Pen to Paper: How to Be a Bitchin’ Blogger

Hello everyone!

I understand there’s a substantial amount of you out there that are newly stumbling out of a certain bad community, and aren’t sure where to go from here. It’s time for a little thing I call the “Princess Bride” moment – figure out what you have. In the movie, they had a cloak, wheelbarrow and a giant – chances are your skills and belongings are different, but no less useful. Let’s take stock for a moment, shall we?

1.) You are no longer constrained. Your rules are the house rules now, so if you feel like calling bullshit on bullshit, have at it! Does that jelly dildo smell like a populated fishtank left in the Arizona sun? Let your readers know, and don’t pull punches. I’m not saying that you need to go out of your way to find fault with things, but in the absence of a required happy-shiny corporate impression, your honesty will become your new currency. Spend it wisely to win over casual readers and give them something to come back for.

2.) Brush up a bit on SEO. Don’t know what SEO is? It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and in a nutshell it means that you write using certain keywords, in certain amounts, to show up earlier/higher up on Google results pages. If you want someone who pops “best waterproof vibrator” into Google to stumble across your page, you would work that phrase into your writing for a blog post or two, about once for every 150 words or so, which would give you a good Google-loved keyword density. Don’t let this trump your natural writing, please! You should know what SEO is and it’s basic concepts, but don’t base your writing on it or you’ll come across as a robot spammer instead of the awesome sexy blogger personality that you are. It’s especially important not to “stuff” keywords, which means that you should always avoid turning out sentences like “The best waterproof vibrators of all the best waterproof vibrators are definitely these, the best waterproof vibrators.” Google notices that and will give you a good smack on the nose with a rolled up newspaper if you do that.

Fun fact: remember all those nice reviews you used to write for the “price” of a toy? That toy likely cost the company nothing or less than 30% of what they were charging. Professional SEO content writers (*cough*me*cough*) make upwards of .10/word for their work, making decent money writing pretty chunks of writing for websites. Think about all the writing work you did on reviews, forums, articles and the like, look at your toy, and do the math. Chances are, you’ve been really undervaluing yourself! I’m not saying that barter doesn’t or shouldn’t work, but if you’re good at writing, don’t sell yourself short!

3.) None of us started as superstars. You’re going to have to build up some content on your site before you can really flirt with any toy sellers or toy makers, because you have to give them something to look at. Consider your blog as your resume – would you hire someone that had a pretty letterhead and blank paper beneath? Roll up your sleeves and make your blog not only look nice, but navigate well – make different categories for sections like reviews and editorials, fill in little things like “about me” pages, fill out your blog roll (the list of links to other blogs) with friends, and get cracking on some content. If you don’t have new toys to review or can’t afford to buy them, dig in your toy box and re-review ones you’ve already covered, but don’t plagiarize (copy) your old reviews. Why? Well, every piece of writing on the web has a sort of “Google virginity” attached to it – once it’s been posted anywhere, Google awards the “credit” to the original poster. This means that copying old work (even your own!) from the community you left will get you a thwap on the nose with that rolled up newspaper.

4.) Get involved. If you don’t have a twitter account, get one! Make yourself a “blogging identity” Facebook as well. Hook these up to automatically broadcast your posts when you make them live, and, if you’re savvy with widgets in WordPress, do the same thing there by putting your twitter feed right on your blog page. Have real, fun conversations with other sex bloggers on Twitter, and be sure to “follow” the accounts of ethical sex toy stores and manufacturers to get the latest info. You’ll find that these conversations make great fodder for posts (avoid spilling secrets or divulging personal info, natch) and can serve as wonderful inspiration. Round out your “brand” by buying a .com, if you like – they only cost about $10 a year from places like GoDaddy, and can be “pointed” to your free blog, allowing your readers to type in YourBlogName.com and get dropped right on your blog.

These are the first baby steps to building a great sex blog, and I’ll be sharing more later on. Need to ask a question? Feel free to hit me up on twitter, where I reside as @ThatToyChick . 🙂

 

6 Comments »

Advice: How To Buy A Sex Toy

AT A STORE

Some people buy a sex toy on impulse when shopping at a physical store, but don’t feel pressured to do this. I tell my friends – small things, like condoms and lube, are great to buy because the price really doesn’t vary a lot from online stores, and you’re likely to use them immediately and often. However, on larger items like rabbit vibrators or large masturbators (essentially any sex toy over $40 in the store), you owe it to yourself to comparison shop.

You can do this by looking on the box, just above the barcode. There will be a “sku” there (NOT the numerical barcode, which is usually about 16 numbers underneath the barcode itself) which you’ll want to copy down discreetly. Some newer cell phones, like the G1, have scanner apps that can do this for you automatically. Be polite and quick about doing this, and don’t give any reason for the nice counter folks to think you’re taking cell pics, which can be a big no-no in these places. Once you’re home with this code (if you’d written it down and not scanned it), toss it into google, minus any hyphens, and include the name of the toy if you’re having trouble turning it up.

You’d be surprised at the markup on some items. A rabbit that lists for $60 online might sell for twice that in the store! I don’t begrudge shop owners, natch, they’re just trying to make a profit and keep food on the table. This is why I advocate always purchasing condoms and lubes from the if you can – it’s a steady income that is easy to translate into repeat business as the customer’s supplies run low.

There are four major toy manufacturers – California Exotics, Doc Johnson, Pipedreams, and Topco – together these guys put out most toys, I’d estimate 80% or more currently on the market. All four of these companies have their collections on their respective sites for you to browse through. If something catches your eye, just type the name or code into froogle to comparison shop.

If the toy is by Topco, the code will have a format like  #1234-5

If the toy is by Doc Johnson, the code will have a format like # DJ1234-56

If the toy is by California Exotic, the code will have a format like # SE-1234-56-0

If the toy is by Pipedreams, the code will have a format like # PD1234-56

AT A HOME PARTY

It’s easy to feel like you have to buy something to be polite, which is one of the reasons why home parties for sex toys and other items like candles, cookware, jewelery, do so well. Again, same ideas apply – if you want to grab a lube or something small, by all means. Again, though, it’s better to research larger purchases before plunking down the cash. Also, almost all of the “party brand” specific lubes, lotions, oils, arousal creams, etc are repackaged major brands, so don’t think you can’t get another tingly lotion or flavored powder if you don’t grab it right then. Naturally, it’s nice to purchase something smaller from the host, but you can usually find  that large kit or expensive toy for a lot less elsewhere.

I know some people will boo and hiss at me for dissing home parties, but the truth of the thing is that the companies are still making a healthy profit off of these hostesses, perhaps more than they should. I have nothing against profit, but I have a bone to pick with any ‘job’ that makes you purchase anything to start working for them. My take is that if parties really are profitable, the company should furnish demo collections for hostesses, and rely on the program to recruit people, not the hostesses.

Leave a comment »