Category Archives: Adult Industry

THE POWER OF EMAIL DISCOVERED (PART 2)

Following up my previous post on this subject and when I realized what a good newsletter can do for sales, is what you would include in your newsletters to get the best results. You do not want to get them too busy, but you want to hit the bullet points and drive that traffic where you want it to go. While there are many different forums for this discussion, I am going to stick to the Clips4Sale for the time being to continue on the previous theme. Keep in mind, it’s not always like this, that being said let’s continue.

Clips4Sale has changed the rules for their newsletters, but when I was starting out and had realized this power, I started to do a lot of experimenting. That was not only for advertising my other websites where you could find all of the content, but the sister websites that were the same niche or theme. Sometimes I would re-run content on a new store and drive those eyeballs to a niche traffic websites like a tube or blog, in short, somewhere I was trying to grow some niche traffic. All of this worked to varying degrees.

Another thing that took a lot of tinkering was how best to do the descriptions, and images to get the maximum “teaser” effect to get the click through. I would try short summaries, long summaries of the various scenes. I would put multiple clips (new, most popular) and things like that. I would include 1 pay site, 4 pay sites for the ‘network’ or advertise a network pass. Sometimes even offer up custom videos. Anything that would keep them engages and driving traffic bouncing around my sites.

All of these things worked to accomplish what I wanted with some more successful than others. Over time, C4S changed some of their rules, and others were abusing the email. I am not sure if they had gotten into some sort of spam trouble or what but everything had to be manually reviewed, and approved, before it would go out. You had to link back, among other changes that were probably made for some reason not fully explained, but leads me to my next blog post.

Who should control those lists…

The Power of Email Discovered (Part 1)

I first noticed the power of email, and updates, to my members probably early 2000’s now.

When I had first started my Clips4Sale stores way back when (my first store was 1XXX if that gives you any idea) they offered an option for me to mail all of my past buyers for clips. At first I did not use this feature more than maybe once a month. I thought, as many adult webmasters do, that I do not want to “bother my members” so I did not use this valuable resource to it’s full potential. Once I started doing it, that changed my perspective.

Now, one thing to keep in mind here is, I think it can be abused. For example, if you update every single day. I am not sure that your members, even the die hard guys, want to be emailed every single day. I have a few clip stores that I have bought clips from in the past that mail bomb me literally all of the time about every little thing the do, including upcoming shoots and models. For me, that is excessive. When I was updating with new content every single day, I would send out a newsletter once ever two days and that seemed to be a decent balance. Or I would alternate between stores to be able to send out email every day, but different stores and niches to keep from slamming the same buyers day in and day out. Feedback from some patrons however said they preferred once a week on a Friday, but to each their own.

Moving along to the more important part, sales. When I would send out the newsletters for new updates, I would notice that I would get at minimum double the sales for that day and sometimes as high as 5-10 times not sending one. I also found some other concepts that helped drive sales, but I will talk about those in a later blog post. Staying on track, when I would send out those newsletters traffic and sales would increase even for less attractive girls. Often times people would even buy older clips versus the new, which I always found interesting. I guess it was pay day?

Newsletters are a great way to keep you engaged, especially if you are doing a lot of updates or on a delivery platform such as a C4S where you are literally competing against tens of thousands of other stores. You need to do everything you can to keep your patrons interested in your wares without abusing it.

What Niche Should I Start With?

This questions has come up probably tens of thousands of times since online adult started. Where to start, what should I do, what is the top selling niche, and so on. I have to admit that it’s entertaining at times to see the thought process involved by some when they are looking to start their web business and how they simply overthink this. It is not complicated at all.

When anyone new asks me directly, or on a forum, where they should look for the best niches to invest in, I tell them to simply go to a site like www.clips4sale.com and look on the main page. That will give you a clue. You can also look on any number of adult sites and see what is the top converting content. That is what you should be investing in if you are just getting started.

That’s it.

