Tales From The Crypt
As development of The Smut Factory continues to chug along, I've begun dusting off my old, abandoned, auto-piloted AVS sites – some of my very first adult Web sites from waaay back, and seeing if they can't be resurrected for more profitable uses:
I thought that this article might be a great way to stir up a little interest in the area of using AVS' for profit; and with the addition of the "AVS Avenue" message board to XBiz' extremely popular Cosmic Village community, you'll now have an easy source of quality information to help you over any rough spots if you care to try your hand at building a few new AVS sites, or as in my case, rebuilding a few old AVS sites. Follow along:
As a bit of introduction for the newbies among us, AVS' sites are adult oriented Web sites that make use of an Age Verification System (AVS) to help prevent a minor's access to potentially harmful materials, to potentially charge an admission fee to your content area, and to potentially obtain traffic from the AVS' own link list.
I use the word "potentially" a lot in my description, because as with all things in life, there is no certainty in what using an AVS can or cannot do for you. For example, minors, especially clever ones, can often bypass the content "protection" afforded by most AVS systems. Whether or not what they'll find inside your site (or anyone else's) is "harmful" enough to twist their fragile little porn-seeking minds is another story:
Potentially being able to charge for admission is another area of confusion for many new AVS Webmasters, but a concept that is vital for you to grasp if you wish to profit at all. Visitors to your site who already have a membership to the AVS service you use will get into your site for free. If they don't already have a membership, and they buy one from you, they will also be able to get into all of the other sites "protected" by the AVS you use for free.
This is a double-edged sword: you will not make direct membership sales to many of your site's visitors, but to those you do make sales to, one of the primary motivators for that prospect was the fact that he would not only get into YOUR site, but thousands of other sites as well. There is little downside to his purchase decision, and for you, your alternative was likely to be running a free site in which EVERYONE gets in for free. Once again, there is little downside in this equation for the Webmaster as well.
Finally, there is the issue of obtaining traffic from the AVS' link list. When I first started with CyberAge, they had around 5,000 participating sites, and traffic from their link list flowed freely. Today, with nearly 300,000 participating sites, the traffic "potential" from their link list is not what it used to be - but this can also be said for nearly every other traffic source. Today, my "crypt" sites each pull less than 10 daily uniques from the list.
Much more traffic can be had from the list, but as with working the search engines, the juicy traffic levels do not happen by accident, and are rather an involved and ongoing process of fine-tuning and sample image submission for example. As with most large link lists, you will notice a substantial volume of high-quality traffic for the first few days when your site is listed in the "new" section, and a diminishing volume that will trickle on for years as your site gets buried deeper and deeper into the void. And speaking of the void, that is where the sites I wish to discuss are currently languishing:
I was a mainstream Webmaster for 3½ years before entering the adult arena. My earliest forays into the adult industry involved building TGP galleries that featured 15 thumbnails of Cybererotica free content with a banner top and bottom, and a small "Sex Illustrated" exit console. I used a free host to avoid expenses, and by submitting my sites daily to a number of TGPs and link lists was able to very quickly pull in over 3,000 uniques a day (according to my "123 Adult" counters).
Sales, while not really spectacular, were much better than I expected, but I soon became quite concerned that minors would be found whacking off to "Cum Guzzling Whores, Vol. 6" and that I would someday face the ire of a pissed off mom in Des Moines and her state's Attorney General. Something had to be done, and that something was converting several of my TGP galleries into AVS sites.
I placed the full-sized pics on individual HTML pages with a banner on top and text link on the bottom, added a "warning page" with the site's title and AVS script on it, and used the original gallery page as my "member's area." These sites were (and still are) pathetic, but I made a few membership sales. More importantly, I received traffic from the AVS link list that converted 1:125 on the full-page Cybererotica stealth console I now popped. But that was then, and this is now:
You will not find many AVS' that would link to these sites today. As I stated, they were basically built from my original TGP galleries with a script add on for "child protection." In fact, some of these early sites have already been dropped from the CyberAge link list.
While it would be easier for me to build a few new sites instead, I'm a notorious pack rat who would rather nurture these relics back to health than flush them down the drain and only free up a little disk space in return. Making a sale on these ancient beasts will be difficult these days, but as they're niche specific, they could make decent traffic magnets with a little tender loving care, and might be really good for upselling any "standard" pass holders to "Platinum" memberships. That's (part of) the plan anyways:
In the coming weeks I'll be stroking these sites and bringing them around as much as possible. Will the effort be worthwhile? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it is worth a try. Stay tuned for more. ~ Stephen