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Archive for June, 2009

State of The Adult Industry

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Overview

This a summary from a Cybernet Expo 2009 panel, where a number of prominent adult business owners discussed where the industry is now and where it is going.

CC processing numbers are up and in general, the adult industry is working harder to make a profit. Even in the adult industry shows, some panelists are seeing a change in the seriousness in the shows. The adult webmaster and industry shows used to be about partying and casinos at the shows. That element is still there, but there is also a strong emphasis on serious business. The processing agents are saying that the people that are really making money are guys that are harnessing the free opportunities such as tube sites. Webcamclub and cams are two companies mentioned that are creating other ways to monetize concept / solo girl sites. The virtual girl concepts are working well. Cross selling and upselling is a way to make money on webmaster programs, but it has the potential to hurt and build distrust in a program.

Kevin from MediumPimpin.com said that the main current concerns are tube sites and the plethora of free content available online. Kevin just started a tube site and has started advertising on tube sites. People are coming online from facebook, myspace, youtube and twitter. These tools are bringing people into the internet and the same model will bring people into porn. He is doing solo model tubes and getting people hooked on specific girls. Then as you drill down into the tube, you can find a pay model. The tubes are not going away. On cross selling, Dcash does tons of cross sells, with 1500-2000 sites and you are aggressively cross sold into the other sites.

Doug Spink from baneki.com is mainly offshore and he is seeing people doing very well with unique advanced techniques and new business models in other countries. He does not see this innovation happening in the mainstream US adult industry. The participants that are allready past that and are creating new models will be dominating over the traditional old adult model. Doug mentioned that file sharing will never be shut down and that we have chosen to have an open internet. Basically he explained that the market is fragmented and diverse, so the A to B connection (person with porn to person that wants porn) is not consolidated. An example is a production company based in Portugal that pays amateurs to post videos on their site, they sell the videos for $15 a video and they are selling for $150k a month. Aggregation model is profitable, because they are trusted for their billing and their distribution platform. It is a very hands off process. The videos are shared everywhere. There is no DRM on the videos and that is a large part of why they are so profitable.

Diane Duke from FreeSpeechCoalition.com was mentioning that many webmasters revenues are down, but she also noted that alot of innovation has not happened in a while, so this is sort of a wake up call on expenses and a call to innovation.

Dave Cummings, the San Diego producer and performer sees the strip club industry really affected. Online porn and film he sees really hurt by tubes. Cams and dating seem to be the two online models are doing ok.

VideoSecrets are doing free live chat opportunities for example that solo girls can plug into their sites.

Eric Bernstein from embalaw.com mentioned imega.org which is an organization that represents sites. In CA they are desperate for money and next year it is likely that the federal government will start taxing the adult industry.

The big question seems to be how will the adult industry capitalize on these free access models and work within them.

Buying Adult Traffic On A Budget

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Overview

This is a summary from  Cybernet  Expo 2009. This  panel went through different methods of buying traffic for the adult industry.

Panelist Opinions

Charles Hentrich from Wildlinecorp.com emphasized that ad copy is everything. Suprisingly, he recommended initially with subscription sites to leverage affilate programs and do rev share programs CPA. Then take that data and apply it to other channels. By other channels we can assume he was speaking mostly about search engine marketing which they do. He emphasized that good creatives can still make CPM deals profitable.

Chi Lee from MadisonAvenue.com used to run BlackLabelAds.com. He recommended getting into as many CPA programs as possible.

Kourosh Ghaemi from Local Billing (He worked for virtuagirl.com and ran their affiliate program) recommended advertising inside of another sites members areas. He said that conversion rates are very high in this area if it is non-competing. Kourosh recommended advertising on review sites.

Joshua D. Barsch from StraightForwardMedia.com is a search engine marketing firm. He advocated endorsements such as blogs, partnership deals etc. which can convert as well as or better than search traffic. He noted that advertising in Google Adwords for teen porn is particularly difficult. Teen sites need to look to other keywords. He recommended cloning the site and changing everything to “woman” instead of girl.

