How to do Things With Words: Strategies of Rhetoric for Adult Webmasters

Before I got into this industry, I taught English at the university. My job was to teach my students how to do things with words. And I don’t mean just how to string a grammatical sentence together, or where to put commas. I taught my students how to make people do what the writer wanted them to do. It’s verbal manipulation, and it’s called rhetoric.

This article is about words and, more specifically, the right time, place, and context to use certain words. This article is also about when not to use certain words within certain contexts and demographics. If you’re a webmaster using any amount or degree of wording anywhere on your site—which includes everyone—then it’s time to do your homework and figure out if you’re targeting the right audience with the right words at the right time. 

We all have similar goals in our respective businesses: to keep the customers happy; to keep them bookmarking, clicking, and telling their buddies and girlfriends all about our sites. We also all know what we want and desire: to keep people as long-term customers, which, in turn, keeps our wallets and bank accounts full. If it’s your content that’s making all these things happen, you can’t forget that words are part of that content. 

So, children, let’s learn how to do things with words!

Part One: Get Into Your Customer’s Mind

The first step in getting the customer to do what you want them to do is to figure out what they’re thinking. This requires some thought as to what your demographics and target audiences are. Then, based on that information, you need to make some informed assumptions as to what type of consumer they probably are. Doing this type of planning will help you figure out what kinds of key words will be most effective in getting them to pay for what you’re offering.

For instance, a younger demographic—say, males between 18 and 25—is generally looking for hardcore, in-your-face content. They are usually extremely horny and like a lot of sex with a lot of people (if they can get it, of course). This audience likes to think about the explicitness of sex, especially private parts. If your content is mainstream as opposed to niche, then subtlety is not in order for this audience. The world is your oyster here, and you can choose from a wide array of words focusing primarily on the private parts. Pussy, cunt, fuckhole, asshole, cock, tits, slit, fuck, cum, bush, slut, whore, pound, and the like are at your disposal. This particular audience expects you to use these words, since they are the same words your customers themselves use in their daily language.

Compare this to a 35-50ish demographic, and you’re dealing with a different beast altogether. Again, if your content is mainstream as opposed to niche, this audience is generally married or at least on the dating scene, often with children. They have a steady income and a future to secure. You’ve got a lot of established males, and likely a few open-minded females, checking out your site. These are folks who are sick of getting ripped off, and the latter end of your demographic can often be distrustful of the Internet in general. This means you’ll have to change your word choice slightly. Most people are desensitized to words like “pussy” and “tits.” But something like “cunt” is generally offensive to an older crowd, both men and women. Most older men won’t use the word cunt unless they’re using it in a derogatory way, and most women cringe at the word. Using more explicit words with an older audience will likely make you look like an asshole, and your potential customers are probably going to look somewhere else.

This crucial consideration is all about putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and figuring out what you’d like to hear if you were them. You really can’t go too far in analyzing your audience; the more you know about them, the more likely they are to trust you and open up their wallets for you. This leads to step two.

Part Two: Gain Their Trust

Most folks aren’t too keen on the idea of opening up their wallets for something they’re not quite sure about. Remember, your customers are essentially investing in you; in any other aspect of life, people won’t invest in you unless they trust you. If you’re asking someone to give up their hard-earned cash to look at porn, and if you’re going to claim that your porn is the best on the net, then you’d better gain their trust first.

Basically, to gain trust, you have to present yourself as a credible merchant. There are tons of ways to do this, and here are a few suggestions:
  • Get back to the basics. Here comes the English teacher in me. What I mean by “basics” are the basics of grammar and punctuation. If you’re going to write, write well. You don’t have to understand the difference between passive and active voices, but you should at least put apostrophes and other punctuation in the right place. Even if some of your surfers or customers don’t care, others will. Stringing together a grammatical sentence shows you’ve put time and thought into your words. If you put effort into something as seemingly simple as your words, the customer will logically extend that level of care into what they expect from you. This translates into a higher likelihood of them opening up their wallets.
  • Use testimonials. Have you received positive feedback from your members or surfers? Has your site received a good review from an adult review site? Then post it. Your average infomercial does this all the time, and testimonials are one of the big reasons that people buy the product. Most people are inherently distrustful of salespeople, and they want to know that the average person will vouch for what you’re saying. The bonus to this is that you didn’t have to do anything with your own words; a happy customer sold the site for you.
  • Write what you know. This is something that sexyscribe from mentions in a YNOT article, and I can’t agree with her enough. If you’re not a busty redhead writing a blog, then don’t pretend to be. You’re too likely to slip somewhere, and the second you do, you’re going to lose those valuable members. If you’re a guy in need of a female voice for your site, or vice versa, I have one word for you: outsource.
  • Make visual cues consistent with your words. In other words, if you’re advertising the highest-class, more artistic nude content available, no one is going to believe you if your site design is amateurish and if you have flashing boobs on your banners.

Part Three: Making It Logical

This last part is intertwined with the other two, making it just as important to remember. 

Consider this: you’re not just trying to sell something; you’re actually trying to make a logical argument.

Doesn’t make sense? Think of it this way: you’re arguing that any given surfer should buy your product. If you want that to actually happen, you have to make it a logical and easy step in their decision-making process. Imagine if you went to a car dealership and the salesperson said, “Buy this car ‘cause it’s a really good car.” Would you fork over the money? Probably not. Or at least, I hope not. You’d want to know why you should buy that car, and “’cause it’s a really good car” just isn’t evidence enough.

For the adult webmaster, the argument looks like this: “Buy this porn because it’s the best on the net.” Thing is, that’s just not reason enough for most people. Your surfers need to see evidence that yours is the best, and that takes time, effort, and money. Don’t overlook both the big and small chances you have to persuade a surfer into becoming a paying member.

Here’s where I’m going to tell you to not rely on words alone. If your words say you update on a consistent basis, do it. If your words are touting a high-class, discriminating quality of porn, don’t use clashing color schemes or pop-ups. If you have a money-back guarantee for dissatisfied members, don’t make it impossible for them to figure out how to cancel their membership. The basic idea is to follow up your argument with lots of little cues and bits of evidence that show you’re a reliable, trustworthy merchant that they’ll want to return to again and again.

If you’ve really gotten into your customer’s mind, and if you’ve successfully gained their trust, then your argument should prove itself, and you’ll reap the rewards of all your hard work. 

ATKCash proudly offers four of its world-class, high-retention family of websites to webmasters promoting ATK. Webmasters earn 50% recurring revenue for the life of each account. Since 1996, ATK has offered the best amateurs, the original natural and hairy girls, the finest exotics, and the most stunning artistic nudes.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

MikeyNuts says:
Great article, i've been using ATK forever and love them.
January 16th, 2008
at 1:18pm EST
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