Tag Archives: money

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.


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

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


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



How to grow your Family Tree on TSU

Ok…so you’ve joined TSU, you’ve posted quite a bit, you’ve shared other people’s content and you’ve even seen some money credited to your bank account.  The next step is growing your Family Tree or adding TSU Children.

Full Disclosure:  At the time of writing, I have 246 Children on TSU. You can be the judge if that is a few or lots.

Why should you want TSU Children?

TSU rewards people who bring new people to the network. For every $100 dollars of advertising revenue generated alongside your content, TSU keeps $10, gives $45 to the content creator and the other $45 is distributed up the Family Tree using the rule of infinite thirds.  (for more information on this, please refer to What is the TSU algorithm? in the TSU FAQs)

How to add TSU Children?

Different people will have a different take on this, but in my opinion, your goal should not be to add as many TSU children as you can. Your goal should be to add interesting or talented children.

For example, I am a photographer.  I enjoy many types of photography, but in particular I like pictures of flowers.  So, I set up a page on TSU called Flower Pictures (@flowerpictures).  I then used the other websites and forums that I already participate in and approached photographers whose work I admired and invited them to be a contributor to the gallery.

I DID NOT talk about money, I DID NOT just randomly spam people. I personally contacted those who I thought would benefit from being featured in the gallery, and who’s work would make the gallery a page people would want to visit.

I focused on what I could offer them, FREE.

Has it been successful?

In my opinion, yes.  I now have 246 Children, that are making the TSU network better.  Their images are reaching 669 followers – which has grown from 0 in just over a month.  I have shared 190 images to date, and these have received nearly 29,000 views.

More people are following the page daily.

What else?

I feature the week’s most popular image as the cover photo of the page for the next week.  Here are the winners in the first 4 weeks (I think they are all terrific…and you should see some of the images that didn’t win!):

What should you do?

If you want to replicate the method I have used, ask yourself the following:

  • What do I like/enjoy?
  • What can I offer?
  • Where is my opinion relevant (either online or offline)?
  • How can I help?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’re on your way to having a successful TSU experience, with lots of Friends, Followers and Children.

I hope this helps.


Fraser 🙂

ps – make that 248 children.  In the time it’s take me to write this I can now welcome @paulyjoe and @jimmyphoto.  Look out for them on TSU.


TSU – Why you are getting it wrong

Ok…let’s start with the obvious and the honest. None of us need to join another social media platform.

I personally use: Facebook; Google+; Twitter; YouTube and Pinterest. I also use Fine Art America, Dreamstime and my own website (no need for a link…you’re on it!)

So why do you need TSU.  Short answer…you don’t need it, but you might want it, and here’s why.

The nearest comparison is Facebook.  The format and structure is similar and if you can use Facebook you can use TSU.  But why move? Well, Facebook keeps 100% of the revenue it generates from advertising alongside your content.  You know…your comments, shares, pictures, videos etc.  TSU is only going to keep 10% and is passing the other 90% back to it’s users.


Why I was Getting it Wrong

I was quite excited by the model and immediately set about trying to get as many friends and followers as I could.  Much like you do with the other social networks.

Let’s face it, if we are just trying to be social with our friends and family you don’t go looking for strangers to talk to, but if you have a business, a product, a service, a skill etc. that you are trying to tell people about then you need to tell as many people as possible until you find the one(s) who need or want it.

I’m a photographer, and I have managed to build a network of great people across the various social sites.  I spend a lot of time speaking to people who like, comment or share my posts.  Some of them even buy my work! They are helping me promote myself and I’m happy to do the same in return for them.

But ultimately, the GET MORE FOLLOWERS attitude is selfish.


How to Get it Right

Here’s the kicker…the TSU model encourages you to think of others first, and it incentivises you to do so!  Clever eh.

Anyone you invite to TSU becomes your ‘Child’.  Anyone they invite to TSU becomes your ‘Grandchild’ and so on.

10% of the ad revenue goes to TSU

45% of the ad revenue goes to the content creator

The remaining 45% (in decreasing percentages) goes to the rest of the ‘family tree’


So…Who Can You Help?

