General Considerations & Strategy Pointers On GPT Site Operation

Having been in the Industry for About a Decade One Tends to Pick Up Tips from Observations Over The Years.  Here is a General Collection of Truths Learned Through Trial and Error Over Time Though They Are Open to Your Own Interpretation for Your Particular Purposes (why not learn from the mistakes of GPT admins that came before you?)

General GPT Site Operating Wisdom:

  • Starting On a Limited Budget:

    A Good Starting Strategy for New GPT Admins Without a Decent Amount of Money in Reserve Set Aside to Pay Your Members Initially
    (until your offer sources finally pay you):  If your new GPT site is indeed ‘new’ and your wallet isn’t as fat as it should be to cover paying your member withdrawals while awaiting payments from upstream offer sources (affiliate networks) you may find it advantageous to severely limit the number of affiliate networks and offer walls that you are initially running live. The reasoning being that many offer sources will start you out a month or more behind before you start receiving payments from them.  Also, most offer sources have a minimum payment threshold that must be reached before a certain date in each month for you to get paid.  If you limit the number of offer sources you start with to maybe one or two affiliate networks and one or two offer walls then you’ll tend to reach each offer source’s minimum payment threshold quicker and easier – and that equals faster payments.  Ideally you would have a decent amount of money set aside to pay your members for at least two months (a good figure just to be on the safe side)

    On the other hand, if you’ve planned this new GPT business of yours properly and have saved a nice little payment fund to get you by with paying members well before you get paid from your offer sources then go ahead and go live with as many offer sources as you feel comfortable with.  It is a fact that GPT site regulars will tend to prefer sites displaying many more offers than those that are sparse on offers – if you are prepared in the money department the yes, just go for it and add affiliate networks and offer walls at will (your site will grown much more quickly this way.)

  • Make Your Site Currency (Points & Cash) Standard:

    From an experienced GPT member perspective finding out that your site is using a non-standard or non-traditional conversion table may likely be a source of aggravation leading to less favor for your site.  The customary currency conversions for most all decent popular sites is 1 Points = 0.01 Cash and 1 Cash = 100.00 Points !  It’s highly recommended that you also adopt the same industry standard ratio on your own GPT site.

  • Know What Today’s Most Popular Cash Out Based GPTs are Doing for the Popularity:

    (You Probably Can’t Initially Offer These But You Can Make a Goal in Reaching Them ASAP)
    Hands down the most sought after attributes of today’s most popular cash out based GPTs are INSTANT payouts (to PayPal and others) with a minimum cash out threshold at or under a buck.  The sites that give out instant gift cards also enjoy popularity almost as good.  Yes, we know, unless you’ve planned out and have a health start-up nest egg of cash to fall back on to pay those super fast cash prizes right out of the gate then let this be your eventual goal to make withdrawing this easy and fast (many GPT site regular members will beat a path to your GPT once a low minimum with instant payouts are announced.

  • Know Your 100% Profit Items and Enable Internal Funds for Purchases:

    Give Your GPT Site Members Plenty of Enticing Items that They can Purchase with Internal Funds
    (instead of cashing out, etc.)   ALWAYS enable ‘Internal Funds’ as a form of payment for intangibles (advertising, upgrades, etc) on your GPT.  Anything that avoids you actually paying out of your pocket helps – right? The member is satisfied and you are satisfied by them choosing advertising or upgrades instead of cashing out – right?

  • Enable Enticement for Members to Be More Active:

    Give Sign-On Bonuses of at least a quarter ($0.25) to newly registered members (you’ll find members will tend to never want to leave money on the table and will work to reach your minimum)  Also, it helps to issue promo codes liberally and often to spur member log-in activity.

  • Promote Your Site on Other GPT Sites With a Strategy In Mind:

    Identify other GPT sites by their popularity and check out their banner advertising rates.  Find other GPTs that are fairly popular though that also have reasonable advertising rates and promote your own GPT there.  Also, you can also take another approach, you can look for other GPTs which aren’t so popular with their members and if they have reasonable banner and/or side panel ad rates then make sure you advertise there as well (chances are the members that are there along with new members just signed up will want to flock away from a dismal site as early as possible – give them your banner(s) to click on to discover you own totally cool site!)

