Stock Photo News
STOCK PHOTO NEWS
from A-Z FOTOS
The first Modern
eZine combining Stock Photography and
* From the Editor
* Text sell - not
* Guest article:
Use The MOST VALUABLE Real Estate On Your
Web Site To Capture Your Visitors' Attention -- in 10
Seconds Or Less!
- - by Corey Rudl
* Take better Travel
Pictures, Tip # 7:
Films for travelling
* Digital photography
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subscribers to your newsletter?
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of earlier issues of Stock Photo News at
FROM THE EDITOR
Photos have a lot
of power in attracting attention,
conveying a mood and 'say more than a thousand words', but
final buying decisions are mostly triggered by words. This
is basic knowledge but often not taken into account in
This issue of Stock Photo News helps you to use this fact
to spark the efficiency of your online marketing.
Just take a look on your closest competition to
make a review of their online performance regarding this
aspect, and you will see your own benefit of that
Corey Rudl has written about the main topic in
the guest article. He has proved his ability to harvest
from the knowledge of the different power and function of
pictures and the written word. Read for yourself and use
your imagination to exchange his examples with examples
relevant for your own products and service.
Still sitting far
from my normal office and resources for
producing Stock Photo News, I apologize for not being as
well informed as usual. And I apologize for a missing
English language correction before publication. Anyway, I
hope you will enjoy this issue and find useful information
for your work. Enjoy your reading of Stock Photo News.
A-Z FOTOS "Find
Stock Photos from most of the World"
and relevant articles are appreciated. Send
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TEXT SELL - NOT
This headline is
horrible to write for a stock
photographer! Nevertheless it is true. The right picture at
your website might catch the attention of the visitor, but
you need the proper web copy to lead the visitor's attention
in the wanted direction, often meaning to a final buying
decision. If you can't bring the visitor to buy anything
your next best catch is to get the email address and his or
her accept of allowing you to send some further information
in the future (to this potential customer).
To go to the extreme
we must realise that even a stock
photo website needs to consider the importance of the web
copy. The pictures at the site might look just right for
the visitor's creative production, but how to be sure about
the quality of the delivered scans? Or speed of delivery or
the final price or what ever? Only text can persuade the
visitor about such concerns.
The one who masters
to write the web copy or to get
professional help from others to do so will get the most
satisfying online presence. Take your time to digest the
article by Corey Rudl below.
USE THE MOST VALUABLE REAL ESTATE ON YOUR WEB SITE TO
CAPTURE YOUR VISITORS' ATTENTION --IN 10 SECONDS OR LESS!
-- by Corey Rudl
Just like in spy
movies where the hero has 10 suspense-
filled seconds to dispose of his or her latest assignment
before it self-destructs, you have an equally short 10
seconds to grab your visitors' attention before your
chances of making a sale self-destruct... and your
first-time visitors leave your site forever.
Your mission, should
you choose to accept it, is to make
those critical 10 seconds count by ensuring that the first
fold of your web site (the first screen of your web site
visible without scrolling) snags the attention of your
visitors with a compelling benefit that persuades them to
stay just a few minutes longer to find out what you're
WHAT'S UP WITH THIS
10-SECOND RULE, ANYWAY?
The first fold is
literally the most valuable real estate
on your web site because this is the screen that your
visitors absorb during the first 10 seconds of their visit
and use to make their "should I stay or should I go"
decision. That's why you'll frequently hear me refer to
"the 10-second rule."
The first fold of
your web site needs to be strategically
designed so that, in 10 seconds or less, it clearly
communicates the biggest, most compelling benefit you have
to offer your visitors.
I know this concept
probably sounds simple enough; however,
most web site owners make fatal mistakes here that drive
visitors away and limit the sales potential of their sites.
process of trying to "tell it all"... "sell
.. or "dazzle `em all," they just end up "confusing
all." Or they assume that their web site will sell the
offer itself and don't provide any information.
Think about all
of those times you've arrived at web sites
- Overwhelm you
- Point you in 14
different directions with links here,
there, and everywhere
- Annoy you with
- Slow you down
with long, pointless Flash presentations
the entire first page talking about "Mission
- And just plain
drive you away with a lack of relevant
We've all been to
(and been frustrated by) these sites. So
what can you do to ensure that your site isn't one of them?
