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How to Make Money with your Adult Blog

   While there are many different ways to effectively run an adult blog, there are a few generally accepted ways that nearly every adult webmaster uses to make money.  In this article I’ll define and discuss the handful of standard ways to make money with an adult blog.  This article is mostly targeted to the beginner webmaster who hasn’t quite sorted out the different ways of making money yet.  You’d be surprised at the number of people who ask me “So… where do I buy the content to put on my site?  Do I need to buy a good camera first?” Read on…

Affiliate Sales

   No – you don’t need to shoot your own porn to run an adult blog.  You’ll want to get the content from an Affiliate Marketing Program.  Affiliate marketing is when you promote or sell products in return for a commission when a customer purchases said product.   The affiliate program will provide you with sample content to use to market the product (this is what you use to make your galleries).  In the case of running an adult blog, that product is usually a membership to an adult web site.  When the adult surfer navigates to the membership site through a link that you’ve provided and actually purchases a membership, you will receive some sort of payment (usually a revenue share or a pay-per-sale model) for making that sale.   It sounds simple, but it can obviously get much more complex when you throw in the myriad different ways of promotion and marketing.

   As previously mentioned, the payment is usually either a “RevShare” (revenue sharing) or “PPS” (pay per sale) model.  With revenue sharing, you will receive a set percentage (usually around 50%) of the amount of the sale.  If the customer continues to stay a member of the website (or “rebills”), you’ll continue to receive the percentage that the customer spends on said website.  With pay per sale, you’ll receive a set dollar amount (usually around $30-50) for the sale and nothing else for the lifetime of the customer. 

   How do you decide between Revshare and PPS? Revshare is obviously better for the long term effect, as your surfer base builds over time you’ll receive more and more of that “perfect customer” who happens to very much enjoy the membership and rebills forever and ever.  These are few and far between, but the total dollar amount over time is far greater than the pay per sale amount.  Pay Per Sale is far better for the short term, if the user doesn’t plan on rebilling, then there is no point in making 50% of the sale (usually around $15) rather than $35-50.  For the affiliate programs that offer both PPS and Revshare options, in my opinion the best way to determine which to use is to look at the frequency of content updates and the quality of the content.  If the content is low grade and the updates are few and far between, would you keep your membership after finding out how bad the site is on the inside?  Go with pay per sale.  If the content is mind blowing, frequently updated, and contains an interaction component (i.e. a message board, cam shows, instant messaging, etc.) then that is an incentive for the surfer to keep their membership.  Go with Revshare in that case.

   Usually, affiliate programs will also offer webmaster referral programs.  If you refer another webmaster to the program, you’ll receive somewhere 5-10% of their income.  Over time, if you refer some decent and committed webmasters this can actually become a decent part of your affiliate income.

Ad Networks

   Sign up with an Ad Network and they’ll pay you (per advertisement click) to show ads on your blog.  A few good examples of advertising networks that accept adult content would be AdBrite (Black Label Ads), AVN Ads, AdEngage, Etology, or Ero-Advertising.  In case you’re wondering, Google’s AdSense program does not allow advertising on adult websites.   With these programs, you’ll sign up, create some sort of “ad zone” usually, pick the colors, text length, etc. and then paste a snippet of javascript code into your website template to display the text ads.  When your surfers click on the ads, you’ll get a few cents - usually anywhere from $0.02-$0.05 per click.  Some networks also pay on a CPM (cost per impression) basis, i.e. you’ll receive $1 per 10000 viewers of an ad.  However, these are few and far between anymore due to fraudulent activities and low return on advertising investment.

   Beyond text ads, another of my favorite options for Ad Networks is “In Video” ads.  These were offered up until recently by BlackLabelAds, and are now only offered (at least in the adult business) by Ero-Advertising.  These are text ads that you can add into your flash videos, and are paid per click usually.  Great way to make some extra money if you’ve got any videos on your website.

   Some time ago, some adult bloggers were using Text Ad Networks as their main source of income.  Unfortunately, with this strategy you’re at the whim of the company running the ad network, i.e. you’re tied to their prices and you’re tied to their potential ad volume.  If they don’t have any ads to run, then you can’t make any money.  This is usually partly tied to the strength of the economy which affects advertising budgets, etc.

   Nonetheless, including an ad network on your site is incredibly easy and takes little to no effort to manage.  At worst, you’ll at least make a couple dollars per day when you’re starting out, which works as a nice bonus to your affiliate sales.

Ad Sales

   Lots of adult bloggers manage ad sales on their own without the help of or in addition to an Ad Network.  The ads could be gallery plugs, sidebar thumbs, text links (hardlinks), banner ads, buttons, or any number of different ideas.  There is obviously a bit of overheard involved as you’ve got to collect the payments and manage the sales yourself, but you can often have better terms than the Ad Networks will give you, and keep all of the profits for yourself.  Some webmasters make a majority of their income selling gallery plugs and front page traffic – for example, a gallery plug that will send 50,000 visitors could sell for upwards of $300, depending on current ad market conditions and the quality of the traffic.

Dating Networks

   Dating networks work much like a combination of affiliate marketing and an ad network.  You’ll sign up and create a custom ad to fit your site, paste some javascript onto your template, and then you’ll usually have random pictures of women (or men) that are supposedly looking for a date.  If the user signs up with the site, you’ll receive a commission – usually in a pay per sale or revenue sharing (if the user stays signed up) deal.  A few examples of reputable dating networks include Adult Friend Finder, Dating Gold, and Fling.  They’ve all had their ups and downs over time, I used to make good money with them but I’ve found that the money has significantly decreased over time.

Cam Networks

   Webcam networks much the same as Dating Networks, except with live webcam shows.   These usually have pay per sale or revenue sharing models as well – however, the potential for the revenue sharing model here can often far outweigh the pay per sale model if you are lucky enough to get a user that will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on web cam shows.

Other

   There are myriad other types of affiliate programs that you can use on your site such as enlargement, pills, toys, DVDs, or anything else you can think of.  They all work about the same, so I won't go into them in detail.

As previously mentioned, while there are only a few common ways to make money with adult blogging - there are limitless different ways to actually promote and use the aforementioned methods to make money.  Above all, the best way to make money is to "stick with it"!  Don't quit when you don't make any money after running your site for a few weeks.  It takes a while to let your traffic and search engine rankings build up before you'll ever see a dime.  I've seen people not make a sale for months on end.  In the end, you just have to stick with it for more than a few months.  If you've gone for more than three or four months without making any money, then you're doing something wrong - get some help from an adult webmaster board or an IRC channel perhaps.  If you've made some money, determine what you did to make that money and then do more of it!