We need to talk about politics

When you’re giving blog advice I’m always tempted to go for the easy wins: SEO (use the phrase ‘butt plugs’ in a post and watch the traffic come rolling in!) or social (tweet your blog posts loads – people will come!). But lots of people have covered these before, and the thing that’s most valuable to me is a bit less tangible than that, so I’m going to have a go at explaining it here.

I think I’ve stumbled on it by accident, as a result of being a loudmouthed, opinionated nobhead, but here goes… my best sex blogging tip:

Talk about more than just sex.

Your life, your opinions, the news – other things that draw your eye, even if they’re only tangentially related to boning. Here’s why:

Sex sells secretly

We all know that sex is interesting – it’s why you’re here, and why you write, and personally it’s my number one hobby. People are curious about it – they’ll click on it and search for it and all that jazz. We’re also, luckily, living in an increasingly open society – people are more likely to share a sex article than they were ten years ago.

Remember when your Aunty Maureen used to send those chain emails entitled ‘FWD: Re: fwd; ALERT funny’ or what have you? Very rarely were they about dildos. These days, it’s possible that you – and your family members – get emails like this about dildos, or see facebook posts shared by mates which say ‘OMG I HAVE to get me this vibrator’ but I doubt they’re in the majority. News, opinion, politics, and pictures of cats all get shared more, because by and large what you’re selling is not something people always want to shout about.

So: politics. News. Opinion. These are all often far more shareable than an erotic story or a dildo review. No matter how good the review or story, I’m afraid.

Looking at my site stats, in the last month the most popular posts overall have been:

  • A filthy story about what sex would be like if my other half could jizz in extreme and unnatural quantities
  • An explicit overview of my love for butt plugs
  • Dirty accounts of first time pegging

None of which, you’ll probably agree, are the kind of things most people would share.

Compare that to my top three posts from Twitter:

  • A ranty post about the way people discuss childlessness
  • A discussion about the politics of female masturbation, inspired by reddit
  • The unnatural-quantities-of-jizz story (OK so sometimes people share the dirty ones)

You get the idea though. Although the majority of my traffic comes from search, and the majority of yours might too, having a mix of posts means you make your blog far more shareable. If every post is a review, or a dirty story, your sharing potential is going to be limited to other erotic writers, and people who are comfortable having that kind of stuff on their facebook timeline.

So what should you write?

Take your passions, mix them with sex, and write whatever comes out. For me, the mix is around fifty percent filth, fifty percent feminism, but that changes over time: at the moment I’m on a SexTech jag, because I’m fascinated by VR porn, sex robots, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Consequently I can chat about these things whenever they pop up in the news.

When I first started blogging, I was doing a lot of online dating – so dating site messages, chatting up, and the politics of choosing who gets to stay for breakfast were all things that I’d cover if an idea came up.

Other bloggers have similar crossovers but with different areas of interest. For example Violet Fenn, of the rather spectacularly titled ‘Sex Death Rock and Roll’ brings a rock influence to her writing, so over on her blog you’ll find a searing takedown of Dave Navarro (from Red Hot Chili Peppers’) casual sexism and a Rammstein dildo set.

You need to talk about politics (and love, sport, debt, mental health)

Sex is amazing, and brilliant, and if you’re here I’m guessing it’s the main focus for your blog. But alongside the reasons mentioned above, I think talking about broader topics helps you to gather an audience of like-minded people (or, in some cases, opposite-minded people who’ve popped over from reddit to call you a twat). It helps to spark debate and get you new ideas. It encourages people to think of you not just as a sex-machine, churning out posts to get them horny, but as a person with opinions and desires and mistakes and all that good stuff.

What’s more, it gives you a release: you’ve got yourself a platform now, so you can use it to spread your ideas on everything from who should do the washing up to evolutionary psychology. My rather sneaky philosophy is that people who come for the filth may well stay for the feminism, and see some ideas that they’d never have found if their ‘butt plug jerk off’ search had just led them to PornHub. And vice versa – there are people who’ll read one of the feminist posts because it’s been shared quite widely on twitter, then they might click on the ‘dirty stories’ section and perhaps they’ll like what they find.

So the moral of the story is: don’t feel like because you’re a sex blogger that’s all you have to be. It’s your blog – write about what you love. You can introduce your audience to ideas, stories, and fun things that they may never have come across before. And then they’ll share them. Or at least, they’re more likely to share them than the post you wrote about fisting. Poor, neglected fisting.

If that’s not enough to persuade you, here are two of the top sex blog things I’ve seen shared on my network this week – neither is about sex, but both have popped up quite a lot in my Twitter timeline. Both are excellent.

@ht_honey discussing language shaming

@exposing40 talking about childlessness

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