Blog Etiquette

I wrote this post a while ago, and as I reread it in anticipation of posting it, I sensed an in-your-face tone.  Sorry about that.  Maybe it was my attempt to be funny while writing this.  I’m not sure.  But I do want to share some of what I’ve learned over the last year and a half of blogging.

Public domain image by  Chris Roberts Antieau
Public domain image by Chris Roberts Antieau

1. Don’t be afraid to follow a blog with only a few followers.

I’m not afraid to follow a blog that has only four followers.  If I like the writing, the content, and the style, I will follow the blog.  I don’t need a bandwagon to jump on.  I saw this with my own blog.  For a long while, I hovered at fifty-some-odd followers, and I was proud of that, so I made sure that the numbers were displayed on my home page.  That may have been a mistake.  I’d get views, but no new followers.  Then, Freshly Pressed happened and suddenly my followers (and views) exploded.  I was grateful for this.  But it seemed that once people started following me and the numbers grew a little, nobody felt afraid to push that looming “Follow” button.  It wasn’t uncool anymore because, hey, hundreds of others were doing it.  If your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff too?  (I know I sound like a parent, but I just couldn’t resist.)

2. Be considerate when commenting.

Be polite and considerate when commenting.  I’ve never had an overt problem with this.  It’s been a pleasant surprise to me on WordPress and in the world of blogging.  A few years ago, I tried a citizen journalist site in which many articles that I posted were met with criticism, derision, epithets, and sarcasm.  Needless to say, I quit that pretty quickly.  Along these lines, when commenting, do not post links to your own blog!  It’s uber annoying.  I can’t stress this enough.  And although there have been a few of these that I’ve let slide because the way in which it was done was tactful and tasteful, most of the time I feel annoyed.

Here’s an example.  A woman visited my blog, commented on one page, and then left.  But no.  That was not all.  She came back.  Twice.  And kept pasting links to her posts, saying, “ I see that you are interested in _____.  I wrote about that.  Here’s a link to my post on it.”  Or, “I wrote a poem about _____ and I can tell you would like it.  Here’s a link to my post on it.”  I did not click on either link, nor did I approve her comments.  They were asinine, pushy, and full of assumption.  What makes you think that I want to read your poem?  I’ll read it if I want to read it.  I’ll read it if I come across it while blog surfing.  Otherwise, back off!

3. Like as many blog posts as you want, but be prepared to follow the blog, too.

There’s an interesting post about liking blogs that I came across on Freshly Pressed last year.  I’m not sure if I agree with all of the author’s ideas.  She claims that you should comment if you really liked it, and that liking a blog is tantamount to just pushing a button in order to get somebody to notice you and follow your blog.  I take offense to that because I have actually read the posts that I like and I genuinely like them, and sometimes I just don’t have anything extra or intelligent to add to the conversation.

My pet peeve with liking is the random person who likes posts every few weeks, but never bothers to become a follower.  In that case, I sense some sort of game being played with trying to get noticed or to get me to follow their blog.  I don’t mind this, if it’s a good blog.

4. As a blogger, respond to your comments!

We all know this one.  It’s touted by everyone as the way to become successful.  Success aside, I am touting it as a way to have meaningful conversations on a blog.  I mean, that’s why I started my blog.  I wanted to actually interact with people on the subject of books.  It’s fun.  It’s fulfilling.  It’s part of blogging.

Maybe I’m too critical, but I get annoyed when a blogger doesn’t respond to my comments.  I’ve noticed this with a few blogs.  One blogger used to be on top of this, but has since seemed to have lost interest.  I have no idea what this blogger’s life is like, and perhaps something major is going on, but I sense this distance, and the blog isn’t as fun to follow anymore.

Additionally, when bloggers claim that they cannot respond to every comment after being Freshly Pressed, I only see them admitting that they have no interest in their followers.  Freshly Pressed is where it’s at.  It’s what gets you connected with your new virtual “friends.”  It is the way to connect with hundreds and thousands of people through the written word.  I think bloggers should respond to each and every comment.  It is a lot of work, but, for me, it has been worth it because I ended up building relationships.  No excuses.  Just do it.

