Update: Moved to a new host. Send me feedback if you want this tool to stay up and running.
I’ve built a new research tool prototype with new tech, to help you find ideas/topics/subjects for your stock images, i.e. what to shoot. The old one was hitting the database too hard, and built on difficult to maintain technology, so it’s time for an update.
Since I put it live yesterday I’ve had some positive comments about it’s speed and clean looks, but also got some complaints about how it’s no longer possible to copy/paste keywords in bulk from the page, and I wanted to address this particular issue because this is intentional:
Keyword Spamming is BAD
The keywords displayed on the old picNiche tool were never meant to be used in bulk as keywords for stock photos, they are related to the original search made in the tool, but applying them in bulk to photos is equivalent to keyword-spamming (which I am very strongly against) which directly harms the quality of search results presented to image buyers, and harms conversion rates for sales (as buyers then have to spend longer wading through images before they find the ones they want).
Every time your image appears in a search because of a keyword, but is not purchased because that keyword is not relevant, that image is downranked by each agency’s algorithm, and so appears and sells subsequently even fewer times.
For keyword suggestions I highly recommend the stock photo keywording tool provided by MicrostockGroup which provides a more accurate way to select only keywords relevant to you image, and by applying only relevant keywords (not just popular ones) you will improve your sales significantly. Or of course if you don’t want to take a little time to keyword your photos yourself, you can buy keywords from picWorkflow’s highly experienced keywording team 🙂
How to use the research tool to decide what to shoot?
The stock photo research tool gives you an arbitrary rating for possible search queries, (i.e. the ‘conversion rate’ of images matching that search at a popular agency). Enter a search query you think an image buyer would enter, and the ‘rating’ column shows a number predicting the chance of a sale if the buyer used that search (so be mindful of spelling, and use common sense).
If you’re a really awesome photographer, anything over about 20-25 is good; if you’re producing average quality then something over 100-200. Anything over a few thousand is probably a false-positive with either too few images to predict reliably, or unlikely search phrase; though again a little common sense is needed… use search queries a human being might actually search, this tool will not help you ‘game’ the system.
More features will be added
I’ve not finished the new site yet (it’s just a prototype) so will update the page with some more information in future. As suggested by others today I will be re-adding the rating-over-time graph and a shorter set of keyword suggestions to help with quicker checks on related niches/topics/ideas (but I will intentionally make it difficult to copy/paste keywords in bulk to discourage keyword spamming). I will also have it suggest related niches from the search history once a bit more data has been gathered (that I can test suggestion algorithms with).