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Author Topic: Introducing Microstock Charts  (Read 13142 times)

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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2010, 19:56 »
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I'd suggest making it paid if it is really useful (too many charts and numbers just make my head hurt when I should be shooting).  Anyone serious enough to care about using this will already be exclusive or signed up for 20 accounts and not need a referral.  And who clicks on banner ads, really?

I being a paid service would stop your turning your head, then you're implying you'll use it while it's free but not if it's paid.  Interesting.  :p

But seriously, I think there's enough people like me who could really use something to automate the record-keeping and save those hours spent crunching numbers to determine a single but key piece of information.  I did ask around before starting this project and the response was almost universally positive. The only disheartening part was how high their expectations were. That's why I say we have a long way to go before replacing the old spreadsheet.

I agree that serious contributors would pay for this, if it had the functionality we're planning.  I'm not ruling out the possibility of charging for a PRO account that has more functionality in the future, but we're going to have a serious go at making the advertising and referral model work first.

And re. banner ad clicking, if nobody clicked on them, why are they so prevalent?  It's actually a very easy model for many advertisers.  Setup the site metrics to track sources and track progress in the sales funnel. Then you can see exactly how much revenue was generated by each source. Then apply your profit margin and you can see, exactly, to the cent, how much profit each ad generated. If the profit is higher than the ad, keep the ad. If the profit is lower, cancel the ad, or better yet, change the ad to get a better response and keep testing different ads to find what converts best.  Ok, a little off topic, but it's how people can spend huge sums of money on banner ads and make it profitable.

Plus banner ads bring brand awareness. It's not so easy to track, but it's a significant factor for most advertisers.


WarrenPrice

« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2010, 20:04 »
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Lee,
I'm a small fry and not sure how this might apply to me.  I really enjoy playing with the numbers and trying to interpret the meaning.  I haven't had any success, however, in applying what I learn to more sales.  My question is more about all analytical data rather than just what you offer.  How do you (I) know how to apply the information to selling more images? 

« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2010, 20:29 »
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Ah, but those are really targeted to my search requests, and I'm there searching to start with.  Not just reading a forum or looking at pictures.

« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2010, 20:40 »
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Lee,
I'm a small fry and not sure how this might apply to me.  I really enjoy playing with the numbers and trying to interpret the meaning.  I haven't had any success, however, in applying what I learn to more sales.  My question is more about all analytical data rather than just what you offer.  How do you (I) know how to apply the information to selling more images? 

Hey Warren,

It depends on what you want to achieve and what the data tells you. There's no easy way to lay out a formula of what to do for all possible scenarios, so I'll give you an example which may help give you insight into what you can do for yourself.  But keep in mind, it's different for everyone, and there's always lots of factors.

Let's say your Sell Through Rate (STR) is dropping. You see it in the charts. This means the photos you're uploading are not selling as well as the ones you uploaded in the past. The data will help you figure out why:

First, is it just one agency or is it happening across all agencies. You're keeping STR metrics for all agencies, so the chart will show you.

If it's just one agency, you've narrowed down the problem. Then the benchmarking (not yet active) will show you weather it's just your STR dropping at that agency or if the same thing is happening to others.  If it turns out it's everyone, then you can 'presume' it's an issue at the agency or market saturation or whatever, but not specifically your problem. If the benchmarking shows that it's just you, then you do have a problem and you need to look into why. Maybe something you changed in your workflow doesn't fly at that agency. You could test changing processes to see if you can get your STR to rise again. Though it's also possible that a search algorithm change had disadvantaged your portfolio more than others, in which case you're better spending your time working on other things. At the moment there's no easy way to tell whether the cause is you or the search algorithm.

But what if it's not just one agency and your STR is dropping at all agencies. Again, check the benchmarking to see if it's just you.  If it's happening to others as well, then point the finger at your favorite blame-ee for causing market saturation.  If it's not happening to others, then you know it's your images and you can look into why that might be.

As you can see, its all very general stuff. It's not going to tell you exactly what to shoot and how to shoot it to maximize sales. For that you need the sort of data that LookStat is collecting and publishing on their blog.

Does that help?  I can give other examples if you think it'll help more.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2010, 22:37 »
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Thanks, Lee.  It was a very detailed answer and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond.  I can see from that answer, however, that I have a way to go before I will need such detailed analytical tools.  But, I am getting more and more serious about this microstock thing.  Maybe one of these days.   :D

« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2010, 09:00 »
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Thanks, Lee.  It was a very detailed answer and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond.  I can see from that answer, however, that I have a way to go before I will need such detailed analytical tools.  But, I am getting more and more serious about this microstock thing.  Maybe one of these days.   :D

Depending on what you want to do with microstock, you may need the insight from analysis more at the start of your microstock career than any other time. There's many more decisions to make at the beginning, and the more input you have into those decisions, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.

« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2010, 03:13 »
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Nice tool Lee.  Like others, I am really looking forward to the benchmarking features.  Being able to compare our monthly earnings in relation to others should give us some good feedback.  Being able to know if the recent several shoots really boosted our income as much as we thought.  Or, for example, if we see our earnings stay flat despite uploading tons of photos, we can know that really, our earnings should have decreased (if we saw that other peoples earnings decreased using benchmarknig), yet because we uploaded our earnings stayed level.

I would say the worst part of it all is having to type all the information in.  It would be great if the sites participated and provided easy to port info or you managed to figure out another quick way of getting the info into your system.

An API for people to share their earnings info, with or without numbers would be cool.  (yep, I voted for these in your UserVoice Feedback)

« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2010, 06:57 »
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Great tool, Lee. Thanks for your efforts! I'll definitely use it from now. In the future it would be nice to have an excell export function in order to be able to save data to backup files.

« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2010, 07:09 »
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I like it, i needed a new way to kill time while waiting for my ipad to arrive.

« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2010, 10:52 »
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Nice tool Lee.  Like others, I am really looking forward to the benchmarking features.  Being able to compare our monthly earnings in relation to others should give us some good feedback.  Being able to know if the recent several shoots really boosted our income as much as we thought.  Or, for example, if we see our earnings stay flat despite uploading tons of photos, we can know that really, our earnings should have decreased (if we saw that other peoples earnings decreased using benchmarknig), yet because we uploaded our earnings stayed level.

I would say the worst part of it all is having to type all the information in.  It would be great if the sites participated and provided easy to port info or you managed to figure out another quick way of getting the info into your system.

An API for people to share their earnings info, with or without numbers would be cool.  (yep, I voted for these in your UserVoice Feedback)


Thanks Tyler.  Most agencies participate in a general way by providing the downloadable CSV files. It's still quite manual, but one of the ideas in the Feedback Forum is to be able to import these spreadsheets. There might be some encouraging required to get them to include all the information we need, like portfolio size and total-quantity-sold. Some provide portfolio size but none provide total quantity sold.

Plus, we hope to make it easier to import information via the picNiche toolbars and iSyndica too. We've actually had feedback from some very big microstockers that they like the manual entry because it's always accurate. We'd like to be able to support both manual and automatic data entry without requiring agency login details.

Thanks for your votes.  We will literally follow the feedback there, so whatever is on the top of the list is what we'll work on next.

« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2010, 11:00 »
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Great tool, Lee. Thanks for your efforts! I'll definitely use it from now. In the future it would be nice to have an excell export function in order to be able to save data to backup files.

Zsolt, that's actually the top voted function in the Feedback Forum at the moment, so we're working on that now.  Thanks for your comments.

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