I remember starting out in the blogging world with a shiny new WordPress site and the world at my fingertips. Blog hops and giveaways were my bread and butter, and I watched my 450 followers tick up (or down) like a hawk. I met a few like-minded bloggers and we formed a little tribe of support. We learned from one another’s successes and mistakes, and a year later, many of us had experienced positive growth. We established solid followings and refined our voices, and even got published on major, paying websites.
But some of us boarded up the windows after two months.
What was the difference between those who succeeded and those who failed? Well, some of it was probably talent, commitment, life getting busy — or the all-too-common burn out. Wrestling for a niche in the blogosphere can be exhausting!
But some blogs fizzled out for a different reason. They spent their first few months unintentionally kicking anthills and committing major writer faux pas. Awkward self-promotion, selfish sharing habits…an accumulation of mistakes that landed them on Santa’s Naughty Bloggers List. You see, when you’re on the naughty list, it isn’t long before your website and page are a big, fat lump of coal.
So, how do new writers avoid the Naughty Bloggers List? Here are ten tips from my little tribe of writing Good-Listers.
1) Do not share writing without permission or proper credit.
This is the most basic “Thou Shalt Not Steal” commandment of the writer’s world, but it can unintentionally be broken by a well-meaning newbie. NEVER copy and paste an entire article to reshare from your blog…this isn’t a favor. It’s called “scraping” and it’s considered theft, even with attribution. – MK of Mom Babble
2) Do not share images without permission or proper credit. This happens way more frequently, because meme etiquette is largely ignored by the general social media populace. Well, guess what? You are a writer now, so more is expected of you. NEVER crop a meme or save the image for direct sharing. Share a fun image from the blogger’s page OR ask permission to save the image and share it with their page tagged. But always, ALWAYS ask permission…or beware the naughty list! – MK of Mom Babble.
3) Never link and run. Example: “Ha! I just wrote about this too www.myblog.com!” Don’t leave your blog posts in comments. Whether it’s a blog hop/ party or a Facebook group share thread. It’s not polite. Remember the Golden Rule! – Alexandra Rosas of Good Day, Regular People
4) The Liebster Award is NOT an award. It’s the blogger version of a chain letter (and most people don’t like chain letters) – Lauren of Oh, Honestly!
5) Don’t mimic. Say something different. Whether it’s a unique perspective, or special circumstance, get people thinking from a different point of view. – Alison of Appetite for Honesty (And yes, we all write about the same things and that’s okay. But copying style and voice is really lame. Why are you doing this if not for self-expression?)
6) You know what they say about “assume”? Don’t preemptively do things, then awkwardly demand reciprocity. “Dear person I don’t know, I just shared x, so share this for me.” NO. Just, no. – Alison of Sparkly Shoes and Sweatdrops
7) Don’t bitch to your audience about your Facebook reach. For example: “I hate Facebook! My last post got shown to exactly thirteen of you. THIRTEEN out of 2,743. If you want me to keep showing up in your newsfeed, make sure you do blahblahblah at the top of the page.” The people who will see that post are those that already like and comment on your page, but they won’t continue to do so if you complain about how their participation isn’t enough. Don’t be greedy–if you work hard at growing your following and remain patient, you will find your audience. – Melissa of OMTA.
8) Don’t submit to multiple sites...then wait for the highest bidder before retracting your offer. Especially if edits have been made. Follow through with your commitments. There is value in exposure to a new audience and building relationships with smaller sites. – Bonnie of Unrestrained Laughter
9) NEVER forget those who helped you along the way. Don’t step on fellow bloggers on your way up, you may need them to catch you if you fall. – Michelle of Juicebox Confession
10) Don’t forget that blogging is a community… and everything that goes with it. You’d be amazed who knows whom in this surprisingly small world, and there’s always someone who knows someone who is reading your page. Put your best foot forward at all times! – Jennifer, freelance editor. jdoradat(at)gmail(dot)com
And for goodness sake, stay off the Santa’s Naughty Blogger List.