Blog Rules and Blog Etiquette out the Window!

March 03, 2010

Randomly I come across a post listing: proper blog etiquette and blog rules.  There are rules to awards, commenting, posting, linking, etc.  Not wanting to be rude and being new to the game, I followed these rules religiously, until now.  I am breaking the rules and creating my own.  Most are just common sense so I would like to comment on a few here.

Here are the rules I agree with:

  1. Don't spam in someone's comments.  That is just annoying. And gross.
  2. Never blog angry.   Go ahead if you want but I promise you, it'll come back to bite you in the butt.  A few weeks ago I got angry about something and wanted to post it.  I thought, tomorrow, next week, I'll still feel the same.    So I wrote the blog in Word but never posted it.  A week later I read it again and THANK GOD I never posted it.  Phew!
  3. Never blog negatively about something.  You don't like a book or a certain movie, fine, simply state why and move on.  Don't rant and run something in a ground to a point that you lose a follower.  I recently read a popular blog and the blog didn't like something and vented about it.  I personally like the thing the blog bashed.  The blog went into such a bashing session that it just offended me. The blog continued to bash in the comments and I said no thanks. Delete, delete, delete.
  4. Comment politely.  Enough said.
Here are some rules I agree with, sort of:
  1. If someone comments on your blog acknowledge their comment.  I guess. If someone takes the time to say something about what you wrote you should acknowledge them.  But is it really necessary to address to each and every person's individual comment?  Most of the time I do but sometimes I find I have nothing to say to a specific comment. I feel a general thanks guys should be okay too. Do I expect someone to reply to my comment specifically?  Absolutely not.  If they do fine but if not no big.
  2. If someone gives you an award follow the rules, post about it an link it back.  This should be your call, as an individual.  Awards are nice but not for everyone.  I don't want to feel obligated to select 15 people because the "rules" say so.  Answer these X# of questions or tell X# things about yourself can be a fun way to get to know someone but shouldn't be required.  Here is what I plan to do with awards from now on: Thank the person on their blog, acknowledge with a post on mine with a link back to the giver.  Anything more than that is polite but should not be expected.
Here are some rules that I don't plan to continue doing.  If you want to, great. 
  1. If someone follows you, you should follow their blog.  No.  I only follow blogs I enjoy reading.
  2. If someone comments on your blog, you should comment on their blog.  No.  I've done this off and on for a while but do not plan to continue it.   I usually don't get more than 5-10 comments and I have a hard time keeping up with this rule, I can't imagine if there were 20 or more comments. Commenting should not be required.  It should be something you want to say.  If you are compelled  by a post then absolutely, say something.  I've had people comment on my post and it was obvious they were following this rule and I didn't feel it was sincere.
Here is a new rule I want to create:
  1. No matter what blog rules you follow, do not expect everyone else to follow the same rules.  I blog to get to know other writers, network and  most importantly to have a place to talk about my journey as a writer.  Everyone has different lives and to be offended because someone didn't follow your rules takes the fun away from blogging.
Sure by not doing some of the rules my commenters may drop off and my following may slow down but I'm not here to be popular.  I'm here to have fun with fellow writers like myself.  

Enjoy the blogging experience.  When it starts to be a chore and takes away from the experience people end up leaving the blogging community.   Feel free to create your own rules and if someone doesn't like the way you play, then play with someone else.  What rules work or don't work for you?

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  1. Oh, I like this post. Your sentiments agree with mine exactly. It's great to be supportive out here in the blog world, but if you follow every single person who follows you, there comes a time when blogging overshadows everything else in your life. I certainly don't expect everyone I follow to follow me.

    And the commenting...I try to comment, I really do, but most of the time I just don't have much to say of substance. If there was some kind of acknowledgment that I read your post and liked it, that would be awesome.

    And I think the never blog angry holds true, just like doing anything angry ever does. :-)

  2. I'm so angry at you for posting your own rules and blowing off others, widely acknowledged to be the accepted norm. Just who do you think you are? If I take the time to comment, you damn well better answer me, after all.....


    That doesn't sound like me.

    Sorry about that, I lost my head for a moment.

    Great post. I've been afraid I'm frightening off readers with my blatant disregard for rules. Maybe we could form a secret society of rebel bloggers.

  3. I agree with your rules. Somtimes, when a person follows you, you somewhat end up feeling compelled to follow them too.

  4. I agree with your rules too. I always feel like I have to follow someone if they follow me. I also agree with the-- comment/thank you to everyone who has commented on your blog. I try my best but lately I have been just doing a general thank you.
    Great post!

  5. I actually really like your rules. They make sense to me. And I lurk on many a blog. You're right. Sometimes you just don't have anything to say. Love the post.

  6. Good list. I don't always do the follow-whoever-follows-you rule, either. I agree with you: only follow those you're interested in. And you're right about the comments. What do you say to "good post. interesting"? lol

  7. Agreed. I'm inches away from taking an indefinite hiatus off my blog, as you know, and it's because of comment guilt!!! I'd feel bad to blog away, but not comment on others' blogs, so I'd rather just take a long break and go back to the lurking I used to be so good at!

  8. You forgot one very important one...


  9. I'm so bad at rules. But I think I'm pretty good at common sense. I try to be nice and courteous in the blogging world. :)

  10. Thanks everyone. I hope we all make rules we can live by without requiring others. And yes, I will start a secret rebel rebellion group (followed by a redundancy group) and we'll meet every second Tuesday after the first full moon.

    And Diana, DON"T GO!!!! You can blog once a week, don't comment and still have a blog presence. Or go ahead and go on hiatus and WRITE!

  11. I like these guidelines. Like you said, a lot of this is commong sense. The one I tried like Hell to make happen was commenting back to people when the leave me a comment. Anyone that's visited my blog more than once should know that normally I'm pretty darn consistant about it. Unfortunately, lately due to my work changes, I've had less and less time to do any blogging at all, so commenting at all has become very difficult. I'm very distressed about it. I've lost 2 followers, I'll never know why, but still, I try very hard to follow up with folks.

  12. Void - Commenting should be fun, inspiried. Don't stress about it. I think we are going to loose our dear Diana because of the "Commenting Pressure" which really upsets me. She's why I wrote this post. If you think about it why do we need followers and comments? We learn the most from reading blogs from agents and published authors, that is what we should focus on. I hope everyone tries to take a new approach with the "rules"

  13. I'm so glad I came across your blog. I agree with your blog rules. I've often wondered about commenting to everyone who posts on my blog. I try to and I'll keep trying to, but it's nice to know that there is someone else out here in the blogosphere that sometimes doesn't know what to say to some comments. Thanks for the wonderful post. And please don't feel like you have to follow my blog. I feel like you do and only follow blogs I enjoy reading and that's how it should be for everyone. :)

  14. Love this! Well said. I always wonder who creates proper etiquette for anything anyway. I remember first learning that there were "rules" to Twitter as well. Certainly common sense rules apply, but everything else is just gravy to me.

  15. i hopped on over from Laurel's Leaves and i have to say, i think you're my kind of blogger. who decided what the rules were anyway (well, except for the ones about not being rude or spamming, but those are just politeness)?? i can't imagine the people who first started blogging even imagined it would grow into this huge, almost uncontrollable phenomenon that it is now.

  16. THanks Michelle! Exactly, polite rules I get but rules that make you jump through hoops, I'm not so sure about. Glad you like the name of my blog, the more i hang out in the lion's den, the more I realize how many squirrels are hanging out in there with me.


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