Blogging has many moving parts that cause us to forget one or another. One aspect to growing a successful blog is the etiquette in which we conduct ourselves. Blogging is a social interaction much like giving a speech or reciting a poem.
After a person finishes their speech or performance, they often stay at the event to hear others and to engage with the people who listened to them. If the presenter ignores the people looking for extra insight into the topic or want to thank them that presenter is painted in a poor light and potential fans are now bitter.
As bloggers we do not want to have a negative connotation associated with us or our work. We want people to see us in a positive light so they feel welcome in our little section of the internet. There are many things that fall under proper etiquette for blogging and they may be a little different from platform to platform.
In this post we will discuss the general rules I learned over the past ten years in the blogging space. While this is a Steem exclusive post and we will talk about etiquette on Steem, this information will be useful anywhere on the internet.
Comments on Steem and around the internet plague me so let's talk about it first. Commenting "nice work" on a blog post is a waste of everyone's time. These comments add nothing to the conversation the creator started and does not show the author we read the post. If you can contribute nothing it is best to not comment.
The upvote is the best way to say "nice post" without appearing like we are just looking for curation rewards. This means that the author may never know we were there, but it is better than leaving a bad taste in their mouth with a lousy comment.
If we are the creator of the post etiquette still applies. Responding to comments that are just a word or two is something we need to look at on a case to case basis. However, there is no need to respond when their effort was not there in full to begin with. This does not mean we should never reply to these just that we need to use our own judgment.
When a person leaves a well thought out comment and is contributing to the conversation we started, it is our duty to leave a response. Here we do not have to write a long comment back but we need to address questions they may have asked. If we have nothing to add to the comment we, as the post creator, still need to thank them for their time and awesome comment.
Remember, as we go around commenting, we either gain positive or negative thoughts about us and our blog.
Creating With Etiquette
Yes, there is still etiquette when we create a new post. The most obvious is providing value to the reader. They decided to spend their time reading our post when they could do a million other tasks with their time. If we are not providing value we are only letting them down. Value is not only in posts like this where the author is passing knowledge to others looking to learn.
Value is also in entertainment as in videos, stories, poetry, and visual artwork. The value we give in these types of work is an experience for the reader to enjoy. With stories and poetry the reader enters the shoes of a character and can learn, feel, and see what the character goes through.
As we write we need to think about what the reader will get out of our work. This may not be common in the majority of workflows but we need to make it our priority. Wasting the readers time is the fast track to nowhere. We want to grow our blog and our audience. So we need to take the time to ask what value we are providing the readers.
This is hard for new bloggers especially since all the hard work does not seem to pay off. It looks like no one is reading and that no one cares. However, we still need to put our best work forward from the beginning. If we don't our blog may seem flaky and we may appear a blogger who does not care. Always care, no matter how many eyes read the hard work.
Upvoting & Downvoting Etiquette
This may not seem like an area where etiquette comes into play but it does. With up voting we need to be make sure the content is thought out and well written. Up voting half effort content will appear as a kind of ploy to gain followers or eyes on our own content.
We are also not doing the author a favor by up voting their work that has no effort. Doing so will show them they don't need to work hard on their blog to get a return. This hurts the entire platform by propagating poor work. Take your up vote seriously and be sure that the creator spent the time needed to produce worthy content.
Down voting, also know as flagging, comes with even more risk since you are taking away a set amount of rewards based on your Steem power. We need to be very careful when down voting because our motive can become twisted. Never down vote a post you only disagree with because this is how censorship works and you don't want that perspective following your name around the Steem blockchain. There is a place for down voting and it needs to be allowed to function. As a creator you will gain more by ignoring the down vote and focusing on your content. This is not to say that people should not down vote because we need that function in order to keep Steem balanced.
The only time that I see down voting is worth the effort as a creator is when the content is plagiarizing the work of someone else. This is only my opinion based on my past as a blogger and should not be applied to those who invested heavily into Steem. We may never see a post that is plagiarizing as we read our Steem feed. This is fine, there is no reason for us as creators to look for content to down vote. We need to focus on making the best original content we can. Also, most of us on Steem do not have a ton of Steem Power so it is always better to not down vote or up vote a post if we dislike something. The down vote is a touchy subject, make sure you use it out of respect for the Steem community.
Thanks For Reading!
Other Posts In The Series:
Easily Unlock The Greatest Niche Designed For You
HTML & Markdown: Formatting In The Flow
How To Set Goals For Enormous Success
How To Be A More Fulfilled Blogger
Formatting: Tested Ways To Improve Your Content