Adult Blogging Tips

So I got an email:

Dear SpankBoss,

I like SpankingBlog.com very much. How did you get started? What advice would you give someone wanting to start a similar website with a different theme?

It’s a fair question. I’m assuming by “similar website with a different theme” my correspondent meant “adult blog, niche/fetish, but not M/f spanking”. Here’s an edited version of the answer I sent:

You get started by starting — it’s really that simple. There’s no substitute for diving in. You don’t need a perfect template — you’ll tweak that later. Just start blogging.

There are a lot of things that worked for me, that I consider important:

DO: Do blog every day. This doesn’t mean you can’t miss a day. It just means that, week in and week out, your visitors should find something new every time they come to your site — so they’ll make it part of their daily routine.

DO: Do stick to your theme. If you start, say, footfetishblog.com, then make sure you blog about feet 99 times out of a hundred. Your personal life, insofar as it pertains to feet, is on-topic. Six entries in a row about how your job sucks (unless you sell shoes or do pedicures) probably are not on topic. Too many BDSM-themed blogs degenerate into angst-ridden personal diaries of emotional pain when the people involved are having relationship problems. Resist the temptation to go down that road; it’s boring to everyone but you and your closest blog-friends. If you haven’t had any hot footjobs lately, don’t blog about the lack; instead, for your daily post find somebody on the internet who is having hot foot fun and link to them.

DO: Do make sure you love your theme. If you don’t, you’ll be bored blogging about it every day. Next thing you know, it will be six weeks since you’ve posted.

DO: Do plan for the long haul. When you blog, you are building a personal brand. That takes time. If you can’t see yourself maintaining your blog in three years, why go to all that effort?

DO: Do make sure you own and control every aspect of your blog. Buy your own domain. Pay for our own hosting, especially for any images you are putting up. (All free image hosting services suck unwashed donkey.) Make sure you control your blog software and that nobody else has a right to syndicate or profit from the text on your blog.

DON’T: Don’t use a “blogging service” — you don’t need it, and if your blog is on someone else’s domain, you don’t really own it. What if they go bankrupt and close their doors? Where is your blog then? Much better to have it on your domain, which you can move to a new host in a few hours if trouble strikes. Or what if your blogging service starts running ugly ads beside your blog posts? Sure, they don’t do that now — but who knows what they’ll do after an IPO, two mergers, and a corporate acquisition?

Do: Do blog for the search engines. Which is to say, blog for people who don’t know what a blog is, but who would enjoy finding you when they type your theme words into a search engine. How do you do that? It’s easy. Get a domain name that incorporates your theme words. If footfetishblog.com is taken, try footfetishes.com or foot-fetish-blog.com or footblog.com or whatever. Make sure “foot fetish” appears in your page title and in your blog title or subtitle. Use HTML the way it was designed; make sure your blog entry titles are surrounded by header tags, and (where possible) make sure they have good keywords. All other things being equal, tomorrow’s post will get more search engine visitors over time if you title it “Pretty Feet On The Stairs” than if you title it “I’m Drooling On My Monitor”. Google “honest search engine optimization” and follow the advice you’ll find.

Do: Do participate in the blogging community. Read the blogs on your blogroll. Blog about what they say, if you have something to add. Leave comments on the blogs you read. This is actually the best way to attract readers when you are just starting out — people will read your comments and, if they like what you say, they will click through to your blog. The blogger on whose blog you comment will surely click through, and may link you if he or she (a) likes what you are doing and (b) is flattered to discover you are already linking to them. Note well: Leaving stupid comments, or empty “LOL” or “I like this” comments, will not have the same result; people will (rightly) take you for a comment spammer, and will ignore you or delete your comments.

Do: Do have a blogroll. I shouldn’t have to say this — it’s included in the previous paragraph. But I do have to say it. I get tons of link requests from “bloggers” who don’t link to anybody. They use blog software, and they write something every day, but they don’t participate in the blogging community. They don’t link to anyone and they don’t have a blog roll. I don’t understand this mentality. I mean, why would you ask other people to link to you, if you can’t be bothered to link to anyone else? I actually know of a fairly good spanking “blog” that does this. They’ve asked me to link them up, and I’d put them up in the “Spanking Blogs” section in a hot minute — if only they would participate in the community. But as it is, they want to suck traffic in and not share any back out. Go figure. No matter how good you are, you’re never that good.

Do: Do link generously and profligately. When in doubt, link. Link whenever you think your readers would like to visit the site you are linking.

Don’t: Don’t worry about link backs. If you like a site well enough to link to it, link to it. If you wouldn’t link to a site unless they gave you a return link, that means you don’t think it has value for your surfers. Which means, it still doesn’t, after the backlink. Forget about backlinks. Link for your surfers. You’ll be surprised how often you get a backlink anyway.

Do: Do be very wary of negotiated link exchanges. If somebody has already linked to you, and emails you to ask for a return link, try to give their site a fair look. It’s polite to reciprocate, but not fair to your surfers if the site sucks. However, if someone emails you about an “exchange of links”, but hasn’t put your own link up yet, they are telling you “I don’t think your site is good enough to link to, but I’ll do it anyway if you’ll link to me first.” Screw that. Half the time, even if you do put up the link, they never reciprocate. But the important point is: they don’t respect you enough to link to you. They only want your return link. Again, screw that.

