Over the past year we’ve been working hard to build our website traffic on the simple belief that more visitors = more sales.

And it seems to be working. In the first three weeks of May we’ve sold images to seven different countries, all to new customers who have bought straight off our site. A very warm welcome to you all!

They’re not just small sales either. One was for over £400 / $635 / €458, and three others were in three figures. This is remarkably good, given the present state of the picture stock market, and  as a result some of our photographers will be getting a pleasant surprise in a few days time.

We can’t help feeling this must have something to do with increased traffic to the fotoLibra website. On the Web ranking site Alexa.com, fotoLibra stands as the fourth most visited general picture library in the UK.

If this doesn’t sound great to you, remember there are over 450 picture libraries in Britain.

fotoLibra.com now ranks as the 110,000th most visited website in the world. Laughably low, I know, but just go to Alexa.com and input the URL of any small business you know. Then compare it with the fotoLibra ranking.

Surprising, isn’t it?

If you are a photographer, it makes commercial sense to post your images where more people will see them. And if a photograph is one of 500K, it will have more chance of being seen than if it’s one of twenty-five million.

I forgot to tell you about my last blog, Be Careful With Google Image Search, so here’s a link to it.

And if you wonder why we sometimes seem stressed and spaced-out, read my latest personal blog!

By the way, if you contacted anyone at fotoLibra in the last 10 days and haven’t heard anything back, please contact us again as we’ve been having an intermittent email problem which we hope is now sorted.


Add your comment


28 Responses to “Picture Sales & Website Traffic”

  1. I agree entirely with your thinking Gwyn, It must be soul destroying to be uploading images to sites that have10 million plus pictures, but the problem is as Fotolibra grows , and I have introduced 10 of my students to it in the last 6 months, how long will it be before we are up there with the millions

  2. Keith Erskine says:

    Good hunting with “them” prices! They MUST need pix from Mauritius, Réunio, Kuwait, Dubai, Al-Ain, Greek islands, Turkey, central London, France etc………………??


  3. van Holsbeke says:

    I do alot of photography in U.S. & Mexico. What kind of pictures do pepple want to by.

  4. Rob Weaver says:

    Thank you for your comments.. in some way encouraging, but as a long time member of Fotolibra I have only had 2 sales.. it would be useful if you published the pics in the light box so at least we could see some reward in our effort.

    I am delighted that you have grown, bur growth of images does not mean greater sales..it means greater competition for the photographer.. and I am still not inspired that we photographers who have digital cameras will survive..thank heavens I am on the way out side.. the digital HDMI video cameras . e books, etc will thrash no trash our photography and the buyer is now wanting the completed image.. P

  5. Rob Weaver says:

    to continue.. Photo shopped,enhanced, light boxed; correct pixel size; no longer the task of the graphic designer.. a photographer these days must have.. Apple; Photoshop;Graphic Technical skills; etc and to this extent is still paid below the bread line; purchaser no longer want to give photographers assignments..thus saving on petrol;time;travel;etc..and by using stock photos they are cutting costs.. the photographers lot is not a happy one..but,since I love photography I shall continue not for my PLEASURE.. South Africa here I come watch this space..

  6. john hill says:

    Well done Gwyn and all the Fotolibra team.
    Fotolibra is a very family friendly site and treats all it’s members with civility.I became a Pro member after a long spell as an ordinary member,knowing that I was doing the right thing as both the wife and I have birthdays in October(Librans).
    The company I am sure will go from strength to strength over the coming years,with rewards for those that have help build the stock,which is now very diverce.

  7. Ray Timlin says:

    Hi To you at fotolibra,
    Nice to here that people are selling images, could I ask that you publish the detail of these photo’s and who published them, it would be of great use to us as a template, by which we could judge our own images; {we could move on, or dare a say it move out.}
    Kind regards

  8. Thom Gourley says:

    Congratulations on your successful efforts! I’ll follow up with you.


  9. Ben Harrison says:

    Great cat story. I’m glad he had sense enough to return,
    though he could have probably lived on on his own.
    Speaking of cats, as a photographer I’ve spent the last few years
    taking photos of the original cat family that lives with me. Nobody that I know of actually buys cat photos…just look on the Web…so I started a blog called “Country Cat Family” for pre-readers and parents and have at least gotten inquiries. If photographers have a lot of pictures of any one thing, might be a way to sell more pics..