Jax Smith from SugarCash.com walked through how much to spend on branding vs. trackable traffic. He said for his company they do 10% branding / untrackable and the other 90% is through trackable methods.

AK from DatingGold.com said that their system allows tracking pixels to be placed on their landing page so that affiliates can also use their own tracking system to ensure that stats are accurate.

prosper202 is an example of a free tracking program that was mentioned.

Our Opinion

adultseoblog has found that the Google Adwords platform is a good test bed for meta descriptions tags. By setting up multiple ads for the same keyword set, and then plugging in the ads with the highest CTR’s into your meta description tags, you can dramatically increase click thrus on your non-paid search engine result pages. the meta description tag is typically pulled by Google and other search engines to appear on the search engine result pages below the hyperlinked title tag. This is a free ad for your site that will appear in the organic search engine result pages.

Understanding Fetish and Niche Content

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

This is a summary from  a Cybernet  Expo 2009 seminar.

The speakers for this panel included Monica from hotmovies.com, James Medina from NicheShops.com, Mollena Williams from Mollena.com, Randy Caldwell / housekeeper from Tran-Glam.com, Chris Marcus / Barefootsies from celebrityfeetfanatic.com and Rob Keleszar from ModisonAvenue.com and MrSkin.com.

Generally the feedback in the Fetish and Niche Market is that it definitely helps to truly be into the particular fetish that you are marketing to be able to target your content appropriately. However, the genral concensus was that you should actively solicit feedback from your customers. With female oriented content for example, it helps to know that there are women behind the site.

Most of the panel members were personally into particular fetishes before they started their sites.

For Kink and Fetish things, it is generally good to be aware of where in the spectrum your content lies or how serious a particular visitor is about their fetish. Typically very specific niches have very loyal audiences that communicate back to the other people in that fetish. Fetish events are always good for this and there are very specific ones available.

ChameleonSubmitter was mentioned as a tool to submit photos for a TGP.

SEO for fetish and niche sites is a topic area that really involves learning and understanding the terminology used since SEO is generally keyword driven. As emphasized by the panelist, it is important when selecting keywords to speak to an expert in the niche. Keyword research tools that are adult/fetish term friendly can help to discern what targets are getting traffic and how the competition looks for each. Getting your first good “seed” terms is an important part of this process, as is monitoring web analytics data.

Producing and Directing Adult Videos

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Overview
Dave Cumming (dave@davecummings.com) produces, directs and stars in adult videos. He also owns over 14,000 domain names, including approximately 9,000 adult names. He gave some information on how to produce adult videos. This is a summary from his seminar at Cybernet Expo 2009.

He started off by talking about fluffers. He said that in todays industry, it is rare to see a fluffer and it is usually the guys responsibility.

Dave discussed the concept of whackability…this is different for everybody. For a female or a couple it might be real emotions that need touching / feeling / caressing. For a guy it might just be straight sex. The adult industry has many different nivhes, and you should make sure you are supporting something that the buying public wants.

He mentioned the tube sites are a huge factor in movies not being valuable after production. He said that in reality that until the industry can get ahold of the privacy issue, the production profits are not as impressive as you might think.

As a producer, you need to build a relationship with a distributor as well as a fufillment company to ship. They will be familiar with the zip code specific lawas surrounding where they can and cant ship to.

He mentioned that the key word to define male talent is functionality…

By scheduling at 1:30 in the afternoon, you can avoid paying catering.

A videographer will typically charge around $200 a scene. For a whole day he said to plan on $600-800. He mentioned around $150 per scene for a stills photographer or $300-400 a shoot. For talent, he quoted around $200 for a guy and around $800 for a girl per scene.

Put the girls name on the bathroom door and that is 100% her own bathroom. Have a clean bathroom for her to wear.

CED cable entertainment can help to get your videos distributed online. This will cost you a little bit more for editing, because you will need to keep it compliant with what cable does and does not allow. He mentioned that a good cable movie will sell for 10-15k.