BIGGEST BENEFIT WITH YOUR HEADLINE
copywriter will tell you that your
headline can make or break your success. Unfortunately,
this is an element that is sorely undervalued by most site
The very first thing
that should draw the eyes of your
visitors when they arrive at your web site is a headline
that clearly states the biggest benefit your site has to
offer. Graphics, logos, illustrations, menus, links,
etc... should never overpower or distract from this
Your headline should
be located at the very top, center of
the page in a larger font size that naturally attracts
attention. It should communicate information about what
you offer and how you're going to:
- Make visitors'
- Save them money
- Save them time
- Help them in their
- Provide additional
- Entertain them
- Make them more
- Help them feel
Plus, it should
be visually appealing. For your headline to
be most effective, your visitors must be able to absorb
the benefits it shares in a glance. So you not only need
to write a killer headline, you need to strategically
To illustrate these
points, let's pretend that you're
brainstorming headlines for your web site that sells
plastic cutlery (i.e. plastic knives, forks, and spoons):
COMMENTS: Your domain
name should NEVER be used as your
title. It doesn't communicate a benefit or give visitors a
reason to stay.
Our Perfect Picnic Pals"
COMMENTS: You know
what this means, but your visitors
won't. Are you selling bug spray? Wine? Picnic baskets?
Friends to picnic with? Visitors should never have to read
through your site to understand your title. The benefit
should be clear to everyone immediately.
A Plastic Fork In It When It's Done"
worry about being clever, worry about
being clear. While cute slogans might be fun to write, be
careful that they're doing more than amuse -- make sure
they're selling visitors on why your site is worth their
Plastic Nourishment Ingesting Utensils Comprised
Of Plasticizers, Fillers, Pigments, And Other Additives"
COMMENTS: Huh? Speak
in a language that your target market
is going to understand. You're only impressing yourself by
overusing big words in long, complicated sentences. Good
writing is clear and concise. So are good headlines.
From Our Wide Selection Of Brand Name Plastic
Cutlery (Over 200 Tested, Proven Durable Styles)...
Including The Top 10 Patterns The Hollywood Stars Use"
COMMENTS: Now I
admit that this last headline is a bit of
a stretch, but if you are in the market for designer
plastic utensils, these might be the major benefits you
are looking for. Notice that this headline clearly
expresses benefits like:
a) Choose from a
wide selection of plastic cutlery (over
b) Choose from brand
c) And choose from
patterns the stars use.
Now if you were
formatting this headline in HTML, you'd
want to carefully use centering and line breaks, along
with bolding, italics, and brackets, to place special
emphasis on certain words and phrases that make it easier
to read in a glance.
This is how you
make the benefits in your carefully
written headline jump out at your visitors.
NAMES AND E-MAIL ADDRESSES
The next critical
element that should appear within the
first fold of your web site is an opt-in e-mail form that
offers visitors a compelling reason to become a subscriber.
Not every person
is going to buy from you the first time
they visit your site, so it's very important that you
capture their names and e-mail addresses before they leave.
You've spent the
time, money, and energy getting your site
listed in the search engines, recruiting link partners,
purchasing advertising in industry newsletters, writing
free promotional articles, etc... Why would you let these
targeted visitors slip away?
Of course, these
days including an opt-in e-mail form with
text like "Subscribe Now" or "Free Newsletter" is
E-mail is no longer
a novelty for most people, and there
are literally thousands of sites pushing their "free"
newsletters. So it's extremely important that you give your
visitors a compelling reason to share their names and
For example, referring
back to the plastic cutlery web
site, a good subscription offer might read something like
to our FREE monthly "Plastic Cutlery" Newsletter
the secrets Hollywood stars use to throw some of the
hottest, most talked-about parties... for almost no cost!
today, and you'll immediately receive our
exclusive report, "10 Secrets About Buying In Bulk That
Plastic Cutlery Manufacturers Don't Want You To Know!"
Notice that you're
not only letting visitors know that
their subscription will be free, you're telling them
exactly what your newsletter is about, how frequently
they'll be receiving it, and how they're going to benefit
Plus, you're giving
them the added incentive of a special
bonus report that contains information they're going to
value (and that's going to establish your credibility!).
