Category Archives: Internet Marketing

How to Pick an Ad Network

So you have decided that you want to join the ranks of internet marketing and make some money. Where do you begin? Well, one of the first things would be looking for products you plan to peddle. The list is large from porn membership, or pay sites. You could always do dating or webcam. Then there is mainstream, where you can peddle the latest Dr Oz fad, or ASOTV offers. The choices are limitless.

When it comes to picking an ad network, not all of them will take an unknown. Some will want a website or a track record, and others are more or less restricted. This can help in narrowing down the search. You want to do a little research on what you want to peddle first and foremost. What do you think you can sell? What are you passionate about?

When I look for ad networks, this is what I consider.

* Paid Net7 (i.e. weekly)
* Variety and Volume of Offers
* Ease of Use, Especially on the Back End
* Relationship with Account Rep/Owners

PAYMENTS:
I refuse to push a network that pays net14, net30-45. I am simply not going to do it, nor wait for my money. If you are just starting out with no proven track record, this may not be an option for you initially. However, once you have a track record of consistent sales, you can then negotiate down the a net7 pay day.

Lastly on this topic, this is mainly talking about mainstream networks versus adult. Adult will typically pay you based on some sort of “minimum”. They may process payments ever 2 weeks, but you have to hit a minimum in that time to actually be paid. It used to be fairly low minimums, but over the past few years those have went to $100 – $500.00 before you get paid. That is ridiculous, so I do not push a lot of those sort of programs.

OFFERS:
I like to try a lot of different offers to my lists. I would love to tell you that it’s easy to simply send any diet offer to a health or recipes newsletter and it converting like hotcakes, but that is simply not the case at all. You will find that often times there is a lot of testing, split testing, and trial/error to find what converts. You can’t give up on any one offer without trying a few different versions of the creatives, subject lines, or however you are peddling it. But at the same time, you do not want to waste too much time on any one offer. You will learn this as time goes on.

For me, I simply prefer networks that have a lot of offers versus those who might have a couple of dozen. It doesn’t mean I exclude these completely if they pay weekly, but they are second tier for me.

EASE OF USE:
There are some different affiliate software out there, and not all of it easy to use. With some of them, it also gets overly complicated on who is hosting what, them or you, and having to deal with hyperlinks and all of that yoke. I simply prefer to be able to cut and paste a created, test it, and be off to the races. No muss, no fuss. You will find some where you have to download the creative, change out the links so images load correctly, and all of this other time waster stuff. It’s not to say I will never ever do it, but I prefer not too when I can find the same offer at a network that is easy to work with.

RELATIONSHIPS:
This is something that comes in time, but it’s nice to be able to get on campaigns that not EVERYONE is running. Or you can get access to a CPC of an offer not everyone has. These will come through relationships you have with the network, owner, and account rep once you have established yourself. You can ask for them, but often times they will be offered assuming you are pushing the volumes of conversions. If your point of contact does not care to help you be more successful, try and get a new rep, or move to another network.

While these are my main sticking points, others may have something that works for them. I am a fairly straight forward and simple guy. I just want to get paid, and have offers that I can install or use fast and easy. I do not want a lot of grief, or to chase down my payments. Good luck!

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Do Not Let Pride Screw Up Your Money

One of the more valuable lessons I have learned over the years has to come with pride and it’s effect on many people. It is a valuable lesson, that I doubt my words here will change, but it is a lesson that comes with a lot of knowledge I try and factor into most of my decisions today. As always, I will try and give you a real life example versus some arbitrary nonsense a lot of blog writers do.

A number of years back I started investing in a project that was a piece of a much bigger whole. When all was said and done, the whole project would have been a $175,000.00 investment if you added up all of the content, programming, web hosting, and design costs associated with this project, it was massive. I thought at the time this would be a solid investment and the potential would be epic, and then the industry changed. It became harder to convert any “mainstream adult” with the tubes and free. A lot of people grumbled about this, but I did not listen. I had a lot of money at the time to invest from a different line of business, and you could buy content for pennies on the dollar. It seemed like the right play.

Well, if you have never built a content management system from scratch, you would not appreciate the level of difficulty involved. That is multiplied 10 times over if those you hire have not done an enterprise platform within the industry they are building it for. I could have done this a number of different ways (in hindsight) that would have controlled costs and launched way before it did. Instead, this project dragged on for literally years sucking tens of thousands of dollars per month in development and content expense. It seemed as if there was no end in sight.

