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Scoping Out the Competition
by Muffy @ GayAw

In professional sports, there is a significant about of time and money spent on assessing and analyzing the competition. Hockey coaches will study the systems of the opposing team and will then rearrange their own system accordingly. Baseball pitchers will analyze the other teams' players and will then adjust their throws to try to undermine their rival batters. In tennis, players study their competition to find out how they dish their serves and to learn what parts of the game are their weak areas. When it comes to sports, the competition is studied for two reasons. By examining the competition you can find out what an opponent’s weaknesses are. Another reason to scope out the competition is to get ideas of what they do to achieve success so that you can apply these methods to your own game. This strategy for triumph not only works in sports, but can also be applied to business thinking as well. 

If it were not for competition then the whole world of business and the economy in general would be a mess. Competition drives businesses to be their very best as well as helps adjust price levels for consumers. Competition drives and affects every business in every industry, and the online adult industry is no exception. If anything this business may be one of the most competition-soaked out there and adult webmasters truly have to battle it out to become successful. What webmasters in this industry need to learn is how to view their competition as a means to better their own ventures, as opposed to seeing them as a deterrent to success. 

So, how can you learn from your competition instead of fearing them? My suggestion is to keep a careful eye on what your fellow adult webmasters are doing at all times. The first step is to find out who your biggest competitors are in the particular niche or market you are involved in. For instance, if you run a bear site, then you will want to focus your attention on the most successful bear sites in the business. The best way to learn is to go to the masters themselves. By going right to the top, you will discover what it really takes for a website to be successful.

When studying a competitor, you cannot just go look at their site and briefly run through their tour. You need to get the same perspective and experience that a surfer, potential customer, and a member would get from their site. This means that you should actually go ahead and sign up to be a member of the site. You need to see what kind of content they are offering inside the doors. The content is definitely the guts of the site and is key to member retention. By studying what kind of content a successful site in your niche is using, you can then apply the same kind of ideas to your own site. I am not suggesting that you copy your competitor’s content, but you should merely use it as a basis for improving your own. Inside the site you will also want to check out the layout and the design of the member’s area as well as if there are any extras that they offer to their customers. 

While content is definitely an important part of any paysite, there are other things that your competition may be doing differently that you should take note of. Price is a key marketing point, and you will want to see if your competitor’s site is a good value for the money that they charge. You will notice that the most successful websites know how to deliver a top-level experience and therefore can charge the prices that they do. By studying your biggest competition, you can learn what kind of site you must produce to charge top dollar. Along with price points, you should also take notice of the billing options that your competition offers its customers as well as the companies that provide them with these billing services. If these billing companies are helping your biggest competition be successful, then perhaps they could do the same for you.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you will want to study your competitor’s marketing strategy. The number one thing that you can learn from a very successful website is the way that they bring in their traffic. You will want to find out the various promotional and marketing channels that your competition uses to expose their website to the consumers. If they use a webmaster affiliate program, you will also want to learn the methods that they deploy to attract adult webmasters to their site.

After you find out who your competition is, study their tour and members area designs, content offerings, pricing and billing options, and traffic and marketing techniques you will be well on your well to developing your own successful website. The saying goes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but your own creativity can also take you a long way!
 
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