  • Don’t Unnecessarily Reward Referrals for No Apparent Reason:

    Patch Up a Few Referral Policy Holes That Will Go a Long Way Towards Not Rewarding Random Members with Undeserved Referrals.  There are a few referral credit based loopholes (or maybe ‘loophole’ is a bit too strong of a word here – I’m pretty sure that these were originally designed as site ‘features’) that can potentially cost you here and there over time (it all does add up)

    • First, if you (yourself) don’t already have a site member account on your own GPT site then take the time to make one now.
    • Now go to Membership > Configure and notice (in the Referrals portion of the page)  field which is marked “Referral Catcher: [             ] When a user is deleted, his/her referrals are sent to this account.” and click ion the tiny magnifying glass icon to select your own member account there and then click ‘Update’ to save it.
    • Next go to Membership > Blank Referrals and click on ‘Add User’ (again using the tiny magnifying glass to find your own account) Select your own username, crank that ‘Weight
      ‘ drop-down figure to 20 (which means you’ll have 20 times the chance of being automatically assigned  referral credit for new members that don’t have a referrer (they signed up directly)  This will increase the odds dramatically that you’re usually first in line to receive the assignment of new members without a referrer – unless you have a lot of upgraded members with a closer ‘Weight’ than the starting ‘0’ every new member get’s  Now you’ve done all you can to NOT be rewarding members for referral promotion work they haven’t done.
    • My last advice in this area is that whenever you go to promote your site (wherever) then consider using your own member account referral link (to your own site) as the URL you insert for promotional purposes.  This way then none of your site members will likely get referral credit for promotional work you do.
  • Get the Most Effective Bulk Referring Members on Your Side:

    Offer Them Perks to Promote Your Site – (give them reasons to prefer promoting your site over other sites) – Notice high referral gathering members and offer them an extra perk or two to more draw their attention that your made promoting your site more enticing for those who know how to do it right.  If your site gives normal standard members 10% for first level referrals then offer the ‘Referral Whale’ member 20-25% (or just give them a free custom upgrade)  You will definitely get their attention and make them feel welcomed and wanted as a VIP referrer (and you will not regret this decision)

  • Don’t Make Your Members Hunt to Find Their Account Balances:

    Make sure that your site template provides the member’s points balance and cash balance somewhere on EVERY page of your site to avoid member frustration of trying to figure out what their balances are.  As a new site member there is nothing worse than frequenting a site where you can’t intuitively find the most crucial information easily (balances) and you have to click on ‘Account Balance’ to see it.  It’s also very inconvenient to have to remember your points balance when you are on a converter page that doesn’t show a balance anywhere.Make a balances section either in a persistent top banner such as this:
    top balance display
    Or, make a side panel display such as this:
    side panel balance stats

  • Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot By Interpreting Offer Restrictions Too Strictly:

    (a Biggie!) Don’t make the mistake of Interpreting certain affiliate network offer restrictions too literally such as ‘no cash’ and ‘points only’ to mean ‘no points converter’ (that’s not what they mean!)  Generally affiliate networks and offer wall sources that specifically allow incentivized or GPT site promotion of their offers WILL ALLOW you to run ‘points only’ offers while still featuring a point-to-cash converter on your site.Yes, it usually goes unmentioned but it is a generally accepted practice and implied that offers bearing the statement ‘points only’ is not interpreted so strictly as one may think while first encountering it.  In most all cases networks we’ve worked with will not take the ‘no cash’ or ‘points only’ statements strictly literally as long as their offers are mindfully promoted in a generally respectful way.  Still to be more fully in compliance with the spirit of the restrictions always ONLY run ‘points only’ or ‘no cash’ offers by rewarding completions with points only (your members may freely convert the points to cash via the converter)  Note: If you want confirmation of this allowance (nail them down to an answer) then know that most affiliate network staff will usually repeat the ‘no cash’ means NO CASH more strict interpretation (though if it’s not asked in the first place then it’s almost always not a problem)

  • Ditch the Usually Unnecessary Log-In Captcha Code Check:
    Unless you have been alerted by a reliable source to a recent ‘GPT-bot’ issue (it has happened in the distant past – Years ago) then I highly suggest that you set the  log-in CAPTCHA to ‘Easy’ or turn it off altogether!  Observations of human nature for site members dictates to avoid bothering to even log in to a site with a CAPTCHA set to anything but ‘Easy’ or off completely!