Yes, I know many are looking for the meaning of life or something much deeper but often times the answers are very clear and straight forward. It does not require a lot of thinking to figure it out when the answer is nicely ranked and categorized for your pleasure.

The same can be said for email marketing, seo, or pretty much anything online. For email, the answer is in your junk folder. Do you see what you are being sent every day? Most likely that is because those offers are converting. Those ads you see in your fae on Yahoo, Gmail, or other blogs and such? Yep, you guess it. The top converting or new offers. This is not difficult to figure out. The answers are there. You simply have to pay attention.

That does not mean that you do not want to look for unsaturated markets and offers, as you always keep an eye out for them. However, you also need to balance out the risks and potential reward. If you’re investing $1000.00 to shoot content, you want to make sure you are going to get that money back and then some. If you’re investing $500.00 into sending 100,000 emails, you want to make sure you see that R.O.I.. You need to find a good balance between converting offers, and those that are higher risk. In the end, you want to make sure you can at least break even. Good luck!

Where to Find Good Programmers?

It seems at least once a month if not more I get asked for a referral for a decent programmer or designer. The reasons vary as to why people are looking for a referral, but I feel their pain. I have been there myself, and went through many supposedly good programmers just to be let down, or they disappear with thousands of dollars. However, on the bright side eventually I found a few good one’s I am happy to recommend from time to time.

Vlad (vlad@faxite.com)
I have worked with Vlad at least 5 years plus at the time of this posting. I have had him do everything from small html modifications, to full blow applications and content management systems for a couple of sites. His level of details is very good, and what he delivers is a consumer grade product compared to most others. His attention to details can sometimes have your project run behind, but you are going to be happy with the results. If he thinks something can work better, he will offer you up advice along the way. His prices are fair and he is highly recommended.

Konrad (konrad@mechbunny.com)
When I first started working with Konrad he was a one man show with his MechBunny script. Now he has a team of developers, which allows him to take on more work. Their prices are fair, and the turn around times quick. I have had Konrad help me with full content management systems from scratch, or bending and twisting MechBunny to fit my needs. They can handle most projects big and small. Highly recommended.

Andy (andy@borkedcoder.com)
For a long time, Andy was my go-to guy. He could bang out programming in half the time of others, and it was typically better code. Despite being higher cost per hour, he simply was more efficient so it did not matter as the costs would be the same or less. Unfortunately, Andy took a job at an ISP where that became his full job and he freelanced on the side. Meaning, he took on less programming projects and would be booked 1-6 months in advance. While I still highly recommend him, his time is limited.

While there are some others I have worked with, I may add them in a later post. These are the top 3 of people I have given a lot of repeat business because I was happy with the experience, code, and delivered product. I would highly recommend you start here when looking for a good programmer, at least within adult, as these guys are 100%.

Pay Site Processing – Verotel

When you are getting into the adult business, or any online business for that matter, once of the most important things you need is going to be processing (i.e. how you process payments and credit cards). Over my 17+ years now in the adult industry, there have been a lot of that have come and gone… iBill, ePassport, among others. You need to pick a company that has a long track record and you can trust, enter Verotel.

Now let me preface this by saying, I have found no payment processor perfect, each one has it’s pros and cons. However, I have been with Verotel a good 10+ years now and I have rarely had any serious issues. When I need to get a hold of someone, I can. My payments have always come on-time or early. Most of the time with them, I have been paid early via ACH, something that I do enjoy.

They have an entry level, which I used initially, called ‘tickets club’. This allowed you to keep your expenses to a minimum while building up your website. At which point you would upgrade to a PRO account, and be subject to the fees associated with it. If you are pushing any serious volume, you would want a PRO account. You also need this for NATS, or if you run an affiliate program. But that is for another day.