5. Don’t steal images.

I was guilty of this when I first began blogging, but I have changed my ways and gone through each post to make sure that my images are used correctly.  I realized my error by reading this post written by a blogger who was sued for using copyrighted images.  Yes.  She.  Was.  SUED!  That was enough to scare me straight.

But think about it.  Would you want somebody copying and pasting your words and putting those on their blog?  No.  I didn’t think so.  So take your own pictures, or use images in the public domain.  There are also plenty of images that others share on Wikimedia Commons.  The post I mentioned above has other good ideas.  I liked her suggestion to just start taking your own pictures and filing them away for future use.

These are the major issues that come to mind when I look back on what I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, from blogging.  What have you learned?


164 thoughts on “Blog Etiquette

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  1. Good advice, thank you! I’m new to blogging, finding my way. Really discovering that WordPress is like a Super Social Network. Facebook and Twitter seem to have their own social mores, which I’m also figuring out-sometimes the hard way. So having WP etiquette guidelines is right on time. Thanks again.

    The pictures! Call me naive, I thought if it was on Google images and not watermarked it was fair game. I found out otherwise a couple weeks ago and plan to get quite a few copyrighted images off my site. Maybe a good project for this evening. . .

    Have a good day! Enjoying your blog!


    1. Thanks, Marion. Yes, those images are tough because you want to use nice, colorful, good-looking visuals, but you also don’t want to steal. I’m glad you figured that out early. It took me a while. Thanks for reading and good luck with your blog!

  2. Really good point about liking and commenting. I often like posts, and I often comment along with it, but if I can’t find anything useful to say, I’ll just like it. People shouldn’t be offended if they haven’t had many comments; even if they only have “likes” it shows that people are reading their content.

    1. I agree with this. I assumed that if you are in a hurry or don’t have something to say to add good conversation, liking the post showed respect; that you actually did like the post.

  3. Wow you had like 50 followers (sounds so much to me) I am having 0 and this article was veru useful to me. I’d like to know how to get in the freshly pressed. Thnx anyway.

    1. I had those followers after about 5 months of blogging. They were mostly friends and family. As to Freshly Pressed, I have no idea. I think blogging on a schedule and making sure your stuff is always there to be seen is a great way to get noticed.

      1. Then you should have a big family and many friends. 🙂 As for now do you feel accomplished or you want more? Do you have aims on wordpress or something?

        1. Ha! No. I want more, in terms of my professional life, but as for blogging this is enough. I don’t make money doing it, and I do it to keep a record of what I read. That’s enough. If good conversation happens to come from that, then I’m happy!

      2. I thought freshly pressed was when you first begin your blog? The first post I published (as a test, which was just jargon, not a post, got 190 views). I have never had that many views again.

  4. I never understood the need to only follow larger numbered blogs. Good content is good content, no matter the numbers.
    Great advice. 🙂

  5. I have been following you for quite awhile and should finally leave a comments of thanks for what you do and how well you do it. This is wonderful. So for this, thank you also 🙂 I admittedly am very very behind in my reading but will catch up one day in an archival way. I hope that is okay with you. You are a great source for a reader and lover of words. So I will ask you, have you read The Light Between Two Oceans?(believe that is the title) and Mia Angelo’s memoir or The Art Forger. Just wondering as these are recent reads of my bookclub. 🙂

    1. No, I haven’t read those, but they sound intriguing. And don’t feel you HAVE to comment. I think likes and reading it is just fine. Thanks for being here!

