Contributor Tips

How to Title, Tag, and Price Your Media on Pond5


To provide a great experience for our customers, our goal is to show them the most relevant content for their search terms. To do this, we’re constantly analyzing user behavior and enhancing our algorithms and curatorial process to improve the Pond5 search experience.

As part of this effort, before sending your media to our curators for review, you must first add relevant metadata (titles and keywords), adjust pricing, and attach releases (if applicable). Here are the most effective ways to do it all.

1. Preparing Titles

Good titles are an incredibly effective means of gaining traffic to your content, and thus, a great way of increasing your sales. In order to get the most of your titles and to have your items approved, follow these tips:

  • Use descriptive titles. Giving your content engaging, unique, descriptive titles greatly improves the likelihood of it being seen. For example, the title “African Oystercatcher Bird Feeding in Estuary, Eats Worm, 4K” identifies the precise species of animal, the activity that it’s engaged in, where the footage was shot, and the quality of the footage. This is much more enticing, interesting, and unique than a video simply titled “Bird in the Water,” which would get far less traffic.
  • Each item should have a unique title. We understand that this can be difficult with a lot of items showing the same content, but slight variances and using synonyms will allow more content to stand out in the search results.
  • Be precise. Keep it readable, concise, and to the point.
  • Stick to the ideal length. This is 40-60 characters (maximum is 80 characters).
  • Use English language titles. Follow this rule unless you’re referring to particular places or objects with names that are more likely to be searched for in their native language.
  • Editorial video/photo titles need an editorial caption. The format for this is: CITY, COUNTRY – MONTH/DAY/YEAR: Factual description of the image content.

Things to avoid:

  • Do not use any number codes in your titles. You can keep track of your items in the My Uploads area under the “Tech Data” tab, so numbering clips for personal reference is not necessary. (Example of incorrect titles: Pink Flamingo 001, Pink Flamingo 002, etc.)
  • Do not use file extensions. These include .mov or .jpg and should not be a part of your titles.
  • Do not repeat one word several times. This does not help your items in the search results; in fact, it does the opposite.
  • Spelling mistakes. We are not spellchecking your title, description, and keywords (yet), so please make sure your spelling is correct. A simple, free spellchecking tool like Grammarly can work wonders.


2. Preparing Keywords

Keywords are words that are used as identifiers or labels for your media files. You can add up to 50 keywords to describe each uploaded file. The better you keyword your files with useful information, the easier it is for buyers to find and purchase them. The minimum is 5 keywords, but you’ll reach the best performance with 10-20 descriptive keywords.

Don’t use “spam” keywords hoping for better search results, as irrelevant tags will damage your clip performance. Trying to game the system by filling your keywords or clip titles with popular search terms unrelated to your media will actually cause your files to sink in the search ranking.

Related Post Keywords and Concepts: How to Get More Eyes (and Buys) on Your Work

3. Pricing

You have the freedom to set your own prices for your media, and you’ll receive 50% of every sale.

If you’re unsure about how to price your files, you can change the Pricing Method to “LET POND5 SET MY PRICE” and we’ll take care of it for you.

When you get a sale, we will notify you via email, and once your balance reaches the payout limit, we will issue payment via the payout method selected in your account. Payouts are processed once a month, on the 15th.

4. Preparing Model and Property Releases

Model and property releases are required for all media to be sold as cleared for commercial use. Model and/or property releases may not be necessary for media intended for editorial use (see below).

Model Release

  • Required for each recognizable individual
  • Required for recognizable voices
  • Must include a recognizable photo of the model that is not a frame grab of the model from the item submission itself

Property Release

  • Required if a recognizable landmark, building, or property appears in the work
  • Required if copyrighted music/sounds are in an audio track
  • Required if media contains trademarks, logos, or brands

You can find our standard Model Release here and our Property Release here. It is not required that you use our releases for the media you upload, but if you use a different release, it must contain essentially the same information.

Acceptable formats of signed releases:

  • JPG
  • GIF
  • PDF
  • DOC
  • TIF

Note: Release files must be at least 5KB in size.

