Eroticon 2018 was my first Eroticon (and hopefully not my last!). I was only able to go on Saturday and attend the meet and greet on Friday, but it was an amazing eperience. Here are 10 things I took away from Eroticon:
Your words can change the world
Girl on the Net opened the conference with a look back at what has happened in the last year as far as sex is concerned and the news wasn’t good. She also touched on the work we do as sex bloggers and erotica writers and how important it is. My favourite quote from that talk was this:
We can’t all do everything, but everyone can do something.
As a baby blogger, it was motivational and inspiring to hear that no matter how small I am, I can still make a difference. Also hearing that Girl on the Net, who I really look up to, also wrestles with self doubt at times, makes me feel less alone in my struggles. I came away from this session with a renewed sense of self worth as a blogger.
A gorgous mini flogger
At my second session, a workshop run by KinkCraft, I made a mini flogger. While I am not into spanking and flogging, the mini flogger was the easiest to make and I liked the look of it, so I chose that one. Had I attended Sunday as well, I may have done another workshop and made handcuffs, but as I was only there one day, a mini flogger it was.
Not only is the flogger gorgeous (and it was easy to make), afterwards Emmeline Peaches offered her arm for me to flog and returned the favour by expertly flogging my arm. And friends, I liked it. A LOT. As soon as I got home I showed my husband the flogger and told him I want him to use it on me. And he agreed. So as soon as I am over this terrible cold we will try it out. And I will make sure to report back.
I thought I would be really shy around all the people I didn’t know, but I was wrong. I was super shy and slightly uncomfortable on Friday at the meet and greet. When I went home after, I realised there were many people I didn’t say hi to and I resolved to meet all my awesome Twitter friends in person on Saturday.
So on Saturday I introduced myself to anyone I came within talking distance of. I managed to meet all my Twitter pals, and I also met new people who I hadn’t known of before. I spent my lunch having a very interesting chat with Mrs Dutch Veronique who is starting a new blog for women over 50. I am looking forward to seeing where she will take her blog.
A list of things to do to my blog
I attended Kayla Lords‘ session on how to make money off your blog without losing your adience or your soul and I really loved that session. I came away with a long list of things I need to change on my blog.
First I learned about no follow links and when to use them and I realised I have not been using no follow links consistently. Whenever a company sends you a toy in exchange for a review, any links to that product or company on your blog needs to be a no follow link. That is one things I rectified as soon as I came home.
I also was very heartened to hear Kayla say that affiliate links are great, but to really make money with them is a numbers game. You need a lot of visitors and a lot of product reviews and as I have neither it’s no surprise I haven’t made any money off affiliate links yet. I feel good about my decision to take my affiliate links from my sidebar.
I am also going to be better at promoting my services and one of the actions I can take towards that goal is to create a “Work with me” page. So keep your eye out for that!
A better understanding of legalities regarding sex blogging
This may sound boring, but Neil Brown’s talk on the legal aspects of sex blogging was anything but that. Neil spent a long time talking about the Digital Economy Act, which definitely helped my understanding of the ramifications. I am less scared of it for my own blog, but I still think the Act is problemetic.
A favourite quote of Neil’s is the following (and I paraphrase as I didn’t write it down):
If they say they will pay you when they are happy with your work, they are not going to pay you.
He talked about being up front about your prices and not undervaluing yourself. I liked his tips on negotiating: don’t reduce your price if someone says they can’t pay you what you ask, but reduce the scope of the work. I thought that was really brilliant. It makes common sense, but in the sex blogging industry we are always made to feel like we should offer our services for free, so having a negotiating tool that doesn’t devalue us is great.
The Truth Anthology
I picked up my copy of the Truth Anthology at Eroticon 2018 and I was very excited to see my name in a book. Sadly, that enthusiasm was dampened as my name is spelled wrong: if you got your copy at Eroticon, you will see that my name is spelled Isabelle Warren, rather than Isaelle Lauren. Obviously that was a bit of a blow, but I am happy to report that the eBook edition has been corrected and any future paper editions will have my correct name in it. For now, just remember that the story Your Love is my Strength is written by yours truly. You can buy your own copy of the Truth Anthology at Amazon and, as I said, if you buy the Kindle version, you will get it with my correct name.
Of course I am not the only writer in the anthology, as many other attendees and speakers contributed to this great book. I am defintely excited to read what all my fellow writers have created for us.
An awesome Doxy T-shirt
I love this T-shirt from Doxy. Will warned us that the sizing of the T-shirts is off, so I took a medium, but I really should have taken a large (good incentive to get healthier and lose a few pounds!). Not only did I get a Doxy T-shirt, but I also got to test the Doxy 3 (on my hand) and wow, is it ever rumbly! It sounded quite quiet as well, but it’s difficult to gauge how quiet a toy is when you’re in a crowded hallway. I am almost halfway to saving up for my very own Doxy – I promised myself I would buy a Doxy from my first income earned from my website/writing.
A renewed interest in different sex toys
I really liked perusing the sponsor stands to see what everyone had to offer. I chatted with Tabitha Rayne at the Rock Off Ltd. stand and it was lovely to meet her after having exchanged some DMs about the Ruby Glow.
I also checked out the Hot Octopuss stand. I had asked ages ago if I could review some of their toys, but their policy is that you have to have 1000 followers (across platforms) in order to receive any sex toys for review, so I am still waiting. (Just to be clear: I think this is perfectly reasonable, seeing how small of a company Hot Octopuss is.) I really liked seeing all their toys. I had only really heard of the Queen Bee, but I really love the look of the Duo and would love to get my hands on one of those. So if you don’t follow me on Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? Help bring me to 1000 followers!
A bag full of swag
I received some great swag, and sadly I didn’t take a picture of it all. I feel very spoiled. There were a few awesome mugs, coffee from Amy (from Coffee and Kink), a beautiful pencil from Tabitha Rayne, some lovely notebooks (I always love notebooks), black Slube, and a lot of great goodies from Bijoux Indiscrets.
I am sure I am forgetting something, as I said, I didn’t take pictures of it all and due to the fact I have a very nosy 8 year old, I wanted to put everything in its place as soon as I came home. I am very interested in trying the Slube, it looks fun. I think hubby and I will need to plan a sexcation sometime soon.
Renewed energy, courage and a sense of self worth
The one message that was consistent throughout the whole day at Eroticon was this: Your work is valuable. Listening to Kayla Lords talk about ehtics and defining what you want to do with your own blog I realised that I need to forge my own path. I shouldn’t compare my blog – and how my blog is doing – to any other sex blog. I am unique and how I do things is fine. Because it’s my way of doing things.
I am very susceptible to peer pressure. I find it hard to shut up my inner critic, that voice that tells me that no one likes my blog, because my blog is different. That voice that tells me I need to review more products, or write more erotica, or put more pictures on my blog. But after Eroticon I realise that my blog is fine the way it is. I have a message. And that message needs to be heard. It may be a different message than the one my fellow bloggers put out there and that is fine. More than fine, actually, because it will make me stand out. And in the end, if I am not true to myself on my blog, this will negatively affect the quality of my writing and that will benefit no one.
Eroticon 2019, here I come!
I am so happy I went to Eroticon 2018. And I am definitely going to attend next year as well. This year a full weekend would have been too much, especially considering the bad cold I came down with. But now that I have done Eroticon 2018, I know more people and Eroticon 2019 will be less exhausting. So maybe I can come for the full weekend with a stay in London so I can also go to the Saturday social. We’ll see, but I am definitely going!