How To Build A Porn Membership Site / Pay Site

ModelCentro: Website Builder For Camgirls and Pornstars

Build and Run An Adult Membership Site

As far as porn sites go, the membership site is the classic. Although they’ve gained less popularity and profitability over the years, mainly due to tube sites, camming sites and clip sites, the membership site is still a tried and true business model. If you’re not currently a producer, it is still possible to broker content for the use in membership areas. However, most the people running membership sites anymore are either porn producers or indie performers. Regardless of whether you’re producing or not, all this information is highly relevant.

 

What’s Required To Start A Pay Site

In order to get started running your pay site, you’ll need the following:

Domain Name: You’ll need a domain name (website name). Depending on the TLD (.com, .net, ect) the price varies. For more inexpensive TLDs, you can get the domain and WHOIS protection for roughly $25 per year.

Web Hosting: You’ll also need web hosting. There are some solutions (We’ll cover them further down) that do provide their own web hosting with no upfront costs. Otherwise, make sure that the web hosting is adult-friendly and is adaquate for the site and the traffic.

Payment Processing: You’ll need payment processing for the membership site. Just like with the web hosting, there are a couple solutions that provide this with no upfront costs. You’ll need to make sure you’re using a “high-risk” payment processor, and one that is adult-friendly.

 

CMS / Scripts For Building Adult Pay Sites

There’s tons of “Content Management Systems” (CMS) available for building out a membership site. A CMS makes it insanely easy to deploy a new site, quickly add content and manage the existing content on the website. Some of these are designed specifically for the adult industry. There’s also some mainstream ones that have the potential to be converted into membership sites. It’s also possible to code your own, but that takes a decent amount of time, skill and effort.

ModelCentro – ModelCentro is a CMS that was designed specifically for indie performers / producers. ModelCentro is a “Hosted CMS”. That means that they host the actual site. This makes things easier, but also means that the website is less customizable. ModelCentro has zero upfront costs and instead works on a revshare model. All payment processing is also including, making it an insanely turnkey solution that requires little to no coding or tech knowledge.

AdultMemberSites – AdultMemberSites is another hosted CMS designed for indie performers and producers. AdultMemberSites covers all the hosting and payment processing and works on a revshare model. In addition to membership subscriptions, AdultMemberSites also supports live camming, premium social media subscriptions and custom store items.

xMember – xMember is a self-hosted CMS geared towards adult pay sites. Because it’s a self-hosted platform, you’ll need to get your own hosting and payment processing. Because it’s a self-hosted CMS, it’s also much more customizable, as you’ll have access to the source-code. xMember has all the bells and whistles right out of the box. In addition to membership subscriptions, xMember also supports store items.

xModel – xModel is another self-hosted CMS powered by Adent, the same company who developed xMember, but is geared more towards camming models / indie pornstars. With xModel, you’ll have to handle your own hosting and payment processing, but since it’s self-hosted it’s also more customizable. xModel supports membership subscriptions, live camming, clip sales and store items for tangible sales.

WordPress – WordPress is a open-sourced CMS popular in both mainstream and adult. WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, so it’s not the best to be used for membership sites, but with the right configurations, themes and plugins, can be used for just that. WordPress has a built-in user functionality that does make this a little more easy. WordPress is self-hosted, so you’ll need to provide your own hosting and payment processing. Because WordPress was not originally designed as a membership CMS, there’s going to be a lot of configuration and won’t be ready for members right out of the box.

 

Make Additional Money Off Your Pay Site

Obviously membership subscriptions are the main focus of a pay site. That isn’t the only way that pay sites can be monetized however. Here are two other ways to make money from your site:

Adult Display Advertisements – Running ads on the site will earn a CPM (paid by number of impressions) or a CPC (paid for each click). There’s different type of ad zones, including standard display ads, pop-ads and a number of other ad types. Because not all visitors are going to subscribe, placing ads on the site (Especially the publicly-facing part) is a great way to monetize all traffic and not just the subscribers.

Membership Cross-Sales (Affiliate Marketing) – The one thing about your subscribers is that they actually pay for porn. This makes them the most qualified audience to be marketing to. Membership area affiliate offers typically have way better conversion rates than when promoted elsewhere. Promoting other pay sites in the same niche as yours can be very profitable.

