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The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging

In Basic Blogging Etiquette, Do’s And Don’ts, Plagiarism, Deb shares some tips to help bloggers blog better:

I’ve discovered since I started blogging that it’s not possible to be a lone ranger. If you had started your blog as a private diary and you’re satisfied with three visitors a day: your mother, your boyfriend and your cat, then I supposed it’s fine to be alone and friendless.

However, the majority of bloggers blog for as wide an audience as possible, and many bloggers desire to make money from their blogs as well. They want visitors. We want visitors. Now that you are a newbie in the world of blogging, what do you do? What should you NOT do?

I’ve blogged a lot about what you should, and should not do, when you blog and participate in social media and networking, but her point of view is refreshing.

She summarizes it in four dos and don’ts:

  • Number one DO: Do fellowship with other bloggers.
  • Number two DO: Do join a blog community, and check out other bloggers and follow discussion threads.
  • Number three DO: Do try to comment on blogs you have visited.
  • Number four DO: Bloggers love to have other bloggers link to their sites.
  • Number One DON’T: When commenting on other blogs or leaving messages on their tag boxes, please don’t type in many URLs after your comment, such as – “Hi, I like your article.
  • Number Two DON’T: When I read something I don’t agree with, I generally tell it to my computer screen or shake my fist at it sometimes, but I keep my fingers off the keyboard. Don’t shoot off thoughtless comments like – “Your Wordless Wednesday entry is simply crap.
  • Number Three DON’T: Don’t ignore comments visitors make on your blog posts.
  • Number Four DON’T: Don’t plagiarize other blogs’ content.

I would also add the following:

  • Use Common Sense: The blogosphere isn’t a new world where the laws and rules change. Gravity is still gravity and stupidity is still stupidity. Use common, practical sense before sharing personal details. Don’t shoot your mouth off in a situation where your words become gasoline on the fire, unless you want to get burned. Blog smart.
  • Don’t Chase: There is a lot of grasping on the web. People chasing traffic, search engines, “friends”, then straggling them in their pursuit. Haven’t you learned by now that the best friends you have are the ones who choose you, and you in turn, choose them. No chasing, grasping, strangling, or struggling, just natural. A blog is no different. You will attact to you that which you deserve, so deserve the best.
  • Give Without Expectation of Return: Like chasing, when we give our words, links, credit, and appreciation to others, do so without expectation of return. I do not expect to be asked to be included on a blogroll or get permission to link to one of my blog posts. Do it because you want to, not because you want me to do the same for you.

    Don’t expect me to go bonkers publicizing the fact that I’m on your blogroll or in your blog post, or thanking you profusely for noticing me and my blog. I may do that, but don’t expect that. When I include a link to you or your blog post, I don’t expect a thank you. It’s nice. It’s a courtesy, not a rule.

    And don’t go asking for links for links sake. I hate “I’ll link to you if you link to me.” Why should I bother. Make links have value, not expectations. If you give without expectation of return, the odds are you will get more, not less.

  • Let Me Know You: It’s important that your readers feel like they know you, the blogger. They don’t have to know you, the person, but they need to know a little about who you are and why you blog what you blog, and why they should trust what you blog. Put information about you and your blog purpose in your blog’s About page and let some personality and character flow into your blog posts naturally. It’s not about full disclosure of all your zits and psychological problems, we all have those. It’s about getting personal and personable with your readers, not sitting on their laps telling them your life story.

    Readers want to know whom they are reading, so help them know you so they know where you are coming from.

My last recommendation is not a tip, but one of those serious guidelines that should be a rule, in fact, a law, if I could make it one:

Blog with integrity.

If you blog with integrity, you attract integrity in your readers, the kind of integrity that turns visitors into readers and readers into fans, and fans into friends. The best kind.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted November 3, 2007 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for the link and for the added points. Integrity is something we apply in whatever we do – in school, at the workplace, and at the end of the day, shows what kind of character a person is.

  2. Posted November 3, 2007 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    About comments. On my chat board, an interest site about draft (heavy breed) horses, I ask visitors to talk about the horses, not the people.

    Your statement about how useless “You are crap” or “x is crap” comments bring this to mind. A useful comment might be “I can’t see the text on that background when the sun is up.” Or, “Your run-on sentences today really bothered me because I had to print off the page and mark where sentences should have been broken until I could understand what each said, and it seemed really confusing to me but then I love grammar and participles and verbs and things but I love your style and told my friend Amy about your blog but she is taking riding lessons on her pony ‘Little One’ this morning so I won’t see her until tomorrow, her Hackney pony is so very cute but he likes to nibble on my sleeve and pull the velcro strap on my sneakers, what a clown!” Like that, kind of. Just be sure that your comment is about the content, not the author. It is the *work* that is presented for criticism. Then, I also recall something from Junior High –
    “Hard words,
    like jack boots,
    cannot be recalled.”

