The Rules of Etiquette For Bloggers

This is probably one of my most, if not the most, controversial posts ever on Stephii Mattea. Today, I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on some of the blogging sins that I've witnessed across most of the social media platforms, and what I think is acceptable and what isn't. These days we've seen bloggers become bolder, using methods in order to increase viewers, gain followers and get their blog across the blogosphere.

The problem with those methods is that they rub everyone else the wrong way, and more often than not, they are ignored in favour of bloggers that actually engage with their readers, with other bloggers and across social media.

The Follow and Unfollow Culture
Lately, I've seen many bloggers on Twitter and Instagram complain about this problem, and I agree with them. The follow and unfollow culture is done by people following accounts in order to get a follow back, and once that's been accomplished, they just click the unfollow button. This is extremely infuriating and annoying when you're following so many of them back only to find out that your follow count has taken a hit overnight while the list of the ones you're following continues to grow. This is especially worse on Instagram, and it's frustrating seeing numbers jump by 10-15 followers, and then back down to square one overnight.

These days I don't even bother following anyone that follow far fewer accounts than they have followers because I feel like they participate in the unfollow culture. It's rude, it's inconsiderate, it's selfish and it wastes time for anyone thinking that their blog is growing. We are sick of it. Stop doing it, follow the people for the sake of wanting to follow them, not for the sake of increasing your numbers. It reeks of desperation and rudeness.

Automated DMs
No offence to anyone, but automated DMs on Twitter are just annoying. I appreciate that you're trying to grow your blog, hell, even I'm in the same boat. But... automatically sending links to followers on DMs is not the way to go, it's invasive, it's unsolicited, and it's impersonal. I refuse to click on the links in any message that I receive in an automatic DM, because I'd rather you engaged with me, spoke to me personally and then politely asked if I could check your blog out. Or, you know, let your accounts speak for itself and attract new readers and followers.

I've heard of a lot of bloggers and influencers unfollowing those that send out automated DMs, and while I do that sometimes, in most cases I'm too nice to tap that Unfollow button and be on my way. Especially if your numbers are low and you're trying to expand your reach.

Super Short or Pushy Comments
Why do you do this? Why? I'm talking about bloggers, brands and influencers that leave comments on blogs and Instagram that are short and only have one purpose, to lure people into looking at their accounts/blogs. They'll either leave a short statement like "Great post! Could you check my blog out?" along with a link or they'll just write "Great!" and include a link. Or maybe, they'll just leave the link and nothing else. Or simply a single word or emoticon. Why?

You do this, I delete your comment on my blog. I don't care, it's rude to comment simply for selfish reasons. Bloggers want to see true engagement, to see that you've actually read the post, that you care enough to write a comment about it, and that you want to communicate with them. You do this on Instagram, damn right I'll ignore you, and I will go so far as to delete the comment if you are blatantly asking me to follow you. Also, anyone that leave comments on brands' Instagram along the lines of "I am a new blogger, please check my page out", this shit is annoying. Stop exploiting brands, influencers, celebrities and blogs just for selfish means. As much as I don't follow the Kardashians, this is exactly why Kylie Jenner disabled comments on her Instagram back in August.

Be Supportive
These days I'm witnessing quite a bit of drama and bitterness among bloggers on Twitter., YouTube and even Instagram. Not only that, a lot of bloggers have expressed concern that there's too much negativity going around the blogosphere. This is not supposed to happen, we are meant to be supporting each other, to be compassionate and friendly and to help each other out if someone has a few questions. I've seen a few callous bloggers blatantly shun newbies for asking them on how to start up a blog or how they make income, and it's not nice. I hate seeing newbies get shot down like that. I do my best to help anyone that asks me, and go above and beyond to see them start up their blog successfully. We've all been newbies once, and a lot of us know firsthand how isolating it is when you don't get enough support or help from other bloggers to help you grow.

Another thing that I find unsupportive of bloggers and influencers are the "big" ones that think it's okay to ignore the smaller/newer bloggers or to tear them down either directly or publicly on their channels/pages. This is part of the reason why I refuse to follow so-called "makeup artists" and influencers on YouTube.

Full Disclosure
This is a big deal these days, and I'll explain why. One, if you have been sponsored by a brand or company and you're to write a post for them, you must include a disclosure at the beginning of the post. If you're sharing a link on Twitter or Instagram that is either sponsored or an advertisement, you need to disclose that with #ad or #sponsored. There was controversy surrounding brands and their influencers failing to disclose that their posts were sponsored, or if they did disclose it, it was hidden among all of the hashtags, usually with #ad or #sp, which are easy to gloss over or misunderstand.

Affiliate links should be disclosed, at the very least, at the end of the post to tell readers that the links you include in the post let you earn a commission if they click on it or buy something through said link. From my research, it doesn't seem like affiliate widgets, like the ShopStyle one that I often use at the end of beauty posts, have to be disclosed. I could be wrong, but I've spent a few hours trying to find information on this, so I'm almost certain it doesn't apply. I think I might just start adding a disclosure at the end of my posts irregardless.

If you don't take photos for your blog, and instead sourced them from the internet, you need to make sure to disclose where you got them from, especially if it belongs to someone. The only time you do not need to leave a disclosure is if you've found your photos from free stock photo websites. I do this anyways, because I always take photos for my blog, and in the rare cases that I do not, I don't want my readers thinking that I've suddenly become a pro overnight.

Be Original
There are a few things that I mean by this section. Firstly, don't copy other bloggers. It's okay to be inspired by your favourite bloggers and use similar elements to theirs, but it's not fine to copy everything, right down to the very font that they use. It comes off as a bit desperate and you don't want to be confused for another blogger just because your blog looks the same as theirs. You want to make your mark in the blogosphere and the best way to do that is to be unique. This applies to Instagram feeds as well. These days I find a lot of monochromatic feeds that's every shade between black and white. While that looks clean and crisp, it's also hard to differentiate between accounts through their photos. I, like many other bloggers, like to have a recognisable theme with our photos that makes people go "That's Stephii!"

One major no-no is to plagiarise another blogger's post. I've heard reports of bloggers doing just that, and that's so not on. It ruins your reputation, regardless of whether you've copied the post directly or if you've copied most of it and changed some of the words. The only time this is okay is if you've gotten inspiration from their post, and you've taken the idea and made it your own. When this happens, I always include a link to the original post to encourage my readers to check them out. This also helps to support the other blogger.

Okay, so maybe this post isn't exactly very controversial, but it's still an important one. I think it's time that these blogging faux passes are no longer committed because, frankly, a lot of them are off-putting. Being a honest, friendly and patient blogger is much more rewarding, and you might find that your engagement has improved ten-fold as a result.

What other blogging faux pas have you witnessed?



Post a Comment