"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog Etiquette-Should There be Standards or Proper Protocol?

One of the things that many folks like about Blogging is the attention and the freedom it affords.
Let's face it: there isn't a lot to go on as far as "standard operating procedures" or style guidelines. Sure, you have suggestions and how-tos. But it's not as formal and fancy as other genres of writing. Right? You can vent or vibe, or just let your hair down. The choice is yours.

Which brings me to today's focus.

Lately, I've been making my rounds to new and old sites to broaden my horizons and build my knowledge base, and in so doing, I'm seeing some interesting dynamics developing.

But, you be the judge. Is there a right or wrong way to operate a Blog?
Here are a few topics to take into consideration.

1. Requesting money---From time to time, I've seen where Blog owners seek donations or contributions to A). Finance a trip B). Support the site or C). Miscellaneous.
Would you ask your Blog readers to do so? Have you ever given a donation? Why/why not?

2. Use of profanity---As a creative artist, I'm a firm believer of First Amendment rights, particularly freedom of speech. But, does that mean that we should always exercise it? Should there be limits, or does it depend on the nature of the Blog and the intended audience?

3. Blogging teams---In order to provide variety, constant content, and an array of interesting issues, some owners have assembled Blog teams, whereby 2-4 people are presented on a weekly basis. Do you read any of them? Or do you prefer the individuality of expression provided by one primary host?

4. Pay to have your guest post appear---I kid you not. I was browsing, not too long ago, where one Blog owner accepted guest posts for a fee. Imagine that.
Would you pay to play? Or would it depend on other variables?

What are your thoughts? Curious...

Image Stock Photo


  1. I think the answer to all of them is "it depends." For example, I'm not at all offended by profanity (I use it frequently in my daily life!) but it has it's time and place. For example, in a professional-oriented blog like this one, or the many agent blogs that I read, it should probably be avoided. But on The Bloggess and Badass of the Week, which I also read frequently, the profanity adds to the attitude of the site. The writing on those sites is top-notch, and wouldn't be the same without the frequent (and hilarious) profanity.

    But readers of those blogs know what they're getting into. No regular reader of The Bloggess is shocked by anything she says. So it's all about what a reader's expectations are of any particular blog.

  2. Julie,

    Good to hear from you again. ;-) You make some valid points. I have read the Bloggess before, and she is funny. Though, I don't read her regularly.

    So true---Blog audience would often dictate the style and content.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and starting us off.

  3. Swearing would be VERY offensive and annoying to me on a blog. I once read a blog where the blogger asked if everyone could send her $10 to keep her electricity on. Now, this blogger in the past claimed to be prosperous, and wanted everyone to hire her to coach and train them how they could have her lifestyle. Then the email came begging for $10 each from everyone. I wasn't offended, but I felt it was tacky and her reputation was shot.

  4. Sharman,

    How lovely for you to join us. :-) Wow, you've provided some colorful situations here. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I like visiting other blogs to read content and see their style. I would not ask a guest blogger to pay because I think it's a way to add interest and readers. Also, the profanity is OK, it's edgy if that's the blogs style. Very good points in this post. Helps me a lot, Thanks!

  6. Hi Cynthia,

    How have you been? :-) Glad you gleaned some useful points. I appreciate your feedback.
    Have a "positive" day. :-)

  7. I like blog teams in general so long as there is a common theme. My favorite is Novel Adventures.

  8. GO, TEAM, GO! :-) Thanks for your thoughts, Rebecca.

  9. oh good grief. I would NEVER pay to guest post!
    I have given donations to three different sites, it was things I supported and felt comfortable doing...teams? I do not follow any like that ( I do not think I do?) and profanity, I don't use it but, it doesn't offend me when others do!!!

  10. Melody-mae,

    A blast from the past! Where you been hidin' hon'? :-) I'm really diggin the new site design and the 2.99 Oxfords over @ your spot. You go girl! Thanks for the visit and the comment. Be well.

