Aka: Want to Start a Sex Blog? A Few Tips/Tricks and Mistakes I Have Made Blogging about Breaking Away From Monogamy
I started blogging in the summer of 2011 because I had a personal mission to work through a major problem I was facing in my life, and in my overconfident brain I figured a few people would be curious about the subject matter: non-monogamy. When I wrote my first post, as I’m sure a few of you have, it was from a place of heartbreak. I was motivated by a single thought, which was simply to write my story. As a result, I did zero research into making a blog readable, successful, profitable, or even clickable or shareable. I basically went in blind, thinking my clear mission statement would be enough for everything else to fall into place, whatever that ended up being. It turns out, it wasn’t. So let me share with you a few practical tips that I have learned over the years, often as a result of going in the completely wrong direction, and wherever I can, I will post practical links that will actually help you, especially if you want to talk about things that are taboo (affiliate links will be a part of this post, and do help me earn a small commission to cover my hosting fees, but I will get more into that shortly).
First things first, the reason this post is a little different to many “how do I write a blog post” is that I am gearing this towards taboo subject matter and the specific hurdles when you write about the word sex. So let’s get started with the first lesson I learned: Anonymity
Picking Your Name or Title
When I first got started, I used an alias, as so many out there choose to do. The thing was, I picked an alias that is in a language foreign to many of my readers. I chose, @k-ghislaine (which you can easily click to follow me on Twitter), and while it is meaningful to me, it is completely unsearchable, pronounceable, and instantly I created a situation where I would have to self-promote everything I put out. Now this was a choice I made consciously, and thought it would protect my work/life/relationship status. However, with that being the focus, what did I immediately do? Oh that’s right, I mass e-mailed the link to everyone in my address book, and posted the blog link on Facebook, under my own personal account. The take away? Choose your target, and decide how you are going to use your blog, podcast, or whatever medium that shares your unique message. And think beyond the heartache towards the scale-ability factor because you never know where something like this may take you. And this holds true for your blogs name, domain, and basically every social media handle you choose, so choose wisely.
Sex Positive Monetization
I have zero doubt that this is the main reason that you are reading this post. And the thing about this is, I am in no way pro yet. I make enough to cover all my fees incurred, and occasionally a little more. My blog, has always be like a journal for me, where if it makes a little that’s a bonus, but if not, that’s totally OK too, I will still blog. That being said, I know how daunting it can be to start researching ways to actually monetize your content, especially if you have nudity, talk about anything taboo, or dare I say, use the word sex in any way shape or form. When you get started, you are faced with a zillion and one hurdles, especially once you start reading the fine print on all the monetization sites available or affiliate programs that mainstream content creators have access to. Please don’t let that get you down, you still have options, it just might take a little more work.
One of the first paths I took that actually generated a little financial interest in my blog was doing a sex toy review. And not just any toy, a couple’s toy! Honestly, it was a lot of fun. I loved the anticipation of waiting for the new toy, testing it out, and ultimately writing the post. I totally understand the appeal of it, and would happily do one again in the future. But I would caution you about one thing, things are changing with toy reviews. You are very limited as to the pictures you take, where you can share them on social media, and the biggest reason I don’t do many is the competition aspect. There are so many incredible toy reviewers out there and honestly, I don’t feel like I offer anything unique to that discussion. In summary, product reviews are amazing, just make sure you offer something new, exciting, or unique to your audience or you will not retain them.
The second path I took, and take, is writing sponsored posts, or paid blogs for other sites. This is my clear favorite, as I love the exposure and the community building this brings. Ultimately, my goals are different than many out there, but if you really hustle to create incredible content, this works really well. There are some incredible resources out there when it comes to pitching, and if you would like me to share some insight on my techniques feel free to comment or reach out to me via whichever social media you found me on!
