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Author Topic: Seasonal swings  (Read 11532 times)

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« on: August 19, 2008, 12:01 »
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Given that there are seasonal swings in sales volumes, do many of you hold back submissions to coincide with the highs in sales?


« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 12:35 »
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You'd just be guessing. You never know when someone will choose your image for current or later use. The longer your image can be searched for the more downloads you'll get.

« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 21:38 »
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What exactly are the months with the high and low sales? Will September sales be better already? how much better is it?

« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 22:24 »
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26.5 % .

DanP68

« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 22:29 »
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Based on my spreadsheet from last year, Sean isn't too far off.   ;D

« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 00:31 »
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that's ok for me! i'm just new so hopefully il have that increase

« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 08:53 »
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You'd just be guessing. You never know when someone will choose your image for current or later use. The longer your image can be searched for the more downloads you'll get.

I agree. Tactics are futile in this business. Speed, volume and quality are all that matters.

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 10:00 »
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You'd just be guessing. You never know when someone will choose your image for current or later use. The longer your image can be searched for the more downloads you'll get.

I agree. Tactics are futile in this business. Speed, volume and quality are all that matters.

I agree up to a point.  But when it comes to holiday images I don't think it pays to upload them too far off season.  A couple of months in advance is the best time to upload holiday stuff (maybe 3 or 4 mos. for a biggie like Christmas). 

My first year doing this I uploaded Easter images the week of Easter and they weren't approved until after the holiday.  By the time the Easter season rolled around the next year they were buried in the search and didn't ever end up getting many sales. 

You could make the argument that maybe they were just lousy photos, but images from the same shoot uploaded the following year a couple of months before Easter did pretty well. 

So IMHO timing of holiday images is a factor.

jsnover

« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 11:13 »
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I agree with Lisa that holiday images (or anything that has a big seasonal spike like Christmas vs. steady year-round sales like business teams in the office) are a special case.

For most of the sites, getting some sales soonish after the image has been uploaded is a key to getting good search position (which is in turn important in getting sales unless you've got the only images for a particular subject).

Other than that, if you're spending a ton of time on something other than the quality of your images or your keywording, I think you're making a mistake.

« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 11:30 »
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I did some analysis using the "popular" search in Shutterstock and it looked to me, but I'm not 100% sure, that if a new image gets some downloads right after it's uploaded by the fact it sits in the newest images, it's more likely it stays up in the popular searches, thus becoming more popular and generating a positive feedback loop.

Given this like of reasoning, it doesnt look to me a bad idea to try to time the uploads in a period which is supposed to be a spike. How does it sound to you with more experiences?

It's one of the reasons I'm trying to gather stats (the other reason is that I'm a stats junkie).

« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 12:12 »
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I'll stand by my advice to load asap. The elements you need to "time" submissions go out the window when considering review times. For more approximate peak times such as Christmas and other holidays how do you judge that? Lead times may vary from a full year before use to "last minute panic" buying.  So much depends upon the size and sophistication of the designers' businesses. I believe that the sales from early uploads will easily outnumber those resulting from whatever peak times you might judge accurately. And you can never get back those lost sales to whomever has uploaded a suitable image before you. Images, like cash, have a certain time value.

And users can always sort by age or newest first and still find newer images easily.

« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 22:28 »
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I get a lot of the last minute panic buyers, sometimes even a late buyer.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 23:15 »
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I was told by one of the 'top' microstockers that there's enough of a bonus to have your images approved on a Monday at Shutterstock to make it worth your while timing your submission. As has already been pointed out, early sales at Shutterstock are crucial to the image maintaining a good sales level and not dropping off.

You can upload a few images ahead of time to calculate Shutterstock's current review delay, and apparently they're very consistent.

The same person calculates the jump in sales of old images when new images are approved as being pretty high too. (that's just for Shutterstock as well)

Additionally, he intentionally spends the summer slowdown period shooting lots so that he can maximize his uploads during the better months that follow.

We haven't spoken about seasonally themed images. Yet.

I haven't monitored these things myself, but it looks like it might be a good idea. I don't have the same scale as top microstockers, but the learning experience would undoubtedly be valuable. From what I know of a few of the top contributors (Yuri, Andres, Ron) they're all intensely analytical and strategic about these sorts of details. It can't hurt to follow their examples and create some good habits early on.

« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 03:30 »
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I still don't see how timing your uploads to get them on SS on Monday works.  Review times do vary a lot.  They have gone from less than a day to several days many times.  The time it takes from approval to them appearing in your portfolio also seems to change occasionally.  You could time them for Monday and they don't get approved until Thursday.

