Category Archives: Additional Revue Streams

What’s Coming To Phone Sex? The Exclusive MPS Interview!

Those of you using MPS know there are always things going on at the MyPhoneSite phone sex platform. That’s why I’m so thrilled that Gary, the owner of the site, has finally been able to participate in an interview!

Hi, Gary, and welcome! Will you please tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background?

I was born in Florida where I spent much of my life. I graduated there with a Bachelor degree in computer science and started my career as a network analyst in Orlando. The job sucked.. 9 hours stuffed into a tiny cubicle and a 2 hour commute through hellish I-408 traffic. It was 20 miles from my apartment to the job but took an hour. On the side I did some freelance work and business was picking up. Eventually I was able to go into business myself full time and work from home.

When & why did you start MPS?

I put together a small team consisting of myself and 3 other developers. We worked on a lot of projects and became very successful at building social networks. This was during the time that most online commerce was moving from static sites to interactivity (Myspace, Facebook, etc). I had the idea to provide a social network style site that gave people the option of connecting via phone, and MPS slowly became a reality.

It wasn’t an overnight idea. I just wanted to find a way to use social networking style modules to generate income on a pay per minute basis, while at the same time giving people the option to create their own site. There are a lot of very creative people that have an entrepreneur spirit, but lack the resources to get started. So I wanted to tap into that market. Interactivity via phone made sense as everything is moving toward mobile. This can then be enhanced to include text messages and much more.

I’m glad you brought that up. I’m dying to know when the paid chat and SMS texting will start.

The paid chat system needs to be well thought out to provide plenty of room for growth. It is also a joint venture with another company so this collaboration requires a bit of team work. We planned on having this finished a long time ago, but as we added new features on MPS we realized that the paid chat system needs to be designed to work with the new features. So we had to delay it while we finish the basic groundwork.

Here’s an example: We are currently developing an ‘all-in-one’ status management system for MPS. This means that soon you will be able to import every operator account you work based on the phone number the account is linked to, regardless of what site that account is on. You will then be able to set the status of all accounts instantly with one click or automate the status (if you receive a call on one characters all other characters show ‘x’). However as we started to develop this we decided to add additional features; like add notes for each customer and receive incoming call alerts.

Our current chat system is ok, but if you work multiple sites it is very hard to chat as multiple characters (unless you open multiple browsers). So we are integrating the new PPM chat system with the ‘all-in-one’ status management system. This means you will be able to open one browser window and chat as every character regardless of what site they are on. If you are chatting as multiple characters and one becomes a paid chat then all other chats will show ‘in private chat’ and you will only see the paid chat. Once your paid chat is over all chat windows will show the character(s) as available again. PPM chats can also be upgraded to PPM calls. But there’s a lot that goes into this and we have to move slowly to make sure it is done correctly. *We are also changing the pop-up call dial pads into the chat window. This means that from the customer’s perspective they will see a chat icon option under your character’s image. If they click on this it will open the dial pad but it will be for live chat. This way if they upgrade to a live call it’s all right there.

There are many other features we are adding to this and we are on course to have this completed this summer.

What are some of the other features you have planned for MPS?

Our pay per SMS will also be built into the status management system so operators can reply to text messages. They will be able to do this over the phone or online through the status management. We are also changing the current ‘book session’ feature on the call buttons. Soon when your characters are offline the customer will have the option to receive an text message once you sign back on. The operator will also receive a text when the customer(s) request this option. There are tons of features we are working on as we are always trying to improve the platform.

Your dedication to improving the platform — and your great customer service with the PSOs — is why I love MPS. Did NiteFlirt and it’s set backs after AT&T purchased Keen have anything to do with settling in on phone sex for your social network? Have you learned anything from NiteFlirt?

NiteFlirt was not part of the decision at all. In fact I did not set MPS up as an adult platform. I just created the infrastructure and let the market decide where it goes.

I appreciate your compliments on the platform. There are some areas for improvement and you will see these areas being addressed as we move forward.

