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Author Topic: Starting a new RF stock site - would like some feedback.  (Read 23273 times)

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ICP

« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2012, 11:31 »
0
Hmm...let's see if we can wrangle this back to the topic and more positive discussion. (Please, I realize the possibility of failure, I'm looking for what it would take to work. And that requires help from contributors.) Instead of failure, imagine success.

OK, maybe it sounded like I'm not serious about this in my first post. I am serious. I realize this is going to take time and effort and money to become successful, even moderately successful. I've been looking for and working with various software for 5 years now and have decided that Ktools has the best product for where I am.

Question: Why, in your opinions, is Ktools Photostore insufficient? It currently doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it has the core functionality for a stock site. The software will continue to improve, one way or another.

Pricing seems to be a bit of an issue. Only looking at SS, IS, BS and Fotolia (standard collection). For the majority their pricing is between $9 and $19 dollars for vectors and $9 and $75 for photos. I get anywhere between .09 to $3 per download and they get the rest.

Question 1 (Assume fair success): Where would you as a contributor be happy with pricing of vectors and photos?
Question 2 (Assume fair success): Where would you be happy with commission rates?

There is some mention of failure which is always a possibility in business. Every time we, as contributors to other stock sites, upload an image we take a risk that the image may or may not sell and our time and money will have been wasted.

Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2012, 11:38 »
0
Actually, it's a matter of knowing the proper way to use a search engine. Search any site for Palm Tree and you'll get every image that has palm and tree in it. Do a search (with quotes) "Palm Tree" and you'll only get "palm tree" results.
Nope: iStock has Palm Tree in its CV, so you only get Palm Trees, unless anyone has erroneously or spammily put Palm Tree where it doesn't apply. IMO a FAR superior system (usually), though I know others disagree.

EmberMike

« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2012, 11:55 »
0
Question 1 (Assume fair success): Where would you as a contributor be happy with pricing of vectors and photos?

I like the $10 price point for vectors. And as a buyer, I like paying around $10 for a large photo. Obviously I don't want to pay a lot for a photo, but I'm comfortable around that $10 price point.

If you want to seem more competitive, go for $9 per vector or large photo and you'd still find most people are comfortable with that.

Question 2 (Assume fair success): Where would you be happy with commission rates?

50%. More is always better, but the bare minimum to attract any contributor interest these days is 50%.

Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?

Commitment. You have to prove that you're in this to do it right and do what it takes to make it work. Pardon the comparison, but take a look at StockFresh. They did a lot of things right. They got the pricing right, the royalty rate (50%), and they even had some goodwill from the contributor community in that they were previously behind another successful stock site (stockxpert) which many of us made decent money on. But they did just a few things wrong and have since had a lot of trouble regaining the trust and confidence of the community. Applications took too long to approve. They've been very slow to market the site at all. Despite all of the good things they did, they've struggled because of just a few missteps.

I hate to say it, but in this day and age in the stock business, you have to do everything right and keep doing it right to gain the trust of the contributor community. It's very hard to do.

And just making it easy to get our images onto your site isn't going to be enough. Lots of sites offer that. Superhug offered that not too long ago and just last week they closed down. I made just a few bucks there before they closed up shop. It wasn't even with the time to FTP images to them.

You want this to work? You need to come out of the gates with something that we can all get behind. No one is looking to hep anyone build anything. I wish things were different, but that's reality here. You need to launch with a solid product, a solid brand, some sort of marketing plan, even if it doesn't launch right away, and a solid site. And frankly I'm not convinced that a ktools site can do everything you want to do. You're not just talking about taking on a handful of contributors. It sounds like you want to take on anyone who is willing. Can ktools handle that? Can your web hosting handle it? Are you prepared for the extremely high bandwidth costs you are likely to incur from moving large files?

I'd need to see more to want to get involved in this. It's good you're considering changing the name and logo. I'd start there, get the site design, branding, and infrastructure nailed down, get your contributor agreement written up so we can se all of the details of what's involved, come up with a realistic marketing plan for the near future, and then maybe we can talk.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2012, 12:27 »
0
[...] Alternatives include the contributor setting up accounts everywhere, and then using an import function to pull content into each site and then having to interact with each site - that would be a simpler set-up. [...]

I was thinking about this simpler set-up indeed (but perhaps only importing low-res and index). But I like your complete package even more.  Not easy at all, still easier than the other project often discussed here (opening a contributors-owned agency).

