Blogging – Structure and Pitfalls
Most people who start a blog don’t understand how much needs to go into it for it to be successful. I think that is why there are so many dead blogs out there: after some weeks of excitement, people burn out from trying to keep up with all the things that need to be done. A blog is commitment, it is community, it is about consistency and relevant content. And it should be about fun too! Not everyone is a writer. And not everyone is able to find the niche they are most comfortable in. All the pressures, the expectations you have for yourself, the deadlines and to do lists, can quickly become too much, and you get burnt out. And yet again, another blog dies.
This is not my first blog. I am the proud creator of many dead blogs. Some I actually kept for months, but then abandoned eventually anyway. It never felt right. I wasn’t in the right place in my life, and wasn’t able to find the niche that works best for me. But with this blog, everything fell into place. I found a community, I feel like I have something relevant to say, and I don’t run out of topics. And I have found my blogging home.
I started this blog a year ago and in this time, it has grown. And I have grown as a writer and a content creator. I have learnt a lot about myself, about others. I have grown a big social media following, and blog following, and that is encouraging me to continue to create on days I am really not feeling it.
What is your goal?
Before you start a blog, you need to find out why you want to actually be a blogger. Now, I can tell you right off the bat, that if you think you can make a shitload of money in a couple of months, you are wrong. Affiliate payments are very low. The best thing you can do, is to work on your blog, make it look presentable and create. Your blog is your portfolio, it is where potential clients look first. And with clients I mean those that you could potentially write for. Because the one best way to make money of your sexblog is to go into writing.
But you could have other goals too. Like having lots of followers and readers, or getting feedback, or creating a safe space to express yourself. Your goal determines how much effort you put into the different parts of your blog, and how often you write.
My goal was to write and to be read. It was simple as that. I didn’t want to be successful or popular, I didn’t want to make money. I just wanted to write about something and feel like what I write is relevant. But I have adjusted that goal a bit now: I want to make money, while also continuing what I love doing. I still want to write, but I also put extra effort into selling my brand, so to say. This blog is my brand. And even if it is very personal, it is still what people see first. As a matter of fact, people appreciate if you are personal and come across as a real person with real issues. Like with any artist and creator, people want to get to know the person behind the content or art.
How I keep Afloat
It is hard for me to be consistent and always put in the same amount of effort. My mental illnesses make it hard for me to get out of bed sometimes, so you can imagine how it affects my creativity and focus as well. But I am on the path towards my goals. I feel my blog is growing the way I want it to grow. And I feel like the way I handle it is not affecting my mental health negatively. Here is what I do to keep that balance:
Write regularly and plan
I try to publish at least a post a day. I have realized that I need to set myself that goal so I don’t lose the emotional connection to my blog. And I like that sort of accomplishment. What that post is about depends on my mood: a post for a meme, erotica, reflections, sex, mental health, a picture. Most days I publish more than one post, but my minimum is one post. I was worried for a while that I have traded quantity for quality, but I don’t think I have.
I only publish things that I am satisfied with. But that is me. Everyone has different posting schedules, and that is okay. It is about how it fits into your life, if you have another job, the way that you write. I can write 4000 words a day without a problem and that is only for my blog. And I handwrite letters, I write my journal. I am a writer. It comes natural to me. Find what fits your life and your habits.
It is also important for me to plan ahead. I have a planner (and I love playing around with it) and a paper notebook. I plan my writing about three weeks ahead. And I write down my ideas. I plan at least one post a day, but mostly, I have two to three ideas written down for every day, and then I see how I am doing that day and how much I can get done. Planning is very important if you want to be consistent.
Take part in memes and challenges
There are a lot of memes, prompts and challenges that you can part-take in as a sexblogger. I check the different memes and prompts, and if I have something relevant to say, I put it down in my schedule. A lot of times it sparks my creativity. It also leads to views, likes and comments. But not only that, checking other people’s contributions to the prompts helps me to stay connected to the sexblogging community, and sometimes I even get inspired to write about something someone brought up.
Find a niche and stick out
Even though the sexblogging community is a niche in itself, just being someone who writes about the exact same thing everyone else writes about, you might not get the sort of readership you’d like. Maybe you have a fetish that is different, or you want to talk about LGBTQ+, or BDSM, or how your disability affects your sex life. Write about who you are, because it will help you find your niche. You can also dip your toe into a lot of different niches at once (I do just that). But try to not be too mainstream: most sexbloggers are middle aged white women from English speaking countries who write vanilla erotica. Even if you are just that, try to add some spice, anything that makes you different from others, while not losing maybe the readership that likes mainstream sexblogs.