Among the future features, will we be able to better customize our MPS sites and pages?

The templates are very basic and do not give much room for creativity, I know. But we had to have a simple option that basically allowed people to just click on what style they wanted. An advanced option is coming that will allow the web owner to control the header, layout, footer and even CSS. We are developing this in a way that the template will be saved so if the web owner screws things up she can easily go back to the default. It’s a feature that has been requested for some time now and its way overdue. I will do my best to have this available by the summer as well (around July).

Rumor has it that MPS is considering going into the model content business… Is that true?

It’s amazing how fast this stuff gets around.

Well, we phone sex operators are a chatty bunch. *wink*

The answer is, “No and yes.” MPS is not going into the model content business. However we have several contacts with agencies in Europe and there is an opportunity to work with them to create custom image sets and videos. This idea came about as part of our review because there is a real deficit in original model content. So we are setting up a separate business that will handle model content specifically for MPS providers. This means you will be able to log into the site (it will be on a different domain), and view the available models. But this will be different then any normal model content site.

For example you will see results from recent castings and be able to hire models and provide the modeling script (poses, etc). The work will all be custom and exclusive. The contacts we have are able to find ‘real’ people as models and not over glamorized fake looking models. Also all images will be protected. If someone steals the images from you we will be able to track exactly where they are and issue a DMCA. This is all still being put together but most of the work has already been done. An update will be available in a couple weeks.

I’d like to thank Gary for making the time to finish this interview after such a big project as the site-wide reviews.
And I have to say, it sure is nice to have a phone sex platform company that understands the needs of the business — after all, if we PSOs are making money, so is the platform company!

 

2/29/2016 update here!

How Are You Doing At NiteFlirt? (New Performance Reports)

NiteFlirt has launched a new feature called Performance Reports. Unlike Listing Value Score (LVS) (which will be tied to Featured Listings, once they resume), Performance Reports are primarily focused on telling the Flirt or phone sex operator about two things:

1) How much money a PSO has earned in comparison to other PSOs at the site;

2) Where that money came from in terms of services, i.e. money earned from Calls versus other income producing options, such as Mails (PPV games and messages), Tributes (Tips) and Referrals (affiliate program referrals).

The first question, how much money you’ve earned in comparison to others, is addressed with the Percentile By Semimonth Summary Report (the first one listed in the drop-down menu).

The keyword here is “percentile“, which involves understanding percentile rank (like academic test scores). But it’s clear from the NF forums that this is upsetting and confusing a lot of the phone sex operators at NF. However, NF Support has, accurately and appropriately, assisted with clarification:

As with any percentile distribution (think of the classic 80/20 rule), things get exponential near the top. This means that people in the 95th percentile earn a lot more than those in the 90th; those in the 98th earn a lot more than those in the 95th, and those in the top percentile earn a lot more than those in the 98th.

If you’re in the 100th percentile, congrats! However, this doesn’t mean you are the top earner, it just means you earned more than 99% of other flirts that period. Even within the top percentile, the #1 earner may have earned a lot more than the #2 and below.

Those of us who have had children understand percentile rankings and that fact that a child being in the 100th percentile is not, in fact, the largest child on record. *wink* (More help, if needed, to understand percentile rank can be found here.)

Percentile rank reporting like this can be useful if analyzed correctly, comparing dates to promotional and marketing efforts and the like, and, for people who like challenges, to motivate. But first you have to understand what you are looking at. What the NF Percentile By Semimonth Summary Report means for this specific character of mine, is that the weeks I was promoting her, and indeed not focusing more on MPS, she was doing rather well. By comparison, anyway. Which for me, means the promotional efforts I made for her were paying off.

Additional Summary Reports are also available.

The Current vs Prior report (second in drop-down menu) is delivered in table format. This report compares income earned this month with that earned during the past four months and the last year as well. (However, presumably because this is a new feature, there currently is no data from last year.) The data is listed in both dollar amount and percentage and separated by row into Call, Mail, Tribute, and Referral categories as well as a Total. So, for example, you will be able to see the percent change, up or down, in your earnings and where that increase or decrease came from in terms of services.