Do you know an aspiring writer, painter, singer, blogger, speaker etc? Then use your personal invite to invite them to TSU. They get a new platform to promote themselves and you share in their success.

Do you participate in online forums where your opinion is respected? Introduce others whose opinion you respect and the chances are they will be successful too.

Do you have friends and family on Facebook that you would like to see being paid for doing what they are already doing for free?  Invite them to TSU.  Use your invite link and that helps you too.


It’s All About the Quality

Right now there is plenty of “Follow Me, Follow Me” noise.  I was guilty of it too.  But…the frenzy will calm down, and the people who will do well will be the ones with a big ‘family’ who post, share and like quality content. Spammers beware!

If you decide that TSU is for you, then please say hello when you join up.



Stock Photography – What Sells?

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll already know that I do 2 things with my photography.

The first is Fine Art.  Fine Art (to me) is just something that another person likes and is prepared to hang on their wall.  Other people will have different interpretations, but that is mine.

The Fine Art side of things is where I get most enjoyment, but it is not necessarily the place I make the most return.  So far, I have made more money from stock photography.

Stock photography is where your image has some sort of commercial value.  i.e. it might be of a newsworthy event; it might appear in a newspaper or magazine; it might appear on a website etc.

Here is the photo that (to date) has made me the most money.  Not that special…right?

However, the reason it has made me the most money is that the Ryder Cup was recently hosted at Gleneagles (the PGA Centenary Course).  I took my photo years ago, when my sister’s work hosted a corporate golf day there.  I offered (for free…she’s family!) to take some photos of the day, so that they could use them to help their business.

When I remembered that I had this photo, and that the Ryder Cup was about to be played there, I uploaded it to Dreamstime stock agency.  Lo and behold, I then sold the photo (to multiple buyers) before, during and after the Ryder Cup was on.

I have no idea who they were or what they used the photo for, but that’s ok.  I also still own the rights to the photo and can sell it again.

So, my point is this.  You may take great enjoyment out of taking a photograph of a beautiful sunset on a stunning beach (me too), but you might be able to eat because you took a photo of the entrance to a golf course.

Have a great day,


Great news for European art buyers

Anyone starting a new business has to make decisions every day, and I’m no different.  You try to do your research and make the best decision possible, but ultimately you’re often just hoping for the best.

So, let me tell you about a decision I made that I found out today was a good one.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’m using Fine Art America as the sales portal for my photography.  So far, I have to admit, I’m a big fan. However, there was one problem.  All orders were printed and shipped from the USA.

Now that’s good if you live in the USA, but if you live elsewhere you had the issue of delayed deliveries and higher delivery costs.

The good news, is that I just read today that FAA now have a UK fulfillment centre.  So, anyone who buys something from FAA (from me or anyone else) from anywhere in Europe, will now get it from the UK instead of the USA.

Officially, it’s only canvas prints, but I’ve just checked my own account and it ships canvas, metal and greetings cards from the UK. Everything else will be added shortly.

If you were thinking about buying, here’s the best bit.  If you are in Europe and buy a product before 31st August, the shipping costs are waived completely. So basically, it’s as good a price as you’re going to get.  That’s great for the artists and great for the buyers…a true win-win.

Hopefully FAA’s next stop will be in Asia or Australia for all of you in the east.

Go grab yourself a bargain, including my latest print, Elgol Looking West.

Elgol Looking West

Now…I wonder if it’s possible to make 2 good decisions in the same day!


Combining Stock Photography and Fine Art

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, but I figure it’s better to only blog when I actually have something to say, rather than because I think I should be blogging.

2 bits of news from me.  Firstly, I sold my 2nd photograph on Dreamstime.  Here’s the pic:

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

This earned me a whopping $2.87…I’ll let you be the judge of its merits or lack of them.

I was however pleased, it showed me that it is possible – even with all the competition that exists – for me to create a market for my photographs.  But…back in the real world, that is 2 sales in 3 months making me a grand total of $7.21.  Based on my simple calculations, I’ll only have to live to 34,674 to become a millionaire.

