Are you new to the adult Internet business, and not quite sure how to go about finding and using sponsors to make all of your hard work pay off? Then follow along as I try to help Peter fill in the missing pieces to his business plan. Newbies, especially, will want to read this:
One of the biggest tasks that occupies me is answering reader's email: Tons of mail streams into my inbox on a daily basis, and even if it takes awhile, I try to respond to all of it. Today I'll share a 'typical' letter, and my response, with all of you:
"G'day! Stephen there? Peter here....
I was wondering if you can help me along the way with getting my web site idea going... Someone I can ask questions, and I promise to not bog you with a lot of aimless chatter. My idea is solid, and I'm confident it will generate a lot of traffic. It is a free site, and now I'm thinking of making money. I have the free stuff just about together; now I thought to have a page of categorized pay sites, no banners; just a brief description of each and the link. Now I have drawn up the categories and am about to fill them in, and here is where my questions start...
Namely, I'd like to be selective of the pay sites I post; contact the site, say I generate mega traffic, tell them of how they will be posted, and what else should I tell them? Yes, this is where I'm pretty clueless. Not sure about how to actually get paid by them, etc. I read your sponsor articles - click-through, per-signup, partnership - but how shall I approach the individual sites? What shall be my inquiry or proposal? What should I expect?
OK, that's enough for now. It won't be for another five or six months before activating it - I'm going to start by generating a lot of traffic first, having the pay site list on hold, then contacting (and contracting with) all the pay sites when it's time. So there you have it. I don't expect much in response; any direction you can provide will be much appreciated.... - a selfless plight... Can you be available for questions? Shall I simply keep searching the forums? Either way..., thank you!"
Well, Peter, it looks as though you have a plan! This is in fact the approach that I like best, and have used most successfully: creating a 'directory' of adult sites — or in other words, a 'link list' that lists only your sponsors on it. Sometimes you can use a single sponsor for this, other times you may find a range of sponsors work best. If you have the time and energy, listing every site of every sponsor you can find will do the trick, but may not be as profitable, since the more sites that you list, the less traffic each will receive, and sponsor sales are a numbers game.
Here's some food for thought: the smallest of sponsors will offer only one or two sites for you to promote, and may not have the sort of track record or potential longevity that will inspire much confidence. On the other hand, some sponsors offer 20 - 40 or more different sites to promote. These operations typically feature a number of front-ends on the same (or very similar) content back ends, and have likely been around long enough to ensure that you will receive payment for the traffic you send or the signups you generate. You could easily sign up with 3 or 4 of these 'big name' operations and end up with over 100 sites to promote in your directory. You will also find free content to use on your site, and features like free video feeds and chat rooms to draw surfers in, all courtesy of the sponsor: Of course, the more traffic that you can *consistently* send, the better a deal you'll make.
As for how to approach them, sponsor programs (like HELMY Cash) all operate their own sites, and it is an easy task to visit a few of them, find the ones most suited to your needs, and then sign up for their program. This is a simple matter involving an online form you'll find on their site. Note: US companies are required by law to obtain the Social Security number or EIN of all US based Webmasters for tax purposes, so do not be alarmed when you see this field. If you earn over $600 per year with the sponsor, they will send you (and the IRS) a 'Form 1099' detailing your earnings, and you'll be liable for taxes on this income. This process is simple and straight forward, and the companies that you'll likely deal with may have well over 10,000 participating Webmasters each, so one-on-one proposals and the like are unnecessary.
Having said that, if you can indeed send 'mega' traffic (say at least 5-10 signups a day to a given sponsor), then you should contact them directly and try to arrange a 'sweetheart' deal. This could include higher payouts, pre-paid signups, or reciprocal traffic deals. Of course, the more traffic that you can *consistently* send, the better a deal you'll make. If you have never tried using a sponsor before, then email email@example.com and she'll walk you through the process.
Good luck! ~ Stephen