So you have taken the photos and have done all the editing that is necessary and are now ready to upload and sell. But wait! You need to do one more important step first… keyword. You’ve got to come up with those million dollar keywords that will get those stock photos sold! Keywording is an important part of my workflow and should be an important part of yours too.
Here’s 10 tips that just might help you come up with your million dollar keywords. [No I don’t actually think you’ll earn a million dollars off one single image; but hey! It could happen!]
- Create accurate keywords and lots of them! Try to think like a buyer and choose words that he or she might use as search terms when looking for an image. Are they looking for a vegetable? or a carrot. Do they need an image to show sadness? or excitement. Be specific. Use lots of accurate keywords for each photo; a good rule to follow is 20 to 50 per image. That sounds like a lot but once you get started those words will keep on coming.
- Write different keywords for every image. Even if you have a dozen photos of carrots don’t use the same list of keywords for each image. Look at what’s different. How many carrots? are they sliced? cooked? raw? straight from the garden with a little dirt still hanging on? in a row? in a bowl? on a cutting board? do they look fresh and crisp? or old and limp? are they isolated? or mixed with other vegetables? is the image a close crop? That little extra time to create a very precise list will pay off in better sales.
- Use unique titles as much as possible. A good title should describe exactly what’s in the image but still stand out among the crowd. Instead of just “Snow shoveling” try a title like “Girl having fun with snow removal“.
- Use good descriptive descriptions. 🙂 Descriptions are longer and more detailed than titles. Make sure it is as accurate and unique as possible. Say you have two photos of sad looking puppies one a German shepherd and the other a poodle. Maybe one description reads “A young German shepherd pup looking sad while sitting, and waiting the return of his owner, on a well groomed lawn in a busy residential neighborhood.” and the other reads “A white, freshly bathed and still wet, toy poodle puppy sits on a damp towel looking very sad at having been given his first bath.”
- Be precise. Say your image is of assorted medication. You could title it “Medication” and give it a description of “Assorted medications on a white background. But that’s not going to sell very well. To vague.
Try something like “Prescription and non-prescription medications” and a description such as “Assorted prescription and non-prescription medications in green and orange bottles. Photo includes a bronchial inhaler, spilled pills, a nasal inhaler, pills packaged in bubble packaging, a tube of ointment, as well as a liquid prescription and many pills still in the bottles.“
- Try to think of concepts, feelings, sounds, smells, and tastes that your image can convey. It’s easy to look at a photo of a crumpled yellow paper and say “crumpled paper” or “trash”. But why did that paper get crumpled in the first place? I’ll just bet someone was a little bit frustrated when they did that! And pumpkin pie looks good but it is also; baked, round, sweet, traditional, thanksgiving, holidays, fall, fresh, and delicious. Even if it’s not your favorite it might just be the one thing someone else can’t get a long without!
- Drawing a blank when it comes to filling out those keywords? Maybe if you take a look at some of the more popular images that have similar subject matter you can come up with more ideas. Oh; and don’t hesitate to open a dictionary or even a thesaurus. Both useful tools from your high school days.
- Don’t get so wrapped up in the unique that you miss the obvious. Make sure to look over your image and list what’s actually there. It’s easy to say “Family Fun” but be sure to include what’s in the photo; board game pieces, chess, checkers, glass marbles, playing cards, dice, and plastic pawns.
- Dig a little deeper; a mother is a woman maybe young maybe old, a dog is a pet and a friend, a cat is a feline and cute, a rose is a flower and a symbol of love, a grape is a fresh sweet fruit, ice cold soda is bubbly and refreshing, and lions and tigers and bears are wild!
- Don’t be spammy! Never label your stock photo with words that have nothing to do with that it. It won’t help you at all and in some cases my even get you banned from the site.