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Author Topic: Few to no sales on DT, FT, IS after two months  (Read 6631 times)

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« on: July 24, 2015, 10:15 »
0
Hi all,

Approximately two months ago I decided to give a try to microstocks, mainly out of curiosity, but also to see if my (mainly) landscape and architecture photos are worth anything. However, in about two months since I registered on top-6 microstocks, I have few to no sales on most of them:

Dreamstime: 0 sales
Fotolia: 3 sales
Depositphoto: 1 sale
iStockphoto: 5 sales
Shutterstock: 107 sales (yes, this is quite a contrast to above-mentioned sites)

All of the above portfolios contain +/- 250-300 assets at the moment.

My question is whether this is a normal state of things, taking into account the time lapsed and the number of photos online? Or does this look suspicious to you and there's something to be double-checked for ways to improve.

You can check the type and quality of photos I put online here: https://us.fotolia.com/p/205627109

Many thanks for your feedback!



ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 10:20 »
0
If your sales at iStock were full credit sales, you're doing really well there. Most people who report say their uploads from the past few years seldom even get views.
PP and subs buyers do see and buy new files, though.  :(
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 05:27 by ShadySue »

« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 10:55 »
+1
They're pretty images, but there's probably a lot of similar work from people who vacation in those areas.  And how much demand can there be for random mountains and ocean views?

« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 11:17 »
0
I would say you need to think more about why people want to buy images.

« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 12:40 »
+4
You have a fairly narrow range of subjects - red rocks and norway stood out at a quick glance. The subjects are perhaps not in high demand - how much interest there is in a place as a convention destination, tourist spot or in some other way can determine sales.

Also, your keywording isn't helping you out. I checked a picture of Sicily that was first in your port sorted by downloads. I looked at the image and figured if I were looking for that I might type boat sicily bay or sailboat sicily coast. Your images don't show up in either because boat, bay and coast (or coastline) are not in your keywords. You have useless (iStock controlled vocabulary) terms like non-urban scene, which no one searches for.

« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2015, 12:51 »
+1
Also, your keywording isn't helping you out. I checked a picture of Sicily that was first in your port sorted by downloads. I looked at the image and figured if I were looking for that I might type boat sicily bay or sailboat sicily coast. Your images don't show up in either because boat, bay and coast (or coastline) are not in your keywords. You have useless (iStock controlled vocabulary) terms like non-urban scene, which no one searches for.

Thank you a lot for a valuable tip! I will review the tags for cases where there are useless tags (which, indeed, quite often come from IS).

« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2015, 19:32 »
+1
The only one that looks strange to me is the low sales on Fotolia. We have a lot of sales on FT, almost as many as on SS per month. One thing about Fotolia is that the keywords are prioritized by order (or at least, I thought I read that it used to be that way before Adobe) so make sure your most relevant and best keywords are near the top of the list. Once your photos are up at FT, you can't change or add any keywords but you can change the order.

It took us forever to get 'decent' sales at DT, and even now with about 900 images, it's only about 10 downloads a month. Deposit is super variable and with iStock, we make most of our money off of PP and subs.

« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2015, 23:16 »
+8
I'd say your results are perfectly normal for those kinds of images and the current market.  If you were thinking that microstock was an easy way to make a lot of money quickly then you're a few years too late.

« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 11:07 »
+2
TBH you're not gonna earn a living with that sort of images. Landscapes are so oversaturated nowadays that your work has to stand out from the rest (photoshop/lightroom) in order to sell on a day-to-day basis. Believe me I've got tons of stuff just like yours on my HD but wont bother to upload as it just does not make sense.
If you want to make money from stock then start shooting something that sells like people, food and stuff that has not been shot before (niche).

« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 19:31 »
+7
The OP said nothing about wanting to get rich or to make money quickly. S/he simply wanted to know about whether a pattern of sales was normal or abnormal. To me, it's not normal, perhaps indicating a keywording or other problem. The work is bringing in what seems to me to be a pretty good number of sales for the port at SS but not as many at other sites. Of course, what sells on different sites will vary widely. And that's where this forum could have been helpful instead of jumping on the 'lecturing the newbie' bandwagon.

Rather than mentioning anything about getting rich or doing so quickly, s/he merely expressed curiosity about trying it out to see what the experience would be like.

« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2015, 22:07 »
+2
...  photos are worth anything.

They were asking if their photos are worth anything and wondering about sales - it was implied that they think they are low and they expected them to be higher.  I was just responding that their sales are what can be expected and that if they expected to make a lot then they will be disappointed.  That is the reality - they should know that from their own experience.

« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 14:46 »
+4
The OP said nothing about wanting to get rich or to make money quickly. S/he simply wanted to know about whether a pattern of sales was normal or abnormal. To me, it's not normal, perhaps indicating a keywording or other problem. Rather than mentioning anything about getting rich or doing so quickly, s/he merely expressed curiosity about trying it out to see what the experience would be like.

That's precisely what I'm looking forward to clarify, thanks for being caring :)

Indeed, I'm not thinking of getting rich with this business, and I'm not even considering microstocks as a part-time job. I'm shooting anyways as it's my hobby. The only reason I decided to put some of my photos online is to reach two objectives:

1) put online those pictures which otherwise will stay lost and hidden somewhere on my HDD (i'm not printing a lot of photos, and not making photo books out of them), and

2) to earn something which I could invest in a new equipment, be it a new filter or, if I'm more successful, a new lens.

The second reason is more out of psychological principle, since my current full-time job allows me basically to buy a new lens each and every month, without significant impact on my family budget.

Now, turning to the possible reasons of low sales, I must say that I have been following the basic keywording rules. i.e. prioritizing where necessary (i.e. Fotolia), adding only the relevant ones (i.e. no spamming) and as many as allowed (normally within 50 keywords). Unless other microstocks also rely on prioritization of keywords (which I'm not aware of, at least based on their published rules), I don't expect to see a problem here. I might though review randomly some of the keywords to see if anything is still missing (following a note by Jo Ann Snover in this thread).

So, I guess the only and real problem is non-uniqueness of my mostly landscape photos, and oversaturation of the subject, correct?

Best,
Sergiy (male :)

« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 15:06 »
+3
. . .  And that's where this forum could have been helpful instead of jumping on the 'lecturing the newbie' bandwagon.

Rather than mentioning anything about getting rich or doing so quickly, s/he merely expressed curiosity about trying it out to see what the experience would be like.

Good words, thanks. I'm a newby here and wanting to learn. You post is right on target IMHO.

« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2015, 16:50 »
0
. . .  And that's where this forum could have been helpful instead of jumping on the 'lecturing the newbie' bandwagon.

Rather than mentioning anything about getting rich or doing so quickly, s/he merely expressed curiosity about trying it out to see what the experience would be like.

Good words, thanks. I'm a newby here and wanting to learn. You post is right on target IMHO.


Good luck to you!

The OP said nothing about wanting to get rich or to make money quickly. S/he simply wanted to know about whether a pattern of sales was normal or abnormal. To me, it's not normal, perhaps indicating a keywording or other problem. Rather than mentioning anything about getting rich or doing so quickly, s/he merely expressed curiosity about trying it out to see what the experience would be like.

That's precisely what I'm looking forward to clarify, thanks for being caring :)

Indeed, I'm not thinking of getting rich with this business, and I'm not even considering microstocks as a part-time job. I'm shooting anyways as it's my hobby. The only reason I decided to put some of my photos online is to reach two objectives:

1) put online those pictures which otherwise will stay lost and hidden somewhere on my HDD (i'm not printing a lot of photos, and not making photo books out of them), and

2) to earn something which I could invest in a new equipment, be it a new filter or, if I'm more successful, a new lens.

