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Web school teaches porn site how-to

By Jeordan Legon
CNN

AdultWebmasterSchool.com uses this photo to promote their online courses.
AdultWebmasterSchool.com uses this photo of a model wearing the company's shirt to promote its online courses.

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(CNN) -- There's money to be made in the online porn business, and Michael Hayes of AdultWebmasterSchool.com says he can help you cash in.

Launched by laid-off dot-com workers in July 2000, the school's $140 course has graduated about 2,200 students, Hayes says.

Tuition gives access to courses on how the porn business works, message boards to connect with other students and tips on how to attract Web traffic -- all the essentials to launch a successful pornmaster career, Hayes says.

"You don't need experience to do this. We even have online video that takes you step-by-step," says Hayes, 27, the school's vice president.

Hayes, who describes himself as "a conservative person," says he used to work for a Web portal for the elderly before that site shut down and he decided to pursue teaching porn. The school, which has four staff members, is based in tony Newport Beach, California, a mostly Republican suburb of Los Angeles whose most famous resident was conservative screen idol John Wayne.

Initially, many of the students were laid-off male techies who were left jobless when the Internet bubble burst, Hayes says. But over time, he says, more people with little tech experience have signed up, and the school estimates 15 percent of its students are women.

Despite the school's success, Hayes says, making money in the porn business requires hard work.

"There's nothing sexy about making the porn sites. It's all about dollar signs," says graduate Jack Somers, 25.

Somers says he's making about $4,000 a month working on his porn sites about three hours a day. The rest of the time he's a freelance Web designer for non-adult businesses.

Like many school graduates, Somers makes money by signing up with a sponsor who owns pay sites. The sponsor gives Somers a few pictures to post for free on the Web, hoping some folks who see the free stuff will click through to the sponsor's site and buy memberships.

Somers gets a cut of every membership he helps generate.

"As long as I keep making money, I can't complain," he says, adding that most of his money comes from promoting a gay site even though he's straight and has a girlfriend.

"You have to stay with one niche that works well," he says. "The girlfriend doesn't care."


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