XBiz caught up with some of the players in the solo girl game to get the skinny on this popular web genre.
"Some of the first adult sites were put out by solo amateurs, so maybe we are coming full circle," said Hugo Ohira, director of marketing for SilverCash. "People have always liked the personal touch." Said webmistress Aimee Sweet: "The retention rates for solo model sites are amazing. It's the personality that really hooks people into the single model sites."
SilverCash, known for keeping its finger on the pulse of what sells in the adult business, recently launched seven solo sites for its program and plans to add more. They're not the only ones, either. Affiliate programs TopBucks.com, Nubiles.net, FTVGirls.com, SapphicCash.com and Jenna Jameson's JennaCash.com, among many others, are rolling out suites of solo girl sites for interested webmasters to promote — a far cry from the old days when a would-be porn star could throw some naked pictures on the web and start collecting credit card numbers.
But whether it's a larger program with a host of different girls or a do-it-yourself amateur style website, just about everyone involved in solo girl sites believes that individuality is the key to maintaining a successful site or program. It's all about building a relationship with surfers.
"Fans basically want a friendship with the girls," Sunny Leone of SunnyLeone.com said. "I write normal emails with my subscribers, and they're not full of explicit material. It's just a normal girl chit-chatting back and forth with a guy. Of course I add in little sexy phrases here and there, but most of it is just about the relationship between two people."
Leone Also A Vivid Girl
A newly contracted Vivid Girl, Leone runs both her own site and an affiliate program, SunnysMoney.com, so webmasters can cash in on the trend and send her traffic.
"I think my site does well with people who are looking for the girl next door," Sweet said.
Featured on her own solo girl site for almost six years, Sweet doesn't just pose and leave the business side to someone else. The former Penthouse Pet and sometimes mainstream model says she works on just about every aspect of her site, from the marketing to the updating, and believes that the personal touch is part of what hooks and retains surfers.
Leone says she updates her site nearly every day, and she still manages to answer each fan email that is sent to her. She says that her site, with more than 16,000 pictures and videos, gives her fans an unprecedented glimpse into her personal life.
"You have to be involved," said Leone. "You have to spend time every single day working on things. I'm always working on emails, making sure everything is running OK, from A to Z. Over the last year and a half, I've learned enough to know how to continuously run the site by myself and do it somewhat successfully. It's a great challenge."
Said Sweet: "I really love talking to my members. I have a really good time, and in some ways they've become my friends. I like to flirt and have fun, but it's really down to earth. I talk about everything with them."
As far as the "personality factor" in larger affiliate programs, Ohira believes webmasters and surfers respond to the range of different kinds of girls available through SilverCash's program. "We are trying to offer up a variety for the surfers," Ohira said. "Whether they are into the hot Barbie type like Dream Kelly, the bubbly gymnast such as Sara Sexton, the attitude of a Naughty Nati or the young innocence of a Jenny Heart."
In spite of the fake blogs and emails used by some in the solo girl game, the personal touch can be tough to fake. "I don't think anyone could copy what I do," Leone said. "I think the fans would say, 'Hey, this is really stale.' How can they put in those little things that I do for each person? Each email is different. I don't cut and paste any of them."
Sweet said: "Some people have the idea like, 'Oh, I'll just launch a website and make money.' But that's obviously not the case. Girls have to realize that the more involved they are with the site, and the more they run it like a business, the more successful they will be. I see ModelCash [Sweet's affiliate program] as having potential as a really great source to promote glamour models. Webmasters can definitely find some good conversions if they send traffic to me.
Another important appeal to consumers of solo girls sites is the exclusivity of content.
"You can't get what you get on SunnyLeone.com somewhere else," Leone said. "You get all the candids, you get all the diaries, you get live shows, amateur pics, glamour pics, videos and behind-the-scenes. Everything from day-to-day life events to all the big stuff too. I've been very careful to own the rights to all of my content on SunnyLeone.com, as opposed to sharing it with a different site where they might exploit it again and again."
With many players getting into the game, it might seem the market is played out to some, but many insiders believe there's still room for enterprising web entrepreneurs to make the niche pay off.
"There are definitely lots of solo girl sites out there and more will come," Ohira said. "But the marketplace will determine what happens. Like anything else, there's always room for a good product."
Frequent updating is another must. Sweet reports that she updates her site at least once a week with a live web show, and Leone boasts of almost daily updates to her site.
As for the future of the solo girl trend, "It may evolve to where the girls may have to get more creative or inventive and push the envelope more in order to stand out," Ohira said.