Arte Es Vida

Blog Etiquette — The Basics Of Blogging by arteesvida
November 26, 2006, 2:39 am
Filed under: Journaling

The number of public weblogs online today is enormous! You can read celebrity blogs to find out how your favorite author’s new book is coming along; specialty blogs for news on books, politics, or cooking; or any number of personally written blogs to keep up with friends or make new ones!

There is a wide spectrum of materials available…on one end, you have 12 year olds blogging about Princess Buttercup, their Persian kitten and Britney Spear’s pregnancy announcement making you wish someone would take away their computers altogether, and at the other end you have political watchdog blogs such as DailyKos that was the first to break the Jeff Gannon/White House Press Corp scandal, soundly beating out traditional media outlets around the country.

I’ve kept a public blog for over three years now. There are a lot of benefits to blogging. It keeps you writing regularly, which will improve your writing skills in general, and it helps you become part of an online community if you wish to be. Many small business owners have also found blogging to be a great public relations tool. In all of these years, I’ve managed to keep my blog relatively drama-free, and build a nice readership! If you keep a public blog or are interested in doing so, there are several things you can do to make the experience something you enjoy and want to continue for the foreseeable future!

· Unless your blog is filtered to be completely private, don’t write things that you aren’t comfortable with anyone reading. My personal rule of thumb is I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want my momma to read. Fortunately for me, my mom is loud-mouthed and opinionated too, so what I have to see doesn’t much bother he…even if it includes poking fun at our family. But the point is, the web is a public space. It is the same as posting on a message board, or even sending an email or instant message. People have even been fired for their blog content! The Blog Karma rule decrees that if you write something that could potentially bite you in the butt, it will.

· Use blog filters wisely. Many online blog communities let you filter the readership of your posts. This can be beneficial if you want to make your entry reminding yourself to buy cat litter private, or create opt-in filters for people who are interested in (or not interested in) your entries about reupholstering your sofa. But don’t use your filters to block Mary from reading something nasty you want to say about her to Susie and Jane. It will get back to Mary and probably destroy a friendship. Even if it doesn’t, it’s bad manners and very tacky.

· Read the blogs you want to read. Unless the person is someone you know in real life (a friend, family member, or colleague), don’t feel like you need to read blogs that you are not interested in. Read the stuff you are interested in or what makes you laugh. There may be someone who reads your blog that maintains a blog on the importance of dental hygiene. They are probably a perfectly nice person, but you don’t have to read their tips for healthy gums if you aren’t interested in them.

· Keep in mind that the reverse is true as well. Don’t stress if someone doesn’t want to read your blog, or stops reading your blog. My blog has a “friend’s list” attached to it, but it is something I make a point not to check. Someone may stop reading my blog because they dislike my sense of humor, my liberal politics, or my curly hair. I write about things that are interesting to me or make me laugh. If other people enjoy what I write, that’s even better. But it isn’t why I write.

· If you put pictures in your entries, please put them behind a link or a cut. Pictures really slow the download time of a page, and can stretch the parameters of the page all out of proportion. Give you readers the option of seeing the pictures or not.

· Spoiler alerts! If you are about to give away the ending of the latest Star Wars movie, put it behind a journal cut, or at least give a spoiler notice at the top entry. Some people love spoilers (I do!) and some people get really upset by them…give your readers the option.

· Networking and PR. Using a blog to build your business is a great idea…I do post notices about new merchandise, sales, etc in my blog every few weeks. But if your blog is used solely for sales reasons, you will lose your readership fast. Keep your blog integrated. Don’t just write about the art you have to sell, but the process of creating the art, projects you are working on, what you enjoy making and doing. It will actually be better for your sales in the long run because your readers will feel invested in your work!

· Don’t get involved in flame wars. If someone leaves a comment in your blog that is nasty or upsetting then just erase it. And block them from commenting again if need be. It is YOUR blog, not theirs and you don’t have to fight with web trolls. Some people live for drama, and act in ways online that they would never dream of acting in real life. Spend your time focusing on your writing, not on the other stuff.

· Do appreciate the good comments and feedback, and respond to them! While it is only “bonus” when people enjoy what you blog about…it is always really nice when they do! My blog gets hundreds of hits a day now, and I get regular emails from readers and I really enjoy reading them!

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love your blog – so many excellent creative resources…thanks!


Comment by goodgirlculture

Thanks so much for your comment! I’m working on getting all of my old articles and web content up in one place, which seems to be taking forever, but is actually going pretty quickly since wordpress is so user friendly! Of course the fun part will be adding new stuff!

Comment by arteesvida

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