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Serializing for Success

Serializing for Success

December 13, 2005
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" why try to sell surfers something that they are already getting for free? "

Bummed out by dwindling profits and declining traffic levels? Perhaps its time to look at the content you're presenting, the way in which it is being marketed, and the method by which you hope to profit from it.

Free site operators looking for a new way to increase profits should look towards the serialization of selected content offerings as a way of not only encouraging repeat visitors (bookmarkers), but of also generating additional revenues. Let's take a closer look:

Consider the plight of a typical TGP or MGP operator; offering an unlimited supply of free porn, often updated daily (or even "every five minutes!"), our ambitious webmaster does what every other free site operator does - tries to sell his or her site's visitors on a sponsor's websites. And who can blame our webmaster for doing so? This approach is the foundation of affiliate marketing, the backbone of the online adult entertainment industry and the common wisdom of "how to make money in Internet porn."

The problem is that TGP/MGP surfers today aren't idiots; since they are already at a gallery post site, they know where to find all of the photo and video-based porn they could ever want for free. Even if that site limits the amount of galleries it offers, it probably trades traffic with other sites that aren't as particular about the amount of porn they're giving away for free. So why try to sell surfers something that they are already getting for free?

Doesn't it make more sense to try and sell them something different - something they want and are willing to pay for?

This concept is nothing new and in fact is the reason why many savvy free site operators prefer to advertise live video chat or dating services as a way of profiting from their traffic, rather than trying to up-sell to a paysite sponsor. But is sending hard-earned traffic to a sponsor, regardless of the product or service its offering, always the best - or only - solution for monetizing traffic?

An alternative option is the offering of diverse content types for sale in addition to the photos and/or videos that your site is offering for free. But what type of content? Two easy examples that come to mind are erotic stories and adult cartoons.

It's important at this point to realize that I am not suggesting that you build a new story or cartoon site, or abandon your traditional affiliate marketing efforts, but that you simply offer this content along with your site's other content offerings.

The key to this approach is the content itself. In our example, relatively lengthy erotic stories that are divided into individual "chapters," or adult cartoon strips featuring ongoing "episodes," are required in order to make the best possible use of this strategy. The reason behind this is simple: once someone gets "hooked" on a particular story line or cast of cartoon characters, they're likely to come back for more. Television sit-coms, soap operas and "reality shows" (among other media) all make use of this approach.

While quality content with compelling storylines will draw repeat visitors and increase bookmarkers, it is not the only factor. After all, you don't just want more freeloaders; you want paying customers. So rather than simply adding a new chapter or episode whenever you update your site's other content, offer only the first chapter or episode for free and then charge a nominal fee for access to other chapters or episodes. Do this on an ongoing, individual basis, charging for each new installment, and watch your profits grow.

Of course, for this to work, you'll need to implement a micro-payment system such as the one offered by PayAsYouClick.com. This will allow you to charge a reasonable fee for updates. While many TGP/MGP surfers would balk at dropping $29.95 a month "to look at porn," a decent number of them may not hesitate to spend a dollar, for example, to see the latest installment of an erotic story or cartoon series.

Although this approach may be used with individual content offerings, it's with serialized content that it works best. This way there's an emotional attachment to the characters and storyline that draws the surfer back. One needs only look to XBiz' "Webmaster Rocco" cartoon as an example: it's the first thing that many of the site's visitors check out when they make their daily visit and I'm willing to bet that more than a few visitors would pay to see what Rocco will do next, or to have access to the archive of his past adventures…

Making money from the adult Internet may not be as easy as it once was, but it is still easy to do for those with imagination and determination. Offering reasonably priced, serialized content is a step in the right direction, and the makings of a competitive edge. Try it, and see for yourself!


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