From the politics of reblogs to the art of troll-starving, blogging has many “soft” rules you should know about.
If you’re a new or recent arrival on the blogging scene, there’s definitely a lot to process: themes! Widgets! Stats! Taglines!
Then there’s the large set of (mostly unwritten) rules that govern the smooth functioning of the blogging community. Just like going to a dinner party in a country where you’ve just landed, you want to make a good first impression, or at the very least not appear like an irredeemable oaf.
Thirsty for more? You can browse our entire archive of blogging etiquette posts.
Being kind to others and asking questions is always your best bet. For more specific cases, though, we’re here to help with some of our most popular posts on blogging etiquette.
The ethical use of others’ content
If you’re a blogger who prefers to restrict access to some or all of your posts, be sure to read about your blog’s privacy settings, as well as on post visibility. And if you ever think your copyright has been violated, we have resources to help you.
When we blog, we make our writing (and photos, and illustrations, and recipes, and everything else, really) publicly available. That’s the point, after all. That doesn’t mean we allow others to do whatever they want with our stuff — or that we can use others’ content freely. Here are some thoughts on sharing things created by other people.
- Reexamining the Reblog
Is reblogging the biggest compliment you can pay a fellow blogger, or an act of theft? It all depends on the context.
Source and Attribute Creative Commons Photos Like a Pro
If you’re relying on Creative Commons-licensed materials, show your appreciation to those who created them with proper credit.
Reacting to unwanted attention
If a visitor on your site crosses the line, feel free to add him or her to your Comment Blacklist. You can also read more about tackling unwanted comments and spam.
The web is big, and while the vast majority of people you’ll encounter via blogging will likely be friendly, supportive, and generous, you might occasionally run into someone who doesn’t fit that description. Don’t let that discourage you, though — there is always a way to address those elements of the blogosphere you wish to keep at arm’s length.
How to Starve a Troll
Most people will respect your polite requests to leave them alone. A few might not. Here’s how you deal with them.
Responding to Critical Feedback on Your Blog
Sometimes criticism is welcome; other times, you wish people who didn’t have something nice to say just kept their mouths shut. And since it’s your blog, you get to define the rules.
Isn’t It Lovely: Understanding Blog Awards
For many bloggers, a blogging award is a coveted token of appreciation from the community. For others, not so much. There are friendly ways to respond to them no matter where you fall on the award question.
The Art of Snark: Creative Disagreement
Even if you don’t agree with someone’s post, comment, or opinion, there are always productive ways to move forward and learn something from the experience.
How not to appear spammy
Sometimes, in our eagerness to connect, befriend, and impress, we may come across as a tad pushy — even if our intentions are pure. Here is some friendly advice on keeping a balance between asserting yourself and respecting others’ (online) spaces.
- Say Something: Commenting Etiquette
Few things make bloggers happier than seeing others moved to respond to their posts. Still, there’s an art to leaving a thoughtful comment.
- Déjà Vu: Should You Recycle Old Posts?
Drawing on your archives is a great idea, but it’s important not to seem as if you’re using your older content as filler.
- Don’t Undermine Your Comment with a Plug
If a fellow blogger wishes to find your blog, she will. No need to plaster your URL all over the place (unless, of course, there’s a good reason to).
- The Art of Following a Blog
Make clicking the “Follow” button a meaningful act by engaging those whose blogs you follow.
Sensitive topics and sensitive readers
Some of the best posts we read are also the most viscerally personal, the most exposed, and the most unflinching when it comes to controversial topics and raw language. But while you should never refrain from publishing something just because it’s a personal or touchy topic, it’s also good to keep in mind those who might be affected by your posts, from people in your life to your readers.
- Drawing Boundaries: How to Keep Your Blog from Complicating Your Life
It’s sometimes easy to forget that your public blog can be read by real people in the real world. So it’s best to take your non-blogging life into account when you write your next post.
- A Note on Trigger Warnings
There are no hard-and-fast rules, but in some cases, giving your audience a warning about particularly sensitive content is something you should consider.
- Should You Let the Cats Out of the Bag? Blogging About Family and Friends
The real people in your life might not always be pleased to feature in your posts — especially if they’re not portrayed in the best light. You may want to think about potential real-life ramifications (for you and those close to you) to the stuff you blog about.
- To Curse or Not to Curse: On Pottymouth Blogging
Whether or not you pepper your posts with F-bombs and other verbal artillery greatly depends on your style — and your audience.
What’s the best etiquette advice you can give to your fellow bloggers? Is there any unwritten rule you wish you knew more about? Share your take in the comments.