Interview with adult webmaster Johnny

January 28, 2008

Johnny is the owner of Ragingbucks.com – a fast-rising adult entertainment network
In this interview, he shares his experiences with online business in general. 
His experiences can help webmasters across the board whether they are in adult,
gambling, or mainstream fields.

1. How would you describe your job?

 
To sum it up in one word, unpredictable! Most of my days run smoothly but some days
can be pure chaos. I have to deal with server issues, unhappy affiliates, missed
deadlines, and customer support questions. However, I would never trade this job for
anything else. It feels great to know that your hard work has paid off and feels
great to see the profits that you have earned.

2. How did you get into this kind of business?  Did you really see yourself getting into this kind of business?

I believe being at the right place at the right time is the key to success. I was
a high school drop out who worked for an A/C company for over five years.  After
putting in over 60 hours a day and never getting ahead, I decided to look for other
opportunities. I spoke with a local buddy of mine in a Yahoo chat room to discuss if
there was any work available. While I was chatting, I came across a woman’s profile
that stated “Want to make money in the adult industry click here.”  I followed the
instructions and made my first million within three years.

3. What do you think are the turning points that helped make webmastering a money-making business?

Definitely, it has to be technology. Today, there are many opportunities to advertise
and communicate with online surfers as compared to a few years ago. Bandwidth, hardware,  software and url prices have also decreased. These factors have opened the doors for  smaller companies. I still believe it is easier to profit in the adult industry than in  the mainstream industry.

4. What is the most exciting industry-related development of late?

  Currently, I do not see anything that really stands out from the adult industry side.
I do notice the mainstream taking the lead in trend setting.  But in prior years,
the adult industry was setting the trends. But with new technology coming out, trends
also tend to fade. Right now, Web 2.0 social-networking sites are the hottest trends  in the adult industry.

5. What do you think are the essential skills to become a successful webmaster?

Webmasters must be patient, passionate, persistent, and willing to take risks.
The good old days of making BIG money the easy way on the Internet are long gone.
You have to come with a game plan and stick with it. You have to follow that game plan
until you have exhausted all other possibilities. You also have to be willing to accept
criticism, have the ability to network, think outside the box, and be able to push on
through rough times.

6. Webmastering has gone from being a one-person job to a field that allows specialization. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for the business?

For me, it has been a horrible thing. Unfortunately, it has limited my time to what I
can do on a daily basis. You need to have a solid team to run a successful business.
Don’t expect to run a multi-million dollar company all by yourself. You need programmersweb designers, and customer service representatives that you trust to be successful.  All these additional expenses can cut into your profits. On the other hand, having those  much needed people allows you to focus on maximizing your abilities.

7.  Do you think the industry is regulated enough?  Should the authorities or the
    governing bodies become more strict or less strict?

These days, it doesn’t seem like the online industry can police itself so I have no
problem with the governing bodies intervening. They must do so within reasonable bounds,  without violating my constitutional rights. There are definitely some gray areas that  need to be addressed legally.

8. What are the challenges the industry is facing today?
 
I would say adware and spyware. There are many hard working webmasters who are not  receiving proper credit for the work and time they put in. You have adware which is  doing pop-ups over webmasters’ websites and interfering with potential sales that an  honest webmaster has worked for. Even though most adware is legal, it is very unethical  for me. I think Congressional intervention is needed to solve some of these issues.
These adware companies have BIG money behind them and this will be a tough fight for
the smaller guys to take on.

9. What do you think are the challenges that lie ahead for online businesses?

I would have to say saturation. Online businesses are popping up everywhere these days.  Anyone with basic computer skills and a little capital can start an online business.  The problem with this is, with more new webmasters and fewer new surfers on the Internet,  we are all fighting for the same traffic. Therefore, you need to make your product stand  out even more to catch the attention of the surfer. I still feel that it is easier to  generate profit in the adult industry than in the mainstream. Online security and identity  theft are some of the other challenges. The online industry needs to educate the surfer  on what to look for and how to protect themselves. Once we lose the confidence of the  surfers who enter personal information and discourage them from using credit cards online  for purchases, the whole online business model is busted.

