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Author Topic: Fine Art America - sales increasing nicely since September  (Read 43497 times)

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« Reply #125 on: October 22, 2014, 07:44 »
0
@Mantis. I found it hard to find the images on FAA using keywords. Not even similars. I did a reverse image search and i found the images on stock sites but not FAA. So you have a visibility problem.

Then by amazing coincidence i was looking a recent sales and I saw a sale by a guy whose name i recognize but not from FAA. I clicked through to the portfolio and there is this diver guy and a search on that port led to the images above. Well congrats on your sale! Your keywording looks fine, but you really need to put your work in galleries. That would be a minimum thing and you will sell more work and more multiples if you have your portfolio organized into galleries and also in the default order, which is not as hard as it may seem.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 12:09 by landbysea »


« Reply #126 on: October 22, 2014, 08:49 »
+1
I renewed by default in March and not a single sale. They are dying.

Maybe you haven't done the minimum needed to get your work seen. Maybe your subject matter is overdone. Maybe your quality is poor. Maybe you just have boring work.
The site has steady growth. It is certainly not dying. You just can't compete.

What I don't do, I'll admit, is promote myself in any way. When I started there I got very nice sales. This year I haven't had any. Here is a sample of the kind of work I have there. It sells quite well through other outlets besides micro stock, just not at FAA. There are a lot of people here who have had the same experience so you are making a broad brush statement that those people can't compete, either.  You "SAY" you're doing well but it's just words. If you are, then congrats you are doing something right. I will say that I don't do any "marketing" on FAA, but that aside (which is probably my kiss of death) I would put my work up against yours any day. You have an arrogant tone, which speaks a lot about your character. I am sure you have a few nice images so why don't you post a few like me?
Ok so your work is not boring. I prefaced all my statements by maybe, because these are reasons you might not be selling. You gave the reason why. I am not arrogant. I am straight forward and honest and trying to help. Saying the site is dying is a way of escaping the reality that there is something going on you have to address. The site is quite obviously growing in sales and members. Look at the stats on the front page under "today". I won't post my images because you have better work. As a marine biologist that is unable to dive I only wish I had your portfolio. But I am selling better than ever. And I am falling back in the default search. Two artists have flooded me out. A sort by most popular on a certain word will bring my files to the top. But in the default search many new images with no sales are ahead of mine. I do have a good Google presence. I also have excellent keywording skills. I do other things to make sure my work is visible. I make more money on stock but I work harder to sell prints. Actually I have applied some of my new marketing skills to stock and it helps there also.
The site is becoming increasingly competitive, but it is possible to sell and even thrive without being promoted by the site.

All relevant points. Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, it's helpful.

« Reply #127 on: October 22, 2014, 09:43 »
+1
I do other things to make sure my work is visible.

Well, that sounds interesting...?

« Reply #128 on: November 23, 2014, 10:37 »
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Curated work are things hand picked by the staff, it's formed by magic i think and its hard to get into. mostly it's a topic. the rest is a search. and when it goes to the search it all depends how well you sell over all if you'll be seen. the collections have always been there - but hidden. now you trip over it, every time. fills the page.

its not the issue that you won't sell because it's there. it's bad because the customer might stop there because if they do a search inside of that, they won't find anything at all. and then they might just leave.

« Reply #129 on: November 23, 2014, 10:49 »
0
the thing about selling at FAA is that you need to advertise yourself - constantly. if you sell you get into the top of the search but you need to sell the same things quite a few times. people that sell stock and sell there - usually don't do well. presumably because the stock wins in the searches in google, or that buyers just buy the stock.

usually on fine art you have to get lucky. if you sell a dozen things at once, you'll end up in the search much higher much faster. usually the mistakes people make are:

selling snap shots
not giving it a good description
not having any keywords at all - or very few
not giving it enough time

comparing it to zazzle - where zazzle will change how the search works on an hourly basis, more people see it over all, and there are more products to be seen. they might come across your cup, but you may sell it as a poster.

they don't have enough images in there
or they expect the site to sell their work for them - and it just doesn't work that way.

its hard to make a site that has to figure out a way to sort junk from good stuff. and it makes sense the way he has the search set up. even though its not that fair.

to sell there you can't have many large broad categories, you have to specialize in many small niches. and sell them to many different people. its a lot of work, you need a lot of work, and it has to be well received. so many there want to sell, but can't because the places people put art - they may not want on their walls.

zazzle - i think of dorm rooms mostly. faa, livingrooms, houses and offices. so many stock things won't work there. and the rest are snap shots. or some are really nice but don't really fit in well.

