I’ve been an on/off blogger for 8 years now (yes, I’m including 2007 MySpace and LiveJournal entries in that statement)…
…and I’ve picked up on some stuff. I’m sure you all have too; I’m talking about the kind of weird unspoken rules and etiquette of blogging that causes defensive debates on Facebook Groups and comments sections across the internet.
Below are a list of controversial blogging etiquette rules that I’m either confused about, or just want to spark further debate about, because people seem to be split down the middle:
1 / “You should never EDIT comments on your blog, only moderate.”
This topic fired up on a Facebook Group the other day. I have to say, I had never even considered actually editing a comment left on my blog; I was amazed to see that people were 50/50 split on whether this was okay or not! Some (myself included I might add) were absolutely against editing comments in any way, while some saw no problem with it at all. However, quite a few people thought it was okay when related to the below ‘rule’…
2 / “Leaving a link back to your blog in the comments is RUDE.”
I read this and was astounded to be honest. It had never occurred to me that some bloggers might find this ‘rude’ or even ‘offensive’ – I do it on all my comments! I was shocked to find that many bloggers go in and edit the link out of your comment when moderating.
I mean, what do you think? I kind of feel like leaving your name and a link back to your blog is just like a signature or something, so that the owner of the blog can find out more about you if you’ve left a thought-provoking comment etc. But plenty of people said they considered it rude and ‘like they’re trying to steal my site visitors’.
3 / “NEVER write about politics or religion.”
I kind of understand why people generally accept this as a rule, but it can be done well. As long as you’re not shoving your opinions down peoples’ throats and you’re simply explaining your view or thoughts, I don’t see why this would be a problem.
4 / “Do NOT accept ghost writers; your blog should be written by YOU.”
I’ve been approached by companies in the past offering to write blog posts for The Cornish Life in the style of my writing, pretending to be me, so that they can add some links to some products and I get content for my blog (sometimes they offer to pay me, sometimes not). My response has always been a polite Hell No. Why?
Because: 1) I feel I have quite a unique style of writing that might be hard to replicate. 2) I enjoy writing, that’s why I have a blog. 3) My blog is specifically about my life and my thoughts, so I feel it would be wrong if someone else wrote it.
That being said, if your blog isn’t so much a lifestyle blog about you I can see that this would a valuable way of ensuring you’ve got regular content.
5 / “Only write in small 2 – 3 sentence paragraphs & split up your text.”
This isn’t even an unspoken rule, it’s a very spoken rule. If you read any ‘blogging tips’ type article, they will all advise this. And I get it; as a copywriter I understand that it helps for readability and getting points across. BUT there are absolutely exceptions to the rule…
One of my favourite blogs to read is The Salty Sea Blog, by fellow Cornwall enthusiast, Sarah. Her blog posts are long, with little paragraph formatting, and I love it. She writes in a descriptive, poetic way that feels like I’m reading a beautiful biography about her life.
So my conclusion for this point is: it totally depends on your audience and what you’re aiming for. You can absolutely have a popular blog AND write novel-esque posts with little formatting!