A Checklist for Amateur Site Success: Part 1
I had an e-mail the other day asking for some advice on the steps needed to produce a simple amateur site using exclusive "homemade" content. As I started outlining some of the steps that I've personally used on my own site, it occurred to me that other newbies might benefit from some of this information:
Understand the Basics
The first thing that I think about when developing a Website is its purpose: is it meant to make sales, provide customer service, or create awareness of a product, service, or cause? Since we're talking about an amateur porn site targeted towards surfers, are you trying to make one-time or recurring membership sales? Or are you using your site to drive traffic to your sponsors? Or are you simply publishing your own erotica for the sake of sharing it – for free? As you can see, understanding your site's purpose ("why you want to build a Website") is the first step, and lays the groundwork for further decisions later on.
The next step involves developing a concept or theme for your site that supports the goals outlined above. Since we're dealing with a single-model amateur site, this means that you will need to assess yourself as others will see you – and apply terms to what you see in the mirror. Are you petite or a BBW? A teenage blonde or a mature brunette? A swinger? Housewife? Exhibitionist? Slut? Only you know yourself and how you truly are, and how you wish to be portrayed – and marketed. Take a few minutes to write down all of the terms that you think apply to you and your "persona" or online "personality" – they will help you to focus your site's theme, and provide those keywords and phrases needed to market your site later.
I've mentioned the word "persona," and for amateurs, this should be your next consideration. Do you wish to use your "real" name, or a "stage name" (alias)? For many would-be Web girls, the answer is an easy one: having an alias will not only increase your safety and help shield your new work from friends and family, but may also allow you to more completely live out the fantasy of your new life – if you choose to do so...
And this brings up another issue: commitment. How "involved" do you really want to be in your own site, its operation, marketing, and ongoing maintenance? This isn't just a technical issue, it's an emotional one as well, since you are entering a market where uncensored live Webcam shows involving doing member "requests" are the norm, as are so-called "bar meets," and even one-on-one member interaction that can border on outright prostitution along with an environment of drug abuse and unsafe sex – these are all easy traps to fall into.
Of course, for some naughty girls, the "party" lifestyle is the reason WHY they're getting involved in porn in the first place. But remember – just because some other girl is willing to stand on her head and gargle peanut butter or try to set the amateur gangbang record, doesn't mean that YOU have to do something you don't want to...
Building Your Site
Now that you know why you want to build a site, and how it – and you – will be positioned and marketed, the next thing to do is to actually build it. Some amateurs really enjoy building their own sites and the total control they have when doing it themselves. This "personality" is very appealing to many surfers – but can also be a turn-off to experienced amateur porn consumers who have joined other "homemade" porn sites – and been disappointed. With Web design now being a "commodity" item, it shouldn't cost too much for you to have a 'professional looking' site built, and you might even be able to trade some of your exclusive content for design services.
Whether you build it yourself or have others do it for you, your content is the foundation around which your site will be built; and it is an asset that must be protected. Not only should you have valid model release forms and 18 USC 2257 compliance notices, but you should also formally copyright all of your photos and videos. These legal requirements are something that you should discuss with a competent attorney versed in these matters, and are well beyond the scope of this article.
The type and amount of content you currently have, and the further amount that you are willing to produce in the future, are all considerations when building your site. If you simply have a few hundred digital photos – and no desire to produce any more, than a basic non-recurring AVS site might be your best bet. If you're willing to actively produce more content, including videos, stories, live shows, etc., then perhaps a small pay site might be appropriate – if you can afford the credit card processing and other fees. A nice intermediate step would be to use a recurring AVS like ProAdult's "Quantum" program, which I discussed here.
At this point, you should understand the basics of what you're doing, why you're doing it, and how to best go about it. It's time to build your site or have it built for you. If you're going the "free" route, then all you need to do is remember that kids can "see it all" – and choose your content accordingly. If you're looking to try an AVS site (a great place to start), then simply build your site to comply with the AVS' particular "linking requirements." Starting out with a pay site? Then the sky's the limit – as long as it gets the surfer to join – and stay a satisfied member, month after month in order to capitalize on that recurring revenue!
Regardless of what type of site you build and why, you won't succeed without traffic. Stay tuned! ~ Ayrora