Don’t: Don’t feel you have to respond to all the link exchange results you will get (and you will eventually start getting dozens every day). First of all, most of them will be automated spams. Do you feel the need to be polite to the electronic robot who telephones you during dinner to sell you car insurance? Me, I just hang up. Second, for your own sanity, you must resist the temptation to try and answer every link request, even the ones that are obviously from humans. Much of the time you would be saying “no” — and it’s incredibly difficult and time-consuming to write polite rejection letters. If you can’t say something nice, it’s politer and easier to say nothing at all.

Don’t: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking traffic doesn’t matter. It does. Remember, you are building a personal brand, even if you never hope to make a dime from it. That means you want readers, and you want exposure. Again, why bother to blog if nobody reads? It’s a lot of time and energy; for most people, the rewards for that include positive feedback from as many real people as possible. Also, if you are blogging about adult topics, the traffic you’ll earn has a substantial economic value, because you could sell ads whether you choose to, or not. Eventually, people will start offering you money for your blog and your domain name. There are also practical benefits to having lots of traffic. If you link someone, and their server stats go through the roof, they are more inclined to link back to you.

Don’t: Don’t advertise at first, even if you eventually decide to do so in order to cover your hosting costs or to make beer money. Blog advertising is very tricky. When in doubt, think twice. Make sure your ads don’t overwhelm your blog. You don’t want to resemble those plastic commercial “porn blog” horrors exemplified by, say, analsexblog.com. (No link; if you go visit, you’ll see why not. Ugh.) If you point your readers to a pay site, be honest. Don’t say something empty and plastic and implausible, like “This is the best foot fetish site ever!” Instead, say something real, such as “I like this pay site because the blonde girl that models for them has the prettiest toes — I’d lick peanut butter off of them all day.” (Don’t say that, either, unless you actually would.) In the long run, if you are popular, you won’t be able to pay for bandwidth without some ads. But don’t worry about advertising for the first six months or a year. At first, you won’t have enough traffic to make it worth wasting screen space on the ads. Also, many bloggers have a leftish horror of potential profit — they’ll make snide remarks, and not link you, if they spot an advertisement. So you might as well wait until you have plenty of traffic — leaving ads out of the equation will make it easier to grow at first.

Don’t: Don’t ever vandalize your own blog. I see this all the time. Somebody gets bored, or busy, or a family member or co-worker discovers the blog. The next thing you know, they’ve deleted all their posts and the URL goes 404. It’s a huge mistake, and it doesn’t do any good. If it’s ever been on the internet, it’s in somebody’s archive or cache somewhere, so taking it down won’t help. Worse yet, all the links to your blog are now broken — you’ve just accomplished an enormous act of internet vandalism. You’re much better off simply to say “this blog has gone on hiatus” and leave all the posts up. That way, people can continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And, if circumstances ever change, you can pick up where you left off, only with a considerable portion of your “brand” already constructed and firmly entrenched into the structure of the web. Taking your blog offline is like burning down your garage because you just got a sixty-day driving license suspension. Don’t do it.

That should be enough to get you started!

  1. Eva commented on March 10th, 2005:

    wow, what a cool post.

    i’m not a blogger, but i sure understand the beauty of sharing information and experience. it’s so lovely to see your generosity in action.

    thanks again for a great site and happy new year,

    eva

  2. Rachel commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Oh boy. Another thing I really ought to be doing every day. Just what I need.

    Good advice, though. I only wish it were possible for me to produce lapidiary prose in any kind of predictable way.

  3. Spankboss commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Patty, you are absolutely right about choosing a host that’s adult friendly. So much so, in fact, that it’s worth searching out a host whose customers are mostly pornographers. A lot of those guys are offshore and/or anonymous, and they just laugh at complaint mail.

  4. Harvey commented on March 10th, 2005:

    I really like your thoughts about treating your blog like you’re “building a brand” even if you don’t intend to try to make money off it.

    More bloggers should take your advice and be who they are instead of trying get traffic any way they can.

  5. Patty commented on March 10th, 2005:

    hmmmm interesting and sound advice…

    I wouldn’t have thought of the blog about what interests you though… LOL… would people really blog about something that didn’t interest them?

    I agree with the links advice… link to what you like… even if you never get a link back… it tells people about your taste helps folks who share your identify and connect with you…

    If you’re not able to go for your own domain and pay for hosting right away, then be careful to choose a service with the least restrictive Terms of Service possible… Any host with disclaimers about offensive content especially content that may be considered pornographic or offensive, could shut you down based on a single peice of hate mail, Don’t go there.

    When or if you do have to move your blog off of a free service, make sure you choose a host who is the least restrictive and most *adult* friendly as you can afford, even if you don’t want to post adult material… these hosts are less likely to turn on you if they get complaint mail about your content… Freedom of speech is simply NOT a reality among webhost servies…

    great post SB…

  6. Raju Mehta commented on March 22nd, 2005:

    Awesome tips. Liked the tips on *reciprocal* links and also the tips for search engine optimization. Brilliant stuff overall.

    Eagerly awaiting more tips in the future…

    Best Wishes,

    Raju.

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