Monday, November 9, 2015

So You Want to Open a Foot Fetish Web Site?

I've been running Soles of Silk since 2004.

Ever since my email address has been placed on the various web sites that I have run over the years, I have regularly gotten the question, "How do I make my own foot fetish site?"

Now that question is a loaded one for sure. Is the person talking about the design aspect? How about the content creation aspect? Hosting? Networking? Credit card billing? The list goes on and on. To answer that question in a simple email is impossible. I often feel like I give a half-ass answer, or even come across as not caring when I reply. You just can't answer that question fairly.

When I first started getting the question I would ask which aspect the person was talking about. Many of the time the reply would be, "All of it." Okay, so now I'm supposed to explain every single detail about how to start a web site from the ground up in a single email? That's totally not going to happen, sorry. To expect someone to do that is not fair to them.

The best part about this question is that I can't remember a single time when someone emailed me back to tell me to check out the site that they started. Did I scare them off? Was someone having big aspirations? Were they ever really serious to begin with?

I often find the person who wants to create a site will do the research on their own and then come to me and ask for tips on what they've done. I've offered my opinions and feedback on numerous start up sites, no matter what the scale, or the person's grand vision. Those are the people who generally get something going, from my experiences.

So why this long winded diatribe? Well, since this topic is one that gets brought up to me regularly, I figured it might be best to go ahead and address it publicly. Maybe something I cover will help you out. I'm going to offer some advice, but I will be honest as well. Nothing here is meant to offend anyone, but rather make you really think about your ideas and plans. I hope these tips help you out.

How Much Time Does it Take to Run a Site?

This is first for a reason. If you're someone who thinks you'll be able to throw a bunch of photos and videos online and walk away while the money comes in, stop right now and scrap your plans. The internet is too big with too many people offering content that is surely going to be just as good, or even better than yours to just sit back and do nothing.

When you run a web site you'll need to find time to create content, whatever that may be for your site, update the site, and advertise your site/content. If you're like me, that means you're going to have to plan that around your existing full time job. How you go about this is something you, yourself, have to plan out. What works for me with Soles of Silk would probably cripple larger sites, or be too much work for a smaller one.

Most successful sites are a labor of love. I'm not talking corporate sites here though. I'm talking the kind of site that would probably be started by someone who would take the time to read a column like this. Those corporate companies have teams of people to pump out material on a regular basis. And remember, you'll have to compete with that too.

How Much Money Does it Take to Run a Site?

Another of the popular questions. This one is going to be a short a sweet answer. It depends.

The factors I'm covering below will play into how much money you're going to be looking at for the site alone, but for most people, those numbers can vary from month to month. 

Just remember, other items such as paying models, picking up equipment, computer programs, clothing/props for shoots, etc. will all add up as well. There is no easy answer for this one. It will depend. You will have to come up with a budget and know what you can and cannot spend. Start small and grow. Don't jump in the deep end and find yourself out a bunch of cash at the start. Just remember the popular saying, however, "To make money, you have to spend money."

I currently work with Adobe Dreamweaver, but am looking to try out Adobe Muse.

How to Create a Web Site?

In addition to asking me how to start a site, I often get asked how to design them. I took college courses for this and self taught myself quite a bit on top of that. So for me to teach someone how to work with HTML, style sheets, Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premier, etc. in an email isn't going to happen. You have to kind of have to know a little bit about how the computer, programs, graphic design, and the internet works here.

Sadly, there are so many new technologies out there that have come since the time that I learned them. I'm not even as current as I'd like to be anymore. I'm actually trying to find the time right now to learn a totally different program called Adobe Muse and see if it will work better for me than I currently work with Dreamweaver. 

With all that being said, if you have no computer skills whatsoever, I'm not sure this is the kind of thing you want to do. To me, it would be like someone who can't cook opening a restaurant. Could they be a restaurant manager? Maybe. But the head chef? Probably not.

What you need to do is research what's out there. Some places build sites and have easy drop templates where you can place your material. I have never dealt with something like that, but there are too many people with little web experience out there who have sites for it too be that hard.

Where to Host a Foot Fetish Site?

This can be tricky. Since fetish sites often fall under the adult content classification, you just can't host your site anywhere. There are hosting companies that will close your site if you host an adult site on their servers. You just can't put a site anywhere. Do some research on where you can park your site.

Once you find some hosting companies you like, the one thing you then have to take into account is what they're going to charge you. Remember, as your site grows in storage size and traffic, that number is surely to rise. Some sites might even cost you money to run at start up and beyond. Yes, that's right, you might be paying to have a site.

Some hosts, such as B-H-E, go a different route of taking a percentage. I went with them early and have stayed. Do they suit what you want? Only you'd be able to determine that. Some people have done better elsewhere, while others like the simplicity. That is only something you can decide.

How Does Billing Work?

Since I've only dealt with B-H-E, I'm not the most qualified person to answer this question. B-H-E does the percentage method here too, so that works well and is easy for me and my schedule. Many other sites will work with outside billing companies such as Verotel and CCBill. Other companies do exist, but if I remember correctly, not all will deal with a site deemed adult. You're going to have to do some research for this one. I'm not of much help here, but I know it's something you'll have to pay attention to.

These are just some of the basic elements of what goes into opening and maintaining a site. I didn't delve into other topics such as what equipment you'd need, or how to find models. Those topics are for another day. Plus, if you don't even have the hardware or have a model, or models, to get something started, you probably shouldn't even be at the point anyhow. Maybe I'll talk about some of those in another blog at a future date.