The ability to use and create tools for the performance of complex tasks is one of the unique characteristics possessed by human beings; likewise, the ability to communicate and comprehend the complex concepts behind those tasks.
In spite of these achievements, the species' relentless efforts to get away with doing as little work as possible continues to illustrate our differences from much of the rest of the animal kingdom. In fact, the lengths to which people often go to avoid work (even when that actually leads to more work) is something we humans have turned into an art form, if not a lifestyle. Although understandable, this particular form of artistic expression does not make it easier to create successful websites, including TGP (Thumbnail Gallery Post) sites.
Making up new galleries obviously takes time which, when your goal is to make money, can be a frustrating commodity to invest. But without it, TGP submissions are often rejected, sometimes without explanation. Even when they are accepted, their return rate can be highly variable for both the TGP and gallery site owners.
"Don't be lazy," cautions Gogalthorp, creator of HTML-manager software Xmanage (www.Gogalthorp.com/xmanage). "Make up new galleries. Don't be submitting the same page to us all the time."
The concept behind a TGP site is simple - a website that provides links, either to external pages featuring image galleries, or directly to specific images. The organizational concepts to keep in mind when submitting links to sites are also simple. But putting these simple concepts into action requires organization, effort and a healthy dose of common sense and attention to detail.
While it's tempting, especially for frustrated owners of TGP sites, to conclude that laziness is the cause of most of the goofs committed by those attempting to submit links - sometimes it's really confusion that's to blame. "You might have ten or 15 pages pointing to the same pictures because each one of these posting sites likes certain things," Gogalthorp explains. "Some don't want this, some don't want that, some like this, some only like that. You're generally putting up between ten and 30 pictures on the site. You're submitting them to your thumbnail gallery people and it takes a varying amount of time, depending on whom you're submitting them to, for them to respond. And they will keep them for a varying amount of time, depending on whom you're submitting to. Generally speaking, you need to be reminded if you have more than just a handful of sites. If you've got 20, 30 or 40 sites going, then you're a busy bee." A busy bee that doesn't always remember where or when it freshened its nectar, in some cases.
After watching a friend struggle to keep track of his multiple site submissions, Gogalthorp developed Xmanage (gogalthorp.com/xmanage/), one of several HTML management programs available for site owners. Such programs serve as a type of personal secretary, reminding webmasters when it's time to send another batch of links, which sponsors are on each page, and which banners are being used where, among other things.
Those who don't use management software should keep careful notes regarding their submissions, links, refresh dates and other details unique to each TGP site. This should include each site's unique submission rules and preferences. Keeping notes in a daily planner or calendar for easy reference can be helpful.
"It's a big administrative problem," Gogalthorp concludes. "You have to be organized."
Pay Attention to Details
But what about those who haven't been able to organize? What if remembering when it's time to submit new links isn't the problem. What if getting those links accepted is where the problem lies? What can be done then?
The first step toward getting one's links accepted at a particular site is to read the rules for the site carefully - and, of course, to be sure one comprehends what has been read.
Vegas Lee and his partner, Caveman, own a number of adult websites, including Mega TGP (www.megatgp.com) and it's Lee's job to review TGP site submissions. It's a job Lee enjoys but finds needlessly frustrating. Although Mega TGP presents its submission rules in large type, many of those who submit links do not appear to read them. "I go through about 200 galleries a day and do it myself," Lee explains. "I have a very automated system, so it doesn't really take me that long, but it gets very frustrating when I would say that ten percent of them (submissions) give me a 'Page Not Found' message or I can't hit the server. Those are usually an automatic delete. In my little response letter that will go out to them, I have a little box to click that says, 'we couldn't find your damn page' and that is a big problem that we've got."
Another "big problem," according to Lee, is "Over-submitting to the point where I can hit your page and send out for pizza while I'm waiting for it to load." Slow-loading pages are especially a problem when sites are hosted on free servers, says Lee. Some TGP site-owners will no longer accept submissions from free server sites because they can not handle the traffic and generally possess top-of-page banner ads that confuse surfers and send them off-site to sponsors they had no interest in visiting.
Sponsored content is something else that can annoy prospective TGP sites and surfers alike. "Use unique content," advises Lee. "Do not attempt to host sponsored content. I get the same gallery submitted to me 15 times a day full of sponsored content and I just won't listen and the other places won't, either. The surfers get tired of seeing it. And, believe it or not, our surfers actually do e-mail us and complain."
