Rants and Ratings

Stephen Yagielowicz

When it comes to profiting from your creative works, “artistry” and “commerce” can easily part ways; causing a situation where what is pleasing to the creator may find little traction amongst paying customers; resulting in another ohso-romantic “starving artist,” struggling to pay his or her bills, all the while hoping that someone will appreciate their enlightened “artistic vision” enough to pay the rent…

This applies equally truly to actors and other performers, musicians, writers, painters, photographers and anyone else trying to sell their own self created and portrayed works, including webmasters — who unlike many of their creative competitors, have an easy, measurable way of determining consumer demand for, and the popularity of, their wares.

When it comes to profiting from your creative works, “artistry” and “commerce” can easily part ways.

The tools most often enabling the profound insights available to digital marketers include direct-response feedback, such as is received via email or an online contact form, visitor polling, surveys and community forums — along with social media channels — such as a corporate Facebook page and Twitter account.

Instant messaging and good-old-fashioned 1-800 numbers (and their new equivalents, such as Skype), while intrusive and frequently imposing language barriers, also provide an opportunity for creatives to better understand and serve their customers — and this includes an adult website operator tweaking its content for maximum marketability.

For example, adding an easy mechanism for website visitors to vote on your content, such as a “thumbs up,” “thumbs down,” “like,” or other button, along with commenting — and paying attention to the results — will enable your customers to help you build a better site that offers more “in demand” merchandise and boost sales.

While you may find that only a small percentage of visitors make use of these tools, those that do may be your best prospects — and best mentors.