Aria Giovanni: Running Your Site & Being Your Own Content
by Ed Rampell
The John Lennon lyric, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans," applies perfectly to 25 year-old Aria Giovanni. While she was studying biochemistry at a San Diego junior college, she had the opportunity to pose for Penthouse Magazine. Aria quit school and embarked on a whole career, going from lab rat to Penthouse Pet of the month.
Like countless other models and adult stars, Aria capitalized on her exposure, and parlayed her offline celebrity into yet another adult Internet Web site - the cleverly named www.ariagiovanni.com. The voluptuous Aria says her appeal to fans is that she's "not a cookie cutter," prefab model. Klixxx finally caught up with Aria at her home in a burby section of adult industry's ground zero, the San Fernando Valley, which she shares with John 5 her fianc�, Marilyn Manson's lead guitarist.
Klixxx: Tell us about your personal background?
Aria Giovanni: I was born in Long Beach, California, and grew up in L.A., Orange County, and moved to New York when I was 19. I moved to San Diego about six months later, which is when I started doing nude modeling - for amateur sites in San Diego. Then I met Amy Sweet, a Penthouse Pet, who took me to meet photographer Suze Randall in L.A. Suze shot me the following week, shot me for Penthouse, ten days later I was being interviewed, two days later I did the cover, and two and a half months later, was on the newsstands for the September 2000 issue. I've also been shot for other glamour and nude magazines. It was just a matter of word of mouth; I never had an agent or manager, no one speaking on my behalf. I booked all my own jobs, it was just a matter of, "Oh, I, have friends who'd love to shoot you," and contacting them... Really going out and finding the work.
K: How does a Penthouse Pet of the month get paid?
AG: Actually, we're not supposed to tell... It's not as much as people think... Not as much as a [Playboy] Playmate would make.
K: Would you say the really important thing about being Penthouse's Pet is not the paycheck, but the doors it might open?
AG: Definitely. Lots of jobs aren't always the bottom line at that moment. There're many ways of making money, other than how much that job paid. You get an amount of advertising and exposure from certain jobs... Pet of the month gives you a title, something to go by, and for people to categorize you as... I did quite a few personal appearances for Penthouse in the beginning. I continue to do personal appearances for other companies that want to hire me, and for my own company - I'm incorporated - I go to conventions on my own, and set up as ariagiovanni.com.
I do auto shows, comic books [Aria was depicted on Heavy Metal's cover], modeling, InterNext, and AVN conventions. There're quite a number of shows out there.
K: Why do you do so many personal appearances?
AG: There's a good fan base out there, lots of fans out there who want to get a chance to meet you, and have you sign something for them. It's very important, as a model, to go do shows, and meet your fans. Because, not only do you make new fans, new people who don't know you, and you hand out your business card, then you meet ones who are already fans. And when they can actually say they've met you... it makes them that much stronger of a fan... They're more likely to purchase, to be members, there're other ways of making money. I have my online store and auctions... It increases your name and visibility.
K: Do you charge for autographs?
AG: If they bring in something they want me to sign, it's $5 a signature. I also have product - my photos are $15; my Penthouse Magazine is $40; my Blake DVDs are $40; and Penthouse DVDs are $30.
K: Do you charge for taking a photo with a fan?
AG: Depends on the convention. If I'm hired to sign, I don't charge. If I'm not hired, and have to pay for my own airfare, hotel, and booth, then I charge, to recoup my money.
K: Do you sign up members to your Web site?
AG: No, I don't... I don't have DSL access there... But every person who walks by, I hand out my business card with my Web address on it, and, signs above the booth and flyers advertising the convention, say ariagiovanni.com. It's constant advertising. Meeting someone in person is more likely to guarantee sign-ups, than seeing your photo online. There's that personal connection fans love to have. That's priceless. Especially if the person's outgoing, down-to-earth, they love that!
K: How do you know if they're signing up because of conventions?
AG: You see such a spike, you know where it's from.
Part 2: Running Your Site and Being Your Own Content