The anonymity of the Internet has a drugging effect. We can say whatever we want to whomever we want without concerning ourselves with the impact.
But, the trend is changing and with that, we have concepts like “netiquette”, that is, Internet etiquette, to teach us the do’s and don’ts of the online world.
In this post, I will talk about the 7 netiquette rules every blogger should follow diligently but before that, let’s define what is netiquette.
What is Netiquette?
I am quoting verbatim from Wikipedia [link]:
Netiquette is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks, ranging from Usenet and mailing lists to blogs and forums. However, like many Internet phenomena, the concept and its application remain in a state of flux, and vary from community to community.
The points most strongly emphasized and USENET netiquette often include using simple electronic signatures, and avoiding multi-posting, cross-posting, off-topic posting, hijacking a discussion thread, and other techniques used to minimize the effort required to read a post or a thread.
7 Netiquette Rules for Every Blogger
Here we go:
1) Don’t Repost without Permission
You should not repost blog posts credited to another blogger without explicit permission. This rule applies to reposting, either in part or in full.
Even if you credit the original author by adding the full permalink to the original post location, you are doing great disservice.
Permission from the original author is important. Get the permission in writing to avoid future conflicts. Emails are the best way; avoid permissions over IMs.
2) Always Cite Authentic Resources
You should not make claims that you cannot backup with authentic sources. Many times I come across blog posts with unverifiable claims.
For instance, I often see posts like “top AdSense earners” or “top affiliate marketers”. While the concept is fine, how do you verify whether they are really the top money earners when AdSense rules specifically state not to disclose (show-off) earning or when affiliate marketers are reluctant to disclose their sales?
Such kind of posts should be avoided unless you’re damn sure of what you are publishing. Otherwise, if you follow such practice, you are not following proper netiquette.
Lastly, if you are talking about surveys and reports, mention the respective sources, link to them. If you want, you can make the links “no-follow”.
3) Never Spam Comments
You might be an authentic blogger but if you’re leaving comments like “Nice post” or “This is a great post” on not one but hundreds of blog post, don’t be surprised if your comments start going to the ‘spam’ folder soon.
Most bloggers hate such generic comments. It shows you have nothing worthwhile to add but still writing to get that backlink. Don’t comment if you don’t have anything to share.
Rather than writing something which can be construed as spam, why not share the post on social media as a token of appreciation?
It will be beneficial, believe me.
4) Don’t use CAPS in Blog Posts
THE USE OF CAPITAL LETTER IN BLOG POSTS MEANS YOU’RE SCREAMING FOR ATTENTION!
Now, doesn’t it sound like I am literally screaming at you, saying “hey hey hey, read my post”. It’s like you’re begging for attention.
It’s okay to add capital letters in sub-headings or if you want to emphasize some report or survey; otherwise, it’s a futile exercise.
Don’t become an attention seeking snob.
5) Be Ready to Accept Criticism
Not everyone is going to accept whatever you are blogging. Visitors and other fellow bloggers are not passive readers who scan content and move on. Sometimes they will disagree with you and express it in comments and personal emails.
You should be mentally ready to handle criticism without resorting to profanities and misbehavior.
When replying to criticism, maintain calm. Don’t over react. Instead, try to explain what you have written and why.
Never abuse the commentator. If it gets too much, you can stop accepting comments on that specific post or delete the specific comments if they are too abusive but don’t resort to abuse yourself.
6) Support / Internet Forum Participation Ethics
Support forums or Internet forums are an awesome way for bloggers to expand their audience base.
But, before you start posting on them, make sure to read FAQ’s, privacy policies and any ‘how-to’ available. Knowing group participation rules will save you from getting banned.
Some things you should never do is (a) use non-descriptive titles on forum threads, (b) thread jacking, (c) post email addresses, communicate all in capital letters, post profanity, text speak and use excessive punctuation, (d) and engage in personal attacks.
You should be a clear communicator. Be clear and precise while posting questions or giving replies. The purpose is to build a reputation within the forum. Be civilized and professional.
7) Keep Personal and Professional Profile Separate
As a blogger, you have to communicate with lot of people daily; therefore, it is advised to keep your personal and professional profiles separate.
For instance, unless you want to make yourself a ‘brand’, post updates on the blog FB page rather than on your personal profile because all of the updates will be useless to your friends and family.
Similarly, create a twitter handle for your blog and make lists. Share specific updates to particular lists rather than do a mass tweet.
We bloggers do have a lot of responsibility on us and we should fulfill the responsibility with finesse.
Follow these netiquette rules and become a rocking blogger!
Would love to know your thoughts…share them below!