I read over a blog post by NaturistPlace a couple days ago, where my recent blog post of Where are all the Nudist Bloggers was talked about with additional suggestions. NaturistPlace made the following suggestions.
- Social Media and micro blogs consisting of pics, GIFs, and a few words
- Too much junk content and it’s hard to find “nutritional value” in any of it
- No sense of community among naturist bloggers
- Call attention to other blog posts
- Focus your time on content and not appearance
- Make your blog as naked as you want yourself to be
I think these are all great additions, and certainly a topic for more discussion. It’s no wonder we see so few nudist blogs that are substantial enough in content. There seems to be so much external crap and not enough community to support and grow. Personally, I see the one big problem…discouragement.
Why would discouragement play a role? Setting up a blog or website can takes a significant amount of time and effort, and on top of that what content are you going to have, and how will you generate new content? How will you get followers to support you and vice versa? How much will it cost? What’s a good name and domain name? When you start to put all these things together it seems impossible, and quite often you may fail the first few times before you get it right. Then you have to worry about trolls and critics.
Anytime you have a blog that promotes nudity, or at least gives the appearance of it, you’re bound to get problems like Joy experienced in her post Criminal Harassment of Social Influencers. Joy had a cyber bully a couple of months ago who
…told me I deserved to be molested because of my “sexy ass”. In his emails this morning, he attacked every aspect of my body using some of the most vulgar language I’ve experienced thus farGetNakedWithJoy
After this episode Joy seemed to take a break from the social aspect of cyberspace, which was well deserved and expected. No one should have to put up with an insecure persons bullshit. Almost everyday I’m having to block followers, and aggressors at both WordPress and server level. I’ve even had to block IP ranges to keep certain people out. It can be a lot of work at first, but things settle down as time goes on. I would still encourage anyone to make their place and write regardless.
Generally I can handle just about anything anyone says, and I’ve received feedback from all ranges, but almost all of it has either been encouraging or “you can make this better by doing…”, and I love that kind of feedback when you address any issues with me privately, or even on a comment on my blog. However, what I find really discouraging and disappointing are public critiques on other blogs who reference me as not having “the same intentions as yourself”. There are a few items within the comment that I wish to address, but first let’s talk about my intentions.
My Intentions of Sensual Nudist
Since the couple making these comment about my blog, my “intentions”, “awkward” items, or any “number of issues” has not come to me to express their constructive criticism, and although I owe no one an explanation, I will take the time here to explain myself to you Nick and Lin and anyone else who may have similar thoughts.
Before I even started this blog I was unimpressed with the various nudist websites, especially the social networks that cater to “nudist”. Most of them appeared to be in the business of capitalizing on a small niche of people, and charging outrageous dues to be let into the “club”. Not to mention the seemingly unlimited number of creepers flocking to them. I attempted to make a blog years ago about nudism, but I had no idea how to write or what to do. I let it flop and moved on. During that same time I discovered Twitter and a number of professed nudist, and over time the follower base has grown too much to even manage. Once again, I wanted to try my hand at blogging, but I had no idea what content I was going to provide or even how to drive traffic. I had not been in the blogosphere long enough to find these mysterious nudist bloggers. What I did find was lacking in particular was a female nudist blogger. I’m sure they are out there, but the few I managed to find ended up selling themselves rather than building content.
Implications of a Domain Name
Now let’s talk about my domain name and my actual target audience. Your domain of NakedWanderings is very fitting for you two just like any other travel blog, except yours obviously focuses on naked destinations around the world. I know you all generate a lot of traffic and use that traffic to pay for your nomadic life. I get it and I’m very happy for you. However, your blog and it’s focus is on a very small audience in our already small niche of a community. My focus and target audience is way different than what yours is, but still very much in line with what real nudism is.
Where did my domain name originate from? I admit it needs some work, and even before your comments I have been seeking a new domain name when this one expires. I wrestled over this issue for months. I typed hundreds of domain names in hoping to find one that wasn’t taken, but the problem is people buy them up and squat on them to sell. It’s a huge business. Finally, I came up something that wasn’t taken that had some meaning behind it. Sensual…
may apply to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite
From this definition your observation would be correct in thinking the crowd I seek to attract is one of carnal desire and lust. However, my INTENTION for the name is the focus on the pleasure and desire of being a nudist. Hence the name Sensual Nudist. I don’t have the luxury of roaming the world in search of my next naked adventure when I have a handicapped daughter and demanding family commitments. So what you get is my yearning desire to live as nudist as much as I can, and as soon as I shed my textiles after a long day, or I feel the crisp morning air against my body; I get a rush of senses all over my body which sets me free and calms me. It is a non-sexual pleasure.
