Sunday, July 13, 2014

Auggie-Talk Rant: Blogger Etiquette

It's another rant!

As a book blogger you've come to discover that there's this great great thing about our community... we like to help each other. Books are a SHARED passion and we enjoy lifting each other up and connecting with each other through hops, memes, and book challenges.

We know that helping each other is helping us too, we get to expand our readership and have a good time in general sharing our opinions, our ideas, and our passions with other people who can relate.  We WANT other book bloggers to visit our site and share with us and others. That's the ENTIRE POINT.

But there's something that I've noticed lately and I can no longer keep my mouth shut about it. Generally, I believe it's coming from new bloggers who are ignorant of the fact that it IS possible to be disrespectful in regards to "sharing" your content.

Book bloggers have always participated in posting links for their own content amongst other bloggers websites to assist with drive traffic to their site, to get attention for their reviews, and just plain participate with others who share the same interests. But there's a right way and wrong way to do this and I'm noticing that the wrong way it becoming prevalent.... and more and more irritating.

When is sharing your blog or content links on another's website acceptable?

When there is an invitation.

Plain and simple.

Bloggers who host hops, challenges, and weekly memes TELL you in the post that it's great for your to link up your content. They want you to! That's where the community aspect comes in. They want you to participate and to enjoy whatever's going on. It's also very pleasant because the host blog is getting some recognition too.

Generally hops, challenges, and memes request that participants post up a link-back to the host blog, thus the host blog and the participant blog are SHARING traffic with each other. The participant isn't just driving traffic to their website, they're giving back by sharing their readership as well.

In this case it's a completely kosher approach to "marketing" your blog with other readers. Tit for Tat.

When am I being disrespectful to other bloggers?

When you post links to your website content (especially your reviews) when there was NOT an invitation.

When a book blogger posts a review they are not inviting you to post your own reviews in their comments box. 

Okay. So you're wandering about the book blogosphere and you tumble across a blog that has a review up on a book that you LOVE and a book that you've reviewed too. Maybe this blog didn't like the book as much as you, and you just generally disagree with them.

Posting in the comments "Oh, I actually really really liked this one (And here's why...)" is absolutely awesome. You're getting to share your opinion and participate with the review. If the author or other readers think you're pretty snazzy and want to see more they can click on your name (which often times will link back to your website if you want it to) and check you out!

It is NOT okay to respond to a review you disagree with by posting YOUR review in the comments box.

Do not use the comment box of another blog to blatantly advertise and not add anything to the conversation. 

"This is a great review! I review books too! Come check me out guys! linklinklink".

 No. No no no.

This approach may be innocent, but it's uncouth and you're disrespecting the blog you're commenting on by attempting to redirect attention to you. It's called spam.

Here's a scenario for you.

There's an author book signing and the author is going to have a Question and Answer session. You, as an author, would love to go and network with this author (because you love them) and other readers.

During the Q&A you raise your hand and say "I loved how you incorporated werewolves into your main theme. I am also an author and have this great book out called "Werewolves at midnight" and I use werewolves in a bit of a different way and invite readers to check out my work!"


Leaving your review or a link to your blog in the comments section of another blog's review is THE SAME THING. You're attempting to steal the show. A show that is not yours. You have opportunities to share your reviews in other ways. Post them to Goodreads, or in Goodreads groups, post them on blog networks, Booklikes, or Amazon. Post them in APPROPRIATE comment sections on other blogs. Participate in blog hops and weekly memes and lots of other fun stuff!

Don't piggyback on another person's review or post. It isn't your blog and certainly isn't your personal marketing space.

If you've done this as a new blogger don't beat yourself up about it. It seems innocent enough to share your stuff within a community that is so SHARING anyway. It's a matter of considering other bloggers as well as yourself when you do this.

Easy peasy way of making sure you don't ever accidentally disrespect someone's blog space? Look for an invitation.

Help lift your fellow book bloggers up, don't use them as stepladders.

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