I wasn't going to do this post, but it was requested after my Twitter Etiquette post last week. I don't claim to be the blogging expert. But I will share with you some do's and don'ts that I've picked up on the way.
- Provide content that is of VALUE to the reader. Meaning don't go on about your day yesterday, and how much you prefer peanut M&Ms to plain. At least not EVERY time. You don't have to have super writing advice or anything, but you do have to make it worth my while to read it. A unique point of view (forgive the pun on my title) or some interesting facts. Maybe a comparison I can relate to.
- Reciprocate by commenting on the blogs of those who take the time to do the same for you. I try to do this right away if I'm at all able. And I LOVE visiting your blogs.
- Make it easy to find and pass the blog info on. See how I'm using these little bullet doohickies? That makes it easier on your eyes. I also make sure the print is LARGE. So if you want to skim, even though I want you to read it all, you CAN. The title is another way to make it easy to find. You can tell what I'm talking about here. Sometimes I make them funny (or so I think). I also link between Twitter and my website to make it easy to find my blog. I even provide you with a nifty little button so you can SHARE the post or FOLLOW me. Isn't that nice?
- Find what works for you and stick to it. Find your niche. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do exactly with this blog, but now that I have, I'm having a blast!
- Comment if you read a post. You took the time to read it. Why wouldn't you say hello and let the blogger know what you thought? If they follow my etiquette rules, they'll do the same for you!
- Write novel-length diatribes. I may love you, but when my eyes start crossing and my vision gets blurry from looking at your blogpost it's a problem. The simple truth is I'd end up skimming if I read it at all.
- Leave a generic comment that really says "I didn't bother to actually read this" or worse yet "You should check out MY blog!" Unless you have a post on the same subject or something. If you're just advertising, you're far better off being friendly. You catch more flies with honey you know!!
- Rant. I know I keep beating you over the head with this, but really, please, DO NOT air your tantrums in public. If you write it online, whether in a comment or a post, it is going to be read. And the more angry/inappropriate/hotheaded it is, the more it will spread. It's kind of like when there's an accident and people slow down to take a look. It's morbid curiosity. But you can ruin your reputation in a heartbeat.
- Blog just because you think you're supposed to. This takes commitment folks. If you don't enjoy it, not only will it probably show, but you'll end up giving in at some point because it takes a lot of work. Do it if you like it. Luckily it's writing and most of us naturally gravitate to that.
- Post your work online in hopes of critique. I see this a lot. A. If you post it, it's considered published, and if it's long enough that could cause issues if you actually want to publish it. B. It might not be the kind of thing you want to advertise. Maybe it's *gasp* not as good as you originally thought and an agent/editor stops by and isn't impressed. Or maybe you put it up a year ago, and an agent with your full says, "hmm, I wonder why it's taken so long to find an agent, maybe I should rethink this". Is this likely to happen? No. But YOU NEVER KNOW.
Hopefully this was helpful. Did I miss anything?