Let’s face it – in this day and age of Adult Entertainment, for the vast majority of actresses, actors, and directors, nothing is more important than building their own branded paysite.
Yes, the infamous adult paysite. The cataylyst that, is supposed to, separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the real from the pretenders. The paysite has become the central focus and primary goal of pretty much everyone that enters this industry. And with good reason, especially for voluptuous adult entertainers. Everyone knows that the # of multi-girl voluptuous websites out there are very slim, especially when you consider the number of adult multi-girl websites out there period. In addition to that, everyone also knows that the number of studios still shoot voluptuous adult movies & scenes is very small. So the paysite, in a lot of ways represents freedom. Freedom from the hustle of trying to compete with the many for the chance of the few. Freedom to dictate your career & image of how fans will view your work. Freedom from the choice of following the exact same distribution models as many others. But perhaps, one of the most important of all, freedom to make your own money & control your legacy, and many freedoms beyond that.
Now all these freedoms are extremely good reasons that you should consider doing your own paysite. And we here at PHAT would never discourage you from doing things that can potentially accelerate your brand and your career. In fact, we encourage you to do it because your own paysite has, potentially, the power to do just that. But, we do feel there is a bit of a myth that has surrounded the paysite goal many of us have in this business. Well not even a bit of a myth, a huge myth – and it is that myth that we are going to destroy today.
The myth is the belief that – “Once I Get My Paysite…I’m Straight, The Money Will Pour In!!!”
Well, we hate to be the ones to bust that myth – but the truth is: “Once You Get The Paysite, The Real Work Begins!”
Up to the point prior to a paysite, there was really no pressure on you to deliver. You pretty much went where ever your popularity and assets took you, with the hopes that whoever you work for will put you in a quality scene and situation. I mean its definitely a hustle to do that, and we at PHAT absolutely support it and aren’t making light of that by any means. However, owning your own paysite requires MUCH MORE!.
Up until the point prior to the paysite, you could casually consider yourself a brand. But once you decide to make a paysite, there is no more casual…YOU ARE THE BRAND! Meaning, that from that point on that paysite represents you, and you represent your paysite directly. When you are on other websites, you represent yourself yes, but its still based on what that website can provide and its vision for you, for the most part. When you its your paysite, its all on you and what you can provide yourself. Think of your paysite as a piece of coal, you know there’s a diamond in there. It has all the ingrediants to make a diamond – you just have to turn it into one.
We don’t say this to make the idea of owning your own website sound daunting, because its not, afterall many people have successful websites; but we do want to show the realism involved with it.
Ask any adult model with their own site, or web designer/developer and ask them if building, running, and maintaining it is easy – whoever says yes is flat out lying. A paysite is an investment, perhaps the biggest you’ll make in your career. A paysite can be time consuming. A paysite is a commitment, not only to yourself, but the fans who you will depend on to make it profitable. And with that said, a paysite is not a guarantee of riches either. A paysite is a business, consider it a fraction of the adult entertainment industry as a whole. When they that the industry is a multibillion dollar industry…they are right. How much of that multibillion you will get depends on you.
But – we are preaching right now. The question is “Are You Ready For A Website?”, the answer to that is really based on the ability to 3 special things (there are more, but) – if you can do these things, or have the ability to get them done, then you may be ready to embark on this journey:
Special Thing #1: CONTENT
There’s a special rule in this business – “Content Is KING!”. This is perhaps one of the single most important rules of a paysite, and while it seems simple – isn’t always the easiest thing to pull off. You must have content for a paysite, and enough of it to make it worth people signing up for memberships. Now we could go on and on with specifics of how to build content, as well as other tips to help get more, but the single piece of advice we can give for this rule – PLAN YOUR UPDATES. Like anything else, you have to have a good plan in place. As far as content goes, sit down with your team & web designer and plan out how often you want to update, and then based on that time table – shoot enough for around a 4 to 6 month span. For instance, if you decide you want to do two updates a month, then you need to make sure you have 8 to 12 quality scenes w/ photosets (pictures are still important). The reason for this is so you have an update cushion in case life happens.
