PDA

View Full Version : HELP! Setting up a website - Is it worth doing


Pjphoto59
3rd December 2011, 04:58 PM
Having been occupied with Stock Photography for several years now, I have reached a happy situation where it is paying quite well and I feel that I can slow down the rate of adding new stock images and start to move my photography in some other direction.

I think that my next move should be to set up a web site (i.e. moving up into the 20th Century!).

I thought the website might:

1. Publicise my stock collection and provide links to the agencies.
2. Include galleries of selected images.
3. Offer prints for sale.
4. Invite commissions
5. Include a blog.

Is there anything I should add or remove from this list?

I did learn to use Dreamweaver a few years ago, enough to make me sure I donít want to go that way but rather use a hosting service that provides suitable templates. Clickpic looks OK, can anyone comment on it?

I imagine it would be quite some work to set up print sales and then nobody buys! What are your experiences of this?

Any comments and experience would be much appreciated...

Thanks

Chevvyf1
3rd December 2011, 05:17 PM
Peter,

I feel, personally, that setting up a website and pointing your hard earned "potential clients" to the "Stock Galleries" is a bit like selling an expensive suit ... but asking clients to come and see it ... in Marks & Spencers ... or worse ... Primark :eek: - they would get sidetracked byt "other offers of suits" and/or "cheaper suits" iyswim ? ... its selling, with more marketing costs, ... to get the punters into ... where the competition is :o *zzz

Red Bubble looks very good and I do know Peeps making money from them :D

Clicpic are okay and its easy to use for setting up

use Corel ... and their Website Creator X5 ... easy peasy ! and they have a free Trial Download ...
http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4030111&cid=catalog3550067&segid=662

Pjphoto59
3rd December 2011, 06:01 PM
Peter,
Chevvyf1

I feel, personally, that setting up a website and pointing your hard earned "potential clients" to the "Stock Galleries" is a bit like selling an expensive suit ... but asking clients to come and see it ... in Marks & Spencers ... or worse ... Primark :eek: - they would get sidetracked byt "other offers of suits" and/or "cheaper suits" iyswim ? ... its selling, with more marketing costs, ... to get the punters into ... where the competition is :o *zzz



I see your point, but as I have about 5000 stock images I wouldn't want the work of trying to show and licence them. Better to give people a link to my agency in case they want an image for publication. I can set up a link that takes them just to my pictures, although they would have to be pretty dumb not to look at my competition there

I'll have a look at Red Bubble

Nick Temple-Fry
3rd December 2011, 06:59 PM
Setting up a website is among those life experiences that everybody should have, like getting helplessly drunk at a party. And much the same as being the wobbling drunk crashing into the furniture it does little to make you attractive.

And being attractive is the key, we all want to be wanted. And nothing needs people to want it as a much as a website, sitting there all alone on the spinning disks of a server, ready to offer its all for just one random click, anyones click.

Better I think to be the promiscuous party creature, hanging-out in all the low dives. Always ready to laugh at someone elses jokes, or help bundle an annoying drunk out into the cold. Sure, have a place of your own, someone might want to come back when the parties over to examine your prints. But you've got to hook their interest first.


I thought the website might:

1. Publicise my stock collection and provide links to the agencies.
2. Include galleries of selected images.
3. Offer prints for sale.
4. Invite commissions
5. Include a blog.

Is there anything I should add or remove from this list?


Thanks

Unless you solve the problem of generating traffic to your website, then it's not going to reward you with work/sales/fame.

So I'd council think carefully about your objective in having a personal website, then consider whether a website is really the best vehicle to meet that objective.

Mind you if you do succeed in making a website work - tell us all how - I'd love to know.

Nick

David M
3rd December 2011, 07:09 PM
I had a web site from 1998 to 2009. I closed it down at that point because I was sick of dealing with people who wanted me to give my work away.

I think part of the problem is that these days any weekend wannabe can make a web site and start giving their work away so people expect you to give yours away.

Although I still own the dot com (my usual photo credit to make it easy for people to find me who see my work in print) so I can resurrect it if I want.

Chevvyf1
3rd December 2011, 07:17 PM
Setting up a website is among those life experiences that everybody should have, like getting helplessly drunk at a party. And much the same as being the wobbling drunk crashing into the furniture it does little to make you attractive.

...


Unless you solve the problem of generating traffic to your website, then it's not going to reward you with work/sales/fame.

So I'd council think carefully about your objective in having a personal website, then consider whether a website is really the best vehicle to meet that objective.

Mind you if you do succeed in making a website work - tell us all how - I'd love to know.

Nick

Nick YOUR SO RIGHT ! Agencies and Peeps as individuals seeking "images" go to the ESTABLISHED or NEW STOCK IMAGES websites ! *chr These Websites promote their "Stock" to the "known main Buyers"

Of course Peter could pay for "Search Engine Exclusives" on Keywords ... hopefully such keywords no one else has selected or, at least Peters' www wil come up in the top 20 list ... or maybe 3000th :cool:

In Marketing, there are THREE MAIN APPOACHES :

The Rifle - single shot to one potential and qualified buyer

The Shotgun - fire off in roughly the correct direction to hit a few unqualified buyers, possibly

The Flag - Wave it about and hope someone see it ... maybe they or someone they know want to buy your goods ... hence the Marketing Expression "seen waving the flag ... "

Pjphoto59
3rd December 2011, 10:13 PM
Setting up a website is among those life experiences that everybody should have, like getting helplessly drunk at a party. And much the same as being the wobbling drunk crashing into the furniture it does little to make you attractive.

