Blogging and the Art of Etiquette |

Blogging and the Art of Etiquette

By Stuart Tofts / February 16, 2009

Here at SEOptimise, we are always expounding the benefits of a good quality and sustained blogging campaign.

Blogging and the Art of Etiquette
CC Image Credit: Flickr

From building authority to building links, regularly publishing decent industry news, guidance and opinion can enhance a company’s online appeal and search engine position.

However, in addition to the writing skills necessary for a blogging campaign, a company must consider the etiquette needed for successful and business-safe blogging.

Keep regular

Perhaps I should rephrase that to sound less like an instruction for a high fibre diet…

Anyway, a company which blogs well builds followers. It might be a few, it might be a few thousand, but if they have gone to the effort of visiting your blog to read your opinions, it is only polite to offer them regular, fresh content.

Irregular blogs, or those which begin by publishing a lot of articles but then tail off, are a kick in the teeth of these followers. They can also make a website look uncared for; if you visit a blog and find it has not been updated in two months, you are hardly going to think the firm is at the cutting edge of its sector.

It is better not to have a blog at all than to have an old, dated one.

Keep calm

No matter how popular your blog and how long you spend crafting eloquent and insightful posts, some people won’t like them.

This may be because they disagree with you – and you should develop a thick skin when it comes to criticisms. Healthy debate is part one of the biggest benefits of the World Wide Web and if your blog is filled with intelligent arguments then it is even more valuable a resource.

However, because the web is such an anonymous place, some individuals may leave sarcastic or just plain nasty comments.

It is vital not to be unpleasant back at these agitators. Remember, a corporate blog represents the company posting it and, however you might respond on a personal journal, it is vital to stay calm and measured when representing your firm.

Keep polite

Now, you may think your mother taught you this when you were ten, but the world of blogging can be an exasperating place and it is vital for a corporate blogger to keep his or her head.

It is not just on your own blog that you have to stay polite. You may disagree with a post elsewhere and leave a comment. Remember, it is essential to do so in a polite way, even if that blogger responds aggressively.

Your clients and prospective customers could see any of these posts, even years later. You would not get angry in your office or at a conference, because this would look unprofessional. Treat the web like a big conference and go talk to someone else if another blogger loses their cool.

Keep open-minded

The purpose of your company blog may be to build relationships with potential customers but it can also be a great place to discuss industry developments and learn from your peers’ opinions.

On the SEOptimise blog, many of our comments come from other SEO agencies – to put it bluntly, our competitors.

However, by engaging with us and sharing their thoughts, we can all add to our industry understanding.

The purpose of the web is not simply to inform, it is also to debate and learn. Be open-minded to the possibility that those commenting on your pages may have valuable insights.

Keep your integrity

Followers of your blog are unlikely to want a sales pitch repeated over and over again. That is not the point of blogging, you have to offer visitors something of value if you hope to keep them.

Of course, you can post about developments within your firm, challenges it has recently faced and developments it has undertaken, but you should not blog with an overtly commercial message.

Such aggressive marketing is hugely unpopular with the average consumer. It is likely to cause actual harm to your brand by making you look cynical and sales-obsessed in a Web 2.0 world based on community and adding value.

Keep comments

Comments are an important addition to any blog post. Debate and discussion is what such pages are for, so enable comments and welcome discourse.

It would be an incredibly lengthy blog post if I listed every aspect of brilliant blogging but do you think there is a more important element I have failed to include? Why not leave your comments below?

Stuart Tofts


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