« Reply #130 on: November 23, 2014, 10:55 »
+3
the thing about selling at FAA is that you need to advertise yourself - constantly. if you sell you get into the top of the search but you need to sell the same things quite a few times. people that sell stock and sell there - usually don't do well. presumably because the stock wins in the searches in google, or that buyers just buy the stock.

usually on fine art you have to get lucky. if you sell a dozen things at once, you'll end up in the search much higher much faster. usually the mistakes people make are:

selling snap shots
not giving it a good description
not having any keywords at all - or very few
not giving it enough time

comparing it to zazzle - where zazzle will change how the search works on an hourly basis, more people see it over all, and there are more products to be seen. they might come across your cup, but you may sell it as a poster.

they don't have enough images in there
or they expect the site to sell their work for them - and it just doesn't work that way.

its hard to make a site that has to figure out a way to sort junk from good stuff. and it makes sense the way he has the search set up. even though its not that fair.

to sell there you can't have many large broad categories, you have to specialize in many small niches. and sell them to many different people. its a lot of work, you need a lot of work, and it has to be well received. so many there want to sell, but can't because the places people put art - they may not want on their walls.

zazzle - i think of dorm rooms mostly. faa, livingrooms, houses and offices. so many stock things won't work there. and the rest are snap shots. or some are really nice but don't really fit in well.

What does my $30 get me then? If I have to PAY THEM for me to do all the work, screw FAA. Don't get me wrong I believe that you are right. But shouldn't FAA explicitly divulge how their site really works before we plop our credit cards down? The answer is no. Because if they did they would have a flood of account cancelations and they can't have that nowcan they. So the rule is to deceive.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 11:38 by Mantis »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #131 on: November 23, 2014, 11:16 »
+1
the thing about selling at FAA is that you need to advertise yourself - constantly. if you sell you get into the top of the search but you need to sell the same things quite a few times. people that sell stock and sell there - usually don't do well. presumably because the stock wins in the searches in google, or that buyers just buy the stock.
...

usually the mistakes people make are:
selling snap shots
not giving it a good description
not having any keywords at all - or very few
not giving it enough time

I've noticed a lot of the images which sell have no description or keywords, and a 'cutesy' or 'clever' title, which suits art but doesn't help getting found.
So I can only conclude that these artists are just getting FAA to do fulfilment for them and are actively 'selling' elsewhere.

So indeed, if you have nowhere to market and no exisiting buyers, FAA could be whistling down the wind.
Oddly having had my best two sales in early summer, I've had none since, and the few times I've checked, it seems to be an even higher proportion of bots visiting than before.
Certainly no rise in visits from genuine-seeming UK/European sources than before they started printing/despatching from the UK - Possibly as I said before, because it's still quite a bit more expensive than going into shops here and buying prints from even well-known artists. - or possibly just because although FAA's SEO is second to none (I totally disagree with your statement that 'stock wins in the searches on Google), they don't really promote the site other than that.

Despite the two much better sales, I probably won't renew if I don't get any more sales before my renewal date.

« Reply #132 on: November 23, 2014, 11:35 »
+3
What does my $30 get me then?

It gets you the right to have more than 25 images posted for sale.  And a clunky-looking 'artist web site' on which you can put a banner.

If you're new, or haven't sold a lot, none of FAA's promotional efforts will benefit you because you'll never be seen in their search.   


There's a recent thread there on which contributors were asking questions about why sales were declining, how the search really works, why the site is filling up with stuff from Getty etc,  how the tons of junk might be filtered out, why the featured artist Collections are now being heavily pushed, etc.  The response was "you have to promote yourself more".  Then the thread was closed.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 11:39 by stockastic »

« Reply #133 on: November 23, 2014, 11:41 »
+2
What does my $30 get me then?

It gets you the right to have more than 25 images posted for sale.  And a clunky-looking 'artist web site' on which you can put a banner.

If you're new, or haven't sold a lot, none of FAA's promotional efforts will benefit you because you'll never be seen in their search.   


There's a recent thread there on which contributors were asking questions about why sales were declining, how the search really works, why the site is filling up with stuff from Getty etc,  how the tons of junk might be filtered out, why the featured artist Collections are now being heavily pushed, and other complaints.  The response was "you have to promote yourself more".  Then the thread was closed.

