Blogger etiquette isn’t something that’s blogged about a lot, and yet the unwritten rules of blogging are quite important, it’s no wonder new aspiring bloggers trip up almost immediately.
As a prolific blogger in the blogosphere and in my home county of Somerset I thought that potentially my nearly 5 years of blogging might offer a wealth of experience on the matter. Let’s start with the don’ts:
- Don’t point out mistakes on blog posts! We’re bloggers, not journalists. It’s actually not meant to be perfect (in my opinion anyway). Personally, as someone with undiagnosed or supported dyspraxia & dyslexia, nothing drags me down faster after taking ages writing a post to have you spelt ‘x’ wrong or your image is blurry (its artsy actually). Focus on the take away message and don’t get caught up in petty finger pointing.
- Don’t expect bloggers to give you hours worth of their time explaining how to blog, there are tons of how to’s on YouTube.
- Don’t expect bloggers to give you their PR contacts, it takes years to build relationships with brands and PR’s and it’s work we’ve ALL had to put in.
- Don’t be rude to PR’s. It’s so easy to be a keyboard warrior and bite back when a PR offers ‘exposure’ when you’ve asked for a fee. However, PR’s are people (sometimes people just out of uni *hint do not make them cry), behind every email is an actual person, be respectful in your response. Not every brand has a big budget. Trust me, PR’s might move on to another brand campaign that is perfect for you but will they contact you if you’ve been rude in the past?
- Don’t assume that brands have big budgets for working with bloggers. Sometimes smaller businesses that are streets ahead in their thinking have bigger budgets than larger brands we’ve all heard of.
- Don’t have an attitude of entitlement. If you’ve been blogging for 5 mins there’s no way you’ll be able to command the big bucks or even any bucks for awhile yet. Stay patient, work hard, enjoy yourself (it’s fun) be nice to everybody you meet online and IRL and don’t expect it all to land in your lap
- Read a blog post you like? Comment with a thoughtful response to the take away message in the post. Definitely write more than ‘great post’.
- Do like and share, for bloggers interaction and engagement is like a busker getting 2p thrown in the hat, it won’t pay my bills, but it will give me a tiny lift and encouragement to play on. See it as like 2p, comment 5p, share 10p. Share with a comment and you’ve given me a £1 for making your day *hopes*.
- If bloggers do help you with hints, tips and general niceness, please say thank you. I once typed out notes for someone from a conference and they didn’t say thank you and it doesn’t make you want to go out of your way again but I do, every time (because I’m nice dammit).
- When you link to other bloggers posts, make sure it’s a follow link. It’s not against the rules because the blogger hasn’t paid you to include their link. Nothing says I love your blog like a follow link.
- Speak nicely about other bloggers, this is our professionalism at stake here. Sure there are a few bloggers who give the rest of us a bad name, but everyone is working hard and we don’t always know why people do things in a way we wouldn’t, it’s good practice to be nice to and about everyone.
- If you get an email invited to an event, RSVP. Even if you can’t go, suggest another blogger who may be thrilled to attend.
- So you’re at the event but you’ve got that entitlement attitude we said not to have above. You walk in like you own the place, stay 10 mins, swig the prosecco, grab the swag bag and leave. How do you think that’s going to go down?
Bloggers are setting new media on fire, with new innovative ways of reviewing, collaborating and presenting content.
Don’t give all bloggers a bad name! We’re not all bloggers or just want to sell you stuff. Personally I’m not a fan of the term ‘influencer’ because I don’t want to influence you, especially when it comes to what you buy. BUT I do want to ENGOURAGE you to be nice to and about bloggers.
It’s a new media sure, but it’s a media that people enjoy reading, it looks simple and its not. It’s hours of work.
And bloggers….don’t give the rest of us a bad name by taking everything you can get and then squashing it in our face on Insta.
Are you a blogger? What tips would you add to the Do and Don’t list?