opinion

Analyzing The XBIZ Award Nominations

Stewart Tongue
It seems every year, as soon as the XBIZ Award Nominations are announced the reactions bubble up on message-boards from people who only take a cursory glance at the companies being named or only look for specific people they already know. Then a few start claiming the process isn't impartial, others try to capitalize by putting the spotlight on their own company and very few webmasters manage to make real use of the important information that can be located if you look a little deeper at the list.

Nominees must be recommended by industry insiders first, and then those companies who have gotten enough credible recommendations are sorted by expert XBIZ staff to create the final nominees list for the year. When I look a the list, the first two things I look for are longevity or new names.

In an era where payouts are inconsistent, affiliate programs are closing and affiliates are looking for safe places to send their traffic - finding companies that get nominated or win awards year in and year out makes good sense. No, it may not be a guarantee that these companies will all still be here paying on time every time in 2012 or 2013, but in a world without guarantees, kind words from friends in the industry backed by the research of staff at XBIZ is a good place to start.

Perennial favorites like PIMPROLL, Hustler, TopBucks and Gamma Entertainment are all on the list again. With PIMPROLL announcing earlier this year that they surpassed the 400 weeks of consecutive payouts milestone (more than 7 full years), Gamma announcing it has made big new deals with hot companies like BlazingBucks and TopBucks at the forefront of many industry initiatives regarding content protection and expansion into new markets - it's no wonder these companies earned nominations and it makes perfect sense that if you plan to trust your joins with anyone in 2011 these companies are some of the most stable 'blue chip' sponsors worth considering.

When looking at some of the new names on the list, other important information can be gleaned from the nominees mentioned. For example, Linkspun has earned its first nomination and is a company founded in 2010. Linkspun was born out of the dysfunction that befell the thunderball link trading system of the past. With a sleek interface, hundreds of active webmasters and more than 200,000 completed link trades, Jdoughts has built his new site into one of the most significant SEO tools ever created for adult companies and individuals. On top of all that, the entire system is free for your use thanks to generous sponsors and very discreet advertising. If you haven't checked out linkspun and you own a website, you can thank XBIZ for highlighting this amazing new tool for you.

In the highly competitive Solo Girl and Pornstar Affiliate market categories companies come and go each year, but this year there are a few worth giving some additional attention. For starters, Latin Teen Cash is nominated again this year for an award, which is their third time up for the honor, while their spin-off program Pacino Cash has also earned a nomination as well. That goes to show you that during the difficult and exciting period of expansion during 2010, Kellie and her crew have managed to maintain the high standards of their original program while also producing top quality sites and marketing materials for their new brand as well. Not an easy task and one that shows you Pacino Network is clearly taking a long term approach to creating sites worthy of your affiliate traffic.

The other Pornstar program that stands out is BlazingBucks, with a lengthy track-record of top quality management in a clearly defined niche, the recent news that they are teaming up with adult industry giant Gamma Entertainment demonstrates their desire to take things to a whole new level. The deal makes terrific sense for anyone knowledgeable about the strengths of each enterprise, putting Gamma's global reach behind the award nominated niche content and personal touch BlazingBucks has mastered is enough to have smart webmasters looking for new ways to push traffic their way.

These highlights are just a short sample of the information that can be found in an extensive nominations list. The awards will be won and the winners will get most of the attention, but I tend to focus every year on the names of nominated companies much more than who won. After all, if you are in this business to earn money rather than win a trophy, the results of an industry-wide opinion poll like the XBIZ Award Nominations is very valuable data for you to sift through.

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