However I agree with the above poster that an easy upload is not enough. Necessary but not sufficient.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 12:31 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 13:28 »
0

Lagereek

« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2012, 13:31 »
0
Do yourself a favour!  forget the whole project!  look how bad the 4 major sites are going and then ask yourself:  what chance have I got?

Yah!  I agree with this comment.  Why not  beat facebook instead of all these stock sites.  It would be just as easy to take on fakebook as getty.  It should be a breeze with the software set up for you and all.  Piece of cake!

Next week I am replacing the airplane with something better!

Yah! and that something better, I will beat with something eve, even, even better! ;)

« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2012, 14:01 »
0
....Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?
There have been lots of people that have put in long hours and tried everything to make a site work but they have had very little success and we have had hardly any earnings from them.  Being committed and driven isn't enough.  Starting yet another ktools site just turns me off completely.  Others have paid for their own code and at least have something that looks like their own, not something off the peg.

But the real problem is trying something that's been done by at least 100 other sites.  You need to forget about this until you have a USP that gets us interested.  I wouldn't worry about what we want to start with.  Contact lots of buyers and try and find something you could offer them that all the other sites are missing.  All we really want is to be able to make enough money to get regular payouts.  That seems easy but no new site has achieved it without spending a small fortune and then they have to pay back their investors.

The idea that we've discussed several times in this forum and in this thread is the best I've seen mentioned so far.  I'm surprised that nobody has worked on it but I suppose it's easier to ignore all the facts and just start up yet another ktools site doing the same thing that has failed for everyone else.

ICP

« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2012, 14:22 »
0
Question 1 (Assume fair success): Where would you as a contributor be happy with pricing of vectors and photos?

I like the $10 price point for vectors. And as a buyer, I like paying around $10 for a large photo. Obviously I don't want to pay a lot for a photo, but I'm comfortable around that $10 price point.

If you want to seem more competitive, go for $9 per vector or large photo and you'd still find most people are comfortable with that.

Question 2 (Assume fair success): Where would you be happy with commission rates?

50%. More is always better, but the bare minimum to attract any contributor interest these days is 50%.

Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?

Commitment. You have to prove that you're in this to do it right and do what it takes to make it work. Pardon the comparison, but take a look at StockFresh. They did a lot of things right. They got the pricing right, the royalty rate (50%), and they even had some goodwill from the contributor community in that they were previously behind another successful stock site (stockxpert) which many of us made decent money on. But they did just a few things wrong and have since had a lot of trouble regaining the trust and confidence of the community. Applications took too long to approve. They've been very slow to market the site at all. Despite all of the good things they did, they've struggled because of just a few missteps.

I hate to say it, but in this day and age in the stock business, you have to do everything right and keep doing it right to gain the trust of the contributor community. It's very hard to do.

And just making it easy to get our images onto your site isn't going to be enough. Lots of sites offer that. Superhug offered that not too long ago and just last week they closed down. I made just a few bucks there before they closed up shop. It wasn't even with the time to FTP images to them.

You want this to work? You need to come out of the gates with something that we can all get behind. No one is looking to hep anyone build anything. I wish things were different, but that's reality here. You need to launch with a solid product, a solid brand, some sort of marketing plan, even if it doesn't launch right away, and a solid site. And frankly I'm not convinced that a ktools site can do everything you want to do. You're not just talking about taking on a handful of contributors. It sounds like you want to take on anyone who is willing. Can ktools handle that? Can your web hosting handle it? Are you prepared for the extremely high bandwidth costs you are likely to incur from moving large files?

I'd need to see more to want to get involved in this. It's good you're considering changing the name and logo. I'd start there, get the site design, branding, and infrastructure nailed down, get your contributor agreement written up so we can se all of the details of what's involved, come up with a realistic marketing plan for the near future, and then maybe we can talk.

Doing things right: I agree things must be done right from the beginning for the site and contributor. And it is my plan to listen and adjust as needed (and reasonable). I've been playing the contributor role for some time and really don't like the idea of taking a pittance so the stock agency can pay their investors off and get rich. Don't get me wrong, we all want to make money, but I think spreading it around is far better than what's being experienced out there now. If I were making 50% on IS, SS and BS right now I'd be doing quite alright.

