Blogiquette: Etiquette Guidelines for Bloggers

Being a beginner blogger can be scary! You’re out there, doing your thing, when you realize –oops!– you offended someone! You forgot to link to your source or reblogged an idea or accidentally promoted your blog on someone else’s. We’ve all been there, don’t stress! Here are a few “blogiquette” guidelines for you to follow.

These are obviously my personal opinions, please feel free to contribute your own blogiquette rules in the comments!

The Brainstormer” print by Nan Lawson on Etsy

Why do you blog? You have something unique to share with the world. So share it! It’s okay to share others’ ideas once in a while. In fact, it’s good to share the work of people you admire, and it can be a great way to meet other bloggers. But if you are constantly “re-blogging” instead of just blogging, your readers will catch on fast.

Sharing is one thing, but it is never okay to steal the work of others without giving the creator credit. Here are my general rules for sharing content:

Credit, credit, credit. When I talk about an idea, post, or photo I found somewhere else, I like to go a step beyond linking to the source and write a few sentences about how and where I found it. I also use the writer’s real name, as long as they use it publicly on their blog. This can make your words of appreciation go even further.

Don’t take everything. This especially applies to DIY tutorial-type posts, including recipes. If I were to use every image and word, readers would have no reason to visit the original post. Borrow one or two photos, write your own description of the post or project, and allow your readers to follow the link.

Comments make bloggers happier than cupcakes. But there is a right and a wrong way to comment! First and foremost, be genuine. If you like something, say so! But don’t go overboard.

Don’t use your comments to promote yourself. There is a box to include your URL with you comment, feel free to link to your blog or site there, but don’t link to yourself in the body of your comment.

Read first, comment second. If you have a question after you read a post, go back and read it again. Then check in the comments to see if anyone else asked. If you still don’t see the answer, ask away! But please stop back and say thank you if the blogger took the time to respond.

Respond to comments, visit readers’ blogs when possible, leave comments generously. Participate in conversations on Twitter and Facebook.

Personally, I try my hardest to respond to comments by new readers and people asking questions, as well as any especially awesome comments. If someone @ replies me on Twitter, I will always follow them back. I check out my commenters’ blogs and leave comments when I have a moment, and I comment on blogs who mention me or my blog when I spot them. I understand that many “big” bloggers can’t possibly do this for all of their readers, but for now, this loose policy works for me.

Do I even have to say this? Bloggers love to be talked about, and because of this, they have lots of ways to find out who is talking about them and what they are saying. One time I found someone had pinned a project from my blog along with the caption: “Cute idea, but this girl needs to get a job.” Now, I write about pretty benign topics, so I don’t expect much controversy and, truth be told, worse things have been said about a lot of bloggers. But there is really no reason to bash others in any way – that is not the way to become popular!

So, what do you think? What guidelines would you add to my “blogiquette” list?

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38 Responses to Blogiquette: Etiquette Guidelines for Bloggers

  1. Clare says:

    Great post! I try to respond to comments on my blog (there aren’t many!) but a lot of times I’m at work when I’m approving them (on my phone) and unfortunately I’m not able to respond. Then I’ll be all forgetful and not do it when I get home either. I think several of these are just common sense too.

  2. Layla says:

    These are GREAT!! And you already know how I feel about the “Read the post BEFORE commenting” one, lol. I have to add one – if you email a blogger and ask for advice/experience/opinion/etc and it requires a lengthy response on behalf of the blogger, which they send to you, PLEASE be kind enough to at least acknowledge it with a thank you!!!! Someone once commented on a post asking specific questions about our Elvis wedding in Vegas and asked me to email them about it, which I did, in detail, and……I never heard from them. No thank you, nothing. Kinda rude, no?

  3. Meg says:

    I totally agree with all of these Blogiquette Rules. I believe them to be extremely important characteristics to maintain as a blogger, but moreover, as a person. I try my best to live my life by these principles in general, and it translates to my blog. It is widely the case that people transfer their persona’s onto the blogging image. I have been blessed to be surrounded by strong, supportive, creative, kind and thoughtful bloggers.

    And I love your sweet blog! 🙂


  4. Frankie says:

    This is a great list Kira. It’s my pet peeve when someone leaves their blog url in a comment when it’s already linked in their name, but I must admit I may have done it a few times when I was a beginner. I’m glad you addressed it here.

    Leaving thoughtful relevant comments is really important. Sometimes I read though the comments on my favorite blogs , and go see what’s up on their blog because I related to something in their comment.

    Also, when I first started reading blogs I felt weird commenting, because I didn’t know the person. It was especially hard to do it if I was the first commenter, but now I get how much comments mean to bloggers, and I always leave a comment if I like a post. The “likes” are nice, but it means so much more when a comment is left.

  5. Shayla says:

    All of these are really good things to know. I’ve been trying to up my commenting on people’s blogs, rather than just lurking, which means a bit of extra effort if I’m reading on my iPhone or through an RSS reader, but I think it’s worth it to let people know I like their stuff.

  6. Cait says:

    I am seriously in love with this post, Kira, and try to do all of these things on a daily basis. Although I need to remember to ask commenters more questions to keep the convo going, I do always thank them and always visit their blogs. If someone takes the time to comment on my blog, theirs at least deserves a read. And you’d better believe I’ll be spreading this post like wildfire!

  7. Love, love, love this list! I am trying to work on commenting and the like.

  8. Cait says:

    Also, most days I’m too busy to read a lot of blogs, but I always set aside an hour or two on the weekend to catch up and comment on the ones I love (including those who support mine).

