Due to some technical issues and glitches beyond my control at that site, such as the inability to send newsletters more than once a week, I post here not only as a backup but as a more timely publication method with a more conversational format.
Don't let the title fool you, I don't limit myself to adult webmasters only. Marketing is for everyone. The only difference between selling adult materials and Victorian widgets is the target market. All the same skills, knowledge and work are required.
While it's true that adult webmasters follow in the footsteps of those in the adult entertainment industry and are the first to capitalize on technology (allowing for great ideas to be plucked by mainstream marketers), those in marketing to a mature audience often overlook the basics. So blending both sides, as it were, seems like a perfectly natural conversation.
While this blog will not post adult images per se, it will on occasion link to adult sites which may have such images ~ I will clearly warn you if the link is 'Adult' or Not Work Safe (NWS).
As a conversation, this blog is participatory. I expect to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and even your comments which contradict what I have said ~ not everyone's experience is the same and debate is healthy.
Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, suggestions, networking lead etc. at TheWhore (at) marketingwhore (dot) net.
Due to the increasing number of emails with 'just a quick question...' I'm implementing phone consulting via Keen.
Both Callie Simms & I will be back on Cult of Gracie Radio tonight, from 9-10 PM (Central), discussing mainstream & mature marketing from more of a 'how to' aspect. Tonight's agenda includes the following discussion:
* SEO: application tips (how) & definitions of purpose (why)
* The purpose behind & use of blogs (when to use, what they are for; when blogging doesn't make sense)
* Content: What is, and isn't, content with a purpose, and the issue of "giving it away for free". (somewhat related to both of the above)
* Ethics & 'feelings' about blogging & online user IDs. (When using a pen name feels icky, but is necessary; are there situations to 'out' yourself?)
(Of course, I'm sure we'll still have plenty of lively debate as we defend our reasoning!)
You can join the conversation by calling 646.200.3136
Get a date with a sexy New York blogger for just $10. You read that right ~ but what I mean is that you can sponsor a specific date on the New York City Sexblogger 2009 Calendar for just ten bucks. But you'll have to act fast; the deadline is October 1, 2008.
Looks like Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld listen to The Marketing Whore. Sure, they stopped the ads I adored; but the charming new ads sure seem to be scripted/produced right from my blog post.
As most (?) of you know by now, I work with Amanda Brooks at SWOP-East. But before you go thinking that's why Amanda's book got such a rave review, you should know it's quite the opposite: Amanda's brilliance convinced Gracie that she'd like to work with the brilliant Amanda Brooks and SWOP-East.
(That link is NWS; but this one is, should you need a safer site to read at.)
I urge you to read it ~ and not just because I wrote it. Even if you do not consider yourself a sex-worker, you should abso-freakin'-lutely care about horrid journalism. Honestly, what Diane Sawyer et all did with this is completely unethical and exploitative.
I'm hoping that a Tuesday post about a Friday meme will prompt you all to be prepared to post this week. *wink*
General tips, for this or any other meme, are:
1) Follow the meme rules. In this case, please remember to do the following:
a) Post a comment in the current High-Five Fridays blog post so that other participants and readers can find you
b) Please use the whole code as noted here ~ links back are nice, as are those to Technorati, but as this is a very new meme the text explanation helps others to know what's going on (and hopefully join us!) Other memes require such stuff, so it's not out of the ordinary to ask.
2) Go around and comment at other meme participants posts. Meeting people is half the fun! And, in this case, we're all finding other neat websites too.
I invited Marketing Whore newsletter subscribers to ask me questions (with caveats, guidelines and restrictions, of course), and this is some of what I received that was worthy of response...
You've seemed anti-Digg, so what gives with all the Digg talk? Why follow it if you don't like it?
I'm not anti-Digg; it's just not a huge part of my life ~ professionally or personally. However, it has to be recognized as a 'player' and even a 'shaper' of the game, especially when there are lessons to be learned as a site like Digg grapples with what it is, what it will be... To that end, David Binkowski's got a Digg update. Why do you use/recommend Blogger and not WordPress etc.?
Honestly, now it's familiarity; I've been using it so long, why switch? And while I have used a few other blogging platforms, there are X reasons why I likely won't switch.
The number one reason is images. Images are a huge part of adult blogging, and, because images make any blog more interesting, I even try to find images for this blog from time to time. I've used Wordpress and what a nightmare images are! You have to size images for conformity; if you want a decent sized image in your post yet have it 'clickable' to a larger image, you have to upload more than one image and monkey greatly with code ~ oh, and don't get me started on how unfortunate Wordpress is with even paragraph formating! :Blech: Anyway, my point is that Blogger makes decent sized images for posts and automatically gives links to the larger images.
Plus, and let's not underestimate the value of this, Blogger doesn't require additional plugins for things like video.
There are also additional small things which could be all in my head... But if Google owns it, won't it be spidered well? And that Blogger bar at the top is used for surfing, random blogs etc, so it offers at least the potential for more visitors.
