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Author Topic: Introduction and keywording question  (Read 2528 times)

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« on: January 23, 2015, 18:31 »
Hello All.  I'm new here and new to microstock.  Years ago I shot black and white film (mostly dancers and some street-shooting) and for the last 8 years or so I've been shooting digital color (mostly nature).  My images tend to live on my computer, so now I'm thinking of sending them out to earn their keep--or at least the occasional snack and maybe a new lens.
My keywording question is probably stupid, but I haven't been able to find an answer yet.  Do the stock stites' search tools look for individual words or do they also hunt for phrases?  For instance, if I am including the full name of a flower, do I put in each individual word separated by commas, or do I put in the full name, no commas?  If the main object is purple, do I just use the word purple or do I ALSO include purple bicycle?  Hope this makes sense.
I'm looking forward to learning a lot on this forum.  Thanks in advance!


  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 18:48 »
Hi - firstly, don't expect much luck in selling flowers. They may be really artistic, but there is massive oversupply and not much demand. This forum will help you a bit, but also consider reading some good (ie realistic) books about microstock - I'm one such author but there are others!

Anyway, to your question. I generally put single words with commas between them unless they really go together to better describe the subject. So I put White House as one keyword rather than white, house, as some (not all by any means) stock agencies use the compound keyword higher in the results if someone searches for White House. Capitalization doesn't matter, by the way, I just did it to help explain. So the full latin name for your flower should be one keyword even though it is usually two or more words.

Hope that helps. Big thing - keep your expectations for financial reward low and you will end up happier!



« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2015, 19:35 »
Depends on which sites you are considering. They all treat keywords differently. Some take phrases, some only take individual words.

« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2015, 20:55 »
Thank you both for getting back to me so quickly.  I will definitely check each site before I submit.  I'd been seeing both, but SS--where I figure I'd try first--seems to go the single-word route.  At least that's what I've noticed on the photos I've checked out so far.
And thanks for the warning, but my expectations are pretty low.  And it costs me nothing to try.


« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2015, 16:24 »
SS started with the tag Line "Make money with pictures sitting On your hard drive" The worst 9 words ever written By anyone.And NOT TRUE whatsoever.

No Free Lunch

« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2015, 17:22 »
SS started with the tag Line "Make money with pictures sitting On your hard drive" The worst 9 words ever written By anyone.And NOT TRUE whatsoever.

Not True at all! I sold my used hard drive for $25 just recently! and it didn't even have pictures on it  ;D

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 02:35 »
Seriously?  This is the supposed to be where new people introduce themselves and ask what might appear to be stupid questions. Apparently my attempt at humor with the sending photos on my computer out to earn money comment was taken seriously. Seriously?  I knew nothing about anyone's tag line and it has nothing to do with answering my question.

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 06:21 »
You can make very good money believe it or not but as well as output, nowadays you need business savvy and the ability to change both your content and style at the drop of a hat.

As said above, keyword bias varies from site to site but if you factor in both phrases and good descriptive keywords you can't go wrong.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 06:40 by Red Dove »

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 11:54 »
Thank you, Red Dove.  I appreciate the information.

« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 13:01 »
Phoebe don't take it personally, your question was entirely reasonable.

When the 49'ers first discovered gold there was a ton of money to be made. Then everyone and their brother descended on the area and over saturation started... but there was still money to be made. Finally, the corporations came in bought up all of the small mines, began strip mining, destroyed the landscape, monopolized the market, and exploited their employees until the only people making money were the stockholders.

You are asking the "miners" how to get a job with the "corporation". We are just wondering if you know what you are really asking for. Most of us are looking for a way out.

15 keywords or 50?
How much time should I spend on descriptions?
Nature or People?
Cartoons, Backgrounds, or Design Elements? (for illustrators)
Just the Big 4 or all 20 or so sites on the list to the right?
Should I go exclusive? Should I drop exclusivity?
Self hosted? Which Platform?
Why aren't my images selling on X Site when they sell on Y?

Each of these questions will appear at least once in a new thread in the next 90 days.

Unfortunately selling stock is really a moving target and no one really knows how to correctly answer these types of questions for anyone besides themselves. If you want to get into this seriously you need to just start uploading and pay attention to what happens. Some things will work and some things won't. Read every thread in this forum for the next few months and you will learn a ton, plus get a variety of contradictory answers to every one of the above questions. New contributors can certainly make money at stock but it is much harder than it was 5 years ago.

« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 21:30 »
Thank you, chromaco.  I really appreciate your comments.
I do understand that the microstock business is no longer as promising or as comprehensible for photographers as it once was.  And that most questions that used to have fairly clear answers are now best responded to with "It depends."  And the "It" keeps changing too.  And it must be frustrating for pros to keep reading the same questions from new people over and over again. 
However, there will always be new people and the answers to those questions don't remain consistent.  I didn't take those 2 responses personally; but there must be other places for pros to vent their frustration.
As for my question:  perhaps I was trying too hard to seem "friendly."  I wanted to know how sites were applying Boolean logic to clients' keyword searches--the use of "and," "or," "not," etc.   From the responses here and what I've seen, it looks like lots of "and-ing" (or not  :o)
Again, thank you chromaco.  You gave me a much better sense of how crazy and crazy-making this has gotten.  After several weeks of editing my ten photos for SS and reading advice here and elsewhere, I uploaded them today.  At the very least, I've upped the technical expectations I have for my own work.  That's worth the time and effort.  Anything I hear from SS will just add to my learning curve. 


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