I have a confession to make.
I’ve made more money online with adult marketing that I care to admit.
While I did try “mainstream” affiliate marketing methods (Amazon, Clickbank, eBay, etc.), I always found myself back to X-rated content.
We’ve known for a while that sex sells. After all, tobacco companies used to add double entendres on their packagaging as a way to engage customers.
To me, the best thing about adult marketing is its evergreen nature. Sex isn’t going anywhere: it’s part of our DNA.
As such, the industry represents a huge chunk of online advertising. Working as an affiliate really opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities.
I suspected people needed their porn fix, but never would have I imagined it was on such a big scale.
Some of the biggest tube sites — Xvideos, PornHub, YouPorn and RedTube — represent billions of monthly visits. When you add other types of adult websites to the mix, you start to get the full extent of this massive industry.
Today, I’d like to share my personal tips for starting out in adult marketing. Once you’re done reading this guide, you should be ready to turn fantasies into cold hard cash.
What not to expect from adult marketing
There’s a common misconception that affiliate marketing will make you rich overnight.
I want to stress that any kind of business is hard work without immediate dividends unless you have a lucky break.
Adult marketing is no exception. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s even harder than mainstream marketing (i.e. non-adult offers) because you’ll have to face a lot more roadblocks down the road.
For starters, social media is a pain to deal with. If you expect to be able to post adult offers on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, FB or any other platform — good luck with that. They all have cracked down on adult content in recent years. So if you expect easy social shares, don’t.
If you think adult marketing is a “get rich quick” scheme, you’re about to have your bubble bursted. When I started out in 2008, it took weeks to get my first payment — a check to the order of $60 something USD. It took even longer to build a recurring revenue stream over the years.
Getting started with adult marketing
There are several paths you can take to promote adult offers online.
Speaking from personal experience, two things stand out: content marketing (including SEO) and mailing campaigns.
Look, there’s a whole sea of adult tube sites out there. I could teach you about getting started with your own Xnxx in less than 24 hours. BUT! It’s not really worth it for a number of reasons, one being that traffic quality sucks and second, competition from big players in the industry is crazy.
Content did the trick for me and can for you too. Here’s a small blueprint to replicate my success:
- Choose a niche. This is crucial. You can’t compete with the big boys, so attack from a different angle. Try to dedicate yourself to a specific kink: hentai, BBC, family taboo, lesbian, whatever rocks your socks. Be wary of niches with not enough volume though, as you still want to have traffic, you know.
- Have a plan and stick to it. Affiliate marketing is the same as owning a business. You can’t expect to make money unless you work hard. A decade ago, I spent 1 hour/day writing adult website reviews (and still do!).
- Actually take action. This might be the most important step of all!
With this mindset, you’ll make money in no time. As I’ve pointed out, I wrote reviews. Each time a user (visitor) clicked on my affiliate link, if he or she “converted,” I’d reap a sweet commission from the advertiser.
Conversions, in that context, translated to either “leads” or sales. Leads are just email submits, either single opt-in (no verification) or double opt-in (user needs to click a link inside the email to verify).
Content has a big advantage over tube sites and other marketing avenues: organic traffic. People from all around the world landed on my pages because I had optimized them through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
I never paid a cent in cost-per-click (CPC) ads or any spots for that matter. All I did was write quality content targeting 1,000–2,000 words for the most popular porn brands, but also niche websites, cam offers, male enhancement offers and so on.
As my stats grew stronger, I started collecting a sweet ~10,000 subscribers mailing list. This allowed me to promote offers and get additional revenue.
I’m new to this, can you give me more details?
To promote adult offers and generate a passive online income, you’ll need to join one of the many affiliate networks.
I won’t list them all because frankly, all you need is CrakRevenue.
Most networks work with mainstream offers and give adult products the back seat, at least in my opinion. CrakRevenue is kind of the only remaining entity to dedicate itself almost entirely to the adult business.
Once you join an affiliate network, you’ll be able to promote several offers in lots of different verticals: cams, dating, VOD, etc.
Each offer has a link with your affiliate ID in it so the network can track your conversions and pay you accordingly. Also, networks give you access to creatives—banners, overlays, iframes and more.
Once you have your own tracking link and/or creatives, simply copy & paste it on your website where users are more prone to click. If you’re not sure which offer to promote, simply use CrakRevenue‘s smartlink tool that leads users to the best offers according to their GEO, interests and other key data points.
I kind of assume you already know how to register a domain name (I use GoDaddy) and buy hosting (I use StableHost). Make sure your host allows adult content in their Terms of Service (TOS)!
Further tips to get started in adult marketing
- Don’t get discouraged: adult affiliate marketing takes time.
- Promote, promote, promote. Although social media is a pain for adult marketers, there are other options available. One thing that worked for me was to post nice GIFs with a watermark from my website on Sex.com. This way, I could generate a few type-ins. I then scaled it up by posting on adult forums like GFY or anywhere else where signature links are allowed. The key is to contribute for real and never spam.
- Get their emails. Add a mailcatcher on your website (I use WP Mail Catcher) so you can send offers to people who have already shown interest in adult content. If you’re looking for templates, sign up for a free account on a service like Mail Chimp.
- Network with fellow affiliates ASAP and get to know your Affiliate Manager! This way you’ll be able to negotiate payouts once you bring in enough conversions. AMs are also highly knowledgeable about the industry and can help you make more money.
There you have it: my (simple) guide to make money with adult marketing. I’ve deliberately skimmed over some details because, in my opinion at least, you learn a great deal by experimenting yourself.
If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ve helped countless affiliates grow up to become whales in this industry. No one is born an online marketer: you become one. Let’s make sure this is the case for you, too!
Disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links. It’s my goal to help online marketers make more money online with adult content. Please understand that I may get a small commission if you join a network, which in turn helps me dedicate more time in sharing quality guides like this one.