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Author Topic: Reaching a certain level !  (Read 7079 times)

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lagereek

« on: July 27, 2010, 11:24 »
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It seems that in Micro same as in RM and RF, you reach a certain level, youve uploaded thousands of shots, etc, reached perhaps the highest status and level and then it stagnates, it stays at a certain level and it seems impossible to earn more, no matter how much you upload.
Has anybody experienced this? although earnings are good it just seems to stay at that.
We are told to upload and upload forever, new pics seem to end up last in searches, how are the buyers, etc, ever going to see them? or are we relying on buyers that have the time to spend hours, all the way to the end pages? dont think so.
This must be a real dilema for every agency. How to make buyers aware of new shining material.

just food for thought really.


microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 11:39 »
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It seems that in Micro same as in RM and RF, you reach a certain level, youve uploaded thousands of shots, etc, reached perhaps the highest status and level and then it stagnates, it stays at a certain level and it seems impossible to earn more, no matter how much you upload.
Has anybody experienced this? although earnings are good it just seems to stay at that.

I've been doing microstock for about 3 years and I've not experienced this (yet) but heard many telling so. They call it 'hitting the wall' or 'hitting the ceiling'...

Not sure what the reason is. Probably a combination of many, both internal (at photographer's level) and external (at site / world economy level)

- it's harder to increase port by the same % as number of pics in port grows;
- it's difficult to stay completely unique (photos are somehow similar and keywords reused);
- photographers are less motivated to find new ideas in stock as novelty is over, and earnings are already good;
- buyers' and photographers' number are not growing at the same rate;
- agency portfolio is growing more than photographer's;
and many many more...
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 11:50 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 12:08 »
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I have reached the very top level. That's the level when you realize that you'll never get rich in this micro stock business.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 12:18 »
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I have reached the very top level. That's the level when you realize that you'll never get rich in this micro stock business.

Never thought that possible (getting rich)! I am already happy to live freed from employment.

lagereek

« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 12:53 »
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No you never get rich although many stock-shooters with the Image-Bank throughout the 80s earned a fortune but ofcourse that was in RM.
Hitting the Wall!  actually that sounds very possible and I know many who are there right now, in stock photography that is

abimages

« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 15:57 »
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I have reached the very top level. That's the level when you realize that you'll never get rich in this micro stock business.

Hey, nobody ever got rich doing a regular job either! I've made a living for thirty odd years as a photographer. Am I rich? No. Would I have prefered to do anything else for a living. No Way! :)

« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 22:14 »
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I think I may have hit the wall. Been in this business since 2006, and I haven't been able to grow my earnings for the past year.

« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2010, 22:37 »
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I wonder if it's hitting the wall or it's more that there is so much more competition than there used to be? I don't know really - but I "hit the wall" about 2 years ago - my newer stuff does not sell much even though it is better in every way than my older images - and my older images continue to sell and sell - go figure? Suffice it to say, it's hard to get motivated to keep uploading ... Then again maybe it's the search functions too? Or buyers are more inclined to go with images that have sold well in a sort of herd mentality kind of way? Whatever it is, I cannot figure it out!

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2010, 22:54 »
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Or buyers are more inclined to go with images that have sold well in a sort of herd mentality kind of way?

This may be part of it. I think it was Yuri who said his research showed buyers mostly search by downloads and pick one of the popular ones. It's the "everybody else is buying it so it must be good" decision making process. Quick and painless. If that's true than unless people are shooting something spectacular or underserved, new files have a pretty slim chance of taking off.

I think it's a combination of a bunch of things - economy, plateaued demand, more competition/saturation, etc.

One thing I've noticed along with a drop in sales starting in May, it that my downloads pretty much stop at 10AM every day. Sales are going from 10PM to 10AM which tells me they're non-North American buyers. My sales used to go all day. What happened to US buyers?

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2010, 23:04 »
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I have reached the very top level. That's the level when you realize that you'll never get rich in this micro stock business.

I never expected to get rich. I was hoping it could be my primary income or at least a significant backup. I'm beginning to wonder if either of those are realistic at this point.

« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 23:21 »
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quote]

I think it's a combination of a bunch of things - economy, plateaued demand, more competition/saturation, etc.