  9. The Happy Homeowner says:

    This is a FANTASTIC post–if only all the bloggers out there would read it… (sharing on Twitter now in hopes that they do!) 😉

  10. Irecently had this message brought home to me because I WAS part of a Facebook group that was protesting Lifetime Networks upcoming show The Client List. I noticed something in the comments of one member that I thought would make a good blog post. (My post was a criticism of an individuals comments) Because my post was about dispelling myths about Corporate Spas such as Hotel and Resort Spas, I posted it to the same list. This did not go over well. The indivudal whos comments I used as a baseline recognized herself in my post and managed to have me removed from the Facebook group. That says something about fascism and freedom of speech and I learned a lesson but I would add that when you use an individual as inspiration for blog posts, don’t make it easy for them to find your post or there will be war.

  11. Lauren says:

    This is a great list! I always try my best to source and give a shout out/link to others when I get an idea from their blog. I’ve experienced the read first, comment second one back with my wedding blog. Someone asked a couple of questions on a project, of which all the answers could be found in the post if they had just read through it.

  12. Hemborgwife says:

    Great list and beautifully done! I love banners and they gave the post a really nice touch.

  13. OMG Amen sister! You couldn’t have said it any better 🙂 I get emails all the time asking for design advice, which I willingly give out on my blog when the topics are popular and I really feel like my readers will enjoy the answers.. but I have this same “reader” who emails me almost weekly now with design questions. Her most recent email actually said “wow I should really be paying you for this!” I mean.. as a licensed Interior Designer, yes.. yes you should. I have a hard time saying no to people though, but this chica never thanks me and just keeps piling on the questions! Ughhh!! Now I feel like a bad blogger for not catering to every single person’s questions!

    • OMG Amen sister! You couldn’t have said it any better I get emails all the time asking for design advice, which I willingly give out on my blog when the topics are popular and I really feel like my readers will enjoy the answers.. but I have this same “reader” who emails me almost weekly now with design questions. Her most recent email actually said “wow I should really be paying you for this!” I mean.. as a licensed Interior Designer, yes.. yes you should. I have a hard time saying no to people though, but this chica never thanks me and just keeps piling on the questions! Ughhh!! Now I feel like a bad blogger for not catering to every single person’s questions!

      **sorry for the duplicate post.. I didn’t mean to sign in with twitter, you can delete it!**

      • I definitely know the feeling, and it can make you feel disheartened because you WANT to help people and you don’t want your feelings about a select few to put a damper on your future interactions with others.

        But girl (can I be honest for a sec?), don’t sell yourself short!! If you’re putting a ton of time and effort into helping people for no appreciation, credit, or MONEY, stop! If I were you, I would do two things: Create a policy and post it. Something like “Your Modern Couple would love to help you with your design problems and projects, but unfortunately, we don’t have time to get to all requests. Fill out this form and if we want to include your question on our blog, we’ll be in touch!” That way you’re not committing yourself to helping EVERY SINGLE person. Second of all, giiiirl, cash in on that! After a certain number of emails, it is absolutely okay to say, “I have really enjoyed working with you and would love to continue, here is my price list for consultations.”

        I know it can be scary to put numbers to what your knowledge is worth (I am in the process of considering my own blog building business venture) but people won’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously!! Feel free to email me if you want to chat a bit more, I promise not to charge you ; )

      • Thanks Kira! haha it all sounds so easy when you say it! It’s just kind of annoying because when I do send people my rates (which are extremely reasonable) I never hear from them again. I don’t want to lose readers because I’m being greedy, but in the end. I guess it’s what I have to do. Thanks for the support friend 🙂

  14. awesome post. I really like the images you created to go with it. Blogging takes a community doesn’t it? When people break the rules, it hurts everyone. Comments are better than cupcakes 😉 No comment days are sad days.

  15. Christine says:

    I love this post!!! We’ve discussed this on Twitter before…and you couldn’t have said it any better. Very thorough! Now I’m thinking back to when I started blogging and mentally checking to see if I followed your commandments… I think I did?! Or I hope I did! I try to ignore the rule breakers, but that’s all we can do… unless we want to start an internet bar brawl. No need for nonsense. Again, great job Kira. Well said!

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  17. Anh says:

    This is so helpful, Kira! I’m a new blogger myself, and things can get so confusing/overwhelming on the blogosphere! I’m been reading your Primp My Blog series, too. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve learned a lot!

  18. Thank you so much for posting this. As a totally new blogger (like less than 10 posts!) It can be a bit intimidating jumping right in when everybody around around you seems to know what’s what.
    This little list is going up on my studio wall for sure.
    Thanks again, and keep up the good blogging…your posts are a pleasure to read! 🙂

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  21. This is such a great post… I think the ‘don’t be a selfish blogger’ one is especially good. And what Layla said on people asking you to email them with stuff/ideas… I get so many emails asking for stuff, such as Edinburgh tips (which I do reply to but maybe not that quickly) and hardly anyone ever replies! Never been sure why that is!

  22. amaya73 says:

    Lots of good tips here, especially the one about GIVING CREDIT! Stealing other people’s work is wrong.

  23. Reblogged this on Such heavenly love. and commented:
    Relevant (:

  24. This is a great list! Thanks for posting it!

  25. In regards to people putting their links within the comments & it being seen as spammy, what are your thoughts then on being on Facebook and commenting as your page? You sign in as the page so that it doesn’t say “Name of person” but instead “Name of shop” when commenting. Is that spammy too?

    • Definitely not! I comment on tons of pages on Facebook as my blog, and for me, it’s really more for anonymity than self-promotion. Just be sure to leave thoughtful, relevant comments : )

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I too was looking at it from an anonymity standpoint but was concerned it could look otherwise. I do, however, still question commenting like that with other photographers for fear it might not seem kosher (like I am impeding on their “turf”). I have to ruminate on that one a bit more…..


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