Re: What Happened to the Nudist Bloggers?

This is in response to a great issue raised by new naturist blogger Alexis: What Happened to the Nudist Bloggers?

She begins: While I’m sitting here watching everyone and listening to the cows moo and the [crickets] chirp, I open up my WordPress app to explore the bloggers realm to see who else I can find to follow that intrigued me. I have found some RV bloggers, travel bloggers, and others just expressing their thoughts about life and philosophy. What I don’t see is a major representation of the nudist community.

Excellent observation.

By my count, there are over 500 hundred blogs that have appeared in the past 15 years and dealt mostly with what we know as naturism (or nudism). That doesn’t even count many blogs run by naturist clubs and resorts. Mainly they’ve been in English, but with at least several dozen in other languages. Most of them are now either gone completely or have been dormant for a year or more. Today there may be only 10 or so fairly active naturist blogs. As Alexis – who’s begun naturist blogging in earnest only this year – laments, this is “Kinda saddening for me because I love to see and learn about how others are living their lives naked.” Don’t give up, Alexis!

What’s happened? Alexis considers a few possibilities: I’m sure it has a lot to do with life commitments, maybe they started a family, moved, new job, or any other logical excuses. Maybe they just got bored and didn’t have anything else to say, but what I’m most worried about is bloggers becoming discouraged due to the lack of followers, or the floods of spam and other bots.

I’ve been blogging about naturism for over 15 years (more off than on), and writing about it for 10 years before that, so I have a few more ideas. For one thing, blogging activity itself, on almost any topic, peaked some time ago. It became a “thing” maybe 20 years ago and peaked somewhere in the middle of that time. In its stead we now have things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and “microblogs” in general, which tend to consist mainly of pictures, GIFs, and perhaps only a dozen or so words per item – at most. The Internet is now flooded with “content”, and most people simply don’t have the time or patience to look at more than the tiniest bit of it – especially not much that takes more than two minutes to read.

They are, however, starving without realizing it – because most of the stuff out there now is junk food, with no nutritional value. It takes a fair amount of interest and independence of mind even to be curious about naturism. Most people just don’t have that. If they have any curiosity at all about it, they may read posts on a few naturist blogs – assuming they can even find the good ones – before moving on to their real fascination, with “celebrities” or “sports” stars. And it’s just a fact that to actually take naturism seriously and try to become involved in it isn’t easy for most people, because of prevailing social attitudes towards nonsexual nudity.

There’s another factor, I think, and it’s a definite problem – not with potential readers, but with the current small crop of naturist blogs. The problem is that a sense of “community” among naturist bloggers has disappeared in the past several years. The format and appearance of blogs (of all kinds) have changed. In the past, most blogs had a “blogroll” that listed other blogs on the same topic that the blogger especially liked. That’s mostly gone by the wayside now, so it’s more difficult for people to discover other blogs they might like. Naturist bloggers no longer seem interested in promoting others doing the same thing, and that’s a real shame.

In order to have a real “community” of naturist bloggers, it is essential for the bloggers to actually interact with and support each other. We need to actively follow each other’s blogs. Using an “RSS reader” like Inoreader makes that easy. Since the community is small, and most bloggers post only once or twice a week – if that much – it’s not hard to keep up. In fact, anyone who posts stuff much more often may simply have too much time on their hands.

If bloggers would routinely follow each other they could write responses on their own blogs – as I’m doing now. For one thing, that solves the perennial problem of “what to write about”. Or they could at least call attention to posts on other blogs that they consider thoughtful, informative, and worthwhile. That in itself would motivate other bloggers to be more active.

Another thing bloggers could do to stimulate activity is something that Alexis suggests – encourage naturist readers to offer “guest” posts. “You don’t have to start out with your own domain or WordPress site,” she says, “but you can be a guest writer on someone else’s blog.” Sure, most people don’t have enough “free” time – even during the current stay-at-home situation – to start and keep up their own naturist blog. In that case, and if you have something you want to say, just offer to write a guest post for a blog you like.

You may choose simply to offer comments on other blog posts, but that’s not quite as useful as writing a full post of one or two hundred words (or more) – in my opinion. Why? Visibility is the most important reason. An actual independent post is much more likely to be seen and findable at a later time. Comments almost always just disappear into the aether as soon as they’re posted, so hardly anyone sees them or is likely to respond to them.

There’s one more thing that bloggers do now that, I think, diminishes the effectiveness of their blogs. These days there are so many fancy “themes” and alternative ways to tweak the appearance of a blog. Too much time goes into the appearance and surface aesthetics of a blog – instead of the content. Useful blog features like blogrolls, keyword and tag lists, and directories of past articles are pushed aside or eliminated – making it harder for readers to navigate the blog. If a reader can’t find what was written on a given topic a few months (or years) ago it might as well not exist. Make it easy for readers to keep looking deeper, instead of going away.

Think of it this way. Naturists prefer NOT wearing clothes, whose main purpose is to hide, conceal, or disguise. Substance and readability are more valuable than style. Just let your blog be as naked as you want to be yourself. Naturists don’t usually try to impress others with how stylish they are. Naturist blogs shouldn’t do that either.

Keep in mind that the main purpose isn’t to impress readers with the look of the blog but with the pleasures and benefits of nudity – so that people will wean themselves off their addiction to wearing clothes.

6 thoughts on “Re: What Happened to the Nudist Bloggers?”

  1. First of all, we’d like to comment on the blog you are referring to because lots of things seem pretty awkward…
    It starts with the name, “sensual nudist”. This makes us wonder which audience she’s aiming for. Because we all know that such a name might attract lots of people, but not many of them will want to learn about non-sexual nudity.

