The Unwritten Rules of Blogging


I wish someone had told me when I started blogging:
Here are the biggest no-no’s. 
Don’t do them.

Wouldn’t that be great? 

I also wish someone handed me a vocabulary index because we’ve sure invented our own lingo, haven’t we?

And the award for most awkward blog term goes to: Sponsor
Having a blog sponsor = Yay! Fun! Money!   
Having a real life sponsor = The fun got out of hand.

But no one handed us a manual. We learned from either making these mistakes ourselves or watching from a distance as someone else made them. Or from someone doing this to us and it ticking us off.

So here are some unwritten rules of blogging: 

1. Be conscious of who you ask to swap. Are your blogs similar in size with similar content? Then go ahead and request a swap. Become friends. Tweet at each other. Build each other up. But don’t get too bold with those requests. In most cases, it’s nice if swapping is mutually beneficial. If it’s really only beneficial for you, consider buying a sponsorship.

2. On that note, choose who you sponsor wisely. What are they offering with a sponsorship? Guest posts and sponsor spotlights will do more for you than just leaving an ad to chill in their sidebar. But you probably could have guessed that.

The no-no portion of this is: who you sponsor, you will be assosiciated with. Don’t sponsor someone you wouldn’t want to be associated with, just for the traffic. It’s not worth it. If you don’t genuinuely like their blog, what makes you think their followers will like you?

3. Don’t leave stupid comments. This includes “new follower, I’d love a follow back,” or “check out my giveaway,” or anything not related to the content of the post you are commenting on. Just don’t. It’s rude and I promise, bad manners will not get you further. I’ve never even so much as left my blog link at the end of a comment. 

4. Don’t steal ideas. Want to rework an idea that another blogger did? Fine. Consider getting their permission first. But don’t steal because someone will call you out on it and you will be embarrassed. 

5. Drama going on? Stay out of it. You can bet I’ve never given a single opinion about any drama in blog world. I could call it all childish or pathetic but the thing is, I’m a silent observer. It’s great fun to watch the train wreck. So do yourself a favor and don’t tweet about it, don’t write a rebuttle post, don’t mention it one time anywhere. Stay out of it. But if you have the time and energy, go right ahead and enjoy from a distance. It’s like reality tv but with people you [sort of] know.

The blog world is a funny thing. It’s constantly evolving and we’re adapting. Every day there are newbies and every day, someone breaks those unwritten rules. 

So what other rules do you wish someone had shared with you? 


*This post previously appeared as a guest post on Jessica Who?*

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  • On the same note, don’t accept irrelevant offers from outside companies. Companies have asked me to post contents regarding weddings (my own was three years ago) and iPhone cases (I’m team android). I told both no, but I was tempted to take them just to feel successful because they were my first outside offers!

  • I loathe ‘check out my giveaway!’ comments. It automatically makes me think you are a bot. And if you’re not a bot, well, that’s even worse. These are all so true!

  • #3. Thank you. Thank you for #3.

    Oh and if you have time, I’d love it if you checked out my blog venustrappedinmars.com

  • As a newbie to the blog world, I really enjoyed reading this! I don’t think that I would ever do any of these things, but it’s always good to have a reminder.

  • Sweet baby jesus thank you for #3. Most often than not I’ll check out your blog anyway simply because you commented on mine but leaving that makes me forget about you because it’s rude.

    Another thing that drives me banana sandwich is take off that damn captcha! I spend time commenting on your post and then I see that! Grr

  • Very good advice! I agree with it all!

  • The swapping one, for real. !00 followers to 2100 followers isn’t gonna work out for ya girlfriend.

    Blogger drama. Almost as entertaining as Amanda Bynes.

  • completely agree with you on all of these!! the drama? that part is frustrating to me and i wish it didn’t exist! 🙂

  • Nice post! Would you like to follow each other…
    Hahah just kidding! I hate this kinda comments. No babe!

  • As a blogger newbie thanks for this!!

  • Or if you do steal a blogger’s idea.. totally tell them! At least that’s what I did. Bonnie from Life of Bon had a great “Summer goals” blog and I totally wanted to do it. So before it published, I emailed her and told her that I loved her post and I wanted to do my own. When it published it mentioned that Bonnie first did it and that I stole her idea. (of course, by then she had already said cool and she thought it was great, it didn’t help that I love her and complimented her lots)
    LOL
    But yeah, love this list!

  • Yes yes yes to number three! Most of the time people don’t even read the actual post and then just comment with new follower! I like new followers just like everyone else, but I hate it when people leave comments just solely for that reason!

  • Excellent tips! Even though there really isn’t a right or wrong way to blog…there definitely is a better way. Man, sometimes I wish there had been a handbook when I started out! Would have saved me so precious time! 🙂

  • I think it’s lame when people (even some of the big bloggers) do a post advertising that they have room for “June Sponsors, “July Sponsors,” or whatever the month may be. It’s just tacky to me.

    • I completely agree. it’s one thing if they mention it within a post, but when a whole post is dedicated to this it’s annoying as a reader.

