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Author Topic: iofoto interview on John Lund  (Read 21274 times)

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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2010, 12:09 »
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I don't think Photoshelter will be it, but my guess/hope is that someone offers a bundle of merchant services along the lines of amazon's for third party merchants who have "stores" at amazon.com. I don't think there'd be much chance of getting every photographer to become an expert in building a web site themselves. That scenario would require paying them something for the service, but possibly less than the large cut currently going to the microstock agencies.

And if it were Google doing it, at least we'd have a working search engine :)

Of course it could also be an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire situation, where it's a change of distributor but still very little control.

Well, there are a lot of companies vying for this market (Photoshelter, Clustershot, Photodeck, Ktools, Pixaria, StockBoxPhoto & more) Some are pre-built and some are do it yourself. The demand seems minimal for all of them, so I don't think any large company like Google or Amazon would bother to penetrate this market. I think people like to talk about running their own site, but don't really want to actually do it.  :)


donding

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« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2010, 14:15 »
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It's a lot of work if you do it yourself. You got to keep it updated and that takes time for the maintenance of the site. It's not that hard to set one up...it's just the time involved keeping it updated.

« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2010, 14:33 »
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It's a lot of work if you do it yourself. You got to keep it updated and that takes time for the maintenance of the site. It's not that hard to set one up...it's just the time involved keeping it updated.

That was kind of my point. Nobody really wants to do the work, but they want all the rewards. Do I see an earn millions with your snapshots and a little html skills website in the works? ;D

« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2010, 17:01 »
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The real problem with your own website is how to drive traffic to it. Not as easy as some might think.

« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2010, 17:26 »
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The real problem with your own website is how to drive traffic to it. Not as easy as some might think.
Operating independently, that's true. But following from Ron's comment in the interview, suppose a search engine giant like Google served up the images and collected the cash and paid us royalties. People go to search engines to find things. They only go to microstock agencies 'cause that's how you make the purchase today. The old days of custom research and knowing what images might meet a client's needs are gone. If the search engine could easily deliver both paid and free content and process the transaction when it was paid, I think buyers would find that useful.

The back end of maintaining standards (legal, model release, avoiding copyright infringement, etc.) isn't trivial, but I'll bet someone with deep pockets who wanted this business could work something out with one of the existing agencies to be an outsourced processing "shop".

It'll be interesting to watch and see how things develop over the next few years.

« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2010, 17:39 »
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The real problem with your own website is how to drive traffic to it. Not as easy as some might think.
Operating independently, that's true. But following from Ron's comment in the interview, suppose a search engine giant like Google served up the images and collected the cash and paid us royalties. People go to search engines to find things.

Exactly. Google or Amazon, both of them would have the means to get sufficient traffic.


jbarber873

« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2010, 18:02 »
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The real problem with your own website is how to drive traffic to it. Not as easy as some might think.
Operating independently, that's true. But following from Ron's comment in the interview, suppose a search engine giant like Google served up the images and collected the cash and paid us royalties. People go to search engines to find things.

Exactly. Google or Amazon, both of them would have the means to get sufficient traffic.

That's true. Google has the means, but they would rather let you pay them per click. I never thought about Amazon, which is on track to take about 15% share of retail sales  in the next few years, according to Gartner Research Partners. The problem is as was noted before, how to keep people honest about rights, releases, ownership. Driving the traffic to a website by search only really works when you have unique content, like you specialize in Polar bears or something.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2010, 19:07 »
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I have a website but no galleries or e-commerce capability.  I'm thinking this could lead to  an increase in the way John at Cutcaster and I do business -- I get a call looking for an image from a race in Switzerland in 1982.  I find the image and post it to a Lightbox (if it isn't already there) in Cutcaster; give John a heads up and the clients name.  He takes care of licensing and collecting the money.  I get a 50% split plus a referral fee.

Often, these are images found via Google searches.  They are linked to my Cutcaster lightbox (image) or, often, to a post in my blog.  Most deals are being done via telephone or email, based on the contact info at my website.

I would need to expand, considerably, my "exclusive" portfolio at Cutcaster but I can see this working.  I still lose a large percentage of the income but have more time for building a portfolio rather than constantly maintaining/updating my website and the hassle of collecting fees and monitoring license violations.

If Cutcaster was more popular, I would have committed to this process long ago.

PS:  the key to indexing is personal blog posts -- blog posts and cutcaster links to "social media sites."  Do a Google search on "motocross legends."  It has helped to receive over 3600 views and several hundred dollars in sales.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 19:20 by WarrenPrice »

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2010, 21:29 »
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The real problem with your own website is how to drive traffic to it. Not as easy as some might think.

