Author Archives: marquix HD Aerial Video & Photography

Video Marketing: Top 6 Reasons It Is Essential

There are statistics and numbers left, right and centre showing that video marketing is much more effective than marketing without video. These are pretty convincing for some time now, and they just sound right. It is amazing, though, how many online “marketers” still haven’t heard about it, or still haven’t really got the message in that they still don’t know how to apply video (properly).

Initially, let us look into the major facts making video marketing such an effective selling tool. I discovered the following list of pretty straight-forward top-6 facts here plus the additional list further down to the bottom, both hammering home the basic idea and making you get the message right away:

  • Companies from A like Apple to Z like Zappos, the online shoe retailer, use video extensively; Zappos, for example, makes product demo videos for every one of its shoes, and their video team produces more than 2300 videos per week
  • Why? Because, according to another set of Zappos data, the company’s conversion rate grew by between 6% and 30% for items that included product demos. In addition, site visitors who viewed a video prior to buying a shoe were 52% less likely to return it
  • Stacks & Stacks, the online kitchenware sellers, reported shoppers to be 144% more likely to purchase from their site after watching a product video compared to those who didn’t
  • Companies and brands from Adobe to Adidas, Volkswagen to Amazon continue to shift their online marketing strategies aggressively toward online video
  • According to internet research company comScore, users share more than 700 YouTube videos using Twitter every single minute
  • You will be using video in the marketing effort for your business — not because it seems “cool” but because your audience is demanding it

It’s pretty obvious that marketing for your business can’t afford to ignore online video marketing. So, why video?

  • Search for video on YouTube is serving as the second largest internet search engine
  • YouTube scores an overall third among the most visited websites in the world
  • Video shows up on page one of current “number one” popular search engine Google
  • A single video is worth 1.8 Million words
  • According to comScore, 45.4% of online users view at least one video online per month
  • The average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month
  • Over 100 Million people watch online video every day
  • According to comScore, viewers spend 16 minutes and 49 seconds per month on average watching video ads
  • The average website visit without video is 50 seconds
  • The average website visit with video is over 5 minutes
  • 73% of sellers say they would promote their listings with someone using video to market their item
  • An Australian marketing group reports that real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without videos.

Learning Stock Photography from True Sources?

There’s this gal I am following online. It is a lot of fun, though not in the way you might imagine. I don’t dislike her or anything, but the problem is she’s working for a seminar provider “teaching” people how to earn money as writers online, as house-sitters for holiday homes abroad, or from stock photography. In one of their initial teasers I saw, she mentions how nice the feeling is being able to make a car payment from one’s stock image income.

Well, or so they make you think.

The “fun” part comes in when watching the entire show more closely and marking those claims to reality. I have been mean enough to do just that for two years or so now. The reality is, unsurprisingly, not as simple as these claims, which are, in fact outrageous. That does not mean that it cannot be done at all or that it is not worthwhile nor fun doing it, or at least trying it. Some people still make good money in that business, even today.

Here’s what I found out:

Maybe, she even is overly unsuccessful and others can do better than she does (or the market has slumped so badly that even I am underestimating that slump, and I am just lucky to do better)? Anyway, she sells about 20-30 images at Dreamstime annually, and she’s doing this out of a portfolio of 88 photos she has for sale with that particular online image agency. She also is a fully-qualified photographer (learned photography, worked for a local photographer in the Pacific Northwest for a few years, and now is in the employ for that seminar provider for the very reason that she has those credentials. Apparently, these are supposed to add “credibility” to the pricey seminars they offer). She has learned the Ins and Outs of photography basics over multiple years of hands-on work in that very field.

In her seminars, she teaches you what to shoot, how to shoot it, and how to post-process it (and what software to use, which is an Adobe product — why am I not surprised)… She does exactly the same things for her own stock photography shots, and they are technically flawless and looking really good. She even uses models and does “all the right things” (which includes shooting all that crap that is supposed to sell so nicely as stock images in today’s “multi-cultural” and oh-so tolerant marketing industry). This type of content has recently been parodised by Vince Vaughn and the entire cast of “Unfinished Business” — so it’s not just me thinking these “messages” are ridiculous. There are even has those proverbial “business-people high fives” where that African-American face is smiling at the Half-Asian, and our girl also has the image of a box of “valentine’s treats” with some rather meaningless “Love, Oh-la-la” plastered across the picture.