So here I am, pondering this problem today, wondering what I can do to sort of give everyone I read & admire a high-five which benefits them and doesn't take a whole lot of extra (distracting) work on my part... And then it hits me: Make a regular feature which links to these great sites and/or posts, carrying my admiration along with some Google juice.
This feature will be called High-Five Fridays and it's rather open theme means I can replicate the feature at any blog, but each with relevant high-fives.
Since it's easy to replicate, it lends itself to being a meme. And memes can be fun ~ I'd sure like to know who or what you've been reading this week which you think deserves a high-five. So if you care to join me, get on over to the new, official home of High-Five Fridays.
Note: I know I'm starting this late in the day, but anyone who plays today will get a free link at High-Five Fridays as a thank you for being an early (but late-hour) adopter. *wink*
For those of you, like myself, who prefer and use the Linux platform, check out Linux & Lip Gloss for neat tips & tools (and some girly fun too). I'll be adding it to the sidebar, just so I don't lose it.
Speaking of Linux, I know quite a number of you who read here use it... It it because you do everything I do? (I know, I know, sit down already, I'm making a fool of myself.) But seriously, the percentage of persons I know using Linux is much higher than the purported percentage of Internet users... What's up with that?
The Marketing Whore on Dominance Humping, Tact and Grace(ie)
One of the things I'm known for is being nice. Well, I'm also known for being opinionated and a former escort too. But most folks who know me, have worked with me, will tell you I'm nice ~ in that patient and tolerant way (which has led me into giving away lots of help and advice for free in many arenas). But sometimes...
Oh, sometimes, I just don't understand how people can be so rude. I can understand and accept ignorance. Ditto for a difference of opinion. But rudeness?
The example I'm about to share will not name names ~ not out of respect but because I don't want to give them any attention. They do not deserve it.
And while I'm on the subject of 'outing' people, or addressing the concerns of people's feelings, let me say that I'm not worried that they will visit here and notice themselves in the example ~ because people like this never see themselves in the bad examples or as the ones needing the corrections. In all my years of working with people this is the case. Meanwhile, those who would be mortified to make such errors ~ those who never do such things because they are people filled with common sense and decency ~ these kind-hearted people always fear these things are about them. Please don't flood my inbox with apologies or concerns; if you were the person who did what I'm about to describe, you'd already know of my displeasure. So no worries for those of you reading here.
Now, on to today's lesson.
As most of you know, my site Sex-Kitten.Net (NWS) has the Sex-Kitten Feed (NWS), which is a way to promote our friends and associates by helping to broadcast their blog's RSS feed (NWS). (The feed is featured on the home page of the site, on other blogs in the feed & with it's own page.) When persons submit their site and feed for such promotion, I always check to see that A) the feed is working properly and 2) that they have linked back (to either the feed itself or the main site). If they have errors or have not reciprocated with a link, I contact them.
Recently I had to contact several folks to tell them that I would activate their feed once they linked back and then contacted me to let me know they had done so. Usually one of two things happen: they apologize for the oversight and correct it, or they ignore the emails (and I delete the submission). But this week I had one of the rare fellows who reacts rudely.
His first response was to tell me to go ahead and drop his submission because he "never got a single referral from us". I calmly wrote back that of course he hadn't ~ due to no recip, he had never been activated. I'd be happy to remove his submission if he wished, but thought he should know why he'd never received any traffic.
At this point I expected an 'ah-ha' moment, followed by him placing the link and emailing to telling me so. Maybe even with an apology for not understanding... But no.
Instead I receive an email asking demanding me for my site stats. "How many unique visitors do you get per day?"
Now folks, there are several problems with this response.
First of all, asking a webmaster for their blog stats is rather like asking a person how much they make a year. Sure, some might not be offended; some might even give you the answer. But many people, in either situation, will be greatly offended. Generally, these matters are considered none of your business. So why risk offending anyone?
If you think that I owe this person my stats because we're doing business together, remember this: the SK feed is free. He's not paying ~ no one's paying ~ for this service; it's not advertising. I, the person offering the service, isn't asking him (or anyone) about their site traffic (or pagerank or anything). For him to go there is rather like your brother-in-law asking you what your salary is or how much your home cost. It's inappropriate.
Secondly, if this man feels he is owed this info in order to evaluate the opportunity, or if he thinks this sort of questioning shows that he is Mr Serious Internet Businessman, then he needs to get a clue ~ and some tact.
He, you, I ~ anyone, can do some simple research to get an idea of traffic on any website. It's not rocket science.
If he doesn't know how to do this, or is too lazy to do it and expects me to tell him, or if he has done his homework and is trying to 'test me' for my honesty and credibility, well, I'm completely unimpressed. And I'm not playing.
His inability to employ good old fashioned tact and common sense leaves me cold.
