Site Updates!You may have noticed some major changes on the site from the end of last year to now, and since this is my first full month “back”, I’m going to take a minute to explain some and outline others: Posting Schedule – last year I was writing a lot. It was a goal of mine to publish 9-12 posts a month, and I succeeded for the better part of eight months (the months I missed, I published 7 pieces each). I figured that if I kept this up long enough, my traffic would improve, maybe social media followers, maybe my affiliate sales, maybe the paid work I could get from companies through sidebar ads, sponsored posts, etc. After eight months of this, I stepped back and looked at my analytics and realized that it actually…didn’t make any difference at all. It may have even lowered my traffic. I was spending so much time and effort pumping out post after post after post, hoping that if I invested enough it would start paying back financially, but it wasn’t. And frankly, I couldn’t keep devoting so much time and energy to something when my rent wasn’t being paid. So I took some time to figure out what I wanted, and I’m back with the hopes of a 5-post-a-month schedule for now. We’ll see where it goes. New Blogger Spotlight – one of my more recent Twitter call-outs received so, so many more responses than normal and it filled my queue up for the next year, with a couple months doubled up. I had to decide between rejecting some folks or increasing the frequency that I run the Spotlight, and so I’ve decided to run it the first and third Monday of each month! My queue is still quite full (7.5 months of names!), but there’s room for more! If you’re a blogger, vlogger, or podcaster under a year old, feel free to comment your info below, contact me, or reply to the above tweet! Feel free to peruse the other Spotlights to see what they look like! My Focus – historically, I have published a lot of sex toy reviews. I’m still going to publish some, but honestly I care more about kink and would rather review that rather than a vibrator (unless it’s an estim vibrator…..), and would rather direct my energy toward more kink content. I want to talk about chronic illness and disability and how that impacts my kink. I want to write about communication and long distance and balancing multiple dynamics. I want to talk about transness and sex work, about the choices we make for money, about how inaccessible all of this community is. And I want to help that. Which brings me to:
Ongoing and Upcoming Projects!Right now, I’m focused on building up and bringing together a community. What currently exists is not working and is not sustainable. What currently exists needs reshaping if we want the community to come together in any sort of way or to thrive. Which I absolutely do, and so do a lot of people. To work on that, I reached out on twitter to ask newer folk what they need to feel welcome in the community. I’m going to continue asking this as time goes on. I’ve taken the answers that I have currently and created the first two projects on my list to help provide what was requested:
- The Survey This survey is for all sex bloggers no matter blog age or topics. It’s intended to gather stats on the industry which will then be used as a way to more effectively track where you are. If the only stats I know belong to cis women who’ve been around twice as long as me, it can be easy to feel discouraged. If we have the data to compare income disparity and/or difference in traffic for able vs disabled bloggers or white vs BIPOC bloggers, we can use those numbers to our advantage to figure out where to direct advocacy efforts (I mean, I think people know that there’s a disparity, but how much?). You can also sign up for more info on a mentorship program, which will eventually be focused on!
- Blogger Guidebook
This is going to be a much bigger project, and likely an evolving one. What I read in the public and private threads about what people need is that they need access to information. They need transparency. Sure, a bunch of us have struggled a lot to figure our stuff out and gain footing, but that doesn’t mean everyone should forever. We can share. So I’ve started working on a guidebook, and if you are a more established blogger who cares about improving the community, I’d love to hear from you! I’ll be contacting everyone who signs up shortly; this guidebook will contain information ranging from setting up a site to making pitches to where you can appear in podcasts/guest posts/twitter chats to common pitfalls to dealing with imposter syndrome and more. This book will be free and publicly available on the internet for everyone to access.
It’s gonna be a big undertaking and I’m a bit anxious about it; I very specifically want it to be more than just my voice, so please, get in touch if you’d like to help! If you have additional things you’d like to see in the guidebook, get in touch, comment on twitter, or submit it anonymously!
