Hidden Gems

Stephen Yagielowicz

I love the community here at XBiz and consider it to be the finest hangout for adult Webmasters on the Internet, bar none – an arguably biased, but nonetheless honest, opinion. Perhaps the thing that I enjoy the most is the overall superior quality of the message boards, and the informative posts you can find here…

Sometimes these posts are obvious in nature, but other times, thoughtful messages and insightful information can be buried within threads that might be overlooked due to their ambiguous titles. I for one am guilty of passing over many threads that might contain useful information due to the title the original author chose. For example, a thread called “Check This Out!” will almost never get a click out of me, whereas one titled “Innovative Traffic Strategies” will.

Having a limited amount of time to spend on the boards is one factor, bullshit overload is another; but one unfortunate consequence of this superficial title-based thread filtering is that I (and no-doubt many other readers) miss valuable posts. Here are two examples:

The first post is from a thread entitled Ferrari vs. Yugo, a thread easily dismissed on the basis of its title as another adolescent rant about the kind of car that Johnny Webmaster would buy if only his signups would increase. But the title of this thread masked an important lesson in marketing, as its author Dr. Abap stated:

“Has anyone ever wondered why companies like Ferrari and Mercedes can do no wrong? They can sell whatever they make for as much as they want, while companies like Yugo and others perish. They all make the same product. Have you ever thought why a Mercedes SUV built by Americans in America is still looked at as a superior automobile and priced accordingly? It just looks to me like the consumer is wising up and can't be fooled any longer. Hell, I'm scared to death to put my email address onto any adult site. Free is not free. Opt-out is not Opt-out. The common goal is the same here and everywhere 1. Get customers. 2. Keep customers.”

“This seems to be the same problem the recording industry is now facing. They overcharged for so long and started producing crap with 1 or 2 hits for $15-$20. Now its biting them in the ass. I don’t think most people would pirate if they sold CD's for $4.99. The bottom seems to be falling out only because the consumer is fed up with what they were being charged. Same thing with video games. $50 is a joke. And rather then give the buyer a better value and build trust again, the money will go to attorneys to protect their intellectual property. Wasted effort. Rich Attorneys.”

“The formula is simple. Problem is in this industry, I don’t know if the consumer will even believe it. Good product. Great value. MASS market. 100,000 happy paying customers at $2 a month is better then 1000 customers at $30 a month ready to cancel continuously. And word of mouth (or email in this case) is worth its weight in gold. How many times have you just thrown away an unopened email from a trusted friend that read 'Hey, you’ve gotta see this?' Probably never. That’s free money. The geometric progression of something like that cannot be bought. OK. I’m done blabbing. I hope I can be that pioneer soon. As we all do.”

Babbling? Sure. Insightful and perhaps the difference between success and failure for the clueless noob who will finally “get it” after reading this? You bet! Another interesting post was made by Macker in another easily overlooked thread called “Which is preferred?” {QUOTE]The Internet is a pull medium and brings best results when used in that way. Unlike TV, radio and newspapers, they are non-interactive and merely 'push' their message onto the viewer whether they ask for it or not.

“…I nor others reading your post 'asked' to see your banner. This ultimately goes against of what type of medium the Internet is. The Internet is a pull medium and brings best results when used in that way. Unlike TV, radio and newspapers, they are non-interactive and merely 'push' their message onto the viewer whether they ask for it or not. Banner advertising is in essence a ‘push’ way of delivering your message - and as it is pushed, considerably less effective than other methods…”

“Let me put this to you: You have a site in say, Ebony. If you are efficient enough at running your site, then real webmasters with an interest in that niche will be aware of you and/or your program. These more knowledgeable webmasters will a) know what they are looking for and won't fall for the old $40 per sign to promote a jaded site that only converts 1/1000 or even worse 1/1700 and b) they will recognize your site as a site that still has life in it and would convert the traffic they would send it.”

“I am not saying advertising is foolish, I am just saying we should perhaps use and utilize the strengths of what the Internet is and market accordingly. By doing so, people won't look at the banner under your name and read right past it (as I did). If you as I have already said know your niche, work it well, and then present your case to those that are receptive then the real webmasters will find you with just a little help from advertising. In the meantime, I guess lots of webmasters will carry on pushing the $40 per sign programs in their attempt to chase the gold. This occurs while those site owners are able to play a numbers game with substandard jaded sites because their partners know better. Recurring with trustworthy programs and advertising intelligently seems to be the way to go these days. The tactics of old are the foolishness of the new...”

These quotes are but a small sampling of what Macker contributed to this thread on which is better, recurring or per-signup sponsor programs, but the title of which was vague enough that many busy Webmasters would easily skip over it for something more obviously targeting their interests.

The lessons here are simple: if you are the one starting a thread that is worth reading, then consider the title of that thread and how it can be most descriptively worded. If you are simply browsing the boards, take a few minutes to scan through a few of the threads that you might normally overlook – you never know what hidden gems you’ll uncover! Take care ~ Stephen

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