9 Things New Sex Bloggers Need to Know
Thanks to Quinn Rhodes for suggesting this topic. Her actual request was for a podcast episode on the things I wish I’d known or the things newbie sex bloggers need to know, and I think that’ll happen in the future. For now, let’s talk about the topic here. It’s big enough to come back to later.
Is this everything single thing a sex blogger needs to know? Definitely not. Partly because that list could go on forever, and partly because we all come to this with our own experiences. You may have known some of these things when you began.
But they are things that I wish I had known back in the day, and they are things I still have to remind myself of from time to time. If you’ve got a sex blog (new or established) feel free to add your “thing new sex bloggers need to know” in a comment below. This can and should be a living, breathing list of shared wisdom and hard-won insights on sex blogging.
To get us started, here are things I wish I’d known as a new sex blogger…
Self-Host as Soon as You Can Afford To Do It
I blogged under a WordPress.com site for nearly a year before I went self-hosted. The only reason I did was because WordPress started banning sex bloggers for no real or stated reason. As with all outlets that you don’t pay and who have vague Terms of Service, if they want to get rid of you, they can. Using a free blogging site means you’re building your sex blog in someone else’s sandbox. Their sandbox, their rules.
When I went self-hosted, I was a single mom, no child support, not sure I could buy my kids new shoes when they needed it, struggling to pay the bills. I had to decide if the little bit available on my credit card was worth spending to keep being a sex blogger and feel like I controlled my space. For me, in that moment, it was. Not everyone can or will make that choice, and that’s okay. But I told myself this was an investment in my future as a writer, and so it was.
If you can’t do it yet, get into a habit of backing up your content daily or at least once a week. That way, if you get shut down, you still have your content. The moment you can afford self-hosting, do it. H/t to DomSigns who reminds sex bloggers of this all the time.
Write What Matters to You
A lot of new sex bloggers worry about their chosen topics. Will anyone care? Does it really matter? Hasn’t everyone already said it? Of course someone else said it, but they didn’t say it like you will. Their experiences aren’t your experiences. You have a different viewpoint, and your life isn’t their life.
Oh, and let’s not forget this one: Will I say something wrong?! And yes, you might say something wrong or make a mistake. That can and will happen. Own it, apologize for it, and correct yourself.
Your idea won’t be completely original, and if you wait around until you have a “new” idea, you’ll never start writing. Write what matters to you. Talk about your lived experiences. Share your fantasies and realities. What content do you wish you had read a few years ago or last week? Write that!
What the world really needs is to see that none of us “freaks of nature” but that a lot of people are into that thing, have tried that sexual thing, or felt this way about that. The more people there are lifting up a topic — kink, sex, sexuality, gender — the less “weird” or “random” it seems and the more normal it becomes.
It Takes Time to Build an Audience
There is no such thing as “build it and they will come.” Every single sex blogger wonders when their audience will get bigger, why it’s not growing faster, and if they’re just talking to themselves. We’re all in the same boat on this one. Even established bloggers go through moments when numbers and comments drop, and you wonder if anyone cares.
Two main things build an audience — consistently showing up to make your thing and time. If you keep writing and creating content and hitting publish, you’ll get better. If you keep learning about ways to share your content, you’ll get more views. Over time, the archive grows, your abilities get better, and, slowly but surely, one person at a time, an audience begins to trickle in.
Don’t Wait for Perfection
I wish we could toil away in secret, hide our work from the world, and only show it when it’s “perfect.” Except we never think it’s perfect, and many of us cringe at our own writing. The only way to get better — THE ONLY WAY — is to do more of it. Keep writing, keep publishing, and then do it some more.
Yes, I cringe at early blog posts because that’s not how I would say it now. But I only write the way I do now because I wrote the way I did then. It’s not just about randomly typing words, either. You have to do it with purpose. Read other bloggers. See how they do things better or differently. Incorporate what feels right to you. Don’t plagiarize but borrow styles and techniques. None of us have a monopoly on how to write sex blogs or pick topics.
Practice might not make perfect but it definitely increases your confidence and abilities.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Bloggers
This might be the hardest thing for all of us not to do. Someone is always blogging about something we think we should have done. Other bloggers are sharing things we wish we could do. More established bloggers have bigger audiences, more shares, and more responses. So yes, it makes sense that when you see all of that, you compare yourself.
I still do it, too.
If it means getting off Twitter for a while, do it. When you start the “they’re better than me, why do I bother” you only stunt your own growth. I’m not staying it’s easy, but it is necessary. Sometimes we have to turn off the noise, dive into our blogs, and ignore everything else — and hit publish even though we’re not as [fill-in-the-blank] as the next person.
