Back in the day, affiliates and traffic would virtually fall in your lap — and yes, the pun is intentional.
You built a site, threw up some banners and, somehow, made money. Today, with the influx of free porn, tube sites and smut-spattered social media, even the biggest brands must constantly adjust, grow and adjust again to keep driving sales and traffic.
The adult internet industry is small and tight-knit. We all know each other, so don’t be afraid to ask your affiliates and competitors what works best for them.
There are no easy answers. And while this business is certainly not for the faint of heart, fortunately some things can help push the needle ever so slightly in the right direction.
Here are a number of key points to ingest:
Gone are the days of the big contract girls. Porn is now filled with hot, young, smart and — most importantly — marketing-savvy girls. These girls truly hustle, becoming acquainted with their fan base and constantly interacting with them. This creates a very personal experience for today’s porn user, and unsurprisingly, it’s also a great way to drive sales! Think of these brand ambassadors as your mini-affiliates.
Hustler is currently working with Jessa Rhodes (follow her on Twitter @MissJessaRhodes), so when we tweet her image and “deal of the day,” she shares our post with all her followers, too. In short, you’re not just marketing to your brand ambassador’s fan base, you’re converting them into new followers for your own brand.
When I speak of partnerships, I mean real teamwork where entrepreneurs work together creatively to grow their mutual business. Look at your current best partners, and consider: is there a way that you could double the effort to double the payoff? Reach out and try. For example, if you’re doing an MA trade, add a one-click, and so on and so forth. A/B test different white labels on your sites, and when you find one that really clicks, see what more you can do to further monetize these sales.
Trade Shows/Engaging Your Affiliates
At the 2016 XBIZ Show in Los Angeles, I was reminded of how important it is to “show face.” I couldn’t make it through the lobby without being stopped and asked for a meeting! No matter how big your brand is, it’s essential to show up, mingle and, yes, even party with your peers. While we at Hustler cannot attend every show, we always try to make the ones that our partners will be attending, and we always keep our calendar full. Even if you show up just to say hello, you are keeping yourself, your company and your brand on the map.
Although some boards are more constructive than others, there are plenty of great resources out there. Typically, I make a point of visiting certain ones at least once a week. There, you can find fresh ideas just by signing up, joining the conversation and asking your peers for advice. Make sure your signature is up to date and add a banner when you can — it’s free marketing for your program!
Love it or hate it, it is here to stay, so jump onboard — and network like your job depends on it. (Spoiler alert: it does.) More than half of my personal Facebook is comprised of industry folks. Sure, they know about my personal life, too, but I always post about relevant Hustler news. Maintaining other accounts, like Twitter and LinkedIn, will help you stay up-to-date on industry happenings and new talent.
A Few More Tips
Treat your site like a child — it has to be changed constantly. In order to grow your brand, you must feed the site by rolling out new content, new technology, and an improved user interface. Pay attention, because every link, picture and video should be your very best — otherwise, why bother? QA the site in the morning, evening and on weekends. I am anal (pun intended here, too) about Hustler.com because a bad user experience directly correlates to bad sales.
Lastly, monitor your competition. Ask questions; the adult internet industry is small and tight-knit. We all know each other, so don’t be afraid to ask your affiliates and competitors what works best for them. You will be surprised just how helpful everyone is!
You can always ask me for help at email@example.com.
Holly Ruprecht is Hustler’s senior business development manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.