Earlier in the workflow we saw how to properly index a picture to make it searchable on microstock sites, working on the metadata of the file and adding a title, a description and the keywords. Now we are finally ready to upload the image to the microstock agencies.
Every Microstock website offers the option to upload files via the web, through the site itself, but this process is quite uncomfortable for those who have a lot of pictures to be sent in bulk: for example, often the uploading form does not allow to send more than 5 files at the same time, therefore you need to wait for the completion of the transfer of the first 5 files and then proceed with the next files. If you have 100 files to be sent, the process can last several hours, though obviously it depends on the upload speed of your internet connection. Moreover, if you need to upload those 100 files to several different microstock agencies, times multiply dramatically. On the following screen, the webform for uploading files on the Shutterstock website.
Fortunately all (or almost all) agencies offer the option to upload files in batches via FTP, which allows us not only to upload many files in sequence, but also to enqueue the different agencies for the uploading of files. In this way you can, for example, set the FTP client to sequentially upload 100 files on Shutterstock, then on Fotolia, then on Dreamstime and so on. The software will take care of doing all the work, maybe it will take a whole day or more, but the whole loading process will no longer require our presence in front of the PC, except to verify that everything went well and that there are no incomplete transfers for accidental connection problems occurred when we weren’t there.
To use the FTP service, you must retrieve from each Microstock agency your username, password and any further indications for uploading (eg. subfolders for images rather than for vector files) and set them permanently in your FTP client. In some cases these credentials match those of your login account, but in most cases these are specific credentials for the FTP service.
But which client should we use? It’s just a matter of habit and any software we are used can effectively perform this function. In the example of the image of the Brooklyn Bridge which is object of this tutorial, we will use the most popular FTP software in the world: Filezilla. The first thing to do is to set the login credentials to the FTP server of the different microstock agencies to which you want to upload the files. Click on “File“—>”Site Manager” and insert the address of the FTP server (host) and your username/password, then click “ok” to save the configuration in the list of sites used. You must repeat this process for all other agencies which have FTP credentials. When all the agencies are properly set, you just need to pick up from the list the agency to which you want to upload files and click “Connect” to access your FTP folder on the server of the agency.
After you have logged in to the server, you simply locate on your computer the images to be uploaded, flipping through the folders in the left panel and, once selected, just drag them with your mouse in the panel on the right, which represents your personal folder on the FTP server of the agency.
Going back to our example, at this point the file transfer will start automatically and the files will be uploaded on the Shutterstock FTP server. At the bottom of the screen you can follow the progress in the transfer of files, check completed transfers and possible failures, which are then to be restored. The uploading process will go on until the end of the transfer of all files in the queue. If you want to send the same or other images to other agencies, you can set up another transfer to be appended to the first, opening a new connection with another agency in a new window and repeating the operation of “drag” the files to be sent from the computer to the server. In this way we can append in a transfer session not only an unlimited number of files (unless specific restrictions of some agencies) but also an unlimited number of agencies. The transfer will be executed according to the order in which we dragged the files, but you can also change priorities for files or agencies, thus changing the order at will.
Once the process of uploading is completed, you need to check that there are no failed transfers. If all is ok, you can go to the next step: verifying the actual receipt of the images on the agency website and validating and submitting of the files for the review.
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