The other day we got involved in a somewhat awkward blog-discussion. It started when we stumbled upon this blog post on Naturist Place, which was a response to a blog post on Sensual Nudist about what happened to the nudist bloggers. Alexis, the Sensual Nudist, was asking why there are so few naturist bloggers in this world where blogging has become much more popular than writing a diary. People blog about everything these days, yet Alexis found it hard to find decent nude bloggers.
Honestly, we had never heard about Sensual Nudist before. And when we had a peek at her blog, we had a lot of doubts. There were galleries full of uncredited images, mostly of young women. Lots of the blog posts were copies and excerpts from other blogs and the handful of original posts that she had written were about penis sizes and what vaginas look like. Interestingly, there was also an overview of other naturist bloggers, which all happened to be women. If being female is a criterion to be called a nudist blogger, then yes, there aren’t all that many.
Then the discussion started
We were quick to write that blog off as yet another secret photo exchange site hiding under the name naturist/nudist. Of which there are unfortunately already many. We didn’t bother to contact the Sensual Nudist directly about this. Instead, we wrote down our concerns about this site in the comments section of the post that we had been reading on Naturist Place.
Not for a second, we thought that we would ever hear about this again, so we were quite surprised to receive an e-mail from Alexis a couple of days later, stating that she was not all too happy with our comment and that she had written a response to it in yet another blog post. She was right that it should have been much nicer of us to mention our doubts directly to her, instead of commenting them on another blog.
Interestingly, she did take our comment as guidance. The image gallery had disappeared, the blogs about penis sizes and vagina looks had lost their prominent spots and the nudist blogger overview had expanded impressively. Also including non-female nude bloggers this time. Although we had started off on the wrong foot, our comment had helped Alexis to improve her blog.
What happened to the nudist bloggers?
Both Sensual Nudist and Naturist Place had a good point from the beginning. There is indeed a lack of nudist bloggers. Although nudism is more and more emerging from the dark corners of the web (and the world), the available information about our wonderful lifestyle is all but plenty. It’s one of the main reasons why we started Naked Wanderings several years ago. What we read about nudism online barely reflected our personal experiences. Nudism is still a taboo among large parts of the population and many who enjoy social nudity don’t really want to talk about it. Let alone put their faces on it.
Another valid point that was made, is that many promising nudist blogs fail to hold on. As Naturist Place observed: “There are over 500 blogs that have appeared in the past 15 years…Most of them are now either gone completely or have been dormant for a year or more”.
It’s true. Blogging is all about continuity. It’s not very hard to come up with the first post ideas for a nudist blog. A quick look on Reddit, nudist forums or any other nudist blog brings up all the popular topics. “nudism and sex“, “nudism and piercings or tattoos”, “to shave or not to shave your pubic hair”, “the nude beach etiquette“, “how to handle an erection”, “the difference between nudism and exhibitionism“, and so on. Lots have been written about these topics, but there are still many angles left to write a comprehensive blog post about those things.
What else to write about naturism?
Many aspiring naturist bloggers fly through before mentioned subjects like a tropical storm. Three, four, five blog posts a week. Thousands of words and lots of interesting opinions. Within weeks, all the popular topics are covered. And then what? The writer’s block kicks in. The lack of new topics in combination with the effort of writing and publishing several blog posts a week and the audience that doesn’t grow or respond as you’d hoped works discouraging. Three posts per week become one. Then one every two weeks, every month, and then…. Nada. Another dormant blog.
TIP: Think about continuity
Continuity is very important when it comes to blogging. If you publish three posts in one week, then three months nothing, then another post, and then again several weeks before the next post, it’s almost impossible to build an engaged and returning audience. It’s much better to plan your posts upfront. What we do, is write down every blog idea we have. So the moment we feel like writing, we don’t have to spend time thinking about a subject. We just pick one from the list.
Also, it can happen that you have so much inspiration that you write three blog posts in one day. That’s perfectly fine, but this doesn’t mean that you have to publish them all at once. Instead, it gives you the chance to spread the posts and gain time to come up with new topics.
