If you are new to the world of blogging, you may be wondering if some of the things you are doing fall into the category of proper etiquette or not. Like any social situation, whether online or offline, a lot of blogging etiquette is about what you feel most comfortable doing or not doing. However, there are certain things that are considered “best practices” in the Blogosphere, and if you approach those sorts of interactions incorrectly it can make people think poorly of you. Our five tips for today offer some insights into how you can show good blog manners.
1. Don’t over-promote your blog posts
It’s hard for people to read and like your content if they don’t know it exists, so sharing your content is important. However, you can easily cross the line into over-promotion, which some people may even call “spamming.” It is hard to define where that line is between appropriate promotion and overdoing it, and part of it is a comfort level. A good way to make sure you are not emphasizing yourself too much is to go back to that ratio concept. Every time you want to share your post, share the content of six other people or companies first.
2. Don’t link to your blog posts when they are not truly necessary
One day as I was leafing through Facebook, I saw that a person I was connected with was grieving the loss of a good friend. As I offered my condolences and scanned the comments, I saw that someone had actually linked to a blog post regarding grief. This is cringe-worthy. There are times and places for blog promotion. When people are going through “real-life” events, it usually is the wrong place and the wrong time.
3. Avoid the temptation to write “link bait” or “comment bait” posts
Often times, when a newsworthy event occurs, you will see marketers make mention of that event in their blog posts. While at times the intentions may be good, this also can very easily landslide into a post that is deemed heartless, cringeworthy, or just plain inappropriate. Sometimes, bloggers will also be tempted to write purposefully incendiary posts because they know these posts get a lot of links and comments (even if those comments are angry). These kinds of tactics are fairly easy to spot and never garner a positive reaction.
4. Don’t link to your own posts in a comment section
Almost always, this practice is frowned upon by other bloggers. If you are on someone else’s site and are commenting on their blog post, it is somewhat rude to try, in the comments section, to then direct people over to your site. If you have written something similar or related to the subject matter, a good way to approach it is to say, “I wrote something about this recently too, and I thought…” Almost always, your name in a comment will link people to your own blog site, so if people are interested in what you have to say, your blog post will still be accessible to them.
5. Speaking of comments, we think you should reply to them
This is probably the most often debated facet of the blogging world. Some authors feel that comments are not even necessary, so they disable the comments feature. Others allow people to comment but very seldom respond to those comments. The third faction believes you should try to respond to comments as often as possible. We fall into that last category for one key reason. When a person comments on your blog post, they are not just saying they read what you are writing, but they also gave it enough thought to digest it and then make their own reply. Given how busy people are these days, that is a pretty big gift of time and effort. We believe it is important, as often as possible, to show some appreciation for that effort, and the easiest way is to respond.
Those are our five tips. What would you add if you’re a blogging type?
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krisolin/6861197374/ via Creative Commons