In one of my earlier posts, I talked about positive affirmations for bloggers, which can serve as a good reminder for all bloggers to not give in to self-limiting doubts. But that was just one side of the coin. Having a platform to voice your opinions also comes with the liability to ensure that the words used are done so responsibly. This is the “Burden of Blogging” that every blogger must shoulder if they are to avoid notoriety.
With this in mind, I am listing down ten points which, in my opinion, should be part of all Bloggers’ Code of Conduct:
10 Commandments That Every Blogger Should Know
Thou shalt not spam
One of the first lessons you learn as a blogger is “self-promotion”. And there is nothing wrong with it. How else are you going to reach your target audience? But when this self-promotion takes gargantuan proportions, it can no longer be termed promotion but rather spamming. As tempting as it is to keep promoting your work in every possible way, you must avoid going overboard at all costs.
Thou shalt not troll, nor react to trolling
The Internet bestows on the casual end-user a level of anonymity that makes it very easy to carry out personal attacks on people who digress from our point of view. As bloggers, many of us have faced this phenomenon of “trolling”. The best approach here is to just ignore such comments and not take them to heart. It’s difficult but very do-able. Reacting is the fuel that the internet trolls need to keep spreading their malice.
The second aspect of this commandment is your own behavior towards events, topics, and people when you don’t support their vantage point. As a general rule, if you can’t say something to a person face-to-face, it’s better not to say it at all.
Thou shalt not perpetuate lies
Blogging lies can take many forms. It could be related to:
- The products and services that you are promoting
- The unverified data that you are providing in your posts or
- The amazing passive income or traffic generation techniques that you are going gaga about.
If you want to be taken seriously in blogging, then honesty is the best policy, as always. Unless you yourself have tried a product/technique out and seen its benefits in action or verified the source of the data provided, it’s better not to promote it.
Thou shalt respect thy family’s privacy
Writing personal stories and experiences is what makes a blog truly unique and interesting. But in your zeal for connecting with the readers, you should not begin sharing things that are meant to be strictly your personal business. This is especially applicable for parenting bloggers like us who, by definition, talk about our families and more importantly, about our children. A good question to ask yourself for every post you write is: “If my child reads it ten-fifteen years down the line, will he be okay with it?”
Thou shalt not plagiarize content nor steal credit
It’s not easy brainstorming post ideas every single week to keep your blog fresh and up to date. It is even more difficult to create the right images to compliment your posts. But if there is one thing that is a strict NO-NO in the blogging world, it is to plagiarize content or steal someone else’s photographs and pass them as yours. Giving credit wherever it is due is a must if you are to avoid dragging your name through the dirt and legal hassles later on.
Thou shalt strive to balance work and life
Blogging is an all-encompassing passion. If not kept in check properly, it can very easily become an obsession threatening your family life. So, you must strive to stick to a schedule and balance your work and life if you are to avoid burnout and straining of your personal relationships in the long run.
Thou shalt strive to provide value
A good question to ask when you are writing an article is: “What will my reader get out of reading this post? Will he gain new information, a new perspective, be entertained or be motivated?” If the answer is none, then you need to rethink your post.
Write thy love
It doesn’t matter whether you love food, travel, books or family, you must blog about what you love and enjoy writing about. Because sustaining a blog niche that you are not passionate about is draining. In the long run, it will end up being equivalent to getting stuck in a day job you hate.
Thou shalt not covet quick fixes and shortcuts
It’s easy to get lured into quick fixes and shortcuts – black hat SEO techniques being an example in point – when your blog is not growing fast enough. But blogging is a long-term game requiring plenty of hard work and dedication and if you are not prepared for that, it is not the right vocation for you.
Love thy fellow bloggers
Networking is the key to blogging success as much as content. So, you must be prepared to commit to a “give and take” relationship with fellow bloggers in your niche. Blogging can never succeed if you work in silos.
There you have it – My take on the 10 commandments that every blogger should know. What commandments have I missed? Don’t forget to add yours in the comments section below.
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