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003 | HOW TO MANAGE YOUR STOCK MEDIA INCLUDING UPLOAD, SUBMISSION & SALES TRACKING

TOOLS & WORKFLOWS WHEN IT COMES TO UPLOADING YOUR PHOTOS, VIDEOS & DESIGNS TO STOCK AGENCIES LIKE SHUTTERSTOCK & ADOBE STOCK

IN SHORT THERE ARE FOUR WAYS

The first one is the easiest. Using the native upload pages of these stock agencies. They work and look exactly as you would expect them to. You can upload a certain amount of files at once, either per drag and drop or by searching for files within your OS’ses file explorer. The problem is the same as with any other browser-based upload: whenever either your browser crashes or your internet connection is interrupted or unstable, the upload is interrupted and you will have to redo all the files that haven’t fully uploaded up to this point. Also: of course uploading 1-10 pictures with a workflow like this is a no-brainer, but when it comes to serious batching numbers like 25-1000 files, then the browser upload has its limitations.

THE NEXT STEP IS FTP

FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. It simply is a protocol to connect two different drives over the internet. This means: you can access another drive or storage by using an internet connection and a tool that uses FTP. The most common and also very well working FTP client out there is FileZilla. Even though the website looks like it was made shortly after the internet was invented, and probably also was made during this time, the client itself is pretty much a modern program.

WHY OR WHY NOT FTP

The main advantage is: batch uploading your images or files. And: something that saves the upload progress in case of an unstable connection. Basically, it’s a tool, that manages the upload process, after you set up the upload.

HOW TO USE FTP

Almost every stock agency gives you their stock credentials and therefore your “FTP” – login somewhere on their websites. For Shutterstock it looks like this:

USUALLY

you get the FTP address of the agency. Every registered contributor has its own directory on the agency’s FTP server somewhere. And FTP allows you simply to directly connect to this specific location. Often using just your standard credentials you also use when login into the agency on their website.

WHY I DON’T USE FTP ANYMOORE

Because it’s still a lot of work. First: you have to store all the ftp-credentials somewhere. And also in FileZilla. Whenever you reinstall your OS and also FileZilla, then your credentials for all your agencies are gone. At least I didn’t find a way to save the program setup including my credentials somehow.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY

The only thing an FTP client is able to do is to upload your files. But you still have all the work of inputting your metadata on every single agency ahead of you. And you also have to manage all the files through the agency’s website. This means hundreds or thousands of files. To which agency did you upload this one picture again? On how many agencies was the upload finished? Or was it maybe rejected? Why? Or maybe the upload crashed still? How often did it sell? What is my bestselling image? These and multiple more questions arise once you upload more than your first few files. So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tool where you basically:

JUST DRAG AND DROP YOUR FILES INTO

Then put in the metadata including keywords and descriptions. And the tool would then automatically upload, submit [process of submitting after metadata input] and also track your images?

INTRODUCING STOCKSUBMITTER

A desktop program that is basically exactly this. With its limitations nevertheless. You put in your agencies credentials, drag and drop your files into the program, then input all of your metadata once, at least to the extent these agencies allow a third party program to submit pieces of media and it also at least to some extent tracks your revenue on all your different stock agencies.

https://stocksubmitter.com/

WHAT IT DOESN’T DO

is this: act as a database tool for all your files. Tracking the sales of individual images. It lets you create backups of the program configurations, [probably just like FileZilla, but I just didn’t make one]. What it costs: if you only use it on your desktop, then it’s free. Here are all the problems with this though

  • when uploading daily [or whatever frequency you wanna upload, hint: the more active you are, the more the agencies push your existing portfolio up to a certain point and don’t if you don’t upload] you have to run the program every single day
  • if still needs an active internet connection to run
  • it only tracks your overall revenue, but you don’t have any idea which images sold the best. How often they sold.
  • It basically is just a fancy upload tool with some added functionality that also submits wherever possible
  • the interface’s design seems stuck 10 years ago
  • you have all the information on when and how it submits. But what if you wouldn’t need the info, because something else just did this automatically for you?

BASICALLY, ITS FILEZILLA ON STEROIDS

not really, but it sounded nice as a headline. Therefore I just wrote it. When you use StockSubmitter for free, then you simply also need a tool to also track your sales. And actually, analyze your sales and which images on which agency did best. I researched this topic for weeks and months and I just didn’t find a solution. Blogposts and videos about stock were often years old. And also the tools and programs. And most of them simply didn’t*t include the functionality you wanted. Or only support something about five agencies.

BUT THEN I FOUND MICROSTOCKR

https://microstockr.com/

IN MY OPINION

The

BEST TRACKING TOOL OUT THERE

ME

It supports all the major agencies. It costs you, depending on whether you get the subscription at the yearly sale in late summer [usually, don’t stand in for that info] from 80-150$. That’s costly. There also is a higher-tier variant with support for multiple users. I have been subscribed for the last years. But disclaimer: since my stock sales plummeted because I kind of stopped uploading seriously somewhere around late 2018, I didn’t really ever make an upload comeback. Not making my money back. Probably.

