I'd like to welcome Rainy of the Dark. She is spinning out blog post to those of us with the blogs to host them. I really appreciate her visiting my tiny corner of the blogosphere and hope you will all check out her blog
While blogging tends to be a casual affair, there are certain guidelines which will make co-existing in the blogosphere that much easier. Simply keep these points in mind when dealing with other bloggers.
When allowed to guest post, at least offer a suggestion or two for a topic. As the writer, you should know what areas you're comfortable writing in, what ideas you have brewing, and what you have written about in the past. Go over to the host blog and see what type of topics are discussed and the average length of the posts. Ask the host about their audience.
Put at least as much effort into the guest post as you would with your own blog. Write properly, break paragraphs into approximately five sentences each, and make it easy to read. Be informative. A post all about your project, even if allowed, isn't as great as one with information useful to the audience.
Once the article is posted, check back often in the first week to reply any comments. Keep on topic with the comments and don't try to “sell” to the replies. This blog belongs to someone else. Respect that.
When it's done, offer the host to guest post on your own blog if possible. They may not accept, but it's a nice gesture. And if they do accept, then you have a chance to further network.
Blog rolling is also a great way to network, but certain etiquette apply there as well. When approaching someone to blog roll, check their current blog roll first to see who they have already added. Some blogs try to stick to a niche. Others might blog roll with only one type of blog, such as just author blogs or just book review blogs.
Don't be offended it they decline or don't reply at all. Many bloggers use their blog roll for blogs they normally follow, or they feel covers an angle that is useful to their audience. Sometimes your blog just isn't right for them. It's probably not anything personal.
When commenting on another blog, always be genuine. Have something useful to contribute. Bloggers are onto those who comment only to get a link to their own blog. Don't do it. Like it or not, it's a form of spamming and you will not make allies that way.
The next two tips are less to do with how to behave when visiting a blog, but how to behave outside of blogs.
If you participate in a blog, whether as a guest or a co-author, be sure to share the link to your post. Don't leave all the promotion work up to the host or other authors. You have a network. Share with them the other places you contribute. Remember, both guest posting and co-authoring is a collaborative promotional effort.
On a similar note, share interesting posts from other blogs, in general. Blogging is not a competition. People read many blogs, so there's no need to feel like you need to monopolize the time of your readers. Point them to other articles they might enjoy. They'll be grateful to you—and your blog—for helping them out. And other bloggers might feel inclined to help you out at some point too.
Blogging is a great way to network, but it can also be a great way to annoy people. Many times, this happens entirely by accident by those who don't know how it really works or why what they're doing isn't appreciated. Take steps to correct bad blogging habits and become a more functional member of the blogging community.
What other blogging etiquette tips would you add?
When Rainy isn't plotting world domination, she enjoys coaching others about it on her blog http://www.rainyofthedark.com She also likes fluffy kittens.