Editorial content can be anything that captures a newsworthy event or documents human behavior, and can be used in newspapers, magazines, news, and documentary programming. It cannot be used for commercial purposes, and it is important this content is not manipulated or altered.

Any content that contains recognizable people, property, or third-party IP for which all releases are not secured according to our guidelines may also be classified as Editorial, at the sole discretion of Pond5.

When submitting editorial content, please leave a note for the curator at the bottom of the “Edit Item” page, indicating that a clip is to be marked for Editorial Use Only.

5. Using CSV Files to Add Metadata in Bulk (Optional)

CSV files allow you to add metadata to multiple uploads with one master file, saving a significant amount of time. CSV stands for “Comma Separated Value,” and these are essentially text files. You can use any spreadsheet editor, including Excel, OpenOffice, or Google Docs to edit them.

You can start from a blank file if you want to prepare your metadata before the actual upload of your media to Pond5. Just download our CSV template here.

If you’ve already uploaded files, you can download a CSV file listing all the files you have uploaded. To do this go to your Uploads page and select “APPLY CSV.”

Identify the type of media you are working with, choose the corresponding tab, and click “DOWNLOAD CSV.”

A file with a .csv extension will be downloaded to your computer. This is essentially a text file, but you can use use Excel or the free OpenOffice to work on the data in a spreadsheet, which is much simpler.

If you open the downloaded .csv file in OpenOffice, it will most likely look like a compressed text file with one file per row (1 clip, 1 audio file, etc.) separated by commas. To fix this view:

  • Select all the data by clicking on the column mark (e.g. Column A) and go to the top menu. Select “DATA,” then “TEXT TO COLUMNS.” This will pull up a wizard window.
  • Ensure DELIMITED is marked and click “NEXT”
  • Select “COMMA” and click “FINISH”

The spreadsheet is laid out so that the first row is the header/name of the data fields you want to adjust; these column names are completely case insensitive. The remaining rows are one row of data per clip.

Fill the spreadsheet with all/some of the following data:

  • OriginalFilename – This is the filename your file was uploaded as (with file extension)
  • Title – Add a descriptive title with an 80 character limit
  • Description – Add a description with a 200 character limit
  • Keywords – Add 10-50 accurate and relevant keywords, separated by commas
  • City, Country – Tell us where was the footage shot
  • Release – State the filename of a release that you have already uploaded on Pond5, with extension separated by commas
  • Specifysource – Specify camera model
  • Setpriceforme – Write 1 if you want our curators to set the price for you; otherwise, leave the cell empty
  • Price – Set the price for the original size/file in US$
  • Pricelarge – A 4k file will be automatically downconverted to a HD version. Here, you can set the price for this HD version if you don’t want to use the auto-pricing function
  • Copyright – State the copyright owner

Note: Mandatory fields for CSVs are Originalfilename, Title, and Keywords. All other fields are optional.

The general recommendation is to delete from your CSV file all of the columns and rows you are not planning to update and keep the file slim. This will help to avoid errors caused by shifted columns/rows.

Keep a copy of your originally downloaded, unmodified CSV file saved on your computer in case your modifications are not recognized. That way you can simply use the original file to restore the data as it was initially.

When saving a modified CSV file, it’s important to pay attention to how it’s saved. To save a spreadsheet as a CSV using OpenOffice:

  • Go to Menu > FILE > SAVE AS > Text CSV (.csv) > KEEP CURRENT FORMAT
  • This will open a small pop-up window asking for details. Verify that the file is being saved as the following:
    • Character set: Unicode (UTF-8)
    • Field delimeter: , (comma)
    • Text delimeter: ” (quotation mark)

Once your metadata CSV is ready, you can upload it via the APPLY CSV page.

If you experience any trouble uploading your CSV files, please email and use “CSV upload troubles” as your subject line.

For more information on anything covered in this post, visit our Help Center or contact Customer Support at

Top image: Photographer Using Laptop in Studio by blendimages