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It’s so important to create and edit photos around trending topics if you want to add more selling power to them.

At the beginning of my microstock journey, I uploaded (like all beginners do) to several agencies all kinds of images from way too many categories. Since I like to travel, some of my photos uploaded to stock agencies were cityscapes. Given the high competition in this category, those images never sold.

In time I changed my approach and I focused on People lifestyle to boost my earnings. That doesn’t mean that, from time to time, I’m not editing and uploading old images that require around 5-7 minutes of work in Photoshop, if they have potential. I do that when something big happens in the world and if I have already an image that can be adapted to reflect a trending topic. The today example has to do with a subject that made me edit this particular image and upload it to several stock agencies: 5G technology.

Therefore, few minutes of proper photo editing can have a deep impact on your earnings. Below is the original image that never sold. I admit, it’s not a great photo, especially when compared to images from Dubai of other contributors.

Dubai Marina at night

And below it’s the tweaked image that in one year made me around 240$ from all agencies (Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock, Dreamstime, Depositphotos, Bigstock). Why the modified image has sales compared to the original one? Well, there are few reasons:

  1. New technology (5G) that was in demand
  2. Right time to upload it
  3. Proper keywords
Smart city with 5G technology

When comes to stock photography, it’s so important to create photos around trending topics. If this means that you have to search images on your hard drives, edit them to reflect a hot trend and successfully sell them online, do it, but don’t exaggerate with this by creating lots of similar images that will fight among them for ranking.

What would I have done to make it even more sealable? I would have used (if I had one) another cityscape image that wasn’t so easily recognized as it is the Dubai Marina in this image. Why? Because it would have added more selling power to it. Most of the sales came from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and just a few from other countries.

This kind of editing can be done to cover lots of topics. In fact, one of my best sellers is an image that was shot specifically for a future edit and I made 2 variations from it that combined made me more than 700$ in 6-7 months. I will cover this subject in depth in my upcoming microstock guide.

Remember, stock photography is a long term race, not a quick way to get financial income.

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