Hello bloggy friends! Today I want to touch on the subject of blogging etiquette…for both bloggers and readers of blogs. I don’t know it all (not even close) so I’d love for you to chime in with your own personal thoughts on blogging etiquette. I’m sure you will have great things to share! So here we go:
Thoughts for bloggers:
- Always link back…always! No doubt you have likely experienced what it feels like to find content that you shared posted on another blog with no crediting link. Of course it is also wise to note that there is a possibility that that other blogger simultaneously discovered the same content (this has personally happened to me and was really upsetting when out of the blue someone came after me with accusations of content theft – I was able to show them that I hadn’t stolen the post content, but it was still rattling). The main point here is not to police the blog world, but rather to do your part to give credit where it is due. It seems that some bloggers think that it looks bad if they don’t find all the content for their site on their own so they intentionally leave crediting links out of their posts. Maybe some readers are put off when a blogger finds content elsewhere…but I personally have a higher respect for bloggers who make a habit of crediting their sources, regardless of where they found it. Community and sharing is what blogging is all about (in my opinion)…and link sharing is a positive and vital way to grow your network of blog relationships.
- It is usually in bad form to recycle full posts/images from another blog. Since blogs rely upon incoming links for growth you are only hurting the other blogger by copy/pasting complete posts (your readers will have no reason to visit the original blog – even if you do provide a link), not to mention you will be profiting from their hard work (they had to find the content, write about it and assemble the post images). Instead, give your readers a teaser image or two and let them know why you like the post…then direct them over for the full post content with a link to the source blog. Additionally, freebies, downloads, PDF files, etc. should remain on the original blog that created them. It is great to spread the news about a freebie you love, but it isn’t nice to take the download and offer it from your own site. Doing so eliminates any need for your readers to visit the original source blog…not good.
- Copyright. This is a huge (scary) topic and one that I will be sure to address more thoroughly in the future. But the main thing I have to note on this topic right now is to be sure to honor the artist/designer/blogger’s posted wishes regarding their work. If they ask for you to obtain written consent before posting…then that’s what you have to do. If they say they don’t want their work blogged, then it is best to just walk away. There are millions of those out there who are happy to have their work shared with the world…so go to it.
- Be proactive, not reactive. From time to time you may come across someone in blogland (on your or another blog/social networking sites/or by email who has only hurtful or mean-spirited things to say. Some blogs thrive on this sort of environment, but if you are not a blogger who enjoys this sort of atmosphere then it is wise to sort out exactly how you will respond to these kinds of individuals. I have personally adopted the “kill them with kindness” philosophy and find that it is best to say nothing at all when possible, or address such individuals with a calm and understanding tone. I think it takes a strong person to just walk away and not try to get the last word in…but I believe that it really is worth the effort. If all else fails, ask a trusted friend in the blogging community for their advice and hang in there. If you refuse to give them kindling for their fire, eventually they will have to burn out.
Thoughts for blog readers/businesses:
- Remember that bloggers are only human. There are so many facets that make up a blogger’s world (and everyone is different) so it is easy for some things to fall through the cracks. Believe me…any kind comments, sweet emails, etc that you might want to share with a blogger can mean the world (they do to me at least).
- Newsletter no-no. If you own or work for a business…never sign a blogger up for your newsletter without their permission. This is something that happens to me all the time and I make it a general rule to unsubscribe immediately. This practice leaves such a bad taste in my mouth that it makes it hard to want to feature the company’s products after this has happened.
The best rule for blogging etiquette really has more to do with the Golden Rule than anything else. “Treat others as you would like ot be treated.” As long as I remind myself of this then it seems like everything moves along exactly as it should. I hope my little tips will be of help to you in your blogging journey. Feel free to ask any questions you’d like in the comment section below…I’m happy to answer them. xo Ez