- Accessibility Upgrade I’d like to improve the accessibility of my site, and plan on doing that in several ways: first, by going through the year or two of images that don’t have alt text and adding it. Second, making sure all the posts have accurate trigger warnings where needed. Third, taking a look at the language I’ve used in my pieces and correcting anything that I notice to be offensive, rude, or incorrect. And finally, adding audio recordings of me reading my essays to each piece. This last one isn’t exclusively for accessibility purposes, but it is a part of it. If you’d like to help with this process, contact me about accessibility sponsorship! I would love to give you the chance to be permanently advertised on the post that you’re upgrading, and you get to know that your money went toward making a more inclusive and accessible site. Anyone can sponsor; companies, manufacturers, other educators, or anyone with a website!
- Mentorship Program I’m not even going to consider tackling this until the first two are done, and honestly I would love if people wanted to help or take the lead on this one! Basically, it would be nice if a program existed where folks could learn from a more established person, if they wanted to. My survey has given the option for folks to sign up for more info if they want it, and indicate if they want to be a mentor or mentee, and we’ll build from there! That’s as far as I’ve gotten on this one; it’s fully not on my radar at all yet but made sense to include on the survey. The end.
- Read, Comment, and Share More I never read as much of other people’s work as I mean to. And when I do, I rarely do anything about it. Despite constantly wishing that I received more feedback and engagement, I fully haven’t done any work to give anyone else this, either. So I’m making an effort. Part one was to create an RSS feed (still transferring people over). It’s so much easier for me to read updates when they’re all in one place, I just need to make sure to click through to the site so that they get the traffic hits. And while there, might as well comment or hit share to social media! Part of what I’m doing going forward – both to help be accountable and to help promote you – is to add a section in this piece (starting next month) about what I read and liked that month! Big thanks to Pleasure Connoisseurs and her monthly highlights for reminding and inspiring me!
Woof, now that that’s covered and we’re 1100 words in, what did August have in store for me??
- I organized all of the above projects!
- I created an anonymous submission box that can be used to call me in/out to behaviours that are harmful that I am exhibiting or make me aware of behaviours in others, tell me what change you would like to see in the community, and/or talk to me about what needs aren’t being met. Like I said, there’s a lot that needs working on in the community, and that includes myself. It’s much easier to notice poor behaviour in others than it is to see it when you’re the one doing it, and I want to do better personally as well as help others. I enthusiastically welcome any feedback about how I can improve things on any front.
- #WorkingWEBnesday is taking off! This is a virtual coworking event, named by Caelan, where anyone can join in on a Google Hangouts voice call for a few hours and work together, get help from other people, etc. So far I’m the only one hosting them, but anyone is welcome to use the link and hashtag, or make your own link/not use the tag. It’s a way to network and make friends, be accountable, and get assistance with your work! If you have any suggestions for how it should be run better, I’d absolutely love that feedback.
- Teaching at Woodhull. Teaching there has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I’m very happy to have accomplished that. There was a small turn out, but I think the class went really well and it honestly worked wonders at reminding me that I’m capable of teaching at conferences and how I want to do it. A huge thank you to my sponsor Beyond Delights to helping me get there and for supplying me with vibrators to give out to people who may not have as good access to sex toys!
- I released three posts; Healing from Trauma, my spotlight on Idols of Sheela, and I Just Really Hate Conferences.
- I revamped my Patreon again, which you should definitely go peruse if you’d like to help support my work! Supporting now gives you access to vote for topics you want to see on the site as well as access to a Patrons-only video chat!
- I made so many amazing new connections in the industry. I connected with so many people who I had never met, and so many more who I respected but didn’t really know.
- I participated in one Sex Talk Tuesday again, on conferences and sexuality in the South. It has definitely been a minute since I did one of those, wow. I want to start getting back into twitter chats more regularly; we’ll see!
- Submitted an Effing Foundation grant application with Sugar and Nillin! We should find out today if we got it, and I’m feeling a little bit anxious! It’s the first grant I think any of us have ever applied for, so we’ll see how it goes.
- I finally got my butt in gear and did one of the #SexEdPornReviews for Pink and White! It was so much fun, and I appreciate Nillin poking me in the ribs to get on it already!
- I booked a trip to Ohio for early September to see lawyer-boy, my dominant booked his trip here for late that month as well, and I sent in a request to volunteer at a kink conference in November!
- August was also my highest traffic month yet! I passed 2k last night (previous highest being 1.9K), so hitting this milestone was kind of a big deal to me. I’m curious to see if the survey will help me with my negative feelings about how I feel my stats are low or if it’ll make me bad feelings worse…