And being attractive is the key, we all want to be wanted. And nothing needs people to want it as a much as a website, sitting there all alone on the spinning disks of a server, ready to offer its all for just one random click, anyones click.

Better I think to be the promiscuous party creature, hanging-out in all the low dives. Always ready to laugh at someone elses jokes, or help bundle an annoying drunk out into the cold. Sure, have a place of your own, someone might want to come back when the parties over to examine your prints. But you've got to hook their interest first.



Unless you solve the problem of generating traffic to your website, then it's not going to reward you with work/sales/fame.

So I'd council think carefully about your objective in having a personal website, then consider whether a website is really the best vehicle to meet that objective.

Mind you if you do succeed in making a website work - tell us all how - I'd love to know.

Nick

Nick,

I have been mulling this over for some time and the comments from you and David M articulate very well the concerns that I have. Neither of you make having a website seem an attractive proposition.

However I have been thinking about moving into commissioned work and I have just come accross an opportunity for some , but I need to be able to show the client an appropriate porfolio of work to show what I can do.

A website is an obvious way, but maybe there are others - Smugmug or even Flickr for example, but to me these would show pictures apparently presented by a lazy cheapskate - to lazy or mean to make a website.....

Are there any other solutions out there?

Nick Temple-Fry
4th December 2011, 12:13 AM
Nick,

I have been mulling this over for some time and the comments from you and David M articulate very well the concerns that I have. Neither of you make having a website seem an attractive proposition.

However I have been thinking about moving into commissioned work and I have just come accross an opportunity for some , but I need to be able to show the client an appropriate porfolio of work to show what I can do.

A website is an obvious way, but maybe there are others - Smugmug or even Flickr for example, but to me these would show pictures apparently presented by a lazy cheapskate - to lazy or mean to make a website.....

Are there any other solutions out there?

Well there are a couple of obvious alternatives, a photobook or a disc (and a disc can be made so it autoloads and looks like a website), both can tailored to your view of what someone wants.

But yes, a website is also an answer (particularly if it lets you set up 'client' galleries - which you can then use designed around what you want to show to a particular 'customer'). And most of the photo hosting sites offer this capability. And this is a 'valid' case, you've generated the traffic through a contact - so the site could do work for you.

I'd be a fraud and a buffoon if I let you think I was either an expert or knew the answers through mystical connections. Just that I know how easy it is to waste effort (however enjoyable you may find the creation of the site).

theMusicMan
4th December 2011, 09:06 AM
Peter - you should also take a look at Zenfolio. I use this for my own www site and frankly, though there are others, I find it the cheapest, easiest, and most functional for what I require. Loads of templates, password protection, galleries/collections/groups, client areas etc. In addition, they have truly outstanding customer support - it really is 1st class.

Happy to pop up a screencast overview of the way works and what it looks like behind the scenes if you like. Just shout.

Chevvyf1
4th December 2011, 09:12 AM
Peter, with a Flickr (Pro) account or a Clicpic Website, You could buy an ipad II that has TOUCH SCREEN EXPAND, to show from the WWW you work, and using two fingers to "expand" the image, show macro detail of the quality of your photographs!

Notes
1. This method of presentation, keeps YOU IN CONTROL of what the Client or Prospective Client sees

2. ALWAYS handle the iPad with great respect - IBM Salespeople handle the "brochure" and "Contract" as if it is made of platinum - not just passing it, but with both hands turning it to "face" the recipient and "put" it inot their hands.

3. Leave the client a disk, with ppt slideshow in a self extracting file - (make up cd professional label and slip for the disc = branding) this way, images may be viewed (again and to others at the recipient business) WITH the TEXT/MESSAGES YOU WANT THEM TO see/hear, which goes with each image)

ipad II from £400 - boy do these little bits of kit impress and show of artwork in the most magnificant impressive way !

Clicpic from £90 per annum and cheaper if you pay up front for 3 years. Set up password only access to "their Artwork" if you want to,

Personally, in the situation you cite, I would not give the Client a website address to view images, at all. Communicate and show your interest in their business, KEEP close to the DEAL, by face-2-face with the iPad, every meeting is an opportunity "to close that DEAL" then, in true IBM Marketing Training STYLE !

Dont forget, your here; you care about their business; your local and can respond very quickly to their needs - market all the things the "vague internet" does not - without stating that = never knock the competition!

:D

crimbo
4th December 2011, 11:36 AM
these 2 use Photium

http://martinimages.photium.com/
http://www.billallsopp.co.uk/

David M
4th December 2011, 11:43 AM
Another thing to consider is that if you're shooting for publication prospective clients may want to see your tear sheets so you may still need a paper portfolio.

