My stock photos have been approved, now what?
You got your first approvals and you’re ready to start selling.
But wait! Why don’t your images appear instantly in the searches.
And when will you get your first sale?
Keep calm and let’s see what happens when you get your images approved.
First thing that will change is that you image now has status “online”, so you can say that your stock photos portfolio started to build up.
You will have to resist the urge to search for you image instantly and see where it shows up in the search, because it won’t. Not for the first couple of days. This happens because search engines need time to index all this data that is uploaded daily, so come back in two days or so and try again.
In meantime fix the images that got rejected and resubmit them, if the case, and continue to upload.
Your first goal is to have a decent sized portfolio online as soon as possible. Aim for at least 100 images in the first two weeks to a month and 500 images by the end of your second month. Don’t let the momentum go to waste if you want to profit from your portfolio.
A couple of days pass and you can now see your images in the searches but they are too far behind other images. You need to know that search engines take in consideration a lot of factors, but the most important for you, and they ones you should focus on are title, description, keywords. Aim for accuracy, simplicity and keep it on topic. You don’t have to be a writer to have good image description and keywords. Look for synonyms for the the words you will be writing and use them as well. Your title and description should show similarity but they should never be identical. Read more about how to upload your images for best results in my post on Uploading and Submitting Stock Images.
A month later you have 100-200 images online but sales are not coming, what should you do? Upload more, choose the “stockiest” subjects, shoot images specifically for your stock portfolio, even if they will not be the most artistic ones, research what others sell well and get inspired, look for unfilled niches (they still exist, yes). Last but not least be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are successful stock portfolios.
Fast forward a year later, you now have a good sized portfolio, sales have started coming in on regular basis, you are not rich but it’s a steady income that helps out, you are comfortable in your stock photographer persona and know your way around a stock photography site. It’s now time to go even bigger, invest in studio lights if you don’t have any, buy some prime lenses for your DSLR camera, make a small studio if you have the space or work with the space you have and some backgrounds and props.
Till my next article, happy shooting!