How Do I Write? Pt. 2: Reviewing Advice
In the last How Do I Write post I talked about general writing advice. Today I’m going to drop some truth bombs about sex toy reviewing. Some people don’t understand how I can write about sex toys and what they can do to start writing about them too. Lots of people have written about starting as a sex blogger, and you can find some links to other very valuable posts about this topic at the bottom of this post. Here’s my advice.
Don’t Put a Ton of Product Specs in Your Review
I think it’s easy to fall victim to this when you’re a new blogger. I know I did. You see other bloggers who write PARAGRAPHS about the packaging, all the measurements, the wattage, and just about everything else that you can find on a good product listing on a vendor website. They do not usually do this with commentary, they do it in a strictly informative manner that I do not find appealing. Sure, this is based on my opinion, but I have yet to meet anyone that was dying to read more than a sentence about a plastic bag or standard clamshell packaging.
All you’re doing is padding your review. If your toy came in particularly repugnant or difficult packaging, sure, say a few words. If said packaging gave you more trouble than the toy is worth, fine, tell that story. It might be funny, and people love to laugh at your struggles – I once wrote a review that focused almost entirely around how I couldn’t get a bullet out of a butt plug.
If you want to say how big something is, that’s fine, but I don’t want to read the exact information from the description on the product page in your review unless it actually has some relevance to what you’re about to say. If that butt plug has a 4″ diameter just say that and move on, or at least inject some personality into it and tell me that it made you feel mighty or your ass wept with fear or something. Talk about how you feel about that stuff.
Do you know what’s relevant? How strong the vibrations are, what speeds/patterns are useful and enjoyable, ease of use and general accessibility, and how it feels. That’s what product specs don’t tell you. That’s why we read reviews. Everything else is filler, and repeating boring product specs is filler that most of us secretly hate.
Except the fucking product specs.
Your Review Doesn’t Have to be Smut
I’m sure there might be a market for this, but many of us don’t read reviews to read erotica. We might not like erotica, or we might prefer to keep those our erotica reading separate from our sex toy reviewing. If you want to write your reviews with explicit descriptions, then that’s fine! That can be your thing! But most of us do not, and your reviews don’t have to be, “I slid the Ina up and down my moist slit and rubbed it on my clit, moaning as warmth spread through my belly.” Most of us do not write like that and you don’t have to either unless you want to.
Don’t Apologize For Your Opinions About a Product
Sometimes you’re going to have unpopular opinions and you’re not going to like a product. You don’t need to grovel when you disagree with other people. We’re not going to form a mob and hunt you down if you don’t like the Eroscillator. I’d rather read a blatant, unapologetic, honest review that hated a toy I love than read something that spends four paragraphs saying, “Now I know this isn’t what everyone else feels like, and I’m sorry for this, and I wish I liked it, but…” No. If your genitals didn’t enjoy it then your genitals didn’t enjoy it. Limit yourself to one apology if you absolutely must apologize, finish writing your review, and move on.
And finally, relevant to what I just said is this:
Be Honest About Yourself and Your Reviews
Everyone says this, and we all mean it. You’re only hurting yourself if you’re not honest. How long do you want to keep writing a blog that’s based on lying to yourself and others? You can only keep telling yourself and us that you just loo-ooo-ooove everything about jelly toys for so long. “These chemical burns are the perfect accessory for a hot date!” “This melted in my bedside table but the strings of goop are great for tickling my taint!” “Pipedream makes high-quality, respectable products!” Quit it. You’re ruining the ethics of the sex blog industry and your inability to call it like you see it just convinces the Big Five (Pipedream, Topco, Doc Johnson, Cal Exotics, Nasstoys) that they can get away with making toys out of cancerous garbage and no one will call them on it. We deserve better.
BONUS! A little bit of free SEO advice:
Keywords are a thing. Use keywords like a human being would use them in casual conversation instead of peppering keywords into a sentence about keywords. Keywords are super important but you want your keywords to come out feeling natural otherwise keywords are annoying. Keyword stuffing is when you use your keywords unnaturally and not only will people hate your keyword stuffing they will also hate you and your keywords.
Focus keyword: keywords.
Shitpost level: over 9,000.
See how annoying that was? Google isn’t impressed by it, either, and you want Google to like you. This post is probably on the Google robot shitlist right now and I did this for your benefit, people.
Using Keywords Appropriately
Try to use your keyword in your title, your post URL, and your meta description. Put it in your tags. Use it in a header tag – your H1 tag, if possible. Try to get it within the first 200 words of your page. These are appropriate places to use a keyword without pissing anyone off. You can use them a few more times in your content, but make sure they occur in a way that feels natural and aren’t all smushed in there consecutively. Find some synonyms or something.
With that said, keywords aren’t nearly as important as they used to be, and they aren’t going to catapult you to the #1 slot of the search engine results. Create good, in-depth content around your keyword, content that will make people want to link back to your site (which will help your search engine ranking too).
Like I said above, other (more established) bloggers have also written about how to get into the sex blogging business.
Ace in the Hole
Five Things Every Sex Toy Reviewer Should Know
Your Crappy Writing Skills Turn Me Off
Why I Write – and Respect – Negative Sex Toy Reviews
Blogging 202: Taking Your Site to the Next Level
Lilly has many more posts in her Sex Blogger Education category, so you should just check them all out.
Beginner’s Guide to Sex Toy Reviewing and Blogging
15 Rules For Writing a Sex Toy Review That Doesn’t Royally Suck
Follow my advice and the advice of the seasoned bloggers. Do or do not, there is no try. If you do, your writing will improve. If you do not, I probably won’t read your blog regularly. I can’t promise that you’ll never get traffic, but I can promise that you will get more if your blog doesn’t suck.