Let me share some thoughts with you. I found myself trapped in waiting through the whole process from shooting to sell, to see the results, so I can analyze if I am doing it right. Now I see it kind of wrong. I guess it may begin this way but you need a learning curve an experience to do it different.
I'll skip the fact that you have a camera. Then you start think of money. The early beginning is taking a photo of something. Then you check its quality at your computer, do some stuff if needed and you are ready for upload. Sometimes you feel silly and you are too lazy to upload just one image. Then you shoot more to make a collection. If you are smart then you use some software to add title, keywords and description to images on your computer. Benefit of this is that Dreamstime can read that data so you can spare the time (even for some reason it doesn't read my image title).
Ok, upload is done and you happily go to submit the images to reviewers. Here starts the first delay. You should wait until images become available for submission in Unfinished files. Additional benefit on DT is that some data is reusable from images submitted before and that you spare some clicks by Clicking on Continue button.
Ok, done that. Now here comes the waiting. Complicated computer algorithm will calculate your pending time, based on total number of images submitted, daily reviews done and who knows what else. It is usually days. Even those figures changes from time to time as the formula parameters changes. All of a sudden, 24 hours mark is replaced by Image under review note. You feel that you are closer. Based on numbers before you think that it will be done in a day. But sometimes it lasts longer. More waiting. Checking the management area after few days shows that some number changed. Some images goes online and some to rejection bin. This is first result. Ok, there are some more images pending so lets see what happens next. After your pending section is zeroed you can see the results of all this. You are close to one week.
But things are not done at all. When you click on your profile you can see that all accepted images are there. But when you click on portfolio - still nothing. It takes time. I guess that it is matter of preparation for different formats which will be offered for sale. It may take up to day or two.
And finally, there they are. Your portfolio have some new members. Now, lets see how images perform. You can't find them on search and views are almost close to zero. You start thinking of keywords, so lets check them again. After all you think, ok, we are talking about new images, lets give them some time. And finally it may pass two weeks until you manage to find your image under search. Well, on page 10, but still...
And now, the longest wait ever, selling. Many things may cross your mind, you think that views number gets higher and your sell chances as well. This wait may last forever.
How much time you spend waiting for process to finish so you can say: I did a great shot, it sells!
Obviously time is money. You may sell image in a month after shot. But think of uploading every day even five images. You can score to 150. Look at your acceptance ratio and you can make a rough math on how much your chances to sell are greater.
Continuity. I am trying to convince myself about something: set a goal and work on it, don't look at every step. You may step in a crap few times but that's not the reason to stop. Keep your goal in mind, look at it, and keep going. Set milestones and continue to submit. And be better every time. Upload whenever you have something, do the work around and keep going. While server moves your files from upload to finished, while algorithm counts from pending to review, while reviewers do their job, while your images are prepared for portfolio, while you wait for buyers... there is a plenty of time in between to do more. More images, more writing, more searching on DT, watching "competition"... but ok that's another nice story from Ioana, read it here
, what to do when you don't have images to upload.
Lets stay on submissions. Just think that if starting point is taking a photo and final point is sell it, it is a process. And you are not limited to just one. Let them overlapping, start a process every day and after some time you will figure out that you have results every day. When you establish your base everything may become easier. But we beginners, we need to do hard work to get our positions, and we must be dedicated to it.
I learned that if you invest money you can gain money. But the same goes for time. You can invest more time now, and it may get back to you. Later we may all take a month free, watching royalties multiplying. What if I put lots of waiting here. I guess it means even more waiting later. I'll do my best to set up goals, get better every day, and I hope my thoughts will move someone of you along. And of course, I understand that some people are here just for fun :))
Cheers, and keep shooting.