Bloggers Etiquette. 10 unspoken rules There is so much more to blogging these days than just tapping out your thoughts on a keyboard and hitting publish.  Fortunately the internet is full of useful articles and advice on how to start a blog, how to navigate SEO, and many other practical tips.  Where things can get a bit cloudy is the silent etiquette that most bloggers (who have been blogging for a while) just do without thinking.

I remember when I first started blogging, I had absolutely no idea that there was even a blogging community out there never mind that there were rules involved!!  It took me a few months to figure it all out and learn how to interact with other bloggers.  It can be so easy to offend and do the wrong thing online without meaning to or even realising you’ve done it.  I’m pretty sure I had a few eyebrows raised at me in my early days.  It’s scary enough hitting publish on those first few public posts, without having to worry about offending other bloggers too.

Saying that,  it’s a nice reminder for all of us, whether we’ve been blogging forever or just starting out, that good manners will never be overlooked.  Here is my take on the silent world of blogging etiquette.

10 rules of blogging etiquette

1.  PHOTOS

Never ever use someone else’s photo without their permission first.  It is illegal to ‘steal an image’ from the internet and you could end up with a hefty fine, not to mention some very disgruntled people.   It’s just common courtesy to ask BEFORE you actually use the photo if it’s not yours.  Most of the time other bloggers are more than happy for you to use their photos just as long as you give them credit for it.  A simple ‘image credit’ note under the image stating who it belongs to and a link to where you found it is all it takes. If you don’t get a response then DO NOT use it.  There are lots of places where you can buy stock images, or you could search the internet for free images that are specifically for blog use  The best thing to do in my book is to just take your own photos.  For more information have a look at creative comms licensing.

2.  PERMALINKS

If you’re adding a link to someone else’s blog post within your post, it’s so important to add the permalink to the exact page you’re referring to, rather than just a link to their website.  It’s so annoying when you click on a link and end up on a homepage where you have to spent the next half an hour searching for the article you wanted to read.  If you’re adding a link to another blog post, it’s also really nice to drop the author a line on social media and let then know you’re done so.  They may want to read it or even share your post.

3.  COMMENTING

If you’re commenting on a blog post, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve actually read it properly first. Bloggers can so tell if you’ve just read the first and last paragraph and thrown a ‘general comment’ in there.  It’s also not the done thing to add a link to your own blog in the comments of someone else’s blog.  This can sometimes be seen as ‘personal spamming’ or stealing traffic.  If someone takes the time to comment on your blog it is always good practice to reply to their comment.  If you’re able to, it’s also nice to pop back to their blog and read something that they’ve written too.  Finally, if you add your blog post to a linky, you really should, at the very least, read the blog posts that are in the same line as yours on the linky.  It’s not fair to everyone else taking part if you just ‘post and run’.

4.  SOCIAL MEDIA

If someone shares one of your blog posts or photos on social media, it’s good practice to just acknowledge it by saying a quick ‘thanks for sharing’.  If you don’t, they’re unlikely to share your work again.  It’s also nice to return the favour and share something of theirs on your own social media.  You don’t have to do it straight away, but keep a look out for when the time is right.  As I mentioned before, if you share someone else’s link in your own post, make sure you credit them properly and let them know by tagging them on social media.  Finally remember the 80/20 rule when using social media. Post 20% of your own stuff and 80% should be shared from others.  You will put people off very quickly if you just promote yourself all the time.

5.  COPYCAT

Never ever copy someone else’s content.  If your work is not original then don’t publish it.  It’s ok to link to other peoples work but make sure you have included the correct credit and permalink along side it.

6.  MANNERS

It sounds simple enough but good manners go a long way in any situation.  Always be polite and friendly and never bad mouth another blogger on social media.  bloggers etiquette the unspoken rules

7.  HELP AND SUPPORT

Offer a helping hand.  There are always newbie bloggers starting out that are not quite sure what’s acceptable and what’s not.  It’s quite intimidating being on the outside, so if you’re able to, offer friendly advice where it’s appropriate.  You never know when you might need it in return.  Also, if you know of another blogger that is having a promotion or about to share a new project, then offer then some support.  Again, you never know when it might be your turn to need it.

