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Baptist Minister Interviews Adult Webmaster about Blogging….

Posted By Darren Rowse 1st of July 2006 Case Studies 0 Comments

One of the aspects of blogging that I love is that it opens up opportunities to connect with people of all walks of life, interests, backgrounds and experiences. In the last year and a half of blogging here at ProBlogger I’ve come into contact with a lot of readers – many of whom have shared their experiences with me. One of these people is ‘Steve’ (not his real name).

Steve emailed me quite a few months back after I’d had a particularly rough few days of blogging – having been pretty viciously attacked as a result of some things I’d written that had been misunderstood. Steve wrote to me to encourage me to hang in there keep on blogging and shared some of his own story of being a webmaster.

The interesting thing was that despite Steve knowing I was a Baptist Minister (I haven’t mentioned that for a while so it could be a shock for some of you) he told me the story of how he’d publishing and making a living from Adult content for a number of years and how he’d recently gotten into mainstream publishing – particularly via blogging.

To be honest – Steve’s involved in an area of the web that I’m not fond of and which I have some ethical problems with – however he’s also a guy that I’ve come to value as a fellow blogger and human being. He’s been incredibly supportive of me and this blog (he’s a regular reader) and has even taught me a thing or two about blogging.

This week I asked him if he’d be willing to be interviewed on ProBlogger – to share some of what he’s learnt about online publishing. This interview doesn’t contain any links to anything Steve publishes (adult or mainstream) and I publish it because while I may not agree with some of what Steve does I do think he’s got some interesting lessons to share and I’m constantly asked by readers of this blog to feature other readers opinions (something Steve has a few of). I’m also fascinated by his story and refocussing towards mainstream publishing. Here’s my interview (warning: it is quite long):

Darren: thanks for agreeing to be interviewed Steve

Steve: No problem Darren. Before I answer the questions I should point out that my wife and I are very much a partnership in everything we do on the Net so you will often see that I talk about ‘we’ rather than just me. For any of the many other adult webmasters that frequent Darren’s blog you may know us as The Other Steve and Marie. For everyone else you will just have to trust me when I tell you that my nickname made a lot of sense at the time I chose it.

Darren: How did you get into web publishing?
Steve: In 1996 we bought a new computer and connected to the Net for the first time. For a little while surfing the Net was great, there were lots of things to do and see but it was only a few weeks before we wanted to build a website.

We started with Geocities and taught ourselves to write HTML – in Notepad. I started a site that looked at trains while Marie was more interested in building something useful like a site that supported women who found themselves in a certain situation. My site is long gone while Marie’s site is still there and will soon be undergoing yet another revamp.

And that was our first shaky start on the Net

Darren: What got you into adult content?

Steve: Three escorts got us into adult content in 1998 – it’s all they’re fault :). Now I know that many of your readers have a very poor view of sex workers but most of that is from a very undeserved bit of stereotyping. Those three ladies asked us to design a website for them and we did. They paid us more promptly than some mainstream people have paid us; they were honest and didn’t muck us about at all.

From that point we began to have quite a bit of contact with various people in the adult offline industry and over time we met more people in that industry that I would trust with my life than in any other industry I have ever worked in.

So Darren, as your readers read this, I hope they’ll throw out their stereotyping and start looking at individuals as individuals. They may not like what sex workers do but that doesn’t make a sex worker any less of a person.

Anyway I’ll get off my soapbox now and tell you that from that small beginning we gradually drifted into full-time adult webmastering from mid 2001 and we are still involved in the adult online industry today.

Darren: Why have you branched out into mainstream publishing?

Steve: Would you believe because we have found adult to be boring? It’s true, I’ve now seen so many bare bums and boobs that I just don’t look anymore. We wanted a challenge and so we came back to mainstream to see if the skills we had learned in adult would make us a decent living here in mainstream.

And as it turned out we did have the skills but a little business that Marie also started in 2001 has now gone over the tipping point and we are so busy keeping our mainstream and adult customers happy that we hardly have time to do much web design and marketing work for ourselves anymore.

Darren: What attracted you to blogging?

Steve: For Marie it was a chance to share important things with women who are afflicted with a very debilitating disease but for me it was a bit different. I’ve always been a bit of a self-opinionated bugger as other adult webmasters who know me will tell you so blogging gave me a voice in mainstream to talk about important things that effect your business and mine too..

