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...
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.....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.
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).
By all means, please do share, but sharing means giving proper credit to whom it belongs.