My target audience is going to vastly different than yours. I know the struggles I deal with, the insecurity of parts of my body, and my ever present lingering fear that I’m doing something taboo or against my raising. I remember the deathly fears I had when I visited my first nudist club, or my naked hikes along the mountain trails each morning before work. I never had anyone to stand behind me and give me words of encouragement, I didn’t have someone in my life to grab my hand and say let’s go. I waded through tons of crap, loser chat rooms, smut loaded “nudist” sites, and any number of paid sites just to try and find support. When you did find something decent, I ended up being overran by predators. Basically, I decided to make my own way, and right, wrong, or indifferent, I wanted to at least make a presence so that I may help someone, or even make some friends along the way.
Where do I get my content from because:
The blog largely consists of excerpts and copies of other blogger’s content.Nick and Lin
Good observation. I read through a large number of blogs and look to others for ideas to write about or comment on, but the biggest reason I provide excerpts from other blogs is to provide exposure to those who aren’t well known or starting out like me. If I had been blogging for ten plus years like you or similar bloggers, then I wouldn’t have much to worry about. Content and traffic would come more easily.
Like you said in your comment: “You run through all the taboos and controversies about nudism…That’s good for at least 20 blog posts. But then what?” This statement is very true and there are more blog posts out there about these kinds of topics than I care to mention. Why would I write about something a dozen or more people have already covered. After so many the opinions start to blend together, which is why I chose not to write about said topics. So, I I write about things that are either less prevalent, thougths that come to mind, or I repost some content from other bloggers that I consider a worthwhile read for others. Of course, credit is given when I repost, copy content, or summarize from someone elses webiste/blog. I didn’t write it and I don’t want credit for it. This is a tip right out of your palybook on “How to Become a Nudist Blogger“.
Another way is by sharing other people’s content. Although this is a very easy way to create lots of content with little effort, stealing is wrong. If you ever repost other people’s blog posts, make sure to only publish a snippet (one paragraph or so) and then add a link to the original.Nick and Lin
I’m not “stealing” anyones content no more than anyone re-Tweets a post from someone you follow. It’s a short blurb of what the post is about, and then users are redirected to the orginal content on the owners site.
Additionally, I want to support and encourage those trying to blog and not give up, especially nudist women. I’m sure you are aware that a lot of negative attention can come from one doing a nudist focused blog, particularly a female. Just look at Joy’s issues from above. Actions like this, lack of support, and the feeling of having to sell oneself just to gain a reader base should not even be a question unless it’s your intent. Like you pointed out, it’s difficult to get a revenue base with nudity in your content. Short answer is I’m working to drive exposure and traffic for myself, but most importantly to those who may not have the drive without additional support. I could care less about monetizing my blog because it’s a hobby for me. If I make a few dollars on affiliate links, great, but if I don’t it doesn’t matter to me. I’m letting bloggers know they are getting read, and someone supports them. I drive more traffic away from my site to others in almost every case.
I think from this point forward I will refrain from just “reblogging” a post from someone elses blog, and take a more meticulous approach to pull out some good points and quote content along with my commentary and thoughts. Similar to what I am doing here. That way I cannot be blamed for “stealing” someone else content or thoughts. Obviously, the number of posts will be less, but like it was said on NaturistPlace: there’s “too much junk and not enough nutritional value” out there.
The Nudist Resources is arguably the “weird[est]” part of my website. Allow me to explain a bit of it and it’s origin. We’ll start with the penis issue.
whereas we believe that in nudism everyone is equal and penis size doesn’t matter.Nick and Lin
While I certainly agree with your above statement, it lends itself into the belief that one is already comfortable with their body. This is not always the case, especially if you’re just learning about nudism, and the majority of crap out there leads one to believe they will always be inadequate compared to the “large” penises you typically find in adult related material.