  6. Thank you for this information. I’m having some difficulties on the images. I posted one last night and attributed it to the creator as per their license requirements and linked it to the original page, but the attribution isn’t showing, and I work until 5 today so I will have to correct tonight. Will also need to go through other images…I was wondering what is the protocol for reblogging? Sometimes I run across great posts and have reblogged without asking permission…

    1. I don’t know about reblogging. I have never done it, but I know that people do. I appreciate it when I get reblogged, because it means more exposure, but I also appreciate a comment letting me know. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the info, I use a lot of book covers on my blog for reviews/new releases etc but the post you link to seems to think that is ok so fingers crossed! x

  8. i’ll start with the last first, as you’ve touched on a subject that is important to me. years ago i found one of my photos in an international magazine, and they knew better! fighting for my rights was difficult from my vantage point of rural costa rica. since that time, i’ve tried to always put the copyright symbol on my images, but that doesn’t stop a lot of people. most just don’t know the rules of copyright etiquette and are ashamed when confronted. i was shocked recently when i went to pinterest and did a search for my images. shazam! there are a lot of quick-fingered right-clickers who save and upload while lying about owning the image! for me, it’s a valid concern, as the rights quickly domino from right clicker to right clicker, and one only has a certain amount of time to protest if the image wasn’t formerly registered with the copyright office. i could lose copyrights to a unique work of art!

    i agree with all that you’ve posted and hope that it helps others to remember their word-press manners! my test will be when i select the ‘post comment” prompt, which often backfires from way out here in the campo. there are weeks when just getting a page to load is difficult, and liking and commenting are fruitless attempts. unfortunately for me, the internet is most efficient here when the rest of the community is sleeping, from one until seven in the morning! that’s when, if i have the stamina, i work through the night!

    thank you again for your post and for the link to roni’s post about copyright infringement.


    1. Oh my goodness, Z. Your comments make the copyright issue palpable. I am so sorry that you have suffered because of this theft. It is such a strange phenomenon, with the way people justify it. I’m glad for Roni’s post too so I could educate myself a little and change my ways. Thanks for the comment! And good luck keeping that Internet up and running so you can comment without frustration!

    1. I appreciate any and all suggestions. I pretty militant in sourcing – really tracking down the source – of any reference or quote I use. Working with images is a new thing for me, and as I start applying the same “due diligence” to finding the source of an image (for credit, permission, etc. – that can take a very long time, and may not find the original source to locate the original owner. What then? Oldest link gets credit with notice of unknown?

      1. I honestly think that even giving an image credit or sourcing it can be potentially wrong, because those artists and photographers often want money for the use of their images, and rightly so. I try to stick to images that are public domain from Wikimedia Commons or images that I have taken myself.

  9. Fantastic written post. I am new to the blog world and I feel your insight has gave me better knowledge on ‘blog etiquette’. I look forward to future post from you!

  10. Great advice. I’m just starting over in the world of blogging myself and need as much advice (and following, haha) as I can get from it. Thanks for the advice here and maybe we’ll see where it takes me!

    1. Well, I hope it works. The other advice I always give is to be consistent in posting, even if you feel like nobody is reading. Just keep it up and they will come.

      1. Thanks! I’ll keep doing that. I just want to figure out the best things to write about, and not just write things just to keep a presence. Just trying to find those nuggets around me each day.

  11. So true! Many people get likes but no follows why is that? This should be a start up guide for everyone Lots of Love

  12. Thanks. Yes after reading this blog for a few weeks I am inspired to write about the book I am reading now. So the plan is to start my blog. This gets me going in the correct direction.
    I have only commented minimally and appreciated every response.

    1. Hurray! Good luck with starting your blog. It is so much fun! Be sure to let me know your blog address and link me to the book you review. You know I love books!