At the end of the day, she has sold a total of 186 images over a whopping seven-plus year period with the agency. At the stock photography going-rate there of between 34 cents and $2 dollars (a little more for XXL-size images purchased without a subscription, which rarely happens these days), she would have all of $70-odd spread over more than seven years which equals roughly $10 bucks of income per year. (Even at the maximum conceivable in case she always managed selling XXL-sized images to a non-subscriber — which is entirely wishful thinking –, those earnings would still be under $500 total over a seven-year period).

Even considering the fact that she has a larger portfolio with iStock and also with Shutterstock — and Shutterstock is supposed to sell a significantly higher rate of your images albeit at a measly 25¢ a pop, which in my experience is not even the case — the original claim of making more than a totally negligible amount cannot be upheld in her case at all.

So much for that making-a-car-payment claim. So much for the overall credibility of that Publishing company offering those $$$ seminars.

Every time I make another sale from my (even smaller) portfolio with that same agency, I go and check if she has also sold something. She hasn’t. For the last four or more sales I had, and counting. Considering that I think my low sales rate is normal in today’s over-saturated microstock market and in light of my own very small portfolio of stock photos available through this particular agency, at least I must do something right there — and a lot better than that “coach” herself.

But she’s the one giving us advice.

WordPress Basics: Useful Modifications (1)

WP, the popular WordPress CMS (or Content management System), is an enormous powerful tool for every small business, private individual running a Weblog, or even larger E-Commerce Websites.

Out of the box, WordPress is ready to be used for any of the above purposes — and then some.

This is a great thing. The CMS comes with the famous 5-minute installation feature, you basically just download the WP version you want (not necessarily always the latest but at least one of the more recent ones), punch in a few basic settings, and you’re good to go. A video showing this process as an easy-to-follow tutorial will be posted here soon. This will even help total newbies to be all set in no time!

The ease of installation is one of the reasons — if not the chief reason — for WordPress’ popularity all over the internet. WP websites make up a huge chunk of all Weblogs on the internet (between 40% to 70%, depending on how you count). WordPress’ ease of installation is a good thing — on one hand. It comes with a few disadvantages though, on the other.

For example, when a total Noob (or newbie) starts out with WordPress, all these nice “Get WordPress Now” helpers point to the very latest version of WordPress (that would be WP Ver4.4, as of this writing — and possibly 4.4.1 or something as soon as later this week). The “current” is usually the “best” version for most purposes, security-wise or when it comes to certain bugfixes or similar. As soon as you start adding something more specific for your purposes, maybe a special WP Plugin to do specific tasks, you may soon find out that not all the great Plugins there are will support the very latest of WordPress versions. It may well be, that your favourite (or most-needed) Plugin “only” supports WordPress’ previous version (which may have been top-of-the heap as recently as this morning but is kind of “old crap” in the afternoon).

Even worse, since WordPress 3.7 there is an “auto-update” feature activated by default. Pretty much as the name implies, this auto-update forces your website to automatically update to the latest version of WordPress once such a new version becomes available (maybe over lunchtime, in order to stick to the example above). This means that a somewhat modified or specialised website running some we–maintained and useful Plugin for specific extra tasks you may like or absolutely require for your purposes may or may not be incompatible — and, in more severe cases, possibly even causing your website to crash — from, well, lunchtime or whenever that next WP update happens to be. Not good.

Some plugin aren’t completely compatible with WordPress updates as soon as the updates come out.

So one of the more useful “modifications” you might want to make to your installation is disabling this somewhat questionable WP auto-update function. This is easy to do. It only requires adding one line of code as described below:

  • Go to your WordPress server.
  • Go to the subdirectory of …/yourwebsite/
  • Find the wp-config.php file”
  • Open the file in an editor
  • To completely disable all automatic updates (of any type), add the following line to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

This will save you from waking up one morning and finding that some auto-update has broken your installation.

