December 9, 2013

Confessions of a Blogger: The Etiquette Edition

About a year and a half ago I published Confessions of a Blogger, in which I listed things I do and don't like about blogs, mostly making points about layout and readability. It's not that I think I'm some kind of expert. It's just that I have noticed the most appealing things about blogs, in my opinion.

Well, I have also taken note of what I find most appealing with other BLOGGERS. The people behind the blogs. The sorts of things I and they do that I think is good blogger etiquette. Things I appreciate, and that I know others appreciate as well.

8 Blogging Etiquette Tips

1. Comments are like crack to bloggers. In this case, crack is NOT whack! Everyone (not only bloggers) is looking for validation. Comments give bloggers that. Also, the love can go both ways if you have an avatar and your name is a link, I can click it and go to your blog and leave you a comment in return. It's all good bloggy karma. I will probably mention good bloggy karma again.
I consider it good etiquette to either respond to a comment on a blog or return the favor by commenting on their blog. Ideally both, but if you can do at least one, that's awesome. - Kim Ulmanis
While comments are beautiful things, it's highly improbable that everyone will comment on every single one of your posts. You do know that, right?

2. Sharing is even better than commenting I think. Because if you decide to share MY post with YOUR followers, that must mean you really liked it for some reason, which means.....I did a good job and you think it should have more eyes on it. I share, share, share the posts I fall in love with. I'm not shy about it at all, and I don't think any of us should be. When you share something someone else wrote, it says to me that you're a very cool, humble and share-the-love kind of person. *Good bloggy karma*

3. Reciprocity is a big word, but basically like currency between bloggers. If someone shares, follows, mentions, comments, at the very least, acknowledge it. Better still, reciprocate in same way. *Good bloggy karma*

4. That being said.... You would like it to go that if you follow someone, that person follows you back, but don't ask them to. It's tacky. I don't care if you phrase it like, "would appreciate a follow back" or "hope you'll check me out too". It's so much better if you just let it be my idea. Honestly, if someone is inclined to follow you back, they will, without being asked. If you ask, you just create this uncomfortable guilt trip thing that makes me angry. One caveat, however: I don't mind when a fellow blogger lets me know they liked my Facebook page and directs me to theirs. The thing is with that, I might not know you're a blogger at all just by your Facebook name.

5. Say thank you for sharing. It's so super easy to hit reply to a tweet in which something of yours was shared and type "thanks for sharing". Just do it. At least that, if not also strike up a conversation with the person who shared. It's just good manners. Oh, and *good bloggy karma*.

6. You should at least mention a link-up host, if not include their button in the post you're linking up. People who host link-ups and blog hops are not to be used solely for more exposure for yourself. It should go both ways. Furthermore, I believe that when you participate in a link-up, you should, at the very least, read and comment on the host's post, and read and comment on another linked up post. Also, the hosts I like best, and continue to link up with, are the ones who read and comment on the posts people linked up with them. It is so disappointing to hook up with a hop and not have even the host check you out. Why host something if you're not going to read the posts? Oh, because you're only in it for the page views? That's not *good bloggy karma*.

7. Good communication when involved in a guest post situation is very important. Since starting The View From Here series in October I learned the best things to do as the person who wants the guest are:
  • Get the commitment
  • Keep some sort of record of it (I use Google Calendar)
  • Remind them several days to a week prior (people forget stuff)
  • Have a back-up plan in case they have to bow out for some reason
Things the guest blogger should do:
  • Make a note somewhere that you need to write a guest post (Google Calendar?)
  • Acknowledge the reminder you get so the host blogger doesn't panic
  • Write something you would publish on your own blog
  • Help promote your guest post and respond to comments
Because it's not just that you're doing me a favor by writing something for me. I'm also doing you a favor by introducing you to my readers and sharing your words with my followers. It's supposed to be a win-win situation. Networking. Reciprocal. *Good bloggy karma*

8. If another blogger inspires you to write something similar to what they've written, give them a nod. Lisa of The Golden Spoons worries that:
With so many mommy bloggers, it is just impossible to know who has written what recently and there is always overlap of ideas. For example, I was thinking about writing a post about stocking stuffer ideas, but just saw another blogger post the question on her FB page. Do I go ahead or is that "stealing" her idea? Same thing happens occasionally when I read other blog posts. It sparks a similar idea for me, but I certainly don't want to plagiarize. Where is the line?
Basically, I say it's all good. Yes, we women and mothers feel and think many of the same things, so I think it's impossible for us not to echo each other a bit. I think the way it should work is that YOU put YOUR own PERSONAL spin on a topic. That's the whole point of blogging, isn't it, to share YOUR perspective? Also, I think it's OK (even right) to mention the post that sparked the idea, or go to that blogger and say, "I'm planning to blog something similar, great minds think alike!"

Now let me just say that I am not sitting here up on some high horse about this. I'm not 100% perfect. But I absolutely do these things on some level. You probably do too. If there is something you've been overlooking, just step it up a little.

Also, remember that no one is a perfect person. If you feel that someone has been rude to you, I think you should give the benefit of the doubt at first. They could have gotten distracted by a kid just as they were going to tweet back to you. Or they did read your post but their comment got eaten. If a lack of good manners continues, then maybe they're not all that worried about their bloggy karma and it's fine if you just move on.

Is there anything you would add on this topic?

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