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Blogging Articles for Bloggers, Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions

Don’t Be A Blogbomber! 12 Dos and Don’ts of Blogging

blogging 101I have written several posts about blogging, like how to get your blog noticed, and how to write better posts, but today I am going to talk about blogging etiquette.  I have read about a lot of fellow bloggers upset by things people have done.  So here are some suggestions of blogging dos and don’ts. Admittedly, I have done several of them myself (especially when rushing and replied to the wrong comment etc.) but I am working on improving too.

1. DON’T be a blogbomber.  What is blogbombing you ask?  Well, think photobombing but in blog form.  Just dropping in out of nowhere are stealing the attention or altering the post.  You can always tell these comments apart from the rest.  Clearly this person does not read your blog, and based on what they have said, they haven’t even read the post.  I think I get these because I have it set up that you can only read the beginning of the article in your WordPress reader.  So, sometimes I will get comments from people who have clearly only read the first sentence of the article because their comment is way off what the post was about.

2. DON’T plug your own blog in the comments.  Personally I find this to be another form of blogbombing.  Unless you are asked to leave links, I don’t think it’s really appropriate (especially if you are not a follower).  I’ll admit there are times where I have written a post that addresses the same topic that I think might be helpful, but then I will just invite the author over to my blog to check it out.  Often times when people leave links in the comments on my blog I will not approve them unless they are one of my regular readers/ followers in which case I consider them a friend so it’s okay.

3. DON’T leave rude/ inappropriate comments.  This one is just common sense to me, but don’t write nasty comments on someone’s post.  I have received a few of those, and as much as I try to shrug it off they can be upsetting.  Especially since, again, these people usually don’t read my blog and know nothing about me they are just passing judgement on the one post.  If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

4.  DON’T ask for opinions and then be upset when you get them.  This happened to me once where the author (albeit unknowingly) wrote about a very controversial topic and asked for opinions.  When I gave a (toned down) version of my opinion she got mad, stopped reading my blog, deleted my comment and sent me a nasty email.  Believe me, I am not the type to slathering my opinions about the internet but if you ask for it then you better believe you are going to get it.

5. DON’T constantly reblog other people’s work.  I love that WordPress has the option to reblog someone else’s article and when I find something that I really think people should read or will enjoy reading I will reblog.  But there are some blogs out there who only seem to reblog other people’s work and never write anything themselves. In my opinion, I don’t think that says much about you as a blogger (unless that is the purpose of your site).

offense

This counts for blogging too.

6. DON’T copy other people’s work. It wasn’t cool in school and it’s not cool now.  Obviously it is going to happen where you blog about the same topic as someone else, especially those hot button ones like working mom vs. stay at home mom.  But if you use someone else’s ideas always give credit to the author with a link to their blog or that specific post.  In my case,  I write my articles weeks before they publish and sometimes during that time a blog I follow will post something similar and I worry people will think I have copied, but nope, just a case of great minds think alike.

7. DON’T forget to have a title for your post, or have a title that is completely misleading.  It is so frustrating when I read the title of an article and get all excited to read it only to find out it has NOTHING to do with what I thought.  Obviously this does not include misinterpretation of the title since that can happen and has to do more with the reader than your title. I love really creative titles but try to keep the ball in the park.

8. DO reply to people’s comments.  I follow hundreds of blogs and try to read as many posts as I can regularly.  While I often “like” several posts, I only comment on the ones that really speak to me, and I often put a lot of thought into my comments.  Maybe this is just me, but I find it’s very nice to get a response, even if its just a simple thanks.

9. DO read other people’s posts.  I like blogging because you are engaging in a conversation with people.  They read your blog, you read theirs and you become a community.  Don’t expect people to read your blog if you don’t read anyone else’s blogs.  That’s like being at a party and just standing in the middle of a room yelling at people.  You have to talk with them and engage with them in order to make friends. Plus, who knows?  Some of my best articles were prompted by something I read on someone else’s blog.

10. DO take part in blog awards.  I love blog awards.  If it weren’t for me getting nominated for a Liebster award way back at the beginning my blog would not be what it is today.  They are so motivation and make you feel great.  Yes. oftentimes they are a lot of work, but do it anyway as a thank you to the person who nominated you.  I found some of my favourite blogs because they were nominees.

11. DO try to be clear when using humour or sarcasm.  Even with emoticons and punctuation we will never be able to convey the same level of emotion that we can in human speech.  So while I do appreciate subtle humor, sometimes people will just drop in a line and you can’t tell whether they are serious or joking and that can completely change the tone of the post.  Ditto with comments.  I have had some that left me confused as to whether the person actually liked my post or they were being sarcastic.

12. DO have fun!  Okay, that’s not really etiquette, but I had to say it.  After all, it is why we are bloggers in the first place.  If you aren’t enjoying it, why bother doing it?

That is all for today class.  Thank you for attending Shannon’s finishing school of blogging.  As your homework I invite you to post your own etiquette suggestions for other bloggers in the comments section.

Happy Blogging.

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children and expecting #4. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

55 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Blogbomber! 12 Dos and Don’ts of Blogging

  1. Fantastic and throrough, Shannon. I loved it and even though I’m a polite blogger, it never hurts to rethink and reground. You are one of the most consistent, open and inviting folks I know. Even without twins in my house, I always walk away with new pearls of wisdom after reading you.
    I’m also glad to know that you blog weeks ahead. In fact, I think you mentioned that last week (or before!) when you replied to my comment about hair color. Honestly girl. I don’t know how you do it! You are one of the most prolific writers on here and the little mommy in me worried about when you were getting sleep 🙂 You have mad skills, lady and I’m so glad that you shared.
    One very newbie-ish question. How do the awards work? I see folks get nominated and accepted, etc. Do we get to pick people for blog awards? Are there specific guidelines? There’s probably a WP section on it, but I haven’t dug deep enough to see. If there’s a way to spread more love to my talented blogger buds…then I want to do it!
    Great post, my friend!

    Posted by MamaMickTerry | April 5, 2014, 8:20 am
    • That is so sweet of you to say. It really brightened my day to read that (I am a bit in the dumps since my mom just had surgery for cancer and they found out it was worse than they thought). Generally with awards someone nominates you and then as a nominee you follow the acceptance rules which may include answering questions etc and then you nominate others. If you visit my blog awards page you can see some of the common ones like Liebster, blog of the year etc. I hope you get nominated for one soon 🙂 thanks again so much for reading and your thoughtful comment.

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 8:44 am
      • Oh Shannon, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. She’s blessed to have you by your side.
        Thanks for the info and I’m glad I could pick you up for a bit. Please let me (us) know if you need anything. That’s what these networks are for, right?

        Posted by MamaMickTerry | April 5, 2014, 9:32 am
      • Thanks.

        Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 9:54 am
  2. I’m still fairly new to blogging but I agree with everything you’ve said here. I’ve been surprised at the number of people who totally ignore my comments and there are bloggers out there who have even ignored me nominating them for awards!? I appreciate that there are people who don’t have the time or aren’t able to participate but then perhaps they should make it obvious on their sites that they don’t wish to participate (like many do) but to not even say thanks? It has made me ultra cautious about who I nominate, just in case I offend!

    Posted by Lydia Devadason | April 5, 2014, 8:20 am
    • By the way, I’m referring to nominations I did weeks ago, not ones that have just happened, as I appreciate that people may not have received those yet, lol 😉

      Posted by Lydia Devadason | April 5, 2014, 8:37 am
    • I totally understand Lydia. It can be disheartening when you invest your time with no response. Still, you should never let someone else dictate who you are. You do what you think it right, and if it doesn’t work out it’s not on you. Best wishes 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 8:40 am
  3. #13? Do think about your readers. ‘Cutesey’ blogs with sweet background music, a skin featuring live graphics, and a whole bunch of photo collages may be great if all of your readers have high tech computers and/or lots of time. But if you know you have a varied audience, possible some in area where internet service isn’t as fast, maybe some who are using older service providers or equipment, or if your article is about efficient use of online time, then all of those cute little things that slow your blog down and make it take longer to load, and longer to read are not really an attraction. If it takes too much effort to read a blog, there are dozens more articles on the same topic just a google click away.

    Posted by Troy | April 5, 2014, 8:23 am
  4. Thanks! I’m new to blogging and this was a great read!

    Posted by powe7120 | April 5, 2014, 8:40 am
  5. I really like this post – and while I know I’m guilty of a few (I definitely have a few blog awards I’m trying to get to), I think the list is a great place for me to start. I do think that sometimes there are so many blogs to read that commenting becomes rote, but I’m trying to avoid it. I also share my whole posts in readers now because I learned that it was really frustrating to others that I didn’t – and since I’m not just about stats and comments I made that change!

    Posted by Laura | April 5, 2014, 9:00 am
    • I agree, that is a nice thing to do. I’ll admit even I don’t share the whole post in the reader but that’s because I work hard on my site as a whole and I just want readers to have the full experience. Something to think about. Thanks!

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 9:54 am
  6. Reblogged this on Brain Drippings and commented:
    I do need to be careful. I do get on reblog sprees. Oops.

    Posted by Brain Drippings | April 5, 2014, 9:04 am
  7. Great advice! Thanks!!

    Posted by Elisha | April 5, 2014, 9:56 am
  8. All good tips, especially the one about asking for opinions and then getting upset when people give them to you. Of course things should be worded constructively even when disagreeing, but the idea that you’d get upset by polite reason just because it doesn’t echo you exactly…?

    And the links! Although I have left (and do allow) links that are relevant to the topic at hand. (Most of the time they’re not my links, though – they’re things I’ve seen on the same topic. A few times they have been mine – but they’re relevant!) And I have used commentluv where the blogger has it set up.

    Not sure on the awards one – I do like to thank people for them, but I rarely get around to participating/continuing the chain. Only so many posts I can fit in one week and I prefer other ways of highlighting fellow bloggers.

    The humour/sarcasm one is tricky, too. It’s hard to know where to set the level – there are those who take everything very literally, and those who’ll be insulted if you assume they won’t get the joke. I think you can only do your best to set the jokes for your audience and then be gracious if things get confused.

    Posted by Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist | April 5, 2014, 10:54 am
  9. As a total newbie, who is hopefully not stepping on any toes, I thank you, Shannon for these tips for me! Yes, I felt like they were just for me! And I will use each one!
    Trying not to be rude, but just not understanding all this wp/blogging lingo quite yet,
    vicki

    Posted by vrein11 | April 5, 2014, 10:58 am
  10. Thanks for putting this together, Shannon. I really needed this!

    Several years back I used to have a personal finance blog and based on that experience I thought I knew what I was doing when I started AFP. I was learning a few things about parenting, and I just wanted to share it with other parents who might be interested… how hard can it be, right? It turns out that mom/parenting blogs play by a slightly different set of rules, and most of the time, I felt like a new kid in a foreign school… 🙂 This article certainly helps clarify a few things. Thanks!

    Posted by afineparent | April 5, 2014, 11:15 am
    • You are welcome! I also have another professional blog and you are right its a different crowd. To be honest I consider yours more a website than a blog but that is why I like it so much. You put so much research and thought into your articles, as well as making them skimmable which is so wonderful for busy parents 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 11:39 am
      • You know what, I like the idea of thinking of it more along the lines of a “website” rather than a “blog”… a website is not nearly as intimate as a blog, but if I think of it as “a website with a soul” I think it will be perfectly in line with what I am hoping to do 🙂 Thanks!

        Posted by Sumitha (@afineparent) | April 5, 2014, 12:00 pm
      • That’s exactly what it is! 🙂

        Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 12:03 pm
  11. Those are some good tips! I’m guilty of a few too 😉 I try to leave comments on blogs but it can be hard to keep up with all your favourites. One pet peeve I have with blogs is when there is a giveaway and you read through the post, get to the rafflecopter, fill it out…only to find out that it’s only for US residence. If I do a giveaway and it’s only open to US or Canada I say that at the beginning of the post.

    Posted by Piper's Run | April 5, 2014, 12:37 pm
    • That would be annoying. While I spend way too much time trying to read at least a few posts from every blog I follow (which is a lot) I never bother with give aways or contests. As a fellow canuck in general I am often disappointed about what we don’t qualify for (look at American Netflix!) Lol. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 1:35 pm
  12. This was a great post, Shannon! I agree with all of your tips, but especially about comments- I am so grateful that people comment on my blog because otherwise it would feel like nobody is reading it. I’m sorry to hear about your mother by the way. I hope she is recovering well from surgery and that they’ve got a good plan of action for her.

