Increase Flickr views
UPDATE: I've written another Ten more ways to increase your Flickr views here.
So you want to get more views on Flickr? Who doesn't? Its an amazing feeling when strangers take the time to visit your best pictures.
How many visits do you currently get?
First question - do you know how many views you are currently getting? On your Flickr Photostream page, you should be able to see how many Photostream vists you have had. (It will be written in grey next to the number of pictures you have uploaded). This is a great first indication on your visits but its not the full picture.
On your Photostream, click through on the Popular link and then choose Views. You should now see a list of every picture in your Photostream in order of views. If your a Pro account users (and you should consider it if you want to get the best out of Flickr), also go to FlickrStats to get the full low down on everything from number of views to the sources of each visit.
Now that you know the metrics to look out for, here are a few of the tips I've picked over the past few months. Try them out, and let me know any others that you come across.
Top 10 Tips for increasing your Flickr visits
* Take pictures that people want to see
I know this might sound obvious but if you want to get the most out of Flickr, and boost your visits, improving your photography should be your number one priority. That means your family snaps are not appropriate for sharing unless there's an artistic edge. Selecting pictures that people want to see come with time and experience, the right equipment, some sound research and inspiration. The Good News is that Flickr is the perfect place to hone your skills.
* Comment on other Flickr users images
There is no better way to get visits than to visit other people. Leaving a comment or adding their picture as a Fave lets them know that when they had a party, you dropped in to check it out. Leaving a comment is easy, don't feel shy. You can say whatever you like, but I encourage you to treat people with respect. Remember, they have bared their souls to the Flickr world so be gentle
* Join Groups
There are tons of different Group's on Flickr. Experimentation is the best way to find a Group that's interests you. When I uploaded this picture of Stonehenge I searched for Group's that included the keywords "Stonehenge", spotted that English Heritige was one of the most relevant Group's for that keyword, joined the group and added to it. Easy.
* Tag your pictures
90% of Flickr users don't upload pictures - they are voyeurs - they want to look at the best Flickr has to offer. One of the most common ways to do this is by searching for tags or keywords. So if your picture has a Rabbit in it, tag it "Rabbit". And whilst you're at it tag it with "Lapin", "Animal", "Mammal", "Pet", "Big ears", "Fluffy Tale" and so on. Any words that you think someone might think of and search for. Tip: Google and Yahoo will also search these tags so even people not directly using Flickr might find your image.
* Make contacts
When you spot a picture that you like, after you've commented and fave'd the picture, take a look at the rest of their photostream. If you like what you see, add them as a contact. Every new picture that they add to their photostream will then be reported to you on your home page. This will help you up visits in two ways, first, it means you'll see more pictures from the people you like so you'll feel more compelled to visit and comment on them. Second, they may well visit your photostream and may even add you as a contact too.
You can add me as a contact here, if you like.
* Message people
Flickr allows you to send messages to (almost) anyone on the site. Experienced users know that most of these messages are simply people becoming your contact (see above) or inviting you to join groups. Why not send a personal message saying how much you love someone's photostream - I'll bet you they'll visit your site to check it out.
* Allow others to Blog your photos
Flickr allows you to make your pictures available for others to include on their sites. Its called Creative Commons and giving your photo a Creative Commons licence is a great way for people to visit you and potentially share your picture with the world through their blogging or creativity. There are several licences depending on how willing you are for people to play with your images, the more flexible you are the more likely you are to get visits.
* Get Explored
One of the most entertaining aspects about Flickr is to get Explored. That means your picture is in the top 500 pictures that day (based on a mysterious algorithm), and is also known as Interestingness. This is always guaranteed to lead to more viewings. No-one knows the magic recipe for success for sure - I recommend taking a good look at other pictures that make it to the explored list and try to determine what makes them special.
* Pick your subjects
Some image subjects seem to entice people to view again and again. If you were to happen upon one of the following, I recommend taking a snap of it for Flickr use - Kittens, Cats, Puppies, Dogs, Flowers, Bokeh, Angsty Teenage Girls, HDR shots, pictures of cameras, beach/ocean scenes. Again, research what makes it to Explore to find out what's in fashion.
* Be active
Its a simple equation, the more time you spend playing around in Flickr, the more views you'll get. Why? Because you'll inevitably be commenting, faving, being active in Group's and leaving your mark.
Most importantly, have fun - Flickr can be surprisingly addictive if you choose to let it take a grip over your life!