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Where I'm doing wrong?

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Ladiras81
Hi, I started with microstock about one year ago, collaborating with different agencies. I know that most of my pictures are not exactly "microstock photos", but I have to say that on other 2-3 agencies I have quite a good sales every month, with 8-10 bestsellers with dozens of sales.
Here on Dreamstime instead I get very very few sales and dollars every month, (less than a coffee/day :(), and the top sellers have just 6-7 sales each.
And the sales regularly increase as I increase my portfolio, so that after one year I earn about a part time salary every month. But sales on DT look like stucked independently from my portfolio size.
So my question is...am I doing anything wrong? Or maybe DT customers prefer another kind of pictures?
Nikon D7000 Nikkor 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 G VR II Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G
Edited: 08/15/2013, 04:51:29 AM
Komar
1 year is too short a time to assess a ms site. Many of my really old images sell better than new ones here, it probably took time for them to rise in search positions. You don't have any old images yet. On other sites new images seem to sell better, but sometimes they lose steam after a certain time.

I do suggest trying vary your port some more. Also take some photos of people.
Posted: 08/15/2013, 05:36:36 AM
Wisconsinart
Getting dozens of sales at other sites with a larger customer base doesn't mean your portfolio does better elsewhere. Generic landscapes is great for the soul but a poor path to follow in the realm of COMMERCIAL photography.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 08/15/2013, 06:40:26 AM
Leakeem
Ladiras81, another reason may be that you are not an exclusive photographer. Exclusive photographers here at DT have better search placement (plus higher commission rates).
Canon EOS 550D and a Mutant Calculator
Posted: 08/15/2013, 07:40:19 AM
Pulsar124
I am an exclusive here, but somehow from all the photos I uploaded this year (>30), I had only one 0.42$ sale so far. Only my old photos keep selling (but not as well as the last year).

My speculation is that DT is going through an exponential growth stage right now, due to to their recently significantly increased upload limits. That makes our recent uploads (with zero sales) much more diluted, and much less visible. Our old photos, which managed to get to higher levels under the old upload limits, are much more visible now.

I am seriously considering quitting the exclusiveness here, as apparently DT doesn't give a damn about us anymore.
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 08/15/2013, 08:30:48 AM
Parkinsonsniper
Ladiras; when it comes to travel photography, you need a much much bigger port to reach consistent sales, in microstock industry. You are here for 1 year and still, many of your images didn't reach 100 views. I think that's because of your titles. You mostly use the name of that particular place, which makes that image visible mostly for the searches of that particular name. Keywording is extremely important and every agency have it's own search algorithm and keywording expectations. (Some agencies accept synonyms, some do not.) Maybe you can find other travel photographers in Dreamstime and check how they keyword their images etc.

You can also use different titles for two images of the same place, such as "Kata Tjuta" for one image and "Mountain at Sunset" for another one. It will make your images visible for different searches, hence more chances.

Good luck :)
f2.8 - Nikkor 50mm f1.4 - Nikkor 50mm f1.8 - Tamron 90mm f2....
Posted: 08/15/2013, 09:05:29 AM
Lenutaidi
Hi!:)
@Parkinsonsniper....."Some agencies accept synonyms, some do not". DT accept synonyms?
@Pulsar124 ....."My speculation is that DT is going through an exponential growth stage right now, due to to their recently significantly increased upload limits. That makes our recent uploads (with zero sales) much more diluted, and much less visible".Interesting point,may open a topic about it.I think you're wrong with giving up at exclusiveness.Don't give up! Keep uploading and increase your portfolio!!
@Wisconsinart....."Generic landscapes is great for the soul but a poor path to follow in the realm of COMMERCIAL photography". Yeah, you you're right!!
@Ladiras81....Try to take pictures in supermarket with everything and put at editorial section.You will see that successful in sales.Good luck!!!Best regards,Lenuta:)
Edited: 08/15/2013, 09:29:03 AM
Parkinsonsniper
@Lenuatidi, yes DT accept synonyms and also similar words. You can add "cock" and "rooster" in the same image...or you can add "face facial beauty beautiful pretty" etc as keywords.
f2.8 - Nikkor 50mm f1.4 - Nikkor 50mm f1.8 - Tamron 90mm f2....
Posted: 08/15/2013, 09:54:58 AM
Ladiras81
Thanks to everybody for the answers

