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Started by MJ Stahl, November 15, 2002, 08:34:56 PM

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MJ Stahl

From a (e-commerce) business standpoint of view standpoint of view, I have learned my entire web promotion know-how from the the adult (ie, porn) industry, having been working in it for about 2 years.

The largest part of the industry is centered around marketing through affiliations. Now I don't expect anyone to own up to going to free porn sites, but with the assumption every has, I will assume we have all seen those annoying banner going to other sites... well they do this because they gain money from the consumer signing up to the pay site that is advertised.

This can be done in one of 3 ways, only two really apply to the RPG industry.

Partnerships (don't apply) - you get a percentage of the monthly charge that they 'content provider' charges the consumer, the industry avg is about 60% (so usually 60% of 24.95). So the longer a consumer stays a member of said site, the more money the affiliate makes.

Sign-Up (apply) - this is a one-time pay out of usually 35- 45 dollars. If you will notice this is almost 2x greater than 1 month of service to the consumer... this is do to the hope that the consumer will stay a member for more than 1 month (the avg monthly retention is about 3 months). Now this could apply to those that are willing to sacrifice some profit for better exposure.

Click-Through (apply) - this a payout per click sent from the 'free' site to the 'content' site, usually about 4-7 cents per click... this can get expensive on the content side, and is usually not worth it on the 'free' side... but an option non the less, once again, if you are willing to sacrifice the margins.

Research the use of PR (page rank) systems... Google is your friend. Meta-Tags in HTML help increase your ranking, links to other sites of relevant content increases your ranking, and a host of other things do as well. If you plan on working a lot through your web site, research (heavily) Google Page Ranking technology, as well as making sure your site is listed on DMOZ, due to Google using DMOZ to help with page rank.

Also, do not avoid news groups, mailing lists, webrings, and also using multiple websites for multiple products... Branding is important, but more importantly quantity is important for web exposure. The more sites, the greater chance that those websites will be viewed by a consumer through a search engine.

Also I personally would avoid the use of banners (ie, the purchase of) on different gaming places. People have begun to unconsciencely block these advertisements out. Not to say they are completely worthless... but if you are going to use them, research uses of color, layout, etc. Much can be learned about that from different adult webmaster sites.

My apologies for the potential inappropriate content, but I thought that there were some parrallels that should be expressed.

Best regards,

MJ Stahl

Ron Edwards

Hi MJ,

I'll be first to say that this is information that anyone conducting internet-based commerce needs to know.

I definitely agree about avoiding banners, and most especially about the value of multiple links across multiple sites. These have been part of my own program for six years now.

[One positive exception to my view on banners are the little headers at, which aren't pop-ups and are obviously topical to the users of the site. I think these are a great idea.]

Click-throughs, it seems to me, are probably not as useful for RPGs, and I suspect they're not much use for any product besides viewable porn.

MJ, or anyone, what are some more thoughts about differences and similarities between the two sets of product, in terms of electronic sales and marketing?