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Author Topic: Why stay with non performing agencies?  (Read 5540 times)

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« on: April 16, 2013, 09:55 »
+1
I will start by saying that I am not exclusive to anyone so I have no idea whether or not that would help promote images on any site.

Now to my main ponderance,  I have portfolios with 15 agencies from the bigger players to some of the newbie agencies.

I have noticed that of thes 15 that 5 of them produce on average over $200 per month, 4 of them approx $100 per month, 1 of them approx $50 per month and the rest are lucky if produce $10 per month.

Now it takes just as much effort to maintain databases with agencies that don't produce as is does for the ones that do produce.  So my question is do you think it is worth maintaining portfolios with agencies that seem to have no sales?

By dropping the 5 agencies that don't produce sufficiently I could save over 10 hours per week uploading, tagging, adding releases etc.  Time I personally feel could be better spent developing portfolios on producing sites therefor I am considering removing my portfolio from the non-producers.

What are your thoughts?  (and please do not state the obvious of $10 per month is better than nothing, I am looking for solid debates)
 
All the best  ;)


rubyroo

« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 09:59 »
+4
If it will save you ten hours a week then I would definitely invest those ten hours into the sites that perform better for you.

I would leave the port you have on them and keep an eye on threads relating to those agencies, as well as their performance on the right-hand panel.  If they start to show an increase across the board, go back and upload the images they didn't get previously.

DC


« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 10:12 »
+1
Sounds like you could improve your workflow.  Two hours per site per week sounds like a lot to me.

It takes me about 3 hours per week to submit 25 - 30 pics to about 15 sites, but almost none of mine have release forms.

« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 10:14 »
+3
Yeah, I'd leave my port there and stop uploading. Things may change in the future. You can always look at your RPI to see how many files it would take to make an impact.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 10:16 »
+1
I'm also surprised about the time you are spending on the smaller sites. I submit to 20 or so, and the smaller ones are updated with 50 images, say, in no more than 5 - 10 mins per agency. My images are already keyworded, sometimes I have to add a release, but I don't submit to any site that requires more than a bare minimum of effort.

Those $10 returns add up after a while and they obviously continue even if you later decide not to add more images.

Steve

RacePhoto

« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 10:30 »
+2
I'd agree about the time spent. Some people seem to be able to upload and process much faster than I do. Heck, image editing I take a half hour on one photo, making it "perfect" sometimes. But the waste of time agencies have been voted off my island.  :) I still see no use for categories, most don't fit.

For some the Microstock shotgun marketing works. Send everything to every place and hope you hit something. For others, a more selective targeting of the places that bring the best returns on investment, (and time) is the choice. Each person must make their own decisions, there's no one answer for everyone.


Cold day in the Microstock line

My personal choice is less is more. Top agencies only and I only send them the best images for each concept or shoot. Often that means one. Not an identical image of the same individual, with a cell phone, cloned onto 200 different backgrounds. Although maybe that's how Micro works?


tab62

« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 10:43 »
0
I stay because I like to support the little guy and pray they will raise to the middle tier or higher someday. Bigstock this month has really done well for me as a good example with staying with them...

« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 10:50 »
0
I agree with some previous posts - if uploading to "small guys" is too tedious and barely profitable, why not leave your existing images there (you've already done the work!) and check on these agencies once in a while. If at some point you'll see increase in sales, you can always upload the rest of your stuff, providing you kept proper records of which images went where. However, on my memory, only one low-earner managed to increase sales, the rest of them usually start with better sales and then gradually decline or close their doors, or, at beast, manage to maintain the status quo.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 11:09 »
0
Exactly, you can let the ones already there, season and age. If something changes, add a big batch from the stored collection. The editing and keywords are already stored in the files Metadata.

I should have included that. It takes no time and doesn't cost anything to leave things where they are.

