FROM XXX TO
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 action.
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,
Servidio makes no apologies for what he does.
"This is a great way to make money,"
he quips. "Its fun. Theres nudity
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."
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 Servidio.
That could gross you $600 a month, but be says
his average client makes $300 a day.
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 Servidio: "There
are sexual appetites that need to be satisfied
that you dont even know about." "I
dont know about that!" counters the
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 you.
made it sound easy, Servidio gets philosophical.
"Do you all know who Warren Buffett is? Hes
a god on Wall Street. Hes a friend of Bill
Gates." 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.
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
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: Servidio prices
a viable porn site at US$68,000 (US$50,000 for
those photos alone). But wait! 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. 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 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 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 Servidio. Another pupil worries about
infringing copyrights. "If you set your mind
to think of the reasons you shouldnt do
this, you wont," 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 Servidios
projection of a 30 % response, youll get
30,000 visitors to your site. According to 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, 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.