    This CAPTCHA level setting is located on the right side Admin Panel under ‘Main’ > ‘Configure’:

    You can turn off the CAPTCHA prompt entirely from the ‘Products’ (left side admin menu) > ‘Membership’ > ‘Configure’ > ‘Security’ here:

I would suggest leaving this setting (below) checked (on) regarding new member registration checked because it’s only a one time thing when a new member is registering (once)

Referral Banners:

  • Don’t Ever Delete Referral Banners:

    Don’t Run the Risk of Negating the Hard Promotion Work of Your Members By Deleting ANY Referral Banners.  When adding referral banners to your site for your members to use in promoting your site never delete referral banners.  Deleting banners will tend to instantly make any promotion efforts involving those referral banners that you and your members have done up until to appear invalid because of the obvious broken image links leaving only an empty shadow of your banner with a red ‘X’ in the corner.   That means all those broken looking forum posts, referral web site listings, top site list rankings, etc. will make it appear as though your site has gone out of business or otherwise not worth the click effort.  It’s fine to add referral banners (the more selection the better) but try not to delete them.  Even if certain information on the banners is no longer valid then as long as the posts containing those banners still appear fresh and ‘whole’ then they are still beckoning potential clicks leading to your site.

  • Know This About Using ‘Signature’ Type Referral Banners:

    (Possible Security Risk) Use ‘Signature’ Type Referral Banners Properly (omitting all balance information) or Not at All !
    Yes, Signature referral banners are those that insert account information (such as the member’s current balance, how much they’ve earned, how many members they’ve referred, etc.)  Signature banners are built by using the ‘Signature’ feature (on the main left navigation menu in the admin panel)  Over the years it’s been noticed that these custom referral banners may pose a security risk by revealing any member’s balance (even if they aren’t even using Signature banners)  It’s just way too easy for anyone to find out anyone else’s account balance if you include balance info on your custom signature banners.

    Why would revealing a member’s balances be so bad?  …it’s too easy for malicious hackers to target members who keep a large balance in their account.  When they find someone with a decent balance then they may spring into action by launching phishing or brute force hacking attempts on that member’s account, logging in as that member, changing the withdrawal account, and cashing out their earnings (it has happened quite frequently in the past until the combination of ShiftCode patching potential security gaps and GPT site admins modifying or omitting their Signature banners)

  • Serve Up Predictable Standard Sized Referral Banners:

    When creating referral banners try to stick with online ad industry standard sizes.  Have at least one 468 pixel by 60 pixel banner (the most commonly used and needed for GPT referral use)  Other commonly preferred banner dimensions for GPT referral use are 728×60, 300×250, 125×125, 120×90, 120×60, and 88×31 (illustration below courtesy of Wikipedia – click on it to see the full size version)  Sticking to standard sizes also make your site look more professional:


Site Contest Wisdom:

  • Always Have Free (to you) Contests Running:

    Set Up Recurring Contests  with Prize Items that Don’t Cost You Money to Provide (at least one of each – recurring Referral & Offer Contests):  GPT referral and offer contests need not offer only cash and/or points as prizes.  It can be advantageous to continuously (or regularly on a recurring basis) run contests offering these items as prizes that don’t cost money to you but are still highly revered by many site members such as banner ad impressions, side panel ads, and well thought out member account upgrades.  Yes, when your site grows stronger in popularity and activity then running cash contests helps as well but in the beginning days then no cost contests do tend to help.

  • Thwart Fraudulent Signups in Your Referral Contest(s):

    When running referral contests always require that contest qualifying referrals need to complete at least one offer (or some other milestone other than just the simple registration)  Having such requirements tends to discourage members that are so inclined from causing bogus multiple accounts and other shenanigans.

  • Set the Contest Rules Once and Don’t Mess with Them Before the Contest Ends:

    Thoroughly think out contest rules and requirements before making the contest go live and stick to those rules and requirements throughout the contest duration.  If you change the rules at all in the midst of a running contest then your risk alienating certain members while breeding unnecessary resentment.  If you found that you’ve messed up by including or omitting rules and requirements then let the contest run its full course till the end without changing the rules and requirements and consider that a lesson learned to be applied to future contests.