Trust: Mistakes will be made no matter what. I think the kind of mistakes and how the company reacts to them is key. Trust is also key but, as with any relationship, but how can you build the trust if you don't partake in the relationship. Where did all the other stock agencies begin? Did they hit the ground running with a million images? Did they pay contributors money just to join? What did it cost? My thought here is to avoid costly overhead and have everyone make money, not just the agency. I'm asking contributors to help only by contributing, which is required for a stock agency to grow.

Time: This will take time and if the contributor is willing to wait for growth I think the money will come. So you spend 2 minutes signing up and 20 minutes FTPing some images and you don't do anything else but wait and see if the sight works and maybe spread the word a little.  I think it's better than spending hours a day jumping through hoops to upload your images, which may or may not sell, then at the end of the month you see payment of a quarter each for most images, or evan a couple bucks per image. But we all do it because these companies have marketing millions and traffic that gets our images seen. Well, we don't have marketing millions, but we do have time and a fairly good sense of how to get traffic to the site.

Ktools and hosting: Yes, Ktools can handle it. And when it can't I'm fairly confident we'll be in a position to hire developers to help make it work...which I plan to do long before anything breaks. Yes, the hosting can handle anything thrown at them. Yes, I can sustain this cost overhead indefinitely. So if you have the time (a few minutes really) and a little patience, it just may pay off. One thing that won't happen: I won't shut the site down because it's not making money fast enough, I just don't have the overhead to worry about that. Again, I have time.

You say "I'd need to see more to want to get involved in this.": I would expect that. I have a little time before I'm ready to set up contributors, not to mention the changes previously discussed and a few others.

Doing everything right: The site will not be perfect. Anyone telling you they are perfect is scamming you. We will do everything we can to make it as pleasurable an experience for everyone as possible, but we will fall short somewhere and, again, I think what matters most in this is how we respond.

ICP

« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2012, 14:39 »
0
Have a read of this:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/superhug-are-you-out-there!/msg268514/#new

and then have a read of this:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/superhug-sells-stock-images/


It's sad, in this economic climate, more people are closing their doors. What's even worse, I think, is starting a business with millions (or even thousands) of someone else's money then shutting down. Now you owe everyone. Not telling your customers and contributors this is coming is appalling.

As I state in a reply to EmberMike. I have no overhead and I can sustain this site, no matter the size, indefinitely. All I'm asking for is a little of your time to sign up and FTP some content (when it's ready of course). Then we market. Worst case: you have spent a little time and over the years you make a little residual income. You need to do nothing more if you choose. I'm going to keep this site running, at minimum with my and a few other's uploads, until I die.

I'm not shutting the site down. I have no employees to pay. No investors to repay. I we get more, external, contributors the popularity will grow that much faster.

Once again, time is the key here. You have to be willing to let it grow.

« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2012, 14:48 »
0
So you have no money whatsoever with which to market the site?  If you think you will passively sell images from your site without marketing it then you are very mistaken.  I am sorry, but you are wasting our time and your own.  RF stock is very big business now - you missed the boat on amateurs making a killing a long time ago - that one sailed with Bruce Livingstone.  Perhaps you saw what his old company sold for the other day?

ICP

« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2012, 14:56 »
0
....Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?
There have been lots of people that have put in long hours and tried everything to make a site work but they have had very little success and we have had hardly any earnings from them.  Being committed and driven isn't enough.  Starting yet another ktools site just turns me off completely.  Others have paid for their own code and at least have something that looks like their own, not something off the peg.

But the real problem is trying something that's been done by at least 100 other sites.  You need to forget about this until you have a USP that gets us interested.  I wouldn't worry about what we want to start with.  Contact lots of buyers and try and find something you could offer them that all the other sites are missing.  All we really want is to be able to make enough money to get regular payouts.  That seems easy but no new site has achieved it without spending a small fortune and then they have to pay back their investors.

The idea that we've discussed several times in this forum and in this thread is the best I've seen mentioned so far.  I'm surprised that nobody has worked on it but I suppose it's easier to ignore all the facts and just start up yet another ktools site doing the same thing that has failed for everyone else.

Ktools? Why is Ktools' Photostore so bad? Why does a site need hundreds of thousands in development to start off in order to be taken seriously? When you need a pair of shoes...do you make your own or go downtown and pay for a pair? When it's necessary the development will grow/alter/change completely...but for now it does the job and requires no overhead. I believe in this day and age success to the new guy comes only with low cost, persistence and loyalty...loyalty both ways.

