And Now For Something Completely Different...
In a previous article entitled "The Secret of Success," I revealed a discussion that I had with a young lady about the requirements for getting into this business, and what was truly important if you wished to succeed. In today's challenging economy, there are a few new considerations that have occurred to me:
Once upon a time I had a little exchange with my good friend Oz about the various ingredients of a successful Web enterprise. He told me that one of the first considerations that he had when planning a new site was "Where will the traffic come from?" While this was the basic upshot of "The Secret of Success," and still an incredibly vital facet of site planning, I believe that today, it is merely the starting point.
Why Change Is Necessary
Even before the tragedy of September 11th befell America, the Adult Webmaster message boards as well as the Industry pundits (myself included) all resonated with horror stories of sagging sales beyond the typical "summer slow down." A dwindling economy and glut of free porn combined with the increasing acumen of many surfers has resulted in many established sites seeing their revenues decline as much as 30% over the previous year. While many sites have certainly not seen this same devastating financial impact (indeed, some have prospered despite the recent economic downturn), it is clear to me that others have been hit even harder. To make matters worse, heightened competition as a result of the increasing influx of ex-mainstream dot-com'ers (and other recently unemployed opportunity seekers) may very well sound the death knell for those operations teetering on the ragged edge of solvency.
While I don't wish to sound like an alarmist, especially since a world of opportunity still exists in online adult entertainment, the simple fact of the matter is that just because something worked yesterday, does not make it valid today, or a year from today.
Finding A Solution
While I don't claim to have all of the answers, it is clear to me that the current state of our Industry dictates a new paradigm, if profitability is the goal. What that paradigm is (and rest assured, there are as many possibilities as there are Webmasters) is up to you. It is time to really begin thinking outside of the box; to come up with new ideas, approaches, and solutions that will enable you to operate the kind of business that you want well into the foreseeable future.
Long gone are the days of easy signups and a wheelbarrow full of cash generated by a free site with ten fuzzy pics and twenty giant banners. If you want to succeed today (and this is aimed at fresh newbies as well as seasoned pros) you will have to come up with something completely different. Many people resist change, but anybody that has ever shot at a moving target before will tell you: "Aim for the bullseye and you will miss it - ya gotta 'lead' the target, anticipating where it WILL be, and then fire your best shot!" Long gone are the days of easy signups and a wheelbarrow full of cash generated by a free site with ten fuzzy pics and twenty giant banners.
Make no mistake about it: in this business, profitability IS a moving target, and those who can be flexible, innovative, and adaptable to change will do fine. Those who lack imagination, preferring to copy what has been developed (and yes, proven to work) in the past will only lose out, and not just in "the long run."
It's now "4:20" on a warm and sunny Friday afternoon, and ex-Grateful Dead boys Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman along with their band "Ratdog" will be playing next door at The Casino Ballroom tonight, and I will be there; enjoying the music, and contemplating my next brilliant idea. You too should take some time for yourself this weekend to "think out of the box" and try to come up with something completely different: it will be the Secret to Your Success: