Blogging

Blogger Etiquette

I’m a bit of a cynic; I brand my blog on the fact. And though much of that is actually tongue in cheek (it’s bound up with my sense of humour), I can’t deny I have high expectations of the people around me. I’m extraordinarily principled and hold my values dear, so it’s true: I do expect a lot of others – and myself too.

But though some would (and do on occasion!) argue that my standards are unrealistic and out of reach, I often struggle to accept that. Because usually it’s a simple case of consideration, manners and kindness; all traits which, after all, cost nothing.

Disclaimer: Before someone else reads this and calls me on it – I’m far from perfect. I’m described by many as blunt, and by my own mother as ‘cutting’ (harsh, no?). The truth in my mind is that I don’t suffer fools gladly (a personal flaw, perhaps). Equally – or even more so – I cannot abide rudeness or manipulation. Once these characteristics have been displayed then I hold my hands up: my own courtesy bows out, putting curtness firmly in the driver’s seat.

I often wonder whether society is generally (and genuinely) so very different – or is it just that I’m frank about it when others are more guarded?

With all that in mind, I wanted to bring blogger etiquette to the fore.

I’ve been on the receiving end of one or two of these recently, and I appreciate that some of the following points may be more obvious than others. So, by putting these unwritten rules into actual writing, my hope is to enlighten those yet to educate themselves in the enigmatic etiquette of the blogger…

 

1. Inspiration vs Out-Right Pinching

If it’s given you food for thought, say so and link back. How would you feel if someone took your idea, messed it up, and then tried to pass it off as original? I was pretty peeved – but thoroughly grateful and touched when the community closed ranks and put the blogger straight. (Thanks again Ladies.)

 

2. Contact Details

We all know how hard it is to get started and keep momentum – we’ve all been there and many of us are still fighting our way to the other side now.

Respect the consensus and share knowledge, but not contacts.

Blogger Etiquette: if you're just beginning your blog this advice will ensure you start out on the right foot and don't inadvertently offend! Everything you need to know to help you network, interact, and integrate with the blogging community.

 

3. Retweets/Social Shares

Don’t ask – there are ways and means which are more subtle and better received: network; interact; retweet the people you’d like to retweet you; join links. It will come – and if it doesn’t, maybe you don’t deserve it yet… Keep going, you’ll get there. But don’t expect something for nothing.

 

4. Don’t Follow/Unfollow

If you’re playing the social media game, ie. follow lots of bloggers to increase your own stats – on achieving that coveted follow, don’t immediately unfollow. It’s not cool.

 

5. Opportunities

As a rule, bloggers (I’m looking at you, Donna) are incredibly generous with passing on the love. So show some back, and contribute when you have answers which would help others out. It’s about give and take.

 

6. Don’t Patronise

Don’t ask someone further ahead for help, and then question them. It’s just rude.

 

7. Gratitude

If you ask the community for advice and someone takes the time to help you, take the time to craft a response. It’s not difficult and takes approximately one second to write a simple ‘thank you’. (Incidentally, following some Scientific Research* conducted on my blog this week, it has been verified that ‘thank you’ is perceived as more sincere than ‘thanks’. Even worse is a simply ‘liking’ a comment – don’t be lazy.)
* May not be Scientific.

 

8. Unsolicited Advice

Don’t offer your help to bloggers who are way beyond where you are. It’s patronising; don’t do it.

With an added caveat (courtesy of my hubby telling me not to be a complete cretin myself):

Naturally, every day is a school day and we can all learn something from one another; I accept and appreciate that. Just be mindful of your respective positions and how you may come across. (Personally, I’m not convinced it was necessary to add this proviso – some may even consider it patronising. Which would be rather ironic…)

 

9. If You Have Something to Say – Say It

There’s nothing worse than wondering whether you’re being paranoid because of a cryptic comment on something you’ve written. If you have a point to make, then do so.

If it’s warranted then own it and be frank. If you’re afraid to be that straight forward, chances are you’re being plain b*tchy. Stop it.

Blogger Etiquette

 

10. Make Google Your Friend

We all understand and appreciate the difficulties associated with blogging, and we’re there to help each other out – gladly. We know the overwhelming dread when your site goes down; we know the feeling of being out of your depth, or being swamped, or not understanding the jargon. We also know how easy it is to ask for help with every little thing. But – remember we’re all short on time. Before you resort to asking the community, have a go at finding the answer for yourself.

It’s unbelievably empowering when you fix a confounding issue on your own.

I know I’ve inadvertently fallen foul of one or two of these myself when I was starting out. For the record, that’s (usually) forgivable: unlike in law, being oblivious is an excuse – up to a point.

That said, blatant rudeness or disregard for others is never acceptable, in any walk of life. (Unless reciprocal. Maybe.)

