Join Date: Jun 2007
Member Areas: You'll want to give as much bang for the buck to your members, to help with retention. Something I highly recommend was actually referred to me and setup by Jill for one of our sites (same person that asked me to write this article...thanks by the way for the vote of confidence, Jill!). At her previous company, CamZ.com – they have a great plugin for member areas. It's a module that you stick in your member's area and your members can view/chat with the model for free. Goddess Starla (the focus of that particular site) is on there every Tuesday night at 9PM, like clockwork. She interacts with the members – chats with them live. It's a great experience – and again...sales/retention numbers sky-rocketed from the first time she went live on that CamZ.com members area cam plugin. The members feel connected to Goddess Starla , they interacted, they built emotional bonds from being spoken to directly, and ultimately – they continued their subscription because of it. In Wasteland.com we have a veritable library of literature ranging from stories, to articles, to tutorials on bondage, bonus content and DVD's, chat rooms, and so much more. The more you give, the better the chances a member will stay with you.
Do not underestimate the power of recurring subscriptions. When you have a bad week on sales, your rebills will keep you afloat....if you concentrate all your effort on marketing and making that initial sale – your site will never enjoy the “snowball” effect and slowly grow bigger and bigger. Divide your efforts between making the sale, then keeping them there.
Marketing and Traffic: Leave no stone unturned is my motto for developing traffic. And I believe firmly in the old adage: “Content is King, Traffic is God”. Product and marketing obviously go hand in hand, and one cannot live without the other, but I believe it's easier to sell a sub-par product with great advertising and marketing, than it is to sell a great product with no traffic. You can make the best apple fritters in the world – but if your storefront is in Antarctica with no one walking by your store...well, you won't really be selling many of your amazing apple fritters.
There are countless ways to get someone to find and visit your site. From submitting galleries and freesites, to building blogs, to using twitter. Even this article is one of those ways, albeit it wasn't my primary reason for writing it. You'll need to use every method to build up your traffic. Some methods will work better than others of course, so divvy up and prioritize your time accordingly. As I also mentioned before – test and analyze until your fingers and eyes bleed. When you find something that works, duplicate it and improve upon it, but don't forget to change it up and try something totally different either. Never get too comfortable, and always be on the prowl for the next thing.
Hopefully you will have taken my advice and started a free site (like a blog, link list, TGP, or legal tube site) and developed some in-house traffic before you started your paysite. But aside from that – you'll want to also look around to buy traffic. There are some great brokers out there, but you want to make sure that you are paying a fair price, and getting traffic that is for your niche. Buying Big Boob traffic for your foot fetish website, simply won't work – and you might as well have tossed that money in a fire.
Especially with micro-niches there are often community and fan sites that go along with it. You'll want to find and become intimately knowledgeable about as many of them as you can. If there are forums, sign up and start posting. Read what the community is saying – understand your clientele, become part of them. They will tell you what they want, if you're willing to hear it. Contact the owners of these sites and try and buy advertising with them, which harks back to my point about targeted advertising. These community/fan sites will be about as targeted as it gets - along with search engine traffic.
Don't Be a Loner; Build Strong Business Relationships: This business is full of amazing people that are generous and willing to help you succeed. There are of course the exact opposite type of people – but in general over the years I've found that approaching people is much easier in this industry than it is many others. Myself as an example, I would not be where I am today if not for that one fateful day that I contacted Colin Rowntree of Wasteland/Spicecash for an interview. In an article AVN featured on Colin last month in February, they called him an “OG” or “Original Gangstah” - not because he has gold teeth, and a 9mm at his side, but rather because he was there at the beginning of the online adult industry, having built the first BDSM paysite in existence (Wasteland.com), back in 1994. What started as a simple interview for one of my blogs flourished into a great friendship and business relationship. My point is that, I could still be puttering along, doing my own thing if I hadn't met Colin...but rather, I achieved things I didn't think possible in so short a time. Moral of the story is: Don't be a loner – get out there and meet people. Your business to business relationships will often last throughout your career. Don't burn any bridges, and give to others as much as possible – and you'll usually get just as much in return.
Self-motivation, and hard work: Many people getting into this business will work from home. It's a nice lifestyle – you are your own boss, you take a day off...no one will scream at you. Keep in mind though that your business will only return to you what you've put into it. Keep your schedule as if you were working for someone else. Work as if you had a boss, and your boss was a real perfectionist, OCD jackass. It's entirely too easy to let it all slip away from you and get lazy.
Summary and Closing: This little article barely scratches the surface of everything that you will face in your new business venture, but I hope that it will shed some light and guide you away from some of the pitfalls that have effected many before you.
Keep in mind that before you make the decision to launch yourself into the adult entertainment industry – to make sure that you are willing to be in this for the long haul. There is no quick money in porn, but there is most certainly money in porn.
If you have any questions, or need help with anything – please feel free to contact me at any time. Over the years I've had many newcomers to the industry start out as small affiliates – and because I spent the time on teaching them the basics, gave them tips and tricks, and improved their sites for them – they are now some of our biggest affiliates. Please don't be shy! Contact me.
About the Author: Simon is Vice-President of Spicecash.com and is responsible for the development of such micro-niche paysites as Femdombride.com, Paddedkink.com, and Animalizm.com with Spicecash.com, and is involved with maintaining and growing the Spicecash suite of sites including the oldest BDSM site on the internet and Spicecash flagship site Wasteland.com.