I realized today that there are some good online marketing lessons that you can learn from P*rn and the adult industry. I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, Republican or Democrat – you can’t ignore the fact that the adult industry online is a billion dollar business. You don’t have to like it – or even look at it to learn from it.

Adult industry marketing techniques

The thing about the adult industry is that they’ve paved the way for nearly all Internet technology. Because of the online demand for adult content, the adult industry has invested millions and millions (if not billions) of dollars in faster servers, higher bandwidth, online video, and now even mobile content. Adult companies have had more money than any other online business over the last decade, and they’ve consistently invested it in new technology to make even more money.

What the Adult Industry is NOT Good at

Like anyone with a honey pot (please excuse the pun), adult marketers got greedy. They made so much money that they decided to invest it to make more, but they crossed the line and started to get spammy. The web sites had never ending link circles, popups, popunders, JavaScripts to cause the window to go full screen and take away your controls to close it. They excelled in taking your contact information and spamming you for life with new signup offers. AND – they could take the exact same content and build 1,000+ web sites with it.

Last October I was a speaker at WordCamp Detroit, and on the first day the key note speaker talked about his former history as an adult marketer. His advice that day to the WordCamp attendees was astounding – to “sh*t out as much content as they could”, and make hundreds and hundreds of web sites. He admitted that when was an adult marketer full time he owned more than 30,000+ domain names and web sites. His philosophy was almost that of a email marketing spammer – send out enough garbage and eventually something will stick.

The adult industry is not (generally) good at creating original content.

Why the Adult Industry is Losing Money Now

That same keynote speaker is now an “Internet Marketer” full time because he says the adult industry is dead. Many people are saying that the ability to download free p*rn has pretty much bankrupted adult marketers now. If you look closely at who’s still making money adult content – it’s pretty funny. It’s the smaller companies that are consistently putting out original content on a regular basis.

Google decided quite a few years back to target web sites with duplicate content. That’s why you can’t setup a site with Amazon affiliate links, and just use the product description from Amazon – and expect to make money. You have to actually write a detailed in-depth review from your own perspective AND THEN use the affiliate link to make money. That’s what original content is.

The adult industry is losing money because they’ve never been very good at writing original content, and their main philosophy has been to regurgitate the same content over and over again as many times as they can.

You’d Better Pay Attention to Where the Web is Going

I like the fact that the Internet is a level playing field, and that anyone can start something as a new idea that could grow into the “next big thing”. Think back a few years. Look at Twitter. Look at Facebook. Look at Firefox. Look at Chrome. Look at Groupon and Foursquare, and YouTube. When something is useful and good, and it’s adopted “en masse”, it can become an overnight sensation.

Have you ever noticed that Google search results are (still) filled with lots of spam? I say spam meaning that the results are sites with little or not content relevant to your search. Search for a phone number of address and you’ll see what I mean. There must be a zillion sites listing every phone number, zip code, and address in the world – with tons of ads for crap.

I read this article the other day about Why we desperately need a new (and better) Google at TechCrunch – and thought “you’re damn right we do”. If I think this way, and I’m an affiliate marketer – it’s an indicator that millions of are waiting for the “next big thing” in search. It could come at any time. Maybe it’s Facebook. Maybe it’s Blekko. Maybe it’s not online yet.

You’d better be paying close attention to your sites and cultivating quality original content and readers, or when the “next big thing” comes you’ll just be wiped out and making no money at all. It’s happened time and time and time again – let the adult industry be an indicator, it doesn’t matter how much money you generate. If you’re not generating something people actually want and need – eventually your stream of money will just dry up.