8.  CREDIT

Aways give credit where credit is due.  Whether you have used someones else’s photo or added a link of theirs to your post, it’s so important to make sure you credit them for your work.  Someones you may have written an original post but it was inspired by another blogger – give them a shout out to say thanks and just acknowledge their help.

9.  MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE

If you’re worried about something, then always ask someone else before you hit publish.  There are plenty of blogging forums out there.

10.  JUST BE NICE

At the end of the day you can’t go far wrong if you’re just nice, friendly and considerate.

If you’re a blogger, do you have anything else to add??

Mrs d signature

 

 

94 comments on “Bloggers Etiquette. 10 unspoken rules”

  1. An excellent list. I think an expansion on the copycat point is that it is ok to be inspired by people’s words, and write about the same topic, with a link back to the post that inspired you.

    • I think so too Toni. I honestly think that there are so many newbies that really don’t mean to offend, they are just naive to it all xx

  2. Yes! This is a fantastic list. I still feel a bit clunky with my social media etiquette, because in my first blogging incarnation it never existed *old person alert)* It was unchartered waters for me once I started blogging again, even though I wasn’t strictly a newbie. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it though. Oh god, spoken like a true oldie.

    • Hahahaha, I totally know what you mean. I think I’m still a bit clunky when it comes to twitter – it’s just one platform that I really struggle to ‘get’!! xx

  3. Thanks, this is a good list to make you stop and check you are doing the right things – Well 1 and 10 are, I didn’t read the ones in the middle… ;)I think 6 months in I’m getting the hang of the blogging ‘rules’ and etiquette.

    • If you’re tagged in a share then you should get a notification from Facebook. When sharing something, always try to tag the author and that way they’ll know. It’s not always done though and you’re right, it is pretty hard to track xx

  4. Wonderful points! Totally agree to support each other – that’s been huge in finding my blogging tribe and growing our blogs together. You’re totally right when people just leave comments without reading the post 🙂

    • Me too!! It’s such an easy thing to do and it makes the world of difference doesn’t it? I’m made some amazing friends since I started this blog xx

  5. I think you’ve covered everything. I really hate the coments that say something general (showing they really haven’t read your whole post) and then finish with “please come and look at my blog” and a link to their blog. It’s so obvious they are just fishing for traffic and it makes me less inclined to visit. Comment on my blog a couple of times over a few weeks and then I might consider it!

    Replying to comments is my biggest downfall and something I’ve been working on trying to get better at. I sometimes wonder, what is the statute on replying, if the post is over 2 weeks old I sometimes give it up for a lost cause (but only because I have written so much more content in that period that has comments that need replying to!). Must get on that today!

    • I’m the same Kylie, it’s not just you. I really try to get back to everyone that comments but sometimes I read them on my when I’m on the go and then forget to go and reply. I need to get better at it too xxx

  6. Nailed it, Mrs D. It really just comes down to being a nice person. It constantly amazes me how hard that seems to be for so many people. Worrying!!

    Oh, and THANK YOU for making such a lovely picture out of my words. That’s really made my day. xxx

  7. Ahh the old ‘I’ve just skimmed this so I’ll leave a generic ‘great post’ comment on it’ – classic (although I admit I think I’ve been guilty of that once or twice myself!) Great list – it really just comes down to manners and asking people, doesn’t it? (like most things in life!) Chloe x

    • I completely agree. I’ve had nothing but support since I joined the community and have made met some of hte loveliest people xx

  8. Great list Robyn. I know there’s not many original ideas anymore but if you think your idea has been inspired by someone else, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research and credit properly.

    • It’s an absolute pleasure. You’re so right it is a minefield out there – sometimes I’m amazed at how far I’ve come since I fist started. I was totally clueless xx

  9. This is such an excellent post! I’ll admit, I am guilty of breaking some of these rules when I first started out. I was terrible for a link and run. I also had absolutely no idea about the 80/20 rule until now! Thank you for enlightening me. I’m off to go and fix my mistake now, haha!

