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!