Wisconsinart: yes I agree with you, but the point is that I don't aim for becoming a top seller in the microstock market :) I don't have neither the equipment to shot (for example) still life photos, neither the time to do that. I can't even imagine all the time needed to set up the scene, the lights, and all the equipment just to shot a picture that maybe won't ever be sold. I can see here or in other microstock agencies wonderful portfolios with "true microstock" images having less than 10 sales each. Today I think that the competition and the quality of the pictures (differently from just 4-5 years ago) is so high that you have to spend a lot of time and efforts if you want to succeed. And unless you already are a photographer or an illustrator and have a professional camera and lenses, it's extremely hard to succeed...You only risk to waste a lot of time for nothing.

With my pictures instead I managed to reach and exceed my earnings goals in a short time, which are not high of course, but enough for me. I know that many of my pictures are just normal touristic photos (maybe I have 40-50 good pictures), but the point is that in other agencies I do have good sales, and the more I upload the more I sell and earn. Since I started I didn't have a single month with a decreased earnings...every month a bit more than the previous.

Therefore, I don't know, maybe I should look at that from another perspective and conclude that here on DT I have normal sales for my portfolio while on the other agencies I've been just lucky. But since my portfolio is almost the same on all the agencies, and in the 3 top agencies I earn 100-200 dollars/month while here less than 20...well I think the problem is here
Nikon D7000 Nikkor 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 G VR II Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G
Posted: 08/15/2013, 10:19:44 AM
Fengshang520
Appropriate to do some deliberate attempt to try new shoot.
Posted: 08/15/2013, 10:31:18 AM
Wisconsinart
DT is a major player in the stock industry but it's still small compared to the big boys. An analogy would be Pepsi versus Coke.

Say DT has 100 Buyers/day coming here and purchasing images. At the other sites, they're getting 1,000 Buyers/day. So if a portfolio receives 1 sale/day at DT and 10 sales/day at the other site, they are statistically even in performance.

If you want to blame DT for anything, then blame them for not being able to bring in more Buyers. But when it comes to the PORTFOLIO, it is doing no worse or better STATISTICALLY on either site.

That's the first point.

The second point is this: A portfolio earning $100-$200 on another site, is that "Good?" If it makes you happy, that's great. However, if the AVERAGE is $500/month for a portfolio with 1,000 images, then the PORTFOLIO is UNDERPERFORMING if it's earning much less than the AVERAGE.

I can relate to not having time, models, equipment, etc. There is no way we can compete with the pros. However, it is a mistake to blame everything else and make excuses instead of blaming the PORTFOLIO. It is extremely rewarding and challenging to find ways around the barriers and that makes photography fun.

And that's the real point: You get more sales by becoming a better photographer. Doing things with photography that you didn't know how to do a year ago is exciting.

Sales don't come by "waiting a year." Or blaming the site. Many people will take that personally, and I guess that's OK. You can only reach out and help those who realize the potential, the challenge, the fun, AND the sales, if they understand it's the PORTFOLIO to blame. Funny thing is, YOU CAN FIX THE PORTFOLIO. It's not that hard! Just need to overcome that human trait for making excuses.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 08/15/2013, 12:06:39 PM
Lenutaidi

Originally posted by Wisconsinart:
Quoted Message: DT is a major player in the stock industry but it`s still small compared to the big boys. An analogy would be Pepsi versus Coke.Say DT has 100 Buyers/day coming here and purchasing images. At the other sites, they`re getting 1,000 Buyers/day. So if a portfolio receives 1 sale/day at DT and 10 sales/day at the other site, they are statistically even in performance.If you want to blame DT for anything, then blame them for not being able to bring in more Buyers. But when it comes to the PORTFOLIO, it is doing no worse or better STATISTICALLY on either site.That`s the first point.The second point is this: A portfolio earning $100-$200 on another site, is that "Good?" If it makes you happy, that`s great. However, if the AVERAGE is $500/month for a portfolio with 1,000 images, then the PORTFOLIO is UNDERPERFORMING if it`s earning much less than the AVERAGE.I can relate to not having time, models, equipment, etc. There is no way we can compete with the pros. However, it is a mistake to blame everything else and make excuses instead of blaming the PORTFOLIO. It is extremely rewarding and challenging to find ways around the barriers and that makes photography fun.And that`s the real point: You get more sales by becoming a better photographer. Doing things with photography that you didn`t know how to do a year ago is exciting.Sales don`t come by "waiting a year." Or blaming the site. Many people will take that personally, and I guess that`s OK. You can only reach out and help those who realize the potential, the challenge, the fun, AND the sales, if they understand it`s the PORTFOLIO to blame. Funny thing is, YOU CAN FIX THE PORTFOLIO. It`s not that hard! Just need to overcome that human trait for making excuses.


