In the last few weeks, the value of words on a blog has come up a number of times. In my Eroticon workshop I encouraged writers to put a monetary value to their writing, and stick with it. Be proud of the money that your words can earn. In a few conversations surrounding Eroticon, the topic of sex toy reviews came up, and the relationships between the sex toy retailers and the bloggers. Then today, another sex toy company has come into my twitter timeline after a contest for “best blogger” turned into a complete PR nightmare when it was exposed how the actual contest worked. Coming from a world where my words are written primarily for monetary gain, I may be coming at this from a slightly cynical standpoint, so forgive me if I sound like a black cloud.
In full disclosure, I feel I should advise you of the following – I write for a sex toy web site that does seek out bloggers to review their products. (I also work with one who doesn’t.) I run my own sex toy web site and I currently don’t supply sex toys in exchange for reviews. In addition, I have a reviews subdomain where I review sex toys and other sexy things. Do what you will with that info.
I have real worry that there are sex toy review bloggers out there that think that the sex toy companies are seeking them out for their “craft” – their writing skills, their way with words, their opinion on a particular sex toy. Sure, there are the few small sex toy traders out there that may do that, and I can think of a couple off the top of my head that may. But for the vast majority, all sex toy bloggers are is a source of backlinks, link juice, PR, and on a minor level – outreach to potential customers. A sex toy web site that gets 75,000+ pageviews a day isn’t going to be that fussed about the hundred or so that you could potentially send. (Unless you’re what they call a “whale” in the gambling and affiliate marketing world – then it’s a whole other story and a whole other blog post.)