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Author Topic: Illustrator speaks on his Symbiostock site's success. Daily sales.  (Read 8966 times)

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Leo Blanchette

« on: January 28, 2014, 02:29 »
+1
I wanted to thank Chromaco for explaining Symbiostock success. Its very much appreciated.

http://www.symbiostock.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=1076

I think quite a few people had big expectations for Symbiostock, but they haven't been realized as quickly, or even in the same way people imagined. Its perfectly possible for it to use a blend of talent and strategy to continue finding a market.

For that to happen on a group level, it should be achieved on an individual level too. Symbiostock will most likely never be an agency, or even something revolutionary.

I'd like to propose a sort of "Daily Routine" or "Weekly Routine" for Symbiostockers, which will contribute to their own success as well as the groups. Think of it as an ant colony (my biggest inspiration :D). Little ways we can contribute to our sites as well as the community.

A routine that consists of uploading, site refinements, trips to support the community in the forum (you know, just a little something to encourage others), some "likes" on the Facebook page... Its hard to start a fire with damp wood, but its not impossible. Set up your automated twitter image queue. Its a lite load, but with many people carrying it, it will have much success.

We are not blasting to success quickly, but, amazingly, this thing is still here and growing. That alone is success, if you think of the challenge of this business.

Thank you Chromaco for giving me back some encouragement! No doubt many will feel this same.  This was very much needed.

Since I'm here, and for once making a big announcement in MSG, I also wanted to say Symbiostock's source websites are undergoing an image overhaul, and the community site is much better as well. The theme, too, is becoming more stable than ever.

 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 18:14 by Leo »


« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 07:10 »
+2
You chastise people for posting here, Leo, and yet here you are inundating the board with lots of new threads.  ::)


In my travels while upgrading my SY theme, i ran across many backlinks to a few peoples sites. It explains why a few people are and have been making good sales all along. Because those backlinks, multiplied many times over by each person who has a site and each new person that creates an SY site, ensures that those few people continue to make good sales. Meanwhile, the promise that the networking of SY will bring sales to everyone goes largely unfulfilled.


One only has to look at the massive amount of links the top few people have to your site in Webmaster Tools to see what is going on.


Some people are ecstatic that they have sold a couple of images in months. As growth of new sites takes place, there should be some increase accordingly in individuals sales. That isnt happening. 1 sale in 8 months isnt good enough for me, especially since about 200 new sites have been added since that one sale. If networking were working for me, i should have seen what, maybe one more sale? Or maybe way more, i think?


I have no doubt SY will be successful for a few people. For the most of the people who build, photography is their profession and its about selling photos, not about blogging, social media, and building additional websites with massive amounts of cross-linking.


As far as the basic SY theme goes, there are basic things that photographers need to have included. Some of those things still dont work correctly. After dozens of updates or upgrades, they still dont work correctly.


There is lots of proposing of how all SYers can push SY. Each one of those pushes adds lots of juice to the few who are doing well, but does hardly anything for the people doing the pushing.


It sounds an awful lot like just another internet scheme...get a whole bunch of people to do your selling for you so you can live off their backs. That isnt why i built an SY site. I built it so you could live off my back and i could live off yours. You can see that half of the equation is missing.


When i say "you", i mean anyone who has benefitted in a big way from this. You know who you are.


For these reasons, i am calling SY an epic fail for me and i am out.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 08:03 by cathyslife stockphotos.com »

Ron

« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 08:21 »
+1
If thats true,  then I might as well go solo as well.

« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 09:58 »
+1
I'm not sure about the whole conspiracy theory thing, but I was wondering about why there is a cap on 10 links. I wouldn't mind having a larger link exchange page. It seems like something that would be advantageous, but maybe there was a reason for having only ten that I was missing.

« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 10:37 »
+2
Cathy has already switched her site to another WordPress template - i.e. isn't using Symbiostock any more.

I don't know what the notion is of conspiracy but I don't have any links to Leo's site - I'm not an illustrator so it didn't seem appropriate - and I've made sales anyway. Not a ton, but then the site and the network is new and I'm expecting it to take time to build. I don't jump in and out of agency sites and I don't plan to assess Symbiostock week by week either.