But master...I like Pepsi more than Coke...:)
@Parkinsonsniper....I knew DT accepted and synonyms,because I have a lot in my keys...I just wanted to get your attention here.:))Cheers!
Edited: 08/15/2013, 12:21:50 PM
Miraclemoments
The question however is this....is DT's number of buyers increasing at the same rate it is growing in overall images. If we are hypothetically comparing 100 buyers per day on DT to 1000 per day on another agency why on earth is anyone exclusive, including me. If Ladiras81 is making so much more sales on other agencies why not here. Key wording is important but is there such a big difference between his key wording here and other sites. I doubt it.

f3.5-5.6 Sigma 17-50 f2.8 Canon 24-70L f2.8 Canon 70-200L f4 43...
Posted: 08/15/2013, 12:19:36 PM
Lenutaidi
The question is:How to we make to come and at DT 1,000 buyers/day??That is the question.You, Wisconsinart what would you do if you were the owner of this website??May you have some good advice and useful for the owner and admins of this site,not only for contributors.Master,you know,we all want to come here 1,000 customers per day....
Edited: 08/15/2013, 12:43:23 PM
Wisconsinart

Originally posted by Lenutaidi:
Quoted Message: The question is:How to we make to come and at DT 1,000 buyers/day??That is the question.You, Wisconsinart what would you do if you were the owner of this website??May you have some good advice and useful for the owner and admins of this site,not only for contributors.Master,you know,we all want to come here 1,000 customers per day....


I actually have suggestions to make regarding DT gaining market share. Give me a few days to write it up.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 08/15/2013, 12:56:20 PM
Lenutaidi
Please after you make suggestions, keep us updated.Thank you very much,Wisconsinart! Best regards!
Edited: 08/15/2013, 13:09:47 PM
Ladiras81
Wisconsinart, I agree to all what you wrote, but let me point out some further explanation.
I'm the first to say that I should improve the quality of my portfolio, and that yes, if you have original ideas and are able to improve your skills you can get great results and increase your sales. But my consideration was just about the current situation, which is, same portfolio -> "good" sales in other agencies, very bad sales here.

I actually didn't know that DT has such less customers compared to the big ones, so your conclusions from a statistical point of view make sense.

About the fact that my portfolio is underperforming or not, I'm not able to give an answer, but I think that you should take many factors in consideration, for example the time spent to realize your shots. When I started with microstock, I considered it just like a game, I simply took the photos of my past travels which I considered good shots (well, now after an years spent between forums, tutorials and practice most of them look just rubbish to me ;)), did a quick post production on them and uploaded them in all the agencies. In the last months I started to go around trying to take "microstock oriented" photos, but the 90% of my income still comes from those old shots.
I mean, if when I discovered the microstock world I spent money and time to set up a studio, buy lights, tripods and so on, and I got the same results, I could certainly say that my portfolio is underperforming.
But if I calculate the ratio between the results I ogt and the time spent, I can say I'm quite happy with that :)

Of course those picture won't keep their sales for a long time, since better pictures of the same places from better photographers will replace them in a short time, so it's a great incentive for me to improve my skills and take the microstock world more seriously in the future
Nikon D7000 Nikkor 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 G VR II Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G
Posted: 08/15/2013, 13:10:27 PM
Bradcalkins

Originally posted by Miraclemoments:
Quoted Message: If we are hypothetically comparing 100 buyers per day on DT to 1000 per day on another agency why on earth is anyone exclusive, including me.


Why? Because you hopefully found DT to be a good fit for your images. It doesn't matter if another site has 10 times the buyers, if the 100 buyers on DT are buying YOUR images over everyone else. My personal experience is that I initially went exclusive here because DT brought me sales where others didn't. I eventually went non-exclusive for my newer images (for various reasons) and after almost 2 years I still make half my revenue from DT. So you have to conclude that different sites attract different buyers, and those buyers behave differently. There are going to be contributors who do terribly here, and those who do great.

