Category Archives: Photography

Website Traffic Boost using Google Maps and Local Guides

We’re all looking for ways to increase our website traffic or bring more eyes to our social pages. Let me tell you about a free, authentic and effective way of doing just that.

I received a really cool e-mail from Google this week, that told me that my photos had helped over 250K people on Google Maps (255,361 to be precise!).

Local Guides 250K Views for Free Website Traffic

How?

If you’re anything like me, you use Google for everything.  I regularly use: Search; Maps; YouTube; Gmail; Drive; G+; and, Translate. I actually just surprised myself at how much I rely on Google services.

Well…about a year ago I signed up as a Google Local Guide.

Google Local Guides are basically people who share their discoveries on Google Maps. This allows people to get more value from Google Maps by benefiting from the experience of others.  This could be a review of a local restaurant or a picture of your local beach.

So that’s good for Google, but what’s in it for you?

Well there are actually 5 different levels of guide (I’m a level 3).  A level 5 becomes a “Google Insider”, and gets to test new products before public release.  This Local Guides benefits page gives you a complete run down.

But personally, I’m not doing it for the Google benefits. I’m doing it because every picture I share carries my watermark and gives me free website traffic.  This image of The Shore in Edinburgh, Scotland has received 21, 445 views alone.

The Shore, Leith - More than 21,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

This image of Carson’s Pioneer Lookout in NSW, Australia has received 9,761 views.

Carsons Lookout Thunderbolts Way - More than 9,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

And this image of Murcia Cathedral in Spain has been viewed a whopping 39,363 times!

Murcia Cathedral - More than 39,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

It’s very important to keep your images relevant to the exact place on Google Maps that they are of (otherwise, I’m sure Google will remove them and you from Local Guides). However, it’s worth bearing in mind that as a landscape, cityscape, seascape photographer I’m much more interested in uploading those kinds of images. However, you’ll find that the local McDonalds is searched for on Google Maps much more than the places I like to photograph.  Food for thought?!

More importantly, the more accurate you are, the more relevant your image is to the person making the search on Google Maps. They are then far more likely to read your watermark (free advert) and visit your website.

Something that I haven’t done (yet), and also strongly advise, is that you also use your watermark to drive traffic to your various social media profiles.

I hope that boosts your website traffic or increases your followers on your social profiles.

Please click my social links, follow my page and say hi. You’ll then be first to know about my next blog.

 

Fraser 😉

DJI Mavic Pro – WOW!

You’ve probably heard the saying

the best camera is the one you have with you

which I totally agree with, or at least I did, until they invented the DJI Mavic Pro.  And I haven’t even got mine yet!

DJI launched the Mavic at the end of September 2016, and I was blown away.  The Mavic is a portable camera drone, which – at AUD $1699 – offers incredible quality and portability.

When launched, I was choosing between the DJI Phantom 4 or the (also new) Go Pro Karma. Let’s just say I’m glad I was indecisive, because the Mavic made my decision easy.

Personally, I’m a stills guy, and that’s what I’ll be using the Mavic for initially, but I do have ambitions to get involved in motion too (as well as, not instead of).

Now the downside! I don’t think that DJI were quite ready to release the Mavic, but once Go Pro launched the Karma they brought it forward (to make sure Go Pro didn’t capture some of ‘their’ market share).  As a result – and due to the popularity of the drone – deliveries have been delayed. I’m expecting mine pre-Christmas, and hopefully early December.

I actually bought the Fly More Combo, which at AUD $2199 includes a shoulder bag, additional propellers, an extra battery, a charging hub and a car charger. With hindsight, this probably means I’ll have to wait a little longer than those who just bought the Mavic by itself.

What do other people say?

So…I appreciate I sound like a fan-boy, which admittedly I am, so here’s a bit more information if you want to judge for yourself.

Here’s the guys at Flite Test reviewing the Mavic Pro:

I’d also recommend the reviews from Drone Valley, who tell it like they see it.  If you want both the good and the bad, you’ll get it here:

If you’re considering buying or have just bought the DJI Mavic Pro, and want to compare notes, or if you’ve been flying for a while and want to give me advice, please say hello via your preferred social platform.

Happy flying,

Fraser

The Daily Quarter

How would you like to earn 25 cents a day for your favourite charity in an initiative I’m going to call ‘The Daily Quarter’?

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been very enthusiastic about the social network TSU.

TSU has similarities with Facebook, but it rewards you (in dollars and cents) for the content you publish.

