I’m back with more sex blogging tips for y’all!
Overall guiding principles
When it comes to blog advice, I worship at the altar of the Blogcademy. There are two tips they emphasize that I’d like to share with you today, to set the tone for the rest of the content-creation stuff in this post.
The first is that you should think of your blog like it’s a magazine for a certain kind of reader. Cosmopolitan, for instance, isn’t just fashion or just beauty or just sex advice – it’s all of those things and more, because the Ideal Cosmo Reader is interested in a broad range of things, just like we all are. You’ll run out of ideas fast if you limit your blog to only one topic (like sex toys) or only one type of post (like erotica stories), so instead, try to pinpoint the sort of reader you’re writing for, and write all the various different things they would be interested in. (My Ideal Reader is a feminist sex geek with a sense of humor. Kind of like me!)
The second tip I’ve learned from the Blogcademy ladies is that your blog will be most successful if most of your content is helpful and valuable to your readers. That’s not to say there’s no place for writing about yourself and your own personal adventures, but it’s mostly going to be people who already know you and care about you that will read that stuff. Everyone else has no idea who you are and only wants to read your blog if it’ll help them in some way. That might sound sort of cynical, but actually, writing helpful content can be really fun! And it gets shared a lot more, so you’ll attract more eyeballs. Win-win!
Coming up with post ideas
Hopefully, if you want to start a sex blog, it’s because there are lots of sex-related things you want to write about. But even if that’s the case, we all still deal with writer’s block sometimes. So it’s important to have strategies for generating post ideas.
Here are some of mine:
• Read the news (online or in print) to see what’s going on in the world of sex, and respond to what you see.
• Talk to your friends (mostly the sex-positive ones, but sometimes even the less sexually open ones will give you ideas) about what bothers them about sex, what they wonder about it, weird experiences they’ve had, etc. See if anything sparks an idea.
• Write about your own past experiences.
• Write how-to guides.
• Write reviews of products you own (or can get retailers/companies to send you – see Epiphora’s guide for info on how to do that).
• Write wishlists of products you’d like to own, sexual experiences you’d like to have, fantasies you’d like to explore, etc.
• Write about your fantasies or turn-ons, or other people’s.
• Write about things you’ve learned about sex.
Whatever strategies you use, you’ll need to have a way to make notes of post ideas before they slip away (which, trust me, they will – our human brains are more sieve-like than we care to realize). I always have a notebook in my bag while I’m out, as well as the notes app on my phone. I also keep a notebook and pen by my bed, incase of sudden middle-of-the-night flashes of brilliance.
Keep an ongoing list of ideas you think are actually good, and have it near your workspace so you can refer to it if you ever feel stuck.
Having features is a great way to make sure you don’t run out of ideas. They can also be something your readers come to excitedly expect from you, and they can become one of the signatures of your blog.
I find that features are fantastic for idea generation because they spark my imagination and I don’t have to work too hard to come up with ideas for them; I’m always brimming with sex writing tips, strange new-to-me fantasies, and sexual language pet peeves.
One of the beautiful things about blogging is that you are the boss of your blog and you make the rules, so you can try out new features without necessarily committing to them forever. Brainstorm a few ideas for features and give them a go for a while. If they help you, yay! If not, you don’t have to do them.
Like most things in life, blogging is a lot less stressful when you’re overprepared and ahead of the game. I’m not always on top of everything, but it certainly helps to keep an editorial calendar and to queue up posts in advance.
An editorial calendar is just a calendar of what you’re going to publish and when. I started keeping one this year after 2+ years of just blogging whenever I felt like it – which works fine for some people but always made me feel sort of frazzled!
I keep my editorial calendars on index cards, one per month. I aim to post twice a week, so my cards are laid out in three columns so I can indicate which two posts I plan on doing for each week. It’s nice to have the dates at my fingertips because then I can plan date-appropriate content – for example, a Valentine’s Day-themed post when that day is coming up.
You’re not obliged to follow your plan to the letter, and I usually don’t – there are always lots of crossed-out posts on my editorial calendars, because I get other ideas that I’m more excited about and that I want to work on sooner. I just move the discarded post ideas back to my ongoing ideas list, and I can write them at a later date.
Queuing up posts in advance is another way to stay on top of your blog work. I find my enthusiasm for blogging often comes in bursts of a few hours, so when that happens, I try to write at least one or two posts and schedule them to be published later in the week. That way, I never have to force myself to blog when I don’t feel like it – because that never results in good content! (Fun fact: I wrote this blog post last Friday, because the day it’s being published, I’m going to be on vacation in Montreal. Pre-planning has allowed me to enjoy my vacation stress-free! Hooray!)
Next week I’m going to talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: building a readership! Tweet at me if you’ve got specific questions on that topic and I’ll do my best to address ‘em.