I fall into the "don't sell much" category and probably into the "not been on there too long" category since it's only been two years when I joined. In any event the credit card they have on file for me has expired and my relationship with them will also expire in March.

« Reply #134 on: November 23, 2014, 12:20 »
+1
You know what, I'd be fine with all that if there was an answer to "how do I promote myself?" that was more than some vague hand-waving about Twitter. 

Despite having no promotion, I've made some sales there in the last 2 years, which should be boosting my search rank, but things seems to be declining nonetheless.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 12:26 by stockastic »

« Reply #135 on: November 23, 2014, 15:32 »
+1
Slower for me there this year than last, just a handful of sales lately, but mostly nice big ones. Most recent was for $495 (buyer's total) earlier this month - 95% of my sales there are to strangers - no clue how they've found me most of the time, though I do send the occasional person who contacts me via my Photoshelter site asking for framed prints there, so I don't have to worry about packing breakable artwork. I do some twitter and G+ and also some of the groups. I seem to have more sales there when I'm active on the site and doing some promoting, than when I'm not.

My photos that have sold there range widely from travel to more artsy black & white. For $30 a year it has always more than paid for itself with the first sale of the year since I joined in 2010, so I figure it's worth sticking it out. (My account renews in December). Having more sales (volume-wise) on redbubble lately where I haven't added anything new in ages and do no promoting, but one sale from FAA generally earns me way more than several from there.

I like that FAA pays you within 30-45 days of your sale no matter the amount, and after all the work of uploading there, plan to keep my account.

I do wish that my images that have sold multiple times there would show up higher in searches. Not sure how they pick the images they feature (FAA, that is - I have many featured in groups there). I wish I knew if the promoting made a difference since it's time-consuming.

Anyone else notice an uptick in sales when they're promoting vs. when they're not?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 15:43 by wordplanet »

« Reply #136 on: November 23, 2014, 19:29 »
+2
@mantis - $30 gets you:

customer service more or less - you don't have to deal with them anyway
they take care of returns
you get a free website
and unlimited uploads.

many sites charge 3-5 times that amount.

it wouldn't be a sales pitch if it said - you might or might not make sales. 

it would be totally impossible for that site to advertise you, and if you have so-so work, even harder. they have a ton of people, and especially at $30 - you won't get any site that will advertise you. this is your store, you have to do some of the work.



@shadysue - unless you saw those images on the sales page then its moot. if you saw it there - no they didn't push that person (unless it was geddes), that person sold it in person and sent them right to that page. if you do that you don't need the other stuff.

every image search i've ever done in google - stock was first. and it covered the entire length of the page. many people will get a sale or two at first, because of how the search works there. but you still have to market yourself. and build up a client base of sorts.


advertising is hard. free advertising is tricky. but not hard. find followers on twitter and the like, and put stuff in your stream with hash tags. if they like your work they will look at more and maybe buy something. if the work isn't that good, or not interesting you won't get sales. if you leave the title - untitled, or give a weak description, bio etc, then you may not get the sale. there are no promises. yes the search is a bit of a pain. and the DP site sucked away the biggest buyers. but there are plenty of new people that are selling things only having been in there for a few months. they sell because they have nice work.

@wordplanet - hard to say. because advertising returns aren't instant. its a build up. a few a day, add up. and they spread out. so what you pushed last week may have returns this week. once you sell enough and your at the top of the search, its a siphon. there are dead people selling just fine on there.

the main thing there is - diversify the portfolio and get many niches. and don't be afraid of people pinning and such. there are some people out there that will chase down and practically murder people for taking and giving credit to the images they took. if they give credit - keep it there. every one with  a link back is an advertisement point.



« Reply #137 on: November 23, 2014, 21:11 »
+1
@mantis - $30 gets you:

customer service more or less - you don't have to deal with them anyway
they take care of returns
you get a free website
and unlimited uploads.

many sites charge 3-5 times that amount.

it wouldn't be a sales pitch if it said - you might or might not make sales. 

it would be totally impossible for that site to advertise you, and if you have so-so work, even harder. they have a ton of people, and especially at $30 - you won't get any site that will advertise you. this is your store, you have to do some of the work.



