Blogger Etiquette - Does It Exist?

Every so often I stumble across a comment in a post that refers to something being bad blogger etiquette.  Does this really exist?

Is it really considered bad form if you don't personally respond to every comment made on a post?  What about your own comments, do you have to follow certain guidelines to give a shout out on someone's post?

It's all so confusing to me.  I realize I am a relatively new blogger as it goes, but I have seen this phrase pop up many times and wondered if there really is a set of written rules for living in the Bloggerverse.  If so, where do I find this information?  Who deems something a violation, and how is it policed?  I suppose the idea is to self police, but how does one do that if they do not know where the boundaries are?  See crazy confusing!

I have probably committed many etiquette crimes here without even knowing it, but to be honest I've also discovered a few things that I think should be on the list if they aren't already.  My imaginary list of Blogger Etiquette would include:

1.  As a blogger you should acknowledge people who take the time to comment thoughtfully and extensively on your post.  Imagine if you were face to face and they just shared a thoughtful idea and you didn't say a word.  If it would be hurtful or insulting in person perhaps it would also have the same effect online.  Initially when replying I was trying to place my return comment on other people's blog comment box because I didn't realize I was getting emails with my comment moderation that allowed for direct response. Now that I have discovered this feature, I will respond properly ;)

2.  If you choose to comment on someone's post, please make sure you have read it.  I have seen many examples of people commenting after reading the first two lines of a post and their comment being entirely unrelated to the rest of what was written.  Sometimes a post takes a turn into something completely different, so if you are only skimming the first few lines to comment it can be glaringly apparent.  It's okay to read and not comment or skim something over for commentary later.  Sometimes we have something to say and sometimes we don't, it's all good :)

3. If you are going to duplicate a project, recipe, or other creative idea please give credit where credit is due.  I realize we all love to share what we have done and how we've done it, but if you sourced the idea from another blogger it's only polite to link your project up with their corresponding post.  I think it's a great way to keep the blog love flowing and opens doors for people to other blogs they may have missed.  There is nothing wrong with sharing an audience.  Oh and let the other blogger know you sourced them, we all love to know when our ideas touch someone.

4.  Please do not debate in someone's comment box.  Comments are designed for fellow bloggers to share their thoughts regarding the accompanying post, not for a comment war between bloggers.  I think the whole idea of blogging is to share our ideas and opinions which of course will be varied.  As they say variety is the spice of life, let's embrace it!

5.  E-mailing a blogger for more extensive feedback on a post is a great way to share, but it's best to keep the focus on the subject matter.  Sometimes people begin to feel personally connected to the person writing the blog and start to include more personal information in their communications.  It seems harmless at the time to tell the blog writer what town you live in, what school is hosting your child's Christmas concert or other such things but you never really know who you are talking to in the end, so be safe.  Getting to know a person takes time, and it takes far longer to really know someone on the Internet. 

6.  Be gracious to your followers whether you have 10 or 10000. If you want people to continue following be sincere when you comment back.  Cut and paste responses read as exactly that.  I know we don't all have an entire day to respond to readers, but if you are going to choose to reply then do it when you have the time to consider a unique reply. You are really only returning the time they took to comment.  

7.  Consider your audience when you blog hop.  I have hopped a time or two (or ten) and some hops outline that the only blogs invited are family friendly blogs.  So why then do we see links to blogs with penis jokes or boobie cakes?  If you have a blog that contains profanity, nudity, or other adult content just stick to hops that welcome that.  Let's face it, you might get a few followers but they will leave shortly if they are expecting a different type of content.  I just think it's disrespectful to participate in someone else's event and ignore their rules.