MAKE GETTING AROUND
EASY WITH YOUR NAVIGATION MENU
The other critical
element that should appear within the
first fold of your web site is your navigation menu, which
should be placed somewhere on the top, left of every page.
When visitors first
arrive at your site, they should be
able to see in a glance that your site is going to be easy
If your visitors
are struggling to get around, then they're
not thinking about your offer. And if they're not thinking
about your offer, they're going to leave! So rather than
scatter links around your homepage, group them together in
a concise menu that's easy to understand and use.
I should point out
that part of making your navigation menu
easy to use involves carefully choosing your menu button
names. For example, a poorly labeled menu on your plastic
cutlery site might look something like this:
- What's Cool -
Meet Bob - Statistics - Background -
Notice that none
of these buttons give the visitor
information about how they're going to benefit from
clicking on them. This is a very common mistake. Don't
assume that your visitors will instinctively know what
these buttons mean. Choose compelling link and button
names that are both benefit- oriented and clear!
A better menu might
look something like this:
- Home - FREE Plastic
Cutlery - Hollywood Star Favorites
- 200 Cutlery Designs - Cutlery Care Tips - About Us -
Notice that each
of these menu options clearly tells the
visitor where they're going to go or what they're going to
get by clicking on them.
AVOID THESE COMMON
Once you understand
the key elements that should
immediately grab your visitors' attention within the first
fold of your web site, the elements to avoid become
#1: Avoid Links
And Banners That Drive Traffic Away From
Be careful not to
drive traffic away from your web site
with distracting banners and links. While there are some
situations that warrant placing a banner at the top of your
homepage (i.e. you're promoting an affiliate product or
you're selling your advertising space), you need to make
sure you're not driving your traffic right into the hands
of your competition.
For example, if
you're selling books about plastic cutlery,
you shouldn't have a link to Amazon.com at the top of your
homepage. Amazon.com is a HUGE, well-established
bookseller that has already established its credibility
with online book buyers.
If you present your
visitors with the choice of purchasing
their plastic cutlery books from you or Amazon.com, they're
likely going to choose Amazon.com.
before placing any links or banners within
the first fold of your web site; this is where you should
be directing visitors towards your offer, not away from
#2: Avoid Distracting
Graphics And Animation
Words sell, not
graphics. So if visitors spend the first 10
seconds at your site trying to figure out how to make your
long Flash presentation stop, or waiting for large
graphics to load, you can be sure that they're not going
to stick around.
While there is a
time and place for graphics and animation,
be certain that if you've chosen to include any on your
site, you've done so to strategically enhance your message
and illustrate a benefit -- not for your own
Your friends and
family will be far more impressed by the
long-term profits your site generates than by flashy,
#3: Avoid Sharing
Ordering Information Too Soon
While your product
type and offer will ultimately dictate
how you lead your visitors to the sale, it's generally a
good idea to avoid any mention of ordering or buying until
you've established the value of your offer as this tends to
scare people away.
Like any good salesperson,
you first need to establish your
credibility and explain how your product or service is
going to benefit the visitor before asking for the order.
#4: Avoid "About
You" Text Like Mission Statements
Here's a personal
pet peeve of mine. Sites that seem intent
on boring you to death with long, elaborate pages that
talk about company goals and mission statements.
Think about it for
a minute... A mission statement is about
what your company wants to achieve, not about how your
visitors are going to benefit from doing business with you.
Yes, in some cases
these benefits may be implied in your
mission statement. But you can't honestly expect your
visitors to wade through all of your pomp and ceremony to
figure out how you're going to help them.
If you MUST include
this information on your site, don't
place it in the first fold of your homepage where visitors
are looking for clear, specific details about why your site
is worth their time.
The first fold is
the most valuable real estate on your web
site because this is where new visitors make their
10-second decision to stay or go.
That's why you need
to side-step the tempting design errors
like misplaced banners, distracting animation, wordy
mission statements, and premature ordering information,
and use this space to carefully:
1) Communicate the
biggest benefit your web site has to
2) Persuade your
visitors to opt-in to your mailing list,
3) And convince
them that your site will be a breeze to
This is how you'll
not only dramatically increase the
average length of a visitor's stay, it's how you'll also
dramatically increase your overall sales!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful
online businesses that attract more than 6
million visitors and generate over $5.2 million each year.