Now, it’s not all about the money for me, but it’s not irrelevant.  I also thought about how I would feel if someone bought (what I consider to be) one of my best photographs for $2, and the answer was, not great.

So, I have decided that although I will still keep the Dreamstime account, I will only be uploading images that (I) consider to be stock type images, and not the ones that I consider to have some artistic merit.  I still intend to keep the stock photos exclusive to Dreamstime (for now).

Fine Art to me is simply something that someone may want to hang on their wall, and my chosen route for that will be Fine Art America

This will be the topic of my next post…but must get back to the day job for now.

All the best,

How to keyword your photography portfolio

I’ll assume that you’re like me and have recently decided to try your hand at stock photography.  I’ll also assume that you’re like me and you don’t have an endless amount of time to dedicate to it.  You’ve got a ‘real job’, a family, a house to clean etc.

You like photography, you always have, but you’ve never had the time (or, let’s face it, motivation) to dedicate yourself to it properly.  Sounding familiar???

Well, if you’re anything like me these are some of the things you feel or have experienced.

We all say it’s not about the money, but probably we only say that because there is none.  Yes, if you’re independently wealthy you can give all your time to your hobby, but for the rest of us, it’s a pipe dream to do something you love for a living.

The first few questions you’ll ask yourself are probably:

1.  What agency should I go with?
2.  Should I submit to lots of agencies, or go exclusive with 1?
3.  What can I do to make this keywording easier?

Let me explain my choices, and maybe it’ll help you to make yours.

What agency should I go with?
I chose Dreamstime.  Why?  For a few reasons.  It’s one of the bigger agencies (24+ million photos as of today).  Which means there is lots of competition but that it is established.  What you don’t want to do, is put a lot of effort into this, only for your agency to disappear.

I thought it had plenty of content that suited my style of photography.  Hang on Fraser, I hear you say, you’ve only been doing this 5 minutes and already you have a ‘style’.  You’re right, I don’t have a style, but what I do have are subjects I like to photograph more than others.  My thought process was, if there are other people already doing my ‘style’ of photographs and achieving sales, then it shouldn’t be a complete waste of time.  Yes, there is competition (and very good competition at that) but there are also buyers to compete for.

Should I submit to lots of agencies, or go exclusive with 1?
The answer here probably depends on the time you’ve got.  I simply don’t have the time to upload my photos, title, keyword etc. to multiple sites.  So I chose 1.

I’m not here to promote Dreamstime.  There are other good stock sites out there.  I just liked their setup.

The benefit of being exclusive, is that you only have to submit to one site, you get $0.20 per accepted image (on Dreamstime) and you get more prominent placement of your photos (allegedly…I have no proof of this yet) so that buyers can find your photos.  You also get a greater % of any sale you make.

If you have all the time in the world, upload your photos to any site you can find.  If you have 200 photos on 20 websites, logic would say that you are much more likely to get more sales than someone with 200 photos on 1 website.

What can I do to make this keywording easier?
Keywording sucks!  It won’t take you long to figure that one out for yourself, but here’s a tip to make it slightly less painful.

On Dreamstime (again, I reference them because that’s what I use) you are required to put in at least 8 keywords and no more than 80.  A keyword is just something that helps a user find you photos (and then potentially part with their cash).

So let’s take this photo of Eilean Musdile Lighthouse off the west coast of Scotland.  What words could you use to describe it?

Eilean Musdile Lighthouse


Lighthouse, White, Water, Warning, Treacherous, Island, Grey…I’m starting to struggle already, and I’m only at 7!  You get my point.

You could scratch you head for the next half an hour trying to come up with 10/20 more keywords, or you could use this free keywording tool on Yuri Arcurs website.

Yuri’s site explains how to use the tool, so I’ll not attempt to try to do that better.  I’ll just say…

  • you type in a couple of your keywords
  • click search
  • select photos that look like yours
  • select the keywords they have used that also apply to your image
  • click show a list of keywords
  • then copy/paste to your stock site
It won’t make keywording go away…but it will save you hours and hours!  Make sure you deselect words that have no relevance to your photo…that’ll only annoy buyers and your agency.
If you made it this far…have a great day.