Let me start off by saying that I am totally not an expert at blogging. My blog is only 9 months old, so in the grand scheme of the world wide Internet, I am but a baby.
I AM however, a woman with opinions. Opinions about husbands, opinions about kids, opinions about indecisive moms in the Chuck E. Cheese prize line, opinions about beer cozies……I’m all over the place.
And tonight, as I sat and shared some recent events in the blogging world with my husband, it occurred to him that perhaps I should share my opinions about blogging ethics.
My husband is just full of good ideas like that.
It probably helped that his mind is all clear and smart and not under the influence of a Laffy Taffy sugar high or one glass too many of cheap white wine.
So here it is.
1. Be yourself.
One thing I’ve learned since I began blogging is that people will love you no matter what, as long as you’re honest. Are you a neat freak? Is your house a mess? Do you REALLY like bacon, or are you just a self professed “bacon addict” because it seems cool? In the blogging world, cool is being who you are and loving yourself, perfections AND imperfections included.
2. Be good to your readers. You were one once, too.
I was a blog reader WAY before I was a blog writer, and honestly, I still spend more time on OTHER blogs than I do my own. I cannot stress how important it is to never forget that fact. When my blog was barely a month old (and I had NO CLUE how to take a picture) I sent an email to Bakerella. And she replied!! I cannot even express what that did for my morale. It was like meeting a celebrity, in a way. These days, I get quite a few emails myself and I can only imagine how full her inbox must have been. It makes the fact that she took the time to reply mean that much more.
3. Leave a comment.
Let’s face it. Bloggers thrive on comments. Our posts and pictures are the sunshine and water, but comments are the beautiful flowers that sprout up as the result of our hard work. If you have a blog, you know this better than anyone else. So when you visit a blog, do as you would have done unto you and leave a comment. I am very guilty of popping on various blogs and not commenting because I think that the blogger is so fabulous, they don’t need to hear from me. But I should know better, and I am making a conscious effort to leave a comment after every visit.
4. Give proper credit.
If you see something on another blog and love it so much that you decide to spend hours of your time recreating, photographing,and writing about it, it deserves more than a footnote at the end of your post and you know it. We all feed off of each other’s ideas and inspire one another and that’s fine. But when you downright copy something from another blog, repay them for the fabulous idea by throwing a little praise and maybe a new reader or two their way.
5. Do not namedrop.
Just like in the real world, we all have some people we are closer to or relate to more than others. But to use that friendship as a way of impressing people is just tacky. This isn’t high school and you weren’t invited to hang out with the head cheerleader. We’re all adults here, and when you name drop simply for selfish reasons, it’s completely obvious to everyone, name drop-ee included.
6. Do not correct a fellow blogger’s spelling or grammar in a comment.
For real. If I was talking to you in front of a huge group of people and noticed your fly was down, I wouldn’t loudly point it out in front of everyone. I’d find a way to pull you aside and tell you quietly. Same thing here. Send a friendly email, and let them know so they can fix it before anyone else catches it. It’s the right thing to do.
7. Never say anything on your blog that you wouldn’t say in person.
The only exception to this rule is “LOL” because I realize that no one, (besides my 12 year old stepdaughter and her friends) says that in real life. The Internet is not an invincibility shield. What we say is in print, and can be forwarded and printed out and saved for all eternity. So mean what you say and be willing to stand behind your words.
8. If you feature someone on your blog, let them know.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve noticed a spike in my traffic, only to find out that I was featured on a blog and not notified. It’s like throwing a party in someone’s honor and not inviting them. Let them know so they can stop by and read your kind words and all the comments your readers left in response. It really means a lot and can totally make a blogger’s day.
9. Promote a blog you like.
Don’t be a lurker. If you love a blog, visit it frequently, and know that they could benefit from you letting your readers know, do it. I have gained so many readers from bloggers like Cheryl (TidyMom) and Bridget (Bake at 350) taking the time to retweet my posts and letting their readers know that they like what I’m doing. We could all learn a lesson or two from ladies like them, and they are who I look up to and use as my own example.
10. Never, ever plagiarize.
Our words and pictures are our heart and soul. To steal them is to steal the small piece of our world that says, “this is who I am.” Don’t do that. It’s really unforgivable.
Did I mention that offending any of the above rules is punishable by death?
Okay, it’s not.
But in all seriousness, we are a community. Our job as women is to lift each other up and cheer each other on.
And also, tell each other when we wear tacky shoes. But since I can’t ever see any of your feet, I don’t know yet.
Thanks for stopping by and have a happy Tuesday!!