Blogging doesn’t have set in stone rules, but, rather, a list of etiquettes, netiquettes and ethics that we all follow. Some of it’s common sense, other stuff is knowledge accumulated with experience.
Here are my 10 Commandments of Blogging
1. Thou Shalt Get Over Thyself
We’re bloggers. We’re not rock stars. We’re not movie stars. We’re not saviors and most of us aren’t bestselling authors. Outside of the blogosphere people don’t even know who we are. Really, we’re not all that.
2. Thou Shalt Not Snipe at Ye Who Disagree
We all say that we treat all commenters with respect, regardless of whether or not we agree with them, but many time our tone indicates otherwise. Respectful disagreement makes the world go around. It means someone is reacting to something we said. It means people are thinking. As bloggers and writers, this means we’re achieving our goal.
3. Thou Shalt Not Request Special Treatment Simply Because Thou Dost Blog
First read Commandment #1 about getting over yourself. Expecting sweet, preferential treatment because we’re bloggers goes against everything blogging is about. Also? If “reviewing” is used as an excuse to get upgrades or free stuff, we’re not giving honest reviews anyway. Blogging can open up some major doors , but if we force people to open those doors, it sort of ruins things for all of us. (And it’s pretty unethical too!)
4. Thou Shalt Provide Love in the Form of Links to Other Bloggers
Did an idea come to you after reading a blog post? Link to it!
Are you referenceing someone else’s post within your own? Link to it!
Did you read something very cool? Link to it!
Linking is a way to show appreciation for our favorite blogs and bloggers. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, we’re not showing the blogging link love as often as we should (because we’re Tweeting and sharing instead). Don’t forget to link too!
5.Thou Shalt Not Hate on Other Bloggers
Bloggers are not our competitors. They’re collaborators and colleagues. They’re people who can work with us, a much better option than working against us.
6. Thou Shalt Not Steal Another Blogger’s Content
To a blogger, there’s nothing worse than finding out another blogger not only stole his content, but the thief is taking credit too! If you don’t have permission, don’t use it! If you must refer to it, quote a paragraph and provide attribution, but for heaven’s sake, don’t steal someone else’s hard work.
7. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Community
Instead of plotting ways to steal away someone else’s community, build your own. Provide good content, engage with others and give them a reason to stop by often. See, asking people to read only one blog is like asking us to only read one book. We can read more than one blog without being disloyal. We can even have more than one favorite blog. It’s all good.
8. Thou Shalt Not Bully
We have good ideas, don’t we? In fact, we think our ideas are so great everyone should do as we do. Except that’s not very democratic. Neither is calling names when people don’t agree, or calling people out and insulting them on Twitter because you don’t like something they blogged. Good writers can get their points across without negativity or bullying.
9. Thou Shalt Educate, Entertain, Enlighten and Engage
Good content is content worth reading. When bloggers add their own personality and knowledge to their blog posts, they give value in spades. Be yourself and blog your heart. Be funny, be personable and enjoy what you do. Once it becomes a chore, it will show in your writing.
10. Thou Shalt Update….Often
People don’t read blogs that aren’t updated. If you want the repeat traffic, you have to give them a reason to come back for more. Find a regular formula that works for you and update…often.