@shadysue - unless you saw those images on the sales page then its moot. if you saw it there - no they didn't push that person (unless it was geddes), that person sold it in person and sent them right to that page. if you do that you don't need the other stuff.

every image search i've ever done in google - stock was first. and it covered the entire length of the page. many people will get a sale or two at first, because of how the search works there. but you still have to market yourself. and build up a client base of sorts.


advertising is hard. free advertising is tricky. but not hard. find followers on twitter and the like, and put stuff in your stream with hash tags. if they like your work they will look at more and maybe buy something. if the work isn't that good, or not interesting you won't get sales. if you leave the title - untitled, or give a weak description, bio etc, then you may not get the sale. there are no promises. yes the search is a bit of a pain. and the DP site sucked away the biggest buyers. but there are plenty of new people that are selling things only having been in there for a few months. they sell because they have nice work.

@wordplanet - hard to say. because advertising returns aren't instant. its a build up. a few a day, add up. and they spread out. so what you pushed last week may have returns this week. once you sell enough and your at the top of the search, its a siphon. there are dead people selling just fine on there.

the main thing there is - diversify the portfolio and get many niches. and don't be afraid of people pinning and such. there are some people out there that will chase down and practically murder people for taking and giving credit to the images they took. if they give credit - keep it there. every one with  a link back is an advertisement point.


The point is that they don't tell you any of this other than you get unlimited uploads. It's really a joke of a site and I will be glad to exit stage right. I hate misleading agencies like FAA

« Reply #138 on: November 23, 2014, 22:03 »
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there isn't anything misleading about the site. its a print on demand site. any site your on you have to advertise to be seen. its just a known. there are no promises that you'll sell. you pay, you got what was shown on there. if you can't sell, then too bad for you.

« Reply #139 on: November 23, 2014, 22:21 »
+1
I don't think I'd call FAA 'misleading', but it's a bit of a letdown to find out you don't show up in search results even when you feel like you have a direct keyword hit.  They used to cut off the search after 25 pages of thumbnails, which meant that for most newbies, there was zero chance of ever being seen.  I think they've removed that limit now.

And you many not notice at first that the main page leads buyers to the featured 'Collections', which you can't get in - or at least, there's no clearly defined way - and when buyers see a collection of the subject they were looking for, they may not bother with a keyword search.   

The only thing I'd call 'misleading' is the name.  'Fine Art' it is not.  They have zero interest in promoting 'new artists'.  It's really just another POD site with keyword search.  I'm pretty sure Redbubble's search results heavily favor past sellers too, but Redbubble sells so little by comparison to FAA that there isn't as much discussion about it - hardly any action on their forums.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 22:32 by stockastic »

« Reply #140 on: November 24, 2014, 03:24 »
0
I have been a member of FAA since January. I have got some sales, and it seems the buyers have found my paintings and photographs via keywords. I got my first sale within two weeks. But my paintings sell much better than my photographs there. I have earned more there than on SS so far this year. FAA is my best earner. I am a hobbyist with a quite small portfolio (around 300-400 images), but I have been seeling microstock for some years. I do wish I had found FAA earlier.

Many of you seem so disappointed because you do not get sales there, maybe it is because you only sell photographs, and photographs maybe do not sell as well as paintings?

The photographs I have got sold there are both flower photographs, and I wonder how the buyers found them, they are not that special.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #141 on: November 24, 2014, 03:47 »
+1
there isn't anything misleading about the site.

OK, how about the artists' referral scheme:
"When someone clicks on your advertisement and then signs up for a new website on artistwebsites.com, you'll instantly earn $5.00.
Yes - it's really that easy.   You'll receive an e-mail notification whenever a new member signs up via one of your advertisements, and the $5.00 will instantly appear in your online balance. "

http://fineartamerica.com/announcement-artist-websites-referral-program.html?affiliateid=
In fact, what happens is that the $5 appears in your balance 30 days after they signed up.

Now actually, this is NOT unreasonable. The referee has 30 days to close their account for a refund, so FAA could be at the end of a scam team.
However, the text on that page says "instantly" - over a year after I questioned this with them (and noted it on msg http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/any-alternatives-to-agencies-for-non-direct-selling/msg349051/#msg349051), pointing out that 'instantly' wasn't true.

Semantically, you could argue that this isn't 'misleading', it's a downright lie.

« Reply #142 on: November 24, 2014, 03:48 »
0
So I should start painting I guess...  :(
I'm on FAA since Jan. too and sold nothing (huge zero) still. My 300 files just doesn't work, it doesn't earn on itself. Keywords and descriptions should be fine, I tweet it, share on Facebook and get quiet in reply. Waste of money in my case and $30 is a lot.
Btw, I sell pretty often on RB and if they costed me $30 I would pay with a smile :) Something is wrong with FAA for me.