Still, you may want to manually update to a fairly recent version in order to eliminate vulnerabilities or exploits that may come up over time as attackers try to find ways into websites. Once you know that a more recent version is not doing any harm to your configuration and Plugins used, do a manual update to a later version (or the latest one, if you are reasonably sure that it will work with your Plugins).

There are also Plugins of their own to more comfortably control WP updates in a Graphical environment. Disable Automatic Updater https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-disable-automatic-updates/ and Update Control http://wordpress.org/plugins/update-control/ are two Plugins doing just that.

 

Basic Website Security — Part 1: Why You Might Want to Change Settings

Attackers use certain exploits in software. This is a well-known fact that everyone knows throughout both the multi-media and IT-security industries.

Standard software or at least popular pieces of software everyone and their grandmother use are particularly vulnerable — think allocation of resources, the bigger the target the more attractive it seems from an attacker’s point of view.

This doesn’t mean that you needed to avoid popular software like WordPress for content management, nor avoid any other widely-used solutions. (“Security by Obscurity” does not usually cut it, anyway.) All this just explains why you might want to stay informed about existing vulnerabilities (or, if you don’t have the time or expertise for that, trust the developers to fix any security holes and simply update to the latest and “best” version).

Beyond this, you might add some common-sense measures though:

  • do not use trivial passwords (no need for overly fancy ones either)
  • watch your server logfiles for latest goings-on on your website
  • respond accordingly, if you detect any irregularities
  • these usually include login attempts to “standard user IDs” (such as admin)
  • change your Administrator account to a different user ID
  • avoid your own domain name as a user ID (script kiddies try to brute-force that name regularly)
  • deploy some security features (most CMS-es have special security add-ons, “plugins”, or packages)
  • set those packages correctly (a fire extinguisher is of no use, unless you know how to handle it)!
  • make frequent backups so you can recover in case of an attack

With just a handful of common-sense procedures or reasonably easy-to-use add-ons, your website should be safe and run for years without any successful attacks or even serious-enough incidents (almost-successful attempts) whatsoever. Attackers aren’t that smart, and just stopping their most stupid attempts usually leaves them clueless and moving on to easier targets.

 

Top Five Tips for Marketing with Video

It is not a secret that Video is one of the best tools there is for both internet and traditional marketing campaigns. Video is quickly gaining popularity among businesses. Statistics show significantly higher levels of visitor engagement, significant increases in conversion rates, and improved search engine optimisation results when video is used in marketing activities.

Companies both large and small have a huge need for quality content. Content was king since the very beginning of commercial internet use, now it’s not “just content” anymore but Video Is King, meaning that content with related video scores the highest.

A well-produced video can be just the thing to catch the attention of your website visitors or prospective customers in a brick-and-mortar setting .

The following five tips explain how to use video to improve SEO for internet selling and draw in more customers both online and off:

1. Pre-Production: Draft an actionable plan containing a list of reasonable and achievable goals for your video before you start shooting it. When working with a pro, ask them to incorporate these marketing goals at the pre-production stage and shoot in accordance with them. Time is money (for both yourselves and your video producer), and this greatly saves on unnecessary footage before it is even produced. Targeted content with a solid call-to-action does the trick. You want to take viewers to the next step of the sales funnel.

2. Create high-quality videos: not necessarily hiring a big-time production firm (expensive), but have your video shot with a few simple techniques in mind in order to not have it bounce (viewers leaving after a few seconds, bad for SEO rankings) and, that way, do more harm than good. Only start after solid pre-production (your own goals written down, properly transferred to video pro’s shooting plan), avoid long-windedness and slow-moving storylines. Make sure that state-of-the-art equipment is used (you want a production pro knowing their job, using the right lighting and other equipment to come up with well-produced HD video footage to be made into a brief clip, ideally less than one minute in total length.

3. Host your videos on your own domain: while YouTube or Vimeo and similar hosting sites may seem convenient for hosting videos, they will not let you have the benefit of increased web traffic to your own website. To tap into YouTube’s high visitor traffic, consider having your video pro extract an introductory video and post this with a brief text description and a link to the full video on your own domain (or have your video or marketing specialist do it for you). This will increase your visibility and drive visitors to your own site, and that’s where you want them to be (not YouTube)! On top, include share buttons for your videos, blog posts, and other content to give others the opportunity to amplify your reach.