  13. I agree with everything you write! Blogging is a bit of a game, but I know the ones who are playing the games and the ones who are genuinely interested in my blog because I have built up relationships with them over time. I find this aspect of blogging the most satisfying. It has been a hugely creative and inspiring experience for me. I do believe that, as a blogger you should make time to read and engage properly with other blogs in the community as well as just responding to your own comments. It stops you from becoming too self-absorbed and allows you to connect with others and get more out of the blogging experience. I do sometimes just like a post; sometimes it’s time, and sometimes I don’t have much to say, but I always read it! I try to comment as much as I can, though, as I think comments are more valuable to people in the end, if they are thoughtful. The freshly pressed thing is interesting, as I got freshly pressed and the amount of followers increased about 3 fold, but the day-to-day readership slowly went back to around the same as it was before after a few weeks (after the initial spike). Oh well maybe I’m not that interesting after all! 😉

    1. I’m with you. Once I got a steady day-to-day following, that does stay the same, for the most part, after Freshly Pressed. I like what you say about blogging and community as well. It does feel as if I’ve made new friends and that I am connecting with people in a meaningful way. I Ike being able to talk with those who are interested in what I’m interested in, when in “real” life it is harder to find that connection. Thanks for the comment!

    2. I never realized how much it meant to bloggers to have comments until I started my own. I used to read several blogs consistently without following or commenting; I was actually intimidated to do so. I wonder if this is true of many others who do not have a blog? I love the community that is formed.

  14. Interesting post.

    I am guilty of often liking a post but not commenting as I too feel like maybe I don’t have anything additional to offer that is valuable. But I know how thrilled I am when someone random comments on my posts (who isn’t someone in my social circle!)

    And I like your point about followers. I think I may have creeped to just past 65 followers (delightful) but I wonder if I subconsciously see their follower numbers and that influences me. Something good to think about.


    1. Hurray for 65 followers. That is awesome. Sometimes I feel like people are overwhelmed by my follower number now, but the truth is that never do I get that many views or actual readers! I sometimes just like posts too. I don’t want to comment if I can’t think of anything interesting to say!

  15. Thank you for taking the time to post this! I am still new at blogging, so this advice is greatly appreciated 🙂

  16. “I get annoyed when a blogger doesn’t respond to my comments” — yes, I do too. I follow some blogs where the authors don’t always respond to every comment. I don’t mind that but I prefer it if they do reply! Whether or not a blogger responds is actually a fairly significant factor in whether I choose to follow a blog. I don’t want to feel like I’m just talking to myself, with no acknowledgment when I leave a comment. It’s polite to respond to what someone is saying, even if it’s just a thank you for stopping by and commenting. After all, if someone spoke to you in the offline world and you just didn’t respond, it would deeply breach social etiquette. Okay, I’ll conclude now. Sorry for being so wordy on this issue. I guess I have more to say on it than I thought!

    The copyrighted images thing scared me too when I first started blogging. I’m always really careful to use public domain images and if I do want to use a copyrighted image, I ask for permission first. One grey area for me though is book covers. Do you ever use them, like the ones displayed online, or do you just use your own photographs of books? I have used book cover images from Goodreads in my review posts and credited them to the copyright owner but I’m unsure about whether I should actually do it. I see lots of other bloggers do it but that doesn’t make it right if it’s wrong!

    1. I do choose to follow blogs based on replies too! It just feels more comfortable if your presence is acknowledged, I think. As to book covers, I am really not sure and not qualified to give legal advice. I do just use my own pictures to be safe, and I found somewhere that this practice was acceptable. When an author or publisher sends me a book (the very few times they have), sometimes they specify what I can and should use as far as images go.

  17. I tend to be a “lurker” when it comes to blogging. I read lots of blogs and like posts but rarely ever comment. But then at the same time, I get discouraged in my own blogging because I rarely get comments on my posts. It’s easy to forget that blogs are meant to be social exchanges–not just solitary writing experiences.

    Anyway, thanks for bringing this up! I’m going to try to make more of an effort to comment when I have something to add.

    1. Very cool, Abby. I like your use of the word “lurker.” I think it is hard because, for me, writing is a solitary experience and I am an introvert, but again, like you say, it is a social act to blog and converse with other bloggers for sure.

  18. Do you think there could be such a thing as different blog genres? Discussion blogs vs. quiet journals — that sort of thing?

