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chris_rabe

The "I still haven't sold anything thread"

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:D

 

Couldn't help - it's now about 6 months and slowly getting near that 1K images mark, and nada

 

I have sold more images on micro with a small port in a shorter period of time, than I have had zooms in half a year here!

 

Not letting it deter me though - yet!

 

Post your hopeless results too :D

 

 

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Count me in the club: "I still haven't sold anything".

3 months uploading - 0 sales.

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Some sales take at least 3 months to get reported so there is hope yet.......

 

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Well...count your lucky stars. When you get that first one, you’ll be thrilled and think the cork is out of the bottle.

Usually not so. Prepare to wait a long time for the second. I did.

Just keep adding images, and the trickle will begin.

Chin up. Long haul, and all that rot. 🤣 it’ll happen.

Betty

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In my first year I sold one, in my second year none, and in the next three years just a trickle. It was only in the sixth year, 2013, that I started seeing regular sales and the number of sales has increased steadily every year since then. Already this year I've sold as many as I did in the whole of the first five years, and that's despite the fact that my new submissions have slowed to a trickle over the last couple of years.

 

Alan

 

Edited by Inchiquin
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I'm sure it'll happen soon enough.

 

My downloading (edit: uploading) slowed a lot (actually also my photo taking), as I was sorting stuff out and figuring out a workflow (and fixing a whole lot of images I had mucked up because I had screen brightness too high), but I am getting a lot more moving along a lot faster now.

 

I'm now split with two exclusive agencies, alamy (which I am now using as a mix), and a few MS. I have decided to put a lot of my wildlife and nature type stuff up as RF, and spread it around. 

 

So, now have about close to 1500 images up across these various outlets. Now to get focus back on taking photos!

 

Oh, and also slowly branching into footage...

Edited by chris_rabe

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It was three years before I licensed an image. Then ,like buses, five came at once in that same year.

 

Allan

 

 

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I sympathize. It's really tough getting started now. I really lucked out. My first sale showed up almost right away after my first serious upload in Aug. 2007 of 200 images via DVD,  and I had 30 sales in 2008 with only a few hundred images. No shortage of $$$ sales either. That certainly wouldn't happen today. Mind you, I had been photographing for a specific market since the early 90's and contributing to a specialized stock agency, so I had images that were in demand at the time. Now there are untold pages of photos of those same subjects on Alamy. However, the oldies continue to license now and then.

Edited by John Mitchell
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On 27/03/2019 at 11:23, chris_rabe said:

:D

 

Couldn't help - it's now about 6 months and slowly getting near that 1K images mark, and nada

 

I have sold more images on micro with a small port in a shorter period of time, than I have had zooms in half a year here!

 

Not letting it deter me though - yet!

 

Post your hopeless results too :D

 

 

I see you have many Brexit protest images. Consider uploading a selection of the best to Live News when you’re covering events like this. Check the captioning guidelines for this: https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-news-images/captions-headlines-dates-live-news-images/?section=3

Edited by TABan
Added Live New captioning link

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As a relative newcomer to stock market, I'll offer my opinion. 

As others mentioned, it is very hard starting now.  Smartphone "revolution" (along with exponential global population growth) has caused market oversaturation.   Most if not all searches will bring back 100s if not 1000s of results, and this is what newcomers nowdays have to compete against.  

 

This is my 3rd year on Alamy.  My first sale came after 6 months; it was an IQ sale for this image:

 

J4EWTT.jpg

 

This was "joke image", something I casually snapped with my 2nd camera passing by;  Never thought it had commercial potential.  Who would need something like this?  My port has some high-end landscapes and travel images nobody seems to want, but this was 1st sale.  Welcome to stock market, and important lesson many others shared:  You never know what customers are looking for.

 

In my 1st year I made 9 sales,  8 in my second year and 3 this year so far (in 3 months).   My port is now ~1200 images, which is very small by today standards  (strong dislike for similars has something to do with it).  I am looking to finish the year with ~1500 images and perhaps 10 - 12 sales this year.