  11. Hey Jen,

    Thought provoking post. I would not make a repeat visit to a blog laced with profanity. There are effective ways to get your point across without using "bad" language. You lose credibility when you go there. The same rule applies to name-calling.
    Now, I'm no Holy Roller - I've been known to turn the air blue on occasion, but what goes on in the home, stays in the home. Just like Vegas. :-)
    Profanity is inappropriate in a public forum.

  12. Hey back at ya', Andrea. :-)

    You've certainly provided some food for thought here. I love your reference to Vegas. Too funny. LOL
    Much appreciation for you hanging out with us.

  13. I think I would shy away from doing any of those things. What makes your blog so special that you think you can get away with that?

  14. Good discussion topics, Jennifer. I don't care for it when blogs solicit money except for charity or similar. Profanity is not my cup of tea, and I don't care to read it in a blog. I think a well written post can make a point just as well without it.

    As for paying to have my posts appear somewhere - no thanks. Shouldn't they be throwing money AT us to share our wit and wisdom? LOL

    I follow several team blogs, and enjoy them very much. It depends on the topic, I suppose, but I don't have a problem with it.

    You've got a great discussion going here! :)

  15. Hey Karen,

    No discussion would be complete here without you. :-) Thanks for your valued input!

    Enjoy your week.

  16. Thanks for your kind words. Exception to the money thing - when authors are selling their books or services...:) Forgot about that!

  17. Ew...I'm glad. Because you may be seeing more of that in the future here. :-)

  18. Hi Jennifer,

    You've asked a lot of interesting questions here.

    As far as #1 goes, no, I would not ask my readers for donations. I ask them to buy my books. That's enough.

    #2. Unfortunately, I'm very fluent in "French," but I try to keep a wrap on it when I'm blogging. Why offend people needlessly?

    #3. I kind of like the idea of blogging teams, although I've certainly seen some work better than others.

    #4. I can think of very few situations in which I would pay to have a guest post appear. Perhaps if it were appearing on the blog of my favorite writer in the world...but even that would be pushing it.

    Thanks again for the thought-provoking article!


  19. Hi Debra,

    It's wonderful to hear from you today and get your feedback. You make some good points here, and I greatly appreciate your very thorough and interesting response.

    Don't be a stranger. :-)

  20. Jennifer:
    In the past, I have had a hard time asking people for money. Now, I work with a faith-based nonprofit that has a unique mission. I am trying to write grant proposals on the organization's behalf. I have seen blogs ask for donations for charitable causes. This doesn't bother me, if it, in fact used for the expressed purpose.
    The use of profanity is not something I prefer to do in my life or on my blog. I have read some that have employed it. I can handle reading it, if it's not overdone.
    Blogging teams are all right. I am listed as a follower on a couple.
    Did you say "Pay to be a guest blogger"? I don't believe I would under normal conditions. But, if maybe, given certain conditions-a charitable donation to a fund, I might consider it.

  21. Jenifer Brown BanksOctober 28, 2011 at 4:54 AM


    Great feedback! And much continued success on your grant writing endeavors. Always good to have you with us.

  22. Good questions.

    I have asked for donations to fund a trip to BlogWorld Expo because it was a last minute decision and the funds were not readily available. I did receive the support to get there from my readers.

    As for money to support the site, it depends on what type of support is needed. If it's for hosting, gifts for contest, and charitable donations, I'll do it. And I do give depending on the relationship with the blogger and my financial situation at that time.

    I probably wouldn't pay to guest post on anyone's site because there are more creative methods to get publicity with a farther reach.

    Blogging teams are okay depending on the site and quality of content.

    As for profanity, it depends on the site and the character of the blogger. Like Julie Nilson said, it adds character. As long as it's not overdone, I'm there. I sometimes use it on my site when I am fired up. It's not a habit, but if my blog is my space and my emotions are overdrive, it's out.

  23. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    I appreciate your thoughts here, Marcie.
    It should be noted though, that we never know who might be reading our Blogs, (could be a potential client, a church member, spouse's family, employer, etc.)and profanity is not always well received by everyone. :-)

  24. Ok, I changed my mind. Unless it's done minimally, cursing is NOT cool. This guy asked me to post on his site. When I checked it out, the first things I saw was, "Halloween *******." What?????? I was so outta there!

  25. It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, they say. :-)