In light of the Kinkly Top 100 sex blogs list and some of the posts that were written as a result of it, most notably this great piece by Dangerous Lilly I thought it would be a good idea to write a post with some additional information about the Top 100 Sex Blogs list that I inherited from Rori at Between my Sheets. If you want to read about the history of the list and how I inherited it then the answers are in Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2015 Redux
I have always said that I believe this list is hugely important to the community for various reasons and in order to make it something that is respected and welcomed being transparent about how it is compiled seems vitally important so here goes.
The number of nominations you receive has no effect on your final position within the list.
However you do have to be nominated by someone else at least once to be considered for the list.
The reason for not making nominations count is twofold, firstly it means that blogs with high traffic don’t dominate the list. Just because you have high traffic does not mean you are producing the best content etc, neither does it mean you are not. If nominations counted it would mean the list was unfairly weighted in favour of the more established high traffic blogs which basically becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy making it much harder for small blogs to get in on some traffic action. Secondly, I am not doing this to get you all sending me a ton of traffic, if I was, then clearly the obvious way to do that would be to make nominations count.
Michael (my hubby) also reads all the blogs too. This is not instead of me reading them all. It is as well as reading them myself and it gives me someone to talk to. Compiling that list is a daunting task. This year 160 blogs were nominated. Having someone to talk through my thoughts on them with is vital. I also have my adjudicator so if I am not sure if a site that has been nominated is actually a blog then I send it to Girl on the Net for a second/third opinion.
The Magic Spread Sheet
There are four columns of scores for each blog; Design, Content, About Me and my personal score (more details on those below)
Each section has a maximum score of 10
The fifth column contains a blogs aggregate score out of a maximum of 40
The sixth column and the one that gives me the final list order is an average score of the 1st four columns out of 10.
The Scores are
based on the following things.
Design – Out of 10 possible marks you get a point for
- Blog roll – Is it up to date, does it link to a variety of things, are the links to live sites?
- Search – Is there a search function and does it work (I have a found a few that don’t).
- Category/Archives – Can a reader find past content that interests them? Quite a few people seem to not have Archives but they are a good way for readers to explore your back content.
- Social Media – Can a reader find you elsewhere?
- Is it mobile responsive – With over 50% of all internet traffic now coming from mobile devices this is really important if you want people to actually read your work.
- Related or random posts – Having recent posts in your side bar is redundant as it is just duplicating your blog into your sidebar, related posts in a post or random posts are far more likely to offer readers past content they may have missed.
- Recent comments – This shows activity/community on your site.
- Easy to navigate – Is there pagination at the bottom of the page? Can I easily find past content or do I have to scroll back through each post individually etc.
- Easy to read – Is your text lilac on grey, or red on black. Do links disappear when you hover over them?
- Overall look – This one is the most subjective and as such a little harder to explain but basically if your design makes my eyes bleed you are going to lose a point.
At least a few times a year try using your blog, not logged in, as a potential reader might on both a laptop and phone. Can you find stuff, do the clickable links actually work, are your social media links correct and working, do drop down menus cover up content or spill over the page, is your header image too big for your theme and causing your site to scroll left & right, how long does it take for stuff to load? According to goggle if your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load you lose an average of 70% of readers!!!
Content – Not quite so easily quantifiable as above but things it covers things like
- Are you using images ethically?
- Is the content original?
- Spelling, grammar, use of English. I am aware that some folks have issues with things such as dyslexia and I always take that into account. Using text speak for example ‘unless relevant to the content’ is not good writing.
- Is there a variety of content? Again this can be tricky because some people are blogging in a very narrow field but even then I would hope to see at least a 2 or 3 posts over the course of a year that mix things up slightly. For example, if you are a poet you might have 2 or 3 other posts that are not poetry. Or if you write reviews you might have at least 2 or 3 other posts that are not an actual review.
- An authors voice – another hard one to quantify but I want to say it is one of things that when it is there is obvious.
- Is your content sex positive? – This is actually got a couple of blog removed from the list last year. If, for example, you are writing posts that are essentially pick up artist tips, misogynistic, or promoting unsafe practices like vaginal douching I am not going to include you on the list.
- Does the content feel honest/real/authentic – Again a bit of ‘how long is a piece of string’ but I think we all know it when we see it.
About me page – I have written a whole post about this one About, about me
Now this is where things get a bit harder to quantify and really is the part of the scoring that reflects the fact this is at the end of the day a subjective list on my part. I try very hard to not directly compare blogs at this point but just to focus on them as individual entities. Basically does the blog grab me for whatever reason? The other thing I think about at this point is am I likely to go back and read more in the future. The list contains blogs covering a huge variety of sub genres within the sex blogging community and so it is impossible to judge them in a like for like manner, how can you compare a review blog to a poetry blog, or an image driven project to the written word? You can’t, and so I try to assess them for exactly what they are on their own individual merit.
A quick note on the ‘minimum of 24 blog posts’ in a year rule.
When I started the list it became obvious that I had way more blogs than places on the list and it also became apparent that some people nominated were barely blogging at all. So I took to twitter and also emailed a number of bloggers within the industry asking their opinion. The consensus was that a minimum of 24 blog posts over the course of a year was a perfectly reasonable threshold number. This is a list about blogging. If you have a blog but are not actively creating content then it seems unfair on others who are for you to potentially take a place on the list over someone else. Also the point of the list is to provide readers with new blogs to read. Those blogs should, in my opinion, should have some regular activity on them. Clearly quantity does not always indicate quality but having a blog and actively blogging are also two different things. That does not mean you are not actively working in the sex positive community or industry, you might be running kick ass workshops or writing content for another site, or writing a novel etc. This also applies if all or most of your content is hidden behind a pay wall of some description. If I can’t view it without having to pay then I am not going to include you on the list.
The final list
Once that is all done I re-order the list (it starts off in alphabetical order) so that the one with the highest score is at the top. Just to give you an idea of the score ranges. In the top ten last year there was a 0.8 difference between the blog in first place and the blog in 10th place. The difference between the blog in 10th place and 20th place was 0.3 and the difference between the blog in 1st place and the blog in 99th place was an aggregate score of 4.6
In previous years the list has been published as both a ranked list and a top 10 with the rest in alphabetical order. Previously I published a poll asking people to vote for the format they preferred. A ranked/numbered list was overwhelmingly the favourite and so that is what you get. Once it is all ready to go I publish the final list with full html code ( big thank you shout out to Michael for this) so people can republish the list if they so wish
And then I celebrate its completion with wine and orgasms!
I am more than happy to provide folks with honest and open feedback on their score if they ask me for it. However as the saying goes, time is money and I can’t afford to sit and write out 100 + detailed blog reviews so if you want to know your score and a VERY brief synopsis of why then I will do that for free but if you want more detail than that then as per last year I am offering a full site review. Please note a full site review will not guarantee you a higher position on the list next year.
A full site review includes (£100)
- a server/site performance analysis with feedback on how to improve it (basically how fast your site runs & what you can do to make it better)
- Detailed feedback on your blog design, navigation, about me page, etc and tips on how to improve it.
- You will get a written bullet point style report detailing all this plus a 1 hour skype call with both myself and Michael, who will cover the 1st section above with you.
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