Let’s say you’re just trying to figure out nudism or you just started learning about it, but you’re ashamed of yourself because all you’ve seen or all you know is what’s presented online. Like I mentioned in my post Discrimination of Men In Nudism, you will notice that a quick search leads you to mostly porn or other skewed views of nudism. Results like this and the images typically associated with them do not realistically show a typical man, and I’ve had men tell me they have insecurities because they feel “too small” to try nudism. No where on the internet did I see an actual investigation and report on penis size that wasn’t skewed or gave the impression that women only want to see large penises. Therefore, I looked into it and wrote up a post for a number of people who were concerned. I knew the post would probably cause some controversy among many purist in the nudist culture, but I have received an overwhelming amount of feedback from men thanking me and saying it has helped them. I am unapologetic for it because the intention to help those who are either insecure or are uncertain of themselves. It’s easy to say that no one notices these kinds of things, but you know as well as I do that doesn’t matter for someone who’s never fully taken the step. Being able to see others that are similar to you, and can fully relate goes much farther than just reading or listening to lip service.
Here’s an analogy…Say you’re a drug addict and you’re going through rehab for the first time. How would you respond to a therapist who only knows of the academics of addiction, but never experienced the withdrawals, cravings, or things you’re willing to sacrifice just to get one more hit? I’m not nor have I ever been an addict, but I have a close friend who was that therapist with no addictions in her life. Guess how the patients responded? They either didn’t or made very little progress, and almost everyone scoffed at her trying to help. She got comments like “you’ve never been an addict, so you don’t know, and you can’t help me”. It was a losing battle where she eventually left before a year on the job.
Moving onto the page about vaginas. This page was created with a similar mindset, but with some roots a little closer to home. Several months ago…maybe even a year or more, I put out a twitter survey asking various female followers what bothered them the most about their bodies, and although you’d expect a lot of weight concerned, I found that a number of them were concerned about the looks of their vaginas. Even some of my friends have voiced how they don’t like their own. I found it interesting, but didn’t really look much more into it.
Here is where it hit a little closer to home. A couple of months ago my teenage daughter began noticing changes on her body, and she came to me stating something was wrong with her vagina. It was a lot of drama and a big production because she realized hers was “different” than mine and it wasn’t what she thought was normal. She showed me what she was talking about, and her labia had started to show a little bit. Obviously, as parents we reassured her and I even searched for the various looks of vaginas online. Much to my surprise, those search results were rather…disturbing. What was supposed to be an innocent search for various vaginas to demonstrate, it turned out to be very gruesome to see what people were doing to themselves and others. As a result of what I found, I would not want anyone to see or look up the things I did, so I sorted through some content and made a page short about it. I didn’t expect much in the way of views because most women I know would rather not discuss, comment, or even acknowledge such differences. However, I felt there was some amount of justification because I’m sure someone is experiencing the same doubt about themselves, like my daughter and followers.
I may not have taken the best approach to writing these articles, but sometimes the hard or avoided topics need to be talked about to some degree.
The content has been removed to elimiate any concerns.
Yet another topic of debate and intentions.
Then there are the photo galleries, full of stolen photos of nude people that have nothing to do with nudism.Nick and Lin
Well, let’s address the “stolen” photos. Yes, there are a number of photos on there which have been searched on the internet, and posted to demonstrate various acts of people being naked. Some of those are artistic in nature, some are selfies of folks, and some are pics of gatherings where you can get naked. For example, Burning Man. The intention of these photos was to portray real people being naked, and allowing one to believe and understand it’s ok. I don’t have a collection of myself or any close friends demostrating us participating in social nudity, so I relied on content available on the internet to help support that. Do you not agree?
Ever since the beginning of Naked Wanderings we have been “stealing” pictures from the internet as well….Although we were technically stealing, we’ve never considered it such a big issue. We were using someone else’s naturist images to promote naturism. And that’s what it’s all about, right?Nick and Lin
Wait…didn’t you just say a few lines up that stealing is wrong, but now you admitting to stealing others photos for content? Maybe more clarification is needed, please.
Additionally, a large number of the photos I posted on my site were given to me by followers because they wanted to help out. They either didn’t really have place to share their own photos, or they were just being nice enough to help me get started. As you know, starting and running a blog can be a lot of work, and if you don’t have support or followers it becomes even harder. There are a large number of images which are licensed as free to use by the creator, so I had no problem using them and I gave credit where it was due, if known. One final note on the photographs. There are quite a few images given to me by amateur photographers so they can help spread thier work, and I was more than happy to help. The arrangement has been mutually beneficial. Finally, I have either paid for or supported some of these photograpers on Patreon and other platforms.