It's not easy but if you know SEO and have a website platform that's SEO optimized it's entirely possible.

But are serious buyers really using search engines frequently enough to drive some decent sales volume?

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2010, 21:55 »
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  I've had a site on Photoshelter for a few months now, and I have to say they make it pretty easy to do sales, although there is still the problem of getting people to the website. When you set up the site, they have certain things they try to guide you on for SEO. I suppose it might help, but who knows? If you want, check out the site , and drive up my traffic numbers!    [url=http://www.expresspix.com]http://www.expresspix.com] [url]http://www.expresspix.com]http://www.expresspix.com]http://www.expresspix.com] [url]http://www.expresspix.com[/url]

Good to know.  Are you making enough sales there to justify the effort in uploading and getting setup?


I also am (slowly) setting up a Photoshelter site. No sales but I'm not really expecting any yet either.

I'm just starting to prepare a boat for the search engine flood that people like Dan Heller, John Lund, and iofoto are expecting to happen. Stock is big money and somebody with an innovative new model is going to tap into it. SEO takes months or even years to build up and if a big shift happens where Google search somehow becomes a main method of purchasing stock in a few years I'd like to be ready for it.

If you look at Google images, notice all of the stock-ish features. Search by size, color, orientation, etc.

Something's brewing.

RacePhoto

« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2010, 23:46 »
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Maybe everyone should read the whole article/interview again and take notes. It's so full of good information, it would take a couple of slow readings to find most of the wisdom.

Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "

All the SEO tricks and books and blogs will also need to address another obvious problem. Using a simple example, the number of Diamond and Black diamond on IS is 800. Now the optimist here says, well, I can use Photoshelter and Google and make some web pages and raise my ranking. Well maybe, but with 800 people all doing the same thing, it starts to become an interesting logic problem. I mean 800 people can't all be on the front page with a top rank... can they? :D

If someone acquires several hundred websites and domains, which all point to their main site, they are going to be first, and what chance does someone small have? Say there are 50 groups or agencies, doing the same thing, which will insure they are on the top few pages. See what's going on here? All the reading and theoretical planning, joining the right places, and making a great little website, is never going to put you up top!

At this point, 50 people competing for top rank, and 800 people competing for high rank. It's a stampede to the top and the small sites will be flattened. Or maybe some of you want to buy several hundred domain names and run that many websites, in order to get a good search rank for you photos.  ???

This may not be the ultimate solution, but it's mine. Find a specialty or favorite niche and concentrate on that.

and please don't take mine. ;)

rubyroo

« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2010, 07:55 »
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800 people can't all be on the front page with a top rank... can they? :D

That's exactly what I've been pondering on...  Also, how would we know what buyers are looking for?  How could we keep track of competitive pricing?  Would we just individually end up on a 'race to the bottom' if others were undercutting our own prices in a similar genre and taking our business from under us?

As you say, in that scenario, finding a niche may be the best option.  But then... what if someone else enters the same niche at same quality, cheaper price?  What if a 'one-person-niche' operation suddenly finds itself pitted against one of the image factories that we know so well?

On balance, I'd rather stick with the agency model - but would obviously prefer for the agencies to work towards giving us a more respectful commission for our time, creative thought processes,  skills, costs, and contribution.  Just as we accept their need for a cut for their admin, infrastructure, expertise, market knowledge, experience, legal nouse etc.  I'm happy with the division of labour as it is, I just want proper financial acknowledgement for my part in the process.

molka

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« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2010, 07:56 »
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You mean SEO need to adress the problem that there's competition for top placement?  8)
Micro sites already have converted pic-title URLs so they try to use google too. No way that someone's personal site gonna beat their PR, if it's only about microstock. If there's something esle.. It's possible. Stock is preatty obscure small dot compared to net-hyped stuff's numbers. Even kids commentating starcraft matches beat it

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2010, 08:23 »
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These are my preferred quote from the interview:

"Stock can provide a lifestyle that offers creativity and flexibility."
...
"Business is just a game we need to play so that we can enjoy our lifestyle"

I'd rather not turn to assignments even if they were more profitable: for me stock means travelling, freedom, and expecially not having to meet clients
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 08:32 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

donding

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« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2010, 11:04 »
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It's a lot of work if you do it yourself. You got to keep it updated and that takes time for the maintenance of the site. It's not that hard to set one up...it's just the time involved keeping it updated.

