If you’ve been blogging for even a short while you might have noticed there’s quite a community feeling among bloggers. Many will help you out, giving tips on things they’ve discovered, and how to win at blogging.
There are some really lovely groups of bloggers, especially on Facebook, where you can ask questions and have them answered by friendly voices – people who’ve gone before you in the blogging game. One of the absolute best is UK Parent Bloggers which is run by Donna at What The Redhead Said. It is so supportive and you can ask anything without anyone thinking you’re asking a silly question. There are, of course, loads more, and some of the regional groups are excellent with a real sense of community. You can make friends – online and in real life. If you are wondering how to get in on in the blogging community and avoid some common pitfalls, here are some tips on how not to be a dick as a blogger:
- Like AND share (or retweet) if you see someone share one of your posts on Facebook or Twitter. Come on! It’s your site they’re sharing so give it more than an internal smile – it’s a bit of a win-win because you help to increase their reach on Facebook and that means more people will see your post!
- If someone posts an opportunity on Facebook for work, for a sponsored post, say, then at least say thank you for sharing to that person. Don’t just dump your links and run. No one likes a taker!
- If you join in a sharing post on Facebook – that is, where everyone leaves their links to, say, their Twitter handle or Facebook page – and you already follow them, then use the opportunity to interact; like a few posts, comment here and there. Would it hurt you to share something from that page? No; it wouldn’t. If it would, then unfollow them, and tell them to skip you in the sharing post.
- If you don’t already follow them, then do so, especially if you expect them to follow you in return. If you’re dumping your link, you can’t expect anything back, and if you do get lots of new followers and you give none in return – you’re being a bit of a dick!
Linkies are those posts that people leave the links to their blog post on a particular topic. For example, I host #daysoutwithatoddler every month, and there are many, many others like #CountryKids or #MondayEscapes. Linkies can really help you get your posts out there and read by other people (that’s why you blog, right?). Other bloggers usually read at least two posts already joined up, and will comment on them. You should do the same.
- If you are the featured post in the linky, shout about it! Retweet the linky on Twitter, or even just tweet it – I bet the host will retweet and like any tweets you make about their linky, which will increase your Klout score and make you look and feel all popular. It might (probably will) also increase the traffic to your site.
- Don’t join the linky if you’re not prepared to comment on at least two other blog posts that have been joined up. It’s totally fine to come back to it a couple of days later, but don’t just dump your link and run.
- If you usually join the linky and you can’t this time – tell the host! A bit of conversation about it will count as interaction on your timeline or their Facebook – helping you both with your Klout score, again.
- Put the host’s badge on your post, or at the very least, include a link to their blog or the linky at the bottom of the post you’ve linked up. Some linky hosts say that’s not necessary, but they’re being too kind. Honestly, what’s a bit of copy and paste to you? If it’s tricky while you’re on your phone, make a note to do it later.
- If you follow another blogger on Instagram and you like their photos, actually like them by pressing the heart! Comment if you feel moved to. Don’t hold back 🙂
- If you see someone’s blog is down – tell them! If their links aren’t working, or photos aren’t loading – tell them! You don’t need to do it in public – DMs are fine (probably preferred if it’s a spelling error you’ve spotted), but you’d prefer someone to tell you, wouldn’t you?
Comment on blog posts.
- Actually this one can really help you, but there’s a dickish way of doing it, and a non-dickish way. The dickish way is to comment on their blog post and leave your blog link in the comment. 90% of comment systems allow for the link to your blog to be left via the form. If you put your link in too you get a follow link to your blog and a pretty irate blogger on the other end. Don’t be that person. The non-dickish way is to use the form correctly.
- Another dickish thing to do is to not take on board what you’ve just read. I understand – you’re skim reading – you’re busy. But don’t comment “I love your green hat – you look so well! :)” on a post all about why they now have to wear headgear all the time because they’re undergoing chemo. You know, don’t be a dick.
PR companies do sometimes read the comments sections of blog posts they’ve asked for, so if you are interested in working for the company the post is about, leave a positive comment about the product or service and you never know your luck.
- There’s a real trend at the moment for crowd-sourced blog posts. If you contribute to a post and your comment is included, with or without a link to your blog, then do share that post. Obviously there’s more in it for you if you share their post with a link to your blog but hey, there’s still your voice in there.
- Guest posting is a great way to increase your DA, but bloggers will usually ask for guest posts at a time of their lives when things are going to be quite busy for them. They haven’t got the time to do all the usual promotion on social media, so the deal is that you do it for them. It’s your writing and you should share it as much as you’d share one of your own posts on your blog.
In short, how not to be a dick as a blogger? Give back. Reciprocate the love. Pay into the community feeling. There’s room for everyone, and you never know what might happen in your space on the Internet if you do.