The lesson here is that when you approach someone, including to take advantage of their opportunity, mind your manners. Don't ask questions which are none of your business. And if you should think it is your business, proceed politely. Don't pose questions as demands.
In fact, after some research of my own on this man, his sites and business practices, I'm of the impression that this man was dominance humping. He read my polite, and perhaps somewhat girly closing (typically I sign-off all my emails, business and personal, "with much affection, Gracie"), and concluded that I don't know what I'm doing. He assumed that he could intimidate me with a hard-boiled-business-numbers response to make me sit back (with my pretty head spinning from all that thinky math!) and take notice of his manly knowledge so that he could negotiate some other situation for himself. (As in I'd really really want his link to 'me' and be willing to give him additional promotions &/or advertising to get it.) But all I noticed was his bad manners and lack of respect.
I had the offer, the opportunity; I make the rules. In this case, I was offering to promote his site for free and all I asked for in return was a link. Not only is this a nominal 'price' it's a normal one. If he didn't like the rules, then he can take a pass on the opportunity. No one is forcing him to do this. For him to mistake kindness and the patience to continue to explain how the opportunity works for a chance to negotiate terms, or worse, some weakness on part, is a huge mistake.
I'm not paranoid about the dominance humping; I run into this quite often. And I'm betting you other ladies do too.
Gender, as in femaleness, combined with tolerance and understanding is seen as weak and unintelligent. Ask any mommy blogger if advertisers try to undermine their credibility and the value of their blog ~ to get cheaper advertising. (If you and your blog were so crappy, why would they want to advertise there?) But in the adult industry it's even worse. We're just dumb girls who whore ourselves and our sites on dumb luck and boobs. (I guess they think we are what we sell.)
Since I don't expect yet another blog post on gender issues to affect any real changes by the men who practice dominance humping, the lesson here is really for the women.
Don't let dominance humping (from men or women) undermine your actions. Know your business and make your rules. Don't let them negotiate the non-negotiable.
You know, it's good now and then to exercise my other identity, the one who is 'mainstream' and can be seen. Some days I think this other side of me doesn't get out enough.
This other me I call Mainstream Me. She is not, as some would say, the 'real me' just because she is easier for others to accept. On the contrary, I find her to be less than the Real Me. Real Me is what (too) many call Adult Me. Adult Me is Real Me because Adult Me accepts Mainstream Me.
I'm integrated, evolved; understanding and accepting that I am a sexual being and that the world at large is comprised of other sexual beings.
Would that the whole world was this way... But I digress.
When I walk about as Mainstream Me I see things from a different perspective. Or maybe it is that being seen from another perspective I react differently. Certainly I am treated differently.
In college we had this Into to Communications prof who made us each sit in a different spot each class. His excuse was that even a small change in visual perception changed our own perceptions greatly. And since part of our shifting seating included who we were sitting near, it also affected our behaviors. No longer were we in our comfort zones ~ not necessarily put into discomfort zones, but we had to shift.
Me: In my business, using twitter is just asking for trouble. The minute we use it we're the burning when they pee, the symptoms of STDs. No one wants porn at their party. At least that's what they say. But ask the working girls why they attend conventions ~ any convention ~ and the truth is seen. Twitter's just too public for folks who want sex to remain private, or folks who want to remove sex from the world. "All hail the petri dish."
My daddy, one helluva real salesman, taught me early on about the unsung glories of being in sales. Commissions which went unpaid, territories carved-up when you were successful, quotas set so high no one could make them, and lean times when your market was so affected by the economy that no matter how good you were there were no sales to be made. But still, I was entranced.
When I heard how he managed to help solve a company's problem, saw that satisfaction in his eyes, I wanted to feel that too. I adored the idea of problem solving to mutual satisfaction. I loved that a person could make money from helping another ~ even it was 'only' to help them make more money. I dreamed of being able to match need to benefit, problem to product, and of being paid to do it.
I spent my early years working in retail. I've sold nearly everything a woman can wear, men's apparel and shoes, and a few other assorted items. I've sold on commission, by quota, and at flat cashier rates. When a customer told me, "No," I was challenged to find out why... What did they need or want? Often, they didn't know what they needed or wanted, so I had to listen really well and, rather like a counselor, find out what they were looking for. Usually I go the sale. If not, I told them where they could find what they wanted. I may have 'lost' that sale to another store or company, but they always returned to me because I solved their problems. (Even if the problem was 'just' the perfect pair of the red high heels.)
I broke records, won divisional contests, and created some rather simple and innovative customer retention tools (even without permission). For my efforts I was "promoted" to management.
This was to me, a less spectacular position. For awhile I consoled myself by focusing on motivating the 'real' sales force and mentoring those who felt dirty about sales. But it just wasn't as rewarding, mostly as the companies I worked for had DMs and other 'higher-ups' with minds closed to employee moral and a general ignorance of what it was like to be in sales.
