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Author Topic: Hello all and question about ending exclusivity at Dreamstime  (Read 6886 times)

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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 13:46 »

My 2c:

I found it took about 9 months to get back above where I was at with DT before I left.  SS didn't have the option to pre-upload (or I didn't know about it) so it is hard to say, but I do feel like uploading regularly on SS helps.  New uploads only have exposure for so long - so I might hold back a few weeks of uploads to keep yourself in the search engine...  My income on DT dropped to about 50-60% of what it was before, and has never fallen below 48% of my total income across all agencies.  So if DT income is 50% of what I make now, and income fell by a similar amount, it is unlikely that I'm doing a whole lot better as a non-exclusive (I'm doing better revenue wise, but the numbers also tell me DT is driving a large part of that).  Still, I'm happy I made the choice as it has opened up some other options for me, and in theory I'm less dependent on one site and their decisions.  I made more in 2012 than in 2011, despite months of earning less than before as an exclusive - so it did work out (or at least didn't hurt me).

If you follow my thinking, you'll go through a few phases:

1. Initial excitement at getting sales at lots of sites.
2. Boredom as you learn the ropes and get your uploads up.
3. Regret as your monthly income doesn't match what you made before.  Anger at a 9c sale.
4. Resolve to work harder and prove that the decision was the right one!
5. Fun, as you realize that some of your ideas that are rejected on DT are accepted elsewhere.
6. Satisfaction when you finally get back to previous income levels (and gloss over the months where you did worse!).
7. Mixed feelings - if you had just put in the extra effort when on DT only, would you be doing better, and spending less time on keywording/uploading and more time on photos?

Bottom line - you'll likely never know if it was the right choice, but if you work hard at it you are likely to continue to increase your income...  You are doing well on DT, so unfortunately that means (in my opinion) that you are not going to see the "promised" 10x gains that others talk about.  #4 in my list is the important one - if you step up your effort you WILL earn more, exclusive or non-exclusive.  As a non-exclusive it is a bit easier to step up the effort as pretty much every image you create will get accepted somewhere and keep you going.  If you decide that you will do better as a non-exclusive you will if you work towards that goal!

Great post Megastock!  Although I have never been exclusive, this sounds like a very good blueprint for what to expect as an indie to me :)

Just wanted to add, if it hasn't been brought up before, that other sites do not have the "too many similars" rejection that DT does, so Brett may find that he can upload larger numbers of images from past shoots.  That should boost his portfolio size considerably.

Thanks :)  Interestingly, I have not found it to be the case that DT's similar policy results in few images.  It could be that I happen to have a style that doesn't run me in the policy, but in the last three months my AR on DT has been 100%, and lower on every other site.  Since I went indie, I've tracked a few  batches or time periods and there is no conclusion I can draw on how to maximize income.  For example, one batch of photos resulted in 55 images online at DT and 28 at SS, and DT has earned me 60% more consistently for 9 months now.  Yet a different batch (my photos from summer 2012) are the opposite - 3x the earnings on SS.

Unlike many who post on these boards, I seem to still be quite successful on DT, and have a hard time getting a foothold on the other sites.  My income on SS has risen steadily for a year then fell in half last month.  Looking at poll results on the right, my first 3 would be DT, SS and 123RF - so I'm clearly not the typical person here :)

I personally think that those who get their start on DT like I did, have done a lot better there than the average person does, and learned to work around the similar policy, etc.  That turns out to not translate very well to other sites, so to really do well as a indie it takes a real change in your style.  I think Brett will find he ends up at 50% to 100% more income after a year or two if it works at it...  But who knows ?  I left some of my older best sellers on DT as Exclusive files, so that may be helping my search placement to some degree.  Same goes for keywording.  As an exclusive you can really tailor your keywords and so on for maximum benefit, but as an indie it is a tradeoff between maximum earning and time spent.  DT keywording habits don't lend themselves to other sites as they don't support keyword phrases, and you have to include plurals and alternate spellings.  Some sites care about order, etc.  So even if you did DT with IPTC, you probably have a lot of work ahead of you.  That is the other danger of uploading everything to SS up front.  I think you want to be * sure you understand good keywording on SS before you commit your whole portfolio.

In case anyone cares, I've got about 3000 images up at DT, 1000-2000 at most other sites now.  I'm not hiding, but just prefer to not have my musing on MSG appear in a Google search on my name :)

« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 16:28 »
Thanks all :)  Does anyone know if building this off line port can go against you, I mean if newer images get a kind of showcase placement, could my offline port miss this whilst they just sit there and when they do become live have missed the boat.  Stuff to do and sort, will report back :)

Someone else jump in here - but didn't someone else do this a while back, built up a huge port and then turned it on one day and it was so low in the search that it was barely noticed?  I don't know, but aren't you better to pass the inspection first and then begin to upload and submit for approval at once so they don't fall behind?

I have some recollection of that.  I actually believe the mythical "newbie bonus" does actually exist and may not happen for folks who get their stuff approved but unavailable for sale.  Hard for old timers to comment as it's a once off and a long time ago for most. 


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