I remember my sales received the biggest boost when one of my photos was picked for an SS lightbox.  That wouldn't of happened if I hadn't uploaded the photo straightaway.  There are downloads on Saturday and Sunday so I presume images with a few downloads by Monday will be ahead in the search of those just appearing for sale on Monday.

DanP68

« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 03:36 »
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I agree with the theory and have considered it myself, but review times have varied quite a bit for me lately too.  Another problem which you need to account for is when your images will actually show up in Shutterstock's Search.  Many times I have seen images approved not hit Search for anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.  That tells me you would like to have them approved Sunday night in a best case scenario. 

Last week I noted that one of my images showed up for only some of the keywords after several hours.  It took another day before other keywords found the image.  Strange, and more evidence that trying to time this may be more complicated than it seems.

« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 03:42 »
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I haven't monitored these things myself, but it looks like it might be a good idea. I don't have the same scale as top microstockers, but the learning experience would undoubtedly be valuable. From what I know of a few of the top contributors (Yuri, Andres, Ron) they're all intensely analytical and strategic about these sorts of details. It can't hurt to follow their examples and create some good habits early on.

Ultimately we are all in competition with each other so I don't really get the point of threads like this, and also doubt whether the guys above would be freely sharing their strategies.

I rue the day I shared some of my strategies with someone and was utterly ripped off.

« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 03:54 »
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Ultimately we are all in competition with each other so I don't really get the point of threads like this, and also doubt whether the guys above would be freely sharing their strategies.

Exactly.  We're not doing wedding photos 1000 miles from each other.  We're all in direct competition.


RT


« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 05:28 »
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Exactly.  We're not doing wedding photos 1000 miles from each other.  We're all in direct competition.

Does that mean I won't get a Christmas card from you this year? Obviously one featuring a shot you plan to upload in the second week of January at the height of the Christmas download season.

« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 05:47 »
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Quote
Ultimately we are all in competition with each other so I don't really get the point of threads like this, and also doubt whether the guys above would be freely sharing their strategies.

I rue the day I shared some of my strategies with someone and was utterly ripped off.

Wow! So does this mean its OK for you to gather information for yourself from this thread but you're not going to give anything back? Isn't the whole point of a forum to share information for the benefit of all?

« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 06:12 »
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Quote
Ultimately we are all in competition with each other so I don't really get the point of threads like this, and also doubt whether the guys above would be freely sharing their strategies.

I rue the day I shared some of my strategies with someone and was utterly ripped off.

Wow! So does this mean its OK for you to gather information for yourself from this thread but you're not going to give anything back? Isn't the whole point of a forum to share information for the benefit of all?


It is one thing to share information about scams, site machinations, rumours and paranoias, but sharing business plans is a whole other ball game.

« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 06:45 »
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Exactly.  We're not doing wedding photos 1000 miles from each other.  We're all in direct competition.

I don't agree. Not about the competition, which is obvious, but about the need for threads like this: i believe that sharing information as much as possible is beneficial for everyone in the long run.

For example I could keep my "secrets" to myself when it comes to my job, but I like to write on books and talk at conferences about what I'm doing, because that's where I learnt the most in the past.

« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008, 06:51 »
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Exactly.  We're not doing wedding photos 1000 miles from each other.  We're all in direct competition.

I don't agree. Not about the competition, which is obvious, but about the need for threads like this: i believe that sharing information as much as possible is beneficial for everyone in the long run.

For example I could keep my "secrets" to myself when it comes to my job, but I like to write on books and talk at conferences about what I'm doing, because that's where I learnt the most in the past.

And you write these books for free?

« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2008, 07:00 »
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And you write these books for free?

Only chapters, never an entire book, but yes, I do it for free, never seen a penny and never asked for any. For me it's a way to thank the people who helped me when I started, and I really believe in sharing information.
But, mind you, it's my personal view and I don't pretend everyone to see this from my point of view, more so here that I'm on the taking side rather than the giving one.

« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2008, 07:06 »
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Quote
For me it's a way to thank the people who helped me when I started, and I really believe in sharing information.

Good for you! One of the things I like so much about this community is how open and sharing people are. It reminds me of when I was in the woodturning field where the top artists/craftsmen with many years of experience were the ones who gave back the most to help the young ones coming up.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2008, 07:18 »
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Interesting thread. So far the contributors who aren't big on sharing info are redlined and the ones who like sharing info are just above idle.  Wonder if there's any correlation.


 

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