December 29, 2016 at 1:07 am #29032
We could have a separate thread for illustrators, as I think there are marked differences between the success rate of sales of illustrations from photos – hence the title.
I wondered how the general feeling on sales from our sites has developed over the year. For me, I seem to get good placement in Google images for appropriate keywords, not very many site visits (about 75 sessions a week on average). Most of those sessions have two page views on average. About 30% of my sessions come in to the home page, about 10% come in to the social sharing buttons (not sure what that is about) and then I have a very long tail of sessions landing on specific pages – presumably from the Google searches.
However, sales are almost zero. I did have someone contact me as he had to make a 48 inch print for a client and he liked one of my panoramas. After much discussion on email, he did license a full size file for $35. That has been it for several months.
So as a business venture, my site definitely does not pay its way!
How about you?
SteveDecember 29, 2016 at 2:32 am #29033
Yes, illustrations sell better than photography. I’ve another old legacy Symbiostock photography/ illustration website (http://lifeispix.com) and photographs sales are poor (2-3 sales/ year).
My main mistake was to optimize my SEO for keywords which drove no/poor traffic.
The first thing is to find some good long tail keywords with traffic and no hard competition and then to improve your product for these keywords.
ChrisDecember 29, 2016 at 5:46 am #29040
Despite several issues I see, I am still optimistic that 2017 will be better than this year. It has been a lot of work this year, and I am currently planning 2017 (equipment, social networking, shooting schedule, etc.) . My traffic is improving weekly, and other opportunities are coming in – for example, I was just asked to be a judge – which is a paying gig.
I agree with Chris comments. I do think keywords is so important, if you want your images to be found.
GeorgeDecember 29, 2016 at 6:31 am #29042
My site is running for a year. Not many sales but well enough to pay my web hosting fee. So I will keep the site running.
Some findings during this year:
Social media promotion is not effective for business. It turns out most people are fans of beautiful photos but not intent to buy anything. Daily promotion has no visual effect on my site. Business clients seldom find me through social medias.
Link exchange is effective for SEO. We all know this in past posts and experiments we did.
Stock agencies brought clients to my site. That is the big part of sales and targeted customers.
Google search plays some role in sales. I have 30% sales from google.December 29, 2016 at 6:36 am #29043December 29, 2016 at 7:05 am #29045
For the numbers, I looked at Google analytics. I think you need to register your site with them (with a bit of code you put in a file) and then they start monitoring all sorts of things about your visitors (including their ages somehow!). WordPress gives you page views. Google Analytics gives you sessions and then various measures about those sessions – time spent on the site, pages viewed, landing page etc.
BTW – great news about covering your costs with your sales. Not for me, unfortunately. How do the stock agencies lead people to your site – do you put your site URL in the profile on those agencies that allow that?
SteveDecember 29, 2016 at 7:24 am #29046
I use google analytics too. I might go deeper into the result to understand them.
Yes, most agencies allow you put your site URL in profile, such as shutterstock, istock, dreamstime, and other small ones. Some clients search my name in google. If they want find you, there is always a way.December 29, 2016 at 8:22 am #29048
To help with your effort to increase traffic and sales, I’d suggest you spend some time with the webmaster’s tools:
Tip: Bing seems to really like Yoast’s sitemaps.
GeorgeDecember 29, 2016 at 8:32 am #29049
I’d submit to you that it is great to get just “lookers” at your site. And for a variety of reasons, too. Just as a store doesn’t mind browsers, you want to keep people coming to your site. Remember the search engines are watching. And they are going to position you on search results – so the more traffic you are getting, the more they are going to move you up the list.
Lookers or browsers could become customers, too. Are you selling prints? Or fine art?
One other thought for you – get as many travel bloggers to your site as you can by linking and friending them. They might become clients or might mention you – and spread the word about your amazing work to an editor, client, photo buyer, agency, etc.
GeorgeJanuary 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm #29171
For some reason just saw your reply. You got very good point. I am still doing daily social media promotion. I have now a bit regular traffic from pinterest. Need dig more with social medias.
Nope so far my prints business is not ready. I am working with my partner fine-tuning products. Hopefully couple of months later it will be online.January 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm #29172
One SEO question here…
I put one new photo each day in my blog section as promotion. Following my SEO plug-in suggestion (Yoast SEO trying to get as few red lights as possible…) and here is the thing:
It suggest minimun 300 text words while I found it hard to do that in my daily photo description (yes I can write an long article but too much for a daily work). My question is, how much does it impact SEO? Anyone has experiences?
I ask this since our image in shop has normally less than 50 words in description, and we have hundreds or thousands of product pages. If it matters, that would be huge.January 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm #29173
From my experience, you do not need to hit that 300-word count with every post. I post a daily photo of the day, and I never hit 300 words on those daily posts. I add that post to my Facebook business page, Twitter, and Google+. I will soon be posting it daily onto Linkedin, too.
I would suggest you continue to feed your blog and try to hit those300-wordd marks from time to time. And do lists. They will help you get better search results. But smaller “photo” posts work too. One thing I noticed is that I get listed in those Google Images searches. Sometimes, I am high on those pages, other times not.
GeorgeJanuary 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm #29174
Thanks George. One photo a day does bring some traffic to my site as long as people click the image thumb in social medias.
I found recently for some unkown reasons my google rank drops quite a bit. It was even worse than the time we don’t have link exchange widget. I didn’t recall doing anything except posting daily photos. That is where my doubt comes from.
I tested by temporarily closing my blog section but did not see any impact on ranking. Strange.January 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm #29175
If I were to guess – based on my uneducated opinion – I’d think those dead lists hurt you. Getting them fixed should help get you back into the SEO game soon.
Spend some time on your About page, too. Make sure you get a Yoast green light on that page. (It actually amazes me how some of our fellow artists on this platform are not creating About pages. In today’s world, would you put your credit card information into a web site that does not tell you where the person is located – including what country they are in – or anything about the person?)
GeorgeJanuary 4, 2017 at 2:27 pm #29176
I am also diving back into Pinterest. I am trying to get in front of more potential buyers.
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