I’ve been in the blogging community since 2009. Having recently passed the 1,000 post milestone, there are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way. One of the most important is there’s no one correct way for everyone to blog. Each person has their own perspective and often we’ll find agriculture bloggers writing about similar topics. Despite all our shared interests, there’s no one correct frequency at which to blog, no perfect length for a blog post, and certainly no one correct way to approach a topic. BUT it has occurred to me, not everyone understands the blogging etiquette that should take place when sharing ideas, getting inspiration from others, defending your ideals, or making your mark in the blogging world.
4 essential DO NOT situations every blogger should know
DO NOT pass off the work of others as your own.
I’m pretty sure they still teach this in elementary school… When you use someone else’s content, or when someone else inspires an idea, give credit where credit is due. This includes photos, blog titles, content arrangement, and even verbatim phrases. Doing otherwise will not gain you any respect among other bloggers. It’s distasteful and juvenile.
DO NOT be a drama queen.
This isn’t the high school cheer leading squad. It’s not respectable to react like a drama bomb just went off in your online realm when something doesn’t go your way. Sure you’ll get some sympathy from those who don’t know the whole story, but this action doesn’t gain you any credibility or respect either. Don’t deny mistakes when someone confronts you about them.
DO NOT defend everyone.
Be careful when sharing an opinion on a subject where you have little to no experience. This is where guest blogging or interviewing others becomes useful. Trying to defend someone in an area where you have little to no experience can result in you looking like a fool and/or quickly getting backed in a corner that’s difficult to climb out of. To improve your credibility on a subject, share the citations of research conducted putting together your material.
DO NOT assume you are a journalist or web designer.
Nope, changing out the widgets and color schemes on your WordPress themes and playing around with Photoshop doesn’t make you a web designer. Nor does writing an occasional column for an industry website make you a journalist. They actually have schools and lots of training involved for these professions and chances are setting up a blog as a personal sounding board for self-promotion doesn’t qualify as either. Social media has enabled us to share opinions quickly, but that doesn’t replace the role of real journalism.
4 essential DO situations every blogger should know
DO share your own perspective.
It’s perfectly okay to write about the same topic as others, in fact, having the ability to read differing opinions on subject are what allow us to learn more about a situation and form our own opinions. A dairy farmer in Kansas will experience a situation completely different from a dairy farmer in Wisconsin. So they both can write about the same topic, sharing their own perspectives, letting us see different sides of a situation. We need those differences of opinion.
DO be real and authentic about your passion.
People respond to displays of passion, so please do write about and explore your passions. There’s a reason why individuals who pursue their interests passionately excel in life. The world would be a boring place if everyone wrote about the same subjects in the same tone. We log online to read about the lives of others and live vicariously through their words and images. Help your readers out! Give them something passionate to read!
DO challenge yourself.
Bloggers can become complacent. Challenge yourself to think outside the box. Charge yourself to a long-term goal, write more extensively and more in depth on subjects you’ve touched on in earlier posts. Do a little research and challenge yourself to be a better blogger.
DO be creative.
It’s great to share the perspectives of others, in fact, please do add these other perspectives to your stream. It inspires creativity and provocative thought. If you see an idea that you would love to share, let the person who created it know you’ll be putting your own twist on it. But when you do, be creative enough to put your own perspective, creativity, and personality to it.