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Author Topic: Alamy strange keywording requirements  (Read 11456 times)

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Phadrea

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« on: June 18, 2013, 04:29 »
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having just been accepted at Alamy I am finding, even with keywords encrypted into my metadata the file editing is going to be a long long haul. Most sites just require you to select the categories and Bob's your uncle. Alamy require a 3 tier keywording, caption, description AND other info. As this will slow things right down my question is will it be worth it as regard sales and income ? If not I will keep adding here and there. If it isn't as good earner as canstock, DT I won't bother as the latter are poor sellers for me.


« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 04:39 »
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I've been uploading to Alamy for a year now and average just under 100$ a month.  I think it's worth the extra effort just to see some of the higher priced sales.  Most of my sales have been 29$ or 27$
 sales of which I get 40% but I love to see the occasional high one that has given me  a couple of hundred commission.  I do tend to take a while to go in and finish them off after approval especially as for some reason they never carry all my keywords over so I have to go to the image and get the keywords again.
eta I've just had a look and average commision for me is 18$
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 04:41 by fotografer »

Phadrea

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 06:43 »
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How many files do you have with them?

« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 07:56 »
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I've been submitting there for about 1.5 years and have made some sales, but far less than fotographer reported per month.  Their system is a nuisance, but not all of those fields are required.  I put the most important 7-8 keywords at the front, so it is easy to copy the first 50 characters and put them into the most important keywords (also useful for ft and panthermedia).  Just leave the rest in the main keywords, unless they won't fit.  Sometimes it reads the title correctly and sometimes not, so I just copy and paste from an Excel spreadsheet when necessary.  I mostly ignore all of the other information - not sure if that hurts sales.

When I first started I had a couple of decent sales in the $60-$96 range (my part), but over the past year all of my sales have netted me from 50 cents to a little over $10 each.  I am doing en experiment to test whether it is better to submit editorial-type images as RF editorial on the micros or RM Alamy.  Different images of course so it's not a direct test but similar subjects often shot on subsequent days.  So far RF editorial sells OK on the micros, but no RM sales yet at Alamy.  It's still a small sample so will continue for another few months.  All of my sales on Alamy have been RF, the same images available on the micros and it's surprising which ones sell.

The additional time to upload to Alamy is small once you get used to their system and the occasional large sale is nice so I think it's worth it.  I do make more on CanStock and Dt than on Alamy but have far fewer images - too much trouble to upload all of my older images.

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 08:06 »
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Alamy keywording is a major PITA, and it's hard to say if it's worth it, as these are RM files I'm not submitting anywhere else.

You need to be quite careful as although they hae the essential main and others, in fact any combination of keywords can be looked for in a search. Also be aware that words in your caption can also be found in a search. So you can end up having your files found on totally irrelevant search results, which will hit your CTR and thus your Alamy Rank. To some extent, we are all hit this way; but if you can somehow avoid it, your AR will be better.

Phadrea

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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 09:32 »
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Sounds like it won't be worth it as I only sell RF, not exclusive. :(

« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 10:13 »
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Sounds like it won't be worth it as I only sell RF, not exclusive. :(
Mine are all RF and the same images I upload to all the other sites. My highest sale netted me over 200$ and could have been had from any of a dozen other sites  as a sub sale.

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 10:15 »
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Sounds like it won't be worth it as I only sell RF, not exclusive. :(
RM at Alamy doesn't need to be exclusive, you can also sell the files at any other non-exclusive RM outlet. You just can't sell RM at Alamy and RF elsewhere.

Ron

« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 11:36 »
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Alamy wrote me an email today and I am just flabbergasted by the secrets they gave away on how to sell more images. I had never thought of this:

How to sell more images   

 
Hi Ronald
 
The fastest way to improve your chances of making a sale is to check your keywords.
Technique (top tips to get the best out of the system):
   Use spaces to separate keywords
   Add plurals if you think they're relevant - flower and flowers
   Add words with the same meaning - mum, mom and mother
   Make sure your keywords are relevant (our system is clever - irrelevant keywords will make your images harder to find)
Language (think about the words youre using):
   Literally - what's in my image? dog, car, woman, man, child, flower
   Attributes - what does my image show? happy, calm, young, old
   Locations - where is my image?
   Specific - what's my image of? The White House, Washington DC, USA
   Generic - what's my image of? house, school, office
   Interaction - what's happening in my image? running, walking, shouting, touching, flying
   Broad subjects - what's the subject of my image? travel, sport, business, lifestyle, wildlife
   Techniques - have you used any specific techniques? black and white, digital manipulation, grainy, blurred

And finally, one aspect of keywording that is often overlooked by contributors is:
   Concepts - moods, emotions and metaphors - heat, power, happiness, strength, humour, teamwork, tranquillity
Think like a buyer! What would you search for?


