This is an introduction guide to setting up and running a business in the adult websites sector. Let’s look at key aspects of making money in the adult-only part of the internet.
This is a long article but all parts of it are important so don’t skip through. If you’re looking to make money from adult websites this page can help steer you in the right direction.
- 1 Introduction – eCommerce, erotica, tube websites & more
- 2 The setup process
- 3 The adult industry is now a huge mainstream market
- 4 Beware the dark side of the industry
- 5 Types of adult websites you can setup
- 6 Finding an adult web host
- 7 How much money can you make in the adult industry?
- 8 Your income can become passive
- 9 Costs are low to get started but the potential revenue is very high!
- 10 Level of competition in adult industries can be surprisingly low
- 11 Promoting your adult business
- 12 The future looks bright
- 13 Other benefits
- 14 The downsides of owning an adult business
- 15 Your time to act is now
Introduction – eCommerce, erotica, tube websites & more
First, a definition of “adult websites” would help. We aren’t just talking about the usual PornHub style porn websites. It includes anything that contains adult material. For example, you may want to set up an eCommerce website selling sex toys, like LoveHoney. Or maybe you want to set up an erotic blog. Maybe an adult dating service for people looking for hookups. Or maybe a YouTube channel reviewing adult-only items. Heck, what about a podcast telling dirty stories! They all come under this niche. All can be monetized and highly profitable.
This article isn’t for grubby teenagers thinking it would be funny to post nude pictures on Twitter. It’s for people who are viewing this as a serious business. Due to the nature of it be sure to think long and hard before entering the sector. Perhaps it would make you rich, but you also want to be proud of what you do and what you create.
The setup process
Owning a website is a great way to provide a higher long-term income for yourself. Previously many people would probably never have considered the adult sector as a way of making a profit. These days changing attitudes and big opportunities mean it’s as legitimate an opportunity as any other.
Let’s quickly go through what the process will be to get yourself a profitable adult business up and running:
- Brainstorm and be clear on exactly what sort of website you’ll setup.
- Register the domain name (web address) and web hosting package* with a company that allow adult websites, HostGator is the largest.
- Setup the website using the software you want, it could be WordPress for a blog, 3dcart for a sex toy shop, or Adent for a tube site.
- Once setup, populate your site with quality content/products.
- Finally it’s time to blast the promotion and manage the day to day running.
*Some services, such as eCommerce store providers, may include hosting as part of their price, in which case you don’t need to buy separate hosting.
Now you know roughly what the process looks like, let’s dig into this interesting part of the web as a money-making opportunity.
The adult industry is now a huge mainstream market
One thing that’s surprising is that the adult content sector it’s actually more mainstream than you’d expect. Simply searching for “setup adult website” includes web pages by the likes of eHow and BusinessInsider!
As already mentioned, by “adult content” we’re including content such as; art that contains nudity, talking about sexual topics, fictional erotica, and being an affiliate for products like sex toys. Of course, there are your regular porn tube sites too if that’s the sector you’re interested in.
There has been a lot of data published about the usage of adult content online. PornHub release data about their visitor behaviour. In 2018 they received an average of 92 million visitors per day – that works out at nearly 64,000 visitors every single minute. Remember that’s just for their website, not the whole adult industry! It also doesn’t include other sectors such as sex toys retailers, erotica blogs and “how-to” type websites.
Despite the general view that it’s only men who use this sort of content online, this shows that’s a myth with huge amounts of women enjoying it. In Jamaica the 2016 data showed 46% of visitors were women. The average age globally is 35 with a spread all the way from 18 to over 65. This shows what a massive business sector this is and just how many people are customers. Human beings are sexual creatures!
These figures show how much a part of our lives it is. As a business, or in society as a whole, there’s no need for it to be a taboo. There are now changing attitudes and there’s more openness to sexual pleasure. With lots of money to be made from it why not take advantage of this opportunity and treat it like the serious business that it is.
Beware the dark side of the industry
HOWEVER, there’s still a very bad side to the industry. Remember that some performers are forced into the industry and that trafficking does go on. Organised crime is also involved in the industry. Some pornographers are also involved in underage content which is deeply disturbing. Those aspects are why for many, sexual content online is still a very dirty topic. You obviously don’t want to be involved in any of that side of things. Stay clear. If you’re running an adult blog do you really want to embed a video of someone who has been forced to make that video? Of course not. Diligence is vital at all times, you have responsibilities.
