If you missed the handouts at last week’s ETO Show BlogSpot area, or couldn’t attend and was curious about the tips, you’re in luck. Below you can find the handout in its entirety – enjoy, and best of luck with your sex blogging.
Secrets of Successful Sex Blogging
Hi, what’s your name?
First things first: decide on a blog name. Most people use an alias instead of their real name, or else just a word or description they like. It’s a good idea to check whether your chosen blog name is available as a domain name before you get building your blog, because owning your own domain name (ie. www.domainnamehere.com) is an important step towards successful sex blogging.
You might think your writing is safe on a blogging platform like Google’s Blogger or WordPress, but if you’re not hosting your blog yourself, you’re bound by those platforms’ restrictions on content. There are usually harsh restrictions on anything deemed adult, and you can forget about using affiliate links. Research self hosting – you can stay on WordPress no problem, but now you’re not bound by WordPress’ content restrictions for being on their server. If you’re on Blogger please consider moving to WordPress, there are many good reasons to do so. Not just a more professional looking blog but search engine optimisation benefits too.
Decide your anonymity level
Once something’s on the internet, it’s there forever. Even if you think it’s deleted. Protect yourself by deciding on your personal anonymity level before you start – this includes how much of yourself you’re going to show. Face, genitals, boobs – even how much of your own home is in photographs. Rigorously check through social media to make sure your location is switched off, and make sure anything you want to communicate privately really is private. DM not public tweet, Facebook messenger not Facebook wall!
Join the conversation
Talking of Twitter and Facebook, social media really is a fantastic tool to shout about your blogging efforts, your experiences and day to day life as well as to connect with other bloggers, writers and reviewers in the community. Twitter is much more adult-content friendly than Facebook, which can shut you down in a moment’s notice if they take offence to something you post – or if one of your friends/followers does, and reports you. Other social media platforms you may find useful are Google Plus, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram. Many can be accessed by smart phone, streamlining your blog-based communications with the world.
Be consistent with branding
Once you’ve decided your blog name, sorted the admin of a domain and hosting, set your privacy controls and joined social media, you can start to think about your public image. Being consistent with your branding will make sure you’re memorable, unique and easily found. If you can afford it, pay a designer (like Kev Blisse of Smut UK) to create a unique logo, blog banner and social media avatars for you. Even if you don’t want to move to a professional level of blogging, this consistent look will impress your readers and motivate them to be even more interested in what you have to say.
Beware premature link sharing
Please, please – if you’re a new blogger, don’t share your blog link or shout about yourself on social media before everything is ready to receive visitors. It is so incredibly disappointing for people to click an URL only to find it’s still in maintenance mode, or to explore your blog only to reach broken pages or pages with no content from your menu options. You only get one chance at a first impression, so don’t you want to make sure it’s the very best you can offer?
Fend off copycats
It’s easy to rip posts and images from the internet and post them up as if they were your own. Sad but true fact: underhand businesses scour the web for engaging content and photographs and use them on their own websites to build their own traffic. Make sure you have a clearly visible copyright notice on your blog, which is present on every single page a person may visit. This is usually done by putting it on the header, footer or sidebar of your blog. You can find an example copyright notice at the footer of this blog.
If you do find your entire posts or your own photographs on another site, ask them politely to remove it. They may not know they’re doing anything wrong. If they still don’t, you can file a DMCA takedown notice against them. Please note that excerpts of your post (usually shorter than 300 words) with a backlink isn’t a breach of your copyright. These can often help your blog rank higher on the search engines – so they’re doing you a favour.
Even if you’re not a professional writer, blogger or product reviewer it’s in your best interests to always act in a professional, courteous manner with everyone you come into contact with online or at events. I’m not trying to sell you a copy of How To Win Friends & Influence People but it can only really stand you in good stead. It’s difficult not to respond to trolls or negative comments, or post a social media update in anger – maybe even to name & shame an offender. As hard as it is (believe me, I know how difficult this is), stay quiet and sleep on the decision to react. You’ll likely be more level headed in the morning and can approach the issue with a calm response – or simply not respond at all and rise above.
Be real, not an automaton
Automation services such as IFTTT.com, Buffer, HootSuite and many others can be an absolute godsend when it comes to saving you time and feeding titbits of information to your followers intermittently. As brilliant as they are, and as wonderful as your posts, reviews or money saving offers may be, none of your followers will want to see only those on your social media feeds. People respond to people – so be a person, not a robot.
Connect with people who mention you, and don’t be afraid to delve into conversations online which interest you. Share what’s happened in your day, as long as it doesn’t cross your personal anonymity level. Describe your small frustrations and happiness at any small success. All of this, on a regular basis and between your automated updates, will help you make friends and establish you as a real person with shared interests to others in the sex blogging and writing community.
Perhaps a surprising tip, but saying no can really help your blog. You do not have to say yes to everything all of the time, but if you do decide to say no, do it politely. This can be offers of writing work, products to review, requests to join a Facebook group or attending an event. Your time really is valuable, no matter if you’re blogging for income or your own satisfaction. It’s easy to get swept along by the passion of an enquirer, only to realise you don’t really have the time, funds, skills or desire to be a part of that project. I’ve been guilty of overloading myself with projects in the past, promising to help too many people, taking on too many writing commissions, products to review or agreeing to attend an event that took up a lot of time and money. There’s no shame in saying no when you need to, it means you understand your motivations and limitations.
On a time saving note, I am really enjoying SaneBox which helps to keep my email inbox free of anything irrelevant or unimportant.
Don’t get sued
Every image on the web has a level of copyright, meaning that just because you found the perfect picture for your blog post on Google it doesn’t mean you’re legally allowed to use that image on your website. Unfortunately stock photo companies are very expensive and few people can afford to get every image from Shutterstock or iStock Photos.
Happily, there are images you’re allowed to use on your blog and these come under ‘creative commons’. Use the dropdown menus on Google to find Search Tools>Usage Rights and select the correct level for your blog. Similar options are available on Flickr. Still nothing? Try Pixabay which is full of images that you’re allowed to use on your blog.
Learn some basic SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This web practice covers everything you can do to help your blog rank higher on the search engines such as Google, for relevant search terms entered by people in the search box.
Search engines can only see the words on your blog, not the pictures. You can help the pictures aid your ranking by making sure you title them with what they are. Most blogging platforms have areas where you can enter even more background information (metadata) about each specific page or post, which won’t be seen on the ‘front end’ by visitors but which the search engines will take into account.
When writing your posts, think about the title and sub headings. Are they relevant to the content of the post? It’s a constant balance between a search engine friendly blog title and one which will draw in your very real readers. You might even want to consider having a visible blog title for real people and an alternative title for SEO purposes in the metadata fields.
We’d all like a bit more cash in the bank and one way of using your blog to help out a bit is to sell advertising space. My advice is to wait until you’re established, with a regular and high enough level of daily visits to your blog (say, 800-1000 per day). This could take up to a year of regular blogging, so be patient.
If you’d like a bit of tailored advice in this area, please drop me an email.
Write for the adult industry
Another way to earn cash with your writing skills is to become an industry writer, like Mel MacFarlane from Voluptasse and myself. I’ve written a course all about this, take a look at my Professional Copywriting Course.
Thanks to Google’s restrictions on duplicate content, there are plenty of adult businesses looking for writers of product descriptions, page descriptions, blog posts and advice articles. As a blogger it is hoped that you have excellent writing skills already, and writing for companies is just one way you can monetise your talents while steadily working towards a more professional blogging level.
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If you have any blogging questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me here.
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