I don’t use TSU to make money (although my account does make money). I use it alongside my other social network accounts (Instagram, Facebook, G+, YouTube and to a lesser extent Pinterest and Snapchat) to help promote this website and my photography portfolio in general.

When I first joined TSU it was simply under my own name and online nickname Goofy Surfer. I then made a 2nd account called Flower Pictures, to create a place for people like me who like taking photographs of flowers.

The Flower Pictures page then became a Group (when that functionality was added) and is now called a Channel. It is currently the 53rd most popular channel on TSU. It will definitely be in the top 50 by the end of the year…and hopefully much sooner.

I still have my Flower Pictures page – which has nearly 10,000 followers – and it is to there that I share (what I consider to be) the best content from the Channel, daily.

Starting from today, I will also be selecting a Daily Quarter winner (using the hashtag #dailyquarter). This will be my personal favourite image of the day. I will then ask the winner to nominate a charity on TSU to receive the Daily Quarter (or 25 cents!)

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning this prize for your favourite verified TSU charity, all you have to do is follow the Flower Pictures channel and upload your images.

You can upload a maximum of 3 per day and any image you upload must be your own original content.

There will be no restriction to the number of times a person can win the Daily Quarter for their charity.  The winner will be awarded on merit only…it doesn’t matter if you’ve been using TSU for a long time, or just joined today.

Good luck, and thanks for helping me help people less fortunate than ourselves.

🙂

 

Copyright Theft

I’ve seen it…you’ve seen it…we’ve all seen it

What am I talking about? Copyright theft.  (it might seem boring…but stick with me til the end…I’m giving away money!)

Where someone steals some original content and posts it as their own without giving due credit to the owner (or even asking if they can use it in the first place!).

This is not just immoral, it’s illegal! It’s hard enough for independent artists to get themselves noticed, without blatant theft of their work. It happens all over TSU and it happens all over social media and the internet in general.

So what can we do about copyright theft?

Well, when you see obvious copyright theft, of either your or someone else’s content on TSU, click the arrow (top right of a post on desktop, bottom right on the mobile app), and then select ‘Report’.

You will be presented with a list of reasons why you wish to report the post. The last 2 on the list are ‘Your Intellectual Property’ and ‘Someone Else’s Intellectual Property’. Select the most appropriate.

So that’s the first thing we can do about copyright theft, but what else?

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, and every time I do it makes me angry, but yesterday I had epiphany. I was focusing on the wrong people. Yes, we should remove these people from the TSU network…they add no value to anyone, and only serve to put off people who bring their own original ideas.

BUT…we should be rewarding the people that are doing the right thing!

So, I got to wondering how I could support people that are trying to do the right thing.

As you know, I am the person behind the Flower Pictures channel on TSU. The channel has 2 strict rules. No more than 3 posts per day, and original content only.

What some of you may not know, is that before there were channels (or even groups!) I set up the Flower Pictures page.

As the channel grows, it is starting to supersede the page, but I still share what I consider to be the best posts daily. It’s effectively a curated version of the channel.

So, for the rest of this month (June) for every post I share to the page, I will be donating $0.05 to the favourite charity of the person who made the post, as my way of saying thanks for being original, unique and you.

Be the change you wish to see in the World

Mahatma Gandhi

That’s how you deal with copyright theft!

ps – I’m not saying everyone should feel obliged to do this. You may not have $0.05 in your TSU bank yet. However, you can still help, by simply only sharing content from users that you know are original.

 

Is My Content Good?

If you’re trying to grow a presence online, then you’ll be aware that social media is where it’s at.  Personally, I use: TSU; Instagram; G+; Facebook; YouTube; Pinterest; and recently even, Snapchat (username Goofy Surfer) (the order is my personal level of importance).

But is my content good?

This is the question that I (and you) should keep coming back to, and this is why you should always refer back to the data.

On TSU, there is a great Analytics tool that allows you to evaluate every post that you make. You should be using it! And the best thing…it doesn’t matter how many Friends or Followers you have.

I use a 10% rule. It’s simple. For every 10 people that see my post does 1 person like it?

Here’s a few examples:

This image has received 327 views and 51 likes (15.6%…good)

Contrasting Fortunes - Is my content good?
Contrasting Fortunes

This image however, has only had 29 views and 2 likes (6.9%…poor)

Flag of the UAE - Is my content good?
Flag of the UAE

This post, has had 2270 views and 199 likes (8.8%…ok, but great reach)

As your audience grows, you will notice 2 things.  First, some people will share your content regardless of whether or not they like it, just because you have a big audience (in the hope that you will do the same back).  DON’T! Or rather, only do if you genuinely do like their content. Otherwise, your agenda is clear and people see through it in seconds.