TIP: Don’t generalize, provide depth instead
Another advantage of having a list of ideas is that it helps you reconsider topics. Let’s say that today you wrote down “naturist vacations” as a topic. It may seem like a good idea, but several days later you may notice that there’s just so much to tell about this. So you split the idea: “naturist beach vacations”, “naturist camping vacations” and “all-inclusive naturist vacations”. Later, you might even want to split those in “naturist beach vacations in France”, “how to behave on the nude beach“, “what to do if there are meerkats in the dunes“, “the joys of skinny dipping in the ocean”, and so on. What started as one generic blog post idea, can end up as many different topics and angles.
How to be a writer
Knowing how to write doesn’t make you a writer. But it’s also not because Hemingwayesque prose isn’t flowing from your fingertips from day one, that you’ll never become a writer. Some writers were born with a gift. Most of them, however, have gone through a long learning curve before ending up where they are now.
TIP: Read, A LOT
There are lots of writing courses to be found online, some better than others. But from our experience, the best way to learn how to write is by reading. Read comprehensively. Ask questions while reading. Why do you like reading this book? Why did you find this chapter more boring than the previous one? And most importantly, why did reading this one line evoke an emotion? Why did it make you laugh/cry/think about that vacation five years ago?
TIP: Get your own voice
Learning from other writers doesn’t mean copying them. You can’t just pick a funny sentence from a Bill Bryson book and paste it in a J.K. Rowling novel. Only by creating your own style, people will start liking you for it. For example, we and the Meandering Naturist both blog a lot about naturist traveling. Often even about the exact same places. Yet, for readers of both our blogs, it won’t take more than a paragraph to figure out whether a post was written by Dan or by ourselves.
TIP: Tell a story, but stick to the subject
There are lots of bloggers, but there’s only one you. People will like or dislike you for being you. That doesn’t really matter, because it means that at least you’re evoking an emotion. You could write “naturism is a lifestyle built on harmony and respect for nature, oneself and others”. That’s very nice, but it doesn’t say anything about what you think about it or why you love naturism. It’s something everyone could have written, even a non-naturist. Instead, talk about what naturism means to you. If you just like to be nude for the sake of comfort, just say so. Some might think that you’re not a “real” naturist, but many others will say “She’s right! It is so damn comfortable!”.
Information can be found everywhere. Only by telling stories, you make the information your own. Another dangerous pitfall is wandering away from the subject. It may happen that you start writing a blog post about nude beach etiquette, but end up writing a 1000-word story about a negative experience with a voyeur. Don’t throw it in the garbage bin, just split it up. One post about the experience and another one with more info about the actual etiquette.
It’s okay to wander off-topic now and then, but knowing when to get back on track can be hard. Before mentioned Meandering Naturist is actually very good at this.
It’s okay to wander off-topic now and then, but knowing when to get back on track can be hard. Before mentioned Meandering Naturist is actually very good at this.
It’s not because you can write that you can blog
Writing a blog post is completely different than writing a novel. We’re pretty sure that many top-class writers would be awful bloggers. Imagine reading a blog post written by Jack Kerouac, with his 100+ word sentences and lack of punctuation marks. Blogs have a very specific style, which enables readers to read quickly and scan content. Unlike a book, people don’t tend to spend hours in a row reading a blog. Keep that in mind.
TIP: Decide why you write
You want to share your experiences and knowledge, that much is sure. You want to teach the world about naturism and hope that your writings will make people’s lives better. But which message do you want to spread exactly? Do you just want to inform people? Do you want to tell your personal story? Do you want to keep an online diary? It’s best to make this choice as soon as possible because it will influence your writing style, your frequency, and even the design of your website.
Another choice you want to make is whether you’re blogging just for fun or if you have the goal to build an audience, improve your writing, and maybe eventually make a business out of it. If you’re just writing for fun, most tips in this blog post don’t really matter. You just do what feels best. But if you want to get more out of it, you’ll need to think of strategies, how to get readers to your blog, social media, SEO, and so on.
