Backyard Stock Photos – new venue for buying images

I don’t know how many of you follow the Microstock Forum, but there has been a flurry of activity around the creation of a wordpress theme to allow the display and licensing / downloading of stock images from a wordpress site. One very clear advantage is that it costs nothing to run your own site (apart from hosting) and you can take advantage of all the plugins and SEO help that wordpress provides. The other thing that is unique about this design is that it networks up to five other similar stock sites so that if you search for a term on my site, it will also look for the same keyword on up to five others to increase the link population (and hence make it better on Google) and also give the buyer some choice.

I’m so impressed with this approach that I decided to try my hand at selling my own stock photos on my own agency site – no commissions to the agencies any longer for me! I’ve only got about 6 images online so far (out of 5500!!), but I’m trying to make sure that I just put my best images there and carefully describe them to make sure they appear high in search rankings. You can see my “in progress” Backyard Stock Photos Agency here!

If you search for “flower” in the search box, you will see what I mean about linked site results also coming up in the search results.

The paypal integration is all in place, so please feel free to license one of my images for your next design!

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12 Responses

  1. Compuinfoto says:

    Where to find how to make a side on your own as you made and described?

  2. admin says:

    The main discussion have been happening at this forum

    However, it is getting very messy as many people are commenting on issues they have faced. The Development area of the forum section in the Testing Build Released post is the best place to start. The developer, Leo, put some videos into that thread which help a lot.

    I host this blog at 1and1 but I found that they were too restrictive on things like PHP commands and memory. I’ve set up my stock photo site on BlueHost – that seems to work for most people. Email me with any issues.

  3. DesignWolf says:

    Hey Steve,

    Great blog you have going on here. Only recently found it, but will be following regularly for now on.

    And thanks to your blog it lead me to finding out about Symbiostock, which sounds like it could be great, but like you siad above reading the discussions on Microgroup its getting very messy, confusing for me to understand, tons of threads and hundred’s of pages.

    I’m going to try and find those videos you mentioned above, but thought I ask some quick questions just in case you know them. No problem if you cant or just don’t have the time.

    1. Does everybody who joins need to make up their own WordPress theme/site or is there going to be a standard one and we just upload our images too it through WordPress nothing else?
    2. We have to set up our own host ( Bluehost )which has a monthly fee, but is the only fee we need to pay?
    3. When we choose a domain name for our site, we don’t have to pay a fee because its included in the host fee?

    Thanks for your help.

    • admin says:

      Hi Neil

      Thanks for your kind comments. Symbiostock is getting very complex (to follow on the forum) as there are hundreds of threads and comments – most about issues that have been solved now. The system developed very quickly and there were lots of bugs in the early days – hence all the comments, but the latest release (yesterday) didn’t generate any bug reports at all – so we are collectively getting there. The best place to start now is probably the Symbiostock site – there is a simple introduction and the links to all the videos on the Symbiostock support forum there.

      To answer your questions though:

      1. Everyone needs their own hosting provider (Bluehost works for most at around $4.95 a month), your own URL – usually about $10 to obtain and then renew at $10 a year or so. Again you can find one through Bluehost. WordPress is free, and the Symbiostock theme (which installs over WordPress) is also free at the moment. So the only costs are the hosting and URL.

      2. The network is voluntary – you choose which 5 sites to link to and each person makes their own decision on their network partners. This may develop going forward to improve network search, but there isn’t a desire to set up a central “agency” as that defeats the purpose a bit.

      Overall, it is a great opportunity for stock photographers to make it on their own – we are all seeking the buyers at the moment though. The first sale will start to prove the concept!


  4. Rrranbow says:

    Hi, I you going to sell the editorial content there?

    • admin says:

      Yes – I already selling editorial content now. For instance, this image of the US Institute of Peace building in Washington DC. An editorial license is just a restriction on use – and all photos need to be confirmed (by the user) as being suitable for the use that the buyer is going to make of it. My license agreement makes it clear that I have no control over the end usage – each buyer is responsible for that, and so my “editorial markings” are advice to the end user – they need to form their own judgement though.


  5. DesignWolf says:

    Hey Steve,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question, I’m very grateful and thank you for the link too.

    I’ve just become a member at Symbiostock now, so step one complete! 🙂

    Keep up the great posts.

    thanks again,


  6. Dogwood1663 says:

    Thank you for providing this information. It looks like a great opportunity. I see that you have added a lot more photos.

    Are you still impressed with the design, ease of use and the impact on your business?


    • admin says:

      Yes, I think this will grow nicely as a community, and it is now pretty stable. I’ve got about 340 images online now, but I am carefully loading each image and making the description better for each one, which makes it a slow process.


  7. I was checking out the Symbiostock site, and am going to look at it more.

    But, I was wondering if you’d checked out the Graph Paper Press stock photo theme?

    It seems to be a pretty good template to use with the ability to add quite a bit more to it. It’s not open source, but seems not too expensive for what it offers.

    Feedback on this template would be great if you have any?



    • admin says:

      Hi Daniel

      I hadn’t heard of it, to be honest. I think the big learning lesson from Symbiostock is how complex this can become, and the work that the developer became embroiled in was far more than a relatively simple theme able to sell an image. The networking to try to build more of a Google presence was quite complex as well. At the end of the day, I’m still on the fence about whether this is a good use of time or not – nice to see your images on your own site, but it has not been profitable for me!


  1. April 16, 2013

    […] Backyard Stock Photos – new venue for buying images » Backyard Stock Photo – creating your own stock agency I blogged about this a couple […]

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