It’s going to make me sound full of myself, but I hear less blunt variations of this question semi-regularly. Sometimes they’re just asking in passing. Sometimes they genuinely want pointers. Sometimes I critique reviews (when asked to do so). Today I’m going to impart a little bit of my writing knowledge to you. If you already know all this: great! Good job! Asspats all around! But if you don’t, maybe you’ll learn something. This is one out of two posts about how to write in a way that people will want to read.
Write About What You Want
If you’re writing a sex blog it doesn’t have to be about toy reviews, or ONLY toy reviews. It doesn’t have to include erotica. Or if you want to write erotica you don’t have to write educational posts. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean that you should. And more importantly, don’t let a fear of judgment keep you from writing whatever you want. It’s your blog. You do you. If you write it they will come. Other platitudes go here. If you want to write about sucking whipped cream out of an asshole then do it. Someone will inevitably google that and will find your website.
Have a Point
Please know what you’re about to write. If you want to vent or ramble or navel-gaze then warn us that you’re about to do so, otherwise, have a point. Make an outline if you must. If you really want to make sure that we’re with you, introduce your point at the beginning of your post, flesh it out in the middle, and remind us of what the point was in your conclusion.
I know just as well as anyone how easy it is to sit down and brain dump everything into one place. It’s fine to do that just to get words on the page, but don’t publish that entire ramble. You might have two or three separate blog posts’ worth of points in there, so you’re shortchanging yourself, and you’re also screwing us over because we probably don’t want to read 3,000 words of aimless babbling, and anyone who slogs through it in search of a hidden gem of knowledge is going to resent you when it’s not there.
Don’t try to be like the other bloggers. There are hundreds (is that an overestimate? I don’t think so. thousands, maybe. this is the internet) of sex bloggers. It’s certainly okay if you’re similar to another blogger, but don’t feel like your writing will suffer if you’re not. You don’t have to be poly to impart great wisdom about overcoming jealousy. You don’t need to be kinky to write hot sex scenes. You don’t have to like anal to be a respectable toy reviewer.
We don’t need another carbon copy of one of us on the scene. What we want is fresh blood with a fresh voice.
Find Your Voice
Figure out who you are as a writer and then put yourself on the page. Are you a smartass? Demonstrate it. Are you a nurturer? Write constructive, helpful posts. Once you’ve found your voice, use it. Make your writing a reflection of yourself. Let us see who you are, and talk about yourself and how you feel. Do this before you try to build your audience, because if they come to you expecting something you did once and you don’t keep doing it, they’re not going to keep reading. Do you really want to go through the trouble of building a readership more than once?
Most people don’t go to sex blogs to read thirty cold, unfeeling, strictly informative posts. We want to get to know the person behind the blog. You can do this without giving away sensitive information like your real name. In fact, you could stick your real name on a blog and if you don’t develop your voice then we won’t have learned anything about you.
Don’t Try to Force Your Jokes
We all make jokes that fall flat sometimes. If your jokes aren’t coming with relative ease then you need to slow your roll; don’t try to force them out. Maybe this post isn’t going to be the funniest thing on your blog, and that’s okay. There’s always the next post. Good posts don’t have to be funny. Hell, maybe funny isn’t your thing. Good news: it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of blogs are read because they’re informative or interesting, and most of them don’t focus on being humor blogs.
Edit Your Work
If you want to take your writing from good to great (or poor to passable), edit your work. Write it all out, and then edit it. (You will have a bad time if you try to edit while you’re writing. I do it all the time and I need to stop because I end up with strange orphaned sentences.) Proofread your writing before you post. If you have time, take a break before proofreading, then come back and do it. Read it out loud to make sure you catch errors. Read it backwards. Once you’ve proofread it once do it again just to be sure your corrections make sense. Once you’ve posted your piece read it again and edit it if you catch an error.
Don’t be redundant. Don’t cram your writing full of unnecessary adjectives. Learn grammar and use it correctly. Your computer comes with spellcheck – do not ignore it. Nothing turns me off more than a review that clearly has not felt the loving embrace of spell check. I will stop reading anything that has a lot of spelling and grammar errors that distract me from the content. It could be the most interesting story in the world and I would still sooner chuck my laptop out the window than finish reading it.
That’s it for my general advice! Stay tuned, because in the next How Do I Write post I’m going to give you tips specific to sex toy reviewing.