  • no one wants a real life sponsor, unless you’re really into making bad life decisions. haha

  • Agreed with #3!! I don’t like being a bitch, but when people tell me they’re a new follower & to “follow them back”, I don’t do it. Sorry not sorry. Just tell me you liked my post, anything! Shit.
    I’m guilty of #1… whoopsie. I’ll stop haha.
    I also agree with Paige up thurr ^^^^^^

    Emily

  • I love this post. So much of this is trial by fire when you start blogging. I wish I came across this a year ago!

    xx
    Amanda

  • I wish I would have known the lingo 2 years ago. It takes time to figure this thing out. I also hate comments that are 1-3 words. How do you respond to that? Lame sauce.

  • Oh how I wish I had read this when I first started. I definitely agree with Steph above that it’s important to leave comments that can actually be responded to! It’s so hard for me when people say something like, “Loved this post!” or, “So fun!” on my posts. I always try to respond to people’s comments but what am I supposed to say?

  • Love this! I’ve been on blogger for almost three years now, and I’m still trying to figure it out. This would have been helpful way back when : ) Although, I am proud to say that I have never committed any of these!

  • My unwritten rule is that anyone who responds to the drama I immediately unfollow. I prefer to silently watch.

  • I really don’t get number 3 – do people still do this? How is it even effective?

  • Thank you for this post. I am new to blogging and I will definitely keep these “no-no’s” in mind!

  • The drama gets me the most. Ugh. I can’t stand the drama.

  • #3 YES. I don’t know why people do that follow back crap!! If someone comments, I check out their blog. If they tell me to ‘follow back’ I immediately change my mind.
    This is a great post!

  • Stealing other’s posts is a big NOOO NOOOO! When I wanted to do a summer swap, I made sure to ask Allie and Brin first out of mutual respect. People need to keep common courtesy in mind!

    • What happens if you post something that happens to be like something someone else did but you genuinely didn’t know? I am always afraid of that happening!

  • On topic of stupid comments: Who has time to leave those kind of comments??? I skim a ton of blogs everyday and I probably comment on 25% of them because it takes too much time to leave a good one. Who has time to hit up random blogs and leave random comments? We should all be wondering about those “bloggers”.

  • haha this is an awesome post! i too like to just sit back and watch the drama but try to stay out of it. and let’s face it, there’s some good drama that goes on out there!

  • I completely agree – stupid comment are the worst, especially on my style icon posts where I show a picture of skinny, blonde girl and they really think “I” look gorgeous in theses photos when they are obviously not me!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Definitely can’t stand it when people ask me to follow them back (not that there are many) but I wouldn’t dream of doing that to another blogger. I don’t beg for friendship in real life, so I’m not going to beg for it in blog world either. Also, I was guilty of #1 when I first started, but quickly realized the benefits of swapping with a blogger my own size and actually becoming FRIENDS with them. Great post with some great tips!!

    Check out my page? (kidding)

  • Totally agree: “check out my giveaway”, “participate in my link party”, “follow back?” YIKES. Just be involved in the blogger who is posting! You don’t HAVE to comment! 🙂 And drama- WOW. Glad you shared these tips with everyone!

  • some things you’ve just got to figure out, but i hope #3 would be common sense.

    awesome tips, and a nice reminder for those of us who might need it once and awhile 😉

  • I hate #3!! I get those all the time, and it’s obvious the person didn’t even READ the post. I was trying to get a friend to start a blog today, and she was like “How do you get followers?” And I told her, “Oh, things like blog hops, link ups, giveaways, sponsoring/swapping ads with other bloggers.” And she goes “I have no idea what any of that means.” Oh….hahaha

  • I think those are all really good points for sure!!! The whole follow me I will follow you back is just so stupid…ugh!!

    xo Dinah @ sunshine super glam

  • oh man. part two of #2 – why do so many bloggers not know this? truth!

  • Completely Agree! I really don’t like the “Follow Back” Comments. Just follow because you want to stick around!
    x

  • I didn’t realize it was considered rude to request a follow back or let someone know you’re new and would love if they checked out your blog. Apparently, I’ve committed a blog faux pas on occasion because I’ve done that to some of my absolute fave bloggers!

  • Thanks for the tips!

  • Haha! This is great and so true! Especially the drama one. It’s better not to get involved and just enjoy the show.

  • These are great. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even know blogger drama existed! No thanks.
    Michelle @ Mishfish13

  • I just started blogging last month and these are completely helpful for us lost fishies. I love how real you are, which is why you are the first person’s blog I have ever commented on. Also, Archie though, so cute.

  • Thanks for writing this post! I’m a new blogger, only been blogging for 2 months now and I definitely agree with you on #4. While imitation is considered the best form of flattery, just give credit where credit is due! Saves you a lot of trouble and well, it’s the only decent thing to do. I can definitely relate to #3. … I get those all the time! And it’s soooo obvious when people leave comments without even reading the post at all, especially when I just posted it 30 seconds ago! There’s no way you read the post and had time to comment. Luckily, I haven’t gotten any rude comments yet.

  • Loved this post when I read it the first time, love it now.

    Re: #3… Doesn’t asking each person to follow you individually sounds like a giant waste of time? Woof.

    I also hate when a blog is riddled with spelling errors. And now I’m reading this comment again to make sure there are no spelling errors 🙂

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