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Author Topic: Selling at Own Website  (Read 3734 times)

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« on: May 15, 2021, 19:58 »
+1
Hi,
Anyone have experience selling digital downloads thru Own custom website?
Please share the experince, have you ever spent on Google Ads for selling Vector / illustration / icons etc..

Thanks,


Noedelhap

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2021, 06:24 »
+5
I once built my own stock website, using a purchased webshop template which I heavily customized. Worked fine in practice, but resulted in zero sales. Maybe it was the small size of my portfolio, maybe the lack of advertising, people not wanting to create an account for 1 vector purchase.
It's very hard to get traffic in the first place, but steadily converting this traffic into buyers is especially difficult.

With the big microstock agencies spending millions on ads and market analysis, you simply don't stand a chance.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2021, 19:54 »
+2
You need to have a strategy. Just dumping your existing micro work on your own website will likely be a waste of time. You need to have something unique that's different from what's sold in micro. Otherwise, if you offer the same thing as micro why would anyone want to go to your site over just using micro? Offering lower price won't matter. You need unique content buyers cant get on micro. You also need to be an SEO expert to get traffic. A few years ago I created a completely new style of work just for me own site. I use Photodeck and have had decent results. I'm looking into creating a new site with Shopify.

I tried Google, Facebook and other ads and for me it was a waste of time and money. I'm sure other people have had success but not me. Same thing with social media as a whole. Some people are great at using it for marketing and I've had no success with it. If you're a social media expert that's great. Otherwise it's SEO.


« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2021, 23:58 »
+1
Last time I did googleads (I think about 6-7 years ago), it was very expensive and ineffective. A lot of (larger) companies use very sophisticated software that literally bids on 10's of thousands of keyword variations of ads, steals/monitors "success" of competitors, and adapts their ads to yours to try and steal your customers.

If you are a single person trying google ads and have no experience with backend sales/marketing, you'd have a better chance at winning $10,000 at the slot machines, than you would be profitable via google ads.

« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2021, 04:34 »
0
Last time I did googleads (I think about 6-7 years ago), it was very expensive and ineffective. A lot of (larger) companies use very sophisticated software that literally bids on 10's of thousands of keyword variations of ads, steals/monitors "success" of competitors, and adapts their ads to yours to try and steal your customers.

If you are a single person trying google ads and have no experience with backend sales/marketing, you'd have a better chance at winning $10,000 at the slot machines, than you would be profitable via google ads.
You are so true! Google just promises you visitors, not sales. And you can get ton of visitors who are not buyers but clickers. Google takes the money for non valuable visits. I will never experiment this again.

« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2021, 10:04 »
+2
Back in the late 1990's I had my own little stock agency. A lot of work, and many difficult customers. One customer used my photos via remote file access, so that my site carried the load. I gladly surrender those protection and legal issues to a stock agency, so that I can now use my time to make pictures.

« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2021, 18:36 »
+2
I once built my own stock website, using a purchased webshop template which I heavily customized. Worked fine in practice, but resulted in zero sales. Maybe it was the small size of my portfolio, maybe the lack of advertising, people not wanting to create an account for 1 vector purchase.
It's very hard to get traffic in the first place, but steadily converting this traffic into buyers is especially difficult.

With the big microstock agencies spending millions on ads and market analysis, you simply don't stand a chance.

Many of us had exactly this same experience.  Look up "Symbiostock" on this forum and see what you find.

« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2021, 08:24 »
0
I once built my own stock website, using a purchased webshop template which I heavily customized. Worked fine in practice, but resulted in zero sales. Maybe it was the small size of my portfolio, maybe the lack of advertising, people not wanting to create an account for 1 vector purchase.
It's very hard to get traffic in the first place, but steadily converting this traffic into buyers is especially difficult.

With the big microstock agencies spending millions on ads and market analysis, you simply don't stand a chance.

Many of us had exactly this same experience.  Look up "Symbiostock" on this forum and see what you find.

I almost jumped into Symbiostock. Looked promising at one time. Thought I would be come rich overnight  ::)

« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2021, 17:04 »
+3
I was one of the original site owners of the original symbiostock. I fought hard for it to succeed and paid dearly here at microstock group for it. FWIW I still have 2 original symbiostock sites that work and still generate sales. That's almost a decade of sales for a few months worth of work. (Note: I haven't updated anything on them since 2014 because I know if I do they will almost certainly crash forever.) At one point I had 5 symbiostock sites. 3 of them just stopped working for any number of reasons. I am sure the other 2 will also just stop at some point but for me they were well worth the effort.

Symbiostock was a good idea that couldn't work for all sorts of reasons. Regardless, of how people here feel about symbiostock I can honestly say that self hosting does work if you have the right images and a unique niche.

Here is why it works for me and how I am doing it.

I currently have 9 sites live (7 of which I still upload to, in addition the 2 I mentioned earlier)- approx 800-1500 images per site
I sell vectors. (which allows me to heavily watermark them and I charge a premium price for them)
I price my images just below the hourly rate it would take for someone to steal or trace my images.
The 7 modern sites are all woo-commerce based.
I use Elementor which gives me unlimited control over the front end which helps with similars and content location.
I use Yoast for SEO
I have a unique target audience and I have not uploaded any new images to the micros in 6 years.
I am very careful with my keywords (I use phrases not words) and my keyword phrases are unique for that image on all 7 sites.
I spend most of my uploading time optimizing my content based on the Yoast criteria.
Every image (on every site) I upload has a unique file name and metadata which matches the Yoast Focus Keyphrase exactly.
I will also flip images or put them on different colored backgrounds for each my different sites.

I have spent a good amount of time automating the upload process and can upload an image from start to finish at an average of about 4 minutes per image per site.

Unlike symbiostock my current sites are no longer developer dependent. WooCommerce and Elementor aren't going anywhere and I host them myself. As long as I update from time to time my sites are all stable and will probably be that way forever. Hosting does cost a bit a month but for me it is absolutely worth it. My sites outsell all of the micros combined about three to one and I only work on them when I have the time. I make daily sales and one sale is the equivalent to around 40 sales at the major micros.

By uploading only to my own sites my images tend to appear on free sites was less frequently than the ones that I uploaded to the micros. I sell way less volume but at a much higher price and considering what happened in microstock in the last 6-8 years that seems to be a much more sustainable way to go.

Originally I assumed my sales would soften the older the images became. What I am finding is that my older images are just as likely to sell today as they were 5 years ago. Based on this info I anticipate selling images I made 5 years ago 20 years from now.

I am certain there are a lot of people who will disagree with me or for whom self hosting was a dismal failure. I get it and I won't even try to argue those points. It works for me and for me it is far better than continuing to upload hundreds of images a month for .38 cents per sale or to dozens of sites who may or may not be around next year.



 

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