10. What do you think are the new and exciting things ahead for online businesses?

 It is difficult for me to say as I sit back every year and figure out ways to excel.
Only time can tell but I am hoping I can spot the next trend so I can capitalize on it.
Everything moves quickly these days and the windows of opportunity are getting fewer.

Webmastering Basics by Webmaster Journal

January 22, 2008

The process that causes the ubiquitous existence and convenient access
of the Internet through the World Wide Web is called webmastering.
Webmastering is the art of designing, creating, designing, marketing, and managing
a website. The person who is responsible for the process of webmastering is
appropriately called a webmaster.
The webmaster takes in the responsibility of the overall handling of the operations
which are associated with the website. Although a lot of people think that it is a
very difficult and serious task, webmastering can actually be performed by following
nine fairly easy steps.
The steps in the process of webmastering are the planning of the website, the choosing of the web hosting service, the selection of the domain name, the writing of the text content, the collection of the images and videos, the posting of the contents, the publishing of the website, the marketing of the website, and the management of  the website.

* Planning the website

 The first task associated with webmastering is the planning.
Before taking the necessary steps towards the creation of a website, the webmaster decides about the kind of website he is about to produce. The selection from the variety
of websites is based on the purpose of the website. If the objective is to create a site
wherein the users are able to download free trials of computer games, then the
webmaster moves on to the creation of a download site but if the aim is to develop
a site wherein the users are able to read about current events and issues, then he
carries on to the production of a news site.

The webmaster, after deciding the kind of website he would like to create, starts
outlining the future contents of his website. Some webmasters opt to use pen and paper when it comes to the detailed planning of the website. During this process, the webmaster decides on the possible contents of the website, the overall motif of the links, and the approximate number of the pages.

* Choosing the web host

Before using up all that energy while writing the text content and designing the layout, the webmaster makes sure that his efforts will not go to waste so he finds a web hosting service. A web hosting service or web host is an Internet-based service which assists webmasters in the creation of their very own websites by providing them with server space that they need in order to make their future websites accessible to the public through the World Wide Web.
There are many web hosting services available in the Internet today. Some web hosts offer their services for free while some don’t. When it comes to the selection of a web host, the price is not the only thing that a webmaster considers. Other aspects and features that the webmaster takes into consideration are the available web space, the advertising properties, the file size and type limitations, the access speed, the data transfer rate, the server quality, and the technical support.

* Selecting the domain name

After the issues with the web hosting services are all settled, the webmaster then moves on to the selection of the domain name. The domain name is website’s identity.
It is the URL address that directs the users to the homepage of a specific website.
Because the identity of the website depends on its address, the domain name has to be related to the overall purpose of the website. If the website to be created is the official website of a particular company, then the domain name is likely to bear a name that is similar to that of the company. In order for it to be effective and recallable, the domain name of a website is usually made short and simple.

* Writing the text

Because the future of the website is assured by the web hosting service and the domain name, it is just right for the webmaster to continue on with the preparation of the contents of his website. The first thing that a webmaster usually does is to write the text content of the website. The text content of the website contains all the necessary information that the website wishes to share with the world.
This includes the introductory message in the homepage, the list of questions and
answers in the FAQ page, the detailed tutorial or instructions in the Help page, and
the main articles about the entire website.

* Collecting the images or videos

A website which contains text-only contents is not that attractive to users.
Because of this, the art of webmastering came up with the idea of incorporating
related images, charts, videos, tables, and animations in order to make their
websites more eye-catching. After the completion of the text content, the necessary images or videos which will be used to enhance the appearance of the website are collected. The images or videos may be scanned and uploaded into the computer or copied and downloaded into the website.

* Posting the content

Posting the content is the part of the webmastering process where the computer language enters. The computer language is a set of characters that is used to describe the overall appearance of the website. Some of the known computer languages that webmasters use today are the HTML, the CSS, the Java, the PHP, the ASP, and the VB.net.
The mentioned set of codes are used to align the paragraphs, determine the font size, arrange the headings, choose the background colors or images, customize the borders, embed the pictures and videos, and format the website.
 
* Publishing the website

When every single detail regarding the appearance of the pages and the effectivity of the links are completed, the webmaster then readies the website to be accessed by the public. Before the actual publishing of the website, the webmaster has to validate his website first. By validating the website, the webmaster allows the public to have absolute access of the website.

