How to appear at the top of a search?

© Waldo4

It’s fairly obvious that if your image is on page 1 it has a better chance of being downloaded than if it appears on page 1527. So, what to do if, like me, you’re working with limited tools and even more limited skills, not exclusive and with no track record? Answer; choose subject matter that’s not so popular. Downside is that it may not be popular because nobody wants it but, when they do, you’re there and ready.

(elephant ball)

All the images here are on the first page of searches with the keywords used to download (or, for me to find in the case of that splendid orange chappie at the top).


(evil mountain)



Photo credits: Mike Heywood, Jay Waldron.

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Samson has sold 4 times since making it my 1st level 2 - think I have the Samson market cornered for the moment at least :-D


Very true, I type airplane in the free section and my picture is always appearing first (I don't know how)


Hey, that's a new and brilliant concept! All newbies must try it out to give a boost to their rate of sales every month! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks Rozenn,

I'll take that on board - we're here about the same length of time and you are faring much better - could be the keywords or (more likely) you may just have much better pictures :)

I've been trying to be careful with keywords. For example, the thinking behind the pic of the guy about to be poked in the butt by a rhino was travel insurance. Fairly sure it would be flagged if I included "insurance" in the keywords though. ;)

Too old for gaming btw - prince of persia was cutting edge when I played.


Great concepts but they've got to be explained more thoroughly in the keywords and image descriptions if you want them to help them selling your images!


Hi and thanks for the comments.

Really these images are intended as symbols (or concepts), e.g. elephant is about balance and Samson is about loads of stuff symbolised by the story, triumph over adversity, breaking free, sacrifice etc. etc and possibly whoever downloaded has the same idea rather than just trying to illustrate a bible story? However, it's nice if someone uses a single word search and yours is the only viable option :)


Working on niches is a good strategy when you have a small portfolio, I reckon.
I always wanted to ask you, are you a videogames fan?
Love your elephant by the way!


Good idea. You are right. You can either compete with a thousand and one popular subjects, keep your fingers crossed that your needle in a haystack will be found in the search, or you can go against the grain and just shoot odd images no one wants to, or think of. Your sales , (items are popular for a reason ie. they are used more often) will not be as regular, but perharps it is better to be on top of the pile than be one of the fish in a flood.



Beautiful pictures, expecially the elephant one!


Thanks for sharing this! I agree with you. It has to be special.


I guess one way to get yourself known is to post an article or participate in message blogs. Blogs that crank up a thought or call for some healthy discussions on stock, illustration and photography. Just a thought. BTW you have your own unique illustrations and techniques.


Very unique subjects indeed! Thanks for sharing!

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