This week’s Wicked Wednesday is the 400th edition! I can’t believe that this has been going strong for more than seven-and-a-half years, that’s amazing! A huge thank-you to Rebel for keeping this going for so long. That can’t have been easy, especially since she tweets out little snippets of all the entries each week. I’m happy if I can read more than half the entries, so I can only imagine the time and effort it takes to run Wicked Wednesday. So: thank you, Rebel!
As this is the 400th edition, the theme this week is 400. A bit of a vague theme and I had hoped to be super creative with this somehow, but it didn’t work out. I checked to see if I had maybe reached 400 blog posts on my blog, but alas, this blog posts is the 309th.
Which made me think. I started this blog just over three years ago. After my hysterectomy, I had all this renewed energy and I started feeling sexy again, so I wanted an outlet for my thoughts around that. Hence this blog. I have to admit that I didn’t think I would last this long. Many times over the years have I considered giving it up. But each time, when my slump kept continuing, other sex bloggers reached out and encouraged me to keep going. In particular, I would like to mention May More, who always seems to sense when she has to give me a nudge to get going again.
I started with just thoughts and some book reviews. At that time I thought I was just a voice calling in the wilderness with no one to hear me. Which was not entirely wrong: in the beginning, I was happy if I had a reader a day. Now I average over 5,500 page views a month! It’s sometimes so easy to look at how well others are doing and then being hard on ourselves, which I constantly do. But when I look at how far I have come, I am amazed and so grateful.
Back in the day, when I was just a baby blogger, I just used WordPress to make my site. Once I connected with more sex bloggers, I learned how dangerous that is, particularly when you talk about sex. WordPress has full control over your blog if you don’t self-host, so that is a huge risk. I made the move to self-hosting not too soon after I started blogging and for a while, I was really happy. I had full control over my blog and I could customise it the way I wanted.
Sadly, my web host went bust without warning, taking three years worth of payment – and the contents of my blog – with it. I was devastated, especially since I had been stupid and hadn’t made regular back-ups of my site. Thanks to the help of Michael (aka domsigns) I was able to recover a number of my old blog posts and I found a new web host. I now have my domain name registered with one company and my hosting with another. And I take regular back-ups of both my WordPress posts and my site in general. (And you should too!)
And now my blog has quietly tipped over the 300 blog posts mark. I have never really made money off my blog. When I was still doing sex toy reviews, I was not savvy enough to use my affiliate links in such a way that I made money off them. I also made the decision not to advertise on my blog, as in the beginning I simply didn’t have enough traffic to be attractive to companies and now I don’t review sex toys anymore, so it won’t make sense to companies to advertise.
I tried Patreon for a brief spell, but I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer that people would want to pay for, so that never really got off the ground. (I also didn’t get any Patreons after months of advertising, so that was another consideration.) And despite having a Ko-Fi link on my site, I can count on the fingers of half a hand how many times someone has bought me a coffee. I’m just not very good at actively raising money to keep my site running. I keep all my stories free on my site and the only thing I advertise is my debut novel (and I’m not even really successful at that, looking at the sales figures of my book).
My website has always been my place. A place where I called the shots and where I could do whatever I wanted. Monetising means compromise, a compromise I wasn’t willing to make. I don’t have enough time to devote myself to SEO and marketing, and that’s fine. My blog is my hobby. My stories are free, as I like the freedom to write whatever I want. To experiment with different stories or writing styles.
This does not mean that my blog hasn’t been profitable at all. Thanks to my blog, I have been able to get some paid writing gigs. I write regular non-fiction articles for a website (under my real name) and I have written quite a few erotic short stories for various websites and apps. I am grateful for those opportunities.
I am happy I have kept my blog running for all these years. I like that I am participating in memes more often, as it keeps me motivated to blog and it does bring more traffic to my site. I have decided to give up trying to fit into the sex blogging community. I am not really the fitting-in type anyhow and the sooner I accept that I will always be an outlier, the happier I will be. It’s fine: I do things my way and I appreciate that isn’t for everyone. I enjoy blogging for me, and that is something I have to keep in mind. My blog is my happy place. It hasn’t been that way for some time, but since I made the decision to blog about what I want rather than what I think my readers might want, I have felt a lot better about it all.
Onward to 400 blog posts!
To read others’ thoughts on the Wicked Wednesday prompt, or to read other blog posts for January Jumpstart, click on the badges below.
It’s the roaring twenties.
Desperate to escape the stifling confines of her life with her aunt and uncle in New York, Jane Travers arrives at her friend Rachel’s country home determined to enjoy a summer full of fun and excitement. Rachel has promised her risqué parties, but what awaits Jane is beyond her wildest dreams. Guided by her old flame, Sidney Fitzroy, and the sensual singer Lillian Smith, Jane enthusiastically embarks on a journey of sexual self-discovery.
With Sidney and Lillian both satisfying her deepest desires, Jane sheds her restrictive upbringing and embraces her newfound freedom. As her feelings for both Lillian and Sidney intensify, Jane faces an impossible choice: a stable future with Sidney or a lifetime of excitement with Lillian.
But how can she choose when her heart belongs to both of them?