While more buyers are obviously better in general, if you have landscape images and the buyers all want lifestyle it doesn't help your specific portfolio. Or if you sell photos and the buyers want illustrations.

The search engine plays a big role here. Other sites are quite good at getting your images in front of buyers early on - which implies *subscription* buyers browsing, and lots of them. DT, on the other hand, seems to favor direct searching, where good *selective* keywording helps a lot. The two are incompatible. If you keyword well for one, you lose out at the other (fortunately you can keyword differently on sites if you take the time). Finally, a good example. I uploaded similar photos to multiple sites. One batch earned me $264 so far on another site versus $172 on DT. But a second batch earned me $177 on DT versus $102 on the other. Content, keywording, timing, and luck all play a role in making you successful on any site. One size fits all uploading is not the secret to DT, that is for sure.

Do you really want all sites to attract and fight for the same buyers and deliver consistent results, or do you want sites to have niches and attract buyers that fit well with the content? I favor the latter, as there is room to move prices up, and room to let contributors who work hard to match their content rise above and succeed.
ZD 50mm Macro f/2...
Posted: 08/15/2013, 14:06:48 PM
Fred11

Originally posted by Bradcalkins:
Quoted Message: Why? Because you hopefully found DT to be a good fit for your images. It doesn`t matter if another site has 10 times the buyers, if the 100 buyers on DT are buying YOUR images over everyone else. My personal experience is that I initially went exclusive here because DT brought me sales where others didn`t. I eventually went non-exclusive for my newer images (for various reasons) and after almost 2 years I still make half my revenue from DT. So you have to conclude that different sites attract different buyers, and those buyers behave differently. There are going to be contributors who do terribly here, and those who do great.While more buyers are obviously better in general, if you have landscape images and the buyers all want lifestyle it doesn`t help your specific portfolio. Or if you sell photos and the buyers want illustrations.The search engine plays a big role here. Other sites are quite good at getting your images in front of buyers early on - which implies *subscription* buyers browsing, and lots of them. DT, on the other hand, seems to favor direct searching, where good *selective* keywording helps a lot. The two are incompatible. If you keyword well for one, you lose out at the other (fortunately you can keyword differently on sites if you take the time). Finally, a good example. I uploaded similar photos to multiple sites. One batch earned me $264 so far on another site versus $172 on DT. But a second batch earned me $177 on DT versus $102 on the other. Content, keywording, timing, and luck all play a role in making you successful on any site. One size fits all uploading is not the secret to DT, that is for sure.Do you really want all sites to attract and fight for the same buyers and deliver consistent results, or do you want sites to have niches and attract buyers that fit well with the content? I favor the latter, as there is room to move prices up, and room to let contributors who work hard to match their content rise above and succeed.



Well said indeed!

Much of the doom/gloom within micro today is self-inflicted. People keep uploading same old stuff to 15-20 agencies and thereby slaughtering their own material. Might have worked years back but certainly not today.

Today I belong to 4 agencies, an RM-collection, here and two more. Thats it and I get more revenue then some years back when uploading to 8 of them.

The market is totally and utterly oversaturated and its not going to get any better. There are agencies boasting and bragging about 25-30 million images, scaring the shit out of potential buyers or as one AD said to me " sorry I havent got six months to spare looking for one shot".

Now if ever is the time to consider exclusivity or as many ( apart from Yuri, he is not the only one), consider special deals.
The more nieched your portfolio is, the more chance.

Finally, agencies have all sorts of expenditures, staff, wages, this that. The majority of contributors have only got themselves to answer to. Todays rule or model is to carefully chose three or four agencies, give them all the time needed/uploading, not just good but commercial material. That way keep it close to your chest.
MIII, Hasselblad HD5, Leica-S2, Canon 1dx II. ...
Edited: 08/16/2013, 01:45:55 AM
Pulsar124
^ This is one of the things which make me reluctant to quit exclusivity at DT. As I described in my older thread, I did seem to stumble upon a nice niche - IT (datacenter) photos, which pay 23x more per photo than anything else I upload. (Mostly in credits BTW.) This might sell as well in other agencies - but who knows? I am not sure I want to take that chance. Not yet anyway.

I guess I'll see if the new 5-10 photo subs package make a dent in my earning this quarter, and if it does, then I'm quitting the exclusivity. If things are actually improving, I am willing to stay, and should probably contribute more IT photos.
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 08/16/2013, 08:21:55 AM
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