    I think sometimes “how to blog” tips tend to be written toward one’s own blogging style. You like to comment, are seeking interaction and discussion, love to know you’ve a solid following, and thus, you speak to that goal as a blogger.

    I don’t tend to comment unless I have something significant to say. I do “like” a post without commenting just to quietly say “I was here” to the author — and because it’s a quick way to share the post in my sidebar. (A new WordPress widget.) I’m also crazy busy offline and simply haven’t the time or patience for excessive commenting.

    Many bloggers insist that authors must “answer every comment”, but I see blogging (in my style) more as a means to quietly share, like a personal column. Someone above compared blogging to social interaction in person, but I don’t know that that’s true of every blog. I welcomed comments at my place on for a while, but it seemed that everything I posted elicited debate. Again, this is likely because there’s such a hazy blur about blogging right now — what is it? what is the etiquette? Many people like debate. Many people offer up their blog space as a place to host debate, intense discussion, etc. Thus, it is assumed that every blog is the visitor’s space when, for some, a blog is the author’s space and the author’s space entirely.

    Many people think they must comment and that a following is the thing, when simply to have spoken is incredible in our era. Immediate publication, the presses at our fingertips. It’s a new and wonderful invention, blogging. But like everything else, it is and should come in shades and hues that vary. If every blog was the same, it’d cease to be revolutionary to hit publish.

    (Ironically, I felt pulled to comment here in my defense of non-commenting.) 😉

    I don’t know that I’ll forever have comments shut off at my place. I do like discussion, but time is my enemy. I imagine this is true of a lot of people, and we should simply flock to the blogs that sing to us. Etiquette is a relative term.

    “The real artist is in humanity. What are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of them all.” – Walt Whitman

    1. I like that you are complicating the issue of commenting. I used to never respond, but started after seeing an official WordPress suggestion to do so. I felt that it was rewarding, so I continued to do so. I can see how a different style or purpose to blogging would change this. I can also see how commenting is revolutionary, as you say being able to hit publish as a blogger is. For everybody to have a voice and to explore an issue together is worthwhile. I think that’s why I push the “etiquette” of responding to those brave enough to share their voices with an “authoritative” figure at the helm of a blog or website. Thanks for making me think about it a little harder!

      1. Yes, you’re right: having the ability to comment is also revolutionary. 🙂 I guess I just don’t have the time or inclination to host such a space right now. I’m very introverted and just like journaling. It doesn’t quite feel the same journaling privately, but I find the commenting aspect of blogging overwhelming (as a blog host.) But discussion blogs are absolutely revolutionary. Carry on! 🙂

  19. I love all of these! I don’t think it’s too in-your-face. I think it’s assertive, and rightly so. I especially like that last one—I’m guilty of innocently re-posting pictures because I didn’t know the law, and I’ve now started to go back through some of my old posts. But I need to keep working on it. I don’t want to be sued!

  20. Great post. I had no idea about the photos thing and now I’m sort of terrified of Pinterest. Thank you for your insight on blogging etiquette!

  21. Thanks for this post Emily … and to all who made the effort to make a comment. I found the post really good on its own and the comments added extra dimensions.

  22. I “liked” your post just to be contrary.

    I kid. I like to like. Sometimes I enjoy a post, but I don’t have anything substantial to add so I show my appreciation with the like. I did not realize that this could offend. Silly, in my opinion.

  23. I think “liking” a blog is fine as well. You don’t have to comment if you don’t have anything to add to the piece.I commonly like posts if I am reading them on my smart phone (commenting can be a bit technical for it).
    I am also slowly going back through my years worth of posts and attributing pictures where possible or removing them.
    Very interesting Etiquette!

  24. I, too, sometimes like a post and have nothing to add, so then I like the post without leaving a comment. To be honest, I thought that was one of the great things about the like-button on wordpress, that I can tell a blogger that I like their post without the constant ‘I like your post, thank you’ comments. That would be dull too, wouldn’t it? 😉

    It also seems like blogs are easier to find here than on blogger, my own blog as well. Within a few weeks I had more followers here than I had on blogger in a couple of years. So yeah, I was kind of proud of my 30 followers too. I never felt hesitant to follow a blog with few followers, it only seems harder to find those, even on here.

