Whether you’re commenting on another person’s blog, or creating a post of your own, there are rules of blogging etiquette that you must follow in order to create a loyal and stable viewer base. Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in your blog losing viewers, your online reputation suffering, and even worse, potential loss of company profits in the form of viewers going elsewhere and not converting into clients.

Ask Permission. Most image owners will allow you to use their photo if you cite them as the original creator and ask for rights. However, it is always helpful to familiarize yourself with copyright and Creative Commons laws if you’re unsure about using third party content.

 Don’t Sell Yourself in the Comments. No one wants to read “Nice thoughts” followed by 10 lines of advertisement for your company. Provide short and insightful comments with maybe one link back to your website or a similar article.

 Provide Permalinks. When including links to direct back to certain blog posts, always use permalinks. That way instead of redirecting the viewer to a main blog page with newly updated content, they always see the article they are trying to link to.

Reply to Comments. Someone took the time out of their day to deliver a meaningful message about the content that you created. Respond to them! Or at the very least give a polite thank you for the interest they’ve displayed in your post.

 Be Polite. Remember when your mother used to tell you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, it turns out that she was a smart woman. If you don’t have anything constructive or positive to say, you’re only hurting your own reputation by posting it. Most negative comments won’t even make it live, so why waste your time trying to bring others down?

Read the Post. You can’t have a successful discussion with someone if you haven’t actually read all of their post. If it appears that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’ll end up embarrassed instead of powerfully intuitive.

Don’t Post Too Often. There is nothing more obnoxious than checking your feed an hour later and seeing 4 new blog posts about the latest and greatest social media tools. They may be fascinating, but they can be spread throughout the week or combined into one post.

Ask Before Linking to Other Blogs. Most blog owners will be thrilled if you ask to link back to their blog, but it’s often nice to clear up with them what the content will be about so they don’t find themselves supporting something that goes against their values.

Be Original. Please, no copy-pasting. Viewers can tell what content is unique to a blog owner, and it’s rude to infringe on someone’s well-written blog post.

Provide Copying Agreements. Make it easier for viewers to use sections or pictures from your blog by providing a disclaimer saying what is and is not OK for others to use.

Stay On Topic. If you’re commenting on someone’s blog post, be sure to keep the comments in line with their original discussion.

Accept Criticism. Pay no mind to messages that say “u suck”, but if you’re receiving comments about the vast amount of text you use, embrace the constructive criticism and use it to improve your postings.

Don’t Overwhelm With Ads. Isn’t it obnoxious when you go to visit a website and are swarmed by pop up ads? Well, it’s obnoxious for other people too. Don’t subject your readers to that kind of hassle, and instead opt for a few ads on the sides of your blog where they won’t interfere with the user’s experience or your content.

The bottom line for blogging courtesy is this:

Treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Before you interact with a post or create one of your own, always stop and reflect on the action that you’re taking and the effects of that action. If you’re looking for help developing a blogging strategy for your website, contact us. We’d be happy to help!

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via  Facebook or Twitter.

About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]