23 Dec 2007 Fotolia Launches Personal Gallery Facility My.Fotolia
[update] – Fotolia have since closed down this service.
Fotolia have launched a new facility for contributors to customize a page to promote and sell their own photos.
Called My.Fotolia, it allows contributors to create and display galleries of their photos from their Fotolia portfolio. In addition to writing a description and creating a list of links to other websites, the page can be customized with a choice of colors and by uploading a custom banner graphic. Google Analytics has been built in so contributors can analyze the performance of their space.
What’s the Benefit?
My.Fotolia provides contributors with a custom address where they can refer potential buyers and people interested in viewing their portfolio. The customized pages don’t show photos from other contributors, so there’s a greater chance the referring contributor will sell one of their own photos.
Registered Fotolia contributors can easily setup their MyFotolia space from the signup page. If their photos are already organized into galleries, it’s simply a matter of choosing which galleries to display and the sort order of the photos in each gallery.
What Does it Look Like?
I created a My.Fotolia space quite quickly even though I didn’t have any existing galleries. Contributors can choose the name for their space, which is great for branding. As an early adopter I was able to secure the word ‘photos’, so my space address becomes my.fotolia.com/photos.
There are a few minor bugs which will no doubt be resolved in time. Fotolia intends to continuously improve the My.Fotolia facility based on contributor feedback.
What’s the Benefit for Fotolia?
Strategically, this initiative will provide more content and more inbound links for Fotolia, particularly as it is further encouragement for contributors to send in potential buyers. This will translate into more content, more activity and more opportunities to sell photos.
Providing private portfolio pages for contributors has so far only been done by agencies that charge for space such as PhotoShelter. While many microstock agencies provide portfolio pages, this is the first time a microstock agency has provided contributors with a customizable page where only their own photos are visible.
Will it work?
The My.Fotolia space will be a good branding opportunity for contributors with a high profile, a large portfolio, or a strong specialization. However, most buyers go to large agencies to find a particular photo, not necessarily to buy from a particular contributor. Variety in contributors is the primary benefit of buying from an agency.
I expected that Fotolia would have integrated their referral program. iStockphoto automatically attribute referral credit when new buyers arrive via a contributor’s portfolio link. The MyFotolia facility doesn’t currently work this way.
Many other microstock agencies are also experiencing benefits from contributor blogs, which would be an ideal addition to the My.Fotolia space facility, allowing the profiles to build more content and attract more search traffic.
Providing feedback to contributors about what sales are generated through the profile would encourage contributors to invest more time developing and refining their My.Fotolia profiles.
Share Your Space
If you’ve setup a My.Fotolia space, I invite you to share your address in the comments.