With over 8 million blogs online according to Technorati’s 2010 study, I know that we as bloggers all strive to claim our space on the web in hopes to be recognized as a noteworthy resource to our niche and curious readers.
And to distinguish yourself from the 8 million other blogs out there, you (just as I am) are probably utilizing a variety of strategic tactics to promote and grow your blog or business with the aim to go viral, gain a large and engaged following and to secure clients.
Whether you are just starting out as a new blogger or have been in the game for some time, as you look for ways to grow and promote your amazing blog or business, keep in mind these six essential blogging etiquette tips you should always practice.
1. Give back generously.
A great way to grow your blog or business and expand your reach is to engage meaningfully with your audience and other entrepreneurs in your niche. While we all want people to like and share our posts, you must be willing to give a comment or share a post generously without expecting a “please check me out” or “follow me” back favor.
If you see someone that wrote an amazing blog post or posted a beautiful Instagram photo, let know and even share it! When you give love, you will receive it back. Trust me when I say in doing so, you will build a genuine following in no time. Plus no one’s success ever suffered by supporting others.
2. Give thanks.
We all know how good it feels when your email list, page views and follower count steadily increases or when you receive a glowing comment on how your blog post was so helpful and inspiring.
When people take the time to show your blog or business love, don’t forget to show some love back. Engaging meaningfully with your audience by saying a simple thank you, responding to their comment or showing some love on one of their posts, demonstrates how much you appreciate their support and that you are listening to what they have to say.
3. Leave genuine comments.
If you ever participated in a comment thread to boost engagement on a specific post, you’ve probably been annoyed by that one person who always leaves a comment saying, “Thanks for sharing!” especially if you just wrote something meaningful on their post.
When I see this, it’s obvious to me that the person didn’t take the time to read (or at least skim) my post to write something relevant.
Everybody’s work is valuable and important. Leaving a comment just to finish a thread doesn’t help the writer who is probably looking for genuine feedback to create and customize better content.
Bottom line is if you can manage to batch write 25 posts, a post that is over 1000 words, or (drum roll please), run a blog, you can leave a meaningful comment or two for your fellow blogger.
4. Give proper credit.
It astonishes me how many people use the works of others without properly giving credit to the original owner, better known as copyright infringement (AKA stealing).
For example, I came across a woman who had over 11k followers on her Instagram and openly admitted in a forum that all her photos are not her own and she felt it was not necessary to give credit. (She was quickly reported after that).
No one likes to have their work stolen or used without their permission and if it were to happen to you, I’m sure you wouldn’t like it either.
If you are going to use a stock image on your blog post and the owner specifically states attribution is required, then you need to give it. If you are running a travel blog and your Instagram consists of hundred of photos you pulled from other profiles, tag the profile you pulled it from in the caption. It’s really that simple.
5. Do your part.
There are a lot of different engagement threads out there ranging from increasing your follower count to increasing the number of likes received on a post. If you participate in a thread, do your part. For example, if you are in a “like for like” thread be sure to like every post associated within that thread.
Of the several “like for like” threads that I have participated in, I know first hand the frustration you feel when someone, for example, drops their link to their Instagram photo , collects the likes and does not reciprocate at all.
Obviously shit happens, you have a life and no one is glued to their social media 24 hours a day. In event where you can’t complete a thread in a timely matter, keep the admin informed of when you will (we have all been there).
If you already know you won’t be able to complete a thread, then don’t participate at all as it is unfair to others who make time to ensure they will do their part.
6. Follow/unfollow wisely.
It’s always a great feeling to see that you just gained new followers on Facebook, Twitter or whatever other social media platform you use. The fact is, you don’t have to follow everyone who follows you. Follow accounts that you actually like, resonate with and want to see more content from whether or not that account is following you.
Additionally, be mindful if you use the follow/unfollow method to grow your numbers. While some simply see it as business strategy, there are others who see it as inauthentic and also don’t want to feel they are simply a number to reach your goals. As someone who understands the strategy but personally does not use it, my two cents is please don’t be so obvious to follow someone just to unfollow them 24 hours later; you never know who might leave a bad impression on.
As a blogger, do any of these etiquette tips resonate with you? Would love to hear your thoughts below!