Tips for Newbies II

posted on 17th of december, 2008

I wrote a blog over a month ago and it seemed to be well received. Here is a follow up with some more tips:

1. Acceptance ratio. Keeping your acceptance ratio high has many advantages including the ability to upload a lot and higher ranking in searches. As well, it just saves time - there is no point in submitting images that aren't accepted. There is a balance between trying to make your portfolio bigger and risking rejections. If you are at the point where you are struggling to figure out how to get your ratio higher I have the following suggestions:

a) Take a set of submissions and rank them in terms of whether you think they will be accepted or not. Label the ones you feel the best about with '1', and the ones you are unsure of with '2'. See how close you come to matching the reviewers. I find I often have a 'feeling' that something won't be accepted - and then it isn't. You need to learn to trust this feeling and keep your acceptance high.

b) You'll never get it perfect. Maybe there are people with 100% ratios, but I would guess that most newcomers aren't even close. Keeping in mind that there will always be rejections you need a strategy to improve your ratio. I watch my ratio and if I have a month where I am doing really well (relative to other months) I submit some of the 'risky' ones. If I'm having a bad month I try to stick to the obvious winners.

c) A classic rule is to only submit one image from a series to ensure you don't get a large number rejected at once for the same reason. Especially when it is fixable (bad contrast, noise, etc.).

2. Think about your portfolio. If someone does manage to find one of your images they probably click through to see others you have shot. This is your chance to impress and highlight your best work. You have some control over the things they see. For example, the first row is your recent uploads. The last batch accepted will appear together and cycle around as the first nine visible. If you submit a single image that day it will always be the first one. If I have a really great photo I try to upload it after a day from others, and then leave some time after it so it 'sticks' in the first spot for at least a few days.

The most "popular" section you can't do much about. The editor's choice section appears if you get some editor's choice images. This is a worthy goal of anyone as it means you've submitted something that catches the editor's eye. The exclusive row has a selection of 9 of your exclusive images. If you are exclusive with DT you can't do much about this either, but if you are not you can chose up to 9 select images and make them exclusive - they will then always be visible on your profile page. Finally, when you use models the first image uploaded tends to be the one displayed. This is your chance to get another great image on your profile. Choose wisely for the first image of a model!

3. Growing your portfolio. In my last blog I suggested setting a goal of uploading a fixed number of images a month. This works well in the beginning, but as your portfolio grows it becomes less and less a factor in the overall size of your portfolio. I suggest the following modification:

Start by uploading a fixed amount each month for 10 months - say 10-20 photos a month. Then, once you get to 10 months aim to upload 10% of your portfolio each month to ensure your sales continue to grow, not slowly decline. So after you get 100 shots you do 10 the next month, then 11, etc. Doesn't seem so bad at first, but after a while you're uploading twice as many photos a month! I'm at 610 uploads now and my goal is to add 61 pictures this month...

4. Finally, a few more common questions gleaned from the message boards:

In the account stats 'Downloads' refers to the number of photos you've bought. You can only view your total sales on the profile page or in the Management Area. The profile page updates the next day for sales, but updates right away for new uploads.

Credits can be obtained for writing a blog, such as this one. Don't be surprised if you write a blog and discover you've earned a credit!

Once you get a payout and request it, your total revenue will drop by the amount requested until you actually get the payout. Then it will jump back up to show your total earnings over time.

New uploads don't appear in the search results right away. As well, if you edit keywords or titles it takes another day or so to see them in search results again.

When uploading and you get rejections, don't take it to the message boards. You can e-mail support directly using the contact us link at the bottom of the webpage. Don't abuse this privilege as the reviewers go through tens of thousands of images a month - but don't hesitate to ask if you don't understand the rejection reason. If you do contact support note that when you submit certain types of questions they give you some frequently asked questions and responses - you have to still click Submit one more time to actually send the message.

Good luck everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Comments (27)

Posted by Bradcalkins on April 18, 2010
You're welcome :)
Posted by Jdanne on April 18, 2010
Thanks for the info!
Posted by Bradcalkins on January 17, 2009
Thanks for reading everyone - I'm glad if it helps!
Posted by Mihaiciolan on January 16, 2009
Great blog, thanks for sharing your tips with us.
Posted by Delmiaco on January 08, 2009
Excellent Advice.
Posted by Palashmondal on January 06, 2009
Great motivation!! Really Nice Post!! Thanks friend! I am happy to see this. Any way, I know a fantastic site where you may earn money by uploading your own photos, music and videos. Its really nice and I wish it would be helpful for you.
Posted by Imagestalk on January 06, 2009
thanx a lot! ;)
Posted by Drizzle on January 05, 2009
Great post, very handy indeed

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Posted by Drizzle on January 05, 2009
Great post, very handy indeed

Sizzle Creative Agency
Posted by Leifr on December 26, 2008
What is the best approach, if you feel the rejection is not fair? Is there a way to have the acceptance ratio changed? Thank you for a great blog.

Happy New Year to all
Posted by Totolekoala on December 26, 2008
Nicely explained, and great motivation !

Posted by Karldavis on December 24, 2008
Great article. Lots of good tips to follow.

Posted by Peterhelin on December 23, 2008
Hi Brad, and thank you! Those were some great tips you included there! I will definitely be a bit more careful with how many files I upload in each series to avoid rejection.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!
Posted by Firestar210 on December 22, 2008
Thank you , thank you thank you .. It all so clear to me now , being a newbie .. Merry Christmas ...
Posted by Fultonsphoto on December 22, 2008
Thanks Brad, much appreciated.
Posted by Bradcalkins on December 22, 2008
I think I can help on that one, Fultonsphoto - if you get it accepted the 2nd time around you get the credit for the upload, but the original rejection still counts against you. If it was your first photo, you would end up at 50% for the attempt...
Posted by Fultonsphoto on December 22, 2008
Hi Brad, thanks for the tips and advice, really interesting. Wonder if you will be able to assist with this one, if a photo is rejected, and the reason for rejection can be rectified and resubmitted and then accepted, does the acceptance ratio reflect this as an accepted image thereby increasing the % acceptance, or does the ratio remain unchanged?
Posted by Pradi on December 20, 2008
Very good article. Indeed ideal and very useful for starters to get some idea on the best approach. Thanks!
Posted by Karldavis on December 18, 2008
Very good ideas. Thanks
Posted by Bradcalkins on December 18, 2008
Thanks for all the kind words!
Posted by Rebeccaosborn on December 18, 2008
thanks for the tips, great blog!
Posted by Beatg on December 18, 2008
Thanks it is very helpful for guys like me to read your blog.
Best regards and a merry christmas and happy new year
Posted by Marilyngould on December 17, 2008
Very helpful information for all, thanks!
Posted by Dcwcreations on December 17, 2008
As usual, great tips.

thank you.
Posted by Roberto1977 on December 17, 2008
Great article... Very useful, first of all for newbies, but not only for them... Merry Christmas to you! Bye, Rob.
Posted by Creativei on December 17, 2008
Well I was expecting your second edition only after new year, I thought you might be busy for holidays, well I guessed it wrong, hope there is a third version as well, Well great article,i will suggest it useful.
And haan Merry Christmas and Happy new year
Posted by Eclecticelegance on December 17, 2008
Very good article - very informative! I am a newbie, so I found it useful!

Comments (27)

This article has been read 2820 times. 11 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Brad Calkins, Dmitriy Shironosov.

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