How to promote your portfolio - Dreamstime

While Dreamstime does a lot for promoting your images out there, there are still a few things you can do for yourself in order to get more exposure and, hopefully, more sales.

LCD display with picture gallery

How to promote your portfolio

There are two ways of promoting your photos: with direct links or with referral links.

1. Direct links will help you sell more and will help Dreamstime too, by enhancing your visibility in search engines, as my colleague Clif previously explained here. We live in a digital world, powered by search engines, and direct links are more useful for your images in search engines' rankings than referral links.

2. Referral links may help you earn more, by referring users to Dreamstime, and getting 10% of what they spend or sell, for 3 years. It's also a good way of measuring the success of your promoting activity.

You may notice that, recently, our referral links have changed. While the old links are still working, now it's much easier to use our referral system. Just add #res12345 at the end of any Dreamstime link, where 12345 is replaced by your referral code.

Just so it wouldn't look ugly, you can try masking your referral links under a url shortner. I use Rebrandly for most of my referral links, because they make it easier to actually track how many human clicks my links get, a very useful tool to see how effective your links can be on different channels.

I know it's hard to choose between these two ways, but my advice is to try both. Alternate referral links with direct links and you will certainly win, one way or another. You can even include both referral and direct links in the same place, using this method: if you plan to include a referral link somewhere on your own website or blog, you can make the referral link more visible (maybe using bold letters or even including a large button, something like "download image here") and still provide a credit line, using a direct link, somewhere at the end of the article or at the end of the gallery. I repeat, this works best on your own website or blog.

Where to promote your portfolio

1. Social media often proves to be a great promotion tool, if you're using it wisely. Don't send all your images in social media. Adapt to the platform and to your audience. Always embed visible credit lines or watermarks in your images you submit to social media.

Social media

For instance, I have a lot of friends from real life in my list on Facebook. So, I'm posting on Facebook only pictures from my Dreamstime portfolio that are related to me or my family, or Bucharest, the city I live in. I just made an album with my last trip to Paris, where I have lots of personal photos with me and my friends, but also the photos available for sale on Dreamstime.

Facebook is also a good place to raise awareness about copyright and educate your friends about what stock photography is. Follow Dreamstime accounts and other industry related blogs and post articles that may educate your friends. It's all about communication there, so you may want to communicate about your work too.

I have started a group for supporting authors' rights, not intended to promote my portfolio, but to make people aware of copyright and the fact that every work has an author (most people tend to forget about that lately).

On Twitter I don't have any friends in my followers list, I only have followers interested in photography, so I can post from time to time pictures or collections of various topics, using hashtags, without annoying anyone (hopefully).

Google Plus and Pinterest are also doing a great job in promoting my pictures. Pinterest is more viral, while Google Plus provides faster indexing.

Not only does this get your images in front of people who may purchase or share them, but like direct links, search engines pick up on these so called “social signals” and it may help your visibility in search engines.

And don't forget, if you're an exclusive photographer, to connect your Dreamstime account with your Google Plus profile. Providing authorship to your photos makes wonders in the search placements.

Just to recap, on all these social media platforms, the procedure should be pretty much the same. Post a (watermarked) photo together with a direct or referral link to that photo on Dreamstime.

2. Photography sites like 500px, Flickr, etc can be very helpful in getting more exposure for your pictures, but you'll have to be very selective with your posts there. Only post a few of your best shots, together with a link. When you're in a photography environment, you can focus on referring photographers and buyers to Dreamstime, but only the very best photos will stand out from the crowd, so don't bother posting regular, everyday pictures, they won't get noticed unless they're special.

If you participate in forums, add your portfolio into your forum signature. Most of them accept a link, so you should take a chance.

3. Your online portfolio could help you gain exposure and also will make you look more professional. I'm still working on mine, so I don't have anything to brag about yet, but I'm sure you can do better. If you're not into web design, get help from a professional designer, or use a template (some of them are free).

Blog Type

4. Keep a blog and use your own pictures to illustrate the articles. Provide a link to your DT photos when you use them, or even a link to your DT portfolio when possible. I have mine in romanian, but you get the picture. If you're not much of a writer, you can still keep a photoblog, where you can post just photos from recent shootings, but usually an article illustrated with pictures weights more than just the pictures with no article.

I'm using the Wordpress platform, self hosted, it seems to be the best option out there. You can also keep a blog on Dreamstime, I'm having both, as you can see.

5. Word of mouth - you won't believe how valuable and how trustworthy people find direct discussions. Keep mentioning your activity on Dreamstime whenever possible. It's not easy to measure the results, but word of mouth is always a good promoting.