It's fair enough to decide about having/keeping a Symbiostock site, but I can't see any reason for making claims about something "going on" as if there was anything underhanded about the setup.

Goofy

« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 10:43 »
0
I am on the sidelines now and will continue to be so until I see a better and clearer vision...

« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 13:30 »
-3
Cathy has already switched her site to another WordPress template - i.e. isn't using Symbiostock any more.

I don't know what the notion is of conspiracy but I don't have any links to Leo's site - I'm not an illustrator so it didn't seem appropriate - and I've made sales anyway. Not a ton, but then the site and the network is new and I'm expecting it to take time to build. I don't jump in and out of agency sites and I don't plan to assess Symbiostock week by week either.

It's fair enough to decide about having/keeping a Symbiostock site, but I can't see any reason for making claims about something "going on" as if there was anything underhanded about the setup.


You outed me Joann!  ;)


I am not going to get into a whole big rigamarole about what is and what isnt going on. My opinion is that the networking did me no good. I dont want to rebuild my site every time an update comes along. My alternative is not perfect either. There are a couple of things that dont work correctly, but the more important things do.


If networking is not doing me any good, there is no point in dealing with the SY drama.


I wish the rest of you much luck and in another year or two when most in the network who have about the same number of images as i and dont have 3 or 4 other sites crosslinked..in other words, the average photogs trying to make a buck...is selling a couple hundreds dollars or more a month, i will eat my words and you all can say you told me so.


 :)


Leo Blanchette

« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 15:03 »
+7
You chastise people for posting here, Leo, and yet here you are inundating the board with lots of new threads.  ::)

Um, when did I chastise anyone for posting in MSG? I've always felt it was the other way around. And I was gone for at least 4 months, fatigued from Symbiostock. I come back in one day, and I "inundate" Symbiostock board with threads. The Symbiostock board is ignored by half of MSG because in its early days, there were lots of threads due to popularity. I don't think its as you say.


In my travels while upgrading my SY theme, i ran across many backlinks to a few peoples sites. It explains why a few people are and have been making good sales all along. Because those backlinks, multiplied many times over by each person who has a site and each new person that creates an SY site, ensures that those few people continue to make good sales. Meanwhile, the promise that the networking of SY will bring sales to everyone goes largely unfulfilled.


Cathy, I'm going to try to be kind to you here. Back when I was solo my site did about 1700 visits a day. I did thousands on it between the sales of collections, images, and custom work requests.

Since I started Symbiostock, I've neglected my site, and now I'm down to 200 visits a day, still doing daily sales. I could go on, but I suspect it would not be heard anyway.



One only has to look at the massive amount of links the top few people have to your site in Webmaster Tools to see what is going on.



This is really funny, but prior to Symbiostock I already had a massive amount of backlinks. And Symbiostock was a response to the Google/Getty deal. But now I see why Lobo exists. I owe the man an apology.


Some people are ecstatic that they have sold a couple of images in months. As growth of new sites takes place, there should be some increase accordingly in individuals sales. That isnt happening. 1 sale in 8 months isnt good enough for me, especially since about 200 new sites have been added since that one sale. If networking were working for me, i should have seen what, maybe one more sale? Or maybe way more, i think?



Did, maybe, you ever think there is more to selling an image than a page and traffic?


I have no doubt SY will be successful for a few people. For the most of the people who build, photography is their profession and its about selling photos, not about blogging, social media, and building additional websites with massive amounts of cross-linking.

Again, I could respond, but really... what can I say? Look at the people who do well.

As far as the basic SY theme goes, there are basic things that photographers need to have included. Some of those things still dont work correctly. After dozens of updates or upgrades, they still dont work correctly.


Believe it or not, the few complaints I have always carry more weight than the people who don't complain. Its why finally I crashed for 4 months. Absolute stress and fatigue. I wanted very much to go back to my previous world of Illustration. But anyway, I'm here again for a while and many of your complaints have been taken care of. Or not, I don't have the long checklist of your complaints.

