Friday, August 20, 2010
Getty, Corbis and Abysmal Sales Reports
My Getty and Corbis royalty reports this month were both abysmal…the lowest in each case in a decade. Now I consider myself a pretty optimistic person, but even for me that is something that makes me sit up and take notice. Am I tempted to jump off a tall building? No…unless there is an inviting swimming pool below. Mitigating factors include the fact that the previous two months at Getty were pretty good for me, and that June found my sales at Blend being very good. But still, my Corbis monthly drop was truly spectacular and my Getty drop was down to half of what is normal for me. Yikes!
Creativity, Action and Depression
Strangely though, I don’t seem to be depressed. Which is really good because depression is the biggest enemy of creativity and action…the two things that we need most in challenging times. In trying to understand why I am not depressed I first realize that I know that my income will rebound…it always has…and that it isn’t time to panic. As I mention, my Blend income is looking good and overall I have been producing some of the best images of my life. I have robust and diverse distribution. Also, I am really glad I started SEO on my website almost two years ago.
Monetizing Imagery, Time and Effort
Ultimately I believe that the best insurance against the demise of the stock industry as we know it is a strong presence on the web in order to monetize our imagery in as many ways as possible. My experience is that it is a painfully slow process…but that it will work. In my recent interview with Rolf Hicker, who is making such an effort work, he points out that what it takes is a huge expenditure of time and effort. That is also borne out by the other people I know who are profiting from the web. Overnight success only comes after years of hard work.
Twenty Months of SEO
Let’s take a look at where I stand after about twenty months of SEO efforts. I started with about one person a week visiting my site. This past week I have had over 600 people a day for at least Monday through Thursday. Not bad…but nowhere near where I want to be. I am earning somewhere around $6.00 per day on click through advertising. In the last year I sold about $1,200.00 dollars worth of prints through Imagekind.com. Not particularly good, but better than the zero dollars I earned before I started this effort. At CaféPress, sales of photo imprinted gifts such as coffee mugs, mouse pads, and other gift items, has reached an average of about one sale a day. I guess can’t quite retire yet! My new “funnyanimalpix” blog is up to a whopping 20 visitors a day. Hey, it has only been about a month now! Most importantly, I am getting around twenty people a day who find an image on my site and then follow the link to the agency that handles that particular image. I have no way to know how many actually license an image at that point…but I know some do because I have occasionally managed to talk to some of them…sometimes when they contact me directly to try and get a better price (which they can’t). Keep in mind that for the above figures, it seems to be that the summer months usually finds a visitor drop-off of 20% for website traffic.
Three to Five Years and Decent Money
From the above it seems reasonable to me that if I can get six thousand visitors a day instead of six hundred, I will be making some decent money…mainly from increased stock sales. I totally believe I will get there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes me three to five years more. In the meantime…hey, at least this industry isn’t boring!