Using Flickr Photographers to Build Links

Using Flickr Photographers to Build Links

Austin, Texas –

If the success of Pinterest has reminded us of anything, it’s the growing importance of visual content on the web. In a very short number of years, social networking has gone from blogging, to commenting, to sharing, becoming forever more easy and accessible. And nothing is easier or more enticing to share than a great photo.

If you’re in need of an alternative to guest posting, Flickr photographers offer a great opportunity to build links and give your site a visual boost. Here’s one way to pull that off.

Find a Photographer

You’ve likely searched Flickr for photographs before. Creative Commons images are an excellent way to find relevant pictures for use on your site. Using Flickr to find a photographer is a bit different. Searching for specific keywords isn’t all that important, because you’ll be hiring the photographer for new photos.

Instead, click on the “Explore” tab and take a look at the most interesting photos posted in the past seven days. Click on the photos that you really like and check out the photographer’s other images and profile. If you like what you see, check their profile for a website. Visit their website and look for signs of social engagement and frequent comments. If you like, you can also check their Alexa and PageRank. Record their website and contact information in a spreadsheet.

In addition to Flickr, another great site to visit is Deviant Art. On the left side of that site, click on “Photography.” Afterward, at the top of the page, you can organize the results by “Popular” and by how recent the photos were posted. Visit the photographer’s page for their website and see how much traction they are getting.

Ultimately, you are looking for photographers who produce great work and have a lot of attention, but aren’t yet getting regular work and don’t charge outside your budget. Of course, for exceptionally high quality links and attention, it is sometimes worth it to hire an established photographer.


Once you’ve collected a list of about twenty photographers, organize them by most promising, and start by contacting the best prospects first. Make sure that you are contacting the photographer through their preferred channel. Some would rather have you contact them through a social network, Flickr, or Deviant Art than via email.

Let them know that you are interested in commissioning them for a few photos. If your own website is already fairly popular, you may be able to convince some photographers to do the work for free in exchange for the exposure. The downside of this is that these photographers are less likely to already have the kind of exposure you need to drive traffic to your site and give you a worthwhile boost in the search results.

Keep the contact short. Briefly summarize the kind of photos you are looking for and ask if this would be something that interests them.

If they are interested, send them the specifications. Spend most of the time discussing the work itself, not the link building or promotion. Photographers want to be recognized for their work, not their audience. Be sure to compliment them on their photography. Mention offhand that you would appreciate it if they posted the photos on their blog and linked to the article when it goes live.

Once you post the article with the photos, thank them for their help and remind them that you’d appreciate it if they helped promote it. Add that the article is doing very well and that they almost certainly had something to do with that.

Share the photos on all of your social networks, especially visual networks like Pinterest. Link back to your article, but be sure to give the photographer their much deserved credit as well.

Have you considered hiring photographers as a method of building links and buzz? How might you do it differently?

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