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All For Naught(y): Advice For New Webmasters

by Cyndalie of AdultChamber

So you have finally decided to become an adult webmaster; Congratulations and Welcome! Before you start investing money into content, design, and ecommerce solutions, how can you protect yourself from doing it all for naught? Where do you go to find professional adult business-to-business companies that will treat you with respect and follow through? Adult webmaster resource centers can give you a good idea what the professional companies have to offer and where to get started.

Did you know that you don't own your domain name? If you trademark your domain name, only then do you truly OWN it. So many webmasters have invested time and money into development and finally reached the point of promoting their website, only to realize that their domain name has infringed on someone's trademark or copyright. Before you get your hopes up and cough up your credit card for a domain name, try performing a trademark/copyright search at a service like to see if your site name, or variations thereof, infringe on a registered name. Although an online search will not guarantee that you are in the clear, it will give you a good idea if you are directly stepping on toes. The last thing any webmaster, or business, wants to hear is that they have to terminate operations under a domain name due to infringement. This also applies to trademarks that are pending. If the possibility of infringement is questionable, ask for professional legal advice, or find a service to do a comprehensive search report and file for the trademark so that it cannot be taken from you at a later date. Ignoring this important factor of identity is oftentimes the single most devastating mistake any webmaster or business owner can make.

With your identity secured, now decide if you want to run a pay site, a free site, or a site accessible via an Age Verification Service (AVS) network. Most commonly, new webmasters will begin their own pay site to test the profit making potential of the idea. If you want to make money with a pay site, use caution if you are considering the use of a free hosting service and never, ever, use a host that promises you free unlimited bandwidth. Always remember, there are no free lunches; bandwidth costs money and fees are passed on to you as service charges. Web hosting directories such as allow you to search for your exact hosting needs. As well, has a section dedicated to professional adult hosting providers.

After finding a professional web host with expandable bandwidth packages, as traffic may vary from month to month, you will need to locate a reliable, trustworthy, payment processor. Some companies will offer web hosting and payment processing as a combined package. We at believe this to be a risky situation since they may be controlling the scripts that provide the credit card transactions and access to your web site/domain name. Should you ever decide to change hosts or billing providers, it may become very difficult.

Different billing options are available for different situations. You can try to get your own merchant account accepting full responsibility for charge backs and merchant status, or you can use a third party billing service to process your credit card transactions online. A third party, or factoring service allows you to approve transactions through the providers' merchant account therefore making them an "Official reseller" of your products or services. Webmasters pay higher transaction, reserve, and processing fee's that can total over 30% of the original transaction amount. A webmaster can stand to lose a lot of money if the relationship turns sour, so do your research carefully and ask a lot of questions about reserve refunds, uptime guarantee's, and the merchant account status (and backup plan) of the provider. Some of the well-known adult merchant service providers are,, and Other billing options include dialers, check processors, and 900 phone billing. Offering more than one payment option is always preferred.

Choosing your website content is an enjoyable part of getting a new adult site started. If you have a theme, or niche, stick to it! You can not really begin your website graphics design until you have purchased legal adult content. What people see on your front pages are most often what will encourage them to join, peak their interest, and keep them coming back. Picture rating systems, like can help you determine what types of pictures generate the most number of clicks to your site. Your content must be licensed and legal. Stay informed about federal requirements that you, as an adult site owner, must fulfill. According to Child Pornography, Record Keeping, and Title 18 U.S. Code Section 2257, adult webmasters and content providers must be able to produce age verification (18 years or older) of all models depicted in sexually oriented material. Documentation such as drivers license, social security card, passport, or other legal documents must be kept on file and compliance notification is required on your web site. You can learn more about adult website laws at and Expect professional content providers to furnish you with the required licensing documentation you must keep on file. Essentially, you are looking to provide your members with original content that can rarely be seen elsewhere on the Net. Top providers such as Pornication, ABEN, AdultLegal, Pornholio, and NYNE can provide you with not only picture content, but audio sex stories, live streaming video, mpegs and avi's, as well as chat rooms, games, and private chat up-sell opportunities. Keep your original theme in mind, shop around, and beware of choosing only the content you personally enjoy. What you like is not always what will turn your members on. Stay focused!

Now that you are 'up' and ready to fly, where do you go for quality adult traffic? Start with your website and optimize it with related keywords for your content niche. There are tons of resources to help you do this, and submit to the search engines properly. One place is's Webmaster Tools. With everything from Meta Tags to a huge list of adult search engines to begin your promotions, this is a great place to start getting your site listed for FREE. Submit your site to for a good traffic boost and begin creating & submitting Thumbnail picture pages to places such as and Begin networking yourself as a webmaster and strive hard to send more traffic than you receive. You will find that positive relationships with other adult webmasters will help keep you in business.

There are several options available if you choose to purchase advertising to market your adult site., the default search engine for Yahoo (Yahoo Web Pages) offers an easy way to purchase advertising for keyword results online. The Ad Words program allows advertisers with a limited budget to appear on the right hand column of results for selected keywords. Simply create and deposit funds into your account, and Google automatically deducts from your balance as your ads are shown. "Google positions your ad based on how many users click on it over time. Current rates are $15, $12, $10 (per thousand ads shown) for positions 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and $8 per thousand for positions 4 through 8. Accounts are opened with a credit card and no minimum deposit is required."

Other paid placement options are with Yahoo!. Adult site submissions (Business Express) cost $600 per site and rules must be carefully followed to be listed. If you want your site to result for keyword phrases, make sure they are included in your title or description when you submit. Search engine placement services are available and never cheap. Do-it-yourselfers tend to have better results when it comes to search engine marketing, and taking the time to inform yourself will help you make better decisions when you analyze your stats. If you notice you site receives a large number of visitors but low sign-up's, you may want to re-think your traffic sources, weigh the effectiveness of your site design, or double check the operation of your forms.

Regardless of how you choose to market your new adult site, taking time to legally protect yourself and your investment should be your first concern. Don't choose to market your site in ways that will result in short term benefits and long-term headaches. Utilize the free resources and tools that are available to you to test new ideas before sinking time, talent, and money into what may be a good idea today and a bad one tomorrow. Talk to other webmasters, weigh your options, and formulate your own recipe for results. Ultimately, if your adult pay site becomes too much of a burden there are places to turn such as AVS programs, affiliate programs, or willing buyers who do not want to start from scratch. This is a profitable market that can have great returns if you manage your adult site with business in mind.

Originally Written for and Published in Klixxx Magazine, November 2001

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