So I went 'back to school' and got my B.A., then I moved on to public relations and fund raising for non-profits. There I sold concepts and Utopian ideals to an all-too-often less than concerned public. And for less money than I made in most (if not all) of the other places. Along the way I also tended bar and held other customer service positions. *wink*
All of this is what's lead me here today. I'm rather compulsive about seeing the unmet needs, the poor (or nonexistent) customer service, the desperate hype designed to move products, the the way people just don't just stop and think. I've learned most products and services are not dirty, and that marketing and sales need not be either. And that this is the least true in the adult industry where most of us market a product or service for what it is, not what it isn't.
Daddy doesn't know about my sex pro work (which is a whole other story), so I've not sent him here; but he would be proud of what I do. Because at the end of the day problems have been solved, sales have been made, and I've got that gleam of satisfaction in my eyes.
While I joke, this is rather my point. Change a few words around, and this was once my brain ~ my brain on HTML as opposed to real code. Change a few words around, and this is my brain on marketing. Working with the adult web, in the adult industry, isn't very different from mainstream gigs.
Sure, I talk with porn stars; but we're either doing an interview (a feature which is promotion like any other celeb with a movie to plug) or she's now in the business office and we're discussing my invoice due for DVD sales.
Yeah, I review erotica, pornos, sex toys etc., but they require the same dedication, honesty and evaluation as any other product reviewed.
Yup, I put up smutty pictures and write with dirty words, but it's all the same skill sets that any other webmaster, marketer, author &/or journalist uses.
A friend was laughing the other day about how exotic my life sounds ~ over the phone it does to many, anyway. But a bill to be paid is a bill to be paid; and about as much fun. An ad, either written or placed, is work. Everything is work. It may be more entertaining for me (hence my selection of this field) than working with some other widget or industry, but folks who imagine that the porn stars, erotica authors, sex toy manufacturers, and retailers of all the goodies are all sitting around having pre-sex pillow fights, well, they're just wrong.
We do talk dirty now and then ~ but it's about the f-ing jerk whose promised payments never show up; the slutty gal who promised us an exclusive then gave that same 'exclusive' to 6 other publications; bloggers & webmasters who never recip with links as promised (or pull them later); reviewers who never get around to actually publishing the reviews; servers which go 'thud'; writers, editors and others who go MIA in the middle of the night (some stealing funds with them as they slink silent into that night); deadlines which seem impossible in light of work load; and any number of other unethical or stressful business practices ~ not the number of orgasms we had last night.
It's work. It's a job. If you're self-employed or with a start-up, it's not even guaranteed or scheduled pay.
It's better than digging ditches or having to kill your dinner with your bare hands; but it's work.
To those who keep asking about the 'fast-track' to easy money with the adult industry, especially on the Internet, I beg of Thee, please read the archives here. Yes, and follow (and read) the links. And then read at other sites. If you're still under the impression that this business is all boobs, glamour and easy money, then I'm going to have to assume that you currently not only dig ditches for a living, but must kill your dinner with your bare hands.
Big Snake Sale! Sssssave! Sssssave! Sssssave! Pick and choossssse! Mix and match, everything'sssss marked down! Thessssse marvelous petsssss are quiet and refined. Rid your house of rodentsssss and unwanted baby chicks, ssssstartle your friendsssss today!
Which got a few of us off our own "S's" and thinking... Why not have an ad sale and help a few of our friends with stuff stuck in their backrooms? (We bet that even the adult industry has a few snakes which must be moved. *wink*)
So here's our SSSuper SSSmut SSSpecial.
Get the Standard (150x200, 16K + 300 char) Blogads at the three following sites:
All three blogs, one month ~ at half price! Just $214.50
All three blogs, one week ~ at half price! Just $65
(In case you're too freaked-out by the offer to focus on the math, a week at all three sites would normally cost you $130; and a month is regularly $429.)
Also at Sex-Kitten.Net only, buy a Hi-Rise ad (150x600, 35K + 300 char) for one week (normally $200), now just the price of a one week standard ad.
(That math means you pay only $100 for the week!)
These are Limited Time Offers ~ We Aren't Kidding! (And we know this offer isn't a turkey; it won't hit the ground like sacks of wet cement either! *wink*)
Here's how to do it:
1) Make your ad payment via PayPal to Pay (at) equilibri-yum (dot) com.
2) Email me at TheWhore (at) MarketingWhore (dot) Net with the following ad information:
Ad Headline: Max. 32 chars. No html allowed Ad Text: Max. 300 published chars. Max. 3 empty lines. Simple HTML (a, b, i, u) allowed. No more than 18 continuous visible characters please! URL: Your website, product etc. Standard Ad Image: 150 X 200 pixels and 16KB jpg/gif OR Hi-Rise Ad Image: 150 X 600 pixels and 35KB jpg/gif
Yes, you can reserve future dates ~ with your payment only. Please include your requested ad start date with your other ad information.
