Blogger Etiqutte 101

About a week ago, I sent out a Twitter poll asking people what their biggest blogging/social media pet peeve was out of three options. Out of the 175 people who voted, 11% said they hated rude comments the most. 15% said they most disliked people DM-ing asking for retweets of their content, and a whopping 74% said following then unfollowing is the absolute worst.

I think we can all relate.

Just like most things in life, getting ahead in blogging requires passion, persistence, and the ability to adapt to different trends. That said, we also have to balance not losing who we are with what everyone else is doing. Unfortunately, there are some rather unsavory things trending in the blogging world right now that I’m just not that kosher with. Things like ‘follow for follow’ and paying bots to grow your Insta account for you.

If we want to succeed as bloggers in this new arena, it’s not enough to take shortcuts or just focus on our own growth. Increasingly, solid blogging is about raising others up, protecting what matters to you and staying authentic. Here are a few things you can do to get ahead of the game in a way that is classy.

Be generous in your support of others, but picky about who you work with.

Supporting and interacting with other bloggers is the fastest way to grow your accounts. And you’re helping others do the same! For example, Cris from The Biblio Blonde says “Always give credit; it’s easy to link to another blogger’s page. And spend time reading and leaving comments on other blogs!”

Abigail from Abigail Grows has a similar tip when it comes to your own blog: “Always try to reply to your comments. People take the time to do so and replying always lets them know you care about their opinion. I’ve gained some loyal followers from this.”

While you really can’t go wrong supporting other bloggers, you should be picky about who you actually work with. This includes brands and other bloggers. I’ve heard a lot of stories from other bloggers who were conned or misled by a brand. While the brands should be held responsible for their actions, a lot of them get away with that crap because the blogger didn’t research the brand enough or they didn’t hammer out all the important details before jumping in head first. I know we get excited about working with brands, but please do protect yourself and take extra time for research before making that deal!

The same applies to other bloggers. Before I agree to work with someone, I always check out their blog and social accounts to see if their work vibes with my blog and if they seem to be a quality writer. If I see multiple spelling or grammar errors, it’s a real turn-off for me. I don’t like to be too picky because I want to help other bloggers but I am a bit more cautious now since a really bad experience I had with another blogger. Don’t be afraid of saying no thank you to someone that doesn’t match what you’re looking for.

Respect others’ right to say no.

Yes, you technically can DM someone a request to share your content but know this: In doing that, you risk making the person feel awkward, especially if they want to say no. Much like dating somebody, it doesn’t matter how much of a relationship you have with someone, they are always allowed to say no. And we have to respect their decision and not take it personally.

Don’t play the follow/unfollow game.

Let’s get this straight, y’all. If you’re playing this game, your goals are in the wrong place. If you’re paying bots to do this for you, your goals and your wallet are in the wrong place. The only way to true growth and strong relationships with other bloggers and your readers is to genuinely grow your accounts through real engagement. The follow/unfollow game only goes so far. (By the way, you can read more about the pitfalls of the game at my post here: How to Beat the Follow/Unfollow Game)

Never underestimate the power of kindness.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but guess what all the most popular bloggers I’ve seen have in common?

They are dang kind. They interact frequently with others, answer questions, and even offer condolences and their thoughts to others when appropriate. They are real and offer pictures of themselves that don’t look Instagram-curated. They raise other bloggers up through retweets, collabs, and advice. In sum, they are first and foremost kind to their readers.

My last tip is to remember the power of kind words and good deeds. Not everything you do as a blogger is meant to just be for you. Sometimes, we have to raise others up to get to where we want to be. That means staying mindful of your words and actions on social media and supporting other people. It means writing about things that people care about and can identify with.

It means creating a place where people feel safe and valued. I hope you feel that way here at Stumbly.


Do you have any blogger etiquette tips that you want to share? Any thoughts on my tips? Please share them below!



  1. July 21, 2018 / 9:52 am

    I have never understood the follow/unfollow idea, and I don’t know why people do it. The one rule I do follow is that if someone leaves a comment, I always try to reply and go over to their blog and comment back. Kindness is the best source of being a good blogger.

    • Cailin
      July 21, 2018 / 11:34 am

      I’m glad you agree. Thanks for reading!

  2. July 21, 2018 / 9:53 am

    I find the one thing that pisses me off the most are people who come and read a post, but can’t take that small amount of time and leave a comment. Feedback is one of the best ways for a blogger to know whether what they are writing resonates with their audience.
    Oh, and that follow and unfollow game… don’t get me started on that.

    • Cailin
      July 21, 2018 / 11:35 am

      Feedback is really nice. I know I don’t always leave a comment on every post I read but I will if I really enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

  3. July 21, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about having the right to say no to other influencers. It’s not to be rude by all means, but if I choose not to support someone’s content, I shouldn’t be put on blast for politely declining. Just as if someone declined to feature my work, it’s their choice and that’s totally okay! I love this, Cailin!