4. Optimise your videos by adding meta descriptions: search engines cannot see but need to get an accurate picture of what’s in your video. Be sure to only use terms of what is actually in your video to avoid viewers quickly moving on (counted as bounces and damaging your rankings).

5. Use social media to get more traction from your video by distributing it across social media channels: when the above is done, don’t stop here but get more bang for the buck by also posting the video on all of your social media sites for your audience to re-share and enjoy.

We can help you to effectively use video marketing for both your online or traditional business and increase website traffic and customer conversion rates. Our business-friendly priced packages cost significantly less than the benefit they provide. Check out our video production services or get in touch with us for a free quote.

Race to the Bottom

It’s not a secret that the online stock or “microsotck” business model is rapidly wearing out itself. This appears to be true for both buyers and sellers of downloadable arts files. The best part is the one of the agencies themselves where big automated profits can be made off however small a margin because of multiplication made possible by an intelligent business system. Even for the agencies themselves, things aren’t as rosy as they used to be though. It all burns down to the vast number of files stored in today’s agencies. With 60 million images on Shutterstock alone, you should get the picture — or not, because how on earth are buyers supposed to find something within a reasonable amount of time?

Particularly with the surge in video footage made available (and stored) online, all aspects have turned red exponentially: cost of storage, use of bandwidth on the part of the agencies, time needed to sift through the enormous amounts of content available on part of the prospective buyer, and lowered prices and profit margins mostly on the part of artists (but partially agencies themselves as well).

So even the agencies themselves increasingly appear to be hurting. Even iStock as a subsidiary of media giant Getty Images, is spinning non-stop and throwing out increasingly desperate changes to their pricing and overall business model. Mergers and acquisitions — most recently the one between Fotolia and Adobe — prove that cost-cutting is more than just the latest flavour of the day.

Further illustrating the problem is the fact that $1-or-below pictures and $2 video clips cannot possibly be very profitable for anyone, artist or agency alike. Saying just that, the banner below — while clickable for a commission sponsoring this site much more attractively than actual images themselves — is truly symbolic for the overall situation described.

video hive is an example for online video footage selling from only $2.00

In a world like that, truly new approaches are urgently needed. One could be reverse image search or “human-powered image discovery” as seen with ImageBrief. Others may be self-hosting and taking back control of one’s own content and intellectual property on individually-owned gallery websites and quality showcase locations online. Additional business models will — and have to — be developed, including the incorporation of disruptive technologies like Bitcoin and other Crypto currencies with a potential to solve crucial parts (like cost of payments transmission and general micropayments distribution) of the microstock business model.

The near future will be exciting, and we will be watching and reporting on things to come.

 

EU Bureaucrats Having to Admit Failure — Again

European Union bureaucrats are slowly waking up to the reality of the damage done by their 2015 “Digital Goods” directive. A meeting with small business representatives has been scheduled for early September 2015 to “listen” to their concerns and “address the problem”. Another meeting with EU officials themselves will take place later that month.

Hear, hear.

They were unable to see this obvious set of problems coming though, while taking control of our lives all the time. Considering the fat salaries they make off EU taxpayers’ money, this is even more appauling.

Although it is expected that those “forgotten” minimum thresholds will finally introduced, exempting the smallest and micro businesses from cumbersome consequences of bureaucratic overreach, they should not have been “overlooked” in the first place if anyone in Brussels knew anything about real life, let alone their area of “expertise”, at all. Also, the general problems raised by the “Digital Goods” directive remain: a violation of Public International Law principles on Extraterritoriality on one hand and a gross violation of the Presumption of Innocence on the other. Affected businesses operating in EU member countries will be required to answer to 28 foreign tax offices, potential audits, and other requests; also these businesses will have to prove when doing normal worldwide business that those transactions are not subject to VAT extortion in Europe. Both show utter disregard for basic principles of democracy and good governance and are a result from the arrogance with which bureaucrats on the EU level are operating.

In light of this continuous intrusion into citizens rights, lives, and livelihoods, a thorough change in European politics is due — rather long overdue — altogether. It remains to be seen how exactly this will be brought about and materialise.

