Spite week: fall!

I love fall, it’s my favourite season. I love the crispness in the air, the way the leaves change colour, and getting to wear cozy sweaters again. As much as I’m a huge wuss about being cold, it still bugs me less than being too hot. At least if I’m cold I can put on a sweater, if I’m too hot I just have to live with being sweaty and stinky.

Direct sunlight not being as overwhelming is also pretty great – I’m kind of light sensitive and even with sunglasses direct sunlight is uncomfortable for me. In the summer I spend a lot of time hiding from the daystar.

Fall drinks like tea, mulled wine, and hot apple cider are fantastic too. And pho! I freaking love pho, but it’s just not the same when it’s hot out. Not to mention bourbon, which I also love but is not exactly a refreshing summer drink (that said if you do have refreshing summer cocktail recipes with bourbon I’d love to see them).

Where I am it’s still only kinda sorta almost fall but it’s getting there!

Spite week: Diablo III

You know what I haven’t done in a while? Spite week! Being the spiteful creature full of spite that I am, I love writing random posts that have nothing to do with kink just to rub douchebags noses in the fact that I’m person with hobbies and interests and thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their boners.

So let’s talk about Diablo III. Because it got iffy reviews back when it first came out I didn’t buy it right away (that and my Steam backlog is quite bad enough already), and then I just forgot about it for ages. Recently I had some downtime and wanted a game where I could run around smashing things and not have to think too hard, and hey, that’s basically what the whole Diablo series is for 🙂

While the game was totally worth the $20 I paid for it (which included the Reaper of Souls expansion), but I’m not sure I would’ve been happy about paying full price for it when it first came out. Diablo III is really pretty, but so is Path of Exile. The story wasn’t bad, but the skill tree is really rigid and limited, which just bugs me. In D3 you can only use one skill at a time from each group, which is really irritating if you like two skills from one group and don’t particularly care for any of the skills from another.

Grumbling aside, there’s nothing not fun about smiting demons with two giant swords. And if you like necromancers (and want to shell out another $14-I-think for the Rise of the Necromancer expansion), D3 has the corpse explosion spell from D2, which is obviously still awesome 🙂

If you liked D2, you’ll like D3. If you didn’t like D2, then definitely skip D3 because it’s basically D2 over again with prettier graphics.

Yeah, actually, women like porn: part 1 of many

Today’s thing-that-irritates-me is the idea that women don’t like porn. We fucking love porn, we just don’t like shitty porn that has apparently been designed to be as alienating to us as possible. One of the things we like is fanfic, which is largely written by women for women.

Before I get into specific fic recommendations I want be clear about fandom etiquette. If an author wants constructive criticism, if they want to hear about typos or what doesn’t work in their story or whether their characterization was off, they will fucking tell you. If they do not specifically ask for that kind of feedback, then you have two choices: you can be nice or you can be quiet. The world will keep turning if you don’t hassle some poor fanfic author about a fucking typo. And no, it shouldn’t be necessary to say any of that but there was a thing a couple years ago and people were dicks and damned if I’m going to let that happen to some of my favourite authors.

On to the porn! Today I’m going to recommend a bunch of fanfic by astolat, who is awesome and extremely prolific, and conveniently gave blanket permission to link to her work.

Only Begotten. This one is a delightfully filthy crossover between the TV shows Lucifer and Damien. Fair warning, this contains technically-incest-I-guess (does it really count if it’s between imaginary divine beings and they didn’t know the other one existed until they were adults, though?) between Lucifer and Damien. Oh and it involves a lot of gay sex, if you hadn’t already guessed.

A person might reasonably ask why I started by recommending a fic containing incest (even technically-incest-I-guess). I’m trying to make a point here: woman are filthy perverts and we like fucked up porn and we write fucked up porn.

Also I think it’s funny. Possibly my sense of humor is a little weird. And I really do just like that fic, it’s a really nice blend of filthy porn involving some very pretty men and serious emotional satisfaction. It’s really not going to have the same impact if you haven’t watched those shows (although I’ve only watched Lucifer and thought this fic was pretty fucking great), but if you have, oh man. Lucifer of all people swearing never to abandon Damien? I am so here for that. And Chloe yelling at Lucifer for being a pervert even though she doesn’t believe he’s actually Damien’s father? Hilarious, it’s so great.

Fealty. This one is a Person of Interest fic. This one has more d/s themes, and it’s a bit of a slow burn but definitely worth it. Again, serious emotional payoff in addition to the porn. There’s a very, very clear reason you should care that these two men in particular are having sex, which immediately puts it head and shoulders above the majority of mainstream porn.

Mercy, a Stargate Atlantis fic. This one has some d/s themes too, which is obviously my jam 🙂 There’s not an enormous amount of plot, but that’s really not the point now is it. It does, however, rely on knowing who the characters are to each other for emotional impact.

Oblivious, another Stargate Atlantis fic. This one isn’t especially porny, but there are some fun sex scenes and it’s worth reading just for the last line. Seriously, read it.

Blooded Crown, a videogame fic this time. This one comes from The Witcher 3, which I haven’t played yet but who knows if I’ll ever get to it, so don’t worry too much about not spoiling me in the comments. Anyway, in this fic Geralt and Emperor Emhyr have quite a lot of inventive sex as part of a clever plot to thwart another clever plot to kill Emhyr’s heir. Aside from the porn, which is totally worth it, it’s a lot of fun seeing Emhyr being clever and Geralt being grumpy about it and also good at killing things. All of astolat’s Witcher fic is great, but that one is my favourite.

