The 5 Rules of Blog Etiquette

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Blogger RelationsWith hundreds of millions of blogs crowding the internet, the blogosphere can be a little bit like the Wild, Wild West at times. People say and do whatever they want, and decency and respect are thrown out the window.

While trolling and mean comments can be funny in small doses, the truth is if you want to be respected in the blogosphere, there are some simply rules you should follow. Here are the 5 rules of blog etiquette. Please add to this list by leaving a comment.

1.     If you quote someone, you need to link – If you’re only quoting a small section from another blogger’s post, you don’t need their permission to do so. However, you should link back to their original post. Not only is this proper blog etiquette, but it can also be used to your advantage. Whenever you link to another blog, they’re alerted with a trackback. More times than not, their curiosity will lead them to check out your blog, which could earn you future back links and guest blogging opportunities.

2.     Don’t repost without permission – It’s never okay to take someone else’s post and put it on your blog without first getting their permission. Even if you link back to them, it’s still unacceptable. Why? Well, to begin, there’s the whole duplicate content issue that many bloggers are worried about. Second, putting the whole post on your blog doesn’t give your readers any incentive to check out the original post, so you’re stealing traffic from that blogger. Reposting someone else’s content without permission could actually lead to your blog getting shut down by your host.

If you really want to repost someone else’s content, you need to shoot them an email and get their permission first. That’s the right way to do it.

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3.     Take the time to respond to comments – Look, I know that it can be hard to find the time to respond to every comment you get, but I think that if your readers care enough to spend time writing out a comment, the least you can do is respond to them. At the very least, a “thanks for commenting” is necessary, but I recommend doing more than that. Take the time to actually read what they have to say and to formulate a thoughtful response to it. Not only does this show your readers you respect their opinion, but it keeps them coming back to move the conversation forward.

4.     Be respectful to those who disagree with you – If you’ve been blogging for any time at all, you already know this, but I’ll say it anyway: Not everyone is going to agree with everything you post. There will be plenty of people who disagree with you along the way, and many of them will have no problem telling you about it. Unfortunately, too many bloggers can’t handle the criticism, so they resort to insults and profanity in their responses. Don’t be that guy. Respect all your commenters, regardless of whether they agree with you or not.

5.     Don’t leave spammy comments on other blogs – Blog commenting is a strategy used by a lot of bloggers to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and build back links. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re going to do it, you need to do it right. This means taking the time to actually read the post you’re commenting on and leaving a well-thought out, insightful comment.

Are there any other blog etiquette rules you’d add to this list? Let us know!

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

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