Each social encounter—and that includes every blog—has the power to make or break relationships. Good or bad, the potential impact of your words and actions broadens with your blog’s exposure. Just as this social networking tool can move you up in the world, it can also take you down.
Stay on your social network’s A-List by avoiding the P-List of blogging:
- Plagiarism. Don’t sign your name to an article that includes others’ original concepts, quotes or data if the sources of your material are not properly cited.
You could spend days searching for the statistics, but findings from another’s observation or study would not qualify as “your” research. As an ethical blogger, you will either give proper credit to the original source or refrain from using it.
- Personal Quarrels. Don’t use your professional blog to air personal vendettas.
The price you’ll pay for getting even with an individual or entity is often greater than any satisfaction or other gain. It can be appropriate to air grievances—as in how a politician fails to represent his/her constituents or how a product does not meet performance criteria—but either stick to verified facts or identify which statements are opinion-based.
- Self-Promotion. Don’t turn your blog into an infomercial.
A blog can be a powerful platform for launching your initiatives, but your audiences will tune out if you peddle advertisements as articles. By sharing news, ideas, tips or viewpoints—be creative!—in a format that respects your readers’ needs, you’ll grab their interest and gain their loyalty.
- Platitudes. Don’t waste your audience’s time on a lazy effort.
If your readers’ response is so what, then why bother? Develop a goal-oriented blogging strategy with a mutually fulfilling purpose so it works for you and provides something of value to your target audience.
- Pretense. Don’t state anything that you don’t genuinely believe or know to be true.
If you hop on popular trends that you don’t really buy yet believe will make you a hotter commodity, your words will lack substance and come across like empty promises. By speaking your personal truth (whether it’s based upon your gut or experience), you will garner respect, even among followers who don’t happen to agree with your position.
- Poor Precision. Don’t publish without reviewing and editing your article for accuracy of content and presentation.
If you don’t check facts, correct grammar and spelling, and write coherently, you cannot maintain credibility with an educated audience. Polish your work so that your blog reflects positively on you.
While blogging in itself implies a degree of informality, keep in mind that every social situation has rules of engagement. For most, the P-list is out.
What would you add to the Bloggers Beware List? It doesn’t have to start with a P!
My best to you,
Sallie W. Boyles, aka Write Lady