Tiny Fish, Rising Cream and My Take on Photo SEO

As yet another faceless freelancer in an ever growing sea of photographers who are placing their archives online in an attempt to gain even a small share of the editorial stock photo market, I see myself as a very small fish in a gigantic pond. I look at it as a challenge that is worth the effort and am excited that after more than 30 years of surviving in the world of freelance editorial photography, I'm still up to the challenge of learning new tricks.

A little over a year ago, I was invited by a photographer friend of mine to join Facebook. Although I'd heard of it, I was never inclined to join, as I knew that this was what was known as "social media" and I've never been much of a social butterfly. My friend, however, was posting a photo of me and I needed to join Facebook to see it and curiousity got the better of me, so I signed up. I'v enow got nearly 300 facebook friends and recently launched a Bcpix.com-Photo by Brian Cleary Facebook Fan Page, which now numbers nearly 150 fans.

6 months later, scrounging around for ways to promote my newly updated website, I read up on Twitter and ways in which business people can use this site to promote their wares. I signed up and began to tweet. Just yesterday my 700th tweet went up on my Twitter account.

In the past year or so, invitations to connect with associates on LinkedIn had been arriving in my e-mail. I joined, but my account lay dormant as I was not quite sure what to do with it. In the last few weeks, I've become more active on LinkedIn as I've discovered that this professional network offers connections to many associates in my profession as well as access to valuable info and articles on how I make a living.

As a spinoff of all of this, I've started to become aware and learn more about tracking the visitors and traffic to my various online presences. I know that in the past 30 days 1,288 visitors to my website have viewed 16,133 pages. The average visitor to my site spends 5 minutes and 10 seconds there and views 12.53 pages.

I know that a visitor who arrives from Facebook will spend 4 minutes and 47 seconds there and view 10.55 pages, while one arriving via Twitter will stay for only 45 seconds and visit 4.65 pages, and finally a LinkedIn visitor will spend 1 minute and 40 seconds there and view 8.72 pages.

Although I'm still not sure what all this means and how I can use it to survive in this tough business climate, I do believe that it is important. As the volume of online photography for purchase(supply) grows and the value of stock photography plummets, the stock photographer will be forced to rely more heavily on a large volume of sales to make any money. To achieve sales volume, he'll have to attract buyers, and to attract buyers he'll need a high internet profile.

As a small kid growing up, I was often among the last ones picked for sports teams. But, having a little athletic ability I always felt that my talents would eventually be discovered and I would become a valuable and appreciated member of the team. In other words, the cream always rises to the top. I think this same principle can apply in the world of online business. The little guy with a lot of hard work and the desire to learn coupled with a good product and a lot of perseverance, can eventually rise to the top.


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www.bcpix.com is the online home for the photographic archive of Florida-based photographer Brian Cleary. At this portal not only can you search and browse an ever-growing collection of photography covering more than 30 years, but many of the images are available for online purchase as editorial images, commercial images and/or personal use prints.