You see, there are a lot of principles that we learned over in adult that apply in mainstream because it all comes down to the fact that, on both sides of the fence, we are all operating small businesses. And the principles that apply to small business in the bricks and mortar world also apply in cyberspace.

For 20 years in the real world I had a lot to do with small businesses and I saw many fail because they got the fundamentals wrong. Many people get the fundamentals wrong in cyberspace too and their businesses will ultimately fail so you will see Marie often talking about business principles in a daily column she writes for adult webmasters.

Darren: What do you think bloggers could learn from the adult industry?

Steve: Any blogger who has a blog roll and thinks that their blog roll is a key to success has a huge amount to learn from the adult industry. I agree with one guy I see here who describes blog rolls as being incestuous – they are because you just keep on recycling the same old tired traffic that’s never going to buy anything you want to sell them.

Instead you need to get out and get fresh traffic to your blogs. Break your back to get your blog into the front pages of search engine results pages, buy traffic, advertise your blog on the back of your car, get your URL up on a billboard – do whatever it takes but get traffic from outside the blog loop otherwise you’re just wasting your time and playing at being a blogger.

And you need to realize that this is all about making money. If you’re reading ProBlogger and you’re not interested in making money then you’re just fooling yourself (I did have a stronger term there but Marie reminded me I should try and be polite).

Whether you want to make money from your blog or because of your blog it’s all the same. You need to work relentlessly towards your goal. That may not sit well with a lot of people but that is one thing I have learn

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great interview. Years ago I built some adult websites for people and dabbled a bit in the adult area (banners/popups and passwords). I was amazed seeing some of the paypal subscription revenue that could be built up with these sites. Then paypal got some ethics and all the people had to use ccbill… by that time I had some ethics of my own and was on my way to starting my own family.

    It was a really valuable experience that I do not regret.

  2. I have a saying, original with me, “If you want to learn more about something, study anything else.” That is, a fresh perspective reveals fresh material. I’m pleased to see it here on ProBlogger, and appreciate Darren’s ability to draw useful material from many sources, and to innovate and experiment in an ecological manner.

    To me, innovation, experimentation, and multiple perspectives are essential to effective blogging. Always discovering, always innovating, learning from what others do, and cross polinating from other bloggers and fields is what makes a blog lively and productive, plus, it’s just plain more fun that way.

    Pat Gundry

  3. Post title of the month!

  4. I knew Steve and Marie when they lived in another state a few years back. good to see that they’ve maintained the motivation on their web publishing. I was in the same sort of business but have rejoined the work force for the last few years.

    At the time I was making adult sites and it was done purely for the money. I got out of the adult sites for two reasons, first being similar to Steve’s “sick of looking at boobs and bums” and the second was that I was locked in my spare room for far too long and missed the socialising that comes with being in a workplace.

    At that time (before the term blogging had been invented) The adult industry was leaps and bounds in front of the mainstream markets for monetisation. It’s only really been with the launch of adsense that has created a living for so many people in so many different market segments.

    To Steve and Marie, hope things are going great for you !

  5. I don’t do porn myself but here’s a tip: I do often (well maybe once a week) visit adult-oriented webmaster forums because whatever these guys are doing now we’ll all being doing in 1-2 years, the adult industry is ahead of the game and will continue to be into the future…great interview btw…although I’d like to see Steve’s blog :-)

  6. first of all this comment is relavent.

    but first,

    australia were treated unfairly in the WorldCup, and i feel for the supporters.

    yesterday before the kick-offs of world cup matches to teams stood together, in diffrent colours in front of a racism.

    Racism is a strong word.

    But as Christians, so often we are guilty of ‘Spiritual segrigation’

    we need a word as strong as racism for that!

    which is why this comment is ralevent:
    Today Minister;) you’re doing your bit to counter that trend, and i applaud!

    actually the way you run this blog is a testiomny to that attitude of non spiritual segrigation.

    so another Kudos.

  7. Great interview.

    More and more adult webmaster going into mainstream blogging… this is a great news because we can learn something useful (for our mainstream business) from their experience sharing.

