I haven’t written about blogging in a while, but because I meet so many new bloggers each day, I was compelled to raise the issue of blogging ethics.
First, though, let me ask you a question.
Have you ever received a comment on your blog, and then gone back to return the favor only to find that you came upon a blog that had nothing but a “join my opportunity” article? Yep, I’m sure you have!
Or, how about those blogs where you cannot comment unless you join it? Frustrating isn’t it? And how about those backlinks to your own blog? Do you remove their comment luv link so you won’t be associated with a spammy, broken or “band neighborhood” back link? At what cost are you willing to be a go-giver, just to do the “ethical” thing?
Here are some ethics I’ve put together. I know most of my regular blog readers already know this, but I also know that you run into the same frustrations.
1. Have a WordPress, self-hosted blog! Lately I’ve noticed some people on social sites telling others that they don’t have to have their WordPress blog hosted.“Do it for free” they tell the newbie. Yikes! How can that ever work out while building up relationships?
2. Write about things you know about. When you learn something, teach it on your blog. Many will thank you for it. One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is that I learn from each one that I read.
3. Personalize your blog post. No matter what you are writing about, you do have an opinion on it don’t you? If you write about a recipe, tell a little story of why you like it, or share an experience of how you served it and with whom. This gives the reader a chance to know who you are, and gives context to your information.
4. Always edit your blog. If you run into trouble here, buddy up with another blogger and edit each other’s posts. Two heads are better than one, unless you are a professional writer. Someone may point out not only a grammar mistake, but also can suggest you tweak it a bit.
5. Always reply to your readers’ comments. There is nothing worse than commenting on a blog and the blogger doesn’t respond to you. It’s just bad manners, and tell your readers you really don’t care that much about them! They will probably not return.
6. Watch those gravatars! You need to have your thumbnail photo attached to your conversation. Some people use logos, but in this whirlwind of internet marketing, people always remember a face far better than a logo.
7. When you go to another person’s blog, don’t only leave a comment, but join them on the social sites. You can share their article on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on. This will help you build relationships.
8. Relationships! Isn’t that what blogging is all about? Some disagree. But if you go to their blogs, it looks like a grave yard. How the heck will Google bots ever find you? Relationships are important not only for blogging, but it leads to masterminding, business ventures, and friendships.
I am a firm believer of building relationships on your blog. It has done wonders for my business, and also, I get to know people so well that if I meet someone that wants to join a certain MLM or business opportunity that I am not in, I refer them to my blogger friend that is. It’s good karma!
9. Never bash a person. You may see things differently and disagree with a blogger’s point of view, but remember your reputation is at stake when you comment. There are ways to disagree. You can say something like “Although I use a different method, I thank you for showing me …” After all, the blogger is writing about something he or she has done that works for them. Respect that!
10. Please read the blog BEFORE you comment! I’ve stumbled upon blogs that go way over my head. But I read them carefully and give a good comment. I get tired of reading comments that have little to do with the blog post it is supposedly commenting on.
11. Be honest. Remember what your mama told you: “honesty is the best policy” – it is true. As you write your blog, just be who you are. People see through you wether or not you realize it. Your words come from YOU. Let them shine.
So my fellow bloggers, as you get out there and blog, remember one thing: “What goes around comes around.” The more you go-give, the more people will reciprocate.
And, if you find it difficult to reach out and connect, join a Facebook group, a blogging alliance, a tribe. There are so many ways to connect with others that are sincere, ethical bloggers.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What would you add to my list of ethics? I would like to know.