« Reply #143 on: November 24, 2014, 07:27 »
0
i do agree about the fine art part, i'd say 50% is now stock. 20% are snapshots. and the rest is fine art. and while the collections seems like an ok idea, it will only confused customers. especially if they can't find anything.

it is a let down that the search is ordered the way it is. and the new stemming thing he does, where it now understand plurals, also chops into other words making it more spammy as a result - cow - you get cowboy and vice versa. people have to use google because its much easier to use google. this search only works well if you have something no one else has much of. but they did fix the search, you can view all 1000 pages now if you want. i think that's the other reason they  made pixels, it doesn't conjure up that fine art notion.

redbubble was super slow. then they made it possible to change prices globally and now they have more products. because of that i'm getting more sales. that, and they are in google shopping (a place faa doesn't seem to be), and i'm getting sales there. but even though i have more images there, have been there for 7 years or more, i still only get like 10 sales a month at RB. mostly because the site doesn't have any kind of organization.

i never used the ref program. i doubt it works, many have complained. i wouldn't worry too much about that one. the only thing that bugs me about the place is the customer support. they either drag their heels too much. or don't reply. many have had complaints about that.




« Reply #144 on: November 24, 2014, 12:10 »
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Someone needs to put "September 2013" in the title of this thread.  It sounds like the opposite is true in 2014!

« Reply #145 on: November 24, 2014, 12:45 »
0
I sell there, and this year was quite good with 24 sales so far.

I do not promote except the occasional twitter and Facebook stuff directly from the site (but not for every new image). And I have a link to my portfolio there on my Homepage.

One of my Images made it into the Collection, a long time ago ... maybe this helps with exposure.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/cat-and-sunflowers-nailia-schwarz.html

As somebody said somewhere in this (or another FFA thread), don't set your prices too low - it will not help sales, maybe even hinder it.

Not counting Greetings Cards, my average is about 50-60$ per sale.

« Reply #146 on: November 24, 2014, 14:11 »
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I can't figure out Redbubble.  I've had stuff sitting there for years, racking up more total views than FAA, and never sold anything. 

If RB would read IPTC keywords I'd upload more stuff.  But it looks like they'll never get that together. 

« Reply #147 on: November 24, 2014, 21:45 »
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bubble is starting to get better. but it's such a mess there. they tried to organize it but it was futile and hard to use. they tried giving you your own website, but it was junk. and only recently am i making sales there. i'm not sure how it happened. i just wish they would add new ideas to a list and not to the group where it could take years to do.

things like - new products? put my stuff on them. if others don't like that, i don't care, give me the option to do so. the blanket looks dumb, stretch my image to fit it. makes little sense that i need an image 12,000x12,000 or so pixels to make it fit. i'd like to stretch other things to make it fit on there. and there are other tweaks.

i don't know how they find my stuff. i've sold thing that i first uploaded 7 years ago. i forgot i made it.

« Reply #148 on: November 24, 2014, 23:36 »
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I think RB is really pushing the iPhone cases and t-shirts these days.  I don't have any of those products enabled and I'm not pounding in keywords on sites that don't do IPTC.  And I'm not selling my photos on things they don't fit. I have my pride.

I once spent a lot of time creating some beautifully sized images for coffee cups on Zazzle. They looked really cool.  Guess how many I sold.

Neither RB nor FAA are going anywhere from my point of view.  FAA makes a lot of money, but one guy keeps it all and isn't interested in taking the site anywhere, and he has it tuned just the way he wants it.  RB seems to be a bigger company but I don't think it's doing well and seems to be running out of steam. 



 

 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 23:48 by stockastic »

« Reply #149 on: November 25, 2014, 09:45 »
+2
I have sold products on Zazzle, CafePress, RedBubble and Imagekind. Meaning that I know how to use tags and be found and sell. And that proves the "theory" that no one should put all eggs in one basket.


Fine Art America is a different story.

Rotation is not a priority. It's a forbidden word there. It's the same people selling the same images with a few exceptions.

The newbies have to fight against the search engine that is tweaked in favor of some artists.


There is a thing that irritates me: I see Disney/Marvel, DC Comics and celebrity images sold there. That's not honest. I'm not blaming the company, anyway I think it should find a way to disable that kind of image.


Visits by bots inflate the view count. What's the point? Who needs to know how many bots visited the images?

I like the community there. They help you when you need!

All IMO.



« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 09:59 by Braznyc »


 

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