Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. Most independent, and even some traditionally published writers, are also bloggers. A blog is a great way to connect with readers and build your audience.
In a past Story Empire post, I wrote about making your blog user-friendly by choosing a well-known platform such as WordPress, not making it difficult for readers to leave comments, etc. Today, I want to take things a step further and talk about blogging etiquette.
There are no rules set in stone, but following these few tips are not only easy, doing them will make readers want to return. It’s a win-win for the author.
Always answer comments. If someone takes their valuable time to read your blog and leave a comment, reply to them. You don’t have to write lengthy paragraphs. Sometimes a simple, “Thank you for visiting today,” will suffice as long as you don’t get in the habit of doing that every time with every comment. If a reader asks a question, be sure to respond.
When a blogger/author consistently doesn’t take time to respond to comments, that tells me they don’t care. Granted, there are always exceptions. Life happens and sometimes even with the best of intentions, there may be times when we’re unable to respond.
If you schedule a post and know in advance you’re going to be away, close comments. I’m not familiar with other blogging platforms, but WordPress makes it easy. Visitors can still read, like, and share on social media.
Whenever possible, use the commenter’s name when responding. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always do this, but people like it when you call them by name. Doing so is a great way to build relationships and it shows others you care about them as an individual.
When someone hosts you on their blog it’s doubly important to answer comments. It’s not only rude to the host, but also to those who visit and comment. Remember, the host is doing you a favor, not the other way round.
Don’t hijack conversations. When visiting someone else’s blog, it’s perfectly fine to respond to another commenter. But don’t take advantage of the situation by overtaking the thread to make it all about you.
Don’t argue with others. No two people are going to see eye to eye on everything, but a blog is not a place to argue. It’s okay to agree to disagree, but it’s not necessary to have the last word on everything.
Don’t leave comments that say, “Please follow my blog.” That’s a huge turn-off for me and for many bloggers. That isn’t the way to make friends and influence people. There are much better ways to build relationships.
Along that line, I recently had a situation on my personal blog with someone who was obviously a marketer. (Like a bad penny, marketers seem to show up everywhere.) This person “hijacked” one of my posts, wrote a paragraph about who they were and what they were selling and promoting, then proceeded to reply to every person who had left a comment with one word. “Hi.” Needless to say, I marked every one of this person’s comments as spam.
If someone reblogs one of your posts, make a point to thank them. It’s just common courtesy.
Try to return visits. We’re all busy and most of us don’t have time to visit dozens of blogs each day. But make it a point to at least check out the blog of someone who visits yours.
These are just a few common courtesy tips. I find most people in the blogging community to be friendly and outgoing. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered many of these issues.
What are some tips you would add? Please share.