Blogging Help:: Five Ways To Be A More Considerate Blogger

Hello fellow bloggers!  I thought it was about time for another edition of Blogging Help, and today I wanted to go over a few ways we can be more courteous bloggers.  Just a quick note up front…if any of these come across as harsh, please know that’s not how I meant them.  I just wanted to keep this post to a reasonable length, so I’ve tried to keep each point short, which sometimes comes across as harsh.  I’d be happy to elaborate in the comment section if you want more info on any point.

Let’s just jump right in, shall we?


 

1.  Be thoughtful and deliberate when linking to another blog.

If you’ve been blogging long, chances are that you’ve used another blogger’s photo, or mentioned one of their posts or projects, in your blog post at one time or another.  And of course, because it’s the right thing to do, you provided a link back to that blog.

But did you know that there’s a courteous way to link (i.e., a way to link that will actually benefit that blog when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), or how Google views that link), and ways that you can link that do that blog absolutely no good whatsoever when it comes to search engine optimization?

Here’s the quick scoop:

  • Linking with short, nondescript words do the other blogger no good whatsoever.

Bad linking etiquette:  Using single words like “via“, or “source“, or a series of numbers “1, 2, 3, 4” to link to other blogs.

  • Linking with the name of the blog is a better option.  As courteous bloggers, this should be the absolute minimum that we do.

Mediocre linking etiquette:  Using “via Addicted 2 Decorating” or “source: Addicted 2 Decorating” to link to other blogs.

  • Linking with a short description of the project is the absolute best, most courteous option.

Best linking etiquette:  Linking with descriptive words, such as “Diamond-tufted upholstered headboard tutorial from Addicted 2 Decorating”

For more information on this topic, you can read this great post about linking to other sites and using text anchors by Shannon at Madigan Made.


 

2.  When you feature another blogger’s project, don’t give away the whole story.

Recently a blogger (who I really don’t know at all) asked one of my blogging friends if she could feature my friend’s project on her blog.  Of course, my friend said yes!  After all, who doesn’t LOVE to be featured?!  But what my friend didn’t know was that the other blogger was going to use EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of her pictures of the project in the post.

With every single one of the pictures in this blogger’s post, with every detail shown, this blogger’s readers had little or no motivation for visiting my friend’s blog.  Something about that just isn’t right, is it?

When featuring someone else’s project, the goal should be bring attention to that blogger’s talent, creativity…and to her blog.  Give your readers a motive for clicking over to the blog to check things out.  Don’t give away the whole story.  Create interest…make your readers curious.  If you send traffic to another blog, chances are good that that blogger will reciprocate at some point.


 

3.  Leave comments with no ulterior motive.

This has been talked about quite a bit lately, but I wanted to take the opportunity to reinforce this idea.  The comment form on another person’s blog should not be used to promote your blog, promote your link party, twist people’s arms to visit your blog, etc.  The comment form should be used to leave genuine, sincere comments regarding the topic of the blog post.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should never leave a link, or that you should never mention your blog.  If it’s relevant, then do so!

But leaving a comment that says, “I’m your newest follower, please come follow me” will motivate no one to visit you.  That type of comment comes across as very self-serving.  Being sincere and genuine is the absolute best way to make someone want to visit your blog and find out more about you.


 

4.  Don’t require people to follow your blog in order to participate in link parties or other blog events.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to twist people’s arms to follow your blog.  Many people (like myself) will see that requirement, and click away, never to return again.  Others may follow just to participate in your event, and then unfollow at their earliest opportunity.

How do you gain followers?  Certainly not by twisting arms!.  You gain followers by having original quality content.  Whenever the question of “How do I get more followers?” creeps into your head, there is only one right answer.  Original quality content.


 

5.  Don’t encourage your readers to pin other bloggers’ projects directly from your blog.

If you often feature other bloggers’ projects on your site, don’t encourage your readers to pin those directly from your site onto Pinterest.  Instead, encourage them to click through to the original blog to pin the picture.  At the very least, just don’t make it incredibly convenient for people to pin them directly from your site.

As you may know, I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest, but a close second on that “hate” list is the WordPress plugin that puts the “Pin It” button on every single post.  If you only ever post your own original content, then the “Pin It” button is great to have on every single post.  But I absolutely cringe when I see that plugin being used on blogs that often feature other bloggers’ projects.

Wouldn’t it feel like more of an accomplishment and be more rewarding to get a ton of Pinterest traffic based on your own hard work and your own fabulous projects?  Again, it comes down to content.  If your own original content is quality, pinnable content, then you won’t need to benefit from someone else’s hard work.  Let them benefit from their own work, and encourage your readers to give credit where it’s due.


Those are my top five suggestions for being a courteous blogger.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Is there something you would add to your own Top Five List?  If so, spill it!

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Comments

  1. says

    So many great tips here, Kristi!!
    The blog world seems to need these occasional etiquette reminders.. especially as more and more new bloggers come onto the scene. Everyone seems so eager lately to grow and gain followers… and you nailed it… quality content is what grows your blog! (and time/dedication producing that content!)

    Thanks so much for the kind mention, too! :)

  2. says

    I think these are great tips! I’ll admit I’m awful about using blog titles in my sourcing for images, but I definitely am rethinking that now and will be better in the future! Thanks for the reminder! :)

  3. says

    Thank you, I will keep this in mind for my next features….sometimes I just right their name and not their blog, so I will make an effort to do both:) I always link back to them though.

