following is a reprint of an article written by Ian Portsmouth
of Profit Magazine (Feb-Mar 2000 issue). He attended a seminar,
at the Learning Annex, hosted by Jay Servidio, President
of Teleteria, with an assignment to scope out the formula
for making millions through adult websites.
XXX to $$$
over, Hef. According to the only firm to risk a guess, Massachusetts-based
Forrester Research Inc., online adult entertainment is a
billion-dollar industry. Lots of people want in on that
35 of us are gathered in a Toronto hotel room on a Friday
night, hoping to learn the secrets of selling smut online.
Our guru of choice: Jay Servidio, a New York-based cyberpreneur
who runs Teleteria,
a Web-hosting service with a booming e-porn business. A
tanned 38-year-old with gold flashes streaking through his
thick brown hair, Jay Servidio makes no apologies for what
he does. "This is a great way to make money,"
he quips. "Its fun. Theres nudity involved."
good to Rob, 34, who operates trucking and construction
firms employing 25. "Im looking for an ulcerless
business he says. Arme, one of 10 women in the class,
is also hopeful. The 48-year-old has tried multi-level marketing,
run a pizza joint and owned a 900 number. "But I want
something more aggressive, something that will make me more
money fast $" Anne explains. "The Internet and
porn are a good combination."
Servidio promises not to rush as he outlines the basics.
There may be as many as 50,000 porn sites running at any
one time, he says, "but youre not competing with
them all." With huge demand for online porn and endless
chum as jaded subscribers flit from site to site, theres
plenty to go around. "All you need to bring to your
website is 500 hits per day," says Jay Servidio. That
could gross you $600 a month, but be says his average client
makes $300 a day.
Servidio suggests a good starter site comprises a dozen
pages of free content, a sign-up page, a warning page ("If
youre under 18, stop here!"), and a members-only
area linking to at least 50,000 pictures and videos catering
to a wide range of "interests". "How about
a site focussing on one subject?" asks a longhaired
man in a leather jacket from the back row. Why limit your
audience, asks Jay Servidio: "There are sexual appetites
that need to be satisfied that you dont even know
about." "I dont know about that!" counters
explicit advice follows. Get an ISP with lots of bandwidth.
Buy your photos ($1 each) from the dozens of content providers
who gather at industry trade shows. Collecting membership
fees is a snap: just hire a billing company to do it for
made it sound easy, Jay Servidio gets philosophical. "Do
you all know who Warren Buffett is? Hes a god on Wall
Street. Hes a friend of Bill Gates." Jay Servidio
tells us Buffett once listed his personal pros and cons
on a piece of paper, and decided to purge all the negatives.
"All of you have cons that are holding you back from
making money," he says. The class falls silent. Jay
Servidio says he was once the same way: an overweight, insolent
sales rep who had trouble keeping a job. Then a friend convinced
him to try the phone-sex biz in the late 80s. That
pal is now worth $20 million. The same could happen to us,
says Jay Servidio, but we have to act now: "You have
a very limited time while your motivation is still high
to start your own adult website."
bank balance better be high, too: Jay Servidio prices a
viable porn site at US$68,000 (US$50,000 for those photos
alone). But wait! Jay Servidio will sell you a turnkey site
for just US$2,700 (thats 100/0 off his regular price,
and hell throw in two months of video free!) "Its
a screw-proof deal," he insists. With Teleteria
handling customer service and the billing company collecting
fees, "youre free to make money and enjoy yourself."
youll need traffic to your site. Jay Servidio says
there are 11 ways to market adult websites. We can register
with search engines, "but youre not going to
get many hits from there." Same with posting to Internet
newsgroups. Banner ads on adult sites work, but can cost
upwards of $10,000 a month. Method No. 4 is Jay Servidios
favorite: bulk e-mail. "Its the No. 1 way to
make money in this business," he says, offering to
hook us up with a good spam service. He never reveals the
other seven marketing methods but no one ever asks.
begin to emerge. Wont everyone in the class end up
with the same website asks the long haired guy? "With
50,000 pictures, it doesnt matter!" shouts Jay
Servidio. "A guy would have to quit his job and look
all day!" "How many hours are we expected to put
into this?" asks another student. "Whatever you
want," replies Jay Servidio. Another pupil worries
about infringing copyrights. "If you set your mind
to think of the reasons you shouldnt do this, you
wont," Jay Servidio answers. If this is so easy,
why dont you just do it yourself? "I could do
it and make tons of money he says, "but Teleteria
was designed as a design and hosting company."
a better answer. The spam firm charges US$1,200 for one
million mailings. Based on Jay Servidios projection
of a 30 % response, youll get 30,000 visitors
to your site. According to Jay Servidio, you can count on
one in 500 to sign up. Thats 60. Charge the typical
monthly fee of US$20 and your take will be, um, US$1,200
before the billing firms 15% cut. Sure, your
membership will grow if your can retain most of your subscribers
each month, but youll have to refresh your content
at a cost of thousands a month.
the session ends, not everyone has done the math. Lara and
Chris, a modelesque couple in the film business, have been
researching online porn for months. "Jays company
is fantastic," says Chris. "It promises everything
you need to be promised." Sensing a sale, Jay Servidio
takes them to dinner. Rob is more skeptical: he suggests
we all band together to spread the risk. Perhaps a shared
ulcer is less painful.
Servidio proves you can get rich quick with e-porn.
He says he sells five to seven of his $2,700 packages per
seminar not bad for three hours work. Ian
Servidio is President of Teleteria,
Inc., a company that has been building and hosting commercial
and adult custom Web sites since 1994. Teleteria's
clients are located all over the world.
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