As a result, I have taken down the image galleries until I can meticulously go through them, write a story or exerpt about the creator, and repost it in a more…appealing manner. I will remove photos that appear to “have nothing to do with nudism”. It was a rushed attempt to get something up and my plan was to go back and fine tune things. I just never made the time, so you have helped forced my hand to make the time.
Blogs I Follow Page
Now this is a page that is in desparate need of some updating. I made this page when I first started my blog and only revisited it once when some blogs I followed just disappeared. When I started my blog I had a number of bloggers I followed and read on almost a daily basis. Some of those were men, some women, and some couples, but after a few disappeared I went in and updated it. Unfortunately, I have not taken the time to go back and update that page. In reality, it probably just needs a new design altogether. I will add that to the priority list and make it happen within the coming weeks. Let’s get to the real reason of this section.
There are 5 listed, all happen to be written by young women.Nick and Lin
Well, like I said before, it wasn’t always “young women”, and to that point, not all are young either. Two or three blogs are written by women in their forties or older. Honestly, if you were to look at my WordPress Reader list you would see nearly 30 blogs I follow from nudist to travel to camping, and most of those are either men or couples. I make no distinguishment between man, woman, couple, or whatever as long as the content is good and interesting to me. So, again, thank you for forcing my hand to take the time to update these much needed pages.
Some Final Thoughts…
I wrote this post to confront, from what I consider, a fairly negative comment and somewhat of an attack against my blog from a fairly well known blogger. The author of NaturistPlace even said:
I understand your concern about the blog whose post I was responding to. Have you communicated directly with Alexis about your concerns? We all have varying points of view, and I think it’s a great thing to get them out in the open. In any case, the question Alexis raised is a perfectly valid one that all naturist bloggers might think about responding to.NaturistPlace
No, I have not received any feedback or communication from anyone who has concerns with the content and topics of my blog. I have many avenues for feedback, email, Twitter, etc for anyone to help make my blog/website better for everyone, particularly nudists. I will always be open to feedback from anyone who wants to give it to me. I encourage you to either comment, email, or through feedback on my Contact page. I want to make this a better place for everyone.
I nearly decided to just ignore this comment, but I was afraid that other nudist out there may come across my site and think it was concerning, distasteful, or anything else. A lot of people read both of the blogs mentioned here, and I wanted to publicly set the record straight.
If you are going to public denounce, shame, or bring into question someones work, then at least have the courtesy to send them a note saying “I have some concerns about your blog and you can read it here”. Give the person you’re questioning their intent, integrity, or anything else the opportunity to at least respond and help you understand where they may be coming from. In order for real nudist blogs, content, and websites to make it to the top of Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and many other search engines, then we need to help, encourage, and guide one another along this endlessly challenging path.
Now, I did not write this post with the intention of bringing a bad name to Nick and Lin, and find their blog to be very informative on a number of topics. I’ve even referenced their site and re-blogged posts. I would have taken any feedback they gave me with open eyes and ears, and would have worked to make changes to ensure I was not attracting the wrong crowd. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? This is an new adventure for me and I am trying to find my right path within the blogospere world of nudism. While you cannot make everyone happy with your opinion or points of view, I will try to seek to understand how readers may interpret my writings and pages, but I won’t deviate from my beliefs to appeal the masses.
I have made a number of commitments within this post, and I fully intend to commit to those being accomplished. It will take me some time to figure out the best way to portray my information in a way that won’t be misinterpreted or my intentions unclear. Here are a list of things I will be working on in order.
- Remove questionable content (done)
- A new domain name
- Update my blog so the new domain points to my server
- Update my domain email address
- Update my blogroll and who I follow
- Change social media handles
- Content from other bloggers will be talked about rather than just “reblogging” to give more value to readers
- Ensure any images I use are credited and the appearance of NOT being stolen
- Reach out to others about guest blogging to bring new perspective and views to my blog
I know this was a long, and probably boring read for most you, but I wanted to make sure everyone who read the comments, or who visits my site doesn’t have any questions about my intentions or what I stand for. I will be updating the About Me page to include a description and mission statement to my blog. I don’t want anything left open to interpretation.