Less Traffic, More Profit?

Zoltan Csesznik
On the first read, the title of this article might sound a little insane, but by the end of it, you will realize that I am totally right.

I have been running an adult site for three years now. The site is not doing badly and provides me with a normal living. But I was always a man of analytical testing, and making things better and more optimal was what I did to squeeze out more profit.

I advertise my site in several channels (PPC, banners, etc.), but a couple of months ago, I began to realize that after a certain number of sales, I couldn’t make any more money. My niche is rather specific and there is no more targeted traffic available. I also tried untargeted and semi-targeted traffic, but the conversion results were poor.

With this in mind (and some frustration), I then thought that if I couldn’t enhance profits by raising sales, there might be a way to cut down on my costs, or at least gain some efficiency there. By analyzing my costs, I realized that there wasn’t much I could do, but one issue was getting my attention: hosting and bandwidth.

I have invested a significant amount of money, but at the same time, it is very difficult to determine which “formula” is the most efficient one in terms of type, size, speed, features, etc. If I cut down on costs, will I still get the same speed? Will that drive more sales because visitors have a better experience on my site?

After analyzing the log files, I realized that only 65 percent of the traffic was coming from Western countries, with the remaining 35 percent coming from less developed parts of the world. The second shock came when I learned that my payment processor does not accept transactions from those countries; so even if those visitors had the desire to subscribe, they couldn’t.

So my brain started to overheat, and I asked myself: Do I need that 35 percent at all? Can I not just cut it out? It is inevitably causing me costs through the bandwidth that it sucks up. Best of all, if there was a way to block that traffic, it would free up 35 percent of my server resources, which would lead to a faster site and a better surfing experience for the visitors who are actually potential customers.

With this in mind, I started searching the Internet to see if there was any help out there for such an issue, and luckily I found, a very logical and easy application that had been developed just for this purpose, which means that I must not have been the only one with this problem.

The service is free and is very easy to use. I just signed up, pasted a small bit of code onto my website, determined which countries to accept or block, and that was all.

The results were amazing. My daily bandwidth was 30 GB, and more than 500 GB/mo I had to pay $100/200GB, so my extra hosting cost was around $250.

After starting to use the remote IP filtering service, my bandwidth dropped back to 15-17 GB/day, but I received exactly the same amount of subscriptions, and the best advantage was that my server got much faster. My site had better connect time, and I saved almost $200 the first month alone, which means a $2,500 savings annually.

I must also mention another advantage. I have a newsletter list that I send out once a week. I get 300-500 new addresses weekly and the list currently has 25,000 subscribers. For me to send out 10,000 emails takes four hours of server time. Now I will get only the valuable emails, so I’ll save plenty of time with the email sending too.

But not making a penny on 35 percent of my traffic was quite disturbing. I wondered how I could use it to make a profit from it. I created a very simple web page that was related to my website, and I also signed up for the Google Adwords service and placed Google ads on that page. This was the best I could do. There are sites that want traffic from those countries, and I get paid by Google for every click.

I could continue discussing the advantages of country IP filtering because my content is produced in Eastern Europe and in 99 percent of the cases, my models don’t want to be seen in their own country, so I simply filtered those countries out.

So what is my conclusion? I believe that everyone who is in the adult business should start filtering their website traffic to save costs, enhance resources and make extra profit.

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