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Free Hosted Galleries — The Future of the Industry
This is a complete article on free-hosted galleries (FHG). We will define what they are, how they appeared, their development, and how this recent phenomenon is affecting the adult industry. We will also provide you with the materials needed to take advantage of this exciting new marketing tool.
Free Hosted Galleries defined
A free-hosted gallery is a thumbnail gallery with legal, licensed pictures or movies provided by a sponsor that is already embedded with all of the affiliate's linking codes. Free-hosted galleries are on the sponsor's hosting; the webmaster promoting the galleries never has to worry about paying for bandwidth or server fees. Free hosted are either static or dynamic. Static galleries retain the same content forever. Dynamic galleries auto-update with new content on a daily basis. The mass appeal behind FHG is a matter of convenience and free content to surfers. The webmaster never has to worry about any aspects of the gallery; all he has to do is link to it to start earning money. All of the design, content licensing, and coding is already taken care of.
Free-hosted galleries first appeared in the middle of 2001. Some of the first sponsors to take advantage of this new promotional tool include Score-Cash, FetishHits, OxCash, NastyDollars, and CouplesCash, among others. Free-hosted galleries were an instant success and quickly became the "Next Big Thing." Today FHG are considered to be an essential commodity to any complete sponsor program. The demand for FHG is extraordinary. Almost every day sponsor programs are announcing the addition of new galleries to their system or are launching their own unique gallery program for the first time. Collectively as of March 2003, there are at least 12,000-15,000 free-hosted galleries. Included in this number are 200-300 dynamic, auto-updating galleries. Each month an estimated 1000-2000 FHG are added to the web.
What is the secret of this phenomenon? What marketing secrets were used to gain such incredible popularity for free-hosted galleries right after their introduction? What is in store for webmasters of different work, traffic, and experience levels and what are the best ways for sponsors to get the word out? This article contains all of the information you will need.
The success of FHG
There are several reasons why free-hosted galleries are so successful. The most important reason is that they save webmasters time. The pioneers of the FHG understood their webmasters and responded to their demands. Most webmasters work alone or in small groups where they spend much of their working on labor-intensive coding and design. Tools like FHG are extremely useful because they save webmasters time by eliminating much of the need for coding, design, hosting, and content. After all, time is money.
Secondly, FHG became a major success because big TGP and CJ owners (the people who control the majority of adult traffic) jumped aboard the bandwagon of FHG usage. Before hosted galleries came along, TGP owners relied almost exclusively on webmasters to create and submit galleries to them; but this created problems for the TGP owners. They had to deal with reviewing a steady flow of both good and bad galleries to give to their surfers. Finally, traffic that was sent to the galleries went to the sponsors of the webmasters who submitted the galleries - not to the TGP owners who generated the traffic. Free-hosted galleries now allow the TGP/CJ owners to make much more profit from their traffic than ever before. The owners are no longer losing as many sales to gallery submitters. TGP owners have turned FHG into a fountain of wealth and have effectively broken into a market that used to be dominated by gallery makers and submitters.
A third cause of success is that hosted sponsor galleries eliminate the risk of cheating that TGP owners face when they list other webmasters' galleries. Sometimes devious gallery creators and submitters get listed by TGP sites and then change their galleries after they are listed. They will redirect the gallery traffic to their own sites or sponsors, which ultimately hurts the image of TGP sites and causes them to lose the loyalty of their surfers. It is also a tremendous workload to police a TGP and watch out for cheaters. People who use FHG never have to worry about galleries cheating or being redirected because they are coming directly from reputable sponsors, not shady webmasters.
The final reason that FHG are so successful is that they use content that specifically caters to their website. Many reality pay sites use content that is very targeted and pertains only to that website, such as College Fuck Fest, Bang Bus, or Milf Hunter. Hosted galleries use targeted content from within a pay site to promote on the FHG. The end result is a FHG that is very targeted and that converts traffic extremely well.
Webmasters against hosted galleries
As more and more FHG are being used on TGPs there is less and less room for gallery posters. Consequently, the webmasters who have the most difficulty adapting to the affects of hosted galleries are the gallery submitters.