Multicopter or “Drone”?

There is a common misconception in this day in age that all multirotor, RC, or FPV aircraft are “drones” just because they carry a camera or other such payload. when the the truth is, these aircraft have no self-guidance, waypoints or spying capabilities. Today’s media reports on these aircraft like they are spying drones and deadly weapons, when really, they are no more than flying cameras.

The problem and misnomer is similar to the term “hacker”: the reality — and true meaning of the word — is someone who has a passionate interest in computing and programs (“hacks”) on their own computer’s keyboard to solve problems and advance technology for the love of what you can do with it, but the mass media have obscured this original meaning and effectively re-defined the term as if it referred to an attacker or someone who cracks (breaks into) computer systems of someone else.

My advice to you is to not pay attention to the “drone” title multirotor aircraft have received in the recent years. To find out, you might want to purchase an inexpensive small multirotor and find out for yourself. The blade NQX would be your best bet for a starter multirotor.

It all depends on what kind of setup you are looking for. Horizon does do multirotors — a Blade quadcopter is a multirotor, however the manufacturer Horizon brands them as drones in order to keep up with market competition, and to appeal to a different kind of customer. Horizon is a great company: they would normally call this a quadcopter, whereas a company such as DJI would not.

 

Stock Photography: An Art, a Craft, a Technology, or a Business?

One of the frequently asked questions around Photography and Stock Photography in particular is, whether someone working in this field is an artist, a craftsperson, a technolgist, or a business owner. For arguments sake, let us pretend that we do not know that tax authorities believe this is a commercial endeavour, hence a “business”, and let us approach the question without the bias of tax laws.

Stock photography, let alone photography in general, is very much at home in the Arts field. It is quite evident that without some artsy approach, there is little chance of producing good and salesworthy results. Even for repro, infrared, or engineering photography, one might argue that there is still some degree of an “artistic eye” necessary.

Equally many ingredients in stock photography are derived from the crafts area: not only is your camera and other equipment a tool, but lighting, creating a set, and shooting a technically usable photo are undoubtedly what a craftsperson does.

In the day and age of photography as well as video production going increasingly digital, technology aspects are getting increasingly important in all these fields. Even in the age of film, there were lots of technical aspects to keep in mind, from film speed to mixing the right baths in the darkroom to using the correct set of brushes and scissors if you happened to be retouching. Little can you do as an aspiring photographer today, if you don’t know about computer storage media, USB standards, computer file systems on one hand or ISO settings or sensor noise, and many more — ideally on a sound basis of “old-style” knowledge, above –, on the other in order to make good use of these aspects and produce results that have all the features you want to influence using these aspects and settings.

The business aspect: it is present in everything you do as a photographer, particularly as a stock photographer where you primarily want to sell your work, and to the maximum number of prospective buyers at that. In order to succeed with that part, a thorough understanding of both artistic trends as well as marketing, particularly internet and social media marketing, are essential.

So, in summary, Stock Photography is All of the Above. Working as a stock photographer includes myriad ingredients from Arts, Crafts, Technology, and Business aspects.

Depending on the scale ow one’s own stock photography endeavours, one or the other may have a bigger share in the overall equation. From renting significant floor space in a business park to pursuing a micro-scale commercial and object photography business literally from the kitchen table, everything is included in the broader meaning of Stock Photograph — and don’t forget, the cost-reward-ratios can even be a lot better for smaller-scale operators. It all depends on one’s personal style and also on finding a niche and how to work it, from Yuri Arcurs Photography, Aarhus, Denmark or Joshua Hodge right down to the little guy.

Beating Adobe’s Stock Photo Prices: marquixHD Site Announcement

We are excited to announce an entirely new set of prices. From 4th of July onward, we will charge a simple flat price of just $9.97 per download. This flat price applies to all image sizes available in the marquixHD shop section of the http://www.marquix.net website and includes all download options (“Small JPEG”, “Medium JPEG”, and “Large JPEG). This new pricing structure includes a significant savings for the “Large JPEG” format. (Buyers will also be refunded manually in case the old and higher prices are automatically charged by the e-shop during an interim period while these new prices are implemented in the online store system.)

