I purchased my domain name www.downthebunnyrabbithole.com through Bluehost on 3rd December 2016. I wanted a place I could share sex toy reviews, some erotic fiction and my own personal thoughts and perspectives. I’m interested in sexual issues ranging from health and satisfaction through to what ‘kinks’ can be enjoyed whether you’re a traditional ‘vanilla’ lover dipping your toe, or a seasoned ‘kinkster’. And then pretty much anything and everything in between!
I’m writing this post because I recently saw Aurora Glory’s post on her first three months of blogging. It made me stop and realise that I am fast approaching this milestone. With my Dory-like memory I decided I’d benefit from writing a similar post to reflect on what has gone well and what hasn’t. I also want to try and fathom the direction I’d like to take this blog in the future, and to some extent that will depend what my readers wish to see. My plan is still to write reviews for adult products, including toys and lingerie. But I want to make my reviews as useful to the readers as I possibly can. Having looked at fellow bloggers sites, I can see I need to include ratings systems to make my reviews more ‘user-friendly.’
Customising the site
I had no idea what theme to use, so I went with a WordPress 2015 theme as it looked neat and tidy, with the menu sited on the left-hand side of the screen. But when I wanted to design a Header (something I tried to do using PowerPoint initially- *cringe*) it was kindly pointed out to me by @Throbinhood68 that the theme wouldn’t support a Header. I then changed it to the 2016 theme- I’m not as keen on it aesthetically but I like that it enables my Header to be displayed.
The Header itself was a learning curve- I knew I wanted to do something related to Alice in Wonderland to fit in with the “DowntheBunnyRabbitHole” theme. After creating the sex-toy inspired Header on my Twitter account, I knew I wanted this to feature on my blog. To get it into a suitable format I used the Canva app (thanks for the recommendation Throbin), and hey presto, it worked!
Plugins are mind-scrambling
In terms of the technical ‘nitty-gritty’ of running the blog I must admit, I am still very much overwhelmed by all the jargon. I have installed plugins but not all of them are activated; perhaps fellow bloggers can enlighten me. Which of these plugins are essential and which are a ‘waste of time’ for a newbie such as myself?
- Akismet -To protect blogs from spam – seems useful but I’ve not activated it yet as the instructions for signing up seemed confusing – API key, anyone?
- Constant Contact Forms for WordPress – for email marketing – not sure as a ‘hobby blogger’ I need this? Perhaps better suited for businesses?
- Header Customizer Lite – to customize your header through WordPress customizer. It doesn’t seem worth keeping this seeing as I’ve used Canva to design my header.
- Hello Dolly – not sure what this does. Do I even need it?
- Jetpack by WordPress.com – connects your blog to a WordPress.com account enabling use of features normally only available to WP users. Figured I needed this, though I didn’t really know why. But it seems useful for getting stats on visitors and page views.
- OptinMonster API – Um, what does this do?
- WPForms Lite – a beginner-friendly WP contact form plugin. I needed to create a Contact form in order to be able to open a Webgains account to become a Lovehoney affiliate (see more on affiliation with companies below). I’ve actually ended up creating two ‘Contact Me’ forms on the blog site, but I was worried if I tried to delete one, I’d end up deleting both, *cringe.*
It is safe to say that I am a technophobe! I really need to increase my knowledge on how a blog works and the essential plugins needed to make it fully functional, reader-friendly, and interactive.
This leads me to say that I also need to improve my Social Media awareness. I use Twitter already to link with the blog, as well as chat to Lovehoney friends and other followers I’ve encountered along the way. For ages I kept my Twitter account locked, but it was pointed out to me, that this would prevent a lot of companies from seeing what I was able to potentially offer them, as well as vice versa. So I amended that. As for the suggestion to go on Instagram, I’m still undecided as I feel I already spend lots of time on Twitter, so I don’t want to get overly distracted by social media. I may change my mind in the future…
Now its time for some numbers. My blog traffic is generally quite low from what I can fathom. I won’t let this phase me though, as it’s all a learning curve.
- December saw 789 views / 221 visitors
- January saw 799 views / 207 visitors
- February has seen 383 views / 120 visitors to date.
- I have published 52 posts.
- I have no idea how much time I spend on blogging per week, but I imagine it’s probably nowhere near enough to have it running as effectively as it could.
My take-home thoughts from these reflections are that:
- I need to be a lot more organised. Generally in my day-to-day life I am fairly well-organised. Blog-wise, I may have attempted to write as much as possible, to review as many toys as I could, without being as selective as I should have. In addition, I have also neglected the technical side, as I mentioned above. I really need to read ‘Blogging for Dummies’ (if it exists), asap!
- I’ve realised it’s important to network and interact with other bloggers more than I do. I am not an island, so this is necessary to share ideas and feedback, as well as keep my awareness of current sex toys and blog topics up-to-date.
- Affiliation with big companies is ok as an add-on, and can be a benefit if you’re looking to expand your toy collection and get some commission back in return. But unless your following is huge, affiliate links are probably just not going to be fruitful. I’ve undoubtedly spent more time than perhaps sensible trying to add affiliate links on review posts and Twitter timeline. This time on reflection, would have perhaps been spent more wisely on learning the dreaded technical stuff and doing more research for blog content / reviews.
I’ve pondered enough, so all that remains is to get on with it. Thanks for joining me on the journey so far. I hope you’ll continue to stop by and take in the ‘scenery’ from time to time!
Oh and if anyone has Blogging for Dummies, perhaps they could loan it to me 😛
Cheers my dears,
Luv bunny xx