At the time of this posting, they have three tiers I believe and their rates and percentages can vary. However, you can always contact Jason (jason@verotel.com) and see if they can do something for you outside of the norm posted rack rates. I know this is possible. ;-)

Over all, I am happy with Verotel and the service they provide. They have upgraded their back end making and it’s very user friendly to set up your pay sites and plans. Their turn around on support tickets takes longer than some others, but rarely do I need anything done in 5 minutes from them, so it’s not a major issue for me. Paid early is nice, and not ONE of my clients has ever complained to me about having issues with their credit card or service. They are a solid choice for processing.


The Logic of Trial Joins + Email Marketing

I have not dealt with trial joins in some years, beyond doing some light affiliate promotions from time to time. However, it looks like there are a couple of approaches here.

TRIAL JOIN:
One, you’re hoping they will be so bedazzled (and unable to rip your whole content area down) for 1-3 days and $.99ct-2.95 that they will convert to a full membership willingly. Or, they will or forget, as many seem to openly talk about on forums.

Second, you offer them a shit pot of content to try and get them to sign up so that you get their email address, and then from there use it to mail them where you have the potential to make more money.

There is a third option that has to do with upsells, card banging and alike, but I prefer to not discuss that other shady bullshit, and for discussion sake, assume that we’re all doing legit business and that is our main focus.

In regard to the email angle, here’s how this would work.

One, you entice these members to sign up whether it’s for a few pennies or for an email address. You make it clear to gain access that you will need a valid email address, and based on popular demand it can take 12-24 hours to get their password. This will eliminate the 10 minute email nonsense. Yes, I know this is not foolproof, but you’re looking to cast the largest net, there will always be someone out there who is trying to beat the system, and you do not focus on them.

Anyway, you would then get their email address and information. Now, you’re first goal here is to convert them to a pay site membership who rebills. That is the first priority. However, let’s look at this from a different perspective.
$29.95 x 500 members = $14,975.00 GROSS for the month.

With any luck, some of those are going to rebill and if you can replicate those numbers month after month, you have yourself a nice little cash cow in a few months time. If not, because your content is shit or alike, then it will be significantly lower.
Ok, so let’s say out of every 1000 free or trials, you only convert 25%. What are you doing with the other 75%? Are you emailing them every month? What kind of offers? Adult? Mainstream? Are you brokering or selling off your data lists? What is the next step for you?

Other than Gamma, and a few other folks on forums, the vast majority do not seem to be doing anything effective with that data. If you have good solid data from your sign ups, you could be making a decent chunk of change sending them mainstream offers. Why? Because these people have a credit card, are not afraid to buy online, and you SHOULD be trying to milk some money out of this resource. After all, you are a business.

Let’s assume you have a decent list of 500-1M, and conservatively can get $300-500.00 a day out of that list mailing it mainstream offers. You can do the math. The trade off is, mail is not as consistent as pay site memberships. But, my point is, you could add some decent additional revenue to your bottom line IF done correctly and IF you have a solid list.

With that being said, mailing is not easy and it’s a lot of up and downs. You still have to worry about sending the right creatives the same as you would any other affiliate marketing offer, and then there is deliverability, list washing, and clean ip’s to deal with. However, even a conservative number as laid out above without being an aggressive mailer, can still add a lot of easy money back into your bottom line.

For those who have been in this business a long time, you should have a monsterous email list. You simply need to clean out the garbage, hard bounces, and then get it down to a nice opener and closer to target and take it from there.

Back 2 Business – Advantages of Running a Clip Store

ADVANTAGES:
1. Added exposure to a market segment you may not have targeted before of willing buyers.
2. Potential to make much more per buyer than you would on a recurring pay site membership.
3. Drive traffic to your pay site or network.
4. Build your newsletter mailing list.
5. Another inbound link.

DISADVANTAGES:
1. It obviously takes some level of more work to run another site.
2. Your content is downloaded versus streaming.
3. You get a 60% revshare (with clips4sale) versus whatever you would get doing it on your own with PhantomFrog’s cart deal. However, you have to consider all costs in and what that extra 40% truly comes to in the end with hosting + processing.
4. You have to link back to C4S on your main site if you want to link out to it from your store. You cannot include your network of sites in newsletters unless they all link back to C4S. Ultimately C4S has the last say in what goes out in a newsletter or not.
5. You do not control your membership list of past buyers. By that I mean, you can email them, but you never get their full email or details so you could email them without C4S permission or oversight.