FHG stands as a direct competitor to those webmasters who earn their living by gallery posting to TGP sites. Undoubtedly, the quality of FHG is far behind the quality of galleries made by professional webmasters. There will always be a demand for galleries created by independent webmasters, most notably from the largest TGP's (such as The Hun, World Sex, etc.) who can afford the luxury of reviewing and policing webmasters' galleries. By chasing new members they pick up only the best quality galleries with diverse and exclusive content. This provides them with less instantaneous profits, but helps them retain larger quantities of loyal surfers. In order to survive on the market, gallery posters will have to create outstanding quality galleries in order to obtain listings from the TGPs. If you are unable to make quality galleries with low expenses, you should seriously think about some changes in your activity.
In a year or two, probably 50-70% of TGP traffic will be coming through FHG, and the remaining 30-50% will still account for independent posters' galleries. In case of CJ sites the situation will change even more radically. An estimated 80-100% of traffic will go through. The entire business seems gloomy to gallery makers/posters in TGP and CJ, but new opportunities are arising.
On the other hand, the situation seems to be very favorable for the site owners. FHG make it possible for an extremely high level of income to be earned from a site. It's no secret the TGP surfers are reluctant to purchase, so site owners try to expose their TGP traffic to as many ads through hosted galleries as possible.
Difficulties the sponsor faces with FHG
First of all, sponsors must realize that FHG creation and support expenses lie solely upon their shoulders. Costs of creating the hosted galleries must be considered with the payout. Sponsors who offer a 50% revenue sharing program who also bear the expenses of FHG support will seem more financially secure than sponsors who have a 70% revenue sharing rate but reduce payment through sales from the FHG. (This is comparable to sponsors who offer less payment to webmasters who opt to use a console-free tour) We have seen sponsors take many different approaches to hosted galleries in the year 2002. There is one thing that we noticed for certain: Affiliates' confidence is affect when different rates are offered through the use of FHG. Different payout rates made through sales from hosted galleries makes gives webmasters a feeling of uncertainty from sponsors; and the last program a webmaster wants to promote is a sponsor that he has mixed feelings about. If your affiliates do not have confidence in your program then you are destined to fail. It is important to keep a professional front with free-hosted galleries that is consistent to the manner in which the rest of the program is run.
Another necessity of free-hosted galleries is making them easily attainable and usable within a program. While picking up data for our service we have run across a certain amount of sponsors whose FHG operated with some peculiar generators. Many gallery generations took a substantial amount of time, forcing you to spend hours out of the day on one particular site to achieve a hundred or so URLs. If you are integrating FHG into your program, make sure that it is user friendly. Have newbie webmasters evaluate the ease of obtaining these galleries correctly and make sure they can readily find and generate the correct codes. If newbies can use the system, anyone can use it. Gallery generations should be achieved quickly and in mass numbers, and the output of the system should be simple lines of urls so that the affiliate can easily transfer the galleries to fit his own site format. If this does not happen, webmasters will waste precious time because of your lack of usability, and you will lose potential traffic and sales. Make sure you plan ahead. Once word gets out that you have hosted galleries your server load will increase dramatically. Host your galleries on separate domains and servers from your pay sites are on, and plan ahead for large quantities of traffic.
Another common misconception is that many the URL's for galleries can be changed simply by replacing one webmaster's ID for another webmaster's ID. This can lead to the affiliate not receiving credit for sales. Lastly - and perhaps most importantly - the FHG need to have a solid, professional design. Many FHG that we have seen were of very low quality, dramatically decreasing their profitability while also hurting conversion ratios. Those poor conversion ratios reflect on the program as a whole, so it is essential that only high quality hosted galleries are used. Those sponsorship programs that manage to make their exceptional quality galleries will achieve the best results. Keep this in mind: the best TGP listings are reserved for the most attractive galleries.
Finally, the last thing owners of sponsorship programs work on is ample promotion of their free-hosted galleries. Early data about sponsors with FHG services was very uncoordinated and very random. The only way to find information about FHG was from word of mouth, webmaster message boards, or webmaster information sites. We have decided to go a step further by launching our new free service FreeHostedGalleries.com, which keeps you up-to-date and fully informed about free-hosted galleries from sponsors. Webmasters will find the information invaluable. You can find all of the hosted galleries available on the net easily. Galleries are classified by niches, sponsors, and sites.
Finally, we would like to draw the webmasters' attention to this new marketing tool. In the near future it will become one of the most influential factors on the market. Webmasters who consistently use FreeHostedGalleries.com will have a constant leading edge on the competition. These ambitious webmasters will lead the pack in maximizing revenue to the fullest potential from their site. Sign up for our free service and start taking advantage of all Free-Hosted Galleries has to offer!
Authors: Kit, Kush
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