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7 Tricks To Becoming A Great Blogger
The Unspoken Rules
These days it’s impossible not to run into someone who has a blog. I have a blog, you have a blog, my mom has a blog, my cat has a—okay well maybe not her, but you get the picture. Seemingly, there’s a blog for everything; cooking, ultra-marathons, books, garage doors, there’s even blogs about blogs. No matter what the subject, you’re likely to find a site filled with useful information for whatever it is you need. Like Fight Club, there’s a set of rules involved in the blogging world, calling for proper protocol while moving around in the blogosphere. Whether you’re someone who already has a blog or if you’re someone looking to get started, proper etiquette will help increase traffic, followers, and interactivity on your site.
Do you follow proper blog etiquette?
This seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many trolls lurk around each blog’s corner. Don’t be that troll. If you’re a commenter on a fellow blogger’s site, be mindful of their content, respecting the hard work and time they’ve put in to providing you with this information. Likewise, if you’re a blogger interacting with your followers via comments, do not give into people that might try and bait you into an unnecessary argument. Giving into a baited comment will take away your authority over the topic at hand and instead bring you down to a lower level, possibly costing you followers in the process. Rather, always engage your fellow bloggers with grace, accepting comments that challenge your thoughts and views, while avoiding confrontation at all costs.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
With so many blogs floating around the Internet, it’s easy to assume that no one will notice when their work is replicated without their permission. If you share a recipe on your site, for example, and choose not to credit your fellow blogger for their hard work then you are stealing. Read that again: if you do not credit your fellow blogger for their hard work then you are stealing. Not only does this short change your fellow author, it makes you less credible and your post less original. Of course there are many posts that are practically identical in content, and that’s okay! But consciously taking work from another blogger without adding a tagline to lead to their site and work is not only bad etiquette, it’s downright wrong.
Bloggers love to find out you’ve shared their stuff. Mostly it’s because it helps get their name out there, but if you’re like me, then it’s because you love knowing that your hard earned energy has been validated in some small way. If you find that a blogger has shared your information on their site (while giving you credit), it is a good practice to reciprocate their good faith. Try letting your fellow followers know about the post that was made and encourage them to check it out at your fellow blogger's site. Reciprocation in the blog world means increased traffic and views for you and your fellow bloggers, and helps your personal platform acquire important backlinks.
Followers are really what the name of the game is for a blogger. For myself, working on my novel, followers are what help ensure that I’ll end up with a decent chance of publication. Creating a following on your blog helps validate that what you’re doing is working out well, not to mention it means that people like what you have to say. However, unlike with shares and comments, following is a practice best left to your better judgment. If a follower follows you (particularly when your followers reach the thousands), take a look at their blog before making the decision to follow them back. Do they cover topics you’re interested in? Do they post a lot of spam? Following back your followers, while good in theory, can lead to an unnecessary number of emails for you to sift through each morning. Similarly, when you choose to follow someone’s blog, do not send him or her a note asking that they follow you in return. Following and following back does not fall under the reciprocity umbrella.
Guest posting, since recently being called out by Google blogger, Matt Cutts, has been something of a hush-hush situation. What used to be a means for validated bloggers to connect with others in their field has now been linked to excessive spam on blogs. For this reason, if you or someone you know has an interest in guest blogging, be courteous to your host. Do not overload their page with spam-like information. Do your research beforehand and see if they have a pattern for what they enjoy writing about, or if there is a particular topic they enjoy covering. Discuss with your host beforehand what they will allow and not allow, running your ideas by them prior to posting your guest blog. Finally, offer them a chance to write a guest post on your blog so that they can get their name out to your followers, while also promising to promote their post on your page with your information. Guest blogging is not a complete thing of the past and when done correctly, can have ample benefits for both bloggers involved.
Have you ever seen one of those bloggers who writes their own posts but refuses to engage with anyone on their site or on any others for that matter? Don’t be that person! The Internet world is meant to get people to interact with one another through comments, threads, polls, and more, meaning that if you don’t interact you’re not doing your part to keep the Internet experience alive. If you read another blogger’s post and really enjoy it, let them know! Or, if you read a post that has a mistake or discrepancy, let them know in the most polite way possible through a private message. An added benefit of posting on people’s sites is that your name and link will be out there for others to search for, potentially bringing back new followers to your site.
Sharing Is Caring
I’ve already mentioned to treat others with respect and to reciprocate where necessary, but proper blogging etiquette is so much more than that. If you’re a blogger, you’ve likely already created a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account to link back your information. If you find a site, a picture, or post that you really appreciate, share it on your social media and tag the person who did it. Chances are, if they follow blogging protocol, they’ll thank you for sharing and tag your site back, bringing their followers to your social media site. Also, be aware that blogging etiquette does not only apply to the world of blogging, but stretches across all areas of social media. You and your platform are only as strong as you represent it, therefore be mindful of how you portray yourself across all sites, as a bad move can lead to a decrease in followers across the board.
Maintaining proper blogging etiquette is not a secret, but is unfortunately something that many people choose to disregard, creating problems for all involved. Be mindful of your fellow bloggers, recognize that they, too, are trying to create a name for their brand, and struggling to find their place in the wide world of blogs themselves. Follow these steps and watch as your follower traffic and site interaction increases, creating new possibilities for your site to continue to grow and thrive under the scrutiny of others.
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