SUMMARY:
While I talk mainly in regards to Clips4Sale (whom I’ve been using since early 2000’s), I have tried many of the others and most of them just did not perform as well, at least for me. I have heard that clips.com does work well for mainstream, non-fetish, porn content however, I have not tested it along those lines as I prefer fetish and niche material.

Although sales are considerably less, and the competition more fierce in the 2013 universe, I still believe clip stores add value to those looking to build out their network, assuming of course they do not mind their buyers downloading versus a streaming option.

You have to look at clip stores on how much money you make PER USER versus the membership model. Often times you will find that you make much more on individual users than you would on a pay site over the course of a month. Some buyers will purchase multiple clips at $5-10.00 each, versus paying $14.95/month or whatever their recurring discounted memberships are.

VideoCharge Tutorial: Segmenting Video for Clip Store Use

VIDEOCHARGE: CUT CLIPS INTO SEGMENTS 4 CLIPS SToRE

When you are working a clip store for maximum exposure, you want your clip ‘popping’ through out the day. You may only update with one clip per day, but you want to make the most of your one clip. All clips must be at minimum 2 minutes per segment.

I mention this because some clips are going to be able to only get cut into two pieces, others you can cut into more. It is important to maxmimize each clip to it’s fullest when you can. So first step for you would be to sort clips by time. If they are 6 minutes, you can cut three times. If 5 or less, you cut twice and so on. This is important as we get to the next step.

1. Open VideoCharge.
2. Box pops up. Check should be at the middle of three choices. Hit ‘Ok’.
3. New menu. Scroll down to ‘Split Video..”. Next.
4. Open up your folder where you have your watermarked full length clips.
5. Pick one of them that has been watermarked and compressed.

Step 5: You can pick multiple or a whole folder of clips to do at once in VC. You do this using your CNTRL key and highlight all the clips you want to do at once. However, for simplicity sake, we are going to do one at a time.

6. Next. Through Common Directory.
7. Select Outut. You want to pick, “Without Re-compression (fast). Next.
8. Destination Folder. Put in the D:/whateverpath to where you the cut clips going. Next.

Step 8: I typically make a folder for Cut Clips to go into seperate from the main. Same as I make a folder for Watermarked to go in that is different from the original version. This keeps finished product seperate and folders clean. However, you can do whatever you like. If you pick nothing, the files will dump in same folder as original full length clip you selected at Step 4.

9. Select Thumbnail. Select nothing. Next.
10. Select Tumbnail Size. Select Nothing. Next.
11. Set Thumbnail folder. Select Nothing. Next.
12. Set Video Paramethers. Check Third Option. Split files. 2 or 3 (based on time). Next.
13. Finish.

This will cut your full length clips in a few minutes (if doing a bunch of files) into segments for your clip store. You would then upload the full length, and the clip segments, into the clip store. This allows you to get a day of ‘pops’ or updates versus just one. You can also pick multiple catagories.

14. When clips are done processing, go to folder, delete thumbs. Upload finished to clips into your store.

VideoCharge Tutorial: Watermarking

VIDEOCHARGE: WATERMARKING

This guide will service the purpose of providing a basic walk through on how to do processing and watermarking of your clips for use on a clip store. Some steps you may not like, or agree with, but this is how _I_ do it for my own stuff.

1. Launch VideoCharge (VC)
2. If a box pops open. Close it.
3. Over on the left there is a VideoFile1/ImageFile1. Delete that ImageFile.
4. Open up your folder on hard drive, or computer, where the videos are you want to process.
5. Drag ONE from the folder, into the main middle window of VC. You should now see it showing on the menu to the left.
6. Click on that file. It should now show up in the main window.
7. Click on the tab, in the middle window, named ‘Watermark”. Scroll to the bottom.
8. There is a text box icon, far left, above the video. Click that.
9. A dashed box now appears. Up in the top right, you see www.whatever which matches box.
10. Put your url in the box in that top right window. It should udpate in main window.