He also mentioned hiring a consultant that would charge $200-300/hr is a way to get all of the info about this.
He suggested doing a video interview for the 2257 law. Questions he mentioned filming in a conversational setting included:

  • How old are you, asking more than once
  • Is this your ID?
  • Are you under the influence of anything?
  • Is this your health test? (Make sure that she has reviewed a copy of the partners health test and it is wise to keep a copy of this. )
  • Are you in agreement that we will be doing these things today and that in exchange you will be paid $xxx.

Highlight the model release. She needs to sign before she starts the shoot.

The biggest reason that Dave gets police at shoots is because of parking trouble.

If there is a boyfriend on set, its important that she does not hold back her enthusiasm because of her guy on shoot.

If the girl needs cash, make out a check to cash, have her sign and then cash it.

He emphasized that you should not hit on the girl multiple times or have anyone in the set hit on them.

Make sure that the talent is not taking drugs or drinking and that cell phones are off.

He recommended pina colada mix for cumshot scenes. Centaphil is a lotion that you can use to simluate a cumshot.

He recommended to keep pushing the girl to look like she is having fun.

Slicks are the pages handed out at the AVN expo and typically you will list all of your videos here.

He gave some useful industry related websites:

  • howtomakeadultvideos.com — a 3 day class
  • davecummings.com — speakers site
  • ladirectmodels.com — major talent agency
  • goldstarmodeling.com — major talent agency
  • worldmodeling.com — long-time talent agency
  • freespeechcoalition.com — adult industry trade organization
  • aim-med.org adult health care testing
  • adultfyi.com — news and gossip
  • lukeisback.com –news and gossip
  • gfy.com — information forums
  • justblowme.com — information forums
  • adultdvdtalk.com — message forum with talent / public / insiders posting
  • aebn.com — vod site
  • hotmovies.com — vod site
  • gamelink.com –vod site
  • dbldistributing.com — film making wholesale supplier
  • ynot.com — adult resource site
  • xbiz.com — adult film news
  • avn.com — adult film news

He gave an artist agreement and release example here:

Adult Artist Agreement and Release

Adult Artist Agreement and Release

Opportunities For Women In The Adult Industry

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Overview
This gives an overview of some different women working in the adult industry. This is a summary from  a Cybernet  Expo 2009 seminar.

Shay Laren
Shay Laren has a website called ShayLaren.com. She first got into the business when she was living in Maui and she ran into a girl that was another Penthouse Pet. She got some pictures taken and then eventually was the June 2006 Penthouse Pet of the month. Now she has her own solo site with the medium pimpin affiliate program.

Roxxie
Roxxie from Cyber-Dyke.net got into adult as an exotic dancer. She first started working after living in Japan, when she was looking for a good way to make money.  That led her into porn and now she works both in front of and behind the camera. She was working for a site IshotMyself.com and eventualy got more and more into photography.

Ashley Fires
Ashley Fires who has her own website AshleyFires.com got into the adult industry by dancing as an exotic dancer in Vegas. She was first approached by clips4sale.com to be their spokesmodel. After that she got in the business as a spokesmodel and starting attending shows, which led her to work for some of the largest adult companies in the world.

Hone Lynn
Hone Lynn from FubarWebmasters.com has been on Howard Stern and started off in the adult industry by creating her own solo site in 1998. She has now made the transition into the business side of adult. She had to run everything in her solo site, so she had a natural progression into running the business side of things.

Online Adult Billing: Beyond the IPSP

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Overview
This cybernet Expo 2009 seminar covered online billing specific to the adult industry and alternative billing methods. Especially with the adult industry where we see alot of worldwide traffic, it is particularly important to offer payment methods that address the needs of all your visitors.

What is considered “High-Risk”
High risk was defined by the panel members, and the general terms that the CC companies use to quantify high risk are service / subscription based, as well as adult. this contrasts with goods companies with tangible products that can be proven. Most adult industry sites fall into the high risk category.

What is an IPSP
High risk CC services processing agents exist for adult sites. CCBill and Epic were mentioned as good IPSP billing companies for smaller sites that are getting started, want to outsource customer service and password management in exchange for paying a premium. There is a potential risk that a smaller IPSP could get their merchnat account shut down due to a client they took on that gets shut down. Once you get up to the point where you are doing 30-50k a month, it might make sense to get your own merchant account and a program like NATS from toomuchmedia.com, MPA3 etc.  Without an IPSP, you will need to handle chargebacks, customer service, affiliate payouts etc.

