10:33 »
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Your keywords are ranked and the search has more importance on where they appear. By all means use the most important (50 characters) in the Main box. It's not much space but these are high priority #1.

Then the next down is Essential, lets say that's ranked #2 (300 characters), and finally #3 is Comprehensive (856 characters), which is also the public view of keywords. Although Alamy says Caption (128) and Location (100) are "very Low" they appear to be searched about the same as Comprehensive. Description is not searched at all. (use to be, but since some people junked it up with cut and paste of long "descriptions") now it's not searched. (2000 characters)

You don't need to have anything in the Comprehensive box at all if you can fit it all in the Essential, and it's ranked higher in the search.

For those who care about views and zooms and rank, if you spam up your keywords with concepts and objects that aren't the main focus of the image, you will get loads of views, no zooms and your rank will drop like a rock. Careful appropriate keywords are important. Alamy also has been coming down on too many similars. One guy was so funny, he would mash the shutter at a function with a celebrity and upload everything. Then he came to the forum asking why Alamy wasn't taking his photos anymore?  ::) They also have been handing out vacations to people with high numbers of rejections to cut down on review loads.

Take some time and explore on Alamy, they have detailed help files that explain how everything works.  http://alamy.com/terms.asp

As for the most asked question, which comes up on the forums over and over, even though it's a sticky up on top...  ;D Resizing images for Alamy and what they want.

Quote
* Convert your image into a 8 bit Tiff file (save as, Tiff)

* In an image editing program such as Photoshop, upsize the image to a minimum of 48MB. (If you make your longest side 5200 pixels and keep it in proportion to the shortest size, this should give you a file size of just over 50MB)

* Make any alterations as needed, inspect the image carefully at 100%

* At the very last step save your image as a Jpeg and send us that Jpeg. Remember, the Jpeg is the compressed size so this will typically be between 3MB-15MB


Level 10 works fine, you don't have to go to Level 12.

I know you didn't have the size question, but others read the forums.

Here's a really great video of the 2007 contributor meeting. It covers views and zooms and ranking and what sells and how many sales and all kinds of interesting things.

http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2008/01.aspx




Thanks for the editing tips. Would the extra effort of putting some in 'essential' keywords help a lot in the search process, or just copy everything across to main keywords? There's a tighter limit on the number of 'essential' keywords we can put.

By Editorial, I guess you mean applying restrictions on all but 'Editorial' use. Correct?

Cheers,
PTLee



Yes, most of my photos are public events with no model releases, many logo items, sanctioning bodies, advertising and copyright restrictions, so I just go Editorial and I'm done.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 11:00 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2009, 11:37 »
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I am a bit annoyed that Alamy search is picking keywords inside composed keywords.

For instance, a search for "american airlines" resulted in two of my images showing.  I have the keyword "airline" in them, but not american.  I have however "south american" in my keywords, and I guess that's where the "american" was picked. 

I wonder if such false results may affect my ranking, as my images were obviously not what the buyer wanted.

« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2009, 11:43 »
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I am a bit annoyed that Alamy search is picking keywords inside composed keywords.

For instance, a search for "american airlines" resulted in two of my images showing.  I have the keyword "airline" in them, but not american.  I have however "south american" in my keywords, and I guess that's where the "american" was picked. 

I wonder if such false results may affect my ranking, as my images were obviously not what the buyer wanted.

Hi there, I have always thought that the whole ranking system in Alamy does not work. This is just my opinion and is not based on any real data. But to me it is impossible to gain any real information when so few images get sold based on the overall size of their collection. Without information you can't rank. You can attempt to but I doubt it is meaningful. Look at all the problems on micro where there are tons of individual sales. Most agencies can't really get right.

« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2009, 16:19 »
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You cant change RF to RM directly.  If it has not sold you can delete it, reupload it and assign it a different licence, but it takes tooo much time.

Also, it is not necessary to assign the restrictions to achieve an editorial use only (but with few images you can do it).  I always use the "For Editorial Use Only" on the description, has worked for me.  The problem with restrictions is that they are cumbersome to set, especially with hundreds of images.

« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2009, 09:57 »
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Some things mentioned here about RM/RF sales ratio and series do not apply - at least for me.

So far I'm selling far more RF at Alamy than RM maybe 10/1 ratio. So to say that RM is the way to go at Alamy is nonsense. It only depends on your portfolio - not the agency.

Screw their ranking system. A buyer is looking for an image and will look as long as necessary until he finds it. If you have that image with adequate keywords you will get the sale period.

I sold abstract images where it's sometimes hard to find keywords and yet buyers found them.

@ OP - You're still far away from the photographers that upload 20 images of the same subject with minimal framing changes. I don't think it's too bad in your case.

You definitely need to get more images online. Come back once you have 2000 images with them, then we talk about sales.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2009, 11:23 »
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I am a bit annoyed that Alamy search is picking keywords inside composed keywords.

For instance, a search for "american airlines" resulted in two of my images showing.  I have the keyword "airline" in them, but not american.  I have however "south american" in my keywords, and I guess that's where the "american" was picked. 

I wonder if such false results may affect my ranking, as my images were obviously not what the buyer wanted.
Not only that, but the Alamy search is still picking works out of the description. For instance, yesterday I had a view on one of my images under a search including Christmas.  The buyer would rightfully have been annoyed at it being there. Christmas isn't one of the keywords, but it is relevant in the description, so I had it there.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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