I agree with you .... a whole bunch of reasons ...

lagereek

« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 00:14 »
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Yep!  One would have thought that at least the major Agencies would by now have worked out a plan of HOW to promote the newer stuff being uploaded, still keeping best-sellers, etc in front? but since they accept a gazillion new contributors, no matter what crap they shoot, Agencies are getting their cake and eating it. So why should they bother.

« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 05:45 »
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I had the same problem with macro - stagnating, then diminshing sales. The glory days were over. Reason was more deals with specific agencies, more competition (caused by digital cameras!) smaller budgets for uses etc. I had my network of agents and own newspaper customer base, but it was tough.

My temporary fix was micro,  whole lot of new markets and possibilites. Again the early years were good, now steady. What it did teach me was there was a huge demand for pictures other than the Eiffel tower or stressed businessman. A lot of the ideas gleaned from micro top sellers have been able to translate back over to macro bolstering sales there.

Selling stock is all about evaluating where you are selling in to. Assuming you do all you can to produce sellable material of good quaility, then analyze where you are sending it. There's only a handful of decent micro agencies, Alamy success's have been well documented, so where else?

I sell direct to the media and have a network of agencies in various countries representing my work. All these revenue streams add up.

My advice to anyone who want's to make money is to diversify their portfolio and have more outlets than only micro will provide.

Oldhand

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 08:21 »
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Yep!  One would have thought that at least the major Agencies would by now have worked out a plan of HOW to promote the newer stuff being uploaded, still keeping best-sellers, etc in front? but since they accept a gazillion new contributors, no matter what crap they shoot, Agencies are getting their cake and eating it. So why should they bother.

I'd agree. They should put newer files toward the front along with popular files. If it's a good image it will start selling, become popular, and stay at the front. If it doesn't start selling after a couple or three weeks start moving it down in the search.

I also think contributor performance should somehow be factored in. If a contributor has good sales performance it probably means they're submitting quality sellable images and should be given preference. If they have really poor sales performance over a long period of time it may indicate they're submitting crap and/or aren't learning to improve. This might help to keep poor images from the front. And will start weeding out people who are submitting stuff that isn't up to par.

ShadySue

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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2010, 08:45 »
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I also think contributor performance should somehow be factored in. If a contributor has good sales performance it probably means they're submitting quality sellable images and should be given preference. If they have really poor sales performance over a long period of time it may indicate they're submitting crap and/or aren't learning to improve. This might help to keep poor images from the front. And will start weeding out people who are submitting stuff that isn't up to par.
They did this heavily a few months back on iStock (promoted small port/high sales ratio). It didn't work out because some of these files were very badly keyworded, so the keyword relevancy went out of the window. (on the model that if a photo of an apple was keyworded apple, pear, plum, it was appearing highly in searches for plums).

« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2010, 11:09 »
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I'd agree. They should put newer files toward the front along with popular files. If it's a good image it will start selling, become popular, and stay at the front. If it doesn't start selling after a couple or three weeks start moving it down in the search.

I also think contributor performance should somehow be factored in. If a contributor has good sales performance it probably means they're submitting quality sellable images and should be given preference. If they have really poor sales performance over a long period of time it may indicate they're submitting crap and/or aren't learning to improve. This might help to keep poor images from the front. And will start weeding out people who are submitting stuff that isn't up to par.

Is this not what Shutterstock do? It is the only site that we get downloads the same day we get our photo approve.
As far I know, no other site do this for me. And of course, no surprise I have the most download with Shutterstock.
But this only from my perspective.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2010, 23:03 »
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I'd agree. They should put newer files toward the front along with popular files. If it's a good image it will start selling, become popular, and stay at the front. If it doesn't start selling after a couple or three weeks start moving it down in the search. I also think contributor performance should somehow be factored in. If a contributor has good sales performance it probably means they're submitting quality sellable images and should be given preference. If they have really poor sales performance over a long period of time it may indicate they're submitting crap and/or aren't learning to improve. This might help to keep poor images from the front. And will start weeding out people who are submitting stuff that isn't up to par.
Is this not what Shutterstock do? It is the only site that we get downloads the same day we get our photo approve. As far I know, no other site do this for me. And of course, no surprise I have the most download with Shutterstock.But this only from my perspective.

I'm not sure how SS works. They seem to give extreme preference to new files.

Oddly, today was a huge day for me in both downloads and dollars. The biggest day I've had since May. Maybe I should complain more.  ;D


 

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