Since we discussed social networking etiquette last week, I thought a discussion of blog etiquette would be a nice complement to that topic. While they are different types of internet marketing, a lot of the same rules apply to both. For example, in blog etiquette, you need to make sure that you develop relationships with your readers and also do not spam people. However, there are subtle nuances that differentiate these two mediums. So let’s take a look at how to effectively use blog etiquette in your business.
Blog Etiquette Do’s
1. Spend more time educating then selling. I love the blogs where you go to them, and all you see are the different products that they are offering currently, and all of the updates to that product. It is annoying that people should believe that everything revolves around their company’s products. That indicates to me a lack of understanding of the outside world. Yes, every business, including mine will promote itself to help grow sales. I use this blog as a platform to reach potential clients. At the same time, my goal is to make your life easier by creating educational content about my topics related to business that makes you want to come back time and again to enjoy what I am sharing. Then you will want my services, because you know I am a trusted resource.
2. Check out other people’s blogs. My blog does not live in a vacuum. While, I would like to tell you it is the center of the universe, I know that there are a lot of other blogs out there with great content(although maybe not as good as mine)! In all seriousness, I check them out regularly to learn myself. I comment, share, and retweet other people’s information, just as I would want them to do for me. Depending on the blogger, it is more important then the money they make from the sale of their goods. I have got into the habit of commenting on other people’s blogs while I am at there site. It is not possible in every case, but a good philosophy to go by when you are browsing the internet.
3. Talk to your readers! I just emphasized the fact that you need to comment on other people’s blogs. So what happens when people actually comment on yours. You respond. Simple, right? Just like in real life conversations can occur. Danger! Danger! Personality needed!
Blog Etiquette Don’ts
1. No spambot comments! On the flip side of commenting there is the no spambot comments. When I first started my blog, I was so excited because after a few days I had a rash of comments coming in praising everything that I was doing. Yes! I rock! These people like what I had to say. Great! Then I noticed something very peculiar. The same people were making the same comments over and over again. Those (insert interesting word) were not there to help encourage me. They were building their SEO efforts by spamming me. I even did a public denunciation on some of the worst offenders. Do not spam, instead take the time to talk to me or do not come to this blog at all.
2. Pop up ads where you can not find the button to close it because it is such a huge box are annoying and do not help your business. I hate the site, where you go to a blog to read about the information, and as you begin to find out the information you were seeking, a pop up ad appears larger than the screen, so you have no choice but to exit the site. These annoyances do not help your sales and marketing strategies. Instead, they annoy your potential clients.
3. Solely use a blog to advertise your business. Just in case you were wondering, I help businesses use social networking more effectively! Please comment if you want me to spend the next month solely on advertising my products (please refer to number 2 of Blog Etiquette Do’s). I suspect that the majority of people do not want to listen to talk lovingly of my services post after post. Granted, when I see a need pop up I will explain in a blog post how I can help, but I do not spend the majority of my time blogging listing all the ways you should buy from me. By the way, do you know that I can help write blogs posts for you.
So as we come to the end of blog etiquette, please keep in mind to use proper etiquette when communicating to other people through blogs. Blogs are a tremendous tool for you to use in marketing your business. At the same time, those who do not use proper blog etiquette do so at their peril.
Newbie blogger question: What is the proper etiquette for deleting a comment that appears to have been written solely to give the person a link? I also use CommentLuv, and I think I got one of these a few days ago. If I don’t delete it, should I reply to it? Thanks!
If the blog comment looks like spam it probably is. Even with your spam blockers some will still get through. I have spam blockers that have blocked over 6,000 posts and still let in one or two. Just go to your comment section and list them as spam, and do not worry about replying to that person. Someone should not be taking advantage of your hard work to get a few back-links.
What do you think of people who comment & “sign” their comment with their business name & a tagline or their job title. Personally, it drives me nuts because I feel like their just commenting to promote their business.
It is OK for me if they put a short sentence with their business name. After that it is just rude! I agree with you,
Andy, I agree a bloggers goal is to enhance people’s life by creating educational content about topics related to business that makes them want to come back time and again to enjoy what is being shared. You really hit the key to marketing which is people want your services or product because they know you are a trusted resource. Following what you wrote in this post makes marketing fun, simple, magical and profitable.
Perry A Davis Jr
Glad you enjoyed this post! Sounds a lot like your blog as well!
There is a world of difference between a person and a spam-bot, even if it’s difficult to tell the two apart. A person who leaves a comment to leave a link will be disappointed to discover most sites use nofollow on comment links to battle spam. (This also cuts down on genuine comments and distorts the significance of communities, ie. it’s not a fantastic solution.)
If a person is going to manually go to the trouble to write a comment, even if it’s “nice post,” they really probably deserve a measly link count increment in Google, I reckon. This is in stark contrast to a computer programmed to leave 500 comments per minute.
