Book Blogging 101

Book Blogging 101

Hot Topics & How-Tos for the Book Blogger

There have been a lot of discussions between Etiquette & Plagiarism on these Book Blogging 101 posts, so I thought now we can touch upon the Etiquette part of the Blogging community as it relates to other Book Bloggers, we could probably do one in regards to how bloggers relate to authors and publishers also, how bloggers relate to ARCs etc. etc., this one is community/internet based.

It might surprise you that these things have to be stated, but for beginner bloggers, sometimes such actions might not be self-evident. It all revolves around the idea of a community and how to properly fit within said community. Bad etiquette can land you on the fringes of the community or even black-listed.

A rule of thumb when you are just getting started is to ask permission for everything. This may seem redundant or over-the-top, but you would hate to get yourself in a pickle. If something makes you pause, stop and send and email.

Ten tips for basic etiquette:

  1. Hotlink images
    When you use a URL instead of uploading directly to your blog you are basically stealing bandwidth.  This is considered quite rude to other bloggers. The best thing to do is right click on the image (if the image is available for re-distribution) and save it to your harddrive, then upload to your blog. It is also a good rule of thumb to credit the image from where you got it, or the person that owns the rights to the image.
  2. If you are discussing an idea that you found on someone’s blog site, give them credit with a link
    Posts like these BB101s are prime example, I went to different sites and read what they wrote about Blogging Etiquette, scooped up ideas that I thought would be relevant and wrote my own article. I’m not copy and pasting from their sites, I’m just recycling and expounding upon existing ideas. Proper etiquette states to credit the blogs that inspired me. You will see those credits at the end of this post. Again, because I did not copy and paste, or cite their information, I do have to, but proper etiquette calls for a link.
  3. If you are using a meme idea, a post or any type of feature idea, credit the blogger, with a link
    Last week I was called on the table concerning my Desperately Wanting Wednesday meme. Proper etiquette called for me to post a link back to Breaking the Spine because their meme was used as an inspiration. You would also do this if you were creating a feature, blog hop, unique giveaway, etc. CREDIT that blogger, you don’t want to be accused of stealing. I actually woke up this morning and saw something that I was doing was being “reproduced” on another blogger’s stream. It’s not a copyrightable idea, I had just thought it would be fun to do and I had not seen the idea in our community, just in other blogging communities. Now it’s all over blog/social media sites. I don’t want to do mine anymore. Lost it’s appeal and my feelings might have been spared if I would have just gotten a quick note, “hey this is a cool idea, mind if I implement it?” Devil’s advocate expounds that they might not even realize that you do this, that they may have come to this idea on their own. It’s not a particularly original idea. But, when someone follows your blog, your Facebook page, follows you on twitter…it is very easy to get the impression that they took the idea from me. What do I do? It’s not plagairism, just a breach of etiquette. First impression. Purge. Un-follow.
  4. Cuddlebuggery said it fantastically: Your Blog is Your Home – You wouldn’t “go to their house and shit on their couch.” Treat your visits to someone’s blog as if you are visiting their home. Would you put a bag on your head and shit on their sofa? Then why leave ugly anonymous comments? Taking this even further – a lot of blog tracking software catches your IP address, simple sleuthing and the blogger can find out which blog you hail from.
  5. Respond to comments
    Nothing irks me more then when I go to a blog and I see meaningful comments without any responses from the blogger. I understand that you can’t get to all of them sometimes, but if a person takes time to leave a thought out or complimentary comment, at least say thank you? If you don’t respond it gives the impression of snobbery, too good to say anything back? Is that the impression you want to leave your readers?
  6. Deleting Comments
    Not everyone will agree with you. If someone leaves a comment that states a difference of opinion, you might want to leave it. Discussions can be fun and can actually spark up a good debate on your blog and bring more comments. If it is really inappropriate or raunchy then I would maybe delete it.
  7. Spam!
    If you are just commenting to post a link to your blog, DON’T. That is spam and considered Bad Etiquette. This happens a lot of time on memes. Nice WOW – here’s mine. Did you just leave that comment on 100 blogs? Then I really don’t want you posting it on mine. If it isn’t a meme but you are leaving a few links in a comment, unless it is relevant to the topic, it’s spam. My comment system pops you into spam if you leave 2 or more links. I usually just keep you there.
  8. Notifying Blogs You Link To
    You are not obligated to notify a blog if you link to their blog, linking to a blog gives them more SEO cred and exposure, right there you are doing them a favor. Larger blogs like Parajunkee’s View would be getting a lot of emails if everyone thought it was proper etiquette to notify me when including a link. I’m not saying this to show off, but on my more popular blog posts, I can have five to ten pingbacks when it goes live. I am usually notified via a pingback, or a Google Alert, I do not have to be emailed. If you feel it is necessary, comment in the post you are linking to, or give a quick tweet…but it is not necessary and sometimes might be construed as a lure — look I linked you, check it out. Especially with the new trend of linking to other reviews at the bottom of yours. Put the link and if the blogger has an Alert or pingback software it will be like a little present, whereas if you email it might look like you just linked them to lure them as a potential follow. But – if you use their artwork, or photography, it is always polite/legal/fair to notify, in the comments (like on DeviantArt) and always check for fair use rights
  9. Email
    Unless a blogger specifically signed up to be on your email list, do not MASS email them about contests. This is considered very bad etiquette and can potentially (if reported) lead your email and IP address to be listed as a Spammer.
  10. Auto-Generated Anything
    You can auto-generate many things, including comment replies and DMs in twitter. A lot of these can be considered very sleazy, especially if you don’t change them up per post. “Thanks so much for your comment, come back soon and visit The Blog again!”

I know sometimes as a new blogger, things like this are not inherently understood, but if a blogger considers you in breach of etiquette, ignorance is not always a good defense. You will be considered that ignorant new blogger that did such and such. I also know that wrong-doings are basically abstract and while doing one thing to a particular blogger might be nothing to them, doing it to another blogger might bring down the wrath of twitter. Once again, your best bet is to ask before you do anything, the worst they can do is say ‘No’ right? And in this case it is not easier to ask forgiveness later — because once that first tweet goes out, it might be very hard to rebound.

Happy Thursday my Darlings! Read More…Talk Less…Blog with Sincerity

Blogging Basics 101 & Tip Junkie inspired this post.

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