Eventually the developers delivered the CMS and in some ways I was happy, in other ways, not so much. There was easily another 20-50k that would be needed to get it where I had to go and my interest was waning to invest any more. I kept doing it because of pride I supposed. I simply never bothered to take a step back and look at the why. I just assumed I would succeed and there was no way I could fail.

What was it that finally snapped me out of this?

Around this same time, my other businesses shifted and I also had a string of 12 months where models, acquaintances, friends and family had died. Some very young, and some had lived a full life. Being in my 40’s now, it gave me some perspective on this. How did I want to spend my next 5/10/20 years of life on this planet? Chasing dreams or being happy making a comfortable life? It was time for some changes.

I started to scale back all of my businesses, and investments. If it was not making money, or a decent ROI, I dumped it. Some I looked to do a revshare as I had a few people interested in taking them over, and others I simply dropped or mothballed it all together. I still had enough operations that could turn a decent profit, but I wanted to make sure that I no longer had $15k+ in monthly labor/design/developer expenses. I no longer had a $5k server bill for one project. In short, I wanted more money in my own pocket and less going out to others.

Outside of myself, I see this all of the time where pride screws up people’s money. Especially with part timers, and models. They need money, but are too proud to do this or that work because they feel it’s beneath them. Instead, for them, I guess pride pays their car note, or tuition.

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that you have to consistently balance out those scales, whether it’s life or business. If you let emotion clutter up the black and white of the issue, you often times make the wrong choice. You stay invested where you should bail. You hang on too long because you think you can’t fail or you can turn it around because you’ve done it before. Sadly, that is not the case more times than not. However, when a project fails, you simply need to apply what you’ve learned, and move on to the next. Crying in your beer is not going to erase the errors made.

On the bright side, there are few things you can’t bounce back from in life. It sucks, can take some time to do so, but as long as you’re willing to keep working at it, eventually you will hit that home run as long as your goals are realistic. Simple make sure you work in an exit strategy for when things so sideways.

Remember.. “a goal without a plan is a wish.” ;-)

Controlling Your Own Lists

As mentioned in my previous blog post, The Power of Email Discovered (Part 2), we essentially end on an issue that should concern you as an affiliate marketer, or website owner, and that is who controls your email or members lists. Over time, this will be the pure gold that keeps you in business as you have a well of buyers to go back too time and again to sell them something else. I will pick up where I left off giving you a real world example of this.

As my previous posts have mentioned, C4S would allow you a newsletter feature or function when they had first started out. You could see the past buyers, and access those emails to send your own when you wanted. Or you could use the C4S newsletter system, and that was fine as well. However, over time they took away those privileges, and added restrictions on mailing and what would or could be in them.

* Newsletters had to be Reviewed and Approved by Staff
* You Could No Longer Link to Websites Outside of C4S
* You Could No Longer Access Past Patrons Email

For some, you’re probably thinking, “Big deal, who cares. Money flowing like wine. You can still send out newsletters so it doesn’t matter.” Well, actually that is a huge problem. While you can still send out a newsletter on your store, you could no longer link to your main pay site without a link back to C4S. Additionally, the bigger problem was, that you could no longer access your past patrons emails.

Why is this a problem?

Well let’s say that you launch a new pay site and you feel that some of your patrons would like this content because it’s yours. The only way you would be able to send an email to them, via C4S, would be if you opened up a new clip store, with that content, and developed a new list from scratch. While this is very do-able, this is the long way of launching a websites when you have 1000 previous patrons who seem to like your content where you could just send out an email blast announcing the new site, offering a discount membership option, and launching out of the gates both barrels blazing.

As you can see, that is where you start to run into trouble. They bought your clips. You feel they are your patrons and you should be able to mail to them any time you want, about anything you want, related to your clips, pay sites, models, or alike. However, that is not an option as they control the lists.

This is but one example I am going to touch on for this blog post, but I can give you additional examples over time in the future. It is something you need to think about regardless of whether you run a clip store, blog, pay site, or even as an affiliate whether adult or mainstream. You want to be able to go back to that well time and time again, and you need to have access to those members, data, and email. If you do not, you will want to change that immediately.

Setting Realistic Expectations

One central theme to any of these money making blogs, or those who want to go to work for themselves is that they all want to live like MTV Cribs, or offering up that lifestyle as if it’s so easy to attain. Now, do not get me wrong. There are many fairly easy ways (if you want to work) that you can make what is life changing money online. Few are going to be done in a couple of hours a day, and most likely not going to put you on a episode of MTV Cribs, but you can still change your life and work for yourself if that is what you really want to do.

What do I mean by that statement above?

