Webmasters. They aren’t for everyone. There are some great ones (including mine) but damn, there are the ones who give them all a bad name. On top of that, there are models that consistently have problems with webmasters, and spread the word that webmasters are bad, when in fact, the model themselves are the problem or contribute to it. Here are my thoughts.
I couldn’t live without my webmaster, webmistress, actually. That’s right, a woman runs my site! I’ve heard models say webmasters are leeches, lazy and don’t do anything but take half of the model’s money, however my experience has been quite the opposite. I have had a webmaster since 2006 and could not imagine it any other way. The generalized idea that a webmaster is bad is the voice of inexperience speaking, or a problem model, and I often laugh.
Let me break it down for you. A multi level, do it yourself model platform (ie: ModelCentro) is brilliant and I wish I had jumped on board as an investor, from day one. It’s an excellent idea for amateur models, and even seasoned models, who want to do everything themselves. It’s great if you have the capabilities and time to shoot your own content, edit your own content, load your content, deal with customer issues, etc. If you’re in school part time and doing modeling part time, its a great fit. If you’re a stay at home mom or a single mom, and have the time to work from a home office while taking care of little ones or while they are in school, again a great fit. If you are a model, aspiring to be a performer and want the time to properly build your brand and have goals over and beyond just modeling, then a model platform is likely not a good fit, even if you THINK it is.
Daily, I get emails from models and aspiring performers who want to know how I do what I do…while that itself is another blog, doing what I do is not easy and takes time, and everything is planned and executed behind the scenes along with my webmaster. A “do it yourself” model platform is a brilliant idea, however for me this was never an option and certainly isn’t at this point in my career.
What’s in it for me?
I get a lot out of my hard working webmaster for her percentage take of my earnings. By allowing her to do all the tedious work that I don’t have the patience for, it allows me to be free to do other work where I continue to make more money and usually at a higher rate. So while I could do it myself on a model platform, (my education is in technology, specifically writing code) I would be doing it at a loss. This is not the case for every model performer. My webmaster hosts my site, does security, builds the design, maintains it. She handles DMCA issues, creates my marketing materials at my request, shoots my content, edits my content, uploads/maintains it, and handles any issues such as download or format issues. She pays for and maintains a 3rd party billing for payments and credit card processing as well as any log in issues on the customer level. Basically, all I have to do is shoot and promote. Let’s not forget she also has to deal with the diva demands, attitude, and occasional meltdown of this hot headed Latina model/performer we call Sofia Rose (haha, i am joking), I’m fortunate to have an excellent work relationship with her, she knows how to handle me. I’m not that demanding but my brand itself is. Plus, if you compare what she offers to other webmasters in the market, she goes above and beyond.
She has been my webmaster since 2006 when we started shooting to launch the site that was released February 2007. As a matter of fact, I believe I was the first model she worked with as a webmaster! I took a brief hiatus when I moved East, but ended up right back where I started. So again, I basically show up to a shoot, shoot the content, and I leave. After that, she continues to work on my site while I do other things. In my mind this is the best arrangement you can get. It virtually costs me nothing up front, she earns as I earn, so it keeps her motivated to keep shooting and promoting because we both are making money. It frees me up to do all the other things I do and maintain an excellent work/life balance. I will tell you this, I am not fighting over pennies on a clip site, or offering specials on my platform fighting for those members or to sell my videos. Yet, I am still getting members, I am still maintaining well and have been since that first site launched in February 2007. I’ve seen more girls come and go than I have seen stay, some for a short year or two, some four or five (“drive-thru” girls, as i call them). I’ve lasted 10 plus years in this ever changing business and there’s a reason why. I’ll talk about that in my next blog.
Is this for you?
Now, is this for all models? Maybe, and maybe not YET. Some girls are just on cam and that is an excellent way to acquire a fan base, as long as they are paying and not just watching for free. Those with fans and admirers who pay, tend to support in other ways, therefore would join a personal site for the content and the perks. Most newbie adult models don’t have the first clue on where to start. They go to a do it yourself model platform, launch a site that they can’t maintain because they did not know they had to do so much on their own. Many don’t know how to use video editing programs either, they aren’t hard to use, but it’s a challenge if you’re not tech savvy. So you end up with a girl with A list potential, with a C list amateur site that is poorly shot, with inconsistent quality. Just over all, not a great experience for her OR for paying customers. I’ve seen these girls myself and just think of all the potential they have and are missing out on because someone told them webmasters are bad. On a side note, a lot of the do it yourself model platforms and clip sites offer financial incentives to models who refer girls. So of course models are motivated to convince other models without a personal site NOT to use a webmaster and go through their recommendation because they are making a percentage off of the sales models make simply by referring them. My webmaster offers me an incentive, just not the same way. Contractually, the more members I acquire and maintain, the more percentage take I get of my overall sales. So as it current stands my webmaster does NOT get half. This works it keeps me motivated, and she is still earning because I am working harder too. Again, the webmaster is NOT taking advantage of me or being lazy for half my money….not even close.
