For many years before becoming a webmaster, I was a webmaster's worst nightmare: I loved the TGP. I frequented many of them, mostly because they were plentiful, and best of all:"FREE". The adult industry has been undergoing a change of philosophy during the last few years; and many TGP owners have been changing their strategy in order to attempt to raise their number of conversions. I am referring to the ongoing battle between the TGP and TGP2.
I have promoted TGP's for a long time. I had an epiphany one day about a month ago, and I saw the light. I was not the first to see it, and I hope that I will not be the last.
Defining the Problem
First we should look at the basic definition, and sales strategy for each type of TGP. A TGP is a web site that posts 1 page html documents that contain 10 to 20 thumbnails linked to larger images. TGP sites have no rules, as to the type of image shown, and in most cases; no rules regarding the number of images per gallery. TGP2 sites have rules regarding the amount, as well as the type of images allowed in a gallery. TGP2 sites typically limit the number of images to 5 per gallery, and require that the gallery not contain any "hardcore" images.
This brings me to the core issue. Which type of gallery converts better? Well it depends on who you ask. Webmasters of TGP sites will often point out that by providing the type of galleries that contain the harder images, they offer a commodity that will continue to bring the surfer back to see more, and subsequently that surfer will convert at some point. TGP galleries are notorious for containing very explicit content, and a very large amount of it. Typically the galleries range from 10 to as many as 50 images, and range in content from soft-core to the hardest of hardcore.
Webmasters of TGP2 sites will tell you that by not giving the surfer the hardcore images that they are looking for, they often convert more quickly than with a TGP. Most TGP2 webmasters will tell you that by denying the surfer the satisfaction of finding ultra hardcore images in plentiful supply, surfers are more likely to convert to a sale with the sponsor promoted within the gallery. The basic concept being to whet the appetite, and not feed the surfer. I should note that this strategy is used by almost every business that sells products or services to the public.
Giving Away the Farm
Mother always said, "Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?" I tend to lean toward the opinion that TGP sites are giving away too much. The most important question that needs to be addressed is "Are TGP sites giving away too much content?" The most effective way to deal with this problem is to find the root cause, and eliminate it. In my opinion there are many causes for this problem, but we will concentrate on what seems to be the largest of them now.
Sell! Sell! Sell!
In recent years the number of large companies that have affiliate programs has exploded. TGP and TGP2 webmasters are now faced with well over 50 companies, all fighting for conversions. Most of the companies have 20 or more sites that can be promoted through the galleries, and they cover almost every imaginable niche.
With so many affiliate programs available, the companies that own them have fought for sales by continually attempting to bring bigger and better deals for the webmasters, as well as; bigger, better, and more hardcore content to use for promotion. What is a webmaster to do when faced with all of this? Most just fall in line, and use the material provided, and never give it a second thought. This problem should be a concern for all webmasters. You may be saying "I own a membership site, what does this have to do with me?" The answer is "everything". Webmasters who own membership sites should be the most concerned, they have the most to lose.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that we can argue our opinions all day long, and it will not get us any closer to the answer. We as webmasters need to address this problem quickly and decisively. We need to stop giving away our product, and start selling it. Let's say that our business was selling cars. If a customer came in looking for a car, would you give the customer a used car free, hoping that they might come back and buy a new one later? Of course not, that would be silly. You would be eliminating the customers need for your product. "Now that would just be plain foolish!", I heard that. Yes you're right, so why are we doing this with our product and expecting a different result?
The definition of insanity: "Repeatedly taking the same course of action, and expecting a different result." New webmasters arrive on the scene every day, it is the job of the more experienced webmasters to educate them and to show them the pitfalls of the business.
The Time Is Now
It is time for us to act together, and let the companies whom administer these affiliate programs that enough is enough. We need to stand our ground, and educate new webmasters about this problem. New webmasters arrive on the scene every day, it is the job of the more experienced webmasters to educate them and to show them the pitfalls of the business. You might say " Why would I want to help my competition?", and the answer is that your competition can harm your business not only by taking sales from you; but also by changing the atmosphere in which you do business.
Please help to change our business for the better, there are many ways to do this. Take a newbie under your wing, stop giving away our product, and communicate with each other. The only way that we can effect any change on our industry is through education, and communication. Without our hard work to do what is necessary, we will find ourselves without a farm.