Write what you know most about and never stop writing
If you feel like you are hitting a writer’s block, write about what you know. The important thing is to never stop writing. Unfortunately, once you are not active, you become irrelevant. It is important to keep that in mind: I know that is pressure, but you need to keep your goals in mind. You can scale back on your writing schedule and go back to basics. Write about your writer’s block, write about why writing is hard right now. But if you stop writing, you lose the connection to your own writing and your audience, and that will make it even harder to start again.
Take the tips from other sexbloggers seriously
Read the Smutlancer and follow their advice. Ask other bloggers what works for them. There are certain skillsets that you need to acquire to reach all possible goals in sex blogging: how to do good SEOs so you get views from search engines, learn how to make social media work for you, learn how to make your blog accessible and user-friendly.
Those all might seem like boring skillsets but they are not difficult to learn, and they will all make a difference for whatever goals you have, because in the end, we all want readers, right? I am sometimes annoyed with the extra work but I am doing it consistently. If I write a post, I do the SEO after, I promote it on social media, and I reply to all the comments I get. And that is just the work I do after I have written the post. Don’t even get me started on taking relevant pictures for each blog post, or looking for some.
How Important is the Sex Blogging Community?
I mentioned the sex blogging community a few times, so let’s talk about that for a moment. In my journey as a sex blogger, it has been incredibly helpful to be part of the sex blogging community. I have read a lot of the free resources, and I have met many supportive bloggers who pointed me into the right directions on things. I have received constructive feedback and also lots of compliments. It is great to know there are people who are in the same community I am in, who appreciate what I do. And I have been trying to give back by helping new bloggers with their blogs, with feedback, with pointing them to memes and prompts. I get quite a lot of messages from newer bloggers asking for help on Twitter, and I always reply!
But not everything is as shiny as it seems. It never really is. Everyone in the community competes for the same readers, the same jobs, the same attention. And some people are not as nice about it as others. In such an open, fluid and vibrant community without any strong framework or leaders, sometimes things blow up, especially when people forget that they actually operate in a sort of professional environment. Is the community non-judgmental and welcomes everyone with open arms? Mostly, yes. But we are dealing with real people, and not everyone can get along. That is okay.
It is not about getting along or agreeing with everyone, but it is about how to handle uncomfortable situations. Some people you can become friends with, others you rather want to avoid. I can’t tell you who those people are for you, but I know who they are for me. It is about choosing your battles, and as always, remember your goals, and not spoiling your brand.
Do I agree with people getting paid for giving bloggers advice on how to run a successful blog? Let me say it like this: this is capitalism, and if there is a need, there is going to be someone who offers to fulfill that need. I don’t know if it is helpful or not, but I have been faring well with just going with the feedback I have received from those who cared about giving me some. I don’t judge: if you have the means and you feel you can improve with some guidance, do what you feel is right for your specific situation.
Burning Out and Impostor Syndrome
Let me finish this post by talking about something that most bloggers have to deal with at one point: burn out and impostor syndrome. If you feel like writing a new post for your blog is just a chore, when you feel stressed out by deadlines of projects or prompts, when looking at your blog fills you with anxiety, and you are unable to come up with new ideas: you might be suffering from a burn out.
I have been there and the only thing that has helped me in that situation is to scale back on the things that I am involved in, and my blogging schedule, and only do the basics to maintain my blog. That means that I still write but not as much. And I focus on other things in my life for a while and stay away from my blogging related social media for a while. Self-care and a bit of distance usually does the trick.
Another thing that I often struggle with is impostor syndrom. It means that I feel like I am a bad writer and I don’t deserve all the attention I get. I am afraid that I will soon be found out and people will see that I am really just pretending to be good and confident with my writing. These thoughts are often triggered when I have a bad day in stats, or one of the posts I have published doesn’t get any attention. I want to delete my blog so I don’t need to experience the embarrassment of being found out. The impostor syndrome is a moment thing and talking about it with others has really helped me in the past.
Being a sex blogger can be a lot of work and a lot of stress. It is all about what you make of it and what your goals are. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing, and that you don’t forget about self-care and sometimes taking a break to focus on other things in life too. You don’t need to do every prompt, get 20 000 views a day, or compete with others. You decide how much effort you put into things, and if the expectations and goals you have set for yourself make sense to you.