    • It’s such a pleasure, You’ve made my day that I’ve been able to help out with at least one thing. Breaking these rule is so easily done when you first start out, I sure did it too xx

  10. such a great post Robyn. Its all about being polite, and kind. Which is a great thing for everyone to remember, if you’re not sure do the nicest, kindest thing. Newbies and some who may need a reminder 🙂

  11. All good rules Robyn and it really comes down to common courtesy (although it is hard to know what to do when you start out). I am sometimes amazed at how bigger bloggers always still reply to comments – but then that is probably how they have built such a loyal community – by being courteous and generous.

    • Me too!!! I guess you just have to set some time aside in your schedule to read and reply to comments. It’s a great way to get involved in your community xx

  12. A great list. Although the one on social median can be difficult. If someone mentions you on Facebook you don’t always see it so I think a bit of leeway is needed. It’s annoying though that we don’t get a notification that someone mentions our page. I always feel bad if I see an old mention because I do think they they must think I was ignoring them.

    • I’m the same Tegan. It’s so hard to miss things on Facebook especially as the tagging system is not that good. I guess we just have to do our best xx

  13. This is fantastic, thanks so much for sharing. I particularly like the point about helping out newbies. As someone who hasn’t even been blogging for a year yet I really appreciate those willing to share their knowledge. It’s a great feeling. E x

  14. Love this list. Common courtesy goes such a long way.

    I’d just add though on the 1st point that adding a credit and link under a photo isn’t enough in the eyes of the law if you haven’t also sought permission from the copyright holder. I’d suggest checking out creative commons, public domain or stock photos before taking images off people’s blogs.

    • YOu’re absolutely right Lilybet. Thanks for your feedback, I think I will update the post and add that in. I truly believe that taking your own photos is the way forward x

    • Great list but yes, it might be a good idea to update #1. It’s a matter of copyright law, not just etiquette. Bloggers can be, and have been, successfully sued for thousands of dollars for using photos that aren’t theirs, even with an image credit. It’s a good idea to read a few articles and learn about creative commons licensing if you’re going to use any images you didn’t create yourself.

      • Thanks so much Bec and you’re absolutely right. I don’t know much about the laws of photos as I’ve only ever used my own. It’s a really good point though and I will be researching a little and updating xx

        • Just popping in to agree it is actually illegal to use other people’s images without permission! Yes crediting the original source is nice and should be done, but to stay totally above the law, get permission, buy an image, use a royalty-free image with appropriate credit or take your own!

          Sorry to be the big boogeyman, I loved your whole post 😉

  15. Yes! Great post. My rule has always been ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.’ I also agree with using your own photos. I prefer to see pics that a blogger has taken themselves. 🙂

  16. I love the last point and it’s what I try to do. Just be nice. Just treat people how you want to be treated. I’m a big believer in replying to all comments on my blog.If people take the time to read my words then I want to acknowledge it. Thanks for the social media 80/20 tip. I need to work on that.

    • Ditto, I wasn’t aware of the 80/20 social media thing either and definitely need to work on it. Many thanks for spelling out what some bloggers may thing to be the obvious, but I’m feeling a bit creepy now at how many points out of ten I actually need to improve 😉

  17. This is such a great list Robyn! So much is common sense and courtesy, but sometimes they are forgotten.
    The hardest thing for me is keeping up with FB. If you’re not tagged, it can be tricky, can’t it?
    I think I really need to make a schedule for checking things, and making sure I follow up on things. x

  18. Fantastic post Robyn! Luckily for me, I have picked up on all of these and hopefully not made any blogging faux pas!! As you know I linked to this post from my post today. Just realised that I hadn’t commented on it though! Now I have 🙂 xo

  19. Thank you, Robyn! I’m one of those ‘newbie bloggers’, and am still in the process of getting to know ‘all the rules’. I’m definitely keeping this one in my bookmarks to reflect upon regularly. 🙂

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