Advertising is always tricky when you’re a sex worker. When I was escorting it was a monthly headache to figure out which sites to give my very hard earned cash to. Always trying to get the most bang for your advertising buck. Escort advertising is veryexpensive, it can be cost prohibitive and you have to be smart about it. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars every month for no return and though no website can guarantee you business, they can give you an idea of their traffic stats to help you make an informed decision.
Now that most of my advertising is aimed at my fetish clip business, I’m always looking for new ways and places to branch out and put myself and my fetish product in front of new audiences. My advertising budget every month is small, I’m an indie clip and femdom hypnosis recording producer who makes enough money to pay all my bills and my bills include food and board for my 4 year old ex racehorse. I do alright though I wouldn’t say I’m rolling in it like some of my peers who specialize in financial domination, those ladies clean up! I started to look at new places to advertise last week and shot off a few emails to a few websites asking for information. Pricing structures, traffic stats, the typical info you would need to start making a decision. Choosing an untried place to buy ads is always stressful because there’s a good chance it will not pay off in any meaningful way. There is always trial and error involved. I like to do a cost benefit analysis and lay out some expectations for myself when making a decision on where to spend my ad cash. I come from the very real world of cutthroat advertising, but even if I didn’t have a background in advertising its business 101 and though I do have a bod for sin, I also have a brain for business.
If you’re selling your content be it porn or fetish content and if your selling it though a clip site then you are not making 100% on your work. There is an implied deal with the clip site you are selling your content though. You give of X percentage of your profits in exchange for X services from the clip site. So what are those X’s you are giving up and getting. Let me break it down.
You can give up, up to 40% of your sales, I’ve even heard tell of some sites wanting more then that. In exchange you get a platform to sell your content, all the payment processing by the clips site and they host your content for sale. Okay lets break this down a little further.
A Platform: it’s a great thing. They have customers, you want customers a win/win right? Wrong, not all clip sites have customers. Several (you know who you are Kinkbomb) have a website but they don’t have any traffic to speak of. So though you have a place to sell your content, if the clip studio isn’t bringing traffic to the table then really its like selling your content in a consignment shop in a part of town no one goes to.
Payment Processing: Hooray for someone else doing the payment processing. It’s not easy for adult business to get merchant accounts and i know that sounds strange considering how much business is done in the adult content realm but its true. So a clip site will handle your payment processing, do the accounting and send you a check at the end of the month for your “commission” on your sales. That too is a great thing and it sure sounds like its worth giving up a portion of your profits to have someone else handle that aspect and its is.. it is unless they are inundated with charge backs and fraud reports and then pass those costs on to you or maybe just saying they are getting them so they can skim off your earnings. It happens more then you think.
Hosting content for sale: someones gotta host it because it has to be available for download sale. This is the one thing that almost all of the clip sites get right. Unless they have a server melt down or something and then you have to start from scratch with a site. On the plus side ive only heard of this happening once. (couch, couch, kinkbomb, cough, cough)
Those those are the things you get from any clip site and what you give up is up to and likely 40% of your sales. Think about it… 40% thats a lot of scratch to give up. You sell a video for 10 bucks you are only getting $6.00 sell 50 of them instead of making 500.00 you make 300.00. So in exchange for that you want to get the best deal you can and make sure the sites you are selling though are holding up their end of the implied and sometimes not so implied bargain. A clip site can give you 70% of your sales but if they have no customers for you to sell to, 70% of nothing is still nothing.
So let me break down sites I’ve had personal experience with:
Clips4Sale: By far the site with the most traffic, a large operation with a solid reputation and an actual team of people. They earn their 40% of sales by bringing customers to the table, they process all payments and you get a check every month like fucking clock work. Since they are the biggest of the sites they also do a fair amount of promoting and will even send out the occasional email to their studios giving them ideas on how to increase sales. I have no complaints. If you work hard and use all the site features it pays off plain and simple.
Clippette:In business just about a year Clippette is almost all fetish driven content and its run by fetish people. It’s a smaller site and therefore not a far reaching but their customers are targeted. If you’re a stockings, foot or hypnosis fetish person you’re likely going to be checking out Clippette. Also being a smaller site the customer service with these guys is impeccable. They not only are right on top of any issues from technical to administrative but they do fun promotions and take feedback like a champ. Ive seen them implement several suggestions i personally made which resulted in increased sales. Love that!
Kinkbomb:Yeah, I’ve written about them before and I did remove all my content from them. They have been in business about a year. Its about 4 guys who run it and the president is the boyfriend of a top selling online Domme. It’s rumored that her and her friends get 80-100% on their payouts hence them not having any issues diverting their customers from Clips4sale to Kinkbomb where they make more on each sale. However Kinkbomb has very low traffic and is plagued with “charge backs” be they real (because words gotten out amongst customers that a charge back with Kinkbomb is a given) or made up as to make up for costs from the smaller studios because the cut is so big on the larger selling ones, who knows. My personal experience sucked, maybe you’ll have better luck… ha, as if.
