Getting your photo featured on the Flickr blog is exciting because your photo is, for a short while, exposed to thousands of people who would not have seen it otherwise. One of my photographs was recently featured on Flickr’s blog and suddenly I had over 10,000 views, hundreds of favorites, and many kind comments.
How I Got Featured on Flickr’s Blog
I was skimming Flickr’s welcome page when I noticed a short blurb under the blog section in the right column about submitting your best shot of 2010 to a group appropriately titled Your Best Shot 2010. Photos added to the group’s pool would be considered to appear on Flickr’s blog. I thought “why not” so I looked through the few photos I had uploaded to Flickr and submitted my favorite to the group’s pool, a photo of my new kitten lying in my lap, not expecting anything to come of it besides a few people seeing the thumbnail in the pool.
A couple weeks later, I noticed that I was getting an abnormally large amount of comments (like over five, haha) and then I finally noticed that my photo was on the welcome page of Flickr for all to see. I clicked through to the blog post and my photo was first in a group of adorable feline friends in a blog post titled Your Best Shot 2010: The Cats & the Kittens.
It was fun reading all the comments I was getting on that photo and others in my photostream. It was like the equivalent of going “viral” but on Flickr!
Flickr’s Blog vs. Explore
Being featured on Flickr’s blog is entirely different than being “Explored”. In some ways it’s more difficult and in some ways it’s easier. To appear on Explore, a mysterious set of conditions must be met. I am not quite sure how explore works but that is basically how I’ve seen it described.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
Being featured on Flickr’s blog is 80% luck and 20% preparation.
The 80% luck part is not something that you can control. The photos that are chosen to be featured on Flickr’s blog are entirely up to the people whose job it is to choose them. There are ways, however, to maximize your opportunity.
My photo wasn’t featured on Flickr’s blog just randomly. I did a few things that maximized the opportunity for it to do so.
- First and foremost, I uploaded an interesting and high-quality photo to Flickr. What is interesting varies from person to person, but at the very least, my photo is of good photographic quality and composition.
- Tags – Add relevant tags to your photos so that people can find them. To my photo, I added the tags: kitten, cat, kitty, Maine Coon, feline, pet, animal, and lap. I am not 100% certain but I believe that whoever chose the photos from that group to be featured had a set schedule of themes that they wanted to use and that tagging my photo with relevant tags helped them find my photo.
- Geotags – If appropriate, geotagging your photo, or adding it to the map, helps people find your photos if they are searching a specific area. This wasn’t necessary for my photo but it certainly helps for travel photos.
- Groups – Joining groups and adding your photos to the pool helps get your photos in front of more eyes when you are just starting out on Flickr. In my case, the Your Best Shot 2010 group was the only group that my photo was added to at the time, but it was a pretty important group to be in because my photo wouldn’t have been featured if I hadn’t added it to that group.
- Current Events – Pay attention to current events and upload relevant photos to Flickr as quickly as possible before, during, or after those events take place. Tag and geotag your photos and add them to groups. For example, the “supermoon” just happened and sure enough, as I was expecting, Flickr’s blog post the next day featured a few photos of the moon from the night before.
- Keep your eyes open for opportunity. In my case, I saw that they were choosing photos from a specific group pool to be featured so I added my photo to the pool.
Good luck and start preparing for opportunity! ;)