IT MATCHES YOUR PHOTOS

on all the different agencies. Allows you to create modern visuals. And finally gives you something to show off. It gets rid of the need for an Excel spreadsheet that would you take days to set up, and hours and hours of manual input just to get some stats about your stock files. Simply too much backend work. I cannot even describe how much this tool

JUST MADE STOCK FUN

Just starting your computer, opening it up and looking at all the pretty images, curves and sales maks you wanna upload again. In combination with StockSubmitter I now finally had a solution to

  • upload my files automatically to all agencies without manual web uploads or using FileZilla
  • submit them with metadata inputted once in StockSubmitter
  • and track my sales with Microstockr

THERE ALSO IS A MOBILE APP

Included in the subscription. But with more and more limited functionality, since most agencies require you to do some kind of login verification like Captcha. And the tool has to find a workaround for that. The desktop version uses browser popups wherever you have to manually input the verifications or logins.

BUT SIMPLY

Running around, swiping down within the app, and see if you made another sale, is something that brings stock media to a whole other level of satisfaction. Whereas before it was backend upon backend, exporting files, waiting endlessly in Lightroom to load your entire catalog of 30000 images, where you tagged and titled all of your files in [allows you to bake in the metadata into the file and some agencies and also StockSubmitter sometimes recognize the metadata, therefore Lightroom acts as your main image managing tool].

BUT WHAT IF YOU NOW COMBINED MICROSTOCKR & STOCKSUBMITTER?

Was an idea the developers of StockSubmitter probably also had. Therefore, they just took StockSubmitter, put it onto the web, added extended tracking functionality, cleaned up the interface to make it more, well appealing, and launched

MICROSTOCK.PLUS

the All-in-One solution for uploading stock. Big bummer in the free version: you only can upload 1 file/ day or 30 files/ agency/ month. Otherwise, you have to choose one of the payment plans.

MICROSTOCK.PLUS INCLUDES

  • upload via the old StockSubmitter, therefore, StockSubmitter acts as a Desktop client in case you prefer a desktop variant. Probably the best solution when it comes to uploading stability
  • embedded tagging tools where you can just tag your images within the software
  • automatic media submission
  • submission status of these agencies
  • automatic keyword and title adaption according to the embedded agency requirements. Also in StockSubmitter, that’s just so useful
  • another paywall: you can also get stock trends with, but you have to pay additionally
  • supports all these agencies [for other additional ones you still can use StockSubmitter]
  • 200 GB of storage for the basic, the free 30 files/agency/month option. For additional storage, you have to upgrade to a paid plan again. But this means: you can use the free plan to submit one image every single day to activate the algorithms of the stock agencies. And just use StockSubmitter to either batch-upload files or video. It doesn’t really make sense to upload videos within the free plan since 200GB is filled very fast with stock videos.
  • this also means: you could use Microstock.Plus also as your file hosting service. Basically a cloud with all your stock files. Either as only a file source or as a backup for your local copy. But: this cloud storage has all the data on submission status. All the tags. You can just take any file, resubmit it to a specific agency.
  • there is also a preview within the service, even for video

ONLY BUMMER

Sales history and in general sales are missing. Therefore you still need software like Microstockr. Only general new revenue is displayed.

MY WORKFLOW

I use Lightroom as my media database with all the tags and titles. Importing all “professional grade”, meaning photos were taken with a pro camera, currently my Canon EOS M50 Kit

THEN I EXPORT THE IMAGES

As full-size JPGs, creating batches for daily uploads. For the few videos I uploaded, I just uploaded them manually or through FileZilla back in the days. One recently through Microstock.Plus just to try it out. The

CURRENT PROBLEM

Ideally, I would want one media database with tagged and titles files, including video, designs, photos. You could also use Lightroom for tagging your video files, but the problem is: some video formats don’t support tags. My old Canon 70D recorded.

MOV files and just like. WAV audio files don’t support metadata in Windows file explorer. Big bummer.

WHAT DO I PAY FOR

Only for Microstockr, the professional one I got for a discount this year

WHY DON’T I UPLOAD ANYMORE

It’s pretty stupid. But the main thing that kept me from uploading: my big Lightroom Classic catalog is just to slow. Even with the laptop Nvidia 1050 built into my HP Spectre X360

THIS MEANS

I am currently selling an image every few days. But since that’s usually only 0,25$ or something in that range, it’s not exactly making me rich. But I just didn’t*t find a solution for replacing Lightroom yet, tried creating previews already, but this just creates hundreds of gigabytes of files on my precious notebook SSD.

ADDITIONAL RESSOURCES

Here is an older german, blogpost. Explaining and listing the different tools available at that time, pretty useful,

THIS DUDE

also has a book called Stockfotografie: Geld verdienen mit eigenen Fotos, but it’s German only, kind of a bible for this subject, which I bought and read.

NEVERTHELESS

Hoped I could help you. It just took so much time to figure all of this out. If you wanna check out my portfolios on the different agencies, just use these links:

SHUTTERSTOCK | PARTNER | PORTFOLIO

123RF | PARTNER | PORTFOLIO

DREAMSTIME | PARTNER | PORTFOLIO

ADOBE STOCK | PARTNER | PORTFOLIO

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