Your Website Layout Matters More Than You Realize
I wish I could tell you that all that matters is that you create the best content ever and the rest will happen. What you blog about — from written text to erotic photos — is definitely a big part of your success as a sex blogger. But if you ignore your website layout, design, and organization, you’re missing out on opportunities.
- You need an About Me page. It’s the only way new readers (from social media or Google) will have any idea who you are.
- Your website needs to look good on phone or tablet, not just on your laptop or PC monitor. If a new reader has to pinch it and move it around, they’re not coming back.
- Walls of text keep people from reading your content — break up your paragraphs.
- Just because it looks pretty doesn’t always mean it’s readable. Your color choices matter, including the color of your blog text and the color of your background.
Focus on Content, But Learn SEO Tricks
SEO — search engine optimization — is important, but it’s not the most important part of sex blogging. If your content is no good and your website unreadable, it won’t matter if your SEO is amazing. You’ve got to give people a reason to stick around on your sex blog first.
That being said, as your archive grows and changes, one of the ways you’ll be found is through search. That’s where a small understanding of SEO can come in handy.
I’m still learning, but here are my tricks for a WordPress self-hosted site (thanks in large part to DomSigns — as usual):
- Install Yoast SEO to help you learn how to format parts of your content for better SEO — like changing your title tag and meta description
- Use Google Search Console to find out what terms people use to find you — and then decide if those are the terms you want to be found for. If not, write content for the terms you do want.
- Add more images, and when you do, fill in the “alt text” to describe your image. This not only helps the visually impaired know what the image is about, it makes Google very happy, especially when you use the keyword you’re trying to rank for.
- Write with purpose. Even when I’m sharing a smutty story, I have a purpose to it. I want it to be interesting and engaging, and (ideally) be found for a keyword — like masturbation.
**These are the absolute bare minimum basics of SEO. A quick Google search will give you more information than you’ve ever wanted on the topic. Don’t write for SEO — write for the audience. But SEO tricks help your site get found.
The More You Blog, the Better It Gets
No, this isn’t me telling you that you have to blog every single day. But the more content you create, the more quickly it all starts coming together. Your skills improve faster, and your archive grows quicker. Both help you build an audience, get found in search, and reach your goals. It’s still not a fast process, but blogging more often does speed things up a bit. It’s also one of the quickest (although imperfect) ways to find your voice and hone it.
So “it” is a subjective term — what is it you’re trying to improve?
- Finding inspiration? Write a bunch of crap that you’re not sure about to see what strikes you as interesting or fulfilling — or that your audience responds to.
- Getting comfortable publishing? Write as often as you can. Edit yourself, and hit publish even when it’s not perfect.
- Engaging an audience? Write in an authentic voice. Even if you obscure every personal detail, the voice should be yours, and it should be real.
- Growing your blog stats? Write, write, write, and publish, publish, publish. Join in community memes and challenges to get in front of other audiences, too.
- Turning your sex blog or writing into something that makes money? Write and publish, edit, learn SEO, and then repeat as often as you can.
- Figuring out your voice, purpose, and audience? Write what feels important and true to you. Write what interests you. Do it often enough, and you’ll find all three.
We All Get Nervous or Scared
Everyone’s threshold for this is different, and some people overcome it better than others but here’s a truth I’m sure of:
At some point, every single sex blogger you’ve followed, admired, or been jealous of was terrified of what people would think, worried they shouldn’t write about a specific topic, or wondered if they should keep going. Feeling like a fraud and having serious imposter syndrome is all-too common.
Some of us handle it better because with time and experience we’ve gained some confidence. Some of us never get over the fear no matter how long we do this. We’re all different in that respect, but if you look at an established sex blogger and think they can’t understand your nerves, think again.
I can only speak for myself, but every time I record a podcast, I’m fairly certain I suck, no one is going to like it, and this will be the thing that sends internet hate my way. And that’s on a good day when anxiety doesn’t bite me in the ass.
This isn’t the whole list…
Like I said at the top, this isn’t the full list of everything sex bloggers ought to know. Frankly, if given more time, I’ll think of another dozen things. But in the beginning, it’s most important to realize the best way to begin, to grow, and to move forward is to blog. And the best way to keep your sanity through it all is to realize you’re not the only one with your blogging fears, worries, and concerns. We’re all works in progress, and we all have something new to learn.
So…what other things would you add to this list? Comment below and maybe we can turn this into a resource for all sex bloggers to use.