And finally the third, which is affiliate links (Such as this one for lube, sex toys, and condoms!) . Now these can be tricky to find for those who talk about sex in any depth beyond what I do. The reason I notice that is I have always walked a fine line between education and sharing sexy adventures. And that is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to banners or links that will actually pay me out. If you write sexualized content, you can find affiliate links on toy sites, P&%N pages, and with other promoters of the more XXX content. If you simply try to educate, you can find safe sex banners, STD testing sites, and that sort of thing. The key here, is to think outside of the box. What does your site say, and what products would you be happy to buy yourself and then promote? So, reach out to known sex positive industries, or sign up to affiliate sites specifically catered to sex and industry. There are a few out there, you just have to be a little savvy when searching them. And please, for the love of all that is holy, research the company first. It’s not worth making big bucks if your spreading hate, misinformation, or something that goes against your messages key values. That makes you a sellout and you will NOT retain traffic. If you go on my home page you will see a few banners from companies I love working with, but again, those may not work for the type of content you are creating. So be reasonable. It is not enough to just put up a banner and then watch the money roll in. Monetization takes special work, especially with the word Sex.
Writing content that people give a damn about is tough, even when your subject matter is titillating. And the major factor for this is people en masse are scared of sex. Individuals are typically rational, but group people in a room, and restrictions come at you from every angle. As a result, you will run into many issues when trying to spread your content. There are quite a few sites who won’t even take your money, or allow you to collect your hard earned dollars as a direct result of your subject matter. My biggest word of wisdom here is to read the fine print. Sure a site like Amazon may allow you sign up to be an affiliate, but if there is nudity anywhere, you are going to have a difficult time collecting your earnings. And that goes for all social media that you use. Understanding the restrictions is key to maximizing your influence (And no, I don’t mean be an influencer, but know your content may have an impact on someone so be mindful).
What has made me the most successful in getting noticed you may ask? The answer, is not caring what other people think and posting content that makes me feel like a whole human being. On each of my social media accounts I find meaning in actually connecting with people and not using it as just a platform to spam people with my words. There are quite a few studies right now to measure peoples happiness levels in conjunction to their social media usage and guys, I must say, there is a lot of truth to this. Whenever I portray myself as an object, or just a brand, I become miserable and need more and more frequent social media breaks. Whereas, when I am actively engaged, learning, reading others stuff, and building community I absolutely love it! So the takeaway, be mindful when you’re trying to get your work noticed. Don’t let the goal of becoming internet famous supersede your mental health. Better to have a few amazing fans, than a multitude of trolls.
Once you do find your stride, and have people who care enough to share, engage, or follow you, I highly recommend setting up a Patreon page. Without question, this has been the most rewarding experience for me. I cry (happy tears) with every new subscriber, even the ones who only pledge for a few hours. It’s incredible know that there are people out there who love your work enough to pledge a little bit of money to it. And with Patreon, you can make it your own and choose rewards that actually matter to your fans. I love the freedom of it all, and for me, I use it mostly to show off all the behind the scenes stuff I can’t put on my blog. But don’t let that sway you. Make your content anyway you choose!
When I first started blogging (My blogging reason), I used a free site with Blogspot. It was Google based and included SEO and rankings. It was a glorious. Then, tragedy struck. I gained a little bit of popularity and got flagged for my content. I had flown under the radar for years, even using adsense, but I think those days are pretty much over. With all the new restrictions and fears over sex, I quickly had to go self hosted, build a new site to maintain my own freedom of expression. It seemed like overnight I had to basically learn everything about building a site, hosting it, and my latest endeavor… SEO.
Honestly, for me, this is my current pet project. I spend a few minutes every day learning new tips/tricks to increase my organic views. And holy crap, the most interesting thing I have learned, is just how incredibly bad my blogspot site was! And how, in the blogging world, I have pretty much done everything wrong. Why do I share that? Because it is OK. I am learning from this, and I am so proud to have loyal readers who enjoyed my content even though the presentation was absolute garbage. So don’t feel bad, ever! If the content is something you take pride of, everything else will follow.
If you enjoyed this post, by all means, reach out! And if you have questions, want to start your own blog, or shift over to a self hosted site, I have written 3 sites which are live and am working on my fourth. If you need a graphic designer, I am currently working with one who is incredible and the perfect match for this sex positive blogger and her vision. Again, reach out. I would love to share my knowledge and help you succeed where I have failed, or in rare instances succeeded.
There is always more to learn, and I hope in a few years, I can write one of these with all the new lessons I have learned, because knowledge is power, and should always be shared!