Why Relationships Matter as a Sex Blogger and Writer
The online world is a strange place. You can be whoever you want to be. Use a sexy avatar that looks nothing like you. Create a fake name. Say you’re from anywhere in the world. Anonymity is (mostly) yours if you want it.
Even as sex bloggers and writers, we can be whoever we want to be. Some writers personify their characters. Others create entire personalities out of nothing but their deepest desires.
It’s hard to know who’s real and who isn’t. All we have, as writers, are our words and our deeds. I feel fairly confident in saying we’ve all been taken in by an internet charlatan, at least once or twice. And yet we still show up, day after day, week after week, seeking to build and maintain relationships with people.
Why does it matter? How do we do it? What’s the point of it all? Those are the questions I’m still working on.
Authenticity Shines Through
One of the best ways to build an audience online, especially a rabid one willing to promote your work, buy your stuff, and stick by your side, is to be as real as possible. What “realness” means is up to you, but ultimately an authentic voice and perspective cuts through the crap we’re inundated with. Because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crappy-crap-crap on the internet. We’ve all read the horrifying advice about sex, health, and parenting. We’ve all seen things we wish no one else had to be exposed to. It’s often what propels us to write.
The only way to combat it and to build relationships with readers, especially when we’re all aware that anyone can fake anything, is to be yourself. Your authentic self, whoever that is, will attract more people than you realize. From my perspective, it means showing all my warts, my ramblings, and my mental health. With some sex thrown in. For others, it might mean showing your anger, sadness, and joy.
Finding Your Voice
How do you write authentically? We’re all different but I think it starts with real opinions. You don’t have to be cruel or judgmental but to be able to say, “This is me. This is what I believe” makes a big difference. Even when your grammar and spelling still need work or you’re not quite sure what to write about, readers can sense when a writer is being real with them. Too many people give us bland opinions that tell us nothing new. When you find your voice, the realness sort of flows out of you.
People are afraid of their voice, though. We’re not always comfortable sharing how we feel about a situation, what we think about a topic, what we love or hate. A part of our soul is on display when we do, and it means we open ourselves up for rejection. But we also allow connections and acceptance into our life, too. I still struggle with expressing opinions that go against the majority. No one wants to be called out, but sometimes you have to run that risk in order to find out who you really are as a writer.
Learn to Accept Rejection
The thing we most seem to fear (I know I do) is someone telling us we’re wrong. Not only are we wrong, we’re super-awful wrong. We don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re an amateur who shouldn’t be allowed to write, let alone offer advice on any part of life, sex or otherwise. What do we know?
To build a relationship with the readers who will form your core audience, you’re going to have to accept rejection. You’re going to hear that you’re wrong, your opinion isn’t valid, and that you suck. You won’t be everyone’s favorite, nor should you. Some people won’t be able to accept your story or your viewpoint. They don’t need to. Keep writing and expressing yourself. The readers you’re meant to touch will find you.
Relationships Build Audiences
What does that mean? To me it’s another way of saying, work with the audience you have to help it grow. Talk to people. Be real. I try to be available outside of my blogs for questions or advice – or just a friendly shoulder. We can’t be all things to all people, but when you find your voice and you touch people, you’ll be amazed at how often they want to reach out to you.
Instead of presenting a persona you want to be known for, consider being your silly, goofy self. Some people need the persona to separate the different parts of their life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Relationship building requires a certain amount of realness. You don’t have to be “on” all the time. God knows I can’t be, so I won’t recommend it for others. But to build and grow a loyal audience, you need to develop real relationships with real people. The only way I know to do it is to be my awkward, strange, weird, goofball self.
What Does It All Mean?
There is very little more personal than sex. For those who write about your own sex life, you already know this is true. Most people walk through life wondering, “Am I normal?” Your words, thoughts, and experiences can validate someone. You can create real, legitimate connections to people through your writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your very personal story, your shared erotic fantasies, or advice you can give thanks to some hard lessons learned.
The “what” of what you write matters less than the how. When you seek not just to tell other people about a certain aspect of sexuality, but also to connect, you build relationships that build your career. In order to do that, you may have to rethink what it means to expose yourself (pun not intended) online and in your writing. Not everyone has to like you, and not everyone should. But the only way to connect to the people who become the core of your audience is to expose some part of yourself (pun totally intended).