Below the top right window there are a series of choices. These are used to pick the color of your watermark, the transparency, the size and font, as well as the placement. I would recommend you pick an easy color already on the choice list and then you will not need to try and find over and over. Myself, I use one color for a site. So all videos will be blue, green, red for that one site. It probably does not matter, but that’s how I prefer to do it.

I will pick Veranda or Ariel, then blue, transparency 50%, font size 14, bold. You can do what you like in that regard and play with it some.

At the bottom, you will see Axis. It’s a 9 square box. You will click lower left, or right, where ever you want your watermark. I like lower right. It moves it to the farthest position lower right. I do not like it there myself. Again, this comes to preference, I will move it up a bit from there so there is a little space between the border and url.

Once I have the url where I like it. I will click below the main video window (in gray area) to see how it looks. If satisfied, I think hit the green play button toward the upper left.

For you, since you are learning, I would recommend you only do one video at a time until you get used to it. Myself, I will do 10-15 at once. But I know what I am doing, and since I will be encoding these overnight while I sleep. I really do not worry about it. But until you get the feel for what you are doing, you need to take it slow.

You want to make sure that you have your clips watermarked, even if you are only doing a clip store out of the gate and launching a pay site later. Most people are not going to remember where a clip came from. Especially when people are buying from multiple stores. So if you have an easy url on them, they can find their way back to you. If you do not watermark them, good luck. You lose branding, and potential customers long term.

Adult Business 303: Invaluable Descriptions

CLIP STORES: INVALUEABLE DESCRIPTIONS (SEO)

These tips and suggestions really apply to ALL sites in general. However, you are going to have some additional quirks and variations with each site and how is best to use these things to your advantage.

I would recommend you get an AdWords account if you do not have one already. Not only will this become invaluable over time for other projects, but it has some tools that are helpful for you with domain names, and SEO. Specifically, the keyword tool.

When you are writing descriptions, you have to think of the long term benefits literally. Some of the things you do today will effect you next month, three months from now and so on. Google will use these things for ranking your site and the search engine SERPS so it is best to do it right out of the gate. You will end up, or should, start a spreadsheet that has all the descriptions for your content.

For me, I have an excel spread sheet that shows clip name (ToeHee001_DV), description, models in scene, and so on. I had one of my assistants do it for me. It took her a couple of weeks to go through them all. This really is helpful when you go to launch a pay site later, or re-use clips for other clip stores. Then you can just cut and paste.

Getting back to what I was saying about keywords in your descriptions. You want to make sure when you are writing out your descriptions, each one is written out like you are trying to entice members to whip it out and go to work off your description. That includes using good keywords for your niche. If you do not know the niche, research it.

I know what they are for mine, and I will use them not only in my descriptions for each scene and try and mention them, or different ways (foot worship, toe sucking, foot licking, etc..) I will use them in blogs, youtube, and other things as well. I will make sure that over time I start ranking for those keywords.

If you are in a niche you do not know go to Google. Start researching some of the better sites in a niche. Use “View Source” and view their meta tags. Go back to your Google Adwords and type those phrases and keywords in to see how many searches they get per month. Over time, you start narrowing in on key words and phrases that are the ‘hot ones’ for your niche. You want to try and work those ‘hot words’ into your description when you can. Do not force it. If you are writing out quality descriptions, you will get them in over time.

Remember, when you are doing keywords and descriptions. These are long tail SEO and SERP tactics that will help you with algorhythms later. The number of times they keywords and phrases repeat on your website, in your descritpions, in your title tags, and so on.

They are not going to work SERPS by themselve, but they will give you a good solid first step.