* Marketing the website

In order for the website to be thoroughly successful, it has to be marketed in the Internet. The website has to be felt and needed by the Internet public.
The means for the website to achieve that popular status is for it to be effectively
marketed
. Some of the things that webmasters usually do to market their websites are by collaborating with direct marketers, by enlisting the website in online directories, by keeping a public blog, by taking advantage of the social web networks, by posting online articles, and by submitting press releases.

* Managing the website

After finishing the preceding eight steps, the webmaster then moves on to the continuous management of the website. He has to dedicate himself into doing his best just to maintain the smooth flow of all the functions and features which are associated with the website.
 

6 Tips for Better Web Design

January 19, 2008

Anyone can make a website, but not everyone can make a website
that works. Fun as it may seem, web design isn’t all about
choosing fancy colors  and creating flashy graphics.
It comes with its own set of rules. After all, web users are
different from TV viewers and newspaper readers for one thing,
they’re much more flighty, unpredictable, and harder to keep interested.

If you want your website to do its job (i.e., draw in customers),
you  should  put  a little more thought into web design.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

 Use graphics.

Studies show that pictures, not text or headlines, are the first
things people notice when they look at a page. Typically, a viewer
will look at the picture first, then read the caption, then read
the accompanying article.
A page with nothing but black-and-white type will turn off viewers.
Break up those big blocks of text with interesting pictures and add
a catchy caption to make your page more appealing.

  Keep your files small.

Unlike pictures on print, web images don’t need to be
of high quality in order to be published. In fact,
high-resolution images are discouraged because they take
time to load and eat up your site’s bandwidth.
Instead of uploading a resized 10-megapixel picture, make
a smaller version with a photo editor and upload it instead.
If you think a full view is absolutely necessary, make the
thumbnail a hyperlink to the full-res image.

 Make your site navigable.

Web readers are impatient. Unless they’re really interested,
they won’t take the extra five seconds to find the Next button
and read the rest of the page.
Make life easier for them by making all your controls accessible.
Keep a static menu bar on the top or side of your page.
This way, they can simply go back to the home page if they
lose their way around.

 Use simple layouts.

When you’re new to web design, it’s fun to try out new styles
such as side scrolling, multiple frames, and complex tables.
They may be cute for a personal blog, but not for a corporate site.
Stick to tried-and-tested layouts that have worked for a dozen
other sites.
Two- to three-column layouts are the most effective. They may
not be original, but the reason they’re so popular is
because they work.

 Less is more.

Avoid animated graphics, marquees, blinking text, and anything
too flashy. They take attention away from your site content
and make it look unprofessional. Also, try not to cram too
much material into the page. The recommended ‘weight’ is one
to three main blocks of text per page and a few well-chosen
pictures, plus the menu and hyperlinks.
If you have a lot to say, put them on a separate page and link
to them on your front page.

 Do browser tests.

Don’t assume that a site that works on your browser will look
the same on others. To ensure compatibility, avoid features
that require browser plug-ins, such as Flash animations and
Java programs. Before going live, test your site on all versions
of the most common browsers.

Dos and Donts of Website Building

January 15, 2008

So you’ve got a good host, a catchy domain, and compelling
sales copy — your site should be making money soon, shouldn’t it?
Well, it’s not that simple. There are rules to keep in mind
when building a website, from design and layout to content
and back-end programming.
Here are some things you should keep in mind.

DO update regularly.

A website is an ongoing project. You want your visitors to
keep coming back to your site, so give them something to
come back for a promo, a story, anything to keep them
interested. Update them on new products or events.
Try to update your content at least once a month, and
redesign your site every year or so.

DON’T use flashy graphics.

Blinking text and animated graphics belong to your five-year-old’s
school project, not to your company site. Keep things simple
and professional. Use only graphics that supplement your
site content or contribute to the overall design. A short
promotional video is acceptable, but provide an alternative
in case a viewer isn’t able to run it.

DO include your contact details.

Even if you do everything online, people still want to know
they’re interacting with real people. Post a real phone number,
fax number, email address, and street address in your About Us
or Contact page. A P.O. Box number won’t do  it has to be a
registered mailing address. Of course, someone always has to be
available to answer calls and verify your existence.

DON’T use large files.