    Posted by mamaetmaman | April 5, 2014, 1:44 pm
  13. Couldn’t agree more!! Very well said!

    Posted by Highchairs and Headaches | April 5, 2014, 3:54 pm
  14. Great tips. You always have such thorough, well thought out lists! A couple of these make me feel guilty. I have occasionally posted links to my blog in comments, but only if it was directly related to the topic! Of course, I really don’t mind when people post links in my comments if they’re related either. And the blog awards. I do do them, though they take me a while sometimes. Thanks for being such a great blogger–I always enjoy your posts 🙂

    Posted by sparrow | April 5, 2014, 7:44 pm
    • And one other etiquette thoughts. Do you think people should scan the comments above them before commenting themselves? A couple times I’ve commented, then read the comments above and seen someone else already said the same. Oops.

      Posted by sparrow | April 5, 2014, 7:45 pm
      • Very good point! I have repeated or echoed comments I agreed with on purpose but I have accidentally asked questions that were already answered in previous comments. I think itsba problem with commenting from the reader. Thanks so much for #14 🙂

        Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 8:07 pm
    • Thanks so much! I am glad you found it useful. And you are welcome to leave links in my comment section any day 😉

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 8:08 pm
  15. These are extremely critical tips for someone like me who is fairly new to blogging! Thank you so much for posting this.

    Posted by Precious Awakening | April 5, 2014, 8:29 pm
  16. Very helpful! Even though I have been blogging for a year or two, I still feel very new at all of it. Right now I want to work on posting more often and posting about interesting topics. Good stuff! Also, I was reading through the comments and saw you posted about your mom’s surgery revealing the cancer was worse than thought..I’m really sorry to hear that and I will be thinking of you and praying for you. That can’t be easy. ❤

    Posted by Tales of a Twin Mombie | April 5, 2014, 9:22 pm
    • Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it and thanks about my mom. She just went back to the hospital for her heart so I am feeling overwhelmed with the kids and work (she also helped babysit so my schedule’s mess). Thank goodness for blogging right? My space my rules…something I actually can control. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      Posted by Shannon | April 5, 2014, 9:30 pm
  17. Shannon, so sorry to hear about your mom and I will also be thinking of and praying for you. Best, Cate

    Posted by Cate Pane: The Clear Parent | April 5, 2014, 9:31 pm
  18. Oh I am SO BAD about the blog award thing – not on purpose, but still.

    Posted by Theresa | April 5, 2014, 9:38 pm
  19. Great advice. I read the whole thing:) I always ask before reblogging, I give them the option:)

    Posted by InfiniteZip | April 6, 2014, 10:37 am
  20. Great advice Shannon. I have never read anything on blogging etiquette before! I had thought it was mostly common sense and I would be fine without it, but you raise some great points. Especially the use of emoticons. I can be sarcastic (the Irish have a strange sense of humour) and it doesn’t always translate well.
    Really sorry to hear about your mum and hope she returns to full health.

    Posted by Olivia FitzGerald | April 7, 2014, 4:42 pm
    • Thanks Olivia! I am definitely not the blogging police or anything since I am no innocent, but I remember when I started I has to subtly pick up these things from others (and like you said, use common sense). If your humor is as cool as your accent it’s fine with me 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | April 7, 2014, 4:52 pm
  21. Thank you shannon! It’s always nice to read you!

    Posted by www.gigiosblog.com | April 7, 2014, 4:52 pm
  22. You do an excellent job of always responding to comments. It has made me realize that I need to respond to all comments on my own blog, as it feels nice to be acknowledged. 🙂

    Posted by thingsheatherlearnedtoday | April 7, 2014, 11:07 pm
    • Thanks for the compliment! Comments always excite me because people are reading my articles so I do always try to answer back. Luckily its so easy since my phone tells me when someone comments 😉 Cheers!

      Posted by Shannon | April 8, 2014, 6:05 am

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