Category Archives: Social Media

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


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 😉

What Happened to TSU?

If you’re anything like me, your daily routine at some point involved going to your PC, laptop, desktop or mobile and logging in to TSU. It looks like I’ve done this for the last time, because today as I logged on – as I’ve done since October 2014 – I got the dreaded “we have taken tsu dark” message.

So what happened to TSU?

TSU burst on to the social media scene back in 2014, with a promise to pass 90% of the revenue generated by the platform back to the users of the platform.  The idea was simple, it’s your content, we’ll monetize it, keep a little and pass back a lot.

It was (and still is) a wonderful idea.  But, unfortunately the execution of the business model didn’t live up to the idea. Why? Because they failed to recognize their biggest asset…the community.

Yes, there were many who tried to scam the system, and make a few extra cents here and there, but there were also many who didn’t, who wanted the network to succeed. I personally tried to engage with the company many times with ideas to help them succeed (because by helping them, I was also helping myself and others).  Unfortunately, this help was neither acknowledged nor accepted.

I – with hindsight foolishly – believed that the problems were those of a new company, with a small budget and that they would learn as they went. However, today’s announcement shows that time got the better of them.

Was it all a scam?

I believe not. I along with others look likely to lose the balance of our accounts (if they are under $100), and I would love to know where all that money is going to go (remember there were 5.2 million registered accounts).  However, I was paid several times. I also made nearly 200 donations to verified charities (some a few cents, some a few dollars). I will forever feel good about that, and so should the staff at TSU that tried to make a difference.

I also made a few genuine connections and friendships, which is a very difficult thing to do online. I hope that these connections will persist long after TSU is gone.

So what does this teach us?

The main lesson is to not put all our eggs in one basket.  If you’re trying to build an online presence or profile, you have to use the multiple channels that are available to you, and they should all point towards each other (and preferably back to a website of your own that you control).

Where to now?

A lot of people will now be looking for a new TSU, and I’ve even spoken to some who are interested in creating one (I wish them all the best with this). But, in the meantime, where are the substitutes and where should you focus your efforts?


The grand-daddy of them all. The one where everyone is. The one where you’ve likely tried to convince people to leave. But yet…here we all are! Personally, I believe that Facebook is a necessary evil for now. Whilst they have the critical mass of people, you should still pay attention to it. It has however got progressively worse since it began, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feed has got clogged up with junk more and more. So where else?


For those of us who’s skills are visual (it’s photography for me), then Instagram is a good choice. It’s owned by Facebook, therefore Facebook don’t penalise the content when you share it.  i.e. I get 10 times the reach from a post I share to Facebook from Instagram than I do from my own WordPress website (that is not a coincidence).



The young upstart. The place made famous for nude selfies is now playing in the big league. With in excess of 100 million downloads from the android Play store, it is no longer a joke. MTV, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan are unlikely to all be wrong.

If you can work out a way to make Snapchat work for you, you may well be on to a winner.


I love G+, but it might only be me and a couple of others that do! Possibly the best network, look, feel, functionality etc but it’s just not used by the masses. Unless you’re there already, I don’t think I’d recommend starting.


Geek to mainstream in 10 years. A true success story, that keeps getting better. I’ve personally only ever made 2 videos (and one of those was for TSU) but I intend to make YouTube a big part of my future efforts…and remember they also share the revenue.

If you still think that YouTube is just about cats falling over, I’d recommend that the first 2 channels you follow are Casey Neistat and Gary Vaynerchuk.  These guys have literally changed my entire outlook on life, and I can’t thank them enough.

I also believe is going to be great (it won’t be for me…but it will be for many) and that Twitter, Pinterest etc are on the decline.

I hope that helps give some of you some direction. I wish all the great, genuine and original TSUvians the very best, and that ours paths cross again in the future.

If you’d like to make the connection elsewhere, please do so via the links in the text above, or via the social icons on my website. Any shares of this post via your own social networks are of course much appreciated.

Peace and love,



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 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

Choose a Good Username

This is a tip for TSU, but actually it applies everywhere.

If you’re going to have a public profile anywhere think very carefully about your username, because usually it can’t be changed, and you’re going to be stuck with it for a long time!

You certainly don’t want put in lots of effort to a profile, that later you may start again (or worse…give up completely), simply because you didn’t like your username.


Q. So what is a good username?

A. It should be

  • Memorable – this might simply be your own name if you intend to build a brand around yourself.
  • Easy to Spell – we all hate it when someone spells our name incorrectly, so maybe you could shorten it if yours is particularly difficult.
  • Say something about You – for example, I have 2 profiles on TSU. One is called Flower Pictures and the other is called Goofy Surfer. Both say something about me and my interests.
  • Consistent – do you have other online profiles?  If yes, then it’s good to keep a common username. That way, any goodwill you build up on another site may transfer to your new account.
  • Funny – however, only do funny if you can do funny!


Q. What isn’t a good username?

  1. Anything Rude or Offensive – unless you intend to have a rude or offensive page (and granted there are some that are successful), you will put off more people that you turn on.
  2. Random Numbers and Letters – Nothing says “I’m lazy” more than someone who can’t even be bothered to think up a title for themselves. No-one is motivated by this.
  3. Anything that tries to piggy-back on someone else’s success – Be original, be genuine, be yourself.  A username that is deliberately trying to use someone or something else’s identity in the hope that it will bring you success is doomed to failure from the start.


Sorry if you’ve just read this and thought “Damn, I wish I’d thought of this earlier”. This tip is really intended for people who have not yet signed up. However, hopefully you’ll find something interesting in my previous tips.

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?

Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Many people are immediately turned off by TSU because they think it’s a pyramid scheme.

By having the ‘family tree’ structure, the person who invited you to TSU will benefit financially from you being there. How much they will benefit is entirely up to you.  It will range from zero to infinity, but will always only be one third of the benefit you receive.

First we need to understand,

Q. What is a Pyramid Scheme?

A. A pyramid scheme is simply a business model that is unsustainable – and often illegal – that convinces you to join by promising payments (or other incentives) if you encourage other people to join.

Usually this means that money has to come in the front door faster than it goes out the back door.  This will often work until sign-ups start to decrease or people lose confidence.  By this stage, the owners have made their money and the little guy is left with a hole in his wallet.


Q. TSU gives payments, and encourages users to ‘recruit’ so this means it’s a pyramid scheme. Right?

A. Wrong.  He’s why

  1. It costs nothing to join or use TSU, so any money in the system is coming purely from advertisers (who choose to advertise), and not from you. You can never lose money only gain some. How much, is entirely up to you and your actions.
  2. TSU ‘only’ gives out 90% of the revenue generated by advertising, so there is always more money coming in the front door than goes out the back. If they don’t make it, they don’t pay it.
  3. TSU sign-ups have already come in waves, and the network shows no signs of going away. Usually a wave follows a user with a large following joining and bringing some of that following with them.


Q. So is it better than other social networks?

A. Well…this is a matter of opinion.  Have you ever received a share of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter’s revenue?

Have any of these networks ever directly shared their success with a charity, due the the charity’s participation in the network only?


Q. So should I quit other social networks and just use TSU?

A. No. TSU is still comparatively small (a bit under 5 million registered users) and does not have the reach of the social media behemoths. However, I think the genie is now out of the bottle and we’ve already seen (particularly with Facebook) that the big boys don’t know what to do about TSU.

TSU is going to grow. How quickly, only time will tell, but it should definitely be part of your social media setup.


Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below). I do appreciate the irony that there is no TSU button.  I predict that will come soon too. 😉

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
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code