 

Membership Sites vs Fanclub Platforms

Another route to go (either instead of a membership site or in addition to a membership site) is adult fanclub platforms. These platforms have become insanely lucrative, especially for indie performers. Studios and producers can leverage fanclub platforms, too and many do use them for BTS (behind the scenes) content and teasers. Fanclub platforms are more turnkey, as there’s no development, hosting or integration of payment processors involved. These sites also have solid user-bases which means organic traffic and sales just by being on the sites. Here’s the leading adult fanclub platforms:

OnlyFans – When it comes to fanclub platforms, OnlyFans is by far the leader. OnlyFans pays a whopping 80% revshare to performers. In addition to fanclub subscriptions, OF creators can also send locked content, receive tips and stream live on the platform. OnlyFans also supports features such as discounts and deals and a referral program.

JustForFans – JustForFans is another popular fanclub platform. Due to being founded by gay pornstar Dominic Ford, the site is very gay-oriented and perfect for male performers. In addition to fanclub subscriptions, JustForFans models and producers can also sell clips, custom store items and offer sexting.

IsMyGirl – IsMyGirl is another solid fanclub platform. In addition to IsMyGirl, there’s also IsMyGuy and a couple other niche sites within the same company. In addition to fanclub subscriptions, IsMyGirl models can also make money from clip sales, premium social media subscriptions, custom content and sending locked content.

FanCentro – FanCentro is primarily a network for selling premium social media subscriptions. FanCentro also has a feature called The Feed, which works as an adult fanclub. FanCentro influencers can also receive tips from their fans and opt into affiliate promotion from CentroProfits. CentroProfits provides insane amounts of traffic for performers.

 

Promoting Your Membership Site

Now that the adult membership site is built, it’s time to drive traffic to it and get some subscribers. Marketing in porn isn’t as easy as marketing in mainstream. There’s tons of sites, products and services that don’t allow adult content. Even though it’s a challenge, it’s not impossible. Here’s some of the best ways to promote your pay site.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your pay site more search engine friendly. Once you’re able to get the site ranked, that site will tap into a wealth of constant organic traffic. As long as the website remains ranked, the traffic will come in effortlessly. Organic traffic also tends to convert better than other traffic sources. There’s two types of SEO: Onsite and offsite. Pay sites also have a unique challenge due to the membership area. All of that is explained below:

Onsite SEO: Onsite SEO is everything that takes place on your actual website. This means curating the content that you want to rank, making sure that all the copy, header text, images, ect. are optimized for the keywords and phrases that content should be targeting, internal linking, making sure content gets crawled and indexed, site speed and so on.

Offsite SEO: Offsite SEO is basically link-building. In theory, other websites are only going to link to websites with great content. Therefore the number of links and the number of linking sites is a major signal in Google’s algorithm. Google also looks at the “anchor text” (the words in the actual hyperlink) to help determine what the page is about. It’s also been debated in the SEO community on whether or not social signals and metrics impact SEO and rankings.

SEO Issues Facing Pay Sites: Adult pay sites face one major SEO issue: Most of these sites keep the majority of their content behind the paywall. Any content that is hidden behind any kind of paywall or membership area cannot be crawled by Google (And other search engines) and therefore will have zero impact on SEO. If the pages have previews available for logged out users, this can mitigate that. Also, it’s worthwhile for every pay site to also keep a publicly facing blog for SEO potential.

 

Social Media Marketing

Promoting porn on social media can be very challenging, but it’s still a great source of traffic when pulled off right. Most the mainstream social networks do not allow for any porn or “obscene” content. The ones that do keep getting less adult-friendly as time goes on. That being said, those networks can still be used to promote content. Luckily, there’s also some social networks geared completely towards adult content. These networks are great, as they’ll never turn their back on the industry.

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is much more challenging for adult sites than it is for mainstream sites. This is for a number of reasons. Primarily because most the email marketing platforms do not allow for adult content. The other major issue is that porn sites use a lot of keywords that most ISPs and email clients find to be spammy. Another major concern is that porn email campaigns receive a much higher spam report rating than other verticals.

Membership sites do have one advantage however. Every member of the site basically opts into email marketing promotion. And since they’re an active subscriber, they’re more willing to want to receive the email campaigns and interact with them. This is one advantage membership sites have over all the other types of porn sites out there.