Jun 262013
 

Today was going well, but adult bloggers have just been dealt a huge blow by the powers that be over at Google. Blogger just sent out this disconcerting email:

Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.

If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.

Currently, Blogger allows adult content as long as it is marked as such in your settings. But now they don’t want you to make a cent from an adult blog. Does this apply to other blogs hosted with them? Nope, just adult ones. Of course. And of course, we have less than a week to grapple with this.

First things first: if you currently have a sex blog on Blogger, go back it up right this instant. Yes, now. Stop reading this, leave it in another tab, go into your Blogger dashboard and export your blog. The .XML file that you get will contain all your posts as well as the comments associated with them, but it won’t be of much use to you until you need to import it somewhere else. Still, GET IT. Also back up the Picasa album containing all your blog’s photos. And you know, if I were you, I’d go so far as to save every page of my site.

This is a huge, huge, huge bombshell for sex bloggers trying to survive out there without paying for hosting. Not gonna lie, you guys, shit is looking bleak if you want to continue to blog without paying for it. Here are your options and my suggestions. But honestly, your best bet is option 4 — bite the bullet and go self-hosted.

Option 1: Risk it. Keep trudging along with your current Blogger blog and hope they don’t notice you. But if someone reports you, your content can be removed on a whim. If you go this route, you better keep back-ups of every single post (published or in draft form) that you write, as well as all the images/files used on your site. You should also be constantly saving a .XML back-up of your site in case you need to import it somewhere else later on. Be vigilant as fuck. I am not kidding.

Option 2: Keep your blog on Blogger or move to WordPress.com, but don’t try to monetize at all. Both allow adult content, but they apparently really don’t want you to make a dime from it. WordPress.com does not allow affiliate advertising and now neither does Blogger. So you’ll have to blog without affiliate links and without banner advertisements for sex companies. That’s a pretty shitty deal. I believe you should at least be able to make a few bucks here and there, and there are so many affiliate programs that it’s silly not to join at least a few… if you can advertise them.

Option 3: Get on Tumblr. Tumblr allows everything, but it has its own issues. Being recently acquired by Yahoo, some are worried that its lax policy for porn could be altered at any moment (although Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has alluded to letting porn be porn). This is before you consider that Tumblr is built for microblogging, not full-on blogging. There is a Blogger to Tumblr importer, but I don’t know if it currently works.

Option 4: Go self-hosted. This is the best long-term option (and my god, it is so freeing — I can 80% guarantee you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner), but it’s the only one that costs money.

Because we live in this world, even hosting that is friendly to sex bloggers is hard to find. You have to dig deep into each host’s Terms of Service to be sure they allow it (hint: look for the words “adult,” “pornographic,” and “obscene”). Here are some hosting companies that allow us heathens:

  • HostGator is my host. I love them. I’m on the Hatchling Plan, which offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth for one domain. You can get 25% off anytime with code HEYEPIPHORA.
  • GoDaddy.
  • DreamHost. They use Who.is privacy protection by default! Use code EPIPHORA to get free domain name registration ($15 value) and $10 off hosting on a 1- or 2-year prepaid hosting plan.
  • A Small Orange. Get $5 off with code EPIPHORA. This may be the cheapest solution, but there’s a reason for that — it’s really for small sites that need very little storage space. For $3/month, you get just 250 MB storage and 5 GB bandwidth. To give you some numbers, my site is currently 1.2 GB and burns through 125 GB of bandwidth per month. For a small site, A Small Orange could work. But don’t be surprised if you have to upgrade in the future.

You’re always going to get a better deal if you can pay for more months or years upfront. If you want to pay monthly, you’ll be looking at around $6-9/month, but if you pay for a whole year, it will be lower.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to buy privacy protection, otherwise your name, address, and phone number will be available to anyone who looks up your domain on Who.is. It’s usually $10/year or so. Here’s how to enable it with HostGator and GoDaddy. Do not fake your info instead — that is against the Terms of Service.

You’ll want to install WordPress as your blogging platform. A few resources to help guide you through the migration:

Need more help getting a new blog up and running? Read my guide to sex toy reviewing and blogging (even if you won’t be blogging about toys — there’s useful info there!). And always, if you need help, email me at hey.epiphora [at] gmail [dot] com or grab me on Twitter.

