How I multiplied my Flickr traffic 20x times

February 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

It's no secret any longer that Adobe Lightroom has transformed my photographic workflow and I love the power it puts at my finger tips. It seems each week I'm discovering a new way to put it to use and take my photography to better levels, using automation to reduce the need to perform hours of mundane tasks. 

The latest trick has been to implement publishing to Flickr - but not only that to deliver upto 20x the traffic views for my photos that had been the norm before I started using Lightroom. 

Here's an image of some stats at the time of writing:

At the start of this graph (start of Jan) I did a little manual test to see what effect was caused, and this explains the rise to about 35 image views per day. However, after this you can see the natural tail as traffic drops back down to its organic level of about 4 or 5 views per day. 

The I implemented my lightroom meets flickr strategy and the traffic rose sharply. The peak on this chart is 100 views, representing about 20 times the traffic of my previous normal levels. That's one heck of a turn around. 

So, what's the secret? Well, there are two:

1) replace the standard Lightroom Flickr "publish" plugin with a much cleverer version written by Jeffrey Friedl. His plugins are awesome and by far the most full-featureed and flexible I've found. 

2) Use the plugin to submit your images to relevant photo groups on flickr. This is something you can configure the plugin to do automatically for you when you upload an image. By posting to interested and relevant groups your images will be exposed to a wider audience and generate more traffic. 

However, there are, of course, a couple of cautionary notes. The main one is that different groups have different rules and you have to adhere to them. This might include, for example, a limit of one picture upload per day. Lightroom won't count this for you - you need to just tracj this yourself. 

Also, you need to be relevant to the group - so if you are posting to a group which accepts sunsets, but with no people and with the sun below the horizon then you need to be sure that your automation is able to control this - i.e. that your metadata is sufficiently rich and granular. There's always going to be a fine line over how much is enough and how much is too much metadata: so pick your groups with this in mind. 

After setting all that up, publishing to Flickr is just a one click process, and hopefully you can see the results I have, or better! ☺


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