Clipvia: Another side project of a couple of guys who have day jobs. Clipvia will pay out 70% to studios which is great. Sadly though they have very little traffic and 70% of nothing is still nothing. Since it’s two guys with day jobs the customer service is sucky and they handle issues with a often broken 3rd party application and not by email (Really?) Though I think this guys intentions are in the right place clearly he doesn’t have the time to dedicate to growing a start up.
Eclips: Also a new site just over a year old. This ones got a strange interface for uploading your content and they have been plagued with merchant account issues. The owner is really very sweet and all my interactions with him have been great, i only wish they had any traffic… at all. No traffic means no sales.
The real bottom line
Here’s the bottom line a clip site needs to host the content, process the payment and bring customers to the table. Having a decent interface and good customer service is always a good thing. If your clip site is lacking in any of those areas then maybe its time to reassess them and how much effort you are putting into it. If you are driving all the traffic to your sales then maybe you need to open your own site, which by the way will net you about 90% of your profits. Which I myself have done and i couldn’t be happier about it. I still sell on Clips4sale and Clippette and have my studio loaded with content on Eclips (come on little engine you can do it) but I’ve removed content from Kinkbomb awaiting documentation of mystery charge backs and Clipvia for having some super sucky customer service. No need in investing time and effort into sites that don’t pay off, or don’t appreciate you as studio partner or who out right steal from you. Find the good ones and work hard to make those pay off.
Clippette shut down after losing their payment processor. Clipvia shut down after ripping off all thier studios and not paying them, Eclips disappeared one day. Kinkbomb andClips4Sale are still alive and kicking.
It was a favorite among touring girls and locals in smaller cities alike and a few months back when Escorts.com announced they were shutting down everyone speculated why. The parent company National A1 Advertising out of Pennsylvania (who also owns hot-movies) was recently raided and in the news. So rumors were rampant. the facts are no one knew why they were raided and which companies were involved and no one knew why the subsequent announced shut down of Escorts.com. That Is until now.
It seems the good folks over at Escorts.com couldn’t keep their noses clean and used the operation for money laundering.
“A plea agreement filed Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Williamsport, Pa., said the companies have agreed to forfeit nearly $5 million, pay a $1.5 million fine and serve 18 months probation.” ~Xbiz
Well there you have it, why they shut down. The company as a result have surrendered the domain name and many escorts and their clients lost a great resource. Escorts.com was well liked because they offered advertising and modest reviews but no message boards. The review system allowed for those being reviewed to write a response if they so chose. It was a nice balance of power, that so many escort review sites do not have. It gave escorts a bit of a voice and a little control over their own business.
Its also another example of how escort support services can’t see to keep their noses clean. Prostitution is illegal and thus even above board business often cant seem to operate on the straight and narrow. From photographers who want blow jobs in exchange for photoshoots, to web designers that over charge and then dont deliver, to advertising venues that get busted for money laundering, it’s frustrating for those of us who are trying to run a business and dont want to have to deal with events or situations that are shady because people think they can get away with it because of who we are and what we do is illegal. The only solution is decriminalization… now
Escorts.com is shutting down in just a few days. Its really to bad i liked that site. I suppose we all should have seen the writing on the wall when a few months back they took all their reviews off line “for maintenance” Before that the company that owns then under went a little visit by federal authorities. Now no one really knows if they were visited because of Escorts.com as the company has its hands in several business from 800 numbers, to webcam sites, to adult film distribution. So really who knows but what we do know is they are shutting escorts.com down end of May.
Escorts.com was a great resource for smaller city touring, it was the resource for small town touring. Plus though it had reviews and had ads, it had NO forums. What in my humble opinion was awesome and welcome change from message boards and mall ad sites. A way to do business, meet clients, show you were legit and not have to worry about board culture, hobbyist’s ego and and power grabs? Yeah that will be missed… a lot. It certainly was a tool I used when i went out on the road and a gap will be left from its closure. It will be interesting to see what takes its place, and you know something will, something always does when something like this happens. I hope what ever it is, that they run their show at least close to how escorts.com ran theirs.
Though I’m pretty sure I’m going to start telling people I am and see if it will make me a lot more money. In this economy it sure couldn’t hurt to add PORNSTAR to my long list of achievements! I mean, what the hell I’ll just point them in the direction of all the blather and chatter about my “porn career” who cares if there’s no evidence to back up my porn fame claim, I don’t need any of that when I have… Internet rumors!