(Originally posted on www.glennlewisphotography.com on March 18, 2015.)
I "launched" www.glennlewisphotography.com roughly five weeks ago. All that was involved in the launch was (1) creating the website, and (2) telling my friends and family about it, and hoping word-of-mouth and social media savvy (which I'm sadly lacking, for now, but am hoping to improve on this in the future) would carry me forward. And I suppose it has, to some degree. Ultimately, I would like this website to provide income for me to settle into photography as a career. Obviously, this isn't something that happens overnight, and it certainly isn't something that happens when there isn't even a "purchase" button to be found on the site. I'm aiming to fix this specific problem as soon as July, when I return to Colorado.
So, roughly one month in, where do I stand? I use Squarespace to run my site, and they provide some metrics. In the last month, I've had 381 "page views," meaning an average of 17 a day. This is a pretty small number, and even less encouraging when it is considered that a "page view" is not the same thing as a "visit." A "visit" counts as a series of page views by an individual. I've only had 84 "visits" in the last month. These numbers are what they are, and can be viewed optimistically, or pessimistically. I'm optimistic they will rise as time goes by.
|"Fisheye Forest," originally posted March 4, 2015.|
It's also interesting to look at trends, such as specific days that gather a significantly higher number of views than others. For instance, I had 69 unique page views on March 4th - a huge number compared to my average of 17. I posted "Fisheye Forest" on March 4th. Every time I post a photo, I post it here, onwww.glennlewisphotography.com, as well as on my Facebook page, 500px, Flickr, Smugmug, and Google Plus.
Was there some kind of link between my having posted this particular photo and the increased traffic I experienced this day? Well, I got 232 views of this photo on 500px, and it reached a peak "pulse" of 88.6, an impressive but not incredible rating based on another metric, this time specific to www.500px.com. By way of comparison, I've averaged about 143 views per picture I've posted on 500px.
How about Flickr? "Fisheye Forest" only had 70 views on Flickr. And Google Plus? Uh, I'm pretty clueless about what the hell I'm even doing when I get on Google Plus, so I don't really have any idea. My Facebook page? It's got 7 "likes," which is among the most of any of my photos. (Not particularly encouraging) And I'm not sure that anyone in the world has viewed my Smugmug page, at all. It's basically a clone of this site, and in the future, I'll have to consider if it is really worth keeping both of them up and running.
So far, this post reads like a bunch of "here are some not-encouraging factoids about my photos," so let me now mention the things that have happened in the last month that ARE encouraging.
|"Sanbangsan Sunset," originally posted February 26, 2015.|
I have over 21,000 views on 500px. I think this is good. There are photographers on 500px who probably get this many views in a day, and perhaps I will, someday, too, but I am happy with this number, given the limited time I've been using the site.
I posted "Sanbangsan Sunset" on February 26, 2015. It's odd, but for some reason, specific photos really take off on some sites, but not on others. On 500px, this photo only reached a "pulse" of 48, which is not an impressive number by any account. However, the same shot was chosen by Flickr to be featured on "Explore," which basically means it was shown on Flickr's front page. It gathered over 8,500 unique views and over 200 "faves."
My Google Plus profile has over 52,000 views, even though I have no idea what I am doing when I use it. These numbers are encouraging.
I am ultimately concerned, though, that all these metrics are kind of meaningless. The sites on which I've been posting my photographs are generally used by other photographers, and artists don't make a living by selling art to fellow artists. Ultimately, I am going to need to get regular folks to take enough of an interest in my work that they'll be willing to shell out a few hundred bucks to display something I've made on their walls. I've got some good ideas on how to go about doing this, but none of them are really applicable until I get back to the US. Until then, I guess I've just gotta keep doing what I'm doing.