That was kind of my point. Nobody really wants to do the work, but they want all the rewards. Do I see an earn millions with your snapshots and a little html skills website in the works? ;D

Yeah now all the sites will say "Make millions on you snap shots by learning html skills" only 29.95 if you order within the next five minutes.....don't miss out on this once in a life time offer!!!

Now everyone will be taking web development classes rather than photography classes.

donding

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« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2010, 11:09 »
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Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "



I noticed that but didn't give it much thought. I think there is someway to link all those sites to you main site. If you notice you put in a similar domain name...it will take you to the main site with the correct domain...not the one you typed in. I don't know how it is done but it can be done and I don't know if all those domain names would have to be maintained or just links put in them. The key word there is "natural "type-in"


molka

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« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2010, 11:14 »
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Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "



I noticed that but didn't give it much thought. I think there is someway to link all those sites to you main site. If you notice you put in a similar domain name...it will take you to the main site with the correct domain...not the one you typed in. I don't know how it is done but it can be done and I don't know if all those domain names would have to be maintained or just links put in them. The key word there is "natural "type-in"

you don't have to link anything, the same thing can run on several domain names. domain name =/= place of hosting.

donding

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« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2010, 11:18 »
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Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "



I noticed that but didn't give it much thought. I think there is someway to link all those sites to you main site. If you notice you put in a similar domain name...it will take you to the main site with the correct domain...not the one you typed in. I don't know how it is done but it can be done and I don't know if all those domain names would have to be maintained or just links put in them. The key word there is "natural "type-in"

you don't have to link anything, the same thing can run on several domain names. domain name =/= place of hosting.

Thanks for the explanation. I knew there was some way to do it but didn't know how.

« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2010, 11:20 »
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Quote from: donding
Now everyone will be taking web development classes rather than photography classes.

It's always been about the marketing.

molka

    This user is banned.
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2010, 11:27 »
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Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "



I noticed that but didn't give it much thought. I think there is someway to link all those sites to you main site. If you notice you put in a similar domain name...it will take you to the main site with the correct domain...not the one you typed in. I don't know how it is done but it can be done and I don't know if all those domain names would have to be maintained or just links put in them. The key word there is "natural "type-in"

you don't have to link anything, the same thing can run on several domain names. domain name =/= place of hosting.

Thanks for the explanation. I knew there was some way to do it but didn't know how.

another thing ppl do is get a bunch of domains and sites just to fill them with links to their business, trying to structure it in a way that doesn't alarm the google bots. I know many who do it, and they are nailed to top 3 position in searhes related. It gives fast results, but it's hazardous, if you get caught of backlink spamming thru worthless content, you get deindexed, no quetsions asked, and your complaints go to dev/null forever. If you think dealing with microstock sites was painful, try google. They just behead your site and never-ever talk to you again.

RacePhoto

« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2010, 16:53 »
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Here's what stands out for me, that hasn't been discussed here yet.

"Over the past few years, we have also acquired several hundred generic domains to capture natural "type-in" traffic. "




I noticed that but didn't give it much thought. I think there is someway to link all those sites to you main site. If you notice you put in a similar domain name...it will take you to the main site with the correct domain...not the one you typed in. I don't know how it is done but it can be done and I don't know if all those domain names would have to be maintained or just links put in them. The key word there is "natural "type-in"


Yes, it's a simple script that forwards anyone to the main site. But another benefit from any dummy site is creating a page link which directs people to the main site (even if no one ever sees it) which will count as a page link to a site and raise the rank, because someone has a link to a site. If that's a bit muddled, just think of it this way.

Here's one of mine "<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="8; url=http://www.gizex.com/hodagrr">" right before the </head> command in your html. By the way, I'm a dinosaur and still do my web pages manually with Wordpad! This one shows the page for eight seconds, says the site has moved and you will automatically be forwarded, and then takes the viewer to the new site. It can be invisible, which you may not notice, you enter one site name, it takes you to another main page.

The more people who have a link to a page, (on their independent site), the higher the rank of that page. You can't just post 50 links on your own site, to someplace, it only counts as one. When one place I work for wanted to raise their rank, they asked everyone that knew them to post a link on their websites, and now for the search they wanted, they are one of the top three, if not number one. It works, it's simple, you don't need to take some scam class and pay money for someone to tell you how you can be number one. Along with the thousands of other people who will also be number one, after taking the class - Which Is Impossible! :(

Our referral links are an example, so if we still have them for places that pay nothing and give us nothing in return, we're just doing free advertising and SEO for them. Good reason for a micro site to offer referral bonuses for a short term and get the free boost.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 17:13 by RacePhoto »


 

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