There is also a graph for Earnings By Semimonth (third in drop-down menu). This may actually be of more use than thought, as savvy phone sex operators will be able to use the graph to see income earned and compare those dates to calender information, such as promotions ran, vacation dates taken, etc. Excellent for tracking ROI and noting seasonal and other cyclical changes.

The last three Performance Reports further present your PSO earnings in different time periods (by the semimonth, month, and year) offering percentile, earnings by service, total earnings, and each service by percentage all in table format.

It should be noted that these new NF reports will combine multiple listings for a single character, but they do not combine not multiple characters; a PSO will need to sign in as each character to get each character’s Performance Report.

Income From Erotic Stories & Fetish Literature

One of my friends, phone sex operator Angela St. Lawrence, also excels at the written word. She’s not only the author of erotica (or what she calls “smut”), but, under other names, she’s a successful writer of mainstream works as well. Tonight, however, Angela was discussing her fetish writing on the “Writers of Fetish Literature” episode of In Bed With Dr. Sue.

Along with Angela, the guests on Dr. Sue‘s show were authors Irv O. Neil, Ed Cantor, Louis Friend, and, as special guest, Lori Perkins, a literary agent. Whether you’re a fan of erotic fiction, erotic romance, smut, or whatever you call it — or want to learn more about it so you can add to your phone sex income, it’s worth listening to the archived podcast. The show had a slow start; but its worth hanging around because once it gets going there’s some good information there.

I myself called in. The first time, in part to support Angela, I asked the male writers if they’ve ever written custom stories (and if so, for pay), or ever collaborated to weave a story in real time. The second time I called in was to discuss publishing. I hadn’t intended to make a second call, but some of the things Perkins said about the publishing industry had me thinking…

Perkins said that 80% of book buyers are women, that women want “romance” along with their erotica, and that these things are to be credited for the 50 Shades Phenomenon — as well as driving the whole erotic romance genre. While that makes sense (and is similar to what I’ve heard in my years selling erotic stories to publishers), my experiences in the adult industry have me wondering why where there’s not more of a market share driven by men. Or, I should say, by straight men, as gay men are considered a large part of the market.

This isn’t a new line of thinking for me; just another time the subject comes to the forefront of my thoughts. As it does every time I read about the “boom” in ebooks and self-publishing options, areas I continue to dabble in.

My experiences are in larger numbers than average — but still, they are by no means enough to satisfy any statistician. But my empirical evidence leads me to wonder about this seeming discrepancy between the number of men who buy books and the number of men who pay for phone sex, custom stories, sex services, and other forms of adult entertainment… Especially submissive men, sissies, and others who fantasize about, and crave the attention of, dominant women. Those men spend a lot of money. So it doesn’t make dollars and sense to me that these men aren’t impacting the erotic publishing marketplace.

I’m pretty sure it all has something to do with the ability to interact, commission, or otherwise control the work/service. But it also likely has something to do with the length of the stories themselves. While women may be buying erotic novels, men have a proven sales record of buying erotic anthologies; Letters To Penthouse, for example, has been a staple on bookstore shelves for decades. Sometimes, it’s the only erotica you can find. While such anthologies are pretty vanilla, I still believe there’s great money to be made — and off men — in BDSM and fetish stories. I know the money I make off my written and custom erotica; it’s nothing to sneeze at. (Unless sneezing is the fetish!)

It’s not my job to worry about the money the publishing industry may be missing. And it in terms of my own business, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But the bottom line is, those looking to add to their phone sex business income shouldn’t overlook the money to be made in written erotic works — even if publishers are passing on such works. That might just mean even more money for us in the long run. After all, those men have to find and pay for their textual yet contextual kink and fetish fixes somewhere.

Expanding Your Phone Sex Income With Texting

Some adult jobs already pay for sending and receiving SMS or text messages, and phone sex platform sites like MPS are moving into that area of adult talk, so it’s time for a reminder about telephone and voice connections.