There is lots of proposing of how all SYers can push SY. Each one of those pushes adds lots of juice to the few who are doing well, but does hardly anything for the people doing the pushing.

Speculative, and wrong again. Besides, at this time I'm setting up even more on a global search...but I suspect that might be a  mistake, increasing an unhealthy sense of dependence and entitlement, when I could just be free of all this anyway and go back to illustration and marketing and programming for my own site.

It sounds an awful lot like just another internet scheme...get a whole bunch of people to do your selling for you so you can live off their backs. That isnt why i built an SY site. I built it so you could live off my back and i could live off yours. You can see that half of the equation is missing.

You have so many ignorant statements in this post its astounding. Symbiostock gives me very little income in comparison to my days as an illustrator. This is humbling and eye-opening for me, as well, seeing that I'm a contributor seeing what its like, in a way, to be an agent. I'm not an agent, but this situation is enough to see what its like to be one. I'm only hanging onto this because there are 160 sites depending on it still going.

When i say "you", i mean anyone who has benefitted in a big way from this. You know who you are.

For these reasons, i am calling SY an epic fail for me and i am out.

If you wish, but I've spoken my side, and its not the conspiracy you say. If Symbiostock sells images, its successful.

Now I might also say I'm humbled in another regard too. The many people who have good sales expressed fear for posting their stories. They said it would get a negative reaction.

I know what I should do... I should give away the premium upgrade. Then I'd be blameless.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 15:04 »
0
If thats true,  then I might as well go solo as well.
Which part???  :o :o :o :o :o


Leo Blanchette

« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 15:06 »
+2
I'm not sure about the whole conspiracy theory thing, but I was wondering about why there is a cap on 10 links. I wouldn't mind having a larger link exchange page. It seems like something that would be advantageous, but maybe there was a reason for having only ten that I was missing.

Theres a cap because it takes time for a symbiostock site to call all those sites. You generally don't notice because Symbiostock is programmed to let search engine spiders do the waiting in advance, so users don't have to. Our humble unsung hero AJT devised that method.

The cap is for performance...I could remove it, but it was a consideration to the network.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 15:11 »
+3
Cathy has already switched her site to another WordPress template - i.e. isn't using Symbiostock any more.

I don't know what the notion is of conspiracy but I don't have any links to Leo's site - I'm not an illustrator so it didn't seem appropriate - and I've made sales anyway. Not a ton, but then the site and the network is new and I'm expecting it to take time to build. I don't jump in and out of agency sites and I don't plan to assess Symbiostock week by week either.

It's fair enough to decide about having/keeping a Symbiostock site, but I can't see any reason for making claims about something "going on" as if there was anything underhanded about the setup.

I appreciate the reasonableness. I've turned own a few early business proposals because they aimed at profiting from the network's webmasters. I could have easily gotten into "the club" of microstock business drivers in the early days, and I turned down every invitation. Last and certainly not least, I suppose you could fly out here and ask my wife just how much of this isNOT a scheme, and certainly NOT making a lot of money.

I tell you the truth, a good illustrator has more advantage than even the main developer of Symbiostock. That is reality. I really appreciate your reasonableness on those accusations.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 15:12 »
+2
I am on the sidelines now and will continue to be so until I see a better and clearer vision...
Partly cloudy with a chance of tornadoes. Get underground quick.

« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 16:00 »
+4
....Meanwhile, the promise that the networking of SY will bring sales to everyone goes largely unfulfilled.





As far as the basic SY theme goes, there are basic things that photographers need to have included. Some of those things still dont work correctly. After dozens of updates or upgrades, they still dont work correctly. ......

For these reasons, i am calling SY an epic fail for me and i am out.

while you're certainly entitled to your opinion, your complaints are disingenuous -- YOU opted out of networking many months ago which is why you are not listed in the global searches, so your comments about your not benefiting from networking are irrelevant -- you do however continue to get benefits from several sym sites that don't realize this and who still link to you.   

« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 16:07 »
0

I am not going to get into a whole big rigamarole about what is and what isnt going on. My opinion is that the networking did me no good. I dont want to rebuild my site every time an update comes along.

.....

 :)

yet another of your mis-statements ---  updates to sym do not require any rebuilding of an existing site (unless you've changed the internal code for the theme, which is true of ANY WP theme)

« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 16:53 »
0

... I dont want to rebuild my site every time an update comes along. .....

yet another of your mis-statements ---  updates to sym do not require any rebuilding of an existing site (unless you've changed the internal code for the theme, which is true of ANY WP theme)

Cathy had purchased Clean Theme 2.0 - as I had - and the author of that chose not to continue updating it as Symbiostock continued development.

The route I took when I wanted to update my site after 2.6.5 was to bite the bullet and modify the Dragonfly child theme to look very similar to my previous Clean Theme version. It wasn't fun to do and this isn't something that will have to happen again (probably!) but I suspect that it's the disruption that Clean Theme becoming "orphaned" caused that Cathy is referring to.

Going forward, no one else will be disrupted by that particular problem because Clean Theme is no longer for sale.

(Just to be very specific, Leo did offer a version of Clean Theme he modified to work with the 2.8.x and up versions to anyone who previously purchased Clean Theme, but I opted not to take him up on that because I wanted to stop relying on something that effectively had no future)

Ron

« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 17:10 »
-1
I wonder how much money that person made before she disappeared. Did anyone get refunded? If not, its a disgrace. What happened to Syxtra? People paid for that? Discontinued as well.

« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 17:18 »
0
I wonder how much money that person made before she disappeared. Did anyone get refunded? If not, its a disgrace. What happened to Syxtra? People paid for that? Discontinued as well.

I didn't ask for a refund for either of those and not for a slider I purchased (not just for Symbiostock) from a ThemeForest vendor, and not from a number of other software companies whose products I have used but which at some point are no longer relevant or useful.

I wasn't promised lifetime free updates when I made the purchase, so I don't see it as disgraceful. It is unfortunate, but no more. This is just the way software is, so I don't see anything all that unusual about this situation.

Ron

« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 17:24 »
0
There is a difference. Software tends to keep working when you have a version, you dont have to update. This piece of software stopped working altogether, some people used it for a few months and that was it.

Its probably my Dutch culture, turning every dime before its spend, and bringing our own snacks to a cinema, that doesnt understand this practice.

« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 17:29 »
+1
Cathy has already switched her site to another WordPress template - i.e. isn't using Symbiostock any more...

You outed me Joann!  ;) ...

I think your site did that all by itself. I went to check something a few days ago and saw immediately that things had changed. A quick peek at some pages showed which theme you'd switched to.

But if you're going to speak out about what's wrong with Symbiostock (which you certainly have every right to) I think it's important that people know that you no longer have any skin in that game. Sorry if you weren't happy about it, but the site is public and anyone can see that it's no longer Symbiostock-based.

« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 17:34 »
0
....Meanwhile, the promise that the networking of SY will bring sales to everyone goes largely unfulfilled.





As far as the basic SY theme goes, there are basic things that photographers need to have included. Some of those things still dont work correctly. After dozens of updates or upgrades, they still dont work correctly. ......

For these reasons, i am calling SY an epic fail for me and i am out.

while you're certainly entitled to your opinion, your complaints are disingenuous -- YOU opted out of networking many months ago which is why you are not listed in the global searches, so your comments about your not benefiting from networking are irrelevant -- you do however continue to get benefits from several sym sites that don't realize this and who still link to you.


I expect both both you and Leo to be the ones to try and discount my feelings because you have the most to lose.


Actually i have never disconnected from the network until 2 or 3 weeks ago. I was connected to ten people for a few months. Then i was only connected to ajts search engine. Then i was back to being connected to 10 people again. None of it mattered.


Last i looked, a week or so ago, i was still in the global search. I knew that sooner or later someone would out me. And by the way, i sent emails to every single person who had me in their network telling them my feelings. That was a couple of days after i decided to change themes. If they didnt have any contact info on their site, of course i couldnt. As far as benefitting...there have been no benefits! I made one sale! How many have you made? Im guessing you are one of the ones who wont say.