Types of adult websites you can setup
Here’s a list of the types of adult websites you could setup:
- Reviewing adult products
- Blog about sexual topics
- Sell sex toys
- Publish fictional erotica
- Community to chat about sex
- Toplist content curation (like BuzzFeed for adults!)
- Adult memes and gifs
- If you’re a model yourself you can sell photos and videos on OnlyFans
These are only the ones but you could have a brainstorming session yourself and see what other business ideas you can create. Being unique will help you stand out against competitors.
Finding an adult web host
Another benefit is that hosting is no more expensive or tricky to set up than for any other website. Not all web hosts allow adult content though. Some are very strict in their policies that you should never show any nudity whatsoever. Read more about this in our article; Can you use any web hosting provider for adult websites?
To avoid any problems you need to use a web host that allows adult websites. A popular choice is HostGator.
How much money can you make in the adult industry?
It’s impossible to give exact figures of potential profit. It’s a tricky topic to answer because there simply isn’t that much information available. It also varies highly depending on how you go about monetization.
Common ways to make money from adult websites:
- Affiliate programs
- Display advertising
- Sell adult products such as dildo’s
- Premium content (OnlyFans)
- Membership sites
- File hosting
The methods you choose will affect how much profit you can make. The type of website you setup will also dictate what type of methods you can implement.
If you’re a blogger or want to set up a dropship website then adult products such as sex toys can have good profit margins on them.
If you want to go the affiliate route then you can promote webcam websites using affiliate networks like CrakRevenue. With highly targeted traffic they are the sort of programs that convert nicely because it’s already a popular well-known website in the niche. With large traffic numbers, you’ll make good money using display advertising. Companies like PlugRush are good for that.
Tube sites have been heavily saturated and are generally best avoided. If you do want to own a tube site then you need to target smaller niches. The chance of you out-competing companies like Xhamster is incredibly low! You may also be hosting videos of girls who have been forced to perform which is not what you want to be doing. Morals are important. For that reason, you have to be very careful with the tube sites and think about how you go about your business.
There are personal bloggers who discuss their sex life and fantasies. These people tend to have a very loyal following. In that situation you can ask for donations to help financially support your blog. The same can apply to fictional erotica where you could even sell your work!
Your income can become passive
Another huge benefit of this industry is that if you create a strong website it can become passive income. You have to put in the work first to setup the website and make it excellent for users. Over time though the traffic should be solid and with good processes in place you can take a fairly hands-off approach.
The only way this won’t become passive income is if you rely on methods for promotion such as Twitter. The main aim is always to get high search engine rankings for popular adult search terms. That way it can become a passive income.
If you do rely on methods that don’t have a long time span (such as social media) then you can hire freelancers from websites like Upwork. You will be able to employ people who are happy to do the work. Others won’t want to do it though so always be clear they would be working in the NSFW category. Another thing you can do is use services like Buffer to schedule social media posts. This can also be a time saver.
Costs are low to get started but the potential revenue is very high!
Now let’s get to one of the big benefits of this industry. The sharp double edge sword of low costs and high revenues. This means the level of risk in starting is low because you can’t lose much money if you do a bad job. Yet the potential for huge profits is there for those who do a good job.
For a start web hosting is low cost. It shouldn’t cost much depending on the type of website you want to own. If you are going the route of a blog then WordPress is free and there are loads of high-quality free themes. If you’re a private creator of content making stuff under your own free will then membership sites are good solutions too that don’t cost much money. Setting up an e-commerce site is also cheap. Whichever format of website you decide, it shouldn’t cost much.
The price of content will depend on the site. For bloggers you’ll be the one creating most of the content. Finding nude stock photos is incredibly cheap thanks to websites like Dreamstime. If you setup an e-commerce website then the images of products like dildos and lube get provided by the dropshippers and wholesalers.
If you want to go the route of original content and setup your own porn channel then you would need to hire photographers and models and that would be a lot more expensive. It also brings into play the shady side of the industry that can involve performers who are being forced to work. It’s not an area I’ve looked into or would want to and I don’t expect many people reading this would also want to go that route. This article isn’t really for producers. The other types of content mentioned above represent a much better risk to reward ratio.
Level of competition in adult industries can be surprisingly low
The number of competitors you’ll have will depend on what type of site you set up. There are lots of established e-commerce websites selling products like dildos. That can make it tough to compete and you will need to be smart and work hard. Other areas are easier to rank for though.