Pjphoto59
5th December 2011, 04:34 PM
Many thanks to everyone who responded to this.

I get the feeling that Clickpic, Photium and Zenfolio would all provide a good enough way to set up a site.

As to the question of getting recognition from search engines, Vodahost seems to make more of a point of addressing this than the others, but it looks a little bit more daunting for building a site.

I still need to focus on "why am I doing this?", I think I will start preparing text and selecting pictures and make a "dummy" website and maybe that will clarify the objectives for me...

Nick Temple-Fry
5th December 2011, 04:57 PM
Many thanks to everyone who responded to this.

As to the question of getting recognition from search engines, Vodahost seems to make more of a point of addressing this than the others, but it looks a little bit more daunting for building a site.



Just to point out that some hosted blog services are relatively good at getting search engine recognition.

www.theChurchPhotographer.co.uk is hosted on Typepad, I posted an update (Little Somerford St John the Baptist) around 13:30 today, it is sitting at/near the top of google searches, as are many of my other church entries. And blog sites/blogging systems do not necessarily have to be used for pure blogging.

Even so - traffic is patchy - though a lot better than my website entries.

Nick

Chevvyf1
5th December 2011, 06:12 PM
...
As to the question of getting recognition from search engines, Vodahost seems to make more of a point of addressing this than the others, ...

I still need to focus on "why am I doing this?", I think I will start preparing text and selecting pictures and make a "dummy" website and maybe that will clarify the objectives for me...

I have is disagree here, I put in a nonsense word on my Clicpic and after it went live (some hours after I updated the KEYWORDS for Search Engines to be sent out) ... it found my one and only word on my website :)

Trick is thinking "what would a client search for if they wanted ? ... and Google are also doing a big mailout to Directors of SME's offering Keywords in your local with £50 off - now thats a really good deal ... DEAL ! After all, you not really interested in work in China and Brazil R U ?

xp1
7th December 2011, 11:40 AM
HI,
I am in the process of building up stock portfolio's and have started building my own site. It is actually a template but you know what I mean. Take a look at the link below. The links page contains a couple of links that are worth looking at especially the hosting package which was by far the cheapest available when I signed up. You will also see how I have linked my work from my site to the agency site in order to make sales. My site is no where near ready yet but it gives you an idea as to how I am approaching the same situation as yourself.
Let me know what you think and if there is anything you would change or put into place. I am almost ready to implement PayPal in order to sell none stock items I have available.
I have a pro template with SEO and PayPal built in which I purchased from Photocrati and intend on using that eventually.
Hope this helps.

http://www.xp1photography.com/

Chevvyf1
7th December 2011, 01:31 PM
HI,
... Let me know what you think and if there is anything you would change or put into place. I am almost ready to implement PayPal in order to sell none stock items I have available.
I have a pro template with SEO and PayPal built in which I purchased from Photocrati and intend on using that eventually.
Hope this helps.

http://www.xp1photography.com/

Steve Thats GORGEOUS ! :D much nicer than Clicpic etc and very Pro ! :D

Pjphoto59
7th December 2011, 05:20 PM
HI,
I am in the process of building up stock portfolio's and have started building my own site.

Hi XP1,

Thanks for that it is interesting to look at your website.

As I said in a much earlier post, I have no intention of trying to licence stock images directly I have just too many.

Your images look good, things on white backgrounds are often good sellers.

I was not impressed however by your prices! I guess you must be with a microstock agency. I have always steered well clear of these, if that is all my work is worth, I would not be bothered doing it. Of course I do understand that with microstock you may get multiple sales but this happens with all agencies.

To give you an idea, I licenced my first stock image in 2006 and since then I have licenced 105 in total (several of them repeat sales)

This year 2011 things have taken off with 45 licenced this year so far. (I had 3800 images on offer at Jan 1st and 5000 now)

Average selling price this year $115 each. I get 60% for a direct agency sale and 40% for a foreign sub agency sale.

Selling price to the customer, my lowest ever was $16 and highest $1100.

I think I am saying you should set your sights a bit higher!

I did not go far into your selling line, but you need to be careful about contract conditions you use the word "sale" which should really be "Licence"

Jim Ford
7th December 2011, 05:43 PM
I still need to focus on "why am I doing this?", I think I will start preparing text and selecting pictures and make a "dummy" website and maybe that will clarify the objectives for me...

You need 'Turnkey Linux' ("it just works"!):

http://www.turnkeylinux.org/

You can set up a local server running 'Drupal', 'Joomla' (which I use) or 'Wordpress' using 'Virtualbox':

https://www.virtualbox.org/

But as I recall, you can burn an image to a CD to boot off.

You can then experiment with web page design to your hearts content until you finally think it's good enough to upload to a hosting provider.

Jim

xp1
7th December 2011, 08:40 PM
Hi PJPhoto59,
Could you please email me with further details of where you sell. As you can see I am only just starting out in stock and what you said in your last post makes sense. I am unable to pm you hence asking you to contact me. Any helpand advice would be highly appreciated.

xp1@myway.com

Cheers

xp1
7th December 2011, 08:42 PM
Thanks ChevvyF1,
At least I now know I am doing something right.