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Oh!  Do not get me started on people contacting me with questions about marketing and then, when I answer them, they say, ‘Oh!  I did not realise it was such hard work’

It is not hard work.  Actually most of it is moderately easy.  It is, however, time consuming. (perhaps that is what they meant) and hey, yeah, I get the stomach churning knowledge that you just have not got time for that shit.  I feel the same way!

However, several times a week I get specific queries about keywords (tags) and descriptions.  Those are the nice easy part, (unless you do abstract and then they are the pits of despair.  Just how do I add 500 characters to a pink and blue smudge, guys?)

So basically this post is a rehash of a couple of older ones as not a lot has changed really.  You should enjoy this part of your image uploading as this is, truly, the easy bit.  Much easier than sitting in that swamp waiting for the one shot of a crocodile with a butterfly on his nose.

I am going to add proper, real marketing posts shortly…….when I get time


Fill out your IPTC on all your images.  It is the good way of making sure you stay with your work.  Wherever that image travels the IPTC will travel with it.

My programme of choice is Irfanview.  I have been using it for years and it does just what you want it to, plus a little extra I have never used.

Use it.  If you upload to lots of sites then it is an absolute beauty and the best thing you have loaded all year.

Written by Irfan Skiljan it is freeware for non-commercial use and you just donate to support it 


Need, must have.  Not hashtags.  Keywords.  These are words that fit that image.  Not a lot of images, just that one image.  eg….

You have visited London and have one image of Trafalgar Square, one of Big Ben, one of St Pauls

london, england and uk would fit all, but trafalgar square only fits one, big ben only fits one and st pauls only fits one. You do not add trafalgar square,big ben,st pauls to all of them.


Google doesn’t like keywords.  Google humans realised that site owners were spamming keywords to get them higher in searches.

Google likes descriptions which answer questions.

If you load an orange butterfly, tell Google that you have loaded an orange butterfly, what that butterfly is doing and where it is doing it.

Google is your blind viewer.  You have to describe the work, so that the blind viewer can then go on to describe it to others.

Fancy-dancy descriptions are cool.  I do them all the time…in fact I have not listened to much of my own advice on a lot of images and they are the ones that do not sell.  However, Google is not going to read ALL your description so 2 major rules for them

  1.  Keep them honest,  just like the keywords.  If they are not, then Google WILL remove you from all searches, or shove you to the bottom.
  2. Keep the actual image description at the top and the fancy-dancy under that.  eg; Orange butterfly landed on a pink flower….. Oh I wish I was a butterfly, cool breeze ruffling my wings…. etc etc
  3. I forgot the 3.  In your description make sure to add at least three of the main ‘key’ words.  ‘orange’, ‘butterfly’, and ‘pink’ or ‘flower’ are the three from my description and they should also be at the front of my keywords.
  4. DAMN!  There are 4!!  Some search engines will only read the first TEN keywords.  and the first 30 words of your descriptions.  So those are the main, most important ones.  Google is not the only search you are aiming to get on.
  5. Just kidding.  There is no 5…… no, there isn’t…..is there?  No!

Ok.  Any questions ask someone….. just kidding!  Ask in the comments below

Hope this helps

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By Abbie

I'm an oil painter and photographer, who also makes time to paint with words through my short stories and published poetry. Seascapes and animals are the primary focus of my oil paintings Experienced Community Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the fine art industry. Skilled in Human Resources, Technical Support, Oil Painting, Community Management, and Digital Art. Strong marketing professional graduated from Longcroft School. Head of the Technical Support Department for the largest international art site on the web. Founder of Our Arts Magazine