Adult Niche: The Gold Mine in Affiliate Marketing
Not only is it a sin of many a man and woman, but it’s also an incredibly lucrative business opportunity.
Adult entertainment is an 100-billion-dollar industry and, as such, it involves a lot of advertising.
More importantly, adult entertainment isn’t limited only to sleazy and x rated stuff.
Other huge sources of possible revenue?
Dating and matchmaking sites, apps, and platforms.
Indeed, there are a whole lot of affiliate marketing verticals to choose from!
Even so, getting to know the ins and outs of the industry isn’t easy.
It’s a bit upside-down compared to other, tamer, niches and people in the biz are notorious for keeping their information to themselves.
In fact, the Porn industry is just vicious, and walking the thin line between copyright infringement and legality is a common practice.
That being said, there’s still room for an honest marketer in the pond.
It does require a bit of a paradigm shift and a different approach, but these sites can be goldmines with fairly little time and effort invested.
How Adult Advertising Works
One of the first issues you’re going to run into is that this particular vertical is infamously spammy.
If you wanna search for any reasonable info, you’ll have to wade through a sea of clickbait links that offer literally zero value to you.
And, as I’ve already stated, there are no guides on the topic.
The most useful stuff comes from first-hand accounts of people who were in the biz on various forums, on Reddit, and so on.
Of course, the anonymity that makes it comfortable for them to share this info also makes their credibility questionable, so you should take everything you read on the topic with a grain of salt.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the adult entertainment industry doesn’t always like other businesses.
For example, by some accounts, adult sites actually do better when their ads look amateurish, showcasing weird but engaging language.
It would seem that the blatant, direct, clickbait ads perform best, even though they’re frowned upon in general, especially in other “more serious” niches.
In other words, the most outrageous and ridiculous ads do best.
It makes sense, psychologically.
When watching porn, you’re more focused on your basic, primal needs, so your higher cognitive functions aren’t as active.
This doesn’t mean you become stupid – it just means that you become more susceptible to manipulation; you crave instant gratification.
That’s why ads such as “discover hot singles near you now” work so well.
They give users the feeling that this is immediate, instant and happening nearby (even if it’s not actually true).
Seriously, it goes as far as ads performing better when they’re intentionally misspelled and written by guys posing as women.
Men visiting these sites generally want to interact with that male fantasy of what women are like, which is of course a far cry from the real thing.
Most people obviously know that such an ad isn’t true, but it still feels good to see that, instead of “meet 4 unattractive, boring people in your vicinity.”
The point is that your previous affiliate experience and intuition may fail to work here.
If you decide to get in on this bandwagon, you need to be ready to do a lot of tracking and testing – even more so than usual.
Demographics are important as well. Different age groups are interested in different stuff, so you need to know who your target audience is for the particular ad.
There are some clever and creative ways to avoid the dreaded NSFW (Not Safe For Work) label on your ads.
After all, why would you want to limit your reach only to off-work hours?
You need to optimize your campaign to cover as many common user-browser interactions as possible.
Affiliate Marketing in the Adult Niche
Apart from its peculiar ad philosophy, this vertical is very sensitive to geolocation, particularly when dating sites are in question.
Typically, experienced marketers separate the countries where you can do dating in 3 tiers, with the first one containing the most popular countries, such as the US, Australia, UK, France, and Germany.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got far less lucrative countries such as Russia, Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, and South Africa, where the traffic is significantly lower – so is competition, by the way.
However, the effort-to-gain ratio can be pretty skewed if you’re not familiar with the particular area, its culture, and language.
If you’re a big game kind of guy and happen to have a cool budget (at least $3000-$4000), you may wanna go for one of those Tier 1 countries, where competition is extremely stiff but the potential payout is awesome.
If you’re an average affiliate, your best bet would be to go for Tier 2 countries, which are kind of a mixed bag.
Why? They don’t have as much traffic as major players.
Even so, they’re still pretty lucrative.
We’re still talking about a potential revenue of hundreds of dollars on a daily basis.
Countries such as Norway, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, and the Netherlands have a fair amount of traffic while the competition is much weaker than what you’d find playing with the big boys.
Simply put, you’re better off going for a lower competition, lower budget program, where you can perform the optimization and testing without too much of an initial loss.
After all, it’s better to split test on a $100-dollar campaign that may backfire, than sink $1500 that you’re never getting back.
When you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to do a bit of spying.
Consider using some form of a VPN software and visit competing sites as if you hailed from your target location.
Snoop around and check what type of banners these successful sites go for.
You can also run WhatRunsWhere, in order to gain even more info.
Now, you’re not supposed to rip off the banners and ads – you just want to gain a general idea, so that you can choose your ad network armed with more info.
Landers are also pretty important, and you should use them as often as possible, as you want to make sure that your CTR is as high as possible.
Perform a typical split A/B testing for different banners, banner placement, and lander combinations, and expect to lose some money until you get the feel for what works.
Typical Ad Networks
First of all, it’s interesting to note Google has placed fairly strict rules on adult content ads, which means that AdSense is generally not a good solution if you wanna generate passive income from your site.
Most ad networks that deal with Adult content have different payout options, which gives you a bit of flexibility.
Typically, they offer CPM and have special Adult options (on a subscription or purchase), and some offer CPC and CPA options, too.
Some of the big names like Ero-Advertising, TrafficStars, TrafficJunky and ExoClick are in the game, but there are also specialized Ad Networks that cater only to this niche, like JuicyAds.
In the Mobidea Academy, you can find a bunch of awesome ad network reviews.
Besides location, volumes, and cost, you’ll also need to decide whether or not you’re gonna use pop-ads, and what other formats you have in mind for your ads.
Finding the network that suits you best is a bit of a balancing act.
You’ll need to find a cool balance between the offer, price, tracking and ad options, so be sure to take some time to figure this out (this is where checking your competition comes in handy).
Don’t wanna waste any time searching?
Mobidea is here for you!
Another key point you’ve gotta decide?
Whether or not you wanna optimize your site (and campaign).
Never forget to optimize for mobile as well.
More and more people use dating and adult sites on their handhelds.
Missing out on this growing market isn’t gonna be the greatest idea ever.
You can find a much more in-depth guide on adult ad networks in an extensive list the Mobidea Academy has made just for you.
As you might expect, the adult niche is a bit of a high-risk, high-reward game.
If you’re an adult affiliate, you know the playing field is rife with hackers, scammers, and other no-gooders, but a brave and intrepid soul can really make a fortune here.
Not only can these guys target you and potentially damage your revenue, the whole niche has a bit of a bad reputation (of course this goes more for porn sites than dating sites) so it’s a bit of an uphill battle to create a reputable, stable site that will work perfectly.
Fraud is another issue that crops up slightly more often than usual.
Even so, these risks are inherent to affiliate marketing anyways.
If you do your homework and pay attention, the adult niche in affiliate marketing can be an awesome business opportunity that can turn into ridiculous amounts of money on a fairly modest budget.