It’s surprising what a little bit of research can throw up. Using Bing Webmaster Tools is a good way to look at how many searches different phrases get. There are search terms that get looked at thousands of times per month (in Bing alone) yet the websites ranking at the top for them are quite weak. By “weak” it means the content quality isn’t great and they have very low metrics. Using Moz Open Site Explorer to see how strong websites are is a good idea. It’s a great tool you should definitely use. Here’s an example:
There is a very real chance of ranking highly in areas where the domains ranking at the top have low metrics. It’ll take time with a new domain but it’s certainly doable to beat them. In other sectors of life you won’t find hugely popular search terms that are very easy to rank for. This is why this is such a goldmine.
To help you compete you want to make sure you create a really good website, focus on a specific niche and then promote it well. This brings us nicely on to the next point!
Promoting your adult business
Promotion is now easier than it used to be thanks to new types of sites like Pinterest style websites and blogs. You can still use some mainstream tactics too that you would use for any other website.
Here is why promoting an adult website is quite easy these days.
The first thing to do is set up your website and get it looking good with lots of high-quality content. There’s no point promoting something that is terrible! For example, if you write short erotica stories, get at least 10 published first.
Once you are fully set up you first need to create your social profiles. Twitter is important. It allows adult content making it very straightforward. Put in your diary to tweet at least once a day. Get in the habit and it becomes easy! You also need to create a Pinterest account but never upload explicit images to it. Instead, you want to use it regularly to upload pictures such as retail bikini pics. If you’re a blogger you can also use it to promote blog posts with nice graphics.
Once you’re up and running with social profiles you can create more permanent links. There are websites in the style of Pinterest that are adult only. Do a bit of searching to find those. Join them and share a few images from your website.
You can also search for adult forums where you can put a link in your profile. Join Reddit and use some of the subreddits to share awesome stuff. If you have funds to invest you may also want to try buying traffic and measuring your ROI.
You can use other more mainstream websites too as long as you don’t upload explicit content to them. Websites like Slideshare can be good to use. For example, if you have a Buzzfeed style adult site then you could do similar articles but without the nudity and upload them to Slideshare. You can include a link that will get indexed.
Setting up other spin-off websites on Blogger can be another good way to link to your own website. Leaving comments on sexual blogs can be another easy way to get links. Overall you need to be smart with your promotional methods. There are lots of ways to still get links. Be sure never to spam.
Write yourself a full marketing plan specific to your new adult website and be sure to follow it and never give up.
The future looks bright
Yet another brilliant thing about this sector is its one that certainly isn’t going to disappear! People aren’t going to stop having sexual thoughts overnight. You can give this a try knowing the market won’t suddenly shrink.
There’s also the huge benefit of no competition from apps. Google Play Store and iTunes don’t allow adult content in apps listed in their stores. This means people have to go to websites to get their naughty kicks!
As we draw to an end of this post let’s look at a few other benefits you might not have thought about:
- You can stay completely anonymous if you want to.
- Running websites you enjoy is important, who doesn’t like sex!
- Get web hosting on a monthly plan and you can cancel at any time meaning very low-risk if it doesn’t get success relatively quickly.
- Your location doesn’t matter because it’s a global business.
The downsides of owning an adult business
Don’t be naive and go thinking it’s all rosy and nice and easy to do. The negatives can’t be ignored. Be sure to stay safe legally. Obviously, that means the nature of the content but also don’t go stealing other peoples content. If you have done then it’s on your conscience and you best make sure you have a DMCA page. If you have accidentally abused someone’s copyright you need to react swiftly.
If you’ve never set up any kind of website before then you’ll have a learning curve to go through. It’s easy once you get the hang of it but there will be learning to be done.
You’ll also need to manage your financial expenses and push yourself to make something that’s quality and then spend the time promoting it. If you tell your friends about the venture be aware that some may not be as open to it as you are. Ultimately it doesn’t matter, but just be aware that could happen.
Whatever you decide in terms of the direction of your new adult direction – be clear of your plan. Otherwise, confusion and lack of direction can badly damage your chances of success.
Your time to act is now
Don’t just read this and do nothing about it. Decide if it’s a way you want to make money and beef up your bank account. Hopefully, everything said above has piqued your interest and you’re now clearer on what you want to do.
The aim of MoneyCortex is to help people improve their personal finances. Certain content can be very powerful. If you want to take your finances by the balls and have fun you too should have a serious think about it. Why not!
This article isn’t designed to be a full “how-to guide”. It’s meant to share with you why this niche is one you should be open to. It doesn’t have to be a dirty business and there are huge profits to be earned. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill. You’ll have to work hard at the start to succeed. The rewards are out there if you want them.