What do you plan to do about this terrible news? Have any other resources for fellow sex bloggers I should include?

Did you like this? Subscribe for more of it!

Get new posts directly in your inbox!

Get my less frequent Snark Digest newsletter with posts + exclusive content!


  • Caitlin M.

    All I can say is that it was a good decision to move over to my own domain a month ago. I’m definitely finding it to be worth it.

  • lunaKM

    Kinky-blogging.com is always an option.

  • Navigator

    Well, I was hoping to get my own domain before CCon West, and now I kind of have to. -_- It’s easier than I thought it would be, though.

  • Vixen Blu

    I have gone ahead and gotten a tumblr account for my blog. I did manage to use the blogger to tumblr converter which you linked to. It seems to have worked well. Its a bit slow (and I only had 50 or so entries) so keep that in mind.

    Im kind of skeptical of Tumblr too since Yahoo has bought it out. I dont have much of a choice at this point though since I dont have much money. Definitely cant formulate the money in just 4 days. Thanks alot, Blogger.

  • Neil

    If anyone needs some help exporting from Blogger and setting their blog up elsewhere, hit me up! It’s what I do!

  • http://www.redheadbedhead.com/ The Redhead Bedhead

    Remember when we talked about how I knew nothing when I started my blog and had I known stuff I might have gone the Blogger/Wordpress.com route? Thank god that I was so clueless, I can’t imagine not self-hosting. My site is mine dammit!

  • http://rollinthehay.blogspot.com/ rollinginthehay

    Thank you for this! You rock!

  • http://secretlysensuousstuff.blogspot.com/ Secretly Sensuous

    Something I’m looking at is how fast might my blog grow? Since I’m just getting started, I’m leaning towards using ASO in the beginning and then transferring to HostGator when I outgrow the storage space.

  • Kenzie Allaway

    ty for being on the ball with this post. you actually answered many of my questions. and i had literally just did my backup before reading it cuz i was thinking the same thing. i’ve always had tumblr in addition to blogger, but it’s sooo limited,i agree it’s more of microblogging, i’m also not that used to tumblr. my other personal reason for not wanting to do my main bloggin on tumblr is that being a trans blog and my bf being ftm, we’d really get lumped in with tags that mostly lead to porn from what i’ve seen. how inn the hell do we have such short notice on this?the email says as of 6/30. that’s 3 days. and the weekend at that. so with the kid here for the weekend this is so not a good time

  • http://www.shevibe.com/ Sandra

    I just about fell over when I got this email last yesterday (and I almost emailed you right away but figured you were way ahead of me). We are in the process of moving our blog to WordPress because we don’t have affiliate concerns. It stuns me how this industry gets shunned with the kind of money it generates – even getting a bank to agree to process your credit card payments as a retail site is incredibly challenging.

    So that being said, we’re happy to give bloggers a place to promote their blogs on the SheVibe Social forum – we’ve been working on the issues and should have all the kinks cleared up in short order. Good luck everyone!

  • DynamicKitty

    I’m trying to import my Blogger blog over to WordPress but I cannot for the life of me find where in the hell the “Tools” and “Import” bits are on my WordPress dashboard. Someone please help!? Email me at dynamickittysreviews@yahoo.com

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Here’s a screenshot of where to find it:

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Yeah, this is an option. Just be aware it’s a pain in the ass (and kind of anxiety-inducing!) to move hosts.

  • dizzygirl

    I’m feeling like total shit over this. I finally got to a point where my Blogger blog looked how I wanted and had all the widgets for the functionality I wanted. I put a lot of work into that.

    I’ve been working all morning on getting self hosted. I’m almost there. What a pain in the ass though. Then I’ll have to do all that SEO stuff all over again for the new blog. I mean, there’s a lot to it. *sigh*

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    I know. I’m angry for you. But I have faith that you will love being self-hosted.

  • tonyinabag

    My Leather club uses uberresults.com for our web hosting. They’ve been great, allow adult sites, and are really reasonably priced.