Second. The 10% target you’re aiming for is likely to become a little ambitious. As your content reaches a bigger audience, it is natural that not everyone it reaches will like it (although some will).

ALWAYS focus on the people with whom you’ve got a GENUINE relationship with. They are your biggest fans and your biggest supporters. They will help you because they want to, and you will help them because you want to.

You will also notice that something that gains good momentum on 1 social platform, will not necessarily gain it on another. When you see this, start varying what you do on that platform and see what works.

But keep analysing… IS MY CONTENT GOOD?

Free Art

How would you like to receive this fantastic one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn artwork (posted to you anywhere in the world)?

Free Art by ADogADay
Will you win this?

To celebrate my Flower Pictures channel on TSU reaching 3000 members, I wanted to give something back to the community. So, I teamed up with A Dog A Day to offer you “Flower Pictures 3000”.

To be in with a chance of winning, you have to be a member of the Flower Pictures channel and upload your flower picture before Thursday 2nd of June. You can enter a maximum of 3 times per day, if you want to increase your chances of winning.

Here’s a bit of history from A Dog A Day’s Facebook page:

I have never liked dogs and always treated them and their owners with equal mistrust. However, back in the summer of 2011, while undergoing chemotherapy, I had a recurring dream where I actually owned a dog. Mortified, I tried every kind of intervention I could think of to rid myself of this most unpleasant experience but whatever I did I just couldn’t stop the dream from penetrating my subconscious. At the end of my tether, I was driven to the verge of doing the unthinkable and actually getting a pet dog when I decided to give one last alternative a try – to draw a dog every day in the hope that I could finally get them out of my system. Many years later, having successfully stopped the dreams, I am still drawing dogs. Why? Well, it turns out that they’re not that bad after all!

I publish a new dog every day on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/idrawdogs where you will also find a gallery displaying all the dogs I have drawn along with loads of fun competitions, giveaways and other art including children’s picture books.

Full details of what you need to do to win this FREE ART can be found here.

Good luck.

Hashtags Give Your Posts a Second Life

This one isn’t just a TSU tip…it applies to social media in general.

Most people do not have a strategy on social media. They throw lots of things at the wall and hope that something sticks.

It is true that there are no short cuts to success, but you can definitely make the road longer than it has to be.

If you do not use hashtags, you have to get lucky! You have to hope that one of your followers is online at the time that you post (unless they scroll down their feed for ages). You have to hope that they like your post, you have to hope that they share your post and you have to hope that one of their followers does exactly the same thing.

That’s a lot of hoping!

Q. So what can you do differently?

A. In a word HASHTAGS.  Hashtags make your posts searchable forever. That means that something you post today, can still be found a year from now, and that can give it a Second Life …or even a 3rd, 4th or 5th.

Q. So what hashtags should you use?

A. This is where people in general are getting it wrong. How many times have you seen #originalcontent on a post? If you post something right now to TSU using this hashtag, by the time your post loads and you go to the search box and type in #originalcontent your post will not be the top result in the search.

Let me give you an example using Instagram. The reason I like Instagram is that tells you the number of times a certain hashtag has been used as you use it.

Let’s say you have a picture of a red rose in a park on a sunny day. If you used #red you’d be competing with >68 million posts using the same hashtag.  If you used #flowers, you’d be competing with >59m. If you used park it’d be >14m and if you used #sunny it’d be >25m.

Q. So what does this tell you?

A. It tells you that these are popular hashtags, so the chances of someone using that hashtag a year from now and then finding your post are extremely small. They are all good hashtags to use, but they are for short-term benefit.

Q. So what else can you do?

A. Get specific! When people search online…in fact…when you search online, you want to find exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s say you used #redroses.  This reduces your competition to >466 thousand.  If you used #redrosepark there is only 1 other post!

Now…not many people will search the hashtag #redrosepark but those that do will definitely find your post, and that, makes the work you do today pay back again and again and again.

In summary, yes you should use popular hashtags, but you should also get specific too.

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code
Tip 14: Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?
Tip 15: Choose a Good Username
Tip 16: How much does a TSU Group Earn?

 

 

How much does a TSU Group earn?

The number 1 most important thing online is trust.

If you don’t trust a person, a company or in my case a TSU Group ‘owner’ (TSU speak…not mine!) you are never going to have genuine engagement.