Then you have the models who want a webmaster because everyone says they should have a site, however they aren’t capable of carrying a solo site. Lets face it, there are a multitude of women who are online and shouldn’t be or are great guest models or pay per scene girls, however they aren’t marketable as a solo site model. No one likes to hear that they are this model, but it is the cold hard dirty Truth! I’ve known legit porn performers established over several years, who can’t even make enough sales on a solo site to have the minimum $100 check mailed to them consistently. Why does this happen? If the webmaster is doing his/her job, several factors contribute.
They Lack the “IT” Factor
Rule number one in this business, not my rule just a known fact, models have to have something everyone wants. And when I say everyone, I mean all walks of life. There has to be something unique and exciting about a model, offering something that people can’t quite get anywhere else. So much, they are willing to pay for it!
They are Easily Influenced by Freeloaders
Two, models listen to the “fans” who told them they should have a site, but these are the fans/admirers that don’t support by paying for anything and are nothing more than hoping to get a freebie from the same girl. Models work hard to shoot, the webmaster spends countless hours building, editing, and hosting a site only for it to fail. Models need to make sure they truly have a financially supportive fan base.
Lastly, there has to be constant promotion by the web model. Webmasters do their back end work and social media posts, however fans REALLY want to see new content posted from the model herself. If you slow down on promoting, money will slow too, so it’s a vicious cycle. A site not making money takes its toll on both parties and gets exhausting and frustrating fast. A lot goes into planning, scheduling and producing a good quality shoot. Its hard to stay motivated, and keep producing if months go by and no money has been made because these fan admirers are a no show financially.
Failure of a site isn’t simply one thing and blame isn’t solely on a webmaster’s shoulders…
Is a Site a Guaranteed Success
Statistically, you can predict how well a solo model site will do and the longevity by the first two weeks of launch, those are the most critical weeks. Every model has to be on her A game whether she is using a webmaster or not. Each site is it’s own business because each girl is her own brand and comparing the success or non success based solely on a webmaster isn’t reliable. Just as in mainstream business, some businesses do well and others don’t no matter how successful the parent company is who launches it.
So if a site fails, does this make the webmaster the bad guy? Of course not, sometimes the model’s sales doesn’t perform at the level expected, and the webmaster has to suspend or terminate the contract, it just makes business sense. NO business keeps a product in production if its isn’t making money, this is no different. The webmaster doesn’t make money if the model/performer doesn’t, in fact the webmaster is then operating at a loss. For instance, my webmaster has monthly/yearly business expenses that she absorbs herself. She pays these out of the percentages she makes from the sites she runs. So if a webmaster is operating the same way as mine, and isn’t making money from a certain site, they are in essence, losing money every time they shoot for, update, handle tech support, etc for that specific model/site. How does this make the webmaster a leech or lazy, or in any way taking advantage of the model performers? It doesn’t. Motivated models equal money, it just takes patience, consistency and time. Overly motivated models can be a disaster, and I’ll explain that in a future blog.
Webmasters are not the devil.
Just like any other business you need to do your homework. Look at the length in the business, and history. Who else works with this webmaster? Look at who does not, and ask WHY on both. There could be mutual reasons or credible reasons. Have a contract you are happy with, and be prepared to work within what YOU agree to.
Any model getting into this business, and wants to have her own personal solo site needs to think of a few things.
1. Be self aware, do you really have the “it” factor? That something special and unique that separates you from everyone else?
2. Do you have the time and self discipline to dedicate to producing content first as a performer, 2nd as an editor if you go with a do-it-yourself model platform?
3. Do you have the fan-admirer base that financially supports you and to warrant a second persons time (webmaster)?
4. Are you willing to self promote via social media and interact with fans to convince them to support, are you willing to be a motivated model?
5. Are you wiling to be patient? Becoming a brand and name does NOT happen over night. (it took me 6 years to accomplish the last 4 years)
6. Is the potential webmaster completely transparent regarding back end financial information? This is IMPORTANT. You should be able to view your sign ups and financial stats. I see every sign up and dollar I am making.
Before you approach a webmaster, be certain you will make real money. Some models are better off with a clip site or model platform, or strictly as guest models paid per scene. Some are better suited to have a webmaster and a contract. It all depends on what your goals are and what you really are capable of. Be realistic, those don’t always match up and I encourage every aspiring model performer to truly self evaluate. This business is not for everyone. If you’re looking to make a quick easy buck, this IS NOT the way to do it. Having a solo model performer site, takes a lot of work, drive, and discipline, and you have to have the fan-admirer base to support it financially. Always remember this, social media is free, don’t be fooled by those demands. Likes, attention and compliments do NOT equal dollars.
*Okay, this might piss some people off, but hey, its my blog on my site, I can say whatever the fuck I want here!