Creating an Adult Site: Where to Start?

XBiz' Cosmic Village Members

It's a point that most of us have been at: deciding that trying to make some money on the adult Internet wasn't such a bad idea after all, and then wondering "Ok, so what's next? Where do I start?" Today, that question is being asked by geekoid71, one of XBiz' Cosmic Village's newest members. Here's some of the advice you gave him; advice that will help anyone just starting out in the biz:

For newbies, one of the best things that they can do is to join an online Webmaster community like XBiz' Cosmic Village, read through the current posts and archives, and then ask any questions that they may have, looking for the answers in our huge article archives, and in the responses of their fellow Cosmic Villagers. Doing this can often help you to ease your work load, maximize your profits, and avoid costly mistakes.

Recently, geekoid71 told the community that he was "venturing in this industry for the first time, so I need a little help:" and help was what he got! Here's what he wants to do, and your replies:

"I need to set up a simple site - a categorized members only photo gallery.
I suspect I need two separate systems:

- a script of some sort that would allow me to manage subscriptions and payments
- a script to allow me to easily maintain a categorized photo gallery

Perhaps there is one package that takes care of all? Any pointers much appreciated!"

Calavera was the first to respond, and he hit the nail right on the head when he commented that "You probably shouldn't start with a pay site. Read those articles, read adult wm boards, and start with something a bit easier like free sites..." Zayne E. agreed: "Definitely don't start with a pay site." This common sentiment was again repeated as UK_dude elaborated:

"I would recommend reading as much as possible, this board has some great tips for first timers, look on some other boards as well. Before you even venture near a pay site make a few free sites and/or AVS sites, these will gain you a lot of experience, creating, maintaining and promoting. Try looking through the threads on this board and also have a look at the resources listings on this site as well.

As for scripts needed to run a pay site, well I would suggest that as part of your homework you learn about third party processors - these people will process and manage subscriptions for you, they provide the scripts, support and often installation. You can buy scripts for gallery maintenance, there's loads at"

Gumby concurred and recommended some further reading "Like others have said, a pay site for your first site is not a great idea! Read the articles here at XBiz. Also I would suggest reading some of Voltar's articles, here and here."

D.G. followed up with this insightful post "Pay sites? The most difficult thing about pay sites is learning how to get members and retain them. If you take the others advice, you will learn how to promote other sites before you get into promoting your own... well worth the time and you can make some money too.

You will learn that it is not simply a matter of putting up a pay site and praying for miracles. Most pay sites that are successful have an entire network of sites directing traffic to them. For example I am finishing up an order for 150 feeder sites for a client that will use them to direct traffic to his pay site(s).

Without knowing all of the ins and outs of the business you will fail miserably, and just lose all the time, money (content) and effort it took you to build that awesome pay site that nobody will sign up for. There is simply WAY too much competition out there." You probably shouldn't start with a pay site. Read those articles, read adult wm boards, and start with something a bit easier like free sites...

SeeSea, one of CV's fabulous board Moderators, had this to say "Hi there geekoid71 welcome to the board. I agree with the advice you have already been given. You can build that best site on the web but without traffic they won't come... Learn about promotion and promoting sponsors first. You are at the right place to get help. Just ask.... there are great people here who are willing to help."

WillGAM had more flexible take on things, replying "I too agree with these guys, but think you should start thinking about the pay end immediately. I work for a marketing company that represents gay and lesbian sites. It's a hard business to just launch in to. If it wasn't, I'd be out of a job.

Get a URL, learn the tricks of submitting your site to the search engines, etc. Just try to get some traffic without charging for at least three or four months. Ask your ISP how you can track your traffic, then pay close attention. In the meantime though, think about your goals and how you want to go about setting up your site.

Find out what technology to use. Lot's of these people buy scripts. I think that's the worst way to go. You've got three to four months, learn Python (the language that this board is written in) or better yet, Macromedia Coldfusion, my language of choice. If you understand the "basic" programming language and HTML, Coldfusion should be a snap. They both do the same thing though programmers in both camps will tell you theirs is the best. There are pluses and minuses to both. It's obvious what camp I sleep in, but with Macromedia behind me, I fear not.

Write your own scripts. You will have so much more control and your sites will stand out better, not only to your customers, but to the search engines. The faster computers can handle data, the more the search engines can look at your code vs. the hundreds of millions of other websites. They look at every aspect of your code, they can tell which programs generate which types of HTML. I can see it, so can the computer. How would you write YOUR search engine software?

Make sure you use good companies for e-commerce. Bad credit card companies charge high fees and severely penalize you for taking fraudulent cards when in actuality it's their discretion as to which cards get accepted. Tie up your pay site with your newly well-trafficked site and voila! Recipe for business."

There you go: half a dozen specific, valuable answers to your questions, and all within a day — courtesy of your fellow XBiz' Cosmic Villagers: a "newbie friendly" adult Webmaster community! What can we help YOU with today?