No, this isn't an article about how to make extra money by hanging around in certain sleazy districts of your home town/city, but how to market yourself to a wider audience – both other Webmasters and potential visitors.
Before starting in the adult industry, I spent three years as a "Web Grunt" in an advertising agency/web design studio. I then went on to work as a Freelance designer for two years before heading towards this particular industry recently. The lessons I learnt in the agency and out in the real world – where promoting myself was everything – have taught me a lot of things that I'm now using to market Sex Doll Porn (http://www.sexdollporn.com).
We're All Human
Behind every adult website you'll find human beings. Generally one, sometimes two, occasionally lots in a big Company. But mostly it's real human beings just like yourself looking to make some extra money. They're not anonymous, faceless entities hidden behind a domain name.
Even the sleaziest salesman I worked with in the agency - the one that always closed his sale and chanted the mantra "I'm a winner" — had human qualities and could be sold MY particular product if I approached him correctly — and he's the one used to carrying out that role. The same thing applies to clients that gave me the shits — treat them right and they'll be on your side.
Guess what? A little courtesy goes a long, long way...
If you're unsure about the rules of a site you want to trade links with or submit content to, email the Webmaster and ask them what their rules are. By doing so you've automatically broken down the barriers between yourself and this faceless domain name. At the same time you've created a human to human bond rather than just being one of the hundreds who submit things that break the rules and are automatically rejected. Not only have you made a valuable human contact, but you've put them on your side by taking time to ensure that you're not breaking their site's rules.
First Impressions are Everything
You'd be surprised just how many people do not realise just how important that first contact with some is. During my time in the agency I was lucky enough to be screening job applicants for the position I was about to vacate. 50% of the respondents were immediately put in the "not on your life" pile because their cover letters were full of slang and misspellings. One person even wandered into the agency with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and said "Hey mate, my printer's busted and I reckon I'd be great for the job and it would be really cool to work here, so why not print out my resume and I'll come back tomorrow to pick up a spare print-out as well."
Did he get the job? His went in the pile along with the guy that used "toxic green slime 60 point headers" to make his job application look bigger.
First impressions are everything! When you write your letter to ask for the site rules, make sure it's polite. You can use something like this:
Dear Whomever (use their name if you can find it on the site),
I'd like to submit my Gallery to your TGP but was a little unclear about the rules regarding outgoing links. As I'd like to make sure I submit it correctly the first time and avoid wasting your time with an inappropriate submission, I wanted to clarify exactly what you mean by this term.
So it's a bit formal and sounds a bit weird, but it shows a sense of respect. Keep your language clean and professional and avoid use of slang or swearing and you'll find that you should get a response almost every time.
Once they respond to your question, see what sort of grammar / language they've used and what level of formality is appropriate with them. Sometimes you find you'll be able to start swapping dirty jokes with them after a week or two, other times it will remain formal. You can always become less formal as you get to know them, but always start off as is you were addressing an important, well respected client and you'll never run into trouble.
One thing I learnt — is always be nice to other people - even if they're being a pain in the ass. I've had clients who are complete assholes, but by keeping my cool has always paid off in the long run because you'll find that they often return to you. If they're a pain in the ass, they're probably used to being dropped by their business partners. You might just be the one to get that amazing deal because you stuck it out and put up with their moods for a while.
If you want to dump them, let THEM waste their energy being grumpy and abusive and walk away quietly rather than abusing them and leaving in a huff. It's an amazingly small world and by telling them off, their friends who are "perfect clients" might just hear about it and you could lose that amazing deal you may have gotten anyways. People talk - about both the good and bad attitudes you express.
Partners for Life
Every Email you send out to the Webmaster should be with a view to making long-term business (and friendly) relationships. If you're in for the short-haul, you're in the wrong business to start with - it's about creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with each other. If you make good friends, you'll find that five or ten years down the track, you'll have this huge network of people all supporting each other. We may be in competition with each other for viewer dollars, but by helping each other out, we ALL make more money long term. Even in the most selfish of terms, every Webmaster you make friends with and swap links with benefits you. Although you're sending traffic to their site, Search Engines often use link popularity to decide on the order they display sites. Each link is another point in the ranking order.
To sum up — always sell yourself in a positive, professional manner and you'll find that you can make excellent, long-term friends and business partners and ensure you're not another crash and burn dotcom fatality like so many other faceless domains.