Thankfully, blogging has a low threshold for entry. Anyone anywhere can start a blog this very moment and start sharing their voice with the online world immediately. The drawback here is that the “blogging code of conduct” can go unknown and unfollowed for quite some time. If you are new(er) to blogging, here are a few blog etiquette pointers to keep you in good graces with the veteran crowd and your community.
Don’t Contribute to Comment Spam
We love comments as bloggers. What we don’t love so much is spam. If you are going to spend your precious time contributing, make sure it doesn’t end up in the Trash folder. Use your God-given name, not that of your blog or favorite keyword. Add to the discussion, share a resource or give your opinion on the post’s topic. No “nice post” comments, please.
If It’s Not Yours, Don’t Use It Without Asking
If you do not have express permission from the source, do not use images you find online. Period. The same goes for content. It is one thing to include a small quote with a link back to the source when writing an editorial. It’s another to post someone else’s article in its entirety. Just don’t do it.
Be Respectful of Opposing Views (a.k.a. Don’t feed the trolls)
At some point someone is going to disagree with you. At some point someone online is going to be having a bad day and decide you are the target of their frustrations. Don’t get involved in drama. You can’t come back from that. Delete the comment if necessary. Ignore the offender. Whatever you do, don’t feed the trolls.
Make Your Competitors Your Community
The best people to promote your work at those that share the same followers – also known as your competitors. Make friends with these people. Start a tribe for social media shares. Participate in group giveaways and blog hops.
Acknowledge and Reciprocate
When someone does share your work, thank them. Reciprocate if you can. Don’t act like you are above your community or eventually you won’t have one.
Follow Through on Commitments
This goes for everything from guest posting to reviews. You wanted this career path so dearly, treat every opportunity as your first. Don’t be a flake. It hurts everyone.
Don’t Spam Your Followers
While you shouldn’t spam other bloggers, don’t spam your followers either. Don’t harvest their email addresses from your comments and add them to your newsletter list without permission. Don’t private message them on social media to promote your site.
When You Start Feeling Desperate, Stop
Desperation can take a blog down in no time. Whether it is spurred on because you don’t feel things are moving quickly enough or you simply get a twinge of jealousy because another blogger landed the review you were vying for, keep yourself in check. Don’t get on a social media soapbox about how you are a better blogger than everyone else. Don’t beg PR reps or put down a brand out of spite. Don’t participate in shady or irrelevant tactics to get more traffic. Your hard work will pay off, but not if you ruin your reputation.