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Search update

Hisearch

Just a quick note to everybody. We have worked on the search function lately, and I think you will see that the quality of the images that appear on the first pages are much better than they used to be :) We are still working on a couple of things (one is trying to avoid series of similar pictures), but we are happy with the changes we have made so far.

For those who are interested we are using  the excellent Solr search engine which is an open source project based on the Lucene Java serach library. It works very well, and we embrace the open-source community here at yaymicro.

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Third party sales: Send us your best collection

ImagesEarlier this year YAY started distributing images through a third party sales channel. The first batch of images included in this deal was about 20 000 images from about 20 different photographers. The images have been for sale since late February/early March, and the results so far seem promising. Therefore we have decided to add a further 20 000 of our best images to be sold this way. In order to choose the best images, we invite you to send us suggestions from your own portfolio. Just make a project folder with 100 of your best images and send the public link to contribute@yaymicro.com.

In order to be included in the deal, you must provide at least 100 images of top quality. These images will be reviewed by YAY and possibly the third party involved. If the images in the project folder is considered to be good enough, we will browse your whole portfolio and send you an email telling how many images will be included. This email will also containt further information, as well as a contract.

All images included in the deal will be available through third party sales for a minimum of three years. This might also include distribution on CDs/DVDs. The contributor receives the standard 50 % of YAYs income from these sales. The income will be added directly to your account at YAY on a quarterly basis.

At this time we will not name the third party involved on the blog. This is a measure to keep our competitors at bay. If your images are selected we will of course tell you where and how the images will be sold.

Jan

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Sell more: Market your images yourself

Sales increase
There’s an ongoing race in the forum among photographers to reach payout. The rules are simple: The first one to reach 30 euros gets fame, glory and something to be proud about. Anyhow, this is a great initiative and we thought we might give the participants (and others) some tips on how to market their portfolio themeselves.There are quite a few good ways for microstock contributors to market their own portfolio and increase sales. The main point of marketing your content is to get it out all over the internet! A little effort on marketing your images can increase your income more than adding new images.

Blogs:

If you have a blog, use it. Blogs are a great marketing tool if used strategically. First of all: Write about and link directly to your portfolio.There are a lot of good microstock blogs out there, but most of them focus a lot on photographers and not on customers. Try to write posts that could be interesting for customers. You can also find other blogs and comment on them, even adding links to your portfolio there.

Try googling for blogs about a specific theme you have great images of and comment there. Remember that blogs are virtually free and have no time limits. The posts you write now can continue to drive traffic to your portfolio years from now, and therefore generate sales.

If you post relevant content, include a call-to-action (ex. link to portfolio) that fits contextually, update regularly and add an rss-feed, your blog can give you a good return on the time invested. And remember: Never spam (don’t post comments like “Nice blog, check out my portfolio at…”).

 Check out Jeremy Wright’s book Blog Marketing.

Facebook:

Facebook has gone from being a news-and-photo-sharing-site for college students, to being both mainstream and big business. With 200 million users, you can’t afford not be there. The problem is how to use it for marketing purposes.Well, use your social network for what it’s worth. Try to get your “friends” interested in what you post.

Upload low-resolution images of your latest shots, and explain the story behind them. Make a group or a page for your portfolio and spread the word. Add links to your portfolio in posts and on your status bar. Try to get the people around you engaged, ask for their comments and tips.

Inside CRM has an extensive list of resources on how to use Facebook as a marketing tool.

 

Twitter:

Twitter

Twitter is the fastest growing social network on the web, and gives its users a chance to write short messages to everyone that’s interested. Use it for what it’s worth. Write interesting tweets and get potential customers to follow you. Tweet about new images, recommodations – and search for others looking for images that you have and message them. Ask your followers for recommandations and comments on your work.

Toprank has a short article about Twitter and marketing which includes an extensive list of references.

 

Flickr/Photobucket/other photo sites:

Upload images to Flickr and other photo sharing sites. This is a great way for potential customers to see what you can offer. Then link to your portfolio. More and more small publications use Flickr for finding CC (Creative Commons) images. If you can lead these guys to microstock, there are money to be made. Flickr isn’t just a place to upload photos – it’s a huge community, and its got great tools for commenting images, creating groups and easy guides on how to add images to your homepage. Flickr has also been integrated into Yahoo’s image search, which drives a lot of traffic directly to Flickr-images. And I wouldn’t be too afraid of people stealing images – people who can’t afford to use a few euros for an image, isn’t going to buy your images anyway.

Doshdosh has a great article on how to use Flickr to generate traffic.

 

Google Adwords:

Invest in an ad campaign that links directly to your images/portfolio. Adwords is easy to use and you can control exactly how much/little you want to use on ads. If you do it correctly, it can become an impresive sales booster. YAY is working on setting up an extensive Google Ad campaign that will start with the launch of the new site layout.

MoneyYou should also link to the sites that give you the best commission (YAY!). Also remember that any links to your portfolio will increase YAY’s overall visibility, which again will lead to more traffic and increased sales. Since the commission photographers get at YAY is far better than other sites, it is better to market your portfolio here than on other sites that represent you.

Microstockinsider has an article with more hints and tips on how to market your images.

The winner of the competition in the forum will have his/her pictures on the front-page and be used in marketing material YAY sends to its customers!

So, what are you waiting for? Go market your images :) Good luck!

Jan

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