    1. Yes! I love what you say about liking, because I feel the same way. I get frustrated when I find a blog without the like button. I feel like I don’t have anything revolutionary to say, and then I feel like I can’t give that blogger credit or appreciation without that like button.

  25. I’ve never (honestly) paid all that much attention previously to what the “rules” are for blogging etiquette, although reading this was certainly very interesting! I TOTALLY didn’t know that there was that much perceived gamesmanship about getting people to notice one’s own blog through liking or commenting! Yikes! (I knew that following other people’s blogs is one of the ways that one can promote one’s own blog, but I didn’t know that people who write blogs thought so much about the motivation of their followers/likers/commenters!) Sometimes, I simply think that someone did a nice job of writing something or posted a lovely photograph, but like you said, I have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. There are several blogs that I follow and like frequently, simply because I enjoy looking at their pictures. But… I’ve never commented. I agree with a previous commenter – that is one of the things I like about WordPress – one of my decision points, actually. Very interesting post. I’m glad you brought this to my attention!

    1. Thank you! I do have a sense of that gamesmanship, from others and from my own “competitive” or “ambitious” nature, but I picked up some of that from reading about blogging and seeing suggestions for commenting on lots of posts in order to gain followers. I think it messed my thinking up for the first few months, because I wanted people to read what I wrote, but just commenting and then hoping to lure them over isn’t the way to do it. I think genuine interest and participation can lead to much more productive blogging relationships. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  26. A great post and the comments dialogue was so interesting as well. Sometimes post/comments itself has it all said. So there ain’t much new for you to say..

    1. Thank you! I remember when I went through my images. When I removed the “stolen” Pride and Prejudice image (from the movie with Keira Knightly) the steady hits on that post went way down. 😦

  27. A great post, as usual but I did have a slight panic attack regarding images! I have to confess that a lot of mine come from Google images but I haven’t yet used any that have a copyright sign or a photographer’s name. Do general images constitute public domain do you think? Or am I in danger of getting justifiably angry emails from someone….what is your view (I’m not a newbie, so not knowing the answer to this question is a little shameful, I admit!)

    1. I know. That original post about images panicked me as well. Like I said before, I am really not qualified to give out legal advice. Maybe do some research on it. I would say only use public domain images or your own, though. That is what I have come to decide for myself.

  28. I’m a new book blogger and I’m surprised that a lot of this isn’t common sense (sans image-stealing… that’s a certainly grey area.) I think what people don’t realize is that a lot of bloggers just blog for the joy of writing and sharing their thoughts — they enjoy the sense of community and writing for like-minded individuals, not for the internet-popularity. Blogging is a humbling experience.

  29. I am not a blogger, but I enjoy reading others’ blogs. I’m also not on facebook (I know – gasp!) I don’t understand the ‘like’ and ‘follow’ phenomenon at all. I know what it is, but I just don’t get it. At first, when I started reading a handful of blogs, I clicked “follow” on my favorite blogs, but was inundated with emails telling me when things post, as well as when any one of them was selling a book or an ebook or any promotional item, which is just too much electronic noise in my life. So I follow but I don’t “follow.” And I like, but I don’t “like.” Often I wish there wasn’t the pressure of stats and numbers. I guess I like the idea of a conversation about interesting topics without all the extraneous – to me, stuff, although I do realize that the stats are very important to the bloggers.

    Emily, I love that you respond to all of your commenters, it’s the main reason I follow, but don’t “follow” your blog. I respect your writing and find this a great place to learn to craft my own opinions. So, thank you.

    1. Denise, I love that you follow, unofficially! Your comments always make me smile and add such depth and complexity to every issue. I value your opinion, which is one argument for commenting and responding to comments. There is value in this exchange and in all of the voices being heard.

