The Ultimate Guide to Building an Adult Review Directory

The Ultimate Guide to Building an Adult Review Directory


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October 5, 2018



Hey there. I'm Mr. Porn Geek – I run an adult review directory.

Today, I'm going to tell you everything I've learned over the last few years from running one of the most successful smut-focused ranking platforms out there in the adult space.

What is an adult review directory?

Chances are you've seen one before: they're basically sites that curate lists of different porn-related destinations on the Internet and rank them against one another. My job is to basically look all over the Internet, find the best sites in a range of niches and tell punters where they ought to go in order to get their hands on the good stuff. There are hundreds out there right now (mine's obviously the best) and they all tend to look something like this:

adult directory mrporngeek

My favorite thing about running an adult review directory is that they're not overly complicated to understand or build correctly: it just requires time and effort. I'll be honest with you from the get go – I'm not an expert coder and I never will be. I know the basics and I'm pretty good with WordPress, but that's it. The beauty of adult directories like Mr. Porn Geek is that you don't need a heap of technical knowledge to get them up and running: they operate pretty much out of the box.

Most of your time will be spent writing reviews, comparing websites and negotiating deals with webmasters and affiliate programs alike – easy stuff as far as I'm concerned. Especially when you've got CPA networks like Crak Revenue behind you: it's hard not to monetize adult review directories with 1,000+ offers to push through native review adverts, header links and banners.

So let's get into it – continue reading below as I give you the ins and outs of building a successful Adult Review Directory (ARD).

The Setup

I don't want to get too simple here, but you're obviously going to need a box and a domain. Personally, I recommend a standard .com URL and a minimalistic cloud setup: I used to like standard hosting, but services like Vultr, Digital Ocean and Linode are what I'd recommend these days. They're optimized for speed and are cost-effective as well as scalable: you can start for as little as 5 bucks a month.

In terms of CMS, I'd recommend sticking to WordPress, but if you want to splash the cash you can drop a few thousand dollars into a fully fleshed-out custom solution. I'm not going to recommend any themes, but you can Google around using keywords like 'toplist' for a bunch of plugins and designs that'll give you what you want. I recommend looking around for WordPress optimization plugins too – your page needs to render immediately, if not sooner. Use a tool like Pingdom to calculate load speeds: Mr. Porn Geek currently loads in just over 1 second on average and is faster than 90% of sites on the Internet – you want this.

You'll also want to double-check things like forcing HTTPS and picking either www. or non-www. – these things take 5 minutes to implement but will save you a lifetime of hurt and struggle down the road.

The Research

Sites need good content to succeed, which is why I'm of the opinion that you should only really promote sites and services that you think are high quality. There's a little leeway here, but in essence, your next step is to research the various categories you're writing reviews for. Take a look around and get a sense of what a good website is – I use a lot of ranking factors to determine where something is placed, but here are the main ones to consider when stacking up different destinations against one another:

  •      How often does the site update?
  •      How big is the content archive?
  •      How clean is the site design?
  •      How easy is it to navigate?
  •      Are there many adverts?
  •      Is the material good?
  •      Any bonus features?
  •      Would you use it?

These are the main things to consider, but you'll want to adapt your algorithm depending on what niche you're reviewing. Take me, for instance – I could have a blog with 100 videos of me jerking off: are surfers going to prefer that over a sexy chick's blog with just 10 videos of her stripping down naked and playing with herself? Of course not! I beat her in the quantity department, but sadly, no one wants to watch me jerk off. I'm typically of the opinion that content is king: people can live with 480p footage and a crappy site layout, but if the porn's average on top of that, they're going to move on to greener pastures.

Remember: the better you are at providing quality adult links, the more successful your ARD will be. Search engines rarely focus on maximizing utility for adult surfers, which is why sites like mine are able to prosper.

The Reviews

Everyone knows that you need written content for websites and while adult portals can get away with less for SEO, I think that it's a different story with regard to ARDs. Believe me – I've done testing on this. You want quality text, because people will actually sit there and consider what you have to say before going to the places you've linked to. This isn't just a theory, this is a fact. Let me explain.

Around 6 months ago I decided to do some A/B testing with different texts. I focused on 5 out of the top 10 most visited reviews. I created some low-quality reviews (spelling mistakes, weird sentence structure, uninteresting comments, etc.) and placed them alongside top-tier coverage. I found that bounce rates reduced anywhere from 4% all the way to 19% for the 5 reviews, and time on site from the landing pages of the better reviews increased by about 16% across the board.