Adult Billing Issues
Vince Charlton from eMerchantPay.com mentioned that primarily in Eastern Europe he sees no CC’s and typically there are country specific CC’s. He advocated looking at your traffic and then choosing your payment solutions based on that. He advocated some sites might want to use multiple merchant accounts. Vince advocated being very active with processing refunds vs waiting until chargebacks go through.

Ananda Sisk from mansionproductions.com  mentioned that many adult sites are not tracking their web analytics data well enought to determine whether or not they are good potential for alternative payment methods. She noted that multiple merchant account setups are sometimes preferable, as each different merchant account uses different risk profiling.  She was involved in the production of MPA3.

Jenni Dahling from Global-Acces.com explained the difference between phone billing vs. cc billing. Many people outside the us do not have bank accounts and cc’s like we do, so alternative billing methods exist. She advocated phone based billing methods that are completely anonymous and discreet. This is particularly popular in Europe.

Mace Horowitz from AMP Worldwide mentioned that relying on an IPSP that is shut down could possibly lead to a situation where you lose all of your billing. It is unlikely that you will be able to transition the existing accounts to your new merchant account and you would probably have to recharge and signup all of your customers again.

Michael Reul from Webbilling.comexplained direct debit. This is where you withdraw directly recurring. Most customers in Europe can use this method. 25-30% of germans were estimated to have a private CC. More may have cards for their company.

Fraud Scrubbing
Fraud Scrubbing is a system that CC processing agents use to lower chargebacks. Basically they will assign various metrics to form risk profiles. Depending on the agent, they will scrub out a certain number of potentially good CC sales. Some will select a potential sample of their scrub to a secondary of tertiary agent to screen. Aggressive fraud scrubbing is a good reason to have multiple merchant accounts, because they all use different risk profiles.

Cascade Billing
Cascade billing basically runs through multiple merchant accounts until one of them accepts, or if all of them decline, the system will reject the customer. This is a good way to match a potential customer against a number of different risk profiles to increase your chances of taking their money. MansionProductions.com provides cascade billing.

Marketing Personalities with Social Networking Tools

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Overview
This panel in the Cybernet expo was the first in the series and covered how to sell things online in adult using social networking tools.

Social Networking Tools and Techniques that work
Evil Chris from studiohd had some notes that the first tool he used was icq. That was the base tool to first socialize and stay in touch online. He made as many appearances as possible to reinforce his social networking efforts. He says that gradually building up relationships is the way to really leverage these tools. They are ways to generate real business relationships.

Vegas Ken from TheBestPorn.com mentioned the adult whos who and industry sites before using the general non-adult focused tools. He said that the success through social networking is a secondary point to get sales. He said that it is a good way to meet people that you could possibly do business with. He said that it is very hard to monetize, but it is a great tool to get your name out there and generate branding benifit.

Kelly Shibari from hourglass8.com said that webmaster industry resources are noto god sources for customers and she has met many people at the conference using twitter. Sales are built around a trust / relationship type model rather than direct solicitation. This method generates more loyalty.  Hammering sales is not effective because it loses trust. She said that she doesn’t believe in target marketing, because they are all the same people between groups and special interest groups. Twitter for example is not adult / non-adult or industry specific.  Take google searches and type in your questions to twitter. Engage your audience to see what their opinions are. She recommended not targeting people specifically due to keywords. She advocated just being an interesting personality and form conversations.

KevinG from web 3.0 consulting mentioned that we are not selling using social networking sites. People do things and buy things from people tha they like.  In the social networking arena you have the opportunity to let your personlity come out. You have the opportunity to build relationships.  He encouraged using twitter as a tool to create a dialogue and ask questions.  He mentioned Google News alerts. Write down some blog alerts and news alerts to get potential writing areas. One female personality site he works with gets 750 uniques a day and shows a 1/150 conversion rate from twitter traffic. Another one showed a 1/900 conversion rate came from another client.