    Don’t know if its worth keeping going. Like you say, you’ve got to have a lot of visitors and I would be thrilled if mine were the 110,000th most visited Web site!

    cheers, BenQQ
    Memphis, TN

  10. malcolm says:

    I have 50000 pics of Africa i wish to sell in batches of 5000.They would have to viewed in Johannesburg where the purchaser could pic what he wants.They where tken with a Nikon D80 i belong to a camera club so pics are of good ,fine ,large images.

  11. Robert Brook says:

    “They’re not just small sales either. One was for over £400 / $635 / €458, and three others were in three figures. This is remarkably good, given the present state of the picture stock market”

    “If you are a photographer, it makes commercial sense to post your images where more people will see them. And if a photograph is one of 500K, it will have more chance of being seen than if it’s one of twenty-five million”

    Really? Alamy: from 1st Feb to 4th March: four sales over £100, the highest being arond £1k ($ 1600.43). Collection size just under 1k. Alamy holds nearly 24m images. True, my main agency has less than 500k images, and I sell pictures every week of every month there, but that happens to be a niche collection with worldwide syndication and not comparable with a generalist/nature/travel collection.

    So, although I posted, one image to your site (or was it two?), I am yet convinced. I think one problem is, that a lot of the best work I would expect to see in Amateur Photographer if anywhere, whereas the worst wouldn’t make it to a microstock site. But I hope you succeed.

    Best wishes


  12. Jim Walker says:

    I could only be so lucky to have those sales as part of mine. Oh well, congratulations to the photographers that made the sales.

    • Chris Mitton says:

      I’m glad someone is making money from Fotolibra. In the 4 or 5 years I paid my dues I didn’t.

  13. saeb sahraee says:

    i am a amateur photographer in iran .and I live in the north of Iran with bautiful nature.please tell me what kind of photo can be buyed by people,

  14. Your comments are right on Gwyn. I have been in the business since the 1960’s and managed to keep sending shots of my travel to one of the Picture agents who were ‘swallowed up’ by a larger company (not the top 3), but still only “paid out” on work published every last week in December, ever since the 1960’s.
    Having only recently joined fotoLIBRA I was unaware that you accepted other work of photographs of countries other than the ones you ask for on e-mails. I have a ‘few hundred’ pictures of various countries, China, Jordan, USA, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, St Petersburg and more – Have a look at my website – peternoblepics.co.uk – it has more details.
    Bests – Peter R. Noble

  15. Victor says:

    Can any one tell me how to sell pictures and how you get payed all the details i real need your help guys

  16. ian clegg says:

    those figures don’t seem to look great – 4th best visited library in UK yet only 4 sales in the three figures in 3 weeks. – Fotolibra needs to tell us who and what the people are doing once they reach the site. Must agree with the other posts – show what shots are selling on a lightbox. to be ironic, transparency is needed.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      We’re as transparent as we can be without spending more time generating reports than selling. We’re a commercial company, not a government body!

      • ian clegg says:

        Whats the prob with showing what’s selling and what’s not? Some libraries show a top ten selling shots page – could be accessed by members only of course.

        • ian clegg says:

          Apologies – I do realise you have recent sales section I suppose I should analyse that more often

        • Gwyn Headley says:

          No problem. We do show what’s selling in a link DIRECTLY from the Home Page which can be accessed by the world and his dog: http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/recent-sales/
          What we’re not going to spend time on is in providing a detailed analysis of every sale and permutation of rights in each territory. That’s not our job.

          • Gwyn Headley says:

            Apologies accepted! It’s jusr that we’re called all ways at once and our priority MUST be in selling our members’ images. Remember we have no say over what members upload. Entirely their choice.

  17. Steve Hamer says:

    As a disabled person & pro account member now in my third quarter of payments & being limited to locations & subjects i can shoot,i have just over 200 images online,i have in this time had 8 or 9 images in light boxes of potntial buyer’s which is encouraging,so hopefully sales are pending.
    However it would be interesting to know what the average monthly image sales are,looking at the recent sales info box there does’nt seem to be that much activity from month to month.
    You pay your money & take a chance,but for how long?

  18. Completely agree on the idea that keeping the number of images small and the quality high but we are still competing with all the other agencies. I have been busy uploading pictures over the last month and have yet to make a sale, will keep trying.

  19. Dear Gwyn, we’re delighted to see the business growing so well and managed to find your website via image searches on Weston-super-Mare for our bed and breakfast website. Perfect. It made me think, the amount of coastal towns and beach resorts with beautiful landmarks such as Weston or Somerset has, now thats alot of photographs 🙂 Thanks Again.