    The blog largely consists of excerpts and copies of other blogger’s content.
    Then there are the photo galleries, full of stolen photos of nude people that have nothing to do with nudism.
    The nudist resources are also a bit weird. Half of them are about penis size whereas we believe that in nudism everyone is equal and penis size doesn’t matter. There’s also a resource about what vaginas look like.
    And then, interestingly, there’s an overview of other naturist blogs. There are 5 listed, all happen to be written by young women. This reminds us of the subject of the original blog post: why aren’t there more nudist bloggers. Well, we can name at least 20 more just by heart, but of course, they might be written by men or couples…

    Shortly summarized, we have quite some concerns about the Sensual Nudist blog…

    Here are our 2 cents about the nudist blogging sphere.
    Running a nudist blog is harder than one would think, especially because the start is so easy. You just run through all the taboos and controversies about nudism: nudism and sex, nudism and piercings/tattoos, what to do when you get an erection, how to behave at the nude beach, and so on. That’s good for at least 20 blog posts. But then what? This is where it stops for many, they run out of ideas before they’ve been able to build a decent audience on who they can rely on to get new ideas.

    Another issue is monetizing a nudist blog. Because most of the advertising platforms don’t allow websites that contain nudity, it’s very hard to generate a passive income. The large majority of nudist bloggers don’t earn enough from their website to pay for the hosting costs. That’s not really motivational.

    We 100% agree that nudist bloggers should promote each other. On Naked Wanderings we often link to other naturist blogs and now and then we publish an overview of the bloggers we follow (e.g. https://www.nakedwanderings.com/nudist-blogs-2020/).
    It is important though to consider which blogs you promote because not all of them have the same intentions as yourself.

    1. Thanks, Nick and Lins, for the response.

      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.

      To your first point about the difficulty of naturist blogging: I am puzzled by the notion that it’s not easy to think of things to write about, at least after the first 10 or 20 posts. I have seen this notion expressed very recently on another blog – and I’ll probably use it as an opportunity to offer one or more responses. Helpful advice on how one might start out in naturism is always worthwhile, but as you note, it’s always pretty much the same. However, naturist bloggers don’t write only for naturist newbies, but also for seasoned naturists and other naturist bloggers. So we can look to that larger audience for ideas. In particular, as I pointed out, simply writing responses on our own blogs is a place to start. Another vast topic that needs to be explored is: What can we do, as individuals to advance the acceptance of naturism – beyond our blogging? That topic alone could keep us busy indefinitely with dialog.

      To the point about monetizing a blog. In the first place, there are several blogging platforms that are “free”. WordPress has a free option. Blogspot is free. Medium is a platform where writers can actually make money. Hell, one could just write stuff on Facebook (as long as any pictures used are like those on your very own blog). There are more choices, and all have their pros and cons. As long as one doesn’t need to blog as a source of income, the expenses of a non-free platform aren’t really all that much. A month’s worth of paid hosting is generally less than the daily fee at a decent naturist campground – not even considering the travel cost.

  2. This was a good read and I appreciate your perspective on the topic. I had no idea there were over 500 blogs out there about nudist/naturist, but I can see how they would be easily missed if no one ever writes to them. Plus, it’s much easier to mindlessly scroll through endless posts on social media rather than engaging your brain and reading something of “nutritional value”. I mean, you wouldn’t open a granola or candy bar everytime you need to be fed, so why should your brain be any different.

    One point you made was the: “In order to have a real “community” of naturist bloggers, it is essential for the bloggers to actually interact with and support each other.” I can’t express how important this has been to me. I’ve went back and forth with a few naturist bloggers, including Dan’s blogs, The Meandering Nudist and The Discerning Nudist, and they have been very engaging and supporting. There have been so many more that I need to list them in a thank you.

    Finally, I have created a blog post to help address and explain some of the negative comments and concerns about my blog expressed here. I hope each of you will take the time to read and provide feedback on where my blog came from and where I plan to take it.

    https://www.sensualnudist.com/i-think-i-found-the-missing-nudist-bloggers/

    1. Alexis,

      Many thanks for the informative comment and the long post you’ve put up on your blog about the issues. I would like to go into much more detail about all of this, but I won’t have the time for a few days. (I have a couple of big posts of my own coming up.) I just want to say that I really admire your determination to get this naturist blogging thing right. The truth is that there’s no single right way to do it, because everyone’s different and brings their own unique perspectives.

      Please do not let anyone discourage you from continuing, because it looks like you’re headed in the right direction. I know that it must be at least 10 times harder for a woman to be a “public” naturist than it is for a man. But there’s hardly anything more important for naturism these days than to make naturism a safe and welcoming place for women. It’s hugely counterproductive to make life any harder for female naturist bloggers than it already is. We bloggers, both male and female, must help each other inform the skeptical world about naturism. Just think how much you could do to help others like yourself. Feel free to contact me any time by email or comments here if you think I could be of assistance in your effort.

      1. Thank you, I appreciate the support and the kind words. I agree there needs to be more male, female, and couples to blog, but I understand more than most how hard it is to make that happen. It can be a huge time suck trying to learn the right way to do it. Anyone can throw words on the screen, but taking the time to research, write, edit, and add illustrations can take more time than most want to devote. Like you said, it’s much easier to use social media platforms, and it only takes a few lines. However, what I have noticed is people tend to show their ass more on those platforms, and most discussions never really go anywhere. It’s like arguing with fools…pointless.

        I agree with you that it can be signigicantly harder for a woman to enter into this realm, particularly if you ‘expose’ yourself online. Regardless if its’ non-sexual nudity, you will always get some unwanted attention from the worst crowd. Just look at the issue Joy had, which I think she handled very well and bravely. I would have exposed the asshole too.

        If we are going to make any progress in this movement, we have to do it together because “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” A small plug for any Game of Thrones fans out there. 🙂

        We will get there but it will just take a little bit of time.

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