BEG 101: Blogging Etiquette

By Melissa Snark

I met Melissa indirectly via a con. Yep, the benefits of those just keep growing…but that’s another blog.  Since we met, Melissa has had the hard task of prying open my mind on the subject of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing.  I admit it, I was a TP snob.  But people like Melissa, Jim Doty, and Ralph Kern have shown me how hard work in the learning, doing, and marketing of writing can pay off.  She has been a mentor to more than just me in the bewildering world of the blogosphere, so I asked her to channel her inner Miss Manners and talk about blogging etiquette.

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I’m unsure when I supposedly gained enough knowledge on the subject to advise others with any genuine authority; however, I’m flattered to be asked, so I’ll give it my best shot.

Allow me to begin by introducing myself. My name is Melissa Snark, and I’m a paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and SF author.  I founded The Snarkology on October 28, 2012, with my first post on The Male Sex-Mind. Since then I’ve blogged on humor, writing tips, and books.

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Other people are always more interesting than me, so I like having a lot of guests. (That way I can sandwich my posts between other folk’s and hope someone reads them.) I host themed events such as Paths to Publishing in January and The Write Pet in February. Over the last few years, I’ve had many fabulous visitors. And a few not so fabulous ones…

 

  1. Always, but always, be polite. If you’re a hostess, do whatever you can within your power to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. Comment on their posts and thank them for visiting with you.  If you’re a guest on someone else’s blog, be sure to thank your hostess for her hospitality. To sum up: please and thank you. Just like your mother taught you.
  2. Show up and respond to comments. Treat a guest blog visit the same as you would an invitation to a party. Smile. Shake hands. And thank people for their time and input!
  3. Don’t make it all about self-promotion. Strive to make your article relevant by choosing an interesting or engaging topic readers will be excited to learn about. It’s okay to promote your book or Web site in a final blurb at the end of the post, but do so briefly and respectfully.
  4. Don’t dis your host. Cross-posting an article written expressly for a certain host on a competing forum is a pretty serious breach of etiquette. It’s perfectly understandable that when you put time and hard work into a post, you’d like to maximize utility. However, it’s totally uncool to run the same piece at the same time on a different blog.

So what is cool?

  • It’s cool to post an excerpt with a link through to the original article.
  • It’s cool to wait a month or two and then rerun the article elsewhere.
  • It’s cool to write a totally original post on the same topic so long as the words used are unique and the content meaningful.

Okay, that’s my two cents on BEG’ing. Hope this bit of advice helps! Just remember, guest blogging is a great way to help an author establish brand name recognition, build professional relationships, and most importantly, have FUN!


Screen shot 2015-06-05 at 11.27.27 AMAuthor Melissa Snark lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children, and a glaring of litigious felines. She reads and writes fantasy and romance, and is published with The Wild Rose Press & Nordic Lights Press. She is a coffeeoholic, chocoholic, and a serious geek girl. Her Loki’s Wolves series stems from her fascination with wolves and mythology.

Visit her Web site where she blogs about books and writing.  Follow her on Twitter, Amazon’s author page, or Goodreads; subscribe to her newsletter; or email her at melissasnark at gmail.com

8 Responses to BEG 101: Blogging Etiquette

  1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for having me here today. 🙂

  2. Melissa, so glad you wrote this. I’ve always considered you a great hostess. I could add a number of points but for fear of never be asked back to certain sites, I’ll demur!

  3. Good advice – experienced bloggers sometimes seem to assume that new writer guests are being intentionally rude when they’re actually just unaware of the etiquette. It’s good to find someone spelling out the ‘rules’!

  4. Excellent advice, Melissa! Since I am just starting out on this path, some of these are great reminders to me. I always try to be polite, but I’m also one of those who is always in a hurry, and my brain is often on the next thing instead of concentrating on the current thing to my full capacity. 🙂

  5. Andi, Thank you! And darn it! Now I’m curious. 😉

    Stephanie, I appreciate you dropping by and commenting. I’m glad the article was useful. 🙂

  6. Susabelle,
    It’s an easy trap to fall into. I do the same thing. Thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment. 🙂

  7. Jennifer L. Carson

    And a big thank you from me, too. Nice to “meet” so many new folk. Melissa, very nice blog. I appreciate your doing if for me.

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