Unlike the people who pray for a miracle, that the little hopeless agencies will some day jump up and run with the big dogs. I'm extremely skeptical of that every happening. But of course I buy one lottery ticket a day, so one of those two could happen to be a winner? Neither is statistically likely. The same applies with the old saw. You can't win if you don't get in.  :)
 

I agree with some previous posts - if uploading to "small guys" is too tedious and barely profitable, why not leave your existing images there (you've already done the work!) and check on these agencies once in a while. If at some point you'll see increase in sales, you can always upload the rest of your stuff, providing you kept proper records of which images went where. However, on my memory, only one low-earner managed to increase sales, the rest of them usually start with better sales and then gradually decline or close their doors, or, at beast, manage to maintain the status quo.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 11:23 »
0
Because there's a (smaller and smaller) hope that a site could grow into the next big thing.

Because competition is good.

And especially because it's an easier and faster way to increase earnings - with iptc+ftp+lightburner - than shooting/editing/keywording new pictures.

That's why I am insisting with every new/small site that they make their upload method as easy as possible.

If it's not easy, I don't even start: I just upload a few test images and then leave; I don't delete pictures anyway (unless I don't trust them), since once the work is done there's no point.

In 2011-2012 I managed to (slightly) grow my total earnings across all sites - despite sales at two major sites going down - exactly by adding my port to every possible minor site.

Of course, there's a difference between sites with low sales and sites that show absolutely no sales and no sign of improvement: I don't continue to support the latter (mostly sites that are not even on the list on the right). Unfortunately - although new sites are popping-up every week on this forum - I don't see any worthy new site after DP and PD. Most recent sites lack one fundamental thing: a plan - or the money - to attract buyers.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:55 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 11:57 »
0
I only have one truly NON performing site, but several low performers.  The non-performer were kind enough to get my images on their site with little help from me, so I will leave what I have there.  The other low performers are all very easy to upload to and cost me almost no time at all, so they can keep having my new stuff and I will keep getting my payout every couple of months. 

I know they don't produce much individually, but all together my lowest performing sites managed to pull in $1600 for me last year.  Maybe someday I'll be rich and $1600 won't seem worth the effort, but for now, I'll take it ;)

« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 12:02 »
+2
I only have one truly NON performing site, but several low performers.  The non-performer were kind enough to get my images on their site with little help from me, so I will leave what I have there.  The other low performers are all very easy to upload to and cost me almost no time at all, so they can keep having my new stuff and I will keep getting my payout every couple of months. 

I know they don't produce much individually, but all together my lowest performing sites managed to pull in $1600 for me last year.  Maybe someday I'll be rich and $1600 won't seem worth the effort, but for now, I'll take it ;)
+1. I'd take and appreciate the $1600 a year even if I'm rich. Money = Money.

Les

« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 23:21 »
0
I'm also surprised about the time you are spending on the smaller sites. I submit to 20 or so, and the smaller ones are updated with 50 images, say, in no more than 5 - 10 mins per agency. My images are already keyworded, sometimes I have to add a release, but I don't submit to any site that requires more than a bare minimum of effort.

Those $10 returns add up after a while and they obviously continue even if you later decide not to add more images.

Steve

Conceivably, this practice can rob you of more than $10 for the same images on higher priced sites.


michealo

« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 04:26 »
0
I only have one truly NON performing site, but several low performers.  The non-performer were kind enough to get my images on their site with little help from me, so I will leave what I have there.  The other low performers are all very easy to upload to and cost me almost no time at all, so they can keep having my new stuff and I will keep getting my payout every couple of months. 

I know they don't produce much individually, but all together my lowest performing sites managed to pull in $1600 for me last year.  Maybe someday I'll be rich and $1600 won't seem worth the effort, but for now, I'll take it ;)

Very simply it depends on how long it takes to make that $1600
If you could make more putting that time into the better paying sites then there is an opportunity cost too

« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 05:12 »
0
My images are already keyworded, sometimes I have to add a release, but I don't submit to any site that requires more than a bare minimum of effort.

Steve

Yes Steve, all of my work is also already keyworded, however as 90% of my work is lifestyle 9 out of 10 do require the time to add releases, also on each individual site I will add the categories and any other options the site feels it need, orientation etc.

I can not adopt the 'bare minimum' attitude as I want to give each image its best chances of success.

« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 08:46 »
+2
Ja, it is easy enough to get them up there, since they are already keyworded and processed.
But you guys forget one thing.

POLLUTION.

When you upload to every agency, and spread your images around (in the competition) you pollute the fishing pond with your images, and they can be found in all kinds of derivated searches and at all kinds of places.

If you do so, you loose the grip, and let the asset (the pictures) become an asset for whatever agency and not for you.
Like... they would all be happy to spread your copyright for free. Doing their fancy trades. Be happy you are in the pile and get 10%.
And the more you pollute, they more they can do it.
We have seen many examples.

Therefore I only upload to a few agencies, and they must make sure to perform, else I withdraw my port.





ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 09:11 »
0
Ay, that's the rub.
Uploading to all the different agencies with their individual quirks and odd requirements, then monitoring them to see how well they do or don't perform, deciding how long and how many images to give them as a trial, then keeping an eye on them as they send images off to partner sites, change terms and conditions, etc etc. The whole business is a quagmire.  >:( ::)


Les

« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 09:44 »
+2
Ay, that's the rub.
Uploading to all the different agencies with their individual quirks and odd requirements, then monitoring them to see how well they do or don't perform, deciding how long and how many images to give them as a trial, then keeping an eye on them as they send images off to partner sites, change terms and conditions, etc etc.
The whole business is a quagmire.  >:( ::)
Good point. It's totally unproductive.
And then still to worry, when to withdraw images from the non-performing agencies, and worse still, losing the accumulated earnings when they go belly up.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 10:09 »
0
Ay, that's the rub.
Uploading to all the different agencies with their individual quirks and odd requirements, then monitoring them to see how well they do or don't perform, deciding how long and how many images to give them as a trial, then keeping an eye on them as they send images off to partner sites, change terms and conditions, etc etc.
The whole business is a quagmire.  >:( ::)
Good point. It's totally unproductive.
And then still to worry, when to withdraw images from the non-performing agencies, and worse still, losing the accumulated earnings when they go belly up.
Then you've got to keep watching to see when it's not worth uploading, e.g. it doesn't seem like a good time to be uploading to iS (since Sept) as images just sink rapidly in the best match (though it isn't the same across all keywords making checking even more time consuming).

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 10:20 »
0
I only have one truly NON performing site, but several low performers.  The non-performer were kind enough to get my images on their site with little help from me, so I will leave what I have there.  The other low performers are all very easy to upload to and cost me almost no time at all, so they can keep having my new stuff and I will keep getting my payout every couple of months. 

I know they don't produce much individually, but all together my lowest performing sites managed to pull in $1600 for me last year.  Maybe someday I'll be rich and $1600 won't seem worth the effort, but for now, I'll take it ;)

Very simply it depends on how long it takes to make that $1600
If you could make more putting that time into the better paying sites then there is an opportunity cost too

I already explained in the quote you posted that it takes hardly any time at all to upload images to these low earners.  I put time into the better paying sites too, obviously.  The most time consuming part of this job is producing and preparing the content.  I am going to produce the same amount of images whether I am uploading it to 4 sites or 14, so in effect, that extra $1600 is free money for hardly any additional effort.  Understand now?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 10:27 by lisafx »

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 10:25 »
-1
When you upload to every agency, and spread your images around (in the competition) you pollute the fishing pond with your images, and they can be found in all kinds of derivated searches and at all kinds of places.

If you do so, you loose the grip, and let the asset (the pictures) become an asset for whatever agency and not for you.
Like... they would all be happy to spread your copyright for free. Doing their fancy trades. Be happy you are in the pile and get 10%.
And the more you pollute, they more they can do it.
We have seen many examples.

Nearly all the examples of agencies "doing fancy trades" and "polluting" the marketplace are from the top agencies - the big moneymakers. If protecting your content and keeping it from winding up all over the place in mysterious partnerships is your primary concern, you would be better off NOT to upload it to the top earning agencies. 

michealo

« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 11:19 »
0
I only have one truly NON performing site, but several low performers.  The non-performer were kind enough to get my images on their site with little help from me, so I will leave what I have there.  The other low performers are all very easy to upload to and cost me almost no time at all, so they can keep having my new stuff and I will keep getting my payout every couple of months. 

