One of the hidden gems on the DT main page is the 'Latest' tab:
This gives you two very interesting tools:
1. Latest downloads. This is a quick look at 5 or so of the latest purchases made by buyers. I am often surprised at what kinds of things people are buying, and how different that may be from what is in my portfolio.
2. Latest searches. This should be required reading for any newcomer to DT! Take a quick look here, coming back every few hours for a couple of days. You'll have a pretty good idea if you are ever going to sell a photo on DT... If you watch this for a bit and can't see any of your photos filling the needs of the buyers you'll have a hard time showing up in their searches. Keep in mind that there are a LOT of photos being sold in a day and this only shows about 20 searches - so don't give up hope. Nonetheless it is still educational. As well, it is very useful to see how people actually search for things. Spelling errors are common, and you also see how people make use of singular and plural. We're told not to put 'children' for a shot of one child, but I usually see people searching using the plural.
Take this moment's list:
boat deserted lake, motorbike race, art beatles pop, paris posters, junior soccer, children four happy, bride combat, grills, fire spiting, apple chalkboard green, chemicals pool, elderly kitchen, checkout grocery store, great resort, brunswick jersey new, balloon blowing woman, abstract design floral vector, ecology illustration, leafs palm, army bride, baptism catholic
I count myself as doing well if I have a single photo that shows up as a match for any recent searches...
This is a good place to look for keyword inspiration as well. Better to take hints from the buyers! For example, I have a shot that could have appeared under the 'boat deserted lake' search, but I didn't include deserted as a keyword. Good idea! What is also interesting is if you click on these searches you can see and find holes in the DT database that you can potentially be the next to fill! I've witnessed a lot of searches that returned 0 results - but they never ended up in the photo requests...