If you are planning on offering texting as an option to expend your business, it’s important to consider those options in terms of SMS capabilities. Some of the latest tablets and gadgets may not offer texting; or it may be possible with an app you’ll need to pay for.

Also, part of eBay’s latest “thank you campaign”, they have many more Daily Deals in electronics, including smartphones. Even if you can’t afford to invest now, do your research now and put the right item on your holiday list. (Maybe even your wishlist for clients!)

Today’s Phone Sex Tip: Cleaner Dirty Audio

When making recorded stories to sell or prerecorded “not live” phone sex calls still billed by the minute, it’s important to have a good clean recording. But sometimes your best performances can be ruined by distracting noises in the background — often noises you weren’t aware of before, such as fans, air conditioners, maybe a muffled radio or garbled TV… Now you’re left feeling like you have to rerecord the whole thing.

Recreating the mood, the magic of the performance, may be possible; but it’s exhausting and not necessarily the best way to spend your time. You could be on the phone, live, with a caller! Or finally getting around to that marketing you’ve been putting off. But, before you delete that recording and begin again, see if you can clean-up the audio file by removing the background noise.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to clean up such background noise. The video is based on using Audacity, a free open source program for recording (and editing) sound. Audacity runs on Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other computer operating systems. The official site has a help section; and here’s a video tutorial on how to record using Audacity.

Money-Grubbing PSOs (Or Compalints About Phone Sex Payment Options)

Sooner or later nearly every independent phone sex operator starts to chafe at the limits and restrictions platform sites place upon PSOs in terms of the ways the PSO is allowed to make money. NF, for example, won’t let you sell your time in chat or instant messaging; MPS currently is the only one which allows you to sell tangible items (such as panties, physical signed copies of photos, etc.). Often there are also complaints about how much money is “taken” by the platform or affiliate site. And so a phone sex operator will look around, trying to see where and how she might be able to expand her business, offer more services and, therefore, make a little more money. This is natural enough. But here are a few points to consider when shopping around:

#1 The average percentage “taken” for each phone sex call or transaction is about 1/3 of the price the client pays. Considering all this covers (secure, anonymous phone lines; payment processing; credit card charges, including chargebacks; a web presence; etc.), with no upfront investment from you, the PSO (who is allowed to pay as she goes; i.e. pays only when she is paid for using the services), and what those services cost the platform or affiliate company (no matter who is or isn’t using the services at the moment), the fees “taken” or paid are not some big rip-off.

Consider these services a baseline level for comparison. Any company taking less, especially in an adult business where credit card costs are much higher, ought to be considered in terms of what they are actually providing you; any company taking more should be offering you much more.

#2 Is your plan to increase and expand your business, or to replace the platform company entirely? Some companies have restrictions which will force you into a “Them or us?” situation. NF, for example, will only allow you to link to your blog or website (an external site not hosted by NF) if your blog or website is free of links to “you” at other places or competing sites. The only exception is for links to “you” at sites which offer services NF does not offer. As in the site offers no services NF does. Reasonable; but then starting at another platform site means another blog or website, another advertising budget, or at least more marketing to do to find clients at the second(ary) site. Is that what you wanted?

Some phone sex sites, platform companies, or adult service providers will have non-compete clauses, restricting even the use of your professional phone sex name. Think I’m kidding? Read what Miss Maggie Mayhem has to say about MyGirlFund. (While MyGirlFund markets itself as a webcam site, you are not forced to appear on cam and so this applies directly, not merely theoretically, to PSOs who want to offer chatting services.) That means you’ll have a whole other “you” to market and manage.

Lots of PSOs have multiple characters, so that new “you” to mange isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when you are building your business, it can be incredibly complicated, exhausting, and risky. It’s best to have some idea of a business model that you are replicating before you try it. And even then it’s complicated and exhausting juggling all that. (It can be financially rewarding too! But you should know what you are choosing to do before you step into it — and really step in it.)

