Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long And Arduous And Worth It

This process of making the web work for your stock photography business can be a long and arduous one. I started my serious efforts eight months ago, and while I have seen results, they aren’t as impressive as I hoped for. But I am not discouraged, far from it. I am more convinced than ever that a strong presence on the Internet is going to be increasingly beneficial and important to all stock shooters.

My goal is to be getting 10,000 to 20,000 visitors a day to my site. Right now I am averaging a tad over 300 a day. That is up from one visitor a week eight months ago, but obviously I have a long, long way to go. But even with just 300 a day I am seeing a benefit. Today I was contacted by an Agency in New Zealand about licensing an image they found on my site. I asked them how they happened to find me. They told me they had searched Getty and Corbis and the “usual places” but couldn’t find the image they wanted. They then did a Google search and found my image.

Since virtually all of my images are handled by various agencies, most of those who find something they are looking for on my site are sent on to the respective agency handling that image, and I don’t know if they make a purchase or not. But I do see that every day numerous visitors do go to an image page and then on to Blend Images, Getty, Corbis, and Kimball Stock. I don’t know what percentage of these visitors’ license stock photos, but some do, and as my traffic increases so will those sales.

As I mentioned, success on the Internet, for me, is proving to be not just long, but arduous as well. The process of uploading my images, along with the metadata entry, is agonizing for me. In each of the arenas I am attempting to incorporate there is a ton of work to do. I am way behind in tagging and key wording the images I have on ImageKind. My CafePress site requires mountains of work before it will be ready for prime time. My efforts with Flickr at this point are pathetic and my own site is rife with mistakes, misspellings, inadequate key wording and lack of images…and what I really want to be doing is making images! But I firmly believe that in the long run getting my images seen is at least as important as making new ones.

Getty has instituted “stacks” in their search. The result is that while overall the bulk of my images will be seen more readily, some images will be buried much deeper. What can I do about that? I can get more eyeballs on my images through my Internet presence. I can do that by getting all of my images up online, making sure that they are key worded well, and that my site is filled with well-organized quality content. I am attempting to add quality content by writing articles, interviewing important people in our industry, and sharing my experiences in this blog.


Francesco Gallarotti said...

Hi, found you through a friend on twitter... I was wondering how did you decide your traffic goal... I work in a web development company and I find your goal much higher than what a blog / private web site usually can achieve.
You are getting 300/day, you said. That's about ten thousand contacts a year. That's already pretty high and you should be proud of it. To go higher than that and actually get significant traffic (people that can potentially be your buyers) you might want to invest in pay-per-click advertisement.
Just my two cents :)
And congrats for the site. As a photographer I really enjoyed reading your articles.

John Lund said...


I picked my traffic numbers from Dan Heller who is getting that kind of I am guessing it can be done!

Thanks for your post!