  • Marilyn

    I’m a little confused about the comment regarding Tumblr not indexing adult blogs on search engines. I have four Tumblr blogs, two marked NSFW and two marked adult and all four show up as the top result on Google for the appropriate queries.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Ah. Looks like it does index them, but doesn’t crawl any of the content. So the description will show up as “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt – learn more.”

  • Stabbin Robots

    Jesus, thank you for this info. I just posted last night in a desperate attempt to understand this (at sexxxay.blogspot.ca) and I am so pissed off. I am trying to convince/con my bf into paying for my hosting.

    I am confused about one thing though. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog… doesn’t that still count as being on WordPress? Or is WordPress just like a tool you can use for posting?

    This is stressful and upsetting :/

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Right. If you self-host, you’re using WordPress as a blogging platform. You’re hosted and governed only by your hosting company, so the only rules you must follow are theirs (generally, “don’t break the law”).

    If you’re on WordPress.com, which is free, you have to follow their Terms of Service, which forbid affiliate linking.

  • Stabbin Robots

    Ohhh ok, I understand now. Thanks so much for the info! :)

  • Bacchus

    Yup. The Tumblr may show up that way in Google with no description if you search for its name, but you can’t search for individual posts that way even if you know the exact words in the post and use them as search terms. So, to be precise, Google includes the Tumblr itself in its index but doesn’t have access to any of the posts, so it can’t index them.

  • frellathon

    Yeah it’s a crappy thing to happen. I would like to chime in that ASO is not a host I would recommend. I when I signed up with them when wanting to leave blogger ended up leaving in a hurry their support is horrible with no clue what they are doing. I went back to blogger for a little which then bit the bullet and tried again. Stable Host is who I went to after that and they are awesome!

  • http://karasutrareviews.com/ Kara_Sutra

    After having my YouTube account killed by Google I gave up on the company (Google mostly). Now, to see this stunt, with what… a measly few days warning?! I’m in a state of disbelieving belief (it’s a thing, I’m experiencing it). I know how it feels to have something you’ve worked on be almost ‘taken away’ by the hands of the evil Google simply because it was ‘adult’ in nature… for those struggling, just know Epiphora is right: YOU WILL LOVE SELF HOSTING!

  • AirenWolf

    I totally recommend going self hosted! As Epiphora says it is very freeing and, though it’s a ton of work, it’s worth it. I really wish I had started back in 2008!
    We are so being forced out of the door….ffs there are banner and warnings slashed all over everything what is the deal with the prudish behavior? ~Sigh I really wish America would grow the fuck up.

  • Rayne Millaray

    Here’s another free option if bloggers aren’t ready for the investment of self hosting: http://www.kinky-blogging.com/

    luna and her man KnyghtMare run this site, and you don’t have to be kinky to use it. You just have to be tolerant of kink and be okay with the ads they have on site to drive revenue. They allow you to post your own ads, also. And they’ve removed all EdenFantasys ads to make EF expats more comfortable.

  • KellieJames

    I was just wondering the same thing! Was going to ask but glad I read the whole page first! :)

  • Marie

    I can also vouch for HostGator. I contacted them when I first started my adult blog and asked if there were any issues they’d have with adult blogging. The customer service rep who responded said they had no problem with that as long as what I was blogging about was legal. He even mentioned that they already hosted several adult sites. For technical issues, their support reps are also really helpful and friendly. I’ve never implemented ads on my site (my theme doesn’t really handle them well) but I looked into JuicyAds for a while, since GoogleAds won’t support adult ads.

  • Ardyvee

    I may be dumb, or my reading comprehension skills sucks…. but….

    “After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove
    blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to
    adult websites.”

    There I read: If your blog is marked as adult, and your ads are to adult websites (or adult material), no. Otherwise (that is, if Adult Blog, but ads are not adult) you can keep your blog? Can anybody enlighten me if my interpretation is wrong or not? Everyone seems to be screaming “no! you can’t monetize adult content!” when I read “no! you can’t monetize adult content by having adult ads!”

  • Pingback: More on the Blogger purge()

  • Erica Scott

    Wow. Thank you. This is so incredibly thorough. I am currently on Blogger, but didn’t receive the notice. Then again, I don’t monetize. I have done the XML backup and the import to WordPress, just in case.