Special Things #2: Finding the Right WebMaster.
This is one of the more difficult tasks. Well not really difficult, but just one thing you have to be more precise about. Finding a webmaster basically boils down to – making sure can a person/s can design what you like, and develop what you need & can they prove it. The web master or the web team is going to be the one responsible for turning your vision to a reality on the web, so it’s important that they can do what you need. Always ask for samples of a possible webmasters work. Go to different sites that you like, pick out some features and ask them ” can you do x, y, and z. on my site.” Tell them your ideas, and let them determine a backbone as to how it will work. Now, we can go on and on and on, literally, about finding good webmasters – but if there was a good piece of advice it would be “Despise The Free Lunch”. Never let someone do a website for you for free. Sounds crazy, but trust us. They’re are a lot of people who may be willing and would love to do your site for free – they are called fans. But once the “shock and awe ” of them working for their favorite adult star wears off (and it will), and they start realizing you aren’t so friendly and kind hearted when it comes to business. They will suddenly remember – “Hey, i’m not getting paid for this, and this web design shit is stressful and tedious. I got to see my fill of the pics & vids anyway, fuck this I’m out!”. Always have a plan to compensate, whether it be flat out, percentage of the site revenue, whatever. AND, and this is a big “AND”, always have a contract or something in writing that says clearly what’s to be expected if you are hiring a web designer, that also helps and is a benefit to the web designer as well. Again, we could talk at length about this.
Now, of course there are those sites that you can run/design yourself. The plug and play sites – which are great options for those who hate the idea of potentially waiting on someone, or those who want all the control on their website, …or those who may not have the money, time, or want to learn how to code, or spend with a web design expert…and we all for you going at it on your own. There are plenty of options out there that have brought numberous people excellent success – ModelCentro, WordPress, Joomla, & many more options. Just keep in mind…webmastering is a huge job in itself…so just make sure you will have the time and the paitence to keeping up with it.
Special Thing #3: Promotion & Marketing
Now this, like the previous rules, we can spend weeks talking about literally. But marketing & promotion boils down to getting word our about your site and enticing them to come check it out, but more importantly stay and spend money (that’s where the Content is King part comes in). After all, you can have the illest website in the world, if no one knows about it they won’t come. So always get word out about your site whenever and however you can. The thing about Promotion and Marketing that you have to remember is…its not instant. You must be consistent with it. Let us repeat, YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH IT!!! – especially in an industry that’s bombarded with people promoting there stuff on the daily. Also keep this in mind, your website is you, and you are your brand, so ultimately your website is your brand. How people view your website, is how they will view your brand. So if you aren’t excited about telling people about your site, why should they be excited or interested in joining. As far as a piece of advice goes, there are thousands of pieces of advice i can say on this. Perhaps the easiest, best, and free advice – stay heavy on the Social Media & know how to use it properly. Make sure you have a marketing plan.
Now those were 3 of some of the biggest issues you have to be ready to face when it comes to launching you’re own paysite, and believe us there is more. But if you are willing to be that Boss, and accept that the buck stops with you, (unless you are with a company, and that’s a whole different topic) then go for it. Just keep in mind a paysite is a business. And ultimately, the purpose of a business is to make money. Every decision you make will effect your how your website does that.
Now please don’t misinterpret all this. This was not written to psych you down, or make you feel overwhelmed. This was written to make you aware to some of the realness of it, which a lot of people won’t make you aware of. Running a website once again isn’t impossible, nor is it all that complex, or rather it shouldn’t be. Again, many, many adult entertainers run successful paysites. But it is a serious undertaking, because it can potentially be a great source of income for those that pursue it and are willing to work hard at it. It really separates those that say they are “A Boss!” from those who “truly are Bosses!”. Also, there is no bad answer, nor shame – If you are ready, great, if you aren’t – great. Never embark on something you aren’t ready for. Like we said, a paysite is no guarantee to success. And they’re are many the biz highly successful without a paysite (we’ll discuss that in another PHAT Biz 101 column).
So…with all that said…Are You Really Ready To To Have A Paysite?