Giving it Away: The Free Site Model
I had an MBA friend who used to walk around saying “no one ever made any money giving it away.” Not only does the free site model fly in the face of this statement, but my friend later got into the business himself. The basic concept behind this model is using the lure of free pictures and movies to entice surfers to your corner of the web. Once you’ve gotten them to your site, you can try to monetize your traffic in a number of ways. This model forces you to think about concepts such as site flow, color schemes, click patterns, and the freshness of your offers.
The first method of making money with a free site is to inundate your surfers with pop up advertising and other forms of intrusive marketing. A number of companies will pay you a small fee for every surfer choosing to click on these windows. By attacking your user with a barrage of flashing lights, blaring sounds, and browser hijacks, you run the risk of losing a customer for life. If you get a reputation for employing these tactics, surfers may avoid your sites like the plague.
A less aggressive (and arguably, more effective) method of turning surfers into dollars is the sponsorship program. By placing an attractive banner ad on your free site, you are hoping for surfers to click through and sign up for an account with your sponsor of choice. If this happens, the sponsor will pay you either a large per-user signup fee, or a smaller share of the monthly revenue. Accumulating enough paid accounts (and recurring monthly revenue) with the sponsor results in a nice residual income. By choosing this route, you also may avoid paying bundles for your starting content. Most sponsors now offer free pictures and videos to their webmasters, and many update this section with some regularity.
Marketed correctly, the free site will generate a large bandwidth bill every month. By shopping around carefully for sponsors, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that some will not only give you content, but will also host your site free of charge.
Safety in Numbers: AVS Sites
You may have an excellent site, with quality content and a good amount of traffic. What entices a surfer to sign up, though? In most cases, the promise of additional content in your member’s section. No one can offer more in terms of sheer volumes of content than an AVS program. In a typical scenario, a webmaster choosing to promote the AVS business model will set up a page with a few pictures to entice surfers, similar to a free site. Somewhere on this page, the webmaster will include a login prompt for the AVS system they choose to work with. If the user is currently a member of that AVS program, they are granted free access to a special member’s section of the website, allowing them to download the content “behind the curtain”, so to speak. If the surfer lacks a password, they are given the option to obtain one.
The real strength of the AVS model shines when a large group of webmasters all publish sites under the same network, creating a massive member’s section comprised of thousands of individual sites. The sales pitch to the surfer is simple: sign up now for a nominal fee (or, in some cases, completely free), and gain access to a massive network of adult sites at no additional charge. Each user signing up through a webmaster’s offering generates a one-time or recurring fee for that webmaster.
Looking For More Options?
We’ve reviewed, in broad brush strokes, the free site as well as the AVS model. If these businesses appeal to you, it’s a good bet that your interests lie closer to hooking the user rather than keeping them on the line. In our next installment, we will explore the possibilities offered by the paysite and link directory, two business types that force you to evaluate your repeat customer’s happiness.
Stay Tuned for More!