Why Do You Want to Run a Solo Model Website?

Every TS model considering doing their own solo site, should read this before making any plans, investing any money or talking to any companies.  We’ve been running solo model sites since the 1990’s and have seen the explosion of them in the last 5 yrs and the recent decline in revenues for them and the difficulties on making them work.

First of all, my advice to every TS model wanting to their own solo paysite is don’t do it.  It’s incredibly hard to make money doing it and a lot of time and energy to run a proper site.   Most solo model sites are not making money.   You do have options though, which I’ll discuss later.

If you decide not to heed my advice and continue to do a site, then be careful of which partners you work with.  Here at Grooby, it’s unlikely we’re going to do many/any more solo model sites as the work and effort we put in, just isn’t worth the reward on most sites.  We do have our Grooby Network which includes some sites which do work well, like Wendy Summers, Michelle Austin and Jamie French but overall, most of the sites fail after a few months mainly as the model loses interest (see more below). Beware of some companies which will promise to build you a site but lock you into an exclusivity contract with them for their own paysites, this only benefits them and you could lose $10,000’s in other model fees simply to keep this insidious company happy. Beware of freelance designers and photographers promising to do it all for free for a split of the profit – many will be hobbyists just doing it to get close to the TS model scene (and abandon a project half way through), or may resell the content without your consent. If you are doing a solo site with a partner, choose wisely.

Why Do You Want To Do a Solo Site?

If the answer is money, then don’t.  It’s unlikely you’ll make enough back.

The main reasons to do a site, as well as trying to make a profit, are vanity (and there is nothing wrong with that), promoting yourself and the ability to control your image and your style of modeling.   Models who have tended to be successful are those who are offering something different on their sites to what every other site does, so think about your niche.   We’ve had models who were alt.type models but a few months into their site decided they wanted to be more glamouress and consequentially, lost their fan base rather fast.

Why is a paysite so bad?

Let’s look at some facts about paysites.   You are making a committment to the member to update, this should be at the least weekly with a full set.  Each time you produce a set it costs time and money.   Your site needs to attract new members so it should start with at least 12 sets before you’ve even had a customer.  Depending on what type of shoot you are showing, to get those sets you need to pay other models, photographer, it needs to be edited and photoshopped and uploaded to the site.  You have other expenses like locations, toys, lube, etc. and this is before you’ve made a dime.

Let’s assume those sets only cost you $300 a set to get online (so you start with a deficit of $3600) from the first week you go live you have to put up a new set ($300) and a set every week to the cost of $300×52 = $15,600.  So for the first year for content alone you could be looking at nearly $20,000.   Depending on your deal with your website company (unless you are doing it yourself) would depend on whether they would absorb server costs, whether they would do the editing and absorb those costs, etc.

Now let’s look at income.  Firstly, you have to get people to the front of your site and then encourage them to join.  Let’s say you settle on a $19.99 a month price point – you now have to get them to pay!  You know those 12,000 people following you on Twitter?  Are you planning on many of them joining as they’re your fan?  Expect maybe 30 of them to get their wallets out.  You need to pick up members from social networks, from forums, from adverts, from wherever you can.

FACT:  Most solo model sites measure their membership in dozens and not hundreds.

So you get a $19.99 sale.  Let’s say it came from your Twitter feed.   The first thing that comes off that is going to be roughly 13% to your billing company (this could be anywhere from 10% to 20% depending on the billing company you are your web partner is using.  That leaves you with $17.39 a sale.  How much did you promise to your website partner?  50%  (let’s hope they’re absorbing all hosting costs for that).  Now you have $8.69 a sale.

Now let’s say you are also using affiliates to bring you in extra sales (it’s mandatory – affiliates will get you sales you would not otherwise have gotten).  You may balk at forking over 50% of your sale to an affiliate but 50% of something is better than 50% of nothing.   So how does those maths work out?   Well first you lose your 13% to billing which leaves you with $17.39.  Depending on how your web partner has it worked out, will depend if you split the billing with the affiliate.  We at Grooby do – other companies don’t.  I will show the number in brackets () to denote the “not split with affiliates”.

So from your $17.39 ($19.99) you pay your affiliate 50% which leaves you with $8.70 ($7.39) which then has to be split with your website partner leaving $4.35 a sale ($3.70).

Even if you take into account the Grooby Network was only taking 20% unlike many companies 50% (you had to do more of the work yourself though) this still laves you with between $6-$12 per sale.    If 50% of your sale are direct and 50% affiliate then an average sale is $9 profit to you per sale.

How much did it cost to set up?

You would need to make over 400 sales to break even on your initial content – but hold on, while you’re making those sales you have to update with about $300 per week, so after a month your costs would be $4800.   It’s highly unlikely you’re going to be able to make the 533 sales in the first month, or anywhere near it, to be able to get close to making money.

Here’s a secret …

We plan between 30-60 months for a major site to become profitable!

This requires a massive outlay.  Can you afford to run your site for even two years without making profit?  Sure as the membership grows you’d expect the site to be able to pay for itself each month, after all it only needs 133 members or so to break even each month but by the time it’s at break even point, you could have poured $10,000’s into it.

You can scale down the numbers to costs of $100 per set but given the difficulties to make any sales on a solo girl site right now, the end results are going to be similar.   For a customer, considering where to spent his hard earned money, asking them to spend $19.99 for a solo model site that (hopefully) updates with 1 set a week, or $29.99-$34.99 to buy a multi-girl site with up to 7 sets a week, is no contest.

However, if you stand out from the multi-girl sites, if you offer something unique and different and if you engage your fans personally, then you can, with a lot of hard work and perseverance get a membership in the 100’s, if not over 1000 and make a profitable business.   Most girls don’t though, they follow the same dull route of looking as generic as everyone else and when they don’t see a profit within weeks, lose interest in the site and the fans.

So What Alternatives Are There To a Paysite? (or how to make a paysite profitable).

Coming soon …

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