Fine Print: Since this is an ad special, you won't be using the Blogads interface ~ we will be placing the ads for you, so it's really important that you email with your information as soon as you make your payment.
These offers end when we say they do. The only guarantee you have that your ad(s) will run is once you've made your payment. So reserve your spots now!
They need not be adult oriented, but obviously this is one chance to get those articles seen in a non-dirty light.
To mainstream bloggers who worry, please note that should any entry selected be not safe for work, it will be noted as such ~ but also know that the adult industry is made of decent business folks, folks who often are at the forefront of new ideas, so this should be an excellent carnival.
Other hosting dates are available, so why not consider hosting the CotC yourself?
Since I'm not above admitting that I can be quite a Diva, even an Attention Whore, I'm happy to announce that this week The Whore's been featured at two excellent marketing blogs.
What makes this even more thrilling (more than just being acknowledged by some mainstream folks) is that I'm an avid reader of these blogs. So while I am going to boast of my bloggin' cred, I'm also going to point to examples of what makes these blogs so great.
First, I was this week's Pick of the Thicket over at Media Orchard (by Idea Grove, Scott Baradell & Wife, makers of Spin Thicket). I must say, I really dig their title for my link, Online communities are worthless unless you really drink the Kool-Aid, even if it makes Scott look more clever than I, damnit.
Sometimes, when stalking my stats I find search engine traffic far too much fun. I feel bad for the person searching ~ not just because they likely were disappointed in what they found, but because who searches for these things? Poor dears.
Dirty crack whore on street corner for free:Yah. We're all so interested in doing that chick. And I bet this fucking-for-free to support her crack addiction really allows her (or him) to have a website. Or maybe I'm jumping to the wrong conclusions... Maybe it was a crack whore looking for a free corner to work on.
Free Tips on how to mindfuck women: Why didn't this guy just type in misogynistic?
If I must make a point for you all ~ if the laugh wasn't enough ~ then it's this: Don't pander to your site stats. I'm certainly not going to write blog posts to lure these people here.
Recently I was flattered by receiving a comment from Naked Confessions author Shel Israel. He complimented me on my review of the book and expressed concerns regarding what he thought was my anonymity. I emailed him regarding his concern and proffered an interview opportunity. (A sincere wish as I really love the book and wanted to present some questions based on my experiences, including in the adult industry.)
But Shel wasn't interested, saying, "...I think I'll pass on the interview. I've been reducing the interviews I do anyway as I get into writing my new book. But more than that, I just don't see much potential business for me with your target audience."
I really expected more from Shel. I expected him to understand that business is business. I expected him to understand that credibility ~ or lack thereof ~ is a huge part of this business and to relish the opportunity to discuss how the adult industry is more often than not about promoting naked people rather than getting naked themselves. If Shel can't see how vital transparency is to this business, who can?
But he didn't.
I can complain and whine all I want ~ and some days, believe me, I do ~ but in the end, I have to get dressed and face the day like any other professional. So be they lacy, frilly, or slut-red, I put on my panties one leg at a time; just like those good old boys do with their tidy-whiteies. And so it is with the business of marketing.
Despite what I believe to be intelligent discourse here (this certainly isn't some pandering smarmy sex blog), and in the area of business and marketing which his book(s) are targeted at, Shel thinks we adult business folks are too... too, what? Sexy to have legit concerns? To absorbed in sex to have any brain matter left over for business matters? Whatever his reasoning, he has dismissed us as a book-buying-consumers.
Israel's not alone in this attitude. Lots of folks dismiss our business. And they write us off as "being sex" rather than being in the business of sex. This is exactly what and why I'd like to discuss Naked Conversations here at this blog; we have an image problem and we'd like to resolve it.
I urge all of you who purchased Naked Confessions, or those who are thinking of buying the authors' books, to contact them and tell them that you are more than sex, more than frilly panties or thong briefs, and that you are in fact, their audience.
Tell 'em that you have brains in your heads, money in your pocket, and that you'd love to have them interviewed by The Whore. Tell them to stop putting us in the Pink Ghetto.
Contact information is found at each author's blog:
It seems, based on emails and some comments that many of you are missing the point regarding who Shel Israel is &/or what the book, Naked Conversations, is about. Please read this post with the book's review ~ or at least note that this is a book about blogs and how companies can/must use them. (It is not erotica or sex; it's a business book.)
This is the last call for subscribing in time to get "Methods" (the follow-up to Mission) ~ that newsletter will be sent tonight.
Also, I feel compelled to apologize for and explain why I am slow to reply to a few requests, like that of Rob, who is awaiting my additional comments on gender in PR (which I have to say requires a lot of writing because what he seeks is tangled in a web of related issues). But I'm so inundated with emails to The Whore right now that I can barely get through them all. I'm not complaining that you love me lol (most bloggers die for this sort of a problem, right?), but really wish some of you would post your thoughts and questions here as comments ~ at least then, others would be able to chime in. (And then I'd have a more organized way to count the number of folks interested in topics so I could prioritize better for y'all.)