The second reason is more out of psychological principle, since my current full-time job allows me basically to buy a new lens each and every month, without significant impact on my family budget.

Now, turning to the possible reasons of low sales, I must say that I have been following the basic keywording rules. i.e. prioritizing where necessary (i.e. Fotolia), adding only the relevant ones (i.e. no spamming) and as many as allowed (normally within 50 keywords). Unless other microstocks also rely on prioritization of keywords (which I'm not aware of, at least based on their published rules), I don't expect to see a problem here. I might though review randomly some of the keywords to see if anything is still missing (following a note by Jo Ann Snover in this thread).

So, I guess the only and real problem is non-uniqueness of my mostly landscape photos, and oversaturation of the subject, correct?

Best,
Sergiy (male :)

I think so. The feedback so far has been that the photos are pretty generic. We have pretty good luck with generic photos, too, but have cautious expectations and hopes for them. I have been thinking more on your question, and I'm realizing that our landscapes don't sell as well on Fotolia, either. We actually have decent luck with landscapes proper on iStock. IS doesn't generate many sales, of course, but the landscapes perform relatively well there compared to other sites. I think that it will take more time for you to figure out if iStock will be worth your time investment (including letting PP and subs catch up since they come in a month late).

« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 17:18 »
0
I think that it will take more time for you to figure out if iStock will be worth your time investment (including letting PP and subs catch up since they come in a month late).

Thanks! By the way, I remember trying to find out what PP and subs on IS are exactly, to no avail. Could you please give more details how it works or direct me to a link where I can read it myself?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 17:29 »
0
I think that it will take more time for you to figure out if iStock will be worth your time investment (including letting PP and subs catch up since they come in a month late).

Thanks! By the way, I remember trying to find out what PP and subs on IS are exactly, to no avail. Could you please give more details how it works or direct me to a link where I can read it myself?
PP are mostly subs sales from a sister site called Thinkstockphotos.
Also Getty Plus images are reported under the PP.
On your sales stats charts, PP sales show as mossy green.

Subs sales are subs sales through iStockphoto.
They show up grey on your sales stats charts.

At some point in the month following sales, these sales will start reporting:
Firstly PP sales come through.
Then Subs come through.
Then any G+ sales are reported.

So recently we had the PP, Subs and G+ sales from June coming in.
(and some people reported G+ sales from earlier months)
PP and subs were reported as completed; G+ seems to have finished, but has not been officially stated as completed.
Also at some point, Getty refunds come through.  :'(

Normal 'credit' sales come in more or less in real time.
PP, subs and G+ sales do not give you credits to help move you up to higher royalty levels (neat trick, since many people - espeically newbies - report most sales are from PP and subs).

« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2015, 12:45 »
+1
In case nobody mentioned it, landscape and travel photos often do better on Alamy then the micros.  You can upload the same portfolio from the micros as long as you put it in RF category on Alamy. Tho they are less plentiful then before,  you still get the occasional  $100-200 sale on Alamy and that makes up for a lot of low micro sales.  Plus Alamy have a different set of buyers, and they seem to like travel photos.

Good luck!


« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 15:43 »
+3
landscapes are over saturated, yes. because they are not unique and anyone can take them.
but that is not the end of the world. as you know, one of the most reknowned photographers these days shoot nothing but landscapes.
only difference is that his work is unique. either because it is shot in difficult lighting to enhance the dramatic shapes of the land , using tripod and slow speed and very wide angle length.

the last part is the cue to this of his success. many well known landscapes these days are in the very very wide angle focal length, not the zoom w a / tele that every body gets with the camera.
i say you invest in a good single prime lens of this uncommon length. a good sigma extreme wide angle or one of the other generic lens makers specializing in very wide angle lens.
maybe then, you stand a good chance to be in a niche with extremely good landscape.

only question is do you want to go through all that trouble for 20-28 cents???


 

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