Caravan Sonnet: The 12 Unwritten and Important Etiquette Rules of Blogging

9/24/15

The 12 Unwritten and Important Etiquette Rules of Blogging

picture property of Hello Fashion, found HERE, altered by Caravan Sonnet
I have said this before but bloggy world is a strange and yet wonderful place. Today I wanted to share what I believe are 12 unwritten and important etiquette rules of blogging that make this adventure lovely.

1. Don't Follow and then Unfollow Someone Once the Link-Up is Over. 
While I personally don't think that there is anything wrong with following someone and then changing your mind as you get to know them it is particularly rude to follow and then immediately unfollow once a link up is over. (Just to set the record straight- on most social media forums you can see who unfollows you. Definitely not cool.)

2. Do Take the Time to Leave a Thoughtful Comment on a Blog Post. 
Comments are a gift to bloggers and comments that go beyond the "great post" are like a present. Take the time to encourage your fellow bloggers by leaving a comment. 

3. Share a Post, Re-tweet a Post Link, Re-pin a Link.
Even better than a comment is doing one of these things. Honestly whenever someone does this I truly try to do the same for them. It is a beautiful circle of love! *smiles*

4. Credit Photos that Are Not Yours
You may not be the world's best photographer, but always always always give credit to the source of your picture.

5. Don't Copy Someone Else's Phrases that are Uniquely Their Own. 
A sad trend that I have noticed around bloggy world is what I like to nick name "soft plagiarism". It is not exactly typing word for word someone else's blog post, but instead will use key or typical phrases that are uniquely a bloggers. Look, it is great to be inspired by another blogger but don't copy "their" phrases, etc. Create your own and have a blog that is uniquely yours!

6. Don't be strange and post similar quotes, verses, topics on your blog or on social media the same day or the next day after someone else does on. It is one thing to be inspired by someone and another thing to be copying them. 
This past year I had the strangest thing start to occur. I would post a picture with a particular quote on instagram and then next day one particular blogger would post the exact same quote. The first 8 times it happened I thought maybe it was a coincidence but after it happened 25 times and continues to happen at least 5 times a month, I realized that this was purposeful. It routinely will happen on my most popular and liked instagram pictures. It is strange and honestly I want to encourage everyone to share what is uniquely on your heart. Let's all be our unique selves! (If someone has inspired you to post something or share something on social media- acknowledge them in your post or share somehow- this is a wonderful way to connect with another blogger!)

7. Reply to Blog Comments or Emails. 
No matter how big your blog is take the time to give a thoughtful reply to your blog readers who comment or email you. I shared this when in my post on 6 ways to have your blog make an impact and a difference in the world, and I truly believe that this is very important. Life is very very busy-I completely understand, but this is a wonderful way to connect with the readers of your blog. Last winter I decided to "switch up" my blog posting days so that I could devote at least one day a week to responding to emails and comments. I try to do it more often, but by rearranging my blog posting schedule I have been able to take the time to sincerely and thoughtfully respond to people's comments. I definitely recommend figuring out a schedule and a commenting system that works for you!

8. Don't Pick Favorites in Groups. 
It is completely normal to have close friends in all different situations, but sometimes in bloggy world cliques develop that don't let anyone else in. Sadly, I see this a ton with christian blogging groups. There is one particular group that I am in that I have tried for over a year "to break into". Despite my attempts at reaching out, trying to collaborate, commenting, etc. I have been routinely left out of things and I hear this a lot from different bloggers. Deep and close friendships are wonderful, but let's still open our hearts to others and encourage others in their adventures!

9. Don't Leave Comments with Links to Your Store or Other Shops on Someones Post About Their Handmade Shop or Pictures.
This has happened to me so many times and from outside the bloggy world it doesn't seem like anything, but honestly it is tacky. When someone is sharing about their creative endeavors it is just not polite to leave a comment saying that you support another handmade shop that supports women in underprivileged countries. When you do this it almost comes across like you are saying that the hardworking woman behind the computer screen isn't doing a great job. 

10. Don't Leave Critical Comments. 
If you don't like the post you just read then just don't comment. As our mama's have said to us: "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all". 