Tell the Truth
Keeping surfers happy is ultimately the goal of any adult site owner, especially if one hopes to run a profitable pay site. In order to do that, a webmaster must not only make sure servers are online and capable of handling traffic, but that the site's contents are what surfers have been lead to believe they are. Surfers who find that a TGP site's contents don't match its descriptions will go elsewhere.
Because many sites allow those submitting links to write descriptions about the gallery's contents, those descriptions are often inaccurate. This results in a lack of confidence on the part of surfers and less money and traffic for those hoping to woo them. Although some cases are probably due to webmasters losing track of what image links they've submitted to what TGP sites, in some cases it appears to be deception in the hope of attracting hits.
According to Lee, many site owners claim to possess teen images when they actually do not. This is not only a bad idea from a truth-in-advertising perspective, but also shows a lack of understanding about surfer preference trends. "One thing that we have noticed when we track outgoing clicks is that 'teen' is not taking the bulk of the clicks any longer. For one thing, I think everyone's tired of looking at 36-year-old 'teens.' 'Mature' is strong and the fetish categories are strong as far as click-outs go."
So it's important not only for the TGP site's reputation but for each site linking through it that banners or descriptions accurately depict what visitors will find upon reaching the page. Ultimately, it's about knowing the market and responding to its desires. "You'd be amazed by the banners that people will put on these, especially on the BBW galleries. I'll go to a BBW gallery and they've got teen banners on it. Somebody who wants to look at 400-pound women is not interested in little skinny teens," Lee points out. "It's funny because a lot of time it'll be a sponsor who has a fat site or an ebony page with all black women. I'll go there and they'll have something that has nothing to do with it. It's target marketing and your conversions are 10 times better when you do it."
In order to better understand the needs of surfers, some TGP sites take requests from visitors and produce newsletters that include listings of exceptional and recommended sites. These services help create a communication loop so site owners can better match content to viewers. Resources like this have also let TGP site owners know about pages with more banner ads than pictures. Lee recently visited a site that included 12 images � and 105 banners. The site's submission was rejected.
Don't Hide Your Links
Once a webmaster has their submitted links accepted by a TGP site, a reciprocal link is often required. Don't hide it. Not all sites require that links be located on the TGP page but they do require that they appear somewhere that surfers can actually find it. Some webmasters, perhaps fearing that such links will route traffic away from their own site, place reciprocal links in obscure spots.
It's easy to conclude that doing such a thing isn't very nice but, according to Lee, it's also unnecessary. "Typically, for every 500 hits I sent out, I only get ten back. And that's from a very good spot right on top," Lee confides. TGP sites are, after all, about sharing traffic, so swapping links and users can only benefit everyone. "Also, if it's submitted to me, then it needs to be submitted to somebody else, too. If I'm the only one sending traffic there, I don't want my own traffic back. I want someone else's. Have more than one reciprocal on the page. Two or three is what I generally suggest."
By linking to a few sites of this sort, traffic can be sent in multiple directions, keeping new content in front of surfers and bringing new surfers to the linking sites. Lee recommends mid-sized TGP sites, believing that they result in more productive hits and better click-out rates. "Every once in a while just for grins I'll run a test and post a page. I posted a page a couple of weeks ago and got 32,000 unique hits from them in one day. We got 61 clicks out of those 32,000."
Because bandwidth is a finite resource for both content consumers and providers, webmasters clearly need to carefully research which TGP and other sites they link to before committing the time and resources to do so. Larger TGP sites like Adult Buffet (www.adultbuffet.com) and AL-4A (www.al-4a.com) often receive not only enormous numbers of visitors, but more net-savvy visitors, as well. According to Lee, "They go there, look at the pictures and don't touch anything because you might ask them to pay. From what I understand, there are a few people out there who have learned how to make their traffic convert," but the majority of those linking to such sites do not see big returns.
No one seems to have enough time and everyone seems to have too much work to fit into what time they do have. One of the best ways to develop a happy and healthy reciprocal link relationship with a TGP or other site is to be polite, be brief and be organized. Those who review TGP submissions have many sites to look at - and the bigger the site, the more people asking for their attention. If you have questions, keep them short and make them precise. Don't send TGP sites your wanted lists unless they specifically say that they have time to do your research. Submit fresh material, update your sites appropriately and write short, accurate descriptions of images.
In this way, Vegas Lee and other TGP site owners will have one of their dreams come true: "If [people who submit to sites would] get organized and watch what they're doing, they'd make all of our lives so much easier."