    For those not in school in the 1950’s and 1960’s, jack boots refer to German armies attacking across Europe in WWII. Like an army, the destruction and injury caused will leave scars.

    You won’t appear to be a respectful and courteous visitor if you don’t show respect and courtesy for the author.

  3. Posted November 3, 2007 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Very good information to know about blogging. Thank you for sharing these valuable tips and ideas.

  4. Posted November 3, 2007 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “Give Without Expectation of Return”
    Thanks for making that point, Lorelle. I don’t usually care for other people’s lists of blogging do’s and don’ts, because they tend to presume too much about other people’s motivations, but I agree with all of these.

  5. Posted November 3, 2007 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    While what you say about blogging dos and don’ts is obvious in many respects it is often ignored in practice and is refreshing to read through. Many people think that there is a magical trick to getting their blog “over” but that is just not the case. Like anything else, it takes inspiration and common sense — and a little bit of hard work 😉

  6. Posted November 4, 2007 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    A kind blogger notified me by my contact info that my blog did not appear correctly on her computer. Since everything always looks great on mine, I had no clue. I truly appreciated the time she took to tell me without commenting on my blog about it. So, I too took up the practice of telling other bloggers if they have Internet Explorer issues or loading issues via their contact info. I believe we are all in it together and whatever we can do to help each other, we should.

    I do also encourage people who comment to leave their blogsite info after their name. I have the “u follow” symbol on my blog but people don’t always take their cursor over people’s names if they want to follow who commented. If they took the time to give me a thoughtful comment, it is my way of saying thank you. They are helping me so why shouldn’t I help them? If they just give me “go look at my site”, I delete their comment. (I explain all of this in my terms and conditions on my site)

  7. Posted November 4, 2007 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    @anna hackman:

    Excellent, except for encouraging links in comment signatures, which is very much frowned upon by many as spammy, especially as the link is already in their signature so why bother?

    We have to work together and we have to thank each other for support and kindness. It makes the world a better place and the blogosphere a much safer and enjoyable playground. Thank you for all you do to make it nicer. We need more like you. 😀

  8. Posted November 4, 2007 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to do the Number Two DON’T because I don’t agree with it! If a blogger writes something I disagree with, or has problems separating fact from fiction, I’ll tell her so. It’s not difficult to get your point across without making it a personal attack.

  9. Posted November 5, 2007 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I will stumble, I will try to digg

  10. colide81
    Posted November 5, 2007 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the tips. I am really learning a lot from you as I try to get my blog up and running. Keep up the wonderful job you do!

  11. Posted November 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I read already a lot of your articles and there was not one, that did’t teach me a new thing or a new thought. So I like to pass on your advice to my readers too. I really enjoy to link to your posts. Here I cited you again in Robin Good – How to Blog.

    A BIG THANK YOU for all I learned already from you!

    Happy blogging & kind regards,

  12. Posted November 8, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The connected and cooperative nature of the Internet is something that many people have a hard time understanding. The old way of thinking is to make your site “sticky.” Bring people in and hang on. But many successful sites are “rubbery.” They bring people in and then bounce them away to other sites freely. So the idea of “giving” is not just good manners, it’s a strategy for success.

  13. Posted November 25, 2007 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Very helpful, I Love your blog, Great job, I really appreciate it, It’s been very helpful for me Thank You very much.

  14. Posted August 15, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    This is great advice for new bloggers like my self. i was just about to make the mistake of chasing other bloggers for link swaps but i wanted to be sure that it wasnt going to be a poor choice. Thanks alot you just saved me some headache.

  15. lollipop91cs
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    You have so many good points in your blog tips!

  16. Ande
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you ! thank You ! for the do’s and donts. I am a beginner at blogging, and i have found you very helpful.

  17. Posted April 3, 2010 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    One thing new bloggers fail to do is comment on the articles which interests them.

    Thanks for the list 😉

  18. Posted January 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these tips. I have been blogging a while but only for personal consumption. This year, I want to expand my horizons. I will definitely keep these in mind.

13 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. …If you read the Internet marketing boards it seems that every blogger is either desperate for traffic, or bragging about traffic and offering to sell you their traffic …

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