11. Decide the Boundary Lines of Your Privacy and Stick to it.
All different and successful bloggers handle privacy in a myriad of different ways. Some decide to share tons of pictures of their family and friends, their kiddos, all about their life, etc while others decide to stick more to a topic and have some personal posts thrown in throughout the year. Decide what is best for you and stick to it. I made the decision early on in my blogging career that not everything was up for every one's knowledge. For me this means that I don't share a ton about my friends or family (without their permission), tons of pictures of my friends or family, and while I share about fighting Lyme Disease and Cancer I don't share the particular drugs or supplements that I am using. Whatever works for you is great- just choose carefully because once something has been written on the internet you can not retract it!

12. Those that Make Blogging Their Entire Life often Burn Out.
You can have blogging be your full time job but still understand that it is your job, passion, or hobby but it is not your life. 

Early this summer I was invited to join a small group of ladies to create a blogging group that would encourage each other in our blogs. It quickly became obvious that the leader of the group had her blog as her entire life as she would send out weekly tasks for each of us to complete (sometimes these would require us to spend over 30 hours!!), wanted us to print off every hand out she sent to us, had rules that we were to follow, insisted that I needed to go back to God and pray more even though I had prayed about a particular position she wanted me to have in the group and had said "no", and other strange things. When I decided to leave the group and explained that I just felt my other commitments were to great for this type of schedule and responsibilities she literally had a breakdown saying that if people like me were leaving the group then she must be doing something wrong and she couldn't stop crying. She sent me several long facebook messages trying to get me to change my mind. 

It was just strange, BUT it is something that in my 4 years of blogging I have unfortunately seen a lot. Understand that your blog is one facet of your beautiful life and not your entire life. Those that do stay in the blogging world for a lovely amount of time that is usually longer than those who get burned out from making their blog their entire life. 

Okay bloggers- what are your etiquette rules that you believe every blogger should follow? Please let me know I would love to read!!

36 comments:

  1. I feel so awkward about unfollowing that most of the time...I don't even bother following bloggers, even ones I like best. I know their blog names so I type them in to check in on them. Which I know is weird--but I'm slow to get around to following people, since I usually want to see if I'm really interested in their blog long-term first, and then sometimes I wait way too long and they are my blog buddies and then I think it would be awkward to suddenly follow them after reading their blog forever. haha! I know I overthink silly things like that. Honestly though, for my own blog, after blogging so long, I no longer keep an eyes on follows and unfollows. I don't need to spend any time on that! :)

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    1. I totally agree with you Rachel that I don't have time to keep tabs on the follows and unfollows either! Life is just too busy... but in saying that I sometimes see a flux of people (and it is usually the same people everytime) who will participate in a group following, etc. and then you see that they unfollow you and it happens again and again and you start to see a pattern. I totally agree with the idea of really getting to know people before following them as then it will be people that you genuinely want to get to know not just to follow for follows sake! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  2. This was very interesting to read. I haven't been blogging for an entire year yet, but I feel like I follow most of these rules. I wouldn't mind if someone unfollowed me if they found out I wasn't talking about things they personally liked, but I do find it tacky to join a follow thread and then immediately unfollow the people you just followed and who followed you back. Not cool.
    Thank you for posting this, I'll be sharing it :)

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    1. Totally agree with you Danielle!! I don't really watch or keep an eye on the whole unfollow/follow thing but sometimes it is SO obvious that it makes you question the motive!

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  3. Seeing someone "steal" a photo is horrible. I can't stand when people re-post images without giving proper photo credit. UGH!

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    1. Oh I know!! For me to Elise!! As a lady who loves photography I was shocked when this happened! Honestly I couldn't believe someone would do that (without crediting the source)!! Thanks so much for letting me know that I am not alone in that thought!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  4. I've seen so much of this since I started blogging this past spring! I definitely agree with you that it's so important to give other bloggers credit for any ideas of their we use. The following stuff on the Facebook groups is hard too...I'm not a fan of the all or nothing threads because I feel like I end up following people I just don't really resonate with! It's taken a while, but I'm learning to be slow and more intentional with who I follow and share. It definitely makes a big difference!

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    1. I love that you said that Lauren about being intentional with who you follow! For me personally I think that the whole "all follow" works well if you are just starting out and getting into blogging world, but otherwise I think that being intentional and really growing your unique audience and voice is SO important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  5. These are so fantastic! It's really helpful to have them laid out. And I've only been blogging for 2 months and I can already see how #12 is possible.