8.  When hopping it would be cool if people only followed blogs they were truly interested in with no expectation of a return follow.  The hop should be about getting your blog out there to be enjoyed, not the number in the follow me box.  Doesn't it seem a bit crazy to follow a trillion people and then never visit half or more because you don't actually enjoy the blogs?  If someone's gonna follow me I would hope they are doing so because they came by and liked what they saw. Maybe that's just me. :)

9.   If you don't like something you have read move on.  I don't see the point of negative commentary at all.  There are so many blogs out there to view and share that it's really unnecessary to complain about the content of someone's post.  Just keep moving through your list until something catches your eye that you can feel good about ;)  

10.  Give a little, get a lot.  Be supportive of the blogs that touch you.  Grab a button, make a mention, pass on a giveaway link, spread the love.  We are all here to share and if you extend your voice to another, they just might give you the same courtesy.  If someone tells you that they have singled you out, show your appreciation because it's pretty awesome that they are taking time to pat your back.

Anyway, as I was saying, is there actually written down rules of etiquette for blogging?  If you have this dusty bit of script can you show me where it is because I'm sure I've got some violations to amend.  If there are actually no formal rules, then what the heck are these people talking about? More importantly if you are reading a food blog, is it a violation to lick the screen?  Just checking LOL!

Just so you know, I appreciate all of you and I am going to make sure you feel the love!  Tomorrow will be a new post full of fun light hearted stuff to enjoy, see you then!

Have a wonderful day with cake (only because I'm craving it LOL!)
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11 Responses
  1. love your tips, It is hard to decide what is write and yes it is awkward to follow a blog that followed you and you know you will not follow it... never know what the right thing is.

    thanks for the insights.

  2. Sarah Says:

    I think I have come across other lists of blogging "rules". Some rules of etiquette seem more widely accepted than others. You have a great, common sense list though. I've found myself no longer interested in blog hops because they end up being superficial "I'll follow you if you follow me" kinds of things, and I totally agree that I'd much rather only have people interested in my blog following me. Then of course there's the obligation you feel to follow people back even if you don't like their blogs... Oh the joys of blogging!

  3. Sandra Says:

    This is the second blog I've read tonight that mentions cutting and pasting comments....what in the world would someone have to say that is so generic? Very interesting.
    Anyway, I think your etiquette points are valid. I'm probably guilty of breaking a few, and now, yes, I feel guilty.
    However, I only comment when I feel I have something to say that is related to the post.
    That having been said, my motto is basically: Do what keeps you sane. It was always my motto with child rearing, not sure it worked in that setting either.
    Great post though.

  4. The Chick Says:

    Love the 'do what makes you sane' motto, will have to tuck that into my own pocket for future use ;) Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and that motto could make all the difference.

  5. Nicole Says:

    Great tips!!! I agree with all of them!!! I had never really thought about if there was blogging etiquette so your post really got me thinking!

  6. Lesley Says:

    Best post you've ever written for a number of reasons.
    One of the reasons: This is a big league blogger post. Like, full on intimidating " she knows her shit " post.
    If you become the next Queen Of The Internet, will you still return my texts?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    As a fairly new blogger this was very helpful. I think a lot of it is common sense and you just need to remember that there is a person on a computer somewhere in the world who typed the comment/blog post etc. Which is something I have to remind myself often - I'm very guilty of not responding to someone over the internet because I sort of forget about them, when in 'real life' I would never do that!

    Thoughtful post :)

  8. Debra Says:

    Well said, Lynn.

  9. Holly Says:

    I love this post about blogger etiquette, but I don't understand what "hop" means. Can you explain if you have time? Thanks! :)

  10. The Chick Says:

    Holly a hop is a linky party (all this lingo hey!) where you post your blog link within a post made especially for sharing blog links. Some people group them by topic of interest and some by day that it occurs on repeatedly. I hope that helps! If you search Tuesday hop you will get links for hops occurring on that day and so on. Many people, myself included have hop buttons on their blog (mine are currently to the right and toward the bottom).

  11. Bethe77 Says:

    Lynn it is always a delight to come here and see what is on your mind or what you are going to share that we all can learn about.
    Im awarding you the stylish blog award please come on over and pick up