A TGP "To Do" List: Part 1

Stephen Yagielowicz
Love 'em or hate 'em, Thumbnail Gallery Posts (TGPs) are here to stay: If you're not working with TGPs in today's market, then you're missing out on a steady source of traffic and revenue. For those of you just starting to flirt with TGPs, here's a few thoughts that might help you out along the way.

The first money that I made in the online adult business was back in '96 from posting "clean" galleries of sponsor-provided photo content at every TGP I could find. 15 pics and two banners, a free counter and the hot "free-host du jour" – I had entered the Internet porn biz with "$0" investment – God bless capitalism!

I would bang out a gallery a day using the same basic template (with a black background, of course). Having no real automation to the process, galleries were a copy-n-paste affair with similar file structures, so that all I had to do to build a new gallery was to dump suitably named images and thumbs into their respective directories, update banners and change the folder's name from "template" to "Dirty Cum Sluts" – and I was ready to go!

I made an "in-house" Web site that allowed me to track the TGPs I was using. Not simply an alphabetized link list of main, rule and submit pages, I had all of the TGPs I was using (around 300) categorized into groups according to their submission rules. Some would allow sites without reciprocal links; they received the cleanest pages, with no recips. Some would allow a console; the galleries I submitted to them had one. Some allowed daily submissions, some weekly. As I wanted to make sure I followed the rules, and got the best results, this system gave me a considerable edge.

Within each category, these listings were put into sub-groups containing four TGPs each. A "recip bar" containing the 120x60 (or text) reciprocal links for each of these 4 sites was made, and the HTML code was available to copy-n-paste on a new gallery, straight from my homemade control panel. Submission info was also ready to copy-n-paste, and I was able to manually submit galleries with ease.

I kept pumping out new galleries with every batch of "fresh" sponsor content I could find – and started accumulating a substantial collection of galleries I had submitted. This led me to taking all of the clean, no recip galleries that allowed full size pics on HTML pages (with a direct-to-sponsor link on the image, and a text link below that), and building free sites out of them. This didn't last long, as I discovered that I could almost as easily put 3 galleries together, toss an AVS script on the front end, then charge the surfer to see exactly what he could have seen for free – and have a better chance of up-selling the sponsor from inside my "members area" than I had selling directly to TGP surfers. This was great!

My next step was to reproduce this model, ratcheting it up a notch, and combining all of my "standard" AVS sites into a number of "Premium" sites. Now it was all about the up-sell. TGP Gallery to Standard AVS, then Standard AVS to Premium AVS. Always promising (and delivering), "more" with each new purchase; "and by the way, would you like to see all the cool stuff my sponsor offers?" But I digress...

As things moved along, I stopped actively working this part of the industry in '99 and moved onto other ventures in the "Webmaster Resources" arena. No longer the cash and traffic dynamo it once was, my first (admittedly a wee bit crappy) network has gradually wound down over the years – still providing me with an occasional "surprise" check in the mail – but it now rests, all but forgotten...

While I could spin that old system back up, it is a relic of a bygone age that's best left lying where it is – the time and effort of doing so would not be "worthwhile" enough in today's market. But what about the wife's site? She keeps saying "I don't know why you aren't sending galleries to the Hun – I did good over there before!" – and she's right.

New techniques, and technologies, have changed the face of the gallery post industry since I last made any real effort at provoking it; but I have to wonder if an updated version of my old system, custom tailored to my current needs, and leveraged by automation, would still be a viable business model? Using exclusive content instead of generic, sponsor provided re-treads that everyone's seen, and targeting the venues I wish to use, could there still be enough money there to make it worth the effort? I'll be trying to answer that question over the next few weeks, and I'll be sharing the results here. Stay tuned! ~ Stephen