Give those a read, have a look at the numbers of hits and massive numbers of comments on the more recent fics and tell me again how women just don’t like porn.

Promoting a blog

Don’t worry, my site hasn’t been hacked 🙂 Some time ago a reader asked me how to promote a kink blog because he had a site he was trying to get off the ground. I took a couple of days to think about that because I’ve never deliberately “promoted” my blog but I certainly get more views now than when I started, and of course promptly forgot all about that poor reader’s question. For, uh, months. Sorry reader!

So now that I’ve finally remembered, I figure I can get a blog post out of this. There have got to be at least a couple people out there who would like a little more traffic on their blogs, right?

First of all, I get an average of 300 views a day, so let’s not pretend I’m an expert 🙂 If I were to put ads on my blog (which I’m way too much of a control freak to ever do), that would probably make me around zero dollars.

With that disclaimer out of the way, there are some things I’ve done that I think helped and some things I don’t do that I bet would help if I could be bothered to do them.

My biggest tip is to have something to say. Without that nothing you do will ever get you much traffic. Whether you like my blog or not (and honestly if you don’t like it why are you here? Go do something fun, there’s an entire internet out there!), you can’t say I don’t have opinions. Don’t start a blog because you feel like you should or because all the cool kids are doing it, or because you want that sweet sweet ad revenue (not only is that kinda douchey, but ads pay really badly these days), do it because you like writing and have something to say.

As for getting more traffic:

Comment on other people’s blogs! If you enjoy their blog, it’s entirely possible their readers will like your blog too. Leaving interesting comments (seriously, don’t comment for the sake of commenting, people can tell when you’re effectively selling something) really will make at least some people click on your name and see what you have to say on your own blog. Plus it builds your reputation – the more interesting comments someone sees from you, the more likely they are to eventually click that link and see what’s going on at your blog, and the more interesting comments the blog owner gets, the more likely they are to say yes if you ask if you can write them a guest post.

Post regularly! Do you go back to blogs that haven’t published a new post in months? No? Then why should your readers? This part is wild speculation, but I think people are more likely to get attached to reading your blog if you show them you can be trusted to keep at it. Also, the more you post, the more chances you have for one of your posts to get noticed by a more popular blogger or shared around a lot on [insert social media site here], which will really drive up your traffic at least for a little while and probably gain you some new regular readers too.

Part of posting regularly is picking a schedule you can stick with. I’m a slow writer, that’s why I only post once a week. If you can do more without burning out, great! I believe that’s a good way to get more views – the more posts, the more chances for one of them to be really popular, and the more incentive people have to come back regularly. But if you can’t post three times a week without hating the sight of your site, dial it back.

Comment on discussion sites! I do this one very intermittently, and don’t have any stats to back it up, but it seems reasonable that leaving interesting comments / starting interesting discussions on a site like fetlife/reddit/etc would lead to more people checking out your profile (or clicking on a link in your signature if you’re organized like that 🙂 ) and finding their way to your blog.

Automatically announce new posts on social media! I’ll give myself half marks for this one, I have wordpress set up to post to my twitter and tumblr when a post goes up, but I basically never remember to post a link on Fetlife.

Have multiple ways for people to get updates! Some people like RSS (no it’s not dead), some prefer email updates, some like seeing updates in their twitter or tumblr or facebook or whatever else feed. Jetpack has subscribe by email and RSS feed widgets (for both posts and comments), all you have to do is connect the Jetpack plugin and drag those widgets into your sidebar.

As for things that are probably a good idea that I don’t do for varying reasons:

Have an active twitter/tumblr/insert social site media here! And by active I absolutely do not mean relentlessly shilling for your blog, I mean posting like a regular human being and interacting with other people like a person and not some sort of terrible robot that exists only to nag people to read your blog. I hardly ever post anything on twitter so I’m failing pretty hard on that one.

Link to your posts more than once on social media! Not everyone is online at the same time of day, more people are going to see your tweet or whatever if you post it a couple times at different times of day, or even a few times over the course of a few days. Your feed has to be pretty active for this to work, though. If it’s not then your twitter is a) boring, which drives readers away, and b) looks like nothing but ads for your blog, which also drives readers away.

Participate in things like elust and blog challenges! These can drive a lot more traffic to your blog if you get featured, and tagging your posts on social media with the challenge hashtag can help people find your blog too.

Guest post on other people’s blogs! Just writing for mine is quite enough work for me, but if you have it in you to write more posts (or the other blogger doesn’t mind you publishing the same post on both blogs) then you can probably persuade some of their readers to come read you too.

Get interviewed / guest host on podcasts! I love podcasts but I’m pretty awkward about talking with people I don’t know well (writing is a lot easier for me, which I’m sure comes as a huge shock), plus I don’t have access to a decent microphone and am way too picky about good quality audio to let anyone publish a recording of me done on a shitty builtin laptop mic, so podcasting isn’t for me. If it’s for you, it’s one more way to get yourself in front of people who might not have ever heard of you otherwise.

That’s all I’ve got. Readers, do you have any other tips?