#3 There is no quick easy money fix. Not in phone sex; not anywhere. Phone sex can be quicker to profit from than most things; at least it has a low barrier of entry (including all those things provided for you via the 30% fee slice!). But being a professional phone sex operator still involves work.

#4 Shopping around is more than fine; it’s wise. But don’t lose focus, or your head. And remember, some of the things you want… Lower rates, an easier way to earn money, a faster way to make money… An easier way to take money from pay piggies… These options don’t readily exist for reasons. See #3. But also know that we’re talking about money here, and such transactions have restrictions for consumer protection. And at the end of the day, you are a consumer too.

Why Payments Take As Long As They Do

MPS has a new poll up based on their new banking system. If you’re an MPS PSO, just login and you should see the poll option at the top of your dashboard. If you aren’t yet a MPS member, seeing just how things work — in terms of payments, credit cards, etc. and with MPS itself — might convince you independent phone sex operators to give it a try:

We are considering a new method of processing payments and we need your feedback. Currently we allow MPS website owners, operators, and affiliates the ability to withdrawal funds from their account at anytime and the process to receive those funds can take several days depending on the method you have chosen to receive the money. However this process can be delayed at times for various reasons and we understand that this can cause some concerns. For example our credit card processor deposits all transactions approx. 1 week after the transaction has been approved. This means that call and store sales that were processed on July 2 will credit our account around July 9. Further delays from our processing bank can occur if there are chargebacks or large transactions that require further authorization. *Please note that the customers credit card transactions do not go from the customer directly to MPS. They are processed from our processing bank, then received from the customer’s bank, then finally sent to us approx. 1 week later.

This is not a unique situation for MPS – all companies that process credit cards via a merchant account are subject to the same conditions. This is also the reason why most platforms send payments that are a min. of 1 week held back. For example calls you completed from July 1 to July 7 are sent out on July 16. You then receive regular payments every week, but they are always for the previous weeks sales. The same logic applies to daily deposits. You may receive a deposit on July 17 for sales that were completed on July 10, then another deposit on July 18 for sales that were completed on July 11, etc. 

Since MPS is an open platform we would like you to feel that you have a vote in how we move forward with our development. Our main goal in regards to payments to website owner, affiliates, and operators is consistency. We know that you count in these funds and it is important that they arrive on schedule.

Therefore our question is: 
1. Would you prefer to receive automated weekly deposits and automated daily deposits? *Understanding that these deposits would always be for the previous weeks sales.
2. Or would you prefer to keep the current withdrawal system in place? *Understanding that there may be occasional delays due to MPS receiving the funds from our processor.

The benefit of the first option is consistent payments. For example you would receive payments every week (or everyday) on schedule because the funds would be received from our processor for the past weeks sales. The benefit from the second option is more manual control; however this can lead to inconsistent deposit patterns if the funds have not yet been received from our processor and therefore delayed to you.

Remember, if you’re an affiliate (of MPS or any site, really), this info affects you too.

Two Great New Features At MyPhoneSite

Two new features have launched at My Phone Site this week.

The first new feature is the ability for the website owner to send newsletters. Anytime a My Phone Site customer becomes one of your site’s clients (i.e. calls, makes a purchase from, or messages one of the girls listed on your site), they will be subscribed to your newsletter. (Customers, of course, will be able to unsubscribe to the newsletter if they wish.)

Newsletters can be sent as simple text or HTML. Your My Phone Site URL will automatically be included in your newsletter as a link, so even if the subscriber only recalls his calls/services and doesn’t recognize your site name, he’ll be able to find his way.

Newsletters do not replace the ability to send personal messages to individuals; they are an added feature.

The second new feature is live sex chatting or instant messaging.

[I’ve been awaiting this feature for sometime, oogling the “Open Chat Window” icon which has been in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard control panel, wondering when it would work!]

This new feature is now fully functional in Phase One — meaning it will allow you to chat with customers on the network. On every operator’s web page customers will see a “Chat Now!” link. When they click on this link, a chat invitation will be sent to the operator.

