At the Helm of CE Cash
"I was a teenager who knew how to work with computers and (like any teen I was a big fan of porn online)," recalls Ardy, now the Director of CE Cash. "Eventually I saw a banner on a website for Cyberotica that said, 'Click here to make money.' I clicked it, added a few things together, learned how to code HTML, and set up a couple of websites. It led to the first paycheck I got in my entire life, $240 from CE Cash, which was called Cyberotica back then. With a few clicks of the mouse, my brother Ray and I had become affiliates of the 'Follow Me Free' pay per sign up program for Cybererotica.com."
"Pretty soon, we were doing 100 signups a day, and then 200, 500, 1000 a day," Ardy added. "Eventually that led to our team being tapped to consult and help run the marketing side of a few large adult programs. It finally got to the point where our Internet business had grown so much that I no longer had time to focus on school, so I left college after two years to concentrate on this new career."
Ardy's "new career" took him and his brother Ray to CE Cash nearly four years ago, with marching orders to rebrand the company and rebuild it with new programs and products. This they did by hiring many new staffers, and changing much of the company's strategy and focus.
"We focused more on design and marketing through design," Ardy says. "We spared no expense in bringing on a big staff of highly skilled designers and developers to convey the message we needed to get across to our consumers. We created our first new sites with a vision of more strategic design and a focus on consumer psychology to ensure the best possible conversions for our affiliates. We tried to get our systems to the point where we have better conversions than our competitors, which made it foolish for our affiliates to move their traffic away from us."
Ardy and Ray decided the first move would be launching a new program for CE Cash, called XRatedBucks.com. Shortly thereafter, they improved the entire CE Cash portfolio and redid CE Cash 2.0, which consisted of a DVD rental program, a pay-per-signup pay site program, a pay-per-email program, and a video-on-demand (VOD) system.
"We focused on becoming very good at email marketing through our CE Mags program, which is an email collection program," Ardy explains. "It gave free access to all of our users without them having to pay a cent, and it allowed us to up-sell them from being free email users to real paid users. We showed them the content and up-sold them later, essentially teaching us how to monetize our free users to paid members."
With this strategy, XRatedBucks did very well, growing into a steady program, and CE Cash 2.0 became triple the size of XRatedBucks shortly after its launch and rebranding. The change also made CE Cash a much more diverse program, allowing affiliates to advertise email sites, pay sites, DVD sites and VOD sites.
"It became a gamut of different products, all under one house," Ardy says. "Also, we've focused heavily on buying traffic and building in-house traffic hubs among email sites, tube, and free paysites. Essentially, we've become our own biggest affiliate."
On a typical day, Ardy rolls into the CE Cash office in suburban Los Angeles around 8 a.m. He grabs a cup of coffee, reads his emails and starts the ball rolling.
"I'll turn on all three of my ICQ clients," he adds, "while I stare at the six 24-inch monitors which make up my CE Cash control panel. I need one monitor for each program we have. After this, we meet with our project managers, department by department, to make sure all of the projects are in line. I also have to check stats a couple of hundred times a day: I have a live ticker, its addicting. It's all focused on building our traffic."
But there's more to the CE Cash success story than just hard work. Part of the secret lies in the amazing symbiosis between Ardy and his brother Ray.
"I was always a technical person," Ardy says. "I'd taken dozens of computer classes. My brother doesn't have a single clue about computers, but he always had a beautiful mind for marketing and building relationships. There are very few brother teams in the adult industry, but the advantage to it is that you have someone you can trust 100 percent. That's a priceless asset, because you can't hire anyone who you can trust with everything you own. I never could have done this on my own, and my brother never could have done it on his own, either."
Ardy also is quick to credit the staff of CE Cash for its stunning success. "It's important to remember that Cybererotica was a pioneer of this industry dating back to the golden days of our business in 1996; it's a credit to those before us that created a foundation that we were able to build on."
"We have a very talented team," he beams. "We rebuilt it and brought in a lot of new blood — young, hungry people — and we have a family-oriented work environment. We're a big company, but we have a small company feel. We don't micro manage people. We hire people who can manage themselves. Plus, Ray and I are still in the trenches with them. It's not like we're sitting in the back seat, counting signups. We're at work every day, the first ones in and the last ones out. It's been like that for the last four years, and I think that's what really has made a difference in taking the organization to a new level."
Ardy and Ray have every reason to be satisfied with what they've accomplished at CE Cash over the past few years, but that doesn't mean they'll be resting on their laurels. They've created five new programs that will launch by January 1st — a dating program called CitySex.com, a new pay-per-email program called EmailPorn.com, and a partnership program for exclusive content providers featuring 100 percent exclusive content, called WestCoastDollars.com.
"This is a first for us, because we've always worked with semi-exclusive or exclusive content," Ardy reveals. "But we've never before taken the leap into the full reality-style sites with all-exclusive content and nonstop shooting footage."
The fourth new program will be called CE Cash Mobile, which will offer a complete mobile solution for Blackberry, Android, Opera, Windows Mobile and iPhone operating systems, and will feature thousands of DVDs on one site, while another site will offer exclusive HD content streaming live to your phone.
The fifth and last new program is still shrouded in secrecy, although Ardy admits that it will be a venture that allows CE Cash to diversify into the mainstream marketplace.
And diversification is the key to any future success in the ever changing online battlefield.
"At the end of the day, it comes down to hard work and diversifying, always coming up with something new," Ardy says. "Also, there's nothing that we don't do for all of our affiliates, large and small. We're just two young guys that are in a business where there's a lot of opportunity. We've aggressively pursued key relationships in the adult industry and focused heavily on solidifying a reputation as stand up guys in our arena. In this business, it always comes down to relationships."