September 3, 2013

On Blogging: Sharing, Crediting, and Connecting


Just putting together a handful of posts on blogging over the next couple of weeks and what I've learned through it all (still am) since this month is my blogging anniversary... making it a total of 6 years.

Make Connections with Other Bloggers. The best part of blogging is the community aspect; going on to make real genuine friends through it. It's not done via osmosis, so making the effort to reach out to other bloggers. Most of us don't bite =)

Comment! My friend Allie in a post of hers put it perfectly...
....it's very easy to go from blog to blog to blog to blog reading their archives but never commenting. But that's sort of like going into someone's home, walking around, and never saying "hi" to the homeowner, sitting at the kitchen table, watching and waiting for you to introduce yourself.
We bloggers love getting feedback from readers. It serves as a fuel to keeps us going. I also try to  make it a point to leave comments as much as I can, respond back to e-mails, tweets, and messages,  because it just sorta seems unappreciative to not do so.

Know Commenting (& Social Media) Etiquette. The Internet, as great as it is, can also be a breeding ground of criticism. It's incredibly easy for people to hide behind their computer screens and say whatever they want... things they would never say in person, face-to-face with you. Critiquing should be kept to a bare minimum. Cut people some slack, we've all had blog posts that just suck from time to time. Speaking of comments though, please, please, please don't make it a habit to solicit your own blog in your comments. It's awkward... and most bloggers feel like comments such as these were only given in hopes of gaining web traffic. We can tell when people comment without actually reading the content. And there's really no need to put your web url in your comments, because we can usually click through your avatar picture anyway to find your blog. People who leave genuine, thoughtful comments are the people who I'm compelled to click on and check out their website or blog. Other great advice...

Have a Search Bar Somewhere... anywhere on your blog, as well as (good/helpful) tag words. It makes it 1000 times easier for people to find posts that they're interested in reading rather than having to keep scrolling through a blog's archives. And it'll keep me from pulling out my hair when I'm trying to find something on your blog I've read before. Make it easy for your readers to locate your material so that they can actually connect with your material. My hair thanks you!

Give Credit Where It's Due. Because stealing isn't nice, and you look at things a bit differently once you've had something of yours stolen such as a blog post or a picture. From personal experience, it's not a good feeling, and having had other blogging friends who've experienced it too, it can get messy. Here is where the teacher side of me is gonna come out, but here are just a few guidelines...
  • Don't re-post another blogger's entire post without their permission. It's really simple to just send them an e-mail asking for permission. Be sure to give them a little write-up or intro about them and their blog too, because it's really not fair if you use all their writing and then give them a tiny little link to their site at the bottom of a post in small font size. It still gives the impression to most readers that you wrote it when you didn't.
  • Linking an image's source back to Pinterest (or Tumblr) isn't linking to it's source at all, since most images on these sites are not linked to the original source the majority of the time as it is.
  • When in doubt, ask, or just don't bother using it. This is why I take my own pictures 95% of the time, because it's just less hassle for me (and it forces me to learn/practice how to use a camera).
For the most part people are just unaware about these things. (Case in point: When I started on Pinterest, I wasn't really aware of what properly pinning things meant, which is why about a year a go I went in and totally re-did all my boards.) But, lawyers tend to not care if people are just "unaware" So here are some incredibly helpful resources on citing, copying/copyright, and crediting...
By all means, please do share, but sharing means giving proper credit to whom it belongs. 

7 comments :

  1. oh i enjoyed this very much. :) Definitely great advice and lots of great information. Even though I've been blogging for a while, I still think I consider myself a newbie at this whole blogging thing. ha.

    One question on this part:
    "And there's really no need to put your web url in your comments, because we can usually click through your avatar picture anyway to find your blog. "

    I've had trouble with that, because sometimes it doesn't always link back to the blog, or they have multiple/inactive blogs and I can't figure out which one they are currently blogging on. Not sure if it is on my part or their part, or if I am just inept. haha. I tend to live my blog address as part of my "signature" (unless i already know them) because I can't figure out if it actually links back to my current blog or other blogs I have listed. Hope that made sense.

    now here's to hoping the internet actually works when I hit the publish button.... ;)

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    1. I totally get what you mean =) Yeah... I guess I should've distinguished between the person who just sticks it at the end of their comment, and the person who writes something like: "Come follow my blog here..." when they haven't given a... substantial(?) comment. Because there are times when someone has left a great comment and when I've gone to find their blog it's like next to impossible.

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  2. Hi Natalie! Congratulations on six years of blogging! That is such an accomplishment.

    You can't see me, but my head was bobbing up and down while reading your post. I recently had two people take things from my blog, and I couldn't believe it! If they would have asked, I would have said 'sure', but it felt so yucchy to see it happen without permission.

    Dead on with commenting. I try to type something when I visit a post. It seems only polite!

    I really liked this post. I will look forward to your sharing what you have learned.
    Ceil

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  3. Great tips. And wow 6 years?! You are a pro girl! I guess I need to figure out how to add a search bar on my blog. Duh!

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    1. Nah... not a pro =) But your blog has good tag words Allison!

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  4. Oh this is so true! Especially the search bar -I can't believe how many times I've wanted to search something on a blog and there was no way too!

    Also, love what Allie wrote about commenting! So very very true!

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  5. Fabulous advice, Natalie - or what I read was (have to dash just now). But... Thank you! :)

    You know... I love your friend's advice. If she doesn't mind, I just may borrow that, too! (I've been working on a "what I've learned" blogging post as well and that advice is just... spot on.)

    You are so right about responding on social media - love how you put that. It's more personal to do so and encourages friendships or good conversation. Above all, blogging has been a joy and wonderful lesson.

    Another "ditto!" When people comment only to promote their own blog! Ugh. That is so uncool. For me, I want to visit blogs because I love what I read there and the friendship I may have developed with its writer.

    Thanks for the pointers.

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Thanks for leaving me your thoughts, comments, and encouragements! =) I do monitor every comment I get so that I can comment back as much as possible.

Any comments I personally deem as inappropriate or disrespectful (and any spam) will be trashed.