TIP: Write as a blogger
As previously mentioned, Jack Kerouac would have been a lousy blogger or he would have to change his writing style. Blogs tend to have short sentences and many paragraphs so people have a clear view of what is where. Novels are read from A to Z, blogs are rather scanned for keywords. Using subtitles works great for this. Cut up your content in sections and use white space, pictures, or other media to give the reader’s mind some rest.
TIP: Don’t consider yourself an authority
Bloggers, or writers in general, are seen as authorities on the subjects they write about. Keep in mind that this is something the readers decide, not you. You can’t just say that you’re the world’s best movie star, opera singer, or nudist blogger. Because once you act like that, your readers will start questioning you. Only when you’re true and spread genuine thoughts, your readers will see you as an authority.
TIP: Have your own opinion
Don’t be afraid to kick some holy doors, if you believe in what you write, it’s real. You can’t do good for everybody, some will share your opinions and others won’t. When you try to write content that everyone will like, you’ll end up with mediocre pieces that nobody really enjoys.
Writing controversial posts is fun and they often get lots of reactions. When we wrote about how we would like to see a future with more clothing-optional spaces or how all naturists might be exhibitionists, we received a lot of negative feedback. That’s alright, different people have different opinions. This also doesn’t mean that we’ve lost those readers, it just means that they disagreed on one of the many topics we tackle.
One important thing to remember is that the more controversial your opinion or topic, the more you need to make sure that your opinions have a strong foundation. Otherwise, it might blow up in your face. If you write that 50% of all nudists are also swingers, this is very likely to backfire. But if you have proof or many founded reasons to believe this, your opinion will be respected. Make sure to do your research and that everything you write is true. If you’re not sure about something, just say it.
TIP: Not everything you write is gold
It may happen that you create the best blog post ever written, and once you publish it you get little to no reaction from your audience. Or the other way around, that you decide to publish a post of which you’re not really sure, and then it goes viral. Those things happen and you can only learn what your audience likes from experience. Try new things. Believe your audience when they say that a certain post is crap. Or great.
You’ll have to learn to kill your darlings. If you’re absolutely sure that something won’t fly, don’t publish it. Even if it contains parts that you love. There’s no need to throw it directly in the bin, you can recycle the good parts to include in other blog posts.
Another thing we’ve learned is that it’s better to have a positive voice than a negative one. But that is personal. There are world-class authors who uniquely write in a negative or cynical voice. That’s fine if you can stick to it. We mostly prefer to talk about the bright side of the medal. Instead of wondering why there are so few naturist bloggers, we write an overview of some awesome nudist bloggers out there.
TIP: Don’t give up
Blogging requires more effort than one would think. Especially if you’re taking it seriously. It’s much more than putting some words on the screen. It’s about coming up with topics, finding the right angle, finding focus points, researching, thinking about the layout of your blog post, and the different parts, finding your voice.
Then comes editing, re-thinking parts, and adding media. Then all of that has to be put online and then the whole thing needs to be promoted through social media, forums, a newsletter, …
Don’t get overwhelmed. Find the right pace and the topics you love writing about. Don’t expect to be the world’s most popular blogger after the first month. Just don’t give up and keep learning from your audience. Learn from other bloggers and connect with them. Unlike other niches, there’s no competition in the naturist blogging world. There’s room for many more, so it’s better to collaborate than to see the others as enemies.
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9 thoughts on “Our Best Tips for Aspiring Naturist Bloggers”
I appreciate the pingback to my posts. I hope the dialogue will help someone decide their path as a blogger, or at the very least give some inspiration. It’s a little ironic that you have posted this, because I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past couple of weeks on this very thing. I have been exchanging emails with Dan C., and I gave a little bit of background of how I got started into blogging. I was curious to know what insight and advice he may have for me. While writing back and forth with him, I had an epiphany moment that helped me realize some misguidance. I started my realm into the online nudist community on Twitter, and I quickly realized how lax they were with their nudity standards. I followed, tweeted, retweeted, and started getting a large follower base with many interactions. I had helped a few people overcome or look past their fears, and genuinely tried to help them get comfortable with themselves being naked. It felt good to help people. Unfortunately, 90% of my historical tweets are a lot of picture sharing, because the proposed “nudist” on there were doing a lot of that. That was somewhat of an inspiration and a trend for me along with helping people the best way I could. As I mentioned above, this was misguided and flat wrong for anyone who is genuinely wanting to support the naturist cause.
