My First TGP: Part 3 - Foundations
In my last installment, I finished up with a very basic, out of the box installation of My First TGP. I've since customized it a bit, added a basic revenue option, and have now begun to populate the gallery archive. Let's take a look at it now:
Setting Up My First TGP
I spent some time over the weekend putting AutoGallery Pro, the software that my TGP is based on, through its paces, and while I haven't yet made use of all of its functions and features, I can tell you that it is one of the easiest scripts that I have ever used, primarily due to the extensive online admin area, and the flexible nature of its template based page layout system.
One of the first things that I did with the script was to change the admin area password so as to help prevent unauthorized access and cyber-vandalism. I then went about exploring the setup and operational options, and pushed a few buttons to see what they would do. Some simple HTML inserted through the admin panel, and a few button clicks, produced this basic layout:
Perhaps the feature I found most helpful was that this script let me designate the output file format (and extension). This allowed me to build the main TGP page using PHP, which lets me use "includes" to make the display code, and advertising sections, modular. For example, the POTD panel discussed below is an included PHP file. This allowed me to streamline the script executable, using one line of code to replace many. This makes everything run faster and with less server overhead; a much better solution than fighting to use SSI includes on a script whose only output is a .cgi file.
One word of warning, especially for those of you who tend to work half-asleep in the wee hours (as I all too often do): keep back-up copies of your HTML as you build your site. There are three text input boxes allowing you to enter Header, Body, and Footer HTML. Unfortunately, and more than once, I pasted my HTML into the wrong text box, causing two headers, or two footers, to appear, rather than one header, and one footer. Thankfully I had text backups, so the problem was easily solved.
Overall, AutoGallery Pro is a real dream to use, and I highly recommend it for anyone (and especially novice users) looking to build their own TGP site, and I look forward to using all of this powerful scripts features.
Filtering the Masses
In keeping with my goals of trying to maximize sales while minimizing bandwidth, I looked to a variety of sponsor provided tools that would facilitate the process. One of the most appropriate of these tools is the free POTD program. Using a sponsor provided Picture Of The Day has several benefits to me, including the fact that I can now market my site as offering "free daily pics and galleries" - a definite "draw" for surfer's seeking free porn, as it assures them of daily updates.
This left me using the easiest option, as it was a simple copy-n-paste from a previous site: CEN's POTD program offers 18 daily pics, categorized according to niche. These images are all either softcore, or censored, and are displayed on an attractive page, surrounded by buttons and banners promoting the sponsor's niche-relevant pay sites. I receive credit for any sales made from this page, and have a decent source of fresh, maintenance free daily content that does an effective job of filtering off traffic before they hit the free galleries.
Grabbing Some Galleries
Now that I had a simple way to (hopefully) make a few sales, it was time to populate my gallery section. I am not currently building TGP galleries (a temporary situation that will change shortly), so I had to turn to outside sources for my initial gallery base. Typically a new TGP will start with owner-supplied galleries, or a selection "borrowed" from another TGP - a practice that I find unacceptable, so I needed an easy, and legitimate, alternative.
As an ongoing matter of submission solicitation, listing my new TGP at the various adult Webmaster resource sites, as well as seeking out suppliers of "auto-submission" software for inclusion in their databases, and participation in several targeted Webmaster resource banner exchanges, should produce a steady stream of submissions over time. However, none of these options would provide me with substantial, immediate results. Fortunately, a simple solution was at hand, literally.
XBiz' Gallery Booster™ is an amazing free tool that allows Webmasters to post all their clean, no-recip galleries that TGP owners can include in their listings. This is a win-win situation for both Webmasters, as now I have a decent base selection of quality galleries (totaling 541 pics in 31 galleries), and the submitter's will receive some additional traffic. TGP's rely on "bookmarkers" - and it is hard to maintain repeat traffic without fresh submissions...
Even though I feel that the number of images I currently offer is more than adequate for a free site, TGP's rely on "bookmarkers" - and it is hard to maintain repeat traffic without fresh submissions, so for the foreseeable future, I will select several of the best galleries from this list to build up my content offerings, and will list my own clean galleries there in the future.
All told, I now have a decent little TGP site that is quick and clean. With the proper promotion it would attract traffic, but would it be profitable, relying upon the POTD panel as its sole current revenue stream? I doubt it, but I have a few ideas to change that. Stay tuned: ~ Stephen