So what I am trying to say is that even if you don't hear from me, or if I seem slow to reply, it's not that I don't care ~ not at all! I'm just uber busy. So bear with me ~ I'm dancing as fast as I can.
You know how media-types will dub some band as an 'overnight sensation,' when in reality that band is only too happy to tell you how they played every little dive, sometimes for free, just to keep the next gig coming and that they did so for 15 years before they were 'discovered' as this 'overnight sensation'?
The same is true of any star, product, or company. It takes years of hard work to get noticed. Not just money, but dedication, work and the beloved 'sweat equity' are the investments over time which one hopes will pay off.
I'm sure many of my marketing and advertising ideas are decades ahead of their time too ~ but I don't post this link just to toot my own optimistic horn. *wink* I want you to read Kricfalusi's post.
Not only does he have some great comments about how bad ads are (which to me leads to great creative ideas), but he exposes some issues fundamental to business in general, such as:
It used to be that big companies would compete with each other by making their products more appealing and attractive.
His implication is that for too many businesses more attention is spent on trying to buy and annoy their way into markets instead of serving those markets. It's obvious, but it's brilliant. There are too many companies which just don't see this.
His obvious and brilliant statement also leads me to my next (upcoming) post regarding the ethics of (and in) marketing. I just ask that you read Kricfalusi's post as a primer of many of our advertising sins as well as Rob Vagabond's comments on my gender issues in PR post first.
I really do ask little of you (other than a nagging reminder to subscribe to my newsletter, what do I ask of you?), so please make some time to read and think about this. It will make for better discussion!
Synopsis: Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography is a rare and empowering look into the pornography industry and feminist community to see how they intertwine within the politics and poetics of female sexuality. It shows women who are committed to making and supporting pornography that includes their feminist values and will go up against an entire industry, stereotypes, and sexism to get what they want. Who better to claim the adult industry for themselves than the women it depends on? Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion regarding women filmmakers and perspectives in the Chicago adult film industry featuring the following"
Carolyn Caizzi ~ director of Early to Bed Productions "Coming Home", the upcoming "Special Delivery" and other queer smut
Jack Hafferkamp ~ one half of the Libido Films production team (with partner Marianna Beck) and former editor of Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility.
Also, raffle prizes donated by Early to Bed, Sex-Kitten.Net*, and Libido Films!
Saturday March 24, 2007 at 7:30 PM
The Leather Archives Museum 6418 N. Greenview Chicago, IL 60626
$5 suggested donation
Sponsored by Early to Bed, 5232 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago
We had a server snafu early yesterday morning, so I am a bit off schedule right now. While I have nothing to do with the tech aspects of running my sites (other than alerting the techie to problems, noting fixes and making demands for new toys or tweaks to the sites), it's amazing how much this problem affected other areas of my life.
You can joke about being an Internet addict, and I may in fact be one, but when you work on the Internet and you can't access everything per usual, you tend to go nuts. And the fact that I can't bother a man knee-deep in whatever it is techies get knee-deep in while he's cleaning up messy server issues to go and tweak the design of a new site I'm working on, well my whole itinerary for the day was shot.
The bottom line: today's intended post must be delayed. But I will tell you what it was about, so that you may anticipate what's to come...
I'm starting a new blog project, this time with a group of contributors with whom I have never worked before. (Don't worry, you'll get a name and a link soon enough.) Since it's new, it brings up key points for blogging and marketing which I know many of you are interested in ~ like link exchanges, design, theme, organization of participating authors, niche etc. So rest assured we'll be getting to all that. It will sort of be like a 'making of' ~ not step-by-step, but at least point-by-point. (I hope.)
Meanwhile, while awaiting a few tweaks from the techie, feel free to:
* Send in your questions
* Read the following pieces regarding bloggers' rights, copyright issues and ethics:
The fabulous Richard Evans Lee has resurrected www.polyfetish.com and kids, it's all about sexuality and fetish blogging and webmastering. If you don't already know Richard, read my interview; chances are you've been to his blogs many times but just didn't know his name. He's got a wealth of info & experience to share, so I'm adding 'him' to the sidebar.
In case you're wondering, "what's up with the plethora of posts?"...
I'll be traveling for the weekend (I leave Friday) and hate to leave any projects open, articles unfinished etc. (And with all the emailed questions, there's a lot of posts I have started.) Lord knows the unattended inboxes alone make me prone to panic attacks while away... No need to leave unfinished business laying about like that to add to it. So certain of a mutiny am I, I swab the decks and check for stoweaways like a Capitan with OCD!
While I post like crazy to clear things up now, you may slowly read, learn, and, yes, fill my inbox with questions for the entire weekend.
This post serves as notice of my frenzied posting as well as an alert to no email replies over the weekend ~ perhaps slow replies at the start of next week too.
