Thursday, February 11, 2010

Niche = Sales?

Recently, I've been wondering why my Etsy sales are just not as much as I'd like them to be. (I know sales aren't that important and it's all about the art, but when you have to make a living from it, it's very important!) Then I tried to figure out how to fix it. Everywhere I go, people tell me what great work I have and how I have a great eye. I appreciate that greatly. But, as the saying goes, if I had a penny for every time I heard that, I would be rich. Which brings my question of why I'm not selling photos. Could it be the economy? Maybe.

I've searched other photographers on Etsy, and there are a few who are selling like crazy. I didn't understand it. When I looked further, I realized these photographers had a sort of niche or commonality among their photos. That is something I am missing. As I look at my own photos, I find I am all over the place. I have a hard time grouping them together or finding something in common. Maybe that is where my problem lies. I have no niche. Maybe I should come up with one? I'm not sure yet. But until then I will continue to shoot photos and see where it takes me.

Please comment about this topic! Thanks!


  1. Hey Gina!
    I totally wonder the same as you. I do think to know the answers though (to your first question) selling photos anywhere is hard. It's a tough competition, not only among photographers, but also with the media and with piracy. However, I think the ones who persevere, will somehow be a little more known at one point.
    I am with you in the niche thing. I have no idea how to have one :s I like taking pictures of many many things and trying different effects! I hope I can figure out how to start sharpening my own 'style' but right now I'm just exploring you know. Keep trying though :) a lot of us are there with ya!

  2. I think niche markets are an important part of the equation, but the success of the niche depends on the individual niche.

    I think one also needs to evaluate just who's doing the buying. I just looked back on my sales and it breaks down this way: Clearly Female: 82% Clearly Male: 0% Undlear: 18%

    I ask myself, "What are all these women buying photographs for?" I do know that at least 29% of my sales were gifts for men; I don't know about the rest, but looking at what I've sold, my guess would be they're decorative accent pieces.

    So, if I want my sales to increase it looks like I'll need to cultivate my feminine side, look at what niche is doing really well, and try to think and create like a successful female photographer.

    Or, I could wait for my niche to be discovered.

    While I'm waiting I'm going to keep doing my own thing.

  3. Gina:
    I agree with the prior two comments. Though I don't think I 100 percent agree about the niche thing but I do think it has a lot to do with it. Let's all hope, though, that there are enough niches out there for us all to fit ourselves into.