Jay Kopita from ynot.com talked alot about thinking about who you are selling to. He mentioned that the majority of people on twitter are selling something. For example, Jay recommended getting on the phone as quickly as possible because this is a skill of his.  He said don’t make the only time that you contact people when you are selling / spamming / or trying to get them to look at something. Build up friendships.

Erin Ann Myer from MyHoneySuckle.com talked about doing a customer avatar exercise such as speaking specifically to one client. By pretending to speak to a potential customer and thinking about what daily issues they are facing you may be able to get some good feedback. Twitter is better used for interesting tweets answering the question: “what has my attention right now”.  This is more engaging and has more potential to create a conversation.

Dirty D from HowIGotRich.com talked about special interest groups and how you need to reach lots and lots of people to be sucessful and have some effect. He said that the one on one stuff is good for branding your personality. Some examples of special interest groups would be myspace groups.

An audience member mentioned that specific performers are seeing some great results from myspace marketing and personally marketing to fans.

Adult Webmaster Boards

There are hundreds of adult webmaster boards that are inside the industry. Some examples that were mentioned are:
gofuckyourself.com
xnations.com
justblowme.com
mediumpimpin.com
ynot.com
boardtracker.com can help to see different boards.

Sustainable Organic Traffic Generation

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Overview
Lisa Weinberger ran a seminar on SEO at the Cybernet Expo 2009. This is a summary from her talk.  Her company is PearlyWrites,  an SEO firm that is focused on copywriting.

The have some focus on adult, though it does not appear to be the primary focus of their company.  Overall, there were some technical gaps in the presentation and some points that could be improved.  I think AdultSEOblog needs to start speaking at these conferences…

Future blog post:  List of the different social bookmarking and social media sites that are adult friendly.

Project Management Tools
There was some talk about different project managment applications used by their team and members of the audience such as Basecamp, Activecollab, Harvest and Google Sites.  Here at AdultSEOblog, we have used basecamp with harvest and have sucessfully navigated some pretty large team based development projects.

Adult Link Building Resources:

  • literotica was mentioned as a good forum for link building.
  • FetLife got mentioned by a person in the audience and seconded as a good resource for BDSM sites.
  • Backpage was mentioned as a place to post ads.
  • Webpronews.com and ynot.com were mentioned as good webmaster directories.

SEO Resources

  • SEOquake was mentioned as an SEO plugin. We use the SEO book plugin seo for firefox and really like it.
  • seosamurai was mentioned as a good SEO blog.

WordPress
Thesis for wordpress allows you to make your own themes if you are using it as blogging / CMS software like AdultSEOblog is.

Twitter
twellow.com is a good twitter directory. Tweetdeck.com is also for a person that uses it for social media marketing  and needs to use multiple twitter account. hootsuite.com is another one and a tweet scheduler is tweetlater.com

Designing Effective Adult Websites

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Overview
Kevin Godbee with web 3.0 internet consulting gave a seminar on designing effective adult websites at Cybernet Expo 2009. This is a summary of his talk.

WordPress design
He covered all the obvious bases like defining the purpose of your site. Covered wordpress as a CMS and how good it is (AdultSEOblog is built on wordpress…and I am blogging in wordpress right now…he is definitely right…drupal as a CMS is a pain).

Formatting
1200 pixels wide is his design standard for width, which is wider than the norm. Looking at web analytics data, we can see traffic on our clients sites are 90%+ 1000 pixels wide, so you are not alienating alot of users by following this. We usually recommend 960 as a norm so you are not pushing away the large number of users that are still on 1024. We are beyond the days of 800×600. Those users are going to be used to a little scrolling anyway.

He recommended putting the legal text in graphics for search engines so it is not spidered. We also usually exclude these pages using the robots.txt file so that the page load time is not affected. Mentioned using an iframe for legal text on a warning page as a way to exclude this content from spidering.

Ajax
Talked about Ajax for popping up photos. We also use Ajax with success for putting text over images that is stylized. Ajax is really cool technology that we use extensively for our clients.