    1. Hmmm. I would say free writing or just think about a theme or basic subject for your blog, and go with variations on that. For me, it’s books. There is always something to write about.

  30. Really enjoyed reading your post and will now be following. Im fairly new to blogging though and dont really get what you mean with your reference to freshly pressed helping your readership…..Im confused.

    1. If you look on WordPress’s homepage, you can see a tab for “Freshly Pressed.” It is a collection of some of the “best” or most interesting posts on all of WordPress. WordPress “editors” pick posts by looking through tags and choose those to be highlighted each day. It does increase views and readership. Check it out! There is some good stuff there to be read.

  31. Hi Emily, cool post 🙂 I love reading your assertive, opinionated, useful ideas! I’m going to disagree with you a bit on one point and that’s the comment replying. I try to respond to most (if not all) of my post comments, so maybe it seems a bit strange for me to play devil’s advocate. But I’ve thought a lot about comments and heard a lot of people express really strong opinions on the matter.
    I feel replying to comments should totally be up to the individual blogger. People blog for different reasons and they blog with different goals in mind. I enjoy the social aspect of blogging, so for me and my blog, comments are an enriching part of the whole experience. I’d rather post less frequently and engage my readers than post every day and have no time or energy to reply. I can totally see that for others, that simply wouldn’t be the case. Zen Habits, a blog I love, has totally disabled comments even though it used to be a big part of that blog’s experience. I still love the blog and visit it often. Different blogs exist to create different experiences.
    I think the WordPress blogging platform has sort of instilled this mindset in people and so I agree that replying to comments is “WordPress Etiquette” but many other platforms in the blogosphere don’t advocate this as strongly.
    Now, if a blogger is sitting around wondering why they aren’t getting comments (and hoping to receive them) but they don’t comment on other blogs or respond to ANY of their comments, well bingo, there’s (most likely) the answer. Blogging is social so it makes sense to try to facilitate conversations if you’re into that sort of thing. But the black and white idea that a blogger must respond to EVERY SINGLE comment (including “hi! cool post” and freshly pressed ones, oye) or else they are seen as rude and selfish is one that I don’t agree with.
    Thanks for letting me weigh in! I love it when you pose a challenging idea. Those are some of my favorite posts 🙂

    1. Ack, as if I didn’t already leave an INCREDIBLY long comment, I forgot one of my major points, which is that comments aren’t just about the writer/reader relationship. I really like reading other people’s comments on blogs because they are adding their voice to an issue that was broached (and possibly already discussed in depth) by the blogger. I don’t need to read the author’s response to every comment. I actually wish more readers interacted and started discussions with one another on blogs because it would add more diversity and interest to the topic being discussed. Okay, that was it! Promise. Thanks for allowing me a little more commenting real estate 🙂

      1. Yes! That is exactly right, that the comments make the post more interesting. I had a similar discussion with Mabel above. I love that you have complicated this post, and I guess I based this off of my own blogging style and didn’t think much about other type and genres. I do agree that maybe the commenting environment is a WordPress etiquette, rather than all blogging etiquette. I have never used another platform, so for me, I’ve learned most of this through WordPress, which I must say, again, has been so pleasant. Anyway, great points and I am glad you weighed in. So, do you know why that blog you mentioned disabled comments completely? Just preference? I hope it wasn’t a bad experience. I think I would disable comments and go private if I felt like I were being constantly attacked or getting rude comments all of the time.

  32. Thank you for this wonderful, informative blog post. I have learned a lot and may keep coming back to this post for reminders. I really appreciate your sharing about not using images from other places. I’m trying to use my own pics and trying to find sites that offer free use of their images. I certainly don’t want to break any laws and get sued. Keep up the good writing.

  33. Great post and excellent advice. I wish I had seen this when I first started blogging because as a ‘newbee’ I’m afraid I was pretty naive about blog etiquette. Especially like the parts about not posting links and about responding to comments.

  34. Great tips and reminders here. I’m a newbie so I’m soaking it all in but I agree with you, its fun to connect and get comments from others and make new online friends.