  8. Great interview, Darren.

    To often Christians claim they “hate sin but love the sinner” while at the same time making vicious personal attacks. Yet in the Bible we see that the people Jesus seemed to like hanging out the best were prostitutes, swindlers, and partiers.

    Thanks for modeling Jesus here and not stereotypical Christians. Because you did we learned some good stuff from this interview. Keep up your good work!

  9. As most of the “sin” in sex seems to have its roots in male possession and domination of females, I take a dim view of the common lumping of it with violence and other truly harmful activities.

    There are far worse things in the world than porn. Of course that word covers so much, and overlaps into things that are violent and truly evil – but in a better world, sexuality itself would be celebrated rather than condemned.

    The very definition of pornography is downright amusing: it usually includes the words “intended to arouse sexual desire”. So what’s so horrible about arousal? It’s a good thing, actually, good for body and mind. But not in this sick, sick world where a movie that shows people killing other people is fine for the over thirteen crowd, but nudity will ruin their tender minds.. such nonsense.

    Anyway – interesting interview :-)

  10. Bilbobanger says: 07/02/2006 at 11:07 am

    I’m amazed by this interview. I’m an adult publisher and have been bashed by Christians for many years. I used to be a church goer (before my adult publishing days) and so know a little about Jesus and who he spent time with and like Chris think that he would hang out with the likes of me.

    The thing is that Christians (who are supposed to be ‘his body’) treat people like me as scum. It’s for this reason that I not only have stopped any association with the Church but have given up on ‘faith’.

    But today I find this article and you have given me a glimmer of hope. This is quite literally the first time I’ve seen a Christian (let alone a minister) give the time of day to an adult publisher.

    I’m not about to convert but I think if Christians were a little more like Darren that many of us who are into Adult would be interested in connecting with them and talking through issues of life.

    Thanks for this interview, not so much for what was said in it but because of how you did it and that you did it.

  11. Thanks for the feedback everyone – I appreciate the way people are interacting with this post and share a lot of your sentiments.

    While I’ve had a few emails questioning whether I should have posted this (I value each of these comments also) I’m feeling good that I have posted it and am pleased with the interaction around it – it’s definately opened up some interesting discussion.

    thanks all.

  12. It seems like there should be more to this interview. Where is part two? I was for some reason enthralled by this article. Have you ever thought about doing a religious blog?

  13. I am encouraged by this article. I too work as a pastor of a church that is three doors down in the same building as a strip club. As Christians, we can get so hung up on the sin issue that we often forget that there is a person there too. More often than not, it’s because focusing on those blatent and visable moral contradictions to our own belief system keeps others from looking at us so closely. I am new to the blogging world as it relates to actually making any income from it. Thank you for the interview. Also, thank you because I find a lot of enouragement from you that a pastor can be a successful blogger without compromising values even when it comes to interviewing someone in the Adult web world. This is the post that made me subscribe.

  14. […] Darren Rouse over at http://www.Problogger.net posted an interview recently that he had with an adult webmaster. You can read it here. It’s great information if you are just getting into blogging and want to make money doing it. I also posted these comments below about this article. […]

  15. […] Darren Rowse over at http://www.Problogger.net posted an interview recently that he had with an adult webmaster. You can read it here. It’s great information if you are just getting into blogging and want to make money doing it. I also posted these comments below about this article. […]

  16. To me, innovation, experimentation, and multiple perspectives are essential to effective blogging. Always discovering, always innovating, learning from what others do, and cross polinating from other bloggers and fields is what makes a blog lively and productive, plus, it’s just plain more fun that way.

  17. If this is about making money, (apart from having some fun as well) it would be interesting to learn about time – money relationships in the mainstream and adult industry; i.e. hours spent – money made. I have my guesses, but would anybody be able to share some views on this? Thanks.

  18. I was searching for the term “adult blog design” on google and found problogger on 1st page of SERPS. Being a reader of problogger I was curious to know what, Darren Rowse got to do with adult design.
    To my suprise this is a very good interview. I don’t know how I missed it earlier. Thanks to Darren and Steve for the interview.

  19. Same here “Asian” trying to research on adult blogs and came upon this. The headline is an attention grabber. The only thing is that if you become an adult webmaster you cannot have mainstream advertisers on your site…

    Adult webmasters do not do much SEO. They just throw up images and rely on all those directories just like a lot of bloggers are relying on blogrolls…

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