He is also the author of the #1 best-selling Internet
Marketing course online.
To check out his
site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT
INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very
own profitable Internet business, I highly recommend
This guy really
knows what he's talking about!
Corey Rudl is using "Mailloop -- Business Automation
Software" to deliver his sophisticated communication with
old and potential costumers, including his newsletters.
Learn how Mailloop
also can help you AUTOMATE YOUR ENTIRE
BUSINESS by instantly filtering your e-mail, running your
newsletters, importing your leads or orders into a
database, automatically e-mailing your personalized
customer database, taking care of an unlimited amount of
To learn more about
how YOU can do this, go to:
Take better Travel Pictures # 7
FILMS FOR TRAVELLING
If you are serious
about your photography and take colour
slides, you will be most satisfied with films in the 100
ASA range. These films are also suitable for most
publications. If you take pictures for paper prints for
your personal use, a 200 ASA film of a recognised brand
will do. The speed of a 200 ASA film is quick enough to
enable you to take pictures in most light situations as
long as you also carry a flash. The relative high speed
will stretch the power supply of your flash and make it
more sufficient, too. At the same time a 200 ASA film is
acceptably fine grained for both small paper prints and
enlargement up to, say A4 format. The x-ray dose at the
airport shouldn't hurt this film speed, normally (but much
faster films will be in danger). Anyway try to have your
films hand checked if you are not sure about the
performance of the x-ray scanner in the airport.
In earlier days I always brought a variety of films with me on
travel, covering speeds from 25 ASA to 400 ASA, or even up
to 1600 ASA. But after some crucial mistakes in Australia
due to my frequent exchange of cameras and films, I have
settled with 100 ASA (for 35 mm and medium format films).
It makes my life on the go easier and if needed I can
always push for more speed in the development.
For general personal photography the brand of the film
is not so critical. It is much more important when traveling
in the 3rd world that your films are fresh and kept cool.
Remember that when you occasionally are out of film far
The take over of digital photography will soon make these
Have continued good
luck with your travel photography.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS
photography the move from traditional film
to digital capture is now going very fast. It's not the
aim of Stock Photo News to focus on new equipment, but
these months some breaking news should be known by all
creative professionals. 2002 will be the year when it is
within reach of all professionals to be equipped with a
digital camera capable of delivering digital pictures of
sufficient quality to match traditional photography.
The following cameras are in the pipeline from the main
Canon EOS D60, with 6 million pixels
Nikon D100, with 6 million pixels
Fuji S2 Pro, with 6 million pixels
Sigma SD9, with 3.5 million pixels of special quality*
*The Sigma model will be the first camera to use the
revolutionary Foveon sensor which I expect will be pointing
the direction of future development of digitalization of
pictures. Bill Gates is said to support this direction of
These models will supplement the more expensive full
professional models (more expensive) already
introduced last year:
Canon EOS 1D, with 4 million pixels
Nikon D1X, with 6 million pixels
Nikon D1H, with 2,6 million pixels
An addition to this category is:
Contax N Digital, A full frame 6 million pixels camera.
All other digital lens reflex cameras mentioned above are only
able to capture a smaller area compared to the film area.
This change the function of the lenses, so a wide angel lens
will act with less effect and a tele lens will function as
a stronger tele lens. A bigger problem is that this will
quest a higher optical quality of the lens to mach
photography with film with the same camera system maing use
of the full frame.
Keep an eye on www.dpreview.com where
you will find the best reviews to keep you informed.
As you know, scanners
for slides of all sizes are already
available of outstanding quality for reasonable prices for
all creative professionals.
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See you in the next Stock Photo Newsletter!
2002 by Soren Breiting, A-Z FOTOS.
Stock Photos from most of
me at: sb@ azfotos.com & sorenbreiting@ yahoo.dk
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Photo News is 'in principle' a monthly newsletter
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impossible for me to keep the schedule of the issues
strictly fitting to each month. My intention is to bring
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