  35. Hello , Emily I new at blogging .. so I am facing alot of problems. Only 25 people viewed my post .. I thought to stop writing but your post motivated me towards writing and improving my blog. thanks 🙂

  36. Ouch about those images. I am guilty of picking up images of book covers from google image search while doing book reviews. I don’t think that could be a problem, could it?

  37. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve just started blogging and I needed that kind of advice. Your blog was my first one to follow 🙂

  38. Good post, I have learned some things. I’m now taking blogging a little more seriously and every day I realize just how new I am to it. I actually have some questions about etiquette and blogging. I know that it is better to ask another blogger if you can post a link to their page, but I can’t always tell a site is a blog unless it specifically says so, or it has the, blogger, etc. in the name. Is there a way to tell for sure? Sometimes it is an article that looks like a blog. And, if I cannot tell, is it better to err on the side of caution? Also, on WordPress, prior to posting, a list of related articles shows up – are those fair game to post or should I ask permission for those as well?

    1. I think related articles are fair game. I suppose most people like having links to their blog posted somewhere else. That just increases hits! As to being able to tell what is a blog and what isn’t, I don’t know. Good luck with your blogging!

  39. Im sort of new to blogging and wow, the ‘don’t steal images thing’ scared me straight, i have so many pictures on my blog that i copied and pasted from google….

    *slyly takes them down* oops

    Love the post very helpful! thanks

  40. I always equated copyright infringement with piracy (I know, duh, that’s cause it is), but I never really considered that I was a pirate! (arrrr!)

    I knew giving credit was a core value in blogging and I always write with a vow in my heart to do so. I just didn’t realize that giving a photo credit and a simple link to the original wasn’t enough! So naive. I am posting some of my own original works and so, I have a copyright statement (and copyrights). Isn’t it odd I would have permitted myself that slip so easily for the sake of saving a few minutes; for shame.

    So glad I stopped by. I’m new enough to blogging and had few enough pictures that it was a quick trip through the archives to figure out where I may have been infringing and updating to CC pics. Thanks so much for posting this and saving me any future heartache!

    1. You are most welcome. Thank you for commenting and highlighting how easy it is to notice the importance of protecting our own work while forgetting to give the same courtesy to others. I’m certainly guilty of that mindset too. 🙂

  41. Hi Emily,

    I definitely agree with #1 in particular. I just started so consequently I have 0 followers at the moment lol. BUT more than that I tend to always “spread the love”. Before I started my own blog, I would follow people if I liked their content (and if it was reasonably up-to-date meaning their last post wasn’t too too long ago) regardless of their popularity. So I definitely get that.

    Regarding #3 on liking posts as a super newbie I didn’t even know that other bloggers could see when I liked their posts. Like I said, I just started so I’m just getting used to the dashboard and of course no one has liked my post yet, so I don’t even know what it looks like on the other side (to receive a like). Also, I was “liking” posts weeks before my blog was even finished or made public. I assumed (and I could be wrong) that liking a post was just that, liking that particular post. I liken it (no pun intended) to liking a dish at a restaurant. I mean I may like the pie, but if that’s the only thing I tasted I want to give credit where credit is due (on that particular post). I don’t follow someone because of one post. But I may like them because of one post. So hope that makes sense.

    Also, even though I’m new I’m trying to follow blogs based on not just my personal interests (which is a LOT of stuff) but based on what my blog is about (reading/writing/health/culture/etc.). But this may change as I go on…

    Anyway, thanks for this post!


    1. You are welcome, Candace. I hope it was helpful. I know that starting out can be overwhelming. I remember being bewildered by the dashboard for the first little while. Hang in there. You’ll get it. Best of luck with your blog!

  42. Thanks Emily.

    I am a new blogger that never blogged in a serious way. Now that I have a store online, I am taking it much, much more serious. Your post was extremely helpful. I definitely want to do this right. Thanks for your help and insight.

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