Unique Selling Proposition? My first thoughts are "buy from us because we give more money to the artists". People I speak to like the idea of better supporting the artist. We have affordability and quality. Everyone likes affordability. Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions?

« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2012, 14:58 »
0
But the real problem is trying something that's been done by at least 100 other sites.  You need to forget about this until you have a USP that gets us interested.  I wouldn't worry about what we want to start with.

I disagree completely. I don't think you need anything overly unique. You just need to do it well. Micro was started by a bunch of people that just wanted to sell a few files and make a little money. They did that and it worked. Then, it grew up and pros moved in. Unfortunately, the model didn't really change to accommodate those contributors. If you are a pro, then you should be getting paid like one. How many sites can really claim that they are paying their contributors like professionals? And how many people can say they are a pro when they don't make a decent wage doing it. My point is that if none of the micros are fulfilling the needs that professional contributors have, then how are there too many sites? I'd like to see more (good ones) and I wish new sites the best.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 15:01 by cthoman »

ICP

« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2012, 15:03 »
0
So you have no money whatsoever with which to market the site?  If you think you will passively sell images from your site without marketing it then you are very mistaken.  I am sorry, but you are wasting our time and your own.  RF stock is very big business now - you missed the boat on amateurs making a killing a long time ago - that one sailed with Bruce Livingstone.  Perhaps you saw what his old company sold for the other day?

I don't recall saying I have no money for marketing. It wouldn't make sense to start a business venture with $0 marketing dollars. I have no overhead (which is one reason I do have some money.)

Difference between me and most failures is I have my money, not someone else's. I won't be losing $50,000 a month if the site isn't wildly successful right out of the gate...that's usually why the failures happen.

ICP

« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2012, 15:10 »
0
But the real problem is trying something that's been done by at least 100 other sites.  You need to forget about this until you have a USP that gets us interested.  I wouldn't worry about what we want to start with.

I disagree completely. I don't think you need anything overly unique. You just need to do it well. Micro was started by a bunch of people that just wanted to sell a few files and make a little money. They did that and it worked. Then, it grew up and pros moved in. Unfortunately, the model didn't really change to accommodate those contributors. If you are a pro, then you should be getting paid like one. How many sites can really claim that they are paying their contributors like professionals? And how many people can say they are a pro when they don't make a decent wage doing it. My point is that if none of the micros are fulfilling the needs that professional contributors have, then how are there too many sites? I'd like to see more (good ones) and I wish new sites the best.

Exactly. Share the success (money) with the people that got you there. Doesn't matter if it's 10 employees or 100 contributors. Everyone thrives. This site is going to happen and it's success will come quickly or slowly, nobody knows. But it's not going away.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 17:24 by ICP »

« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2012, 15:24 »
0
it's not going anywhere.

In your own words.  ;D
Best of luck.

12_Tribes

« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2012, 15:24 »
0
See, it's all about doing what ya need to do
To get where ya wanna go
And be who ya wanna be
But don't relax; it won't come to you,
Cos theirs a million other cats out competing with you
But not doing it the same way
Ya see, seeing the world through different eyes is your gateway
A special gift from your consciousness an individual-ness
For you to rock to this
A little kiss from an emptiness for you to bop to this for you to jump to this

;)  Dub FX - Not Cool :)
Just to cheer it up a little :)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 17:15 by 12_Tribes »

Lagereek

« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2012, 15:31 »
0
it's not going anywhere.

In your own words.  ;D
Best of luck.

Agreeing 100% !  why does it take so many posts before the poor guy will realize he isnt going nowhere, same as all the rest with the same idea?


« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2012, 15:43 »
0
....Question: What would it take to convince contributors take the time to sign up with, and contribute to, a new stock site?
For example: What if it were set up so all you had to do was create an account on the site, FTP as many images (with IPTC data) as you like, and your images were set up on the site for you?
There have been lots of people that have put in long hours and tried everything to make a site work but they have had very little success and we have had hardly any earnings from them.  Being committed and driven isn't enough.  Starting yet another ktools site just turns me off completely.  Others have paid for their own code and at least have something that looks like their own, not something off the peg.

But the real problem is trying something that's been done by at least 100 other sites.  You need to forget about this until you have a USP that gets us interested.  I wouldn't worry about what we want to start with.  Contact lots of buyers and try and find something you could offer them that all the other sites are missing.  All we really want is to be able to make enough money to get regular payouts.  That seems easy but no new site has achieved it without spending a small fortune and then they have to pay back their investors.

