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#FiveTipsFriday Blog Etiquette

6861197374_17a9d96b5e_mIf 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

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6 comments on “#FiveTipsFriday Blog Etiquette

  1. I respectfully disagree regarding the grief post, but I do acknowledge that it could have been communicated in a better way (though a private message). As a bereaved mother, I write regularly about grief. Others blog posts about grieving their children which are our “real life events” and their words have kept me afloat on very difficult days. If a personal friend on my Facebook page shared something they wrote on a similar topic, I wouldn’t see it as self promotion, but rather reaching out to another hurting individual. That being said, perhaps the blog post you are talking about was regarding grief in general rather than a personal story and that might be seen as condescending.

  2. Margie I couldn’t agree more. I’m in that point of finding the proper ratio of sharing my blog posts without looking like spam and sharing others content.

    On Twitter it is very easy, but on Facebook that is way more visual, I find the challenge of sharing others work because I always use an image with a post. All the posts that I have done on my FB’s Page that belong to other Food Bloggers, I’ve given them credit, tagged them and posted the link to their original post. I’ve sent PM making sure that if this bothers them I’ll remove it.

    I’ve stopped doing that because first, they don’t always respond to the PM, and second, I read on some other posts how even if giving credit and linking to the original post of the blogger, you might infringe in copyright issues. So that affects my FB style posting and I’ve decided to create more content on my own. Do you have any tips on that?

    Sorry I know these posts are regarding blog etiquette but one thing took me to another one. Thanks for sharing these tips and have a great weekend!

  3. Margie, I generally agree, but I don’t know about #4. Disqus no longer links to your blog. Actually, they make it pretty difficult to find if you aren’t used to their system.

    That said, I ONLY link to my own post in the comments if otherwise I would just be leaving a really long comment, and I try to make the comment worthwhile on its own, without the link. And I ONLY do it places that I regularly comment without links. So I guess I just have some reservations or qualifications versus real disagreement. 🙂

    – @wittlake

  4. I really like #3. Very, very tempting, but this is always a short-sighted method to building traffic with often mixed outcomes.

  5. […] of what is considered inappropriate blogging behavior. A couple of weeks ago we talked a little bit about blog etiquette. Today we are going to talk about some mistakes we’ve seen that you definitely want to […]

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