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Blogger is leaving adult bloggers out in the cold; what now?

Blogger’s new content policy prohibits “sexually explicit” material. Anyone who writes about sex could be susceptible.

Blogger logo crossed out.

I first wrote this post on June 26, 2013, when Blogger changed its content policy in order to prohibit the monetization of adult content. At that point, they still allowed adult content as long as it was marked as such — and as long as you didn’t make a goddamn cent from it. It felt begrudging: “okay, fine, we’ll allow you heathens to exist on our platform, but not if you make any money.”

In February 2015, I had to publish an updated version of this post when Google updated their content policy to disallow any blogs containing “sexually explicit” material. It read, in part:

Starting March 23, 2015, you won’t be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger.

Note: We’ll still allow nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.

. . . If your existing blog does have sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video, your blog will be made private after March 23, 2015.

I wrote, “the new policy is worded so broadly that anyone who writes about sex could be susceptible. Sure, it sounds like Google is fine with some nudity, the right nudity, maybe written content as long as it’s not accompanied by “sexually explicit” photos, but that is not reassuring. Judging by the way most mainstream companies enforce ridiculous rules like this one, even sex toy reviewers like myself may be targeted.”

A few days later, Google backpedaled. Oh golly gosh, they just had no idea that people wrote legitimate blogs about sex! So, things are 3% less bleak than they were before. But the sad truth is that this post continues being relevant — and I continue feeling wary about any sex writer using a free blogging platform.

As a sex blogger, here are your options and my suggestions. But honestly, your best best is to bite the bullet and go self-hosted. If you’re in this for the long haul, I promise you won’t regret it. The Google crackdown can always get worse, and who knows what’s next.

First, a few not-so-good options

Option 1: Stick around — and keep back-ups. Keep trudging along with your current Blogger blog and hope the content policy (which allows adult content as long as you don’t try to make money with it) doesn’t change. But if it ever does, you won’t have much time to jump ship and funnel your readers to a new blog. So, you better keep back-ups of every single post (published or in draft form), as well as all the images/files used on your site.

You should also be constantly saving a .XML back-up of your site (which includes all your posts and comments) in case you need to import it somewhere else later on. Also, back your shit up via Google Takeout. 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.

Option 2: Move to and don’t monetize at all. Like Blogger, does not allow affiliate advertising. 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. WordPress also has some restrictions on adult content, and they don’t allow anything “pornographic.”

Option 3: Get on Tumblr. Tumblr allows the most adult content, but it has its own issues. It’s owned by Yahoo, so 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). They have suspended the accounts of cam girls with the reasoning that they “do not allow blogs with the primary purpose of affiliate marketing.” 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.

Your best bet: go self-hosted

This is the best long-term option (and my god, it is so freeing — I can almost 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:

  • DreamHost is my host. They use privacy protection by default and the support is excellent.
  • HostGator. The Hatchling Plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth for one domain. You can get 25% off anytime with code HEYEPIPHORA.
  • GoDaddy. Their ads are sexist as fuck and their site is convoluted as shit, but they’re cheap and they allow adult content.

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 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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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/ route? Thank god that I was so clueless, I can’t imagine not self-hosting. My site is mine dammit!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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 [email protected]

    Thanks in advance!

  10. 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*

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.”

  14. Jesus, thank you for this info. I just posted last night in a desperate attempt to understand this (at 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 :/

  15. 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, which is free, you have to follow their Terms of Service, which forbid affiliate linking.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. Here’s another free option if bloggers aren’t ready for the investment of self hosting:

    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.

  21. I was just wondering the same thing! Was going to ask but glad I read the whole page first! 🙂

  22. 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.

  23. 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!”

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. I haven’t received an email from Blogger. I can’t tell whether my blog, (AKA, 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!


  28. 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

  29. 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)

  30. 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?

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

  32. 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.

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

  34. 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.

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

  36. 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?

  37. 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

  38. 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.

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

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. I’ve been using HostGator for years with WordPress for a variety of blogs and custom programming for some other sites. WordPress and a wide variety of programs are immediately installable from the cPanel it doesn’t take a lot of time to get up and running and worry about the tweaking later.

    HostGator are reliable, have great terms and the tech people are pretty good when you do run into a problem. The only issue I’ve had is they sometimes run upgrades or updates to their servers without telling you. This matters if you have a particular script which relies on a particular version of PHP or some other backend feature and it gets changed without notification it can cause problems. Using a package like WordPress alleviates a lot of those issues along with maintenance as that can be fully automated. There are also tons of templates available at reasonable prices and finding someone to customize stuff is not too difficult.

    I won’t offer any opinion on GoDaddy: if you can’t say anything nice…

    Never worked with the other two.

    Good luck and good blogging

  44. Thank you for this piece. I actually started looking at wordpress until I read the terms of service earlier today. I want to monetize so UGH. This is horrible. This is such a violation of free speech that I think the ACLU should get involved.

  45. I started my blog in 2012 (a sex journal, no video, some stock photos) and was denied Adwords service because my blog had “adult content.” In 2012.

  46. I’m so thankful I went with Hostgator, as you suggested.
    I would recommend anyone reads your guide to sex toy blogging and reviewing! It really helped me and i’m sure it’s helped a LOT of others too 😀

  47. Just wanted to mention again. It’s completely free. You can use your own affiliate links. And it’s run by kinksters (lunaKM of and her man) so there’s no worry that you will some day be banned for your content.

  48. Kinky Blogging also has a tool to import posts from Blogger. I moved over there a while ago since it seemed like this sort of thing might be on the horizon.

  49. Just a heads up for folks looking at migrating to tumblr, they’ve been deactivating accounts of cam girls and other sex workers because you’re apparently not supposed to use tumblr “primarily as a marketing, SEO, or sales tool.” While in some cases tumblr allows everything, their rules get real weird and specific when they want them to be.

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