I know they don't produce much individually, but all together my lowest performing sites managed to pull in $1600 for me last year.  Maybe someday I'll be rich and $1600 won't seem worth the effort, but for now, I'll take it ;)

Very simply it depends on how long it takes to make that $1600
If you could make more putting that time into the better paying sites then there is an opportunity cost too

I already explained in the quote you posted that it takes hardly any time at all to upload images to these low earners.  I put time into the better paying sites too, obviously.  The most time consuming part of this job is producing and preparing the content.  I am going to produce the same amount of images whether I am uploading it to 4 sites or 14, so in effect, that extra $1600 is free money for hardly any additional effort.  Understand now?

You forget the opportunity cost.

Let's say it takes you 20 hours to upload to the the sites that make you $1600

Sounds fantastic doesn't it an hourly rate of $80?

Had you instead invested those 20 hours on your best returning site you may have made $4000

The difference is opportunity cost.

Understand now? :-)

« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 11:25 »
+3

Nearly all the examples of agencies "doing fancy trades" and "polluting" the marketplace are from the top agencies - the big moneymakers. If protecting your content and keeping it from winding up all over the place in mysterious partnerships is your primary concern, you would be better off NOT to upload it to the top earning agencies.

You're not wrong on that count.  WHen I started with DT 8 years ago I accidentally (cause I wasn't reading small print too closely) agreed to the 'free image' selection for low / non performing images.

Just last month I reviewed all contracts and have withdrawn from all 'partner site' opt ins and all 'free image' opt ins.

To clarify a little I was a full time stock photographer in 2005 - 2009 before a serious accident saw me hospitalized for a few years so I am just picking up where I left off.

When I started reviewing my DT port I had over 400 images in the 'free selection' some of these were landscape shots of the Slot Canyons that had been free downloaded over 350 times - prior to these going into free selection the shots I had of the same scene in portrait mode had been some of my top performing images and went dead almost as soon as the landscape images went 'free'

Pollution of the pool is more to do with contributors 'opting in' to every deal on the promise that it will increase their sales.  I have found this approach to be negative and find that 'partner sites' are these small upstart sites that don't have the contributors that SS / IS / FT etc have.    By the time the partner has sold it for $1 paid 50% to the site you uploaded to and then they have paid you 25 cents or sometimes less dependant on commision structure agreement  is it really worth opting in?

By my reckoning (and only when the opt out is available) if we don't agree to partner sites then these fly by night operations will wither and fade and there will be less 'pollution' of the market place.

« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 11:36 »
-1
You forget the opportunity cost.

Let's say it takes you 20 hours to upload to the the sites that make you $1600

Sounds fantastic doesn't it an hourly rate of $80?

Had you instead invested those 20 hours on your best returning site you may have made $4000

The difference is opportunity cost.

Understand now? :-)

That doesn't really make a lot of sense. How many new images can you really create in 20 hours versus the number of existing images you can upload in 20 hours? It's not really even close in earnings potential. I guess you can make the argument that you are polluting the waters of your brand, but some of these low earners have better deals than the bigger sites. So that isn't necessarily the case either.

michealo

« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 11:52 »
+3
You forget the opportunity cost.

Let's say it takes you 20 hours to upload to the the sites that make you $1600

Sounds fantastic doesn't it an hourly rate of $80?

Had you instead invested those 20 hours on your best returning site you may have made $4000

The difference is opportunity cost.

Understand now? :-)

That doesn't really make a lot of sense. How many new images can you really create in 20 hours versus the number of existing images you can upload in 20 hours? It's not really even close in earnings potential. I guess you can make the argument that you are polluting the waters of your brand, but some of these low earners have better deals than the bigger sites. So that isn't necessarily the case either.

There is a flaw in your logic there too
The choice is between uploading lots of files to sites that have poor returns versus creating new files that can be uploaded to sites with good returns.

To equal the average return of SS (83.9) seen across one needs to upload From Depositphotos down to Cutcaster (16 sites) (87.5)


 

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