 

My suggestion is:  Treat stock as something you enjoy doing, not something you want immediate financial rewards from.  Do not get frustrated because of lack of sales, and most important:  Do not fall into trap of chasing quantities by uploading sub-standard similars  ("look at this guy, he has 10.000 images in his port;  maybe if I had 10000 images, I'd be making sales too. So lets upload 100 photos of same flower").   Related to this -- do not chase views by keyword spamming.  This is probably one of worst evils in stock industry nowdays (and in this respect AIM 'discoverability' criteria is not helping either).    Instead build port with high quality, unique content with original composition, then properly describe it -- and most important enjoy the journey.  Results will eventually come - although they won't be what they seemingly were 10 years ago.

 

Cheers and good luck.   Enjoy Alamy because one can still learn lots about photography here.

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One keyword I need to rethink on some of my wildlife images from Costa Rica is "tropical". I think it fits fine, but is returning a lot of images probably not relevant to the actual search...

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24 minutes ago, chris_rabe said:

One keyword I need to rethink on some of my wildlife images from Costa Rica is "tropical". I think it fits fine, but is returning a lot of images probably not relevant to the actual search...

 

I would tend to agree. Tropical and Travel are both extensively used keywords that have too wide a meaning used in isolation. If you look at All of Alamy in Measures, you will see that both crop us as search terms used by customers quite a lot, but their click through rate is well below average. More specific terms such as 'tropical climate', 'tropical forest' will throw up fewer returns in searches, but the click through rate is higher. 'Travel' alone throws up over 17 million images, so if the keyword is genuinely applicable to you image it needs to be qualified eg. 'travel safety' , travel agent' etc. Aim to reduce the number of views you get (really!) but to make those views really relevant to the search. Every morning I check which keywords have been used to bring up views on my images and I try to weed out keywords which produce false positives, where possible.

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1 hour ago, chris_rabe said:

One keyword I need to rethink on some of my wildlife images from Costa Rica is "tropical". I think it fits fine, but is returning a lot of images probably not relevant to the actual search...

I don't think you should delete relevant keywords because of the way the search engine works. You'd end up deleting just about everything.

Example: I have pics of buffalos in a wallow, keyworded inter alia wild, wet ... and they show up in searches for Wet 'n' Wild.

Today I had a search for George IV, clearly they wanted a pic of the king, but mine is George IV bridge.

Oddest search recently was one over the weekend for 'not illegal'. Honestly, what were they looking for? I'm guessing the majority of Alamy content is 'not illegal' (I have the word 'not' in my description, and 'illegal' in the keywords, an unfortunate juxtaposition) - but who would write 'not illegal' as a keywords. And if they did, the file would show up in searches for illegal.

ADDED: Joe, I was typing this while you posted, I hadn't seen your post until mine was published, so I wasn't deliberately arguing with you.

@OP: you can see there are two sides to this.

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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In my experience so far it's a double edged sword.  I.e I have a shot of that iconic house in Oceanside, California where Top Gun was filmed:

 

KY1D8D.jpg

 

There is clearly visible movie poster with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.    So one of my keywords is "Tom Cruise".   It is not one of 10, but it is there.  Then it hits searches where customers are looking for image of actual actor,  and thus generating no zooms & lowering CTR.    What is the right thing to do? I don't know.  I still have it there because I feel it describes the image, but I could be wrong.

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7 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

......where Top Gun was filmed:

....So one of my keywords is "Tom Cruise".   It is not one of 10, but it is there.  Then it hits searches where customers are looking for image of actual actor,  and thus generating no zooms & lowering CTR.    What is the right thing to do? I don't know.  I still have it there because I feel it describes the image, but I could be wrong.

Yes I'd say it should be included as it describes the image and without it won't sell. That's an interesting image which I hope will find a customer one day.

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48 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

In my experience so far it's a double edged sword.  I.e I have a shot of that iconic house in Oceanside, California where Top Gun was filmed:

 

KY1D8D.jpg

 

There is clearly visible movie poster with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.    So one of my keywords is "Tom Cruise".   It is not one of 10, but it is there.  Then it hits searches where customers are looking for image of actual actor,  and thus generating no zooms & lowering CTR.    What is the right thing to do? I don't know.  I still have it there because I feel it describes the image, but I could be wrong.