  4. says

    Love. Every. Single. One.!! Fabulous post Kristi. We were guilty when we first started out party of asking that people “follow” us to link up and then realized, ya know what…how do you really even know if they are? And does it even matter? So we’ve encouraged people to follow us if they’d like through several different options but it’s no longer a requirement.

    And, as far as the other tips. I couldn’t agree more on them! Especially the Pinterest issues. We are so sad when we see other people’s projects pinned from our party. We ASK in our party for people not to do this and it has cut way back on it, but alas we still see it happening. We try and correct it when we can, just so hard to keep up with monitoring everything.

    You are always so gracious and eloquent Kristi. Thank you for sharing these!

    Heather

  5. says

    Thank you giving thoughtful advice. I did not realize I may not be giving the best link back description and certainly want to give 100%. Appreciate your tips!!

  6. says

    Thank you for this post. I am a fairly new blogger, and I admit that some of these items seem silly (not that you posted them but that they even need to be said). That being said, I I really appreciated the point about linking to another blog for sourcing. That isn’t something that I’ve done yet, but I am certain that it will be very beneficial information to have at some point.

  7. says

    Great tips! I didn’t know that about the SEO search ect. I don’t host parties and only have my own content on my blog but what great things to know! I am enjoying all the awareness that is going on in the DIY community regarding blogging, etiquette ect. I have only been blogging for about 8 months so it is interesting to hear larger blogs thoughts. Good stuff. Have a great weekend!

  8. says

    So glad that I found this today! As a new blogger I was never sure exactly what to use to link to others photos…I have seen it so many ways! I agree that this is the best way to do so.

    As for the comments, sometimes I feel like I am only getting comments from people that want me to come to their site and become a follower of theirs. I guess I am not into blogging for the numbers and want to really connect myself with other blogs that I truly enjoy and inspire me. I hope that many read your etiquette suggestions and take them to heart.

    Thank you so much!

    Maggie

  9. Guerrina says

    Hi, Kristi! I check in almost daily to your blog to see what’s happening & what you’ve been up to and as a not-yet-but-will-be blogger, I appreciate these tips ever so much! I do not follow blogs where doing that is a requirement and I do click through to the original whether on a post or on Pinterest because that’s just the right thing to do! Thank you for the great reminders about etiquette & courtesy, much appreciated!

  10. says

    Thanks for the tips! Us newbies need all the help we can get. I”m happy to know that I’m at least doing the mediocre link…I’ll try to do better!

  11. says

    This is a great post. I had no idea that the way you linked back to someones blog made a difference, I only though it mattered that you DID link back. Good to know.

    I also hate those comments that ask me to follow them or link to their party. I know those people are trying hard to promote their blog, but it just irks me. If they say those things after a genuine comment I may oblige, but never when that’s all that is said.

  12. says

    Great tips, Kristi! I’m a wannabe blogger. In the meantime I read some awesome blogs like yours. And I come across others who I hope read your tips. I especially am bothered by the blogs that list links by numbers at the bottom of all their photos. It’s a bunch of work for the reader and becomes irritating. And there is one more that you haven’t mentioned…..a pile of lovely photos….with a very small notation at the end where there is a link and it simply says “Pinterest.” This takes the reader to the blog owner’s Pinterest page where the photos are shown, hopefully, properly notated. That one really is irritating….on several levels.
    Great stuff! You’re one class act.

  13. says

    Great post. I didn’t find it harsh and I learned something new (about how to include text anchors when linking to other blogs). I mainly write and photograph my own content and work my butt off to produce a solid weekend project every week as well as other posts throughout the week.

    I get miffed when people direct traffic to their own sites by taking my ideas and republishing them or pinning them from their site, but when it’s done well I appreciate the new visitors I get. I’ve been thinking of featuring more of other people’s great ideas and this is a great resource on how to do it right. Thank you!

  14. says

    Again, thanks heaps. I was already doing some of these tips and was unaware of the others. I will add them all to my practice. I love the way you put it. :)

  15. Ashley says

    I have spent the last hour reading a number of your blogging help posts, and feel the need to say Thank You! I’m on the verge of starting my own blog and have been doing research for months. Without turning this comment into a novel, I just wanted to say Thank You :)

  16. Ashley says

    I have spent the last hour reading a number of your blogging help posts, and feel the need to say Thank You! I’m on the verge of starting my own blog and have been doing research for months. Without turning this comment into a novel, I just wanted to say Thank You!

  17. Rachel says

    I think you need to do a list like this but from a reader’s perspective. There are many blogs I thought had great ideas at first that I eventually ended up steering clear from because of some very irksome habits.

  18. says

    Just asked a question in another of your posts about linking, and lo and behold, here’s the answer. Will ‘study up’ on linking and highlighting other blogs on my blog! You’re awesome! Thanks!

  19. says

    I found you through At the Picket Fence and I am so glad they recommended this. As a newbie to the blogging world I really appreciate the advice, and I love your advice to keep it real and be genuine about comments instead of self-serving… I think that is a good strategy in all things. Will continue to visit for sage advice. Melinda

  20. says

    Thanks so much for making this list. I’m still pretty new to blogging and I’ve learned a lot here. So far the only one I’ve experienced is about having to follow a blogger in order to link up at their party… I admit that I left a couple sites and did not link up because I thought that seemed like an odd requirement!

  21. says

    Precisely why I have never required anyone to follow me or even link back in order to participate in my weekly party. In my mind, the party is for them to show off their work! Now if I do see that they have my button displayed, well, I smile quite a bit. THAT is success to me :-) Thanks always for your help and advice!

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