    I think part of what has made the kinky blog community so upset is the vague wording of the notice. Are they removing adult blogs that advertise, or blogs with adult content, period? What constitutes advertising, exactly? I have links to my two books on my blog. Is that advertising? If I post a link to a pay video site, is that advertising? Ugh.

    I hate censorship. Stupid Blogger. Go after the hatemongers, the racists and the pedophiles, and leave us alone!

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Nobody knows what they actually mean. But “advertising” and “monetization” can also apply to links. Also, what the fuck makes an ad “adult”? AGAIN, NOBODY KNOWS.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Yeah, the wording is AWESOMELY VAGUE, isn’t it? And that is why it’s so disconcerting.

  • jovan1984

    If you want to block google, see my screenshot below.

    By the way I am blocking their search engine in approximately 55 minutes. I am not a sex worker, nor do I have an adult blog, but I stand in solidarity with the sex workers being persecuted by Google.

  • Joan Price

    I haven’t received an email from Blogger. I can’t tell whether my blog, http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com (AKA http://betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com), is at risk. It’s all about sex and aging, but does that make it “adult content”? Where’s Blogger’s definition of “adult content”? (They’ll know it when they see it?)

    My site is educational and there’s no porn or anything that could be construed as graphic sex, but it is all about sex, including sex toy reviews. I have sex toy companies as advertisers and affiliates.

    I’m very busy writing a new book and would rather not deal with this if I don’t have to. But I also don’t want to risk losing the blog I’ve been running since 2005!

    Advice?

  • Kenzie Allaway

    and i’m wondering about sponsored posts. i could remove aff codes from all our links and take banners down. but i’m not gonna remove sponsored posts, that’s just not right. i would think links are ok as long as not aff links, but idk

  • Kenzie Allaway

    it’s ironic and feels like a kick in the ass to have to go thru all of this on the heels of having to walk away (for ethical reasons) from the main source of monetization we had. (bending over to see if i can pull some money out of my ass)

  • Kenzie Allaway

    i’m really feeling bad for everybody who didn’t already own their domain, as they are going to lose pagerank and such. as far as readers knowing where to go maybe everybody with a blogspot url could do a redirect to their new site to at least keep the traffic flowing?

  • montecristo5000

    Big thanks for this info. This news affects me directly, and you’ve given me everything I need to know. Thanks again.

  • Bartlet4Gallifrey

    Please don’t use GoDaddy. Aside from their founder shooting an elephant, their ads are wildly, grotesquely sexist. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.

  • Pingback: Meh, Internet. | ORGANIZING CREATIVITY()

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Yeah, that is the main reason I chose HostGator.

  • Bartlet4Gallifrey

    I figured. I was really surprised that you didn’t mention the problems with GoDaddy, or that another commenter didn’t.

  • Jane

    I’ve really enjoyed these past two posts on disaster management. It’s like watching somebody well-informed with an electric disposition directing people away from a brush fire. However, I feel like these problems are just symptoms of a wider epidemic: the view of human to human (and human to object) sexual contact as a taboo, immoral, or impure.

  • Pingback: Truths About EdenFantasys | Reviews by Cole()

  • northierthanthou.com

    It’s a damned shame. Makes you wonder how the decision was made and what interest groups may be behind it.

  • Pingback: Clitblocked By Google()

  • Pingback: Dangerous Lilly | Wordpress.com….deleting adult blogs??()

  • Pingback: Blogger & Wordpress.com deleting sex blogs (PSA) | Domme Chronicles()

  • Pingback: Google Gags 'Adult' Blogs - Kinky()

  • Claire

    I have a wordpress website with adult content and am very happy with it. http://www.claire.sc

  • Pingback: Pornocalypse | Unrepentant Fatty()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 - Behind the Chintz Curtain()

  • Pingback: E[lust] #48 | storyofalice()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Insatiable Desire()

  • Pingback: E [lust] #49 Beck And Her Kinks()

  • Pingback: E[lust] #48 | Molly's Daily Kiss()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Stella Kiink()

  • Pingback: e[lust] 48…fete! | Journal of a sado-masochist()

  • Pingback: The Fresh New Hotness… e[Lust] #48 | | ButchtasticButchtastic()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | A Penny for Your Dirty Thoughts()

  • Ng Eng Hou

    my blog was closed down all of a sudden by blogger on eve of thanksgiving, my g+ account was suspended, just don’t understand why is this persecution? now I host my own blog and then penguin comes and I think I got penalized, I think google has too much control on the Internet. Isn’t Internet supposed to be a place with freedom for all?