    • Cailin
      July 21, 2018 / 3:44 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And that’s my thinking too, we have to learn to not take those things personally. Sometimes our blog vibes just don’t match!

  4. July 21, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    Great Post! I also do not like the follow/unfollow game. I follow bloggers because I like their posts and what they have to say. I have been on Twitter for almost 1 year now and in all of that time, I have not ever unfollowed someone. The only reason I would is if it is a personal issue.

    • Cailin
      July 21, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Thanks for reading! And wow, you are setting a great example! 🙂

  5. July 22, 2018 / 7:48 am

    Great tips! I hate the whole idea of following then unfollowing immediately after. If I find someone has done this I’ll unfollow them right back, not (just) because I’m petty but because I really don’t want to be following or contributing to the growth of someone who’s using this tactic to gain their popularity

    • Cailin
      July 22, 2018 / 7:53 am

      Same! Though I am also definitely petty about it 😆

  6. July 22, 2018 / 9:36 am

    I still can’t understand why people follow and unfollow. Some unfollow even after you follow them back. What I know about life generally is that we should give what we want to receive and that applies to blogging.

    • Cailin
      July 22, 2018 / 10:15 am

      Yes that is great advice. I’m a big believer that you get what you give in life.

  7. July 22, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    This is a great post and one every blogger should read, new and established! I once had a blogger DM me on Twitter and asked me to RT their post but the way they asked was… forceful and, if I’m being honest, a bit guilt trippy. I felt like I couldn’t say no and it really messed with my anxiety so I did RT but I felt awful for days after, so I’m pretty glad you added that into this post. I feel like it’s not recongised enough. People should be allowed to say no and not get attacked for it. And the follow/unfollow game people play is so irritating!

    • Cailin
      July 22, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      Dude, I totally feel you. I really like writing about these topics, especially because I feel like there needs to be more discussion about these things! Also, feel free to share my post on social if you’d like! I’d love for my post to help more bloggers.

  8. July 22, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Wow. Loved this. You’re so true and sincere. I also appreciate the validation you allow us for choosing not to follow or share.

    • Cailin
      July 22, 2018 / 10:47 pm

      Aw thank you, that means a lot to hear. And yes, it always means more when someone enthusiastically wants to share or follow your content!

  9. July 23, 2018 / 5:35 am

    Wonderful tips!!

    I totally agree that kindness is key. One of the things that I have been very careful about since day one, is responding to ALL comments and visiting the commenters blog to leave them one in return. It drives me a little crazy when people like a comment, but don’t respond. A simple “thank you” is always appreciated!

    One thing that I absolutely do not put up with is rudeness, whether that is from someone leaving a comment or an author asking for an honest review. I’m very quick to delete comments if it’s rude or something unconstructive like, “This book sucks”.

    I think I’m one of the rare people that doesn’t get bothered by the follow/unfollow game, but I can definitely see why it’s so irritating. Maybe I’m just not paying close enough attention.. but I just don’t notice it. 🙂 If I did see it happening, I would block them. No one should have to deal with that.

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    • Cailin
      July 23, 2018 / 8:32 am

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. July 23, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    I only follow people if I like their blog or IG so that way I don’t plan on unfollowing them in the future. I think people follow/then unfollow because a lot of the groups ask you to follow some people during the weekly thread activities.

    • Cailin
      July 23, 2018 / 3:47 pm

      Yes, that’s why it is so essential to actually look at a person’s content before you click the follow button! I think we’ve all made that mistake but I think some people take that game a little too far. Thanks for reading!

  11. July 25, 2018 / 12:31 am

    I feel the same way about the follow/unfollow game and I agree that kindness goes such a long way here in the blogosphere. I have learned so many lessons and made dope connections from that principle alone.

    Great post! This is one newbie bloggers and seasoned ones alike should read!

    • Cailin
      July 25, 2018 / 8:15 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it useful!

  12. July 25, 2018 / 9:48 am

    This is a really great post! I actually remember when you put that poll up, and wasn’t surprised at all by the results. One of the things I hate the most is following to unfollow. It’s not like they’re unfollowing cause they don’t like my content anymore, they’re literally unfollowing because I didn’t follow them back, or I did, and they just wanted me as a new follower for them. I also hate the DM’s, which for some reason I haven’t been getting on twitter as often, but have been getting them loads off of Instagram. I’m glad you created this post! I hope new bloggers coming into the game don’t make these same mistakes! Great post xx

    melina |

    • Cailin
      July 25, 2018 / 1:36 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts! And I wasn’t too surprised by the results either; I know how much people hate the follow/unfollow thing. It’s terrible that people do that.

    • Cailin
      August 1, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Thanks for reading, Cora! I don’t understand the follow game either, seems counterintuitive in the end.

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