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The Neophyte Webmasters' Guide to TopLists
by Jo Hawke @ Gay Streams

Toiling away at your website day in and day out trying to get more traffic? You have some traffic but it's not making you any money and you want more? How to do this…

Traffic is like money - money makes money, well traffic makes traffic!

What is a TopList?
A top list is a script driven site with a long list of links. The links change their order every few minutes based on who is sending the most traffic to the site. The objective is to send enough traffic to the site to stay near the top of the list without being the person sending the most traffic. The sites listed closest to the top of the list will usually get the most traffic, as that is what the surfer sees first. Usually there will be a descriptive link or picture with two numbers next to it. The two numbers stand for the number of surfers that site has sent into the top list and the number of surfers that have clicked out to that site from the top list. Simple isn’t it?

What is TopList traffic like:
TopList traffic is the traffic that the last site couldn't make money with. So it could be assumed that the traffic was crap - right? Yes and no. While the traffic didn't convert to money for the last site doesn't mean it won't convert for you.

The last site the traffic came from may not have been what the surfer was looking for. It may have been a site full of blondes when the surfer was looking for brunettes. Make sure your site offers the surfer all the different porn flavors to make the best use of the new traffic you get. When you send someone off to a TopList you're sending the traffic you couldn't convert and it's the next guys try.

Who Should use a TopList:
The answer to this question would depend on the size of the TopList you’re planning on participating in. 

Rules to remember:

  • People with tons of traffic will have better results with a popular TopList, one with tons of traffic.
  • If you have a small amount of traffic go with a smaller TopList. This way you have a chance to get in the top 5 or top 10 sites on the list.
  • There are exceptions. If you have very little traffic and you play a larger TopList you may get a bunch of traffic - if your banner or description is just outstanding.

The links that get clicked on most often by surfers are the links at the top and bottom of the pages. Surfers tend to go to the extremes. So if you can get listed on the front page of a larger TopList with a good description but closer to the bottom of the page you may pick up 2-3 times more traffic than you send in.

However, this depends a lot on how sharp the competition is. If the others 'playing' the TopList are old pros - then you’re screwed. Go cut your teeth on a smaller TopList.

Once you’ve worked your way up to the top of the smaller list, move to the big TopList and working your way to the top of that list. 

When NOT to use TopList:
Lets say you have been generating your own traffic through various sources for a while now and you have a good handle on it. You have also been sending your non-converting traffic to the TopList and getting a good return for some time. Sooner or later, your site will begin to send more traffic to that TopList than any other site… Good, yes?

Uh no, not really… If you’re sending the bulk of the traffic – and you’re the top site, then you’re getting less unique traffic back than you had in the past. Suddenly, the TopList isn't the best deal for you anymore. It’s time to consider pulling out of that TopList.

If you’re kicking in the lion’s share of the traffic then perhaps you should give serious thought to opening up your own TopList. You have the traffic to seed the site… Why not start your own venture and be the owner of a traffic-generating site? Let people come to you to get traffic instead of you having to go to them.

Owning a TopList:
Lots of decent scripts are floating around to run your own TopList site. A popular one is AutoRank available from JMB Software. There are two types of TopLists you need to be aware of. A list that you're the only person on that is not open to the public and is just used as a tool to count and manage your surfers from one of your sites to another. The other option is the more common TopList that is open to the public and that is what we’re talking about!

If you’re in control of a lot of unproductive traffic then opening your own TopList might be a good choice for you. You make money by placing banner ads or text links on the site that surfers see before they get to everyone else on the list. You may also have the list broken down in say groups of 10 links with a text description of a pay site breaking them up. You can run your TopList any way you want as long as the people who play your TopList feel it is fair. Keep in mind that if your popping consoles or siphoning off too much traffic nobody is going to send you any.

You out-grew the TopList… So now what?
The site is kicking ass! You have the world by the tail and your site has moved beyond the need to trade traffic with a TopList, your or anyone else’s. Congradu-freaking-lations!

But now you’re thinking: all the time you spent learning how TopLists work was a waste since your never going to use that information again - right? Oh? Is that so?

By this time you have learned a lot more about how traffic works and what makes people click. Now - you can go back and start another site (or heck, 20 of the damned things!) and use the TopList as a tool to filter off your crap traffic into those 20 other sites AND pick up more of that oh so reclusive productive traffic – by putting all your sites all on the same TopList - filtering and duplicating your past successes over and over, and over again… Oh, and for the rest of your life. 

Article provided by Jo Hawke from AEBN & GayStreams, - & - Adult Entertainment Broadcasting Network, is the original Pay-Per-View provider on the Internet. They were the first content provider to offer full-length, adult videos in a Pay-Per-Minute format. AEBN has gathered over 18,000 top-quality videos representing over 800 studios - literally the largest and broadest selection of adult videos available from one provider.

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