  • bare

    Tried kinky-blogging but can’t seem to place any iframe ads and have no access to any extra plugins to help with this task, don’t really won’t to pay for host as my ad earnings would be lower than cost of host. Ahh well, shit happens

  • Pingback: Dragon's Kink » e[LUST] #48()

  • Sapphire

    Thank you for the great article! I moved my blog over to Tumblr. I still need to download the photos from it, too. After doing some research after reading the initial email I was pretty mad to discover that there was no email, phone number, chat line… no way to contact Google with questions about Blogger. If I’d noticed that in the beginning, I may not have started my blog on Blogger. GOOD LUCK everyone! So far Tumblr has been fine for me.

  • Pingback: E[lust] Publication #48 | Lorelei Nixie()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Geeky Nymph()

  • Ritwik

    I am a adult blogger in blogspot. ( http://www.sexgamesbox.blogspot.com)
    I have been blogging since a long time without adult setting “ON.”
    But still now i have not face any problems :)
    I have been using “Juicyads” publisher :)

  • Rock singh

    Delhi Great Information Escorts

    We are not just like another Escorts Service Provide in
    Delhi. Our Assistance is clearly different from the others. As we Provide Independent
    Escorts like Learners, Air Hostess and Models.

    We are the best Companions service agency in Delhi (NCR),
    offer sour service to high class personals only. So we know the flavor of our
    customers, we know what you want, why you pay for. That’s why we offer Beautiful,
    Attractive and Shapely Companions in Delhi.

    http://shilpioberoi.com/

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 « Lady Pandorah's Sanctuary()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Domme Chronicles()

  • Modern Casanova

    Definitely best choice is self hosting, it can cost $10-$20 / year and it is safest choice.

  • Pingback: e[lust] 48 | Thoughts of a Growing Sub()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Silverdrop's Toy Box()

  • Rajiv

    Hi there,

    I have recently purchased Domain Name and Web Hosting plan through HostGator. Today, I redirected my blogspot blog to my new register website. Now, every link is being redirected to my new site.

    Can I know place ads on my adult blog or it is still against their policy?

    Should I migrate to Hostgator using their WordPress Tool instead of sticking to redirection?

    My contents are still on blogger and I am planning to update my blog through Windows Live Writer that means I will still be using their server for my data and only the blog name will be redirected to the new site name. I was using Juicy Ads for my adult blog. Currently, I am not displaying any ads on my blog when I want to monetize my blog again. I have domain name and web hosting plan. So what is better?

    So can you please explain in detail what to do?

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    If you only purchased the domain name, then you are still under Blogger’s ToS and should be concerned. If you did actually buy hosting as well, you need to install WordPress on that and import all your posts from Blogger. There are tons of articles about how to do both of these things; Google them.

  • Cora Jane

    Thanks for posting this!

  • Pingback: E[lust] #48 » e[lust]()

  • http://freewebcams.vipcams4u.com/ Alex Liddell

    wow just one amazing website with great articles http://freewebcams.vipcams4u.com/

  • Bazlur Rahman

    This is a great post. Bloggers are removing adult content . I highly appreciate this but I hate censorship.Virtual Reality Porn,Oculus Rift Porn, Oculus Rift XXX

  • Pingback: elust 48 - Rebel's Notes()

  • Pingback: e[lust] #48 | Harper Eliot()

  • Pingback: Blogger Drops The Hammer On Adult Affiliate Blogs: The Next Adult Ghetto? | Red Garter Club Blog Network()

  • Pingback: Oh Fuck! Blogger Changes Adult Blog Policies – Sex in Words()

  • Shovo Shake

    London Escorts

    Hot Paradise London escorts, available 24 hours a day and
    providing the ultimate in discreet services. At Hot Paradise you’ll find a
    large array of the most beautiful and sexy ladies the world has to offer. All
    of our gallery profiles and photos are 100% genuine.

    Go To:>> http://www.hotparadise.co.uk