Large pictures and videos can slow down your site.
Keep your images small and at a low resolution. If you have a
large image, don’t scale it down with HTML — resize the actual
picture in a photo editing program such as Photoshop.

DO test your site for compatibility.

Your site will appear differently on various browsers,
and you want to make sure it’s readable every time. Test
your site on various versions of the most common browsers such
as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
To avoid compatibility problems, don’t use features that need
browser plug-ins to run.

DON’T steal bandwidth.

Bandwidth theft is when you post a file or image on your site
directly from another. It’s unethical because viewers visit
your page but use up someone else’s bandwidth. Some states
have even imposed laws against it. If you want to use an image
from another site, get their permission and host it on your
own server.

DO make it readable.

Web readers like their content in little blocks instead of
entire pages. If you have a long article, divide it into small
subsections and put one or two sections per page. Try to make
it so that they don’t have to scroll down to read everything.
Make sure there’s a menu bar and Nex and back buttons on
every page.

DON’T link vague phrases.

Make your hyperlinks as detailed as possible.
People have to know exactly where a link will take them; phrases
like “click here” and “this page” are not very compelling.
Instead, link a brief description (about 2-7 words) of the
destination or use it as a follow-up to the link.

Building a Website: The Basics

January 1, 2008

Maybe you have a small business you want to promote, family photos
you want to share, or a portfolio you want to show the public.
Or maybe you simply want to keep in touch. Whatever your reasons are,
building a website is becoming the easy way to meet your personal and
business needs. Anyone with a computer can build a website, provided
they have the patience to learn the basics.

To build a website, you need four things:
1) something to put in it;
2) a place to put it;
3) a way to put it there;
and 4) an address that people can use to find it (like a phone number).
This quick guide discusses all four steps and shows you the easiest way
to get them done.

Your content

Usually, when you decide to make a website all you have is a concept of what
you want, but you need a clear idea of what your content will be, and more
importantly, how you plan on making it. Most websites are a combination of
text and images, sometimes with video, animations, and other little add-ons.
Whatever you decide to put in, you’ll need to make them in the language of
the internet: HTML.

HTML stands for hypertext markup language. It is the code that your browser
uses to display your material the way you want it to. Your browser reads your
HTML file — the text file containing the code, like a set of instructions on
where to put everything.

So, to build a web page, you need to write HTML files. You have two options:
write the code yourself on a text editor, such as Notepad, or use a website
builder such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver. The latter are also called
“What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWIG) editors, which means
you design the page as it will appear on the site. The program automatically
generates HTML code corresponding to your layout. It’s best to learn a little
of both, as you’ll need to manually tweak your code more often than you think.

Your server

Once you’ve got all your pages in code, you’ll need to put them on the internet.
To do this, you need to put them on a server, which is basically a very powerful
computer with a permanent connection to the internet. The server is where all
your content is stored and distributed to your site visitors.
Needless to say, servers can be very expensive, so most people simply outsource
this requirement. Basically, they rent the server (or part of it) from a provider
or host. There are free hosting services on the internet, but most of them offer
less than basic services; if you want the full range of features, get a paid
hosting service. Hosting services cost around $50 a month on average, and often
an initial setup fee.

Your FTP client

So, you’ve got your HTML pages and a good hosting service. The next step is sending
the files that make up your website to your server, so that they can put it on the
internet. The standard method of sending files is File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
To use FTP, you need a small program called an FTP client. This usually comes with
WYSIWIG editing software, but there are also freestanding ones such as WS_FTP and
FileZilla. Simply type in the username and password your server gave you, and start
uploading your files.
You should keep a copy of your HTML files on your own computer. When you want
to make changes to your site, simply change the corresponding HTML code, and
replace the old file on your server with the new one.

Your domain name

By default, websites are given numerical addresses. A typical address or uniform
resource locator (URL) would look something like 192.78.2.0. But you can’t expect
people to type that in every time they want to see your site. That’s why you need
a domain name.

Domain names are simply readable versions of your numerical URL, such as “http://www.yourcoolnewsite.com.”
Not all websites need a domain name. For instance, most free hosts put your site
under a subdirectory, so that your address reads like “http://yourserver.com/yoursite”
or “http://yoursite.yourserver.com. “ However, having your own domain name lends your site a great deal of credibility, and helps it turn up better on search engines.

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