The idea that we've discussed several times in this forum and in this thread is the best I've seen mentioned so far.  I'm surprised that nobody has worked on it but I suppose it's easier to ignore all the facts and just start up yet another ktools site doing the same thing that has failed for everyone else.

Ktools? Why is Ktools' Photostore so bad? Why does a site need hundreds of thousands in development to start off in order to be taken seriously? When you need a pair of shoes...do you make your own or go downtown and pay for a pair? When it's necessary the development will grow/alter/change completely...but for now it does the job and requires no overhead. I believe in this day and age success to the new guy comes only with low cost, persistence and loyalty...loyalty both ways.

Unique Selling Proposition? My first thoughts are "buy from us because we give more money to the artists". People I speak to like the idea of better supporting the artist. We have affordability and quality. Everyone likes affordability. Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions?
Warmpicture is run by a contributor using ktools, seems almost the same as you want to do.  I haven't sold anything there yet.  Zymmetrical used to pay 70% commission.  They didn't seem to spend a lot on marketing.  They gave up after a few years.  Clustershot was another one paying a big commission.  They didn't last long and sold to another company that was going to run the site but has left it to rot.  Snapixel is another one that's just about to close.  There's lots of others that have started out just like you and are no longer here.  There was one recently that was looking to sell to the Asian market.  Seemed interesting and I uploaded some images.  Then for some strange reason they decided to become a black and white only site and closed a few weeks later.

You would have to payout every time something sold to make it worthwhile uploading.  Otherwise it's almost certain to be another of a very long list of sites that have sold a few images but not enough to get over payout thresholds.  It get's annoying when I sell something but know I'm unlikely to ever see the money.  I'm sorry but I just can't get enthusiastic about low budget new sites anymore, I really wish people wouldn't start them, unless they can come up with something unique that buyers actually want.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 15:45 by sharpshot »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2012, 15:44 »
0
"I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to this but I've been horsing around for years"

sorry this really isn't inspiring.
That was my first thought when I read the OP.

« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2012, 15:54 »
0
Look... You're just "a guy" who nobody knows, with some software, promising money if you make some sales on your hobby site.  You can understand why people aren't really in the mood to help out.

ICP

« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2012, 17:12 »
0
it's not going anywhere.

In your own words.  ;D
Best of luck.

Misinterpreted and distorted like the best of politicians!

ICP

« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2012, 17:32 »
0
Look... You're just "a guy" who nobody knows, with some software, promising money if you make some sales on your hobby site.  You can understand why people aren't really in the mood to help out.

Look...you're an exclusive member at iStock. You aren't even allowed to join my site. But you felt it was necessary to stab some negativity my way? I never "promised" anything, as a matter of fact, if you had read my replies you would understand exactly where I coming from.

« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2012, 17:36 »
0
We already evaluated where you're coming from.  Sorry.

« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2012, 18:00 »
0
I would appreciate any/all feedback from everyone with some time to do so. Good, bad and indifferent...it's all good...and you can't hurt my feelings.
You asked for feedback from everyone...  That's what you are getting.    ;D

ICP

« Reply #49 on: August 21, 2012, 18:02 »
0
OK. Here it is:

Yes, I'm just a guy, and yes I could be full of it. I hope some of you will see (once the site is ready for contributors) that It's not some scary, bloated, investor saturated venture that nobody cares about.

If it works and becomes even moderately successful everybody could make OK money. If it doesn't you still stand to make a little money because I'm not closing the site. I will continue adding my content and marketing and if you have some content up there you'll probably sell some too. Residual income. I'm sure it's one of the reasons we all started contributing to stock sites.

All I'm asking for is a few minutes of your time to sign up and FTP some images, maybe 20 minutes of your time, I'll do the rest. Nothing more ever, if you so choose.
Payouts will be monthly regardless of amount sold.
Commission will be at least 50% if not more based on this and other discussions.

I'll repost when it's ready for contributors and maybe a few of you will join. In the mean time if all you have is "You suck and you're going to fail" I'd just assume you stay on the sidelines, it diverts the real topic. Not everyone wants to help but the few that have real suggestions are why I'm here in the first place.

Now, can we get back to the questions I asked at the top of page 2?


 

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