It's ok to promote your portfolio. However, be very careful and try not to spam. Promoting your portfolio will help you earn more, while spamming will get you penalized and eventually you will earn less. So don't turn a possibility of earning in a possibility of losing.

Remember, having success in stock depends on many factors. Quality of your pictures, fresh ideas, good keywording, promoting your portfolio, they all contribute to your success. It's only up to you how you master and combine these skills.

Photo credits: Flynt, Scanrail, Spaceheater.

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February 12, 2020


Thank you for the good advice !Great information for those who have just started sozdovat your portfolio. Thanks for the tip)))

February 08, 2020


Thank you!!  Great advice!!   THis is one article i will refer back to, Viorel.much much appreciatedLila Kate

September 05, 2017


Great ideas and advice!

November 30, 2015


Thsnks for the great ideas!

February 13, 2015


I also tried posting Dreamstime as a link of Flickr a couple weeks ago and got an error message saying that it wasn't allowed

February 05, 2015


Hi Dudau!

Try to post any dreamstime link on flickr..any! You can't..
I dont know why..

BTW I think I got banned from explore cuz of I tried to post some link several times.

February 04, 2015


It's the first time I'm hearing this. Do they support other links, but not a Dreamstime link?

February 04, 2015


Hey Guys! Do you know why flickr do not support Dreamstime link/web address?


December 07, 2014


I am an older generation and have 't been much into social media in the past. But due the fact of better exposure of my images on Dreamstime I stared investigating this area. Your article is very useful. I have already opened Google plus as a means of a window to the crisp Google search engine. Not sure if this actually helped to get more downloads so far and have not seen any referrals yet.
Nevertheless, I am going to implement more of social media per your advice. As a side note, it is interesting seeing younger generation being constantly busy with their phones using social media and now I am getting into this myself.

March 13, 2014


Hi Viorel,

Thank you for the good advice !
I took a look at your website, wonderful photos !


January 16, 2014


Hi Viorel,
may I ask you if the use of watermarked comp image for promotional purpose is officially permitted by DT? I really liked your idea about Facebook album with both personal and microstock pictures, but I noticed that your album "last trip to Paris" is no more available. May you please confirm that we can do something similar, posting on FB watermarked pictures with the link to the DT selling page?

If you like, you can answer on forum too, where i posted the same question.

Thanks in advance and congratulations for your very effective pictures!


August 12, 2013


Thank you very much for these good advice!

July 15, 2013


Thank you for stopping by. Do promote your portfolio and the results will be visible. If you have other tips, don't hesitate to share them with the community!

July 15, 2013


Very good advice Viorel. Thank you for your post. cheers!

July 15, 2013


Great information for those who have just started sozdovat your portfolio. Thanks for the tip)))

July 10, 2013


Thank you for sharing.

July 09, 2013


Nice photo

July 08, 2013


Thank you for the peek at your stats. Your insights are sincerely appreciated. You certainly are experiencing a nice climb in 2013. Hopefully all of your extra work at self-promotion has paid off. I now have my website, FB page, and Pinterest boards (still needs work), and am venturing into Google Plus next week (a friend is helping me get set up and will hopefully show me the ropes).....

July 07, 2013


Thanks for reading! As I said, promotion is only a factor from many. I don't really know which is more important, but I guess they all are. Anyway, I'm trying to promote my portfolio for over a year now, and my (quarterly) stats look like this: 2012-2013 stats

July 07, 2013


I am just in the process of further expanding how I promote my portfolio. I found your article very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am curious, do you feel that your increased self-promotion has had a positive impact on your sales on Dreamstime?

June 30, 2013


Grear article Dudau, thanks for sharing

June 30, 2013


Great article Dudau, thanks for sharing

June 28, 2013


thanks for sharing!

June 28, 2013


Jeeltcraft, providing simple links from one to each other, when you have the opportunity to do so, should be enough. The links should be relevant in the context, otherwise they wouldn't help much.

June 25, 2013


I enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing.

June 25, 2013


hi Dudau, I'm going to use your suggestions, in particular reguarding the blog, I got some trackback in the last weeks on my blog entries, so i think posting my images as a reference there could be useful... I'd like to know also if there is a way to cross post articles on dreamstime and on my blog (about open source photo manipulations), thanks in advance

June 24, 2013


I just hope you'll find it useful! Cheers!

June 24, 2013


thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us!

June 23, 2013


Great article!! Very useful

June 21, 2013


Very interesting article!
I have to add that there's a button on our keyboards that can help to make viral our images easier!
It's also important use website like hootsuite, that can help us to post a linnk image in more social network in few clicks ;)

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