Know Your Niche

One thing that I find rather strange about this industry is that many times webmasters will own or run sites that portray niches that they themselves do not understand. In the mainstream world, most people will start their own business with a product or a service that they have expertise with, or at the very least, familiarity with. In the online adult world, many times we see things like a straight man running a gay site, a straight and narrow webmaster with a hardcore fetish site, a chauvinist male operating a 4-women site, and so on. These people will take on niches that they are not even necessarily comfortable with, for the sole purpose of making money. Now, while I do feel that making a profit should be a primary goal, I think that it makes more sense for your bottom line if you at least have a grasp of what the niche you are selling, is all about.

Many adult companies or webmasters are fortunate enough to have a barrage of sites to offer surfers, which cover just about every niche. However, many webmasters can only handle or afford one paysite, especially those that are just starting out, and therefore must choose their niche carefully. The first instinct that webmasters have when creating a paysite, is to choose a niche that they believe is most popular and therefore has the most moneymaking potential. Popularity is definitely a large consideration when determining which direction your paysite will take, but it is not the only one, nor do I feel that it is the most important. I feel that a webmasters own personal tastes or knowledge should pave the way for the construction of their paysite. What I mean in simpler terms is that I feel that it is almost crucial for a Webmaster to know his or her niche in order to build a successful paysite around it.

There are of course many very successful webmasters that operate paysites that are outside the realm of their tastes or preferences, but I believe that their success is more due to their marketing abilities. If you want your members to actually stay past their trial, then your site has to be something that you yourself would actually pay money for month after month. For instance, if you were a surfer shelling out money for smut, you would probably want to get a few things in return. You would probably want a site that offers limitless updated content but you would also want a site that catered to your distinct tastes and desires. If this is what you would want as a paying customer, then you should give the same thing to your paying customers. If teenage lesbians turn you on, then you should create a paysite, which reflects these tastes. 

If you know your niche, then it is much easier to assess which content would be suitable for your members. I recently interviewed a woman who runs a 4-women paysite, and one of the things that she had problems with in this industry was the high number of sites in that niche that seemed to have no idea what actually turned women on. The reason for this of course, is that most of these sites are not run by women, but instead are the creations of men who assumed to know what it is that women want. When I asked her what made her site different yet at the same time successful, she replied that she created her site with the female perspective in mind. She indicated that all of the content on her site was in fact stuff that she would actually want to see as a paying customer. I think that this is something that all webmasters with niche-orientated websites should keep in mind.

One of the reasons that I feel that it is so important for a Webmaster to understand his or her own niche, is because porn connoisseurs tend to be very fickle. For instance, if a paying adult entertainment customer has a preference for teenage girls and therefore joins a teen paysite, they most likely would be pretty offended to find the members area containing pics and videos of women over the age of 30. I was made aware of how easy it is to offend your customers with content that is outside of their tastes a few years ago when I was doing marketing for a large content company. I had a call from one of our gay customers that was purchasing gay content for his gay site. He tore a strip out of me and told me how insulted he was that we actually had pictures of women on our gay content site. I was shocked to say that least that someone would pay so much attention to such a small detail, especially because the picture of the woman was in the background on a toolbar on the side of the page. The toolbar served both aspects of our content site, gay and hetero. While berating me, he said that we obviously had no idea of how to sell gay content to gay men, and I sadly realized that he was right. Needless to say that picture of the woman immediately came down off the site.

There is a chance that your site will be successful even if it portrays a niche that you know nothing about, but there is an even greater chance for success by understanding your customers’ needs. To keep your customers you must give them what they came for and to truly understand what they are after, it should be something that you too would look for in a paysite.


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