Features of this online chat or instant messaging option as it now sits, in the first phase, include:

* the ability to accept or decline invitations to chat

* text messaging, including advanced text and links formatting

* the ability to send images and files

* one-on-one audio and video chat

* multiple sessions.

The second phase is even more incredible: it will allow for chat billing on a per minute basis! So stay tuned!

My Phone Site is starting a very large advertising campaign this week to promote the new chat system, so be prepared to be one of the early birds!

Tutorial videos are available on the site, should you need help.

Remember, only mark yourself and/or your operators as “available for chat” when they are available for chat; otherwise, everyone gets grumpy.

Recorded Audio Erotica At Hot Talking

Whether your an erotica author or a PSO, you should consider making additional money by recording and selling erotic stories at Hot Talking. While phone sex recordings aren’t necessarily limited to actual stories (they may consist of many things — from recording your own masturbation sounds to guided masturbation, from erotic hypnosis to to sounds of spanking sessions, etc.), at Hot Talking the focus is on erotic fiction. (Though I have seen some erotic guided session offerings too.)

In any case, selling audio erotica can be an excellent way make additional money while building your brand or name as an author/PSO.

There are no fees for listing your erotic stories on Hot Talking, so you are free to list as many single stories or albums (anthologies) as you like. What you earn is a commission, or percentage, on each sale, as follows:

Less than $2.00 53%
Between $2.00 and $2.99 55%
Between $3.00 and $3.99 63%
Between $4.00 and $4.99 68%
$5.00 or more 70%

To authors, this may seem like a gold mine compared the royalties you are used to; to phone sex operators, the pricing may seem low. However, the pricing of your erotic story recordings is up to you. The site states: “The default price for all material is $1.29, however you may choose to increase or decrease this price depending on the a variety of factories, i.e. length, sound quality, competitive pricing, etc.” (My additional thoughts on pricing for recorded offerings are here.)

You retain the rights to any audio story that you submit for sale at Hot Talking, which means you may also be selling the erotic story recordings at other sites, in other ways.

If making more money selling erotic audio sounds good to you, here are a few things you’ll need to know:

On the story creation side…

At Hot Talking, each recorded story must be three minutes or longer. Even the most experienced authors or phone sex operators may be clueless as to what that means in terms of written story length. Generally speaking, 60 seconds of human speech allows for 155 spoken words. However, audio erotica should have lots of infection, which will slow the rate down — approximately to 130 words or so. So a three minute sexy story would be at least 500 words.

To help with calculation, here’s an online words to time calculator; note the ability to change the speed of talking rate at the bottom.

On the tech side…

The recordings you upload to Hot Talking must be in MP3 format. Most Smartphones allow you to make such recordings and there are apps too. (I’m a fan of RecForge.)

Additionally…

There’s also the option of participating in Hot Talking’s Voice on Demand Program:

Our VOD program is a unique service we offer to our customers on Hot Talking. Customers who write their own erotic material can select one of the voices of Hot Talking to perform the story for them. Pretty neat!

Customers simply send us the text file for their story, along with and special instructions o requests. The customer can specify a voice perform, or they can let us choose. Either way, the narrator is notified of the request and given 72 hours to complete the recording.

If you opt to participate in this program, you will receive 70% of the price the customer pays for the recording. Currently, the price for a custom performed story is $20 for the first 750 words and 1 cent for each additional word, which means the compensation starts a $14 per story.

The Voice On Demand option is especially nice if you have clients who have requests or fan fiction of their own; simply refer them to Hot Talking and await notification. The only caveat here is that you have no rights to the VOD recordings.

Final Thought: At Hot Talking, active storytellers also have a profile in which they are allowed to include a link to their blog or website, which means you can cultivate new fans and clients.

UPDATE: 3/15/2012
HotTalking seems to be defunct.
However, all tech stuff in this post will still help you record erotic stories, so the post will remain here.