Well, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it. I live in the midwest of the United States. By that I mean, we do not have the same cost of living as a New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle or alike. You can get a nice sized house for a realistic amount of money. However, let’s go beyond that. The median income in the U.S. according to the census is around $43,585.00 a year, or roughly $838.00 gross per week. If you could make an extra $1000.00 per month, that would be life changing to most people. That is an extra $12,000.00 per year, and would afford them a nice family vacation, new house, kids college tuition or alike. For many people, that is realistic life changing income in their daily lives.

How hard is it to make $1000.00 extra per month? Not hard. Some options will require capital investment (equipment, software, servers, etc), and others are little more than time. Either way, it would involve a commitment from you. Which I honestly believe is the hardest part for most people looking to make money online or on the side from their normal day job.

I have had plenty of people locally, friends and acquaintances, want me to help them make extra money. Most give up in the first week despite the actual “work” is fairly easy. I have given them opportunities to easy make an extra $500/1000/2000 just to have them piss it away being lazy. I can’t make you do the work, and if you can’t carry your weight, frankly it’s not worth my time.

Ultimately, anyone can teach you the SKILLS. But we can’t give you WILL.

Starting Out in the Biz

When I started my adult business full time. I launched all my sites via Clips4Sale. It allowed me to make some sales, test the waters, and get some good feedback while building up my content for a pay site.

Each site was a bit different on when I launched but it took me roughly around 3 months to get about 6 months of material to launch my pay site, put together some DVD’s. Some sites were launched in 3 months. Some longer. Some shorter. Just depends on how much I shoot, and how many updates I want per week.

So I started out with $3000.00. Bought $500.00 camcorder. Business partner had still camera, and half million dollar house, so we were off. We paid the girls too much at first, and did not know how to best streamline production. We do not shoot on a per scene basis like most of porn. We pay per SHOOT. So we get a number of scenes per SHOOT to maximize revenue, and margins.

Over 9 months we had tinkered with the type of girls, what we shot, how we shot, listened to the feedback, tried different update days and ways of updating until we found our groove. Around the 9 month mark things took off, and we started shooting our stocking project.

We followed the same exact formula as before. First working the C4S connection. We started a new store, and cross linked it. We promoted it on TGP submits. Over the next few months we would make our money back while getting enough content to launch a new pay site. One we did, BAM, sign ups.

Within a couple of months we moved on to tickling. It was something we had received a ton of e-mails on, and apparently few catered to it. We kind of stumbled into it by accident, and started doing… basically what the e-mails told us. Over a few months we build up enough content to launch a site, BAM took off. Even on DVD sales. Which I have to admit was surprising.

Clips4Sale has done some evolution over time. It was mainly a place for fetish and niche webmasters and content producers to sell their wares without building a website. You could just use their interface, and CMS. Their processor, and over time, Neil (the owner) built up some nice traffic. Doing the Howard Stern show, and some other things to make it into the mammoth it is today.

The site now offers a section for selling DVD’s, pictures from your galleries, webcam, and number of other features to help you make some sales via automation among other things. It probably takes some time for a newbie to learn these things, but over time you get the hang of the automation I suppose.

Now, all that said. A lot of store owners rely on the POP of updates for their traffic. They do not have a lot of content, but they are always trying to get that POP. The front page of C4S was changed a few months back and now that is not going to be as beneficial as it was before. I recommend you build your OWN traffic.

For me, I include C4S option on all my sites. I link to it heavily, and even on TGP submits. I have always done this. While Neil’s traffic, and the POP is nice. I do not count on it for my sales. So just a head’s up for those who do not like link building, traffic trading, and the rest.

Other clips stores vary. I am not going to go into my experience with all of them but I encourage you to try them out. It is just more money for your content. The percentage for payouts will differ as well as traffic, admin panels, and offerings. Some more. Some less.

The same can be said for their percentages of money they take from producers. C4S is a 60/40 split. Some are 50/50, some stacked even more to the clip store. Some offer an affiliate program to supposedly boost you up to 70% :rolleyes:. Each has their niches, and grooves.

For a long time Clips4Sale was catering to only the mom and pops. Small and medium market fetish and niche providers. Over the past couple of years it has exploded into something like 20,000 or 30,000 stores!! My store number is 1353/2305/2917/2865/4057 and so on… As you can see I started YEARS ago to give you some idea.

At the conferences, I have talked to any number of programs and people. Some use C4S. Some do not think it is worth their time. Personally I find it an invaluable resource. But, as always in online business and adult, a lot of the success or failure comes down to YOU.