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About Ollie

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  • Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA


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  • Joined Alamy
    29 Mar 2005

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  1. I went exclusive with Alamy at the beginning of the year, removing my images from two other agencies where sales were far less frequent than at Alamy, and where prices were often only one-half or less what Alamy is getting. But no, I've seen no increase in sales. This years sales numbers and sales revenue are both slightly behind where I was this time last year. Not particularly bad, but certainly no noticeable improvement. In addition to going exclusive I've been using spare time the last several months to review the keywording of old images. When Alamy changed its AIM system (was that two and a half years ago now?) I found it screwed up a lot of my keywording, dropping commas that had previously been there, thereby creating lots of multiple-word keyword phrases which were likely never to be searched, while also separating into single words keywording that had earlier been two- or three-word phrases (i.e., "palm tree" became "palm, tree" or "ear ring" became "ear, ring", which can produce a lot of false positives and result in a lowered CTR rating). So correcting all these keyword anomalies should, I thought, improve my CTR rating and lead to more sales, but obviously that has not yet happened. In any case I don't regret going exclusive since my other agencies were not producing much.
  2. I did my own review of Google search results recently. Using rather narrowly-defined searches so there would not be thousands of images found, I found that Google found my images in the Alamy collection much more frequently than those (same ones) in my PhotoShelter website collection. So I asked PhotoShelter for their comment. After complimenting me on my on-page metadata (keywords, captions, etc.) they offered the following advice: The main thing you will want to pay attention to when it comes to driving traffic to your site is backlinks (people who link back to your website) and the "anchor text" (the linked text). If you haven't embarked on a strategy to create backlinks (e.g. blogging about your website, getting other people to blog about you, etc), then you won't have much success with search engines, and therefore you won't have many visits. You should think of each link as an endorsement of your content. The more links, the more likely the search engines are likely to consider you a credible search result. Some places to start: - If you are a member of communities or trade organizations, create backlinks from your profile page - Create a blog and write entries each time you publish new content on your website. - Consider content trades whereby other sites link to you in return. We often "guest" blog to reach a wider audience as well as get a backlink. Even a handful of backlinks can have an effect on your SEO because most people have zero backlinks to their website. I don't blog and don't think I have time to do it. Their advice may be valid, but of course it puts the onus on me to achieve better results, and not on themselves.
  3. I have opted out of sales to the Czech Republic, but not to Slovenia (haven't had any). But if Slovenia prices are as low as those to the Czech Republic I will opt out as soon as it happens to me. Opting out is the only way we have of opposing these sales at offensively low prices.
  4. The automated response comes first. Shortly afterwards you should get a reply from a real person. Unfortunately, these replies are rarely satisfying. The low prices you have noted are becoming increasingly common. Many contributors have also noted that their number of monthly sales is also declining the last 2-3 months. We all need to speak up about this. These prices are basically an insult to serious photographers. The problem is that with over 150 million images Alamy does not seem to be concerned about alienating its contributors, figuring that if we stop submitting it will hardly be noticed.
  5. "Czech Republic, Editorial, Editorial, Website, Bulk discount, flat rate per image Not enough for a stale donut." I've opted out of Czech Republic sales. Everyone else should do the same. Maybe market forces will eventually start to work. Didn't know about Slovenia and Serbia. If similarly low prices are being given those two countries I'll opt out of them too. But Alamy seems to have missed the creation of the country of Serbia; it isn't in the list. Nice to know we can still opt out of the country of Yugoslavia. Is Alamy in the news business?
  6. " How can a license for Editorial website usage have a print run?" Good question. Let us know what Alamy says.
  7. PhotoShelter offers everything you need, but will cost you about $30 a month, depending on how much image storage space you need. They offer more than one option. www.photoshelter.com Ollie
  8. I'm opting out of the Czech Republic. Am just fed up with low, single-digit dollar sales to that market. They are not a Third World underdeveloped country and should be able to pay prices more in line with what the rest of Europe is paying. I doubt that Czech users will notice that my 29,000 images are no longer available, but if enough contributors did this perhaps it would convey the lesson that market forces can be brought to bear. Ollie
  9. Sally: ...but it looks as if we're being denied the opportunity to license our images in Serbia and Montenegro. Big markets, no doubt. Chuck
  10. Still about normal for me in number of sales (15 this month) but gross prices notably lower (total $539, or $35.93 per sale).
  11. Licensing the image for a book cover, in this case, brought $950 to Alamy, half to me. Alamy says that's a lot, and don't worry about the other magazine and inside uses that now will not occur.
  12. I had one a few months ago, which resulted in a license for the book cover. Exclusive use as a book cover was all the customer asked for. I replied that I would agree to that on the assumption that licensing for other purposes would still be permitted. Alamy did not comment on my assumption but went ahead and licensed the image. I was surprised when I later inadvertently discovered that Alamy now shows the image as not available for any licensing for magazines or books. I asked why, noting that this notation deprives both Alamy and me of any additional revenues that could be gained from magazine use, or from use inside a book. (And this only shortly before Alamy told us it would lower commissions to 40% because it needs more money.) Alamy replied that its software is currently incapable of distinguishing between book and magazine use, and book cover and inside use. So be aware that if you consent to exclusive use as a book cover you are in effect removing that image from further consideration for other licenses for magazine use or for inside book use. I hope Alamy will use some of the money it's now earning from its increased commissions to pay for improvements in its website software.
  13. I've been with Alamy many years and I don't ever recall receiving anything from them to document my proceeds. I just add up the monthly deposits made to my account and note it on my Schedule C, where I report business income and expenses. If the IRS were ever to ask for documentation I would show them the deposits on my monthly bank statements, but that has never happened.
  14. " There should be no refunds given on PU or presentation sales IMO." Please keep hammering away on this point to Alamy Management. They seem to prefer that this issue just go away. I had three PU sales refunded after two months. In my case I think Alamy gave the only acceptable explanation: the images had been purchased through the fraudulent use of someone else's credit card. I agree that that deserved to be refunded, but normally I believe no refund should be given after seven days. That's plenty enough time for a buyer to recognize they've made a mistake. In my case, the card owner got his money back but the fraudulent purchaser has my images.
  15. Remember that if you have many similars with the same keywords they will all show up when someone searches for those keywords. But if the searcher only zooms in on one or two that will lower your Click-to-zoom rate, which will result in your images being placed lower in search results. Don't upload too many similars; choose only the best.
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