I took a couple months off from uploading on Dreamstime to prepare for my Russia expedition (5 years in Russia). I also took a break from the message boards on DT. I noticed that my sales dropped by half; most interestingly, my sales of Bald Eagles stopped.
My images of pets also died.
When you do a search for Bald Eagle on Dreamstime, you get hundreds of pages of Eagle images. Obviously, if you are not among the first 10-20 pages of images, your chance of a sale is less.
Once I became more active, two weeks ago, my ranking in the searches improved and my sales increased. Of course, for this short time period, this is far from a scientific study, but there does seem to be a definite correlation between activity on Dreamstime and our ranking in searches.
If you look at your images that have sold, there is a field named “buyer searched after”; this is how the buyer found your image. If it says “n/a” then the buyer found your image without entering a search (either they found your image previously, saved your profile as one they liked for future images, found your image in a collection, etc). If this field (buyer searched after) says “bald eagle alaska” then the buyer found your image by searching the DT database for images of a bald eagle with alaska in the keywords or title.
Here is another interesting fact; during the couple months of low activity, most of my sales were from buyers that found my images without a search. Now that my activity has increased, I have gotten a rash of images purchased from searches. This indicated to me that my stock ranking has increased because of my online activity.
Three days ago, I became exclusive. It is to early to see if that has made a difference but I will report back in a month or so. So my advice, stay active on Dreamstime for increased sales.