Essentially, getting yourself noticed in the community is important – and not necessarily easy. But you want to be damn sure that when it happens it’s for the right reasons. First impressions absolutely do count. So be nice; be decent; and that tired old cliché about doing unto others, etcetera.

Bottom line: ingratiate yourself – or be prepared to regret it.

Like this? Stay tuned for newbie blogger tips to improve your blog and ease your workload! (Or not, because there’s a probably a lot more you need to be doing to make the leap towards going pro!)

46 Comments

  1. Rebecca Taylor

    September 9, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Great article Kate. Thank you for sharing . I definitely fall short of these at times so will work on them. And I feel bad I have asked you so many little things! But I appreciate all the help you and others have given me xx

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Becky! I don’t think you fall short, not that I’ve been aware of anyway. I’m glad you enjoyed the post – and please don’t feel bad. I’m more than happy to help when it’s appreciated! xx

  2. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    September 9, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I would like to think that I’ve not committed any of these! The follow/unfollow game is currently doing my head in on IG – the ones where I’ve not followed back I can take, but the ones where I did follow back is just really upsetting! I need to grow a thicker skin I think. Sorry to hear someone stole your idea though – I’d like to think that anything I do I try to put my own spin on it, otherwise what’s the point? In general though, I think your point about gratitude is spot on, and comes about because the blogging community in general is so generous with help when it’s asked for – it’s only polite to give a thank you (will make sure thank you and not thanks from now on!), and to give that back to others where you can. #thelist

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 9, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      I’m sure you’ve not Katy! And oh my word – I feel you re IG – it’s the WORST platform for it in my experience. It doesn’t ‘upset’ me to be honest as I know it’s not personal (although I totally think my feed is worth following, obvs 😉 ) it just really blimmin’ annoys me!

      If I didn’t think it would come off as being overly unfriendly, I’d love to add to my bio something along the lines of:
      Don’t bring me into your petty follow/unfollow games.

      Thanks for reading. x

  3. Joanne Mallon

    September 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Great post, lots of good points here. One thing I would add is – Give credit where it’s due. So if somebody tips you off about something, or inspires you or helps you out in any way, it’s polite to credit them and maybe even link back or give them a shout out in some way. It’s not very nice to help someone out, then find them pretending that it was their idea all along, as if you never existed. Can you tell I’ve been there?!

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Yes I can tell and I’ve been in the same boat – which is why it’s number one on my list! 😉

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Laura - dear bear and beany

    September 9, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Love this! I’ve been there with number one, helped someone out privately and then in a public forum they said they had sorted it all out. So rude and did they not think I would see it! The follow/unfollow is the worst, how these people have the time I don’t know! I don’t think I’ve done any of these, I would hate to think I had X #thelist

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Ah, thank you! That’s so bad – and sadly it seems quite common too. But thankfully it seems for every bad apple there are several more good eggs in the community! x

  5. Lucy At Home

    September 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    The follow-unfollow thing is sooo annoying! I have post in the draft stages about it 🙂 Grrr. #TheList

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      I know! Drives me mad!

  6. Tim

    September 10, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Agree with all of these, but in particular the last one. I do get occasionally infuriated when people ask questions that can be solved in 15 seconds on Google. Even though I’m sure it’s not the questioner’s intention, asking the blogging equivalent of “what is two plus two?” gives the impression of someone who is either lazy, self-important or both. I’ve also had entire posts copied and pasted with only a few words tweaked before and seen it passed off as original work, only for the individual concerned to claim they “had only taken inspiration” from me. Which was funny, because I called it plagiarism … #thelist

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Yes Tim! Glad it’s not just me. I don’t mean to be mean, but we’re all busy!

      I can’t believe that. I’m willing to bet they’re still a nobody though… 😉

  7. Alison Roome

    September 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Kate,
    I’m not a blogger but I do like reading your blog as i think your voice comes across as very authentic (others may call it cutting !) but then i also think i am blunt – to a fault sometimes so I appreciate reading when others are also upfront and frank. Although I’m not a mother I also like reading alternative viewpoints and blogs such as yours. There are only so many fashion and beauty posts a girl needs to read.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog and hope you don’t change and keep up the good work!
    Alison

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Much though I love hearing from bloggers who may be directly affected by these issues, I LOVE that you’ve taken the time to read and that you enjoyed the post.

      This comment made my day, thank you. 🙂

  8. Kirsty - Motherhoodery

    September 10, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    As a newbie blogger I don’t think I’ve committed any of these sins,. To be honest, a lot of it is common courtesy, but unfortunately some people seem to think being online doesn’t require the social etiquette of if you worked in an office together. Would you go to someone’s desk and steal work from it? No, but people act differently online. x #TheList

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      It is common courtesy, I agree. Sometimes people plead ignorance, so I’m hoping with this post there will be fewer excuses! 😉 Haha, thanks for commenting x

  9. MummyKaur

    September 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    As a newbie, especially on twitter, I hope I haven’t done any of these. The follow/unfollow thing surprised me as it’s such playground antics.
    Learning journey here we come!