The Internet is loaded with people hiding behind the invisible cloak of user IDs and free email accounts. The feeling that no one can see you, tie your words to your soul, is quite liberating. Even those who are not pretending to be something or someone they aren't, those who are being quite real, feel empowered to divulge and express as they will not be recognized at the office water cooler, in line at Wal-Mart, or by that annoying next door neighbor. But sometimes too much anonymity is a bad thing.
What all those questions had in common was that none of those asking included links to or other information about their blogs. How can I provide any opinions of that which I cannot see?
If you want my opinion or advice you'll need to show me what you are talking about. Without those facts I can't do much more than spout generalities ~ and successful marketing should be about individuals and individual markets, not generalities. So, please, do not hide yourself, your blog or website.
I realize that as The Whore I can be quite intimidating. Direct, opinionated people can be. It's not that I want to be a meanie-meanie-bo-beanie; I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.
In spite of hundreds of views to that post showing that the collective 'you' did see the contest, I had no emails for the contest. Therefore I must conclude folks were afraid of even emailing in guesses for fear of being 'wrong' and somehow mocked. Listen, I won't mock you, personally attack you, or otherwise berate you for an idea, guess, comment, or even a disagreement with my point of view. (See? I'm not naming any of you here, am I? *wink*)
I don't (and won't) publicly display your name, site or otherwise 'out' you without your permission. Even in blog 'field trips' I'll wait to share with the class after you've made fixes (if even needed). This blog is about learning, field trips are for illustration, the only dumb question is the unasked one, etc. None of this is a witch-hunt to embarrass folks.
So stop being so anonymous.
I cannot promise individual consulting to each and everyone of you, however at the very least I will see general patterns and discuss them here. And, if you're willing, we'll take a field trip to your site or share our conversation.
But I can (and do) promise that without information, URLs etc. I won't be able to give you the answers you seek.
That all said, if you'd like to resend your email-O-questions with your blog/website URL, please do so.
The following are questions paraphrased or otherwise 'lumped' together based on questions I received after the latest Marketing Whore Newsletter was sent. Literally my inbox over-floweth. I'm doing my best to get through them all as quickly as I can and still be helpful. This is a start.
Dear Whore, how long should I give a blog before I pronounce it dead?
The Whore can do magical things, but she's no carnie ready to guess your weight ~ especially when she can't see you. Fundamentally, there is no rule. Variables include the size of your target market, how accurately you know your target market, how often you post ~ the quality of those posts, your authoritativeness, and what have you done to get folks over to notice you.
Consider a blog like sexual intercourse: never underestimate the slow-build as it may explode into the best time of your life.
Keep working it, teasing and pleasing, and for heavens sake enjoy it ~ if you have the slightest clue what you're doing the orgasm will come.
Dear Whore, after reading here I realize my blog's all over the place... Should I scrap it and start over? If I continue, to keep the few readers I do have, how do I choose what to focus on? What do I keep, what do I dump?
Compliments aside (I love to hear that I've helped someone see the light), this is rather like me telling you what you should be when you grow up. I'm flattered to be consulted in the matter, but look into your heart and see what you're the most passionate about. Even if this passion is attached to money & you need to whore your book, your call service or whatever, go for it with gusto. It's perfectly fine to hit your own erogenous zones when going for blog orgasm.
Dear Whore, I started a blog and then gave up on it. It's still there, just hasn't been updated in months... Should I restart it or begin anew? Will I look stupid with blank spots in time or am I more of an idiot to ignore what traffic and ranking I may have?
Glad to hear I've inspired you to blog again ~ and even happier still to hear you want to start off thinking about how to proceed. Blogging is like a bike, and you may fall off now and then but it's good to get back on and ride. As for the path you take, what can I say?
There's a pattern to the above questions ~ bonus points to you if you spotted it. Honestly, there are bonus points!
Email me with what pattern you see, and I'll put your name into my magic whore hat and if I draw your name, your blog will get the link over there in the sidebar Pimpin' spot. (Length of time you stay there is well, a crapshoot. More than a week for sure, but who knows when I'll feel like changing it or drawing names from the magic whore hat again?) Anyway, the link will be of your choosing: to your blog, your store, your book ~ you name it.
So email me with the pattern you see asap. The kind, nurturing whore that I am, I do want to clue in those who may not see it... And soon. So let's say email me what you see by Wednesday, 2/21/07 by noon Central Time.
UCSB student Nicki is conducting research regarding blogs and bloggers, with a focus on credibility issues. She's interested in determining if bloggers are deemed as credible as other news media outlets, if bloggers receive or should receive the same rights as journalists do, and other issues of authority.
If you are like The Whore and find you have more to say on the matter, let Nicki interview you. (I think I talked her ear off, poor thing lol) If you'd like to share your opinions and experiences with Nicki, email me and I'll connect you with her.
Out of respect for her research, I won't discuss all my thoughts here ~ but when her paper's completed in March, you know I'll explode with my comments here. Nicki's promised to share some of her results with us too, which ought to be very interesting.