Incidentally, I’m looking for trackback strategies as I seem to be much better at commenting than writing new posts. Other people are interesting. They spark ideas. But I want to bring the discussion to my blog, instead of simply commenting on others. I will sometimes spend an hour leaving a comment. And then agonising and procrastinate about coming up with something to post to my own blog. (Why work exclusively for others? 😉 However, preserving context is difficult. Summarising or compressing someone else’s post seems a bit redundant. It’s awkward. Is there a good model for replying, referring, and discussing ?
That is interesting that you are looking to do more of commenting on your site versus creating posts. I am not sure if you could do a lot of trackbacks for that to your site. However, maybe you could do a best of your comments section of your site. Would that help?
If someone writes nice post that is one thing, but the challenge is that most people who write something along those lines are spambots.
Newbie blogger question:
In a number of my posts I mention other people’s books, blogs or websites. Should I contact them and let them know I mentioned them in my blog? Or would that seem too presumptuous? Or would it seem trivial as some people I mention may get so much publicity that if everyone who every mentioned them in their blog emailed them they’d get hundreds (if not thousands) of people contacting them. :S not sure how to go about this.
>> as a side note how do you drive up followers and readership? I’m finding it difficult and slow going.
Generally it is polite to let them know that you are mentioning their information. It is not always required. If I had to contact Facebook or Twitter every time I mentioned their site it would be enough to strangle myself.
That being said, even those who have a lot of publicity will want to know that you mentioned them, even after the fact. A short note, “Hey, I just posted on XYZ and included your XYZ. Just wanted to give you a heads up! Thanks for the great information!” You will be surprised at the relationships you build just from doing that.
Driving traffic takes time. One thing that helped me was getting involved in a tribe of bloggers. If you are interested email me at andy AT andynathan.net so we can talk more about their requirements and how to join. Other than that, just keep plugging away with new content.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for a great post. Tell me – what do you think I should do about people who come back to my blog again and again, arguing with me about the same issue? Every time I post something on a particular topic, they comment and present the opposite view, but in a way that tells me they aren’t really reading what I wrote. I am starting to feel like they are using my blog as a personal soap box. I feel like just banning these people because they annoy me, but I don’t know whether that’s kosher. Any thoughts?
First of all, what is the site. to give you a full answer, I need to see what they are saying. If you want to email me at andy At andynathan.net that would be appreciated.
My first thought is this:
1. These might be some sort of spambots?
2. If these people are disruptive then definitely ban them. If you go to the discussion tab under settings you can people and also specific keywords. Blog etiquette is not only for the blog writer, but also for the readers. Just because you arrived at their site does not mean they can treat you poorly. Would you go to someone’s house and yell at them? No! Similar idea here.
Let me know if this helps. Again email me if you have further questions. Thanks!
I’m interested in starting a design blog (independent of my own site’s blog) and this was helpful. What’s the etiquette on linking to other people’s site? For example, if I do a post on the best typography websites with a small blurb on each along with a screenshot of their site? Would simply linking to them be enough or do I need to also get their permission?
If someone listed my blog in a post I’d be happy. Is this true for others? Thoughts?
If you link to a person’s site and talk about how great their site is you can let them know that you linked to their site. In this case it is not about eitquette as much as developing a relationship. The I want to say that your work is valuable, so let’s connect can be powerful. At the same time, you never know if someone will not want their information shared on competitors sites. I do not believe that you will necessarily have to tell them in advance, but it can not hurt to give them 24 hours notice.
Ok great. Thanks.
Let me know what you eventually decide to do?
I help contribute to my company’s blog and I was unsure of some of the etiquette when linking to non-commercial works. For instance, I recently saw a great work by an artist which I wanted to write about in my blog with attribution and a link to the artist’s website. If my blog was a non-commercial entity, I would feel okay about this as long as I gave credit. However, since it is a blog on a commercial site, would this be unethical? Do I just need to email the artist for permission or is giving credit enough? One of the artists I wanted to feature had been on several other blogs, but these blogs were not commercial entities.
Is your blog for artists? If you give them credit and let them know you should be ok. Are you in the same field as the artist? Are they a competitor? In the end it will depend upon the artist.
If I had to contact Facebook or Twitter every time I mentioned their site it would be enough to strangle myself. It’s awkward. Should I contact them and let them know I mentioned them in my blog?
Not everytime, but at least mention that this is trademarked somewhere in your post, page, or website. Sometimes the sites already have use policies.
Is there a good model for replying, referring, and discussing ? Just because you arrived at their site does not mean they can treat you poorly. If you give them credit and let them know you should be ok. Driving traffic takes time.
Are you coming from the blogger or commenter side?