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Gosh, it’s silly, I know. Everybody wants there ratio to be much higher follows than followings, but I’ve never unfollowed someone who was following me (unless they’re a creep or a troll). The worst are the accounts on zero – I block them straight away!

  10. Nour

    September 11, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Hello,
    Great tips! I’ll definitely keep them in mind as I become more active on social media. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Nour

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks Nour, watch this space for more tips!

  11. Stephen

    September 12, 2016 at 10:27 am

    The follow/unfollow game really drives me totally insane and I end up blocking people.

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Tell me about it! I can’t stand it either.

  12. Emma T

    September 20, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Great tips, and when you’ve been around they should be obvious. But I do see a lot of people ignoring etiquette which really is annoying.

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 21, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Hey Emma! I agree, they are mostly common sense, but I think seeing these in writing when I was a newbie myself may may helped me. And let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt to remind those who ignore them! ????

    2. Kate Tunstall

      September 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Hey Emma! I agree, they are mostly common sense, but I think seeing these in writing when I was a newbie myself may may helped me. And let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt to remind those who ignore them! ????

  13. Clare aka Emmy's Mummy

    September 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Lovely post with very good point.
    I always Google first and ask after I can’t find, I know it’s easy to just ask but there is so much more satisfaction about trying for yourself

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 29, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Clare, I absolutely agree!

  14. Jess

    September 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Such a great post . The follow unfollow game infuriates me . I would rather they didn’t follow me , I’m not one to play games . Completely agree with giving google a try first or even search in facebook groups like U.K. Parent bloggers if your lucky enough to be part of it . That’s where I normally find my answers .

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Exactly, on twitter I block immediately! Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading.

  15. Jess

    September 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Such a great post . The follow unfollow game infuriates me . I would rather they didn’t follow me , I’m not one to play games . Completely agree with giving google a try first or even search in facebook groups like U.K. Parent bloggers if your lucky enough to be part of it . That’s where I normally find my answers .

  16. Lisa

    September 27, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Fabulous post, thank you for sharing! I’m a newbie blogger, so I am really interested to learn what I can from posts like this. You are absolutely correct , it really is about common courtesy. I know I learn best by doing, so my first port of call is always Google, but if it really is beyond me I will ask, but I always, always say a huge big thank you!

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

      And that’s exactly the right attitude! Everyone is happy to help so long as people don’t get lazy!

  17. Donna

    September 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Great post – I completely agree! I was nodding along throughout – and thanks for the mention too x

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Thank you Donna! And you’re welcome, least I could do. X

  18. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    September 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Love this post and would agree with all of these. Following and unfollowing is irritating – I have to admit I’m now actively put off following someone who has randomly followed me if they have a huge difference in their following : followers ratio – I just know half the time they’ll unfollow me straight away so unless I really like their feed, I just don’t follow back. I definitely agree with your scientific research that “thank you” is better than “thanks” which is still better than just a like.

    1. Kate Tunstall

      September 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Louise! I’m the same re following back now. Haha, you can’t argue with science! ????

  19. Sinéad

    October 3, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    As a newbie, I’m very grateful for this post. There’s a whole lot to consider and I’m feeling my way around with the confidence of a blind donkey. Appreciate the straight-shooting nature of the advice given. Thanks. Sorry, I mean thank you. ☺️

  20. everycloudmummy

    January 21, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Great post! Good tips. And love your ‘bluntness’!! Xx

    1. Kate Tunstall

      January 31, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      Haha, thanks! x

  21. Lauren M

    January 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Love this post! I try to be a good blogger and generous etc, but I could always do more. It’s one of my resolutions this year to share other people’s stuff and repay some of the support and help I’ve had from the blogger community. Thankfully I’ve come across a lot more good than bad..so far!

    1. Kate Tunstall

      January 31, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      The community is generally awesome. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  22. mummyandmoose

    February 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    As a new blogger I really appreciate posts like this one – and for what it’s worth, I like your bluntness! I hope I haven’t been guilty of much of this but I will certainly keep it in mind for the future

    1. Kate Tunstall

      February 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Glad to be of help!

  23. RoseVillaMusings

    March 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

    As a newbie blogger, I am finding it a little daunting but it feels like there’s a lot of warmth and support in the blogosphere. Articles such as this really help, thank you 🙂

  24. Defend The Pen

    April 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Great post!

    As someone preparing to launch a blog, this is EXTREMELY helpful in making sure I start off on the right foot. I will say it is disheartening to recall that certain things that should be common sense (plagiarism, for instance), aren’t always treated as such.

    1. Kate Tunstall

      April 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks so much, really glad it helped you!

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