Apart from technical requirements and creative details, here are some tips (in no particular order) to help sell your graphic designs and photographs. These trend a bit towards graphic designers, but are practical tips that can help you sell your stock photographs as well.
Think like a business owner who is purchasing from Dreamstime. Ask yourself “What would make my image useful for a business?” Find a subject matter that serves a practical purpose for an ad or promotion. For instance, imagine you run a small coffee shop. Your budget is limited, and you need a quick flyer for a weekend event. You may have enough technical skill to put some text on a page, but want an appealing background. An 8.5 × 11 template design with a steaming coffee mug would be perfect and worth a few bucks. There you go! There are thousands of such businesses out there who need practical designs. Find a niche. If it sells 50 times, you could be earning around $15 or so per sale.
Good keywords are extremely important for your design or photo. Take your time with this. As above, think sales and search words that your design could potentially be used for; Poster, Flyer, Label, Greeting Card, Invitation, and so on. Include simple terms about the look of your work that non-designers may search for; Scrolls, Grunge, Colorful, Dark, Happy, Template, Background… You can also avoid wasting keyword space describing specific colors, Dreamstime handles that for vector art automatically. If English is not your native language, you may want to consider their key wording service for a small fee.
Images and designs for every day events people experience. Political designs are hot. Check the news for political leaders and current events. How about a template for political signs?
Holiday themes sell. However, consider less-than-popular holidays so you have less competition from other designers. Perhaps a post card design with a place left blank for people to insert a family photo. That’s useful stuff. What about a garage sale flyer? May not sound exciting at first, but it becomes exciting when it starts earning. There is a lot of subject matter out there people could use design help with.
Don’t get discouraged at the start. Focus on getting a few of your best photos or designs approved and online first. Once you get the hang of it, branch out and test the waters so to speak in terms of what might sell. Don’t overload yourself by trying to upload a hundred images right away.
If you have a top earning photo, I suggest NOT uploading similar photos. When a photo begins to earn $10 or so per sale, uploading a similar photo means people may prefer to purchase the newer and cheaper photo for only $1 rather than having to spend more for your other options.
Compete! Search top earning photos or designs by other users, and offer a similar alternative of your own. You can start picking up sales by offering a cheaper and even better alternative.
You probably have loads of material to start with already. Re-tool existing designs or touch up photos you already have to create generic images that can be used for a variety of purposes. Need ideas? Google images! High resolution images are out there that can form the basis of inspiration for your Illustrator designs.
Market your work. Provide links to your Dreamstime profile wherever possible. Include links on your own website if you have one, and also Facebook or other social sites. Search Google for free art directories, and get your profile out there.
Good luck, and see you over there. Remember, it’s completely free to sign up for! www.dreamstime.com