I heeded your guidance in trying to clean up my blog and try to make it more mainstream to fit within naturist ‘guidelines’, but I still feel I have a lot of work to do. So, while I was rather upset at first, I realized some critque is always necessary to continuously improve. Plus, it’s marathon project that can’t be done overnight.
Back to Dan. Dan asked me a question that I have had a hard time answering, but I think it warrants it’s place here. He asked me: “Why do you most want to blog about naturist … in ONE sentence.” I’ve had a million thoughts run through my mind since then, and I think I have an answer to it, but that will be revealed at a later date.
That’s my long winded response to the following:
1) Answer Dan’s question yourself: Why do you most want to blog about naturist … in ONE sentence.
2) Seek out advice from seasoned bloggers who can help mentor you.
3) DO NOT get your initial inspration from social media or fakers.
4) Pick a domain name that describes your brand, and not the first thing you think of either. (I think I would have chosen something a bit more…subtle and less open for interpretation.
Final thought…Thanks for the inspiration on a future blog post. Some of the things on this post have me thinking a bit.
First of all… thanks for the DOUBLE SHOUT OUT Nick and Lins! I think that’s a new record for me in one post. :).
Interestingly, I was thinking of writing a very similar post in response to my exchanges with Alexis (See comment above), with a few thoughts as to my experiences about finding my own voice as a blogger. I may still go ahead and do that, if I can find my voice. lol
And to Alexis… I finally just wrote you back. Short answer: Find your voice, and don’t worry about duplicating subject matter, as nobody else will come at it in the same way you do IF your voice is consistent and genuine. Nick and Lins offered up a LOT of great tips, with an over-arching theme that there are really so FEW bloggers that stay in the game long enough to develop a sustained voice with a meaningful message. I’d like to think that every time another source on naturism turns up that’s substantive and enduring, it can only help normalize the greater naturist cause. I think that’s the long game!
Hello Nick and Lins. I agree that there aren’t enough blogs on the topic of Nudity. It’s only a handful that I know of and follow. I actually started a blog myself recently on Blogger. It tells about Nudism generally and persons of colour are highlighted. The link is here. https://nakedwellness1.blogspot.com/?m=1
I think that a lot of nudists don’t think if themselves as being competent enough to write a blog but even your own personal nude experiences will be interesting for someone who has never heard about nude living. I hope to see more nudists starting writing projects. Blessings
Have a look at how many food bloggers there are. There are literally millions of blog posts about food. Yet they all keep existing. And that’s because they find their own voice and niche. Making a spaghetti bolognese in Italy is not the same as making it in South Africa. It’s different when you make it for a vegan or a meat lover. It’s different when you make it with vegetables from the supermarket or fresh ones from the farmer’s market. And so on.
The same thing counts for nudist bloggers. How you experience nudism is different than how we experience it. So we could go to the exact same nudist venue or activity and write completely different stories about it.
Yes I agree. Blessings to you
The problem with long-term blogging about nudism/ naturism is that it’s a state of being rather than a variable subject. Are you into cars? Cooking? Gardening? Theatre? Whatever? There’s always some new development to talk about, a different point of view to argue Or history to mull over. But naturism is essentially doing all of new, but just doing them naked. How many times can you write about being naked?
Also naturism changes a lot. 20 years ago, there were no naturist B&Bs or events that happened outside of naturist resorts. We’ve been doing this for a while, and still we find new experiences. Also the mindset changes, the way how people look at social nudity and the way it is promoted.
Your note about continuity is really important, but the hardest part of blogging, for certain!
The thing I like most about this post, though, is that it is naturist-specific. There are so many naturist blogs out there that peter out after the same handful of topics.