It is completely beyond me how such a large and professional agency can write me such a overabundant email with absolutely nothing clever to say. Thats an email for the newest of newbies. Not for the type of contributor that submits to Alamy.

« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:52 »
+1
I've never understood Alamy's keywording and description system - the 3 keyword tiers and all that.  Too tedious and arcane.   I just put all my keywords in 'main', copy a few to 'essential' and hope for the best. 

Ron

« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 12:17 »
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Ever since I started to follow their rules of keywording and had been adding more images, my CTR dropped from around 0.5 to 0.14. So I wont sell a thing ever again there. sales were picking up but it seems my port is completely hidden now. No zooms, no sales.

« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 15:50 »
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Ever since I started to follow their rules of keywording and had been adding more images, my CTR dropped from around 0.5 to 0.14. So I wont sell a thing ever again there. sales were picking up but it seems my port is completely hidden now. No zooms, no sales.

Their system is now too complicated for the human mind. 

Phadrea

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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 16:47 »
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Why do they need a description twice ? brief description in caption and another description on the next page.

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 16:55 »
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.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 17:04 by ShadySue »

« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 16:57 »
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I think it's just if you have more information than will fit into 128 characters.  I use it if I have digitally modified an image then I put the modification there in case anyone wants to know.  Otherwise just skip it.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2013, 17:14 »
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I think it's just if you have more information than will fit into 128 characters.  I use it if I have digitally modified an image then I put the modification there in case anyone wants to know.  Otherwise just skip it.

Yes, deleted my too-hasty post above.
Definitely for more information.

Also very useful for news images.
Say you were shooting a crowd waiting for the Queen to appear on the balcony at Buck House.
Your News Caption (which can be much longer than a regular caption) could be something like:
A London crowd of several thousand people surround the Victoria Fountain and spill down the Mall and Constitution hill outside Buckingham Palace in central London, England, UK to see Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of  ....... on (date).
However, Maj isn't actually in the photo, but as it's in the caption, it's searchable by buyers wanting a photo of "The Queen".
So after the event is not longer hot news, it's good to go back in and move the 'bits you can't see' into the description, which isn't searchable.
This would also apply to other explanations about a photo that help to contextualise an image for buyers, but shouldn't be searchable.

I don't use it very often, but it's very useful when I need it!


« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2013, 18:27 »
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For you Alamy experts: what's the best way to keyword a phrase?  Take for example a travel photo of Santa Barbara.  If you enter the city name as two separate words, I imagine someone searching just for "Santa" wouldn't appreciate having to wade through photos of the city.  Do you use quotation marks for keyword phrases on Alamy? 

« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2013, 18:56 »
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Do you use quotation marks for keyword phrases on Alamy?
When they have an unrelated meaning separately, yes. Like you said, "Santa Barbara". But not, for instance, for Copacabana Beach, as either word is correctly associated with the subject.

However, they don't isolate the phrases. Santa will still be picked, in your example. Perhaps it makes a difference in relevance.

« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2013, 21:26 »
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At one point they said they would link words together with [] like [santa barbara]. As far as I can tell that never happened. It would be a pain to go back and include that, but it could potentially greatly improve their search.


« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2013, 00:19 »
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My average commission is rather good, considering the times, and this is probably a big reason why: when potential buyer 'g images' any of my A files, they're available only on my site & perhaps other macro site.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 19:12 by ann »

Phadrea

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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2013, 08:51 »
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If only they let you pre-set the attributes as a tenplate as well as able to copy and paste from images that are similar like Dreamstime lets you do.

Ron

« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2013, 09:49 »
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If only they let you pre-set the attributes as a tenplate as well as able to copy and paste from images that are similar like Dreamstime lets you do.
They have a batch editor, which works better then the tedious DT editor

« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2013, 14:15 »
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I just wish they'd fix a few simple things.  We're always hearing about big plans, new marketing, suggestions for how contributors could do better;  but hey if the site would just put the keywords in 'main' by default- so we didn't have to do that mindless cut-and-paste on every image, every time...

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2013, 09:55 »
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Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2013, 10:02 »
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Well I have nearly 200 images with them but no sales as yet  :-\
I was 8 months and over 800 images before I had a sale.


 

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