Adult SEO tips
He gave some very basic SEO tips. See our Adult SEO Guide for some really good tips in this area.

Brazzers.com was recommended as a good example of a quality site that has modern search functionality.

Content
He recommended high frequency of updates and multiple methods to search through content.  He said that content is king and you should not design for SEO.  One point on this is that it is important to form a well done domain development plan with a directory strucutre and architecture that incorporates professional keyword research.

Ecommerce
Kevin Goodbee mentioned that generally informational sites rank better than ecommerce sites.  I would give a note that ecommerce site can easily rank high with the large number of products if the descriptions are good and you have great content about products.  With 600 products and a good directory structure, you have 600+ pages which is a nice starting point.   As a company,  adultseoblog has alot of experience with ecommerce and one key choice is your platform.  We have tested most of the major ecommerce platforms and can give some good advice in this area.

Opportunities In Adult Internet Development

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Overview
This is a summary from  a Cybernet  Expo 2009 seminar. The instructor for this first seminar is Quentin Boyer. Quentin has been around for a while in the industry and has an affiliate program TopBucks.com that is getting a ton of traffic.

Adult Mobile Trends
The beginning of his presentation focused on mobile marketing and some stats he showed highlighting the mobile trends he is seeing on his own sites. Clearly the iPhone is showing that it is going to become a major force in the adult industries future. No news there. It raises some interesting points, such as how these users are searching and finding content and will it differ from those of full sized screen customers? We are seeing an increasing amount of traffic coming from Google Image search from mobile customers. Not mentioned, but equally important is the Playstation Mobile platform, Nintendo Wii and other platforms with different formats. How are these users searching and finding content? Our stats are showing that many are coming through image search engines like Google Image search, making it important to optimize for this platform.

Porn Intellectual Property Rights and Laws
The next section of his presentation focused on intellectual property right and laws. Lots of little details, but the main points were definitely don’t steal content and if people steal your content sue them. An ISP spoke up with an important point, that he is legally required to take down content with a legal request and that an effective method to get your content off someone elses site is to contact their ISP.

Buying Traffic
Buying traffic was the next item. He emphasized, and I think this stands for all adult internet marketing methods, A/B test and start in small quantities. The key for success with buying traffic lies in testing and tracking. Try 10k from 1 vendor and 10k from another vendor and measure results carefully. Web analytics interpretation is key with this and it doens’t make sense to buy traffic without investing the time and energy into carefully tracking what is and isn’t working. Or invest in SEO so your traffic sticks long term.

Different Adult Business Models
Different adult business models were discussed, and he covered the point that the adult industry is unique in that your competitors usually have something to offer, be it content, traffic in another niche etc.

Adult Subscription Retention
Subscription model retention was covered. He said that an ideal goal is 8 months. More realistically he said around 4 months or so is reasonable.

Tube Sites
He said good tube sites you should associate with need to have a dmca disclaimer to be legitimate. snizzshare.com for examples works with the producers.

Adult iPhone Apps
iPhone Apps were briefly discussed and some producers have created simple ones like suicidegirls.com. The apps store is pretty strict, so it is unlikely that this will open up fully to adult in the store, but there is still a branding opportunity in apps. Quentin is developing an app currently. There are a couple of interesting adult apps out there, such as a vibrator app, a topless app that was blocked immediately because of download popularity…The traffic is definitely there and if you can get around the censorship you

Viral Marketing
He discussed viral marketing. An example of viralmarketing is jibjab.com, used extensively in the Obama campaign. He stated that an effective viral campaign tracking strategy could be to use a separate domain for your viral efforts so you can easily. The downside to doing this could be that you are not showing brand consistency on the main site. He has used youtube with some success, but it needs to be very clean content without major nudity. DailyMotion.com is a tool that he mentioned. Digg and Mixx are 2 examples of good social network aggregators. VirtuaGirl is an example of a product that was marketed well virally.

Celeb Content
He mentioned celeb content…and that it is very high risk. Don’t piss off people with alot of money and good lawyers was his mantra.

 
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