So go take the survey and email me if you'd like to participate in an interview with Nicki. A little good karma goes a long way.
Before I begin this participatory post, I'd like to say I'm super excited to see The Marketing Whore in the top three ~ thank you to all who voted!
The best of this weeks blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants.
Want in Sugasm #67? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the linklist within a week and you're all set.
This Week's Picks Black Tie Optional; Cleavage Required. (http://middleurge.blogspot.com) "It had been so long since she'd worn something like this, I had to keep checking in and making sure she was really comfortable with appearing in public looking this... well, sexy."
Don't Be A Blog Playa (http://marketingwhore.naughtyblog.net) "Blogging is often treated like dating, where folks fall in love with setting it up, posting some ramblings, and when no one gushes and fawns all over them, they move onto the next one."
Eclectic Slut part one (http://junohenry.wordpress.com) "As we lay, limbs entwined and tangled, realising that we couldn't stop touching each other even for a second, the conversation returned to one we'd started earlier… about control and submission."
(Sugasm participants should re-post all the links above. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links. ~I post 'em all because The Whore does not want 'Did The Bare Minumum' on her tombstone~)
My first reaction was to laugh at this question; afterall, it's funny:
"Do you think all adult webmasters are stupid? Your tone shows near contempt for the majority of us who know what we are doing. I make money, do you?"
Ahh, just pasting it here makes me giggle again.
But in all seriousness, I would be an idiot if I just laughed the question off.
The man who sent this has not (yet anyway) consented to my using his name here, so I'll just call him 'Bob.' Bob does make some good points.
Do I think all adult webmasters are stupid? Certainly not. If I thought everyone was incapable of learning, why bother to write about any of this at all? I'm no spring chicken when it comes to looking at adult websites, blogs, paysites, ezines, whatever you want to call the dearth of online publications which deal with human sexuality and adult entertainment. Along the way I've found plenty of 'bad' examples which are the bad apples in the harvest of forbidden fruit. These folks give the general population the impression that all smut is bad.
I prefer to think of these 'bad' sites and publications as run by ignorant folks who would gladly do better ~ if they only knew how. Indeed, if they only knew they were 'bad'. Instead of running about emailing each webmaster/blogger like Bob, telling them what I think, I choose to post it all here. So that we all may learn. It is my hope that if we all cleaned up our acts in selling 'dirty' goods and services, we'd all benefit. A more accepting, if not loving, public would be the result.
And then there are those who began their gigs with an interest in or passion for a particular subject, but have no background in marketing. Similarly, are those who read that there's money in forbidden fruit and want to avoid being a bad apple. I offer my thoughts here, for free mind you, in hopes that there's something of use for them. (And I admit I learn from those who share here too.)
If I sound contemptuous, well, I guess that's just me and my tone. Some call me 'snarky,' others think I'm just honest; I believe I am blunt about sharing my opinions. I'm rather clear that all of this is my opinion, based on my experience, which is told to you in my 'snarky,' 'blunt,' or even 'contemptuous' voice. Is it valid? Well, this brings us to the last of Bob's questions: Do I make money?
Well, Bob, that's not only a personal question (my upbringing doesn't allow for me to discuss how much a person makes, how much your house or car costs etc.) but a subjective one. Simply answered: yes, I do make money online from the adult world. Is the amount significant to you? I can't even imagine that answer. And I don't want to enter a pissing contest, Bob.
Then again, success for me isn't all about the money. Call me a tender whore, but I get a thrill from every email thanking me for helping her get what she wants in bed, for every email of a satisfied customer who finally has found porn they can watch, for every reader who has really enjoyed a hot erotic story. These are measures of my success. And these emails wouldn't arrive in my inbox if they hadn't been able to find my websites ~ which means I do know something about reaching my target market.
Sugasm is: The best of this weeks blogs by the bloggers who blog them. The list highlights the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants as well as editor's pick etc.
I just made This Week's Picks (with Arrogant Penis) and that's rather cool. But I'm not just whoring myself here ~ I'm suggesting this as a means to whore yourself.
How Sugasm works is that you submit a link to your sex writing, erotica, or other sexy blog bit via this form.
Once the next week's issue (list) has been posted, and you've made the list, you repost the linklist within a week. This means your blog whores all participants (and gives you some 'free' content to post) ~ and all those participants are also whoring your blog.
It's simple enough ~ but remember, only send in your best stuff. Other bloggers are evaluating you so don't waste their time or embarrass yourself with a bad entry. Better to skip a week than show-off something less than stellar.
It has been brought to my attention that there was a problem with subscribing to the newsletter. All gremlins have been removed and it's working correctly now.
My apologies for the errors.
Please subscribe (or re-subscribe) so that you get the newsletters ~ I promise not to trade, share or whore your information and the newsletters are not full of adds. (Less than this blog has, honest!)