Some of you may have wondered how much TSU groups earn. Maybe you’re thinking of setting up your own group?  So…

Q. How much does a TSU group earn?

A. There is not straight answer, as it obviously depends on how much effort you put in, how many members you have, how much discussion the group generates and how popular the content is.

However, there is one thing that’s fixed. The TSU Group economics. The 100% of monies generated by a group is divided up as follows.

  • 35% goes to the Content Creating Members (you)
  • 25% goes to the group Owner (me @goofysurfer)
  • 25% is split between the Non-Owner Admins
  • 10% goes to TSU
  • 5% goes to the affiliated Charity Partner (@Charity Water)

Q. What does this mean in dollars and cents?

A. It’s not always consistent, but it allows us to run the group competitions and give the weekly #picoftheweek prize over on the @FlowerPictures page. It also offers small (and I mean small) compensation to the admins who help make this possible, by kindly giving their time.

Transparency is good.

Thanks for being a member of the Flower Pictures TSU Group

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code
Tip 14: Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?
Tip 15: Choose a Good Username

How to Feature in the TSU Flower Pictures Gallery

Hi, I’m Fraser and I’m the person behind the Flower Pictures Gallery on TSU.

At time of writing (10th December 2015), the gallery has 7950 followers, and this number is growing daily.

So how can you get your images shared to the gallery?

First, you must join the Flower Pictures Group (it’s completely free). Once you are a member of the group – currently there are 629 members – you can upload your own images. A maximum of 3 per day is allowed, and all images must stay on topic (the clue is in the name!)

What next?

Every day, I go through the images uploaded to the group and share what I think are the best ones. As long as you focus on quality, there is a good chance I’ll be sharing your images soon.

Do I have to post in a certain way?

No.  You can post whatever and however you like, but if you want your image to be as ‘visible’ as possible, I’d suggest something like this.

  • Click ‘Add Title’ and give your image a name i.e. Poppy at Sunset
  • In the ‘Create’ field give a short description to tell the viewer a story i.e. Where is it?  When was it? What camera? What lens? Why you took it?
  • At the end of your description, add some relevant hashtags i.e. #flower #poppy #red #macro (do not overdo it with the hashtags, this is counter-productive and may put off the viewer).

Why does the page have more followers than the group?

Well…first of all, not everyone is a photographer. Some people just like to follow the page, so they receive great content in their TSU feed (we do all the work for them…you take the images and I curate)

Also, groups on TSU are still in BETA phase, so they are a lot newer than pages.  Both are growing daily and both offer great exposure for your images, so there is no downside to featuring in either.

Anything else I need to know?

We regularly run competitions on the group, which not only increase your exposure (more people view the group while the competitions are on) but I also offer small cash prizes to the winner. I also match that prize and give it to one of the registered charities on TSU (currently there are 61 registered charities).

JOIN THE GROUP and see what all the fuss is about.

 

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Is Google finding your TSU posts?

Q. Does it matter if Google finds your TSU posts?

A. Of course it does, and here’s why.

Let’s say that your hobby or profession is photography, and that macro photography is what interests you most. Let’s also say that you’ve joined TSU, and that the majority of your content is close-ups of insects. But…you really only post your images and a couple of hashtags, if you remember. It’s highly unlikely that Google is going to find your post.

Q. So what should I do differently?

  1. Always give your post a title. This should be relevant and not an attempt to spam (Google doesn’t like this, neither does TSU and neither should you).
  2. Always give your post a short description. This could be where you were, what camera you used, what the subject is, how long it took you to get the shot you wanted etc. etc.
  3. Always use at lease 2 or 3 (relevant) hashtags. i.e #caterpillar #insect

This will make it much more likely that your post will be ‘discovered’ on TSU and be indexed and found on Google.

Q. So what?

A. Well, if someone – who has possibly never heard of TSU – finds your post on Google (TSU posts are now Open Web and can be seen by non-members) and joins TSU as a result, they join under your shortcode.  They are then a child in your family tree network forever, and remember, TSU rewards both original content and those who grow the network.

Here’s something to try:

Open a new tab or web page. Go to TSU, but log out of your account. Go to Google and search for ‘YourUsername on TSU’.  Click on the link to your account.

You’ll be able to see all of your account but not interact without signing up.  So click on the link that says ‘Join’.

Have a look in the Referrer Shortcode field.  It is you!

Q. Can you summarise this?

A. Sure. Take a little more care and attention when you make your posts and gain TSU children without having to do anything!  Cool eh.

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU