Comments about why my sales are going nowhere

bjcoolphotobjcoolphoto Brians PhotosRegistered Users Posts: 15 Big grins

Be honest, please, if you have the time, take a look at my site and tell me why you think I'selling bugger all.
Is it the quality of images, is it site style, is it my pricing. I'm particularly interested in selling digital images.
Over the years I have made a trickle of sales, since June this year none.
Is my experience typical.
Looking at stats I see 25,000 views in July for example, but no sales.


  • ShinryaShinrya Peter Stewart Hong KongRegistered Users Posts: 164 Major grins

    Welcome to the wonderful world of selling Prints and Licensing Online! In're not alone. It sucks for pretty much everyone!

    The problem is two-fold as I see it. First, hardly anyone buys prints online without having viewed it first physically or know you as a major artist. Second, most buyers looking to license an image all have accounts with at least one major stock image website. Trying to rank your personal site up against that just isn't going to work unless you have images that are truly unique for their needs.

    You're not doing anything wrong, and 25,000 visitors a month is pretty healthy for your just ain't gonna increase sales unfortunately. I would say that strong, targeted keywords and SEO are far more important to get right than just simple hits to the website.

    I make most of my sales privately outside of Smugmug (print+licensing), but maintain the presence online as a means of building up reputation and marketing myself as a so-called "premium artist". One of the things I did was carefully place reminders all over the site that prints are available to purchase, just as you have done on your front page. I also added in as much info as I could to assist people who might be thinking about making a purchase (things like info on sizes, types of prints etc). All these little visuals here and there can help in building up more of a premium feel. It does work, but never for random visitors. All of my sales have come from someone who's viewed one of my images elsewhere online (probably multiple times), and then by the time they get round to my site, all the little visuals and wordings about print sales might be enough to persuade them to purchase.

    Having gone through your site, I can recommend a few things you could change to make things more appealing.

    • You need to separate your commercial work from your other photography. I would suggest making a menu on the nav bar which links to sub-folders and place ALL of your commercial work in there.
    • Similar to above, place all of your artistic works in another menu with sub-folders and re-categorize EVERYTHING. Simplify it down to categories like "Travel", "Abstract Art", "Architecture", "Still Life" etc and put everything in only a handful of folders. At the moment theres just too many folders. No one is ever going to bother going through them all
      Culling - If you decide to simplify your folders down to the few categories, then culling a lot of images is going to be necessary. It's hard to do I know, but you honestly have to trim the fat and just have your proudest, finest work on show. Try to limit each gallery to a max of 30 of the best images. If you can't bear to delete certain pictures, then perhaps think about moving stuff to an "other" folder or something along those lines. At least then they're still visible, but not cluttering up your main galleries.
      Example Prints - You have samples shots in some of your folders which are pictures of your framed artwork. This kind of thing works wonders in persuading people to purchase prints. I would move some of these to a new menu item/folder named "Framed Prints" or something along those lines.
      -Buy Menu - At the moment it looks like you have everything set to default, as every print option is available. Personally I believe that less is more, so I would remove pretty much ALL of the print sizes and types that are available and choose only a handful of sizes/types that people can choose from. Just imagine yourself as a potential customer for a moment going through those options, it's just far too overloading. Help make the decision for them, so select a few sizes you want to offer, and then a few print mediums (e.g. Glossy Paper, MetalPrint, Canvas). And thats it. Don't overload it.
      Pricing - Your pricing is just about right I think. When it comes to prints, I don't think it really matters whether you price something $100 or $1000. You're placing the value on YOU and your ART, not the cost of paper. I think serious buyers recognise this.
      Watermark - This is just a personal viewpoint, but I would remove the fullscreen watermarks on the images & thumbnails, perhaps replace it with a discrete one in the corner if you feel you must have it. They're just really distracting to look at when you're trying to take in and enjoy a picture.
      Contact - Put a contact link in your main menu. Trust me, people will use this a ton more to contact you rather than search around your site looking for your e-mail address.
      About Page - This is unrelated to the other topics, but you really need to build an about page. We gotta know who you are dude, what's your passion? How long you been into photography? What kind of assignments do you take? Put a photo up so we know what you look like :)

    Just lastly, I'm guessing a lot of your work is up on Getty as I see a lot of stock imagery on your site. I don't really have much experience with this, but have to ask, if you're using other sites to sell stock photos, why clutter up your Smugmug website with the same images? Surely the types of clients who would buy these images would only be searching Getty and would never find their way onto your Smug site to buy them?

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MASuper Moderators Posts: 12,794 moderator
    edited August 11, 2018

    Shrinrya has hit the main points. In addition, I noticed that the social icons in your navbar do not all take the viewer to your content. Most are OK, but some are not.

    • The Twitter button takes me to general Twitter content (that I subscribe to), not your content. This may be because I am logged in to Twitter, not sure.
    • The Facebook button takes me to general Facebook content based on my login, not your content.
    • The Google+ button takes me to your SmugMug home page, not to G+.
    • The LinkedIn button takes me to a LinkedIn join page. I post on LinkedIn so I have a signin - but I'm not going to sign in to see a page.
    • I agree with Shinrya that your contact link should be in your menu, not in a social media link.
  • JuanoJuano Major grins Brasilia, BrazilRegistered Users Posts: 3,920 Major grins

    I am impressed by the depth of the comments, dgrinners are awesome. I have nothing to add, except that on your home page your name reads BRAIN SCANTLEBURY PHOTOGRAPHY, and everywhere else Brian.

  • bjcoolphotobjcoolphoto Brians Photos Registered Users Posts: 15 Big grins
    edited August 13, 2018

    Like Juano, I too am impressed and would like to say a big thanks especially Shinrya for the time and effort. Have printed out your recommendations so I can work through and see if I can make a difference. Do take your opening comments " pretty much sucks for everyone.."
    Thanks again, much appreciated.

  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins
    edited August 19, 2018

    I have nothing to add to the above comments, since I've no experience of selling pics from any sort of 'vehicle / platform' (other than a couple of random occasions where I didn't 'do' anything)
    I've only looked (briefly) at your wildlife pics, since that's my main photographic interest.

    To my amateur mindset, this lark - especially if one's trying to stand out / be 'different' - then somehow or other, you've got to do exactly that.
    Something I still do - just to see what's out there - is to do an image search on google of whatever species one's interested in / been taking pics of ... and, with a very critical eye, take note of what really stands out from the crowd - and why.

    if the pics you've taken don't - for any reason - then do something about 'fixing' it.

    This was summed up in advice associated with a major wildlife completion - 'If all your pic does is allow the viewer to identify the species - then go away and try again'

    I have a very narrow interest of subject matter - for a variety of reasons but primarily because of the presence of water - of waterfowl.
    As such I try to take pics of them from their level - as close to the water's surface as possible - and have in the back of my mind a 'mantra / procedure' first noticed posted here on DG by Zoomer - a portrait 'tog.

    It's a rare event for me to be able to tick all 4 of these boxes and end up with a half decent pic - but being low down helps to be 'different' from the vast majority of pics of the same subjects that I take.

    So, a suggestion - google search images of any of the waterfowl / waders etc in your gallery and see what comes up.
    Rubbish / complex background can kill an otherwise decent pic (imo) stone dead in half an eyeball twitch - especially if there are what I refer to as 'eye pulls' - ie some distracting element that shouldn't be there.


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