Our new prices are designed to match — or rather beat — Adobe’s price model. Prices for stock photos at Adobe have been set to $9.99 per download for single images. It should also be noted, that Adobe, Inc. are earning most of their money by selling proprietary software packages, by profiting from software patents, and by showing utter contempt against anything Open Source and ultimately their customers’ vital interests in order to improve their own bottom line. Following their acquisition of microstock image agency Fotolia, Adobe have announced new prices in order to break into the market — and eventually dominate the stock photography business. To achieve this, they would have to do away with Dreamstime, Shutterstock, Depositphotos, Canstockphoto, Getty Images’ iStock, and a whole bunch of other suppliers, and it will be interesting to watch whether they can manage doing so or how long it will take them. Although a tiny independent site, here at marquixHD we value independence and want to maintain a good image collection and reasonable prices — while offering even better prices than Adobe themselves! While these are admittedly only a tad cheaper, we believe the simplicity of introducing a flat price for all image sizes might appeal to photo buyers. We would also like to stress the ability of coupons for significant rebates and even lower prices. We will also introduce a special line of coupons for “Small JPEG” and “Medium JPEG” images in order to continue offering them at extremely low prices (in the area of a cup of U. S. brand name restaurant coffee). Where the new flat price turns out higher than previous “Small JPEG” or “Medium JPEG” downloads, a coupon should be used to continue buying at these extra-low prices for smaller formats. Buyers are welcome to request coupons from us direct. We will be happy to hear from you and e-mail your coupons for your purchases at marquixHD.

 

More Rules, More Regulation. All the Time

We used to think that running a small business, particularly an online one, was easier than operating a large bank, a licensed pub, or a commercial passenger transport enterprise. With the advent of sales tax (in America) and “value-added taxes” in European countries starting in the 1960s, all this began to change. Gradually at first, then more rapidly.

The European Union’s latest foolishness has resulted in a situation and consequences that even EU bureaucrats themselves, as per their own admissions, failed to understand at first and only fully got in the weeks and months after the new rules went into effect. Although they are now at least beginning to understand that the extent of the damage caused goes far beyond their original idea of further increasing tax revenue on the back of e-commerce businesses, they are now unwilling to rectify the situation they caused.

Beginning on 1 January 2015, each and every business (not only in Europe but also overseas where Eurocrats have even less business messing with the livelihoods of ordinary, law-abiding people) has to pay European local taxes when selling digital goods to anyone happening to reside in a European country. The precise tax rate depends on the location of the buyer and usually ranges from 17% to 25% or even a whopping 27% (in the case of EU member country Hungary).

Not a small sum of “protection money” to be paid, particularly if you’re a non-European person and do not have to expect protection (nor tyranny or rip-offs) from European governments. Plus, even the Cosa Nostra of Sicily always limited itself to operating locally — not worldwide. (The latter would usually be called an international crime cartel or organized crime but it is apparently “okay” when governments do it.)

In order to stay compliant, even the smallest businesses today need to comply with tax rules of a total of 31 countries throughout the wider EU and EFTA areas on top of their own domestic ones. This is a wholly unacceptable burden caused by out-of-control bureaucrats who have become all-to used to being fed fat salaries and pensions funded by taxpayer money instead of going out and earn their own incomes and take care of themselves.

Not surprisingly, a pressure group protesting these abuses of power on the part of unelected bureaucrats has been set up in order to have these onerous rules reversed and small businesses freed to do what they do best: finding a need, filling it, and earning a legitimate profit in the process providing for their owners, families (and even tax collectors) along the way.

It appears that governments and their finance “experts” have all of a sudden forgotten that that’s the way it works and that they themselves would have to close shop in a matter of weeks if neglecting this reality.