 

It is, as you say a difficult one. My thought process would be that anyone using 'Tom Cruise' as a  search term is not going to be looking for a shot of a specific film location. As there are going to be a lot of searches for that gentleman. that means a lot of false positives. The people who want this image are those who know they are looking for the house associated with that film, therefore my keywords are those phrases I think they will use 'film location', Top Gun film location' and so on. I would leave out the name of the actors altogether. There may be an occasion once every blue moon when a customer searching for things associated with Tom Cruise stumbles across your image because his name is in the keywords, but I think that is such a rare occurrence that it is outweighed by the damage done by false positives on the CTR.

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Hmmmm, it's my old chestnut, but look at #5 in a search for Leonard Cohen.

http://tinyurl.com/y4k9skgg

 

Footnotes:

1. Interestingly, that pic has restrictions stated in the caption, but another copy of the same pic (presumably submitted by a different agency having Alamy as a distributor) at #52 doesn't have these restrictions.

2. That said, that search is far, far cleaner on the first page than it used to be. Which shows the search algorithm can change a lot. (I wish some searches I'm featured in could change more frequently!)

 

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6 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

 

 My thought process would be that anyone using 'Tom Cruise' as a  search term is not going to be looking for a shot of a specific film location. As there are going to be a lot of searches for that gentleman. that means a lot of false positives. The people who want this image are those who know they are looking for the house associated with that film, therefore my keywords are those phrases I think they will use 'film location', Top Gun film location' and so on.

 

That is great comment Joseph. Proper keywording is not easy.  I am still learning but perception I have formed is that you don't need necessarily to describe every detail that is in the image --- instead what customer would be searching for to get what is the image main point.   In example above, it is not Mr. Cruise but --- as you nailed it -- filming location.   One approach I've been practicing is to search for my own image, using first 3-4 words that come to mind.   These 3-4 words likely cover 90% of searches.  So for this one I'd look for "Oceanside Top Gun Filming Location"  or "Oceanside Top Gun House" or simply "Oceanside Top Gun".  

 

It is good that Alamy allows contributors to edit keywords post submission (opposite to certain micro agency that doesn't, and then people end up uploading multiple copies of same image in order to update metadata (!!)   

 

This rant is maybe off topic, but I think can be  useful for "I haven't sold anything" 

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Ergh, am really needing some encouragement!

 

Now over 1200, and even my zooms have fallen off a cliff - Ok, off the curb, cause they were never that high to start with. But just nothing for ages.

 

Yes, am coming up in searches. Photos being viewed daily. Am just at a point where I need some kind of justification for the effort I have been putting in across the board, no matter how small...

 

Feeling a bit like I should just go back to sharing on flickr!

 

 

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Wildlife is difficult. I like this one....T4PRGA. I see the bird clearly without the background directly behind it being distracting. I would suggest being more selective in which ones you post and crop some of them so the bird appears larger. Do that without eliminating all the possible copy space. Some could use work in post processing to lift the shadows perhaps. It is not an easy area to get sales and I think the "behavior" ones work better for articles about the animals. Compare your images with others on the page. That can be discouraging because some of the best wildlife photographers are here and their work is often spectacular. Unfortunately, that is who we are competing with but we can learn by looking at their work.

 

Paulette

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On 26/04/2019 at 12:16, NYCat said:

Wildlife is difficult. I like this one....T4PRGA. I see the bird clearly without the background directly behind it being distracting. I would suggest being more selective in which ones you post and crop some of them so the bird appears larger. Do that without eliminating all the possible copy space. Some could use work in post processing to lift the shadows perhaps. It is not an easy area to get sales and I think the "behavior" ones work better for articles about the animals. Compare your images with others on the page. That can be discouraging because some of the best wildlife photographers are here and their work is often spectacular. Unfortunately, that is who we are competing with but we can learn by looking at their work.

 

Paulette

 

I guess my port looks quite wildlife heavy as it's the section of my backlog I am focusing on currently :)

 

I try to deliberately leave a number of images not too cropped.

 

Since discovering my screen brightness was way too high, and I had mis-processed a bunch, I had a large drive to-redo a lot, paying more attention to histogram, but will have look through and see which could be problematic :)

 

I've not been doing this "in earnest" for very long, and while I have improved in leaps and bounds I do still have a very long way to go - like you say, some people out there with some brilliant stuff. If only I could quit my day job!

 

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