I'll be honest with you: I outsource the creation of my written reviews to someone who I think is better at the job. Sadly, I'm not going to tell you who that is – he's far too valuable to my operation to let you guys get your greasy mitts all over him! I've written around 100 or so reviews personally on Mr. Porn Geek, but yeah: my time is better spent dealing with affiliate managers and webmasters to maximize the profitability of the project.

What's great about ARDs is the fact that you don't need to write hundreds of reviews in one go: you can get the site started and still rank destinations without adding text. Then, as your platform begins to grow and you make money out of it, you can go ahead with adding more and more written content. Don't skip on the text, though – it's vital for both the end-user to keep coming back and for search engines to send you punters. I'm going to keep my traffic breakdown and landing page type a secret for now, but I'll admit that individual reviews make up a sizable chunk of incoming clicks from Google and the like.

Oh, one more thing: make sure you include a screenshot of the website in question and add a few pros and cons – this polishes the final product and takes just a few minutes.

The Monetization

So you've got the site, you've got the reviews – now what? Well now it's time to make money. No one's in the business of adult entertainment to be charitable, so if you've made it this far then you're going to want to see some type of return on your investment, right? Let me talk you through why having an ARD makes you a cash cow.

    • Review Affiliate Marketing – This one's a no-brainer: alongside reviews of websites that aren't going to yield us direct income, you'll be able to utilize dozens of affiliate programs to push sex stores, paysites, webcam networks, dating platforms and everything in between. Check out the category page on Mr. Porn Geek for the best adult games as an example of how I'm able to leverage Crak Revenue's amazing offers to make pure profit from quite a unique niche. Crak actually has around 100 or so offers that I promote on my ARD – I push more products with them than any other affiliate program.
    • Header Links – You can choose to push affiliate links through these, or offer them for sale to third parties that want some exposure. As you can see from my own ARD, I'm also expanding the project to cover other high-value targets in the adult realm – blogs, videos, pornstar directories and so on. Don't worry though – you don't need to do that just yet. It's a lot of work to expand that quickly (and costly too). Baby steps first – walk before you run.
    • Blog Posts – Real simple, you can leverage your blog on your ARD to promote other adult-related websites. I either sell these posts for pure cash or negotiate some type of deal that gives me value in return. Again – be flexible here, you've got to think about the bigger picture when it comes to dealing with other webmasters.
    • Advertisements – I don't do this as much as I probably should, but that's because there's a trade-off when it comes to number of banner ads you run and the user experience. I do sell banner ads from time to time or just push great deals that affiliate programs are offering me. What's nice about the design of ARDs is that they're high customizable without ruining your overall style. The ads slip in and slip out seamlessly.
    • Review Sales – Since Mr. Porn Geek provides high-quality, niche-focused traffic alongside keyword-relevant and contextualized backlinks, I have a decent number of webmasters reaching out to get a review. What's good is that most of the sites that contact me are actually top-tier destinations and ones that I'd eventually add anyway. Still, that doesn't stop me charging a pretty penny for this 'priority' review service.
    • Bargaining Power – Some affiliate programs will cut you a better deal if you move them up on your ranking list. Negotiate preferential treatment for preferential treatment: the worst thing any affiliate manager will say to you is "no, sorry." I'm constantly on the case of anyone I promote because I've got options. Be ruthless out there – you owe nothing to no one and you're in this business to make money, so make it. Drive a hard bargain: if you're good at something, never do it for free.

The Conclusion

I guarantee that if you follow this blueprint, you will make money from it. ARDs are a perfect tool for all adult webmasters to negotiate deals, promote their other websites and have a valuable asset that won't lose utility over time. Put effort into this and you will succeed – it's so damn simple that I'm amazed I don't have more competition.

I'm firmly convinced that by 2020, every webmaster will treat ARDs like the best thing since sliced bread – think of it as being akin to the tube boom, where everyone wanted to get a slice of that pie and quickly built free video networks. The barrier to entry on these babies is quite low: you can get started in just a few hours, you don't need hundreds of reviews to make it work and since you're not hosting any content, you save massively on storage and bandwidth. With image optimization, you can run a pretty high-traffic ARD for a few bucks a month.

If you made it this far – thanks for reading. I'm actually big on networking and helping out where I can, so don't be afraid to chuck me a message if you're unsure on something. From time to time I'm quite busy and take a while to reply, but I'll do my best to respond when I can. Now, go out there and start hustling: you've no time to waste!

Yours truly,

Mr. Porn Geek


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