As a result, large e-commerce corporations like eBay or Amazon were initially set to be the only ones able to handle the compliance load required. Offering their users or “Marketplace” sub-sellers a turn-key fix to the mess caused be regulators, they were first set to profit massively by luring even more small online sellers into their “attractive solutions” to a problem that should have been wholly unnecessary in the first place. A few weeks later, a number of smaller and more independent services have sprung up though, offering small businesses mom-and-pop operations, and individual websites the same level of service with Plugin solutions for widely-used CMS and e-commerce engines such as WordPress and Woo Commerce and similarly popular solutions. Like it or not, Eurocrats have created an entire new market for accountancy, legal, and similar services supporting small and independent online sellers with their — entirely not asked-for — compliance needs. Their Plugin solutions may or may not carry a price tag for installation and use, or the actual services rendered will, but one way or other the overall cost of doing business and staying “compliant” has increased again — a cost of doing business that, like any other, will sure be passed on to buyers and increase overall prices again. All that during times of “economic crisis” when any economy needs relief rather than further hindrances. We will all see one day if this is going to end well, but one might be forgiven for doubting it.

 

For Payment card “security cost” refer to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_Card_Industry_Data_Security_Standard

Photographer’s Darling: New Online Media Selling Tool

If you are like most photographers, then titling, tagging, and editing your descriptions is tremendously time-consuming and a huge overall turnoff. Many tools have been developed to try and ease the pain, but so far there has been very little available out there to truly make a difference. The only “solutions” are expensive or they are third-party hosted and do not give you any meaningful control over your own photography (or graphic design) business.

Even available WordPress solutions like the popular SellMedia Plugin, while providing great steps in the right direction, have certain shortcomings.

Solution to Indie Selling: Professional Tool for Online Media Selling

To the rescue comes “Indie Selling” for photographers, videographers, and graphics artists — all complete with a brand-new Plugin called “grfx” (stands for graphics). This powerful microstock photography (and, yes, graphics) plugin for WordPress had initially been developed as a Theme-based solution. It has gathered a following of a few hundred enthusiasts over the past few years and is much-liked in the microstock community worldwide. Independently selling or “indie selling” of art online, from graphics to photography, video footage and even including e-books and other Downloadables, has taken a major step forward with the outstanding grfx Plugin for WordPress.

The new grfx Plugin for WordPress extends another popular WP solution, the popular Woocommerce e-shop, to allow mass-upload and selling your stock images online through your own store — and, unlike Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStock and others, on your own terms! Sell multiple image sizes, licenses, file types, useful for any image market including photography and selling other files, images etc. for download, but optimized for illustrators. The Plugin is brought to you by Leo Blanchette in Hawaii of clipartillustration.com who set up grfx, the illustrator network.

The grfx WordPress Plugin reads your meta-data from images, streamlining all  upload/description processes and providing a huge productivity advantage to every photographer or microstock artist — no tedious editing required anymore.

Summing It All Up: Main Features of GRFX:

Great community support, and very strong SEO functionality built-in. Further details of the grfx Plugin for WordPress include:

  • Compatible with Woocommerce and Woocommerce themes: Enjoy the benefits, security, and extensibility of a Woocommerce based store that sells stock images.
  • FTP Support: Bypass the uploader and easily FTP your images.
  • Beautifully watermarks your images: Protect your images with a professional looking watermark – automatically provided or of your creation.
  • Automated image processing: – Set it and forget it. Process thousands of images at once.
  • Set your own licenses: Easily set EULAs (End User License Agreements) for your images.
  • Processes image Metadata: Extracts title, keywords, and description from your image files’ EXIF information and applies them to either all or single ones of your products, saving you lots of time.
  • Illustrator network: Join the grfx illustrator network, open for photo and graphics artists alike.
  • Support forums and community: (now closed)
  • Tested and stable: We’ve been doing this a long time, and this package is well-tested and very stable.

The grfx Plugin is highly recommended.

 

 

Why Sell Independently?

As to why anyone would want to go down the route of selling their photos, graphics work, or other media on their individual website at all, however great the available tools, let’s simply have a look at the professional artists forum Microstockgroup from Sarpsborg in southesastern Norway’s Østfold province and bear in mind what real-life micro stock artists have to say about pay and other policies of conventional microstock agencies like iStock, Shutterstock, and similar. In light of steadily declining revenues and established agencies’ tendency toward lowering acceptance thresholds even further and favoring quantity over quality, selling individually on one’s own website can beat microstock selling very early on. Done right, it will not even beat but can easily surpass conventional microstock income levels as Search Engine Optimization can be done more effectively for self-controlled images and media files.