Two of my most viewed articles of all time have been about NSFW portrayals of video game characters. One of these top articles was about the popular Nintendo character Bayonetta, and has (at the publication of this article) received 132,960 views total and received 4,000 views this week, several months after publication. The article is entitled Nude Bayonetta Playboy Spread Looks Like Bad Cosplay.
So, how did this happen?
Finding the Topic
I’m an active Twitter user, so much so that most of my best coverage and early leads comes from people on Twitter. That’s where I found out about Pamela Horton, the Playboy model, doing a spread as Bayonetta. The Internet was up in arms — was Nintendo sanctioning this coverage? It was definitely a departure from their family-friendly public persona if so.
More interesting to me was the potential for a great slideshow from the pictures.
Because this was a very topical “news” item, and I was concerned with how quickly I needed to get it out there to rank highly in Google searches, I didn’t check with Google Trends to see how it was doing at the time of writing. What I did anticipate working in my favor was that it was four days before Halloween, when costumed searches the world over are up.
Why a Slideshow?
Choosing a slideshow makes a lot of sense for an article like this. The idea is to get the viewer clicking the next button with a slideshow, and promising boobs is a good way to do that.
At the bottom of every slideshow there is a hint of pictures to come, so readers can see what they’re going to get if they keep clicking.
I didn’t use all of the photos from the original shoot, choosing to reference the ones that I thought might be the most interesting. A link in the final slide points to where users can find the rest of the pictures. Additionally, I split up the real life content with stills rom the game to give reference to the original character for context comparison and discussion.
All in all, there wasn’t a whole lot to write an article about. The real star of this piece was the images, not the text. With that in mind, I tried to write at least 30 words per slide, aiming more towards 50. This is generally good SEO practice, as it allows for more keywords to be used.
People Aren’t Looking at My Article for PG Reasons
Most of my traffic for a piece like this is going to be organic search traffic, as represented by the pie chart below.
This means that people are coming here through related Google searches. Most of the work for an article such as this comes in the form of the title. How are we going to get the most bang for our buck in an article featuring a Playboy model dressed as a classic video game character?
Most of the articles I saw on the subject focused on the Nintendo angle — Wii U Daily’s title was “Nintendo Partners with Playboy to Promote Bayonetta 2.” This seemed like the wrong angle to go with, but I wasn’t really going for the news in this piece. I was going for the porn crowd.
Currently if you look up “Nude Bayonetta Cosplay” (global search, not personal), my article is #1.
This was done intentionally. The terms I focused on were ‘nude’, ‘Bayonetta’, and ‘cosplay’. (There was some waffling between nude and naked, but Google trends pointed to more people liking the word nude). I utilized these terms mostly in the tags section and the title, making sure to at least mention Bayonetta and Playboy in as many slides as appropriate.
Sex sells, and traffic results on my article show that there are significantly more views late at night and around 3PM.
You need to know your audience for this sort of thing. I’m not targeting Nintendo fans, as the Wii U Daily article was. I’m targeting people who are hoping to catch a glimpse of a naked Bayonetta. Sex sells, and traffic results on my article show that there are significantly more views late at night and around 3PM (so when the kids get off school but before parents get home.) If people looking at your articles for non-PG reasons offends you, then you probably want to stay away from this kind of content.
So How Do I Promote This Kind of Content
I honestly didn’t. While I joke about writing porn articles and that they’re my bread and butter (my top two posts of all time are about sexual content, by a long shot), I didn’t want to actively promote this content on my social media sites. My mom follows me on there.
I posted a single tweet, with several appropriate hashtags, and that was that. The traffic was entirely organic and flowed from Google and people looking up “nude Bayonetta” (where I’m the third search result) and other related content.
My advice for articles like this is to be professional, timely, and infinitely searchable.
An article like this one needed to be out right around a time for costumes and right around the launch of Bayonetta 2. It also needed to be easily found in the right kinds of searches. Finally, since you’re talking about potentially adult subject matter, it pays to be professional. It might seem counter-intuitive, but this has the potential to be the thing that pops up next to your name for a long time — make sure it doesn’t just say “lol boobs.”