And this is exactly the drama i am done with. Good luck, wishing you all SYers the best. Even Martha, who thinks i am a turkey. (Wonder why people have to resort to name calling when someone disagrees?)  :)


Onward and upward.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 17:37 »
0
And this is exactly the drama i am done with.

Look at the opening post in response to this thread. How can you walk out of a drama  you opened the curtains to?

Also, I have everything to gain by going away from this network. That's where people are vastly mistaken. I was better off as an illustrator. I could spend all day defending myself, but I'm almost finished with my parting words.

« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 17:53 »
+4
Thanks Leo for starting something that many wanted but didnt have the skill set to pull off.

I signed up for this for the long haul, this project is still in its infancy, some of you people need to relax.

Frankly there are a lot of good points in Chromacos post.
What I think most contributors fail to realize is that we are providing a commodity.
Stock photography changed with the birth of microstock. Sites popped up all over the place. Prices went down. There isnt one segment - be it buyers, suppliers or the sites that are to blame, it is just an evolution made possible by digital technology.
 
Too many contributors think of themselves as artists and are too naive to realize that what they do is not that special. There isnt a single one of us whose portfolio would be missed by the microstock world if it disappeared today.

Take note people your images arent worth what they used to be. And its not likely to get any better.

Chromacos simple approach is probably the route we should all be taking. Instead of multiple licenses - one simple license. Buy it - Use it - dont resell it! Genius.

One template for all the sites - Leo youve been too accommodating to the numerous requests for customization.
One Template - Download it - Use it -  Genius.
And if you dont like it - dont be part of it, and dont demand it be something it isnt.

I wonder what Leo would have accomplished for Symbiostock had it not been for all the pissers and moaners.

I am so sick of reading negative posts. To the quitters - see ya - dont let the door hit you in the arse on the way out. If youre not a member shut-the-eff-up and move on to something else.

And as for this message board - I could put 90% of you on ignore and not miss anything that matters. The avalanche of drivel posted is mind-blowing

To everyone with a symbio Site - get off you butts and upload your images. I am tired of seeing the people in my network with the same amount of images month after month. If you want this thing to take off help it grow.

Disclaimer:
All opinions are mine alone. I have a Symbio Site but have nothing to do with the operation, planning, or creation of Symbiostock.

« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 18:10 »
0
Leo, can you please remove my name from the title of this thread? I don't mind the link or the first post but this thread has strayed pretty far from the intent of my original post over at symbiostock.org. There is a lot of negativity in this thread and my name is tied to it in the title. I have had some success with symbiostock and I have done enough testing to know that it is not because of my network (although the networking I am sure helps). FWIW, I am not an original member and am not part of the good ole boys club that has been referenced in this thread. I work hard at my sites and I put a lot of effort into how the search engines find my images. Any insinuation that my results are due to conspiracies or back room deals are a bit insulting.

     Symbiostock is not a sales genie, it takes work. It is not an agency where you upload and are done, but that is why we get to keep 98%. I thought I would share some ideas on why I think I have been successful so that others might improve their sales. I really didn't anticipate how poorly my intentions would be received.
Symbiostock has been good for me and I appreciated all of the hard work everyone has put into it.

Best
Dennis

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 18:16 »
0
I removed your name from the thread - I should have thought to do that :D

Anyway, your story inspired me. I want to be an illustrator :D


« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 18:23 »
+2
Thank you. Just so you know you inspired me! When I first started in 2009 I wanted to be completely independent and only joined the micros because I couldn't afford my own site. Now partially thanks to you it is looking like I can't afford to upload to the micros. Nice change of events. My future is more in my own hands than ever before and I have the luxury of saying See-ya to any micros that don't behave the way I would like. Isn't this what we are all looking for?

Wishing good sales to all no matter what route you may choose. Remember as contributors we have more in common than we disagree about. It just seems like disagreeing is more interesting.


 

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