The benefits to consumers are clear, allowing them the option of paying for just what they want, or allowing them to get everything in one package — including exclusive and never-before-seen content from real amateur models. However, it is the program's appeal to both new and established performers, as well as to affiliates, that may hold the most interest for our readers.
According to Lifestyle Amateurs owner Shawn, aka nation-x, the concept behind the site came to him after watching an episode of Real Sex on HBO one night.
"The episode had couples that were running their own paysites and there was discussion about the investment that they had made to get the site started," Shawn said. "It occurred to me that there may be an opportunity for someone who could build a platform for real people to start their own paysites without having to have the technical knowledge or the money to invest in development."
While the initial project was not as innovative as he had hoped, with networks such as Southern Charms already established in this space, Shawn felt that there was enough room to differentiate Lifestyle Amateurs from its competitors; and so he set out to build a truly unique program. After the launch of his site this past August, Shawn had the opportunity to meet the founder of Southern Charms, and discussed the differences between the programs; including how Lifestyle Amateurs models manage their own content via their own site control panel and how the company pays for model and webmaster referrals while providing a complete CCBill-based affiliate program.
Two of the biggest differences however may be found in how Lifestyle Amateurs is committed to providing its members with an interactive experience that focuses on model/member communication and interaction — and the level of marketing and other expertise behind the program.
"We are experienced webmasters who have been successful at building our own traffic sites and know the complete ins and outs of marketing as an affiliate as well as the fact that we run one of the oldest review sites on the net, adultreviews.net," Shawn stated. "This provides us with a rare perspective about how to serve our members as well as our affiliates."
As with any amateur model network, attracting and retaining productive talent can be difficult; but the Lifestyle Amateurs program makes it easy for models to get started, and provides a professional way for new talent to get their own website up and running with no upfront investment — and a minimum requirement for consistent content updating and member interaction.
"A model only needs to sign a model agreement, '2257 compliance documents and submit a photo ID, once they have signed up for the program using our online registration," Shawn said. "Once they have completed these steps, we add a paysite to our network for them to start working on and they only need to upload content, make regular blog posts and be willing to communicate with any paid members that may comment or send them messages from that point forward."
"We require that they upload at least five updates before we set their paysite live and they must be willing to add updates on a regular basis," he added. "There are no costs to get started and we provide email or phone support in addition to working on building traffic to their site. We also handle all support for any members that they obtain and a lot more."
While models are required to communicate with their members as necessary, according to Shawn, the site does not currently offer live cam shows, but a free cam chat feature will be available in the future so that models who choose to do so can offer live cam shows to their paid members. Still, the personal touch is what sets Lifestyle Amateurs apart.
"Currently, we don't require that models post their email addresses and we are working on adding an internal email feature to facilitate secure messaging functionality within the members area," Shawn said. "Models are required to add blog posts on a frequent basis in addition to their content updates and this also requires that they reply to comments or requests."
"All comments within the members area are moderated by the model," he added, which alleviates one concern for performers with unruly "fans."
As to how much money a model can make with the program, Shawn pointed to the newness of Lifestyle Amateurs and the need for realistic expectations; including not expecting to see a huge amount of sales overnight.
"Currently, this is a ground floor opportunity and what we are providing is the opportunity to build a revenue stream just like any other site they may start," said Shawn. "I have no doubt that, over time, these initial models will earn a substantial return… but we are not guaranteeing anything. We are providing a service."
For more experienced models, viewing Lifestyle Amateurs as "a revenue stream just like any other site they may start," may be the key to profits for both parties, as it removes a model's concerns over revenue ceilings, while allowing Lifestyle Amateurs to attract performers that already have an existing site or that may shy away from an exclusive content deal.
This is because exclusive content is encouraged, but not required — allowing models to use their content on other sites and to advertise their own solo sites from within the Lifestyle Amateurs program.
"We allow those models who have other sites to have a static 468x60 banner in the members area," Shawn stated. "This upsell opportunity is completely a privilege and isn't something that we contractually provide as part of our service agreement. Basically, this privilege is subject to its abuse and is closely monitored."
For models — even those who might already have their own solo paysite — becoming a part of the Lifestyle Amateurs program may be a win-win situation with little to no downside.
But what about the affiliates — why should they want to promote a multi-model program like Lifestyle Amateurs? In addition to the 50/50 revenue sharing, plus 10 percent model and affiliate referral bonuses via CCBill with custom cookie management, the program offers a number of benefits:
"The models on Lifestyle Amateurs are real people who are invested in promoting member retention. That fact alone should make it a "no brainer," he opined. "They will communicate with the member and build a relationship of sorts. You cannot underestimate the value of this interaction… these models get to know their members and it makes a huge difference in retention."
"Additionally, we are experienced affiliates and we know how to build traffic and what issues concern affiliates," Shawn added. "Personally, I think that 8 out of 10 affiliate reps have no clue how to build a successful site portfolio and that is being generous."
"We DO know what it takes… how to run sites, how to build traffic, how to promote by niche and more," he emphasized. "We feel that this will make a big difference for our affiliates and ultimately put money in all of our pockets."
As for how the program can help its affiliates promote Lifestyle Amateurs, Shawn believes that the productive marketers the company wants to work with will be able to sell the site using tried-and-true methods, rather than relying on gimmicky tools.
"We believe that the content speaks for itself and that most of the fancy promotional tools that some programs invest in are mostly a waste," Shawn commented. "Some promotional materials are great and others are of little substance. We will concentrate on providing tools that we know will work."
Shawn says that while the program is not begging for affiliates, it will go the extra mile for an affiliate who has proven his worth and will even create custom tools for them if necessary — an attitude which reflects the reality of the times.
"One of the biggest issues that we see with the industry is that programs invest too much in catering to affiliates in general and that is why 90 percent of their affiliates do not perform," Shawn said. "We are not interested in using baubles to attract fools… we are looking for serious affiliates who are willing to earn their money by diligence."
As for what the future holds for Lifestyle Amateurs, Shawn is quick to point out that he does not have a crystal ball and that he prefers to stick to facts and analyze the data that the program collects, charting its progress week after week.
"No one can predict what will happen… but I can chart growth and use that data to forecast what will occur if we maintain the mean growth rate," Shawn offered. "We are in it for the long haul and know that slow and steady wins the race."
"We are committed to that," he concluded. "Long term thinking is what drives us and I strongly believe that this approach is what builds a solid foundation for any company."
With such a forward ranging vision, Lifestyle Amateurs should have a very bright future; attracting new performers as well as affiliates looking for something different to promote, with an eye on member retention and the recurring payouts it brings.