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    1. Congratulations on starting this blogging journey!! Many blessings on the road ahead!! :)

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  6. Great tips! I especially loved your #9. Not just "makers" will do this- bloggers will too! It really grinds my gears. If the comment is self serving, I don't publish it. It is that simple. I always try to think about my comments before I make them in terms of "Is this comment giving, or unconsciously self serving".

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    1. I AGREE completely - Love this motto that you have!!

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  7. These are all really great tips that I believe all of us, bloggers, should follow! I always try and give shout outs to bloggers and re-tweet their posts because I would want people to do the same for me. I think it's just a curtesy! I also love when bloggers give thought provoking or really great comments on my blog. It makes you feel like they actually did take the time to read what you had to say. In the end it makes for a beautiful circle of life as a blogger. Thanks for sharing these! It was beautifully written!

    Kalee

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    1. I agree! Doing the things that you mentioned does make for a beautiful circle of life as a blogger!! Great thought!! Thank you for your encouragement and for stopping by!!

      Blessings, Rebecca

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  8. I love this list! Blogging is a space where it's hard to regulate behavior, but I like to believe that those who genuinely engage, support, and encourage will be the most successful. All that "cheap" behavior can't carry you too far.

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  9. This is a great post. I belong to several groups and find see-saw following so frustrating - liking then unliking when the thread is closed is just rude. I've also been in a couple of All or Nothing threads where I've followed/liked everyone but NONE of them have followed/liked me. A part of me feels like a sulky three year old but the rest of me thinks 'hey wait I'm sharing you with my audience, it would be nice if you returned the favor'. This is a great list - thank you.

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    1. I totally agree with you- the whole follow/no follow thing can be a mixture of emotions! I have had that situation that you described happen to me and it is NOT fun! Thank you for sharing your experience!!

      Blessings, Rebecca

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  10. Love the list...I'm happy that I already do just about all these things and I pretty new to blogging. It's nice to get validation that what you are doing is the right thing.

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    1. Thanks Kim for your thoughts and for stopping by! Also- welcome to blogging!!

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  11. Oh my gosh...YES. I loved the one about not copying some else's pictures...one time I remember going on Instagram and seeing that someone literally copied 4 of my pictures and reposted them on their account without crediting me. I take pride in my photography and was so upset!!! I don't even know if they were a blogger but still....it struck a chord!

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    1. What?!? Oh my goodness - that is CRAZY. And you are not the only one that I have heard that this has happened to!! So sorry that this happened to you!! :(

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  12. Such wonderful advice! That's so strange what happened to you in Instagram - what can you do about it? I think it's rude to follow and immediately unfollow, but that's why I don't do the all or nothing threads.

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    1. Thanks Lindsay- it was a crazy experience. I actually ended up blocking and reporting this person because it literally became every single time that I would post it started happening. It was the strangest thing!!

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  13. It drives me CRAZY when I get followers on social media, who then unfollow me a few days later. Sometimes I'll see the same person do it multiple times over the course of the month to hit a blogging group quota.

    Responding to comments is actually one of my favourite things to do! I love when people read my blog and I try to respond within at least a few days (and visit their blog if they leave me a link!)

    great post!

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    1. I totally agree with you!! It can be a weird feeling when people continue to unfolllow and follow!! So sorry that this happened to you!!

      :) Blessings, Rebecca

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  14. Oh my gosh, these are so true! Unfortunately, so many bloggers don't follow these! I hate participating in a follow thread and then having several people unfollow me the very next day.

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  15. YES YES YES...Man I wish I could tell so many people this. Some people just don't get it. lol

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    1. You are right! Some people just don't get it- bloggy world can be a strange place!!

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  16. Great post!! You've definitely hit the nail on the head with these points!!

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    1. Thank you so much Julie for your sweet note and for taking the time to comment on this post! I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  17. This post is so point on, girl! We're trying so hard at Passion Project to get these rules out there and encourage our members to follow them, which is why we're one of the only groups who actually follows up with your members and makes them finish threads, haha!

    xo, Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

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    1. Thanks girl! I can totally see how hard y'all work at Passion Project to get these rules into existence!! I have appreciated all of the work that y'all put into the blogging world!

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  18. You are so wise :) And I am also laughing at myself because I don't even know what a blogging group is.. somehow I have been blogging for a few years and am still not up to speed on so much of it! I guess I just dip in and out of it as I have time and energy to produce posts :) So thanks for sharing your advice and knowledge with little ol me!!

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    1. Hahahaha- You are my favorite friend!! Sending lots of love to you and that precious new little one!!

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