This week’s Friend Friday topic is Rules of Engagement. As a new blogger the rules of engagement with others in the blogging world is uncharted territory. For example, how do you deal with Tweets, emails, DMs etc… from people who seem to be only pushing their own blog. A lot of what we all learn about how to do it is from trial and error. But this week’s posts from all of the Friend Friday bloggers might help new bloggers to learn from our mistakes:
1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot?
Some bloggers actively ask for guest blog submissions, or have a page dedicated to explaining their process for approaching the blogger about it, like mine. But for the most part, make sure that if you want to guest post on a blog, you know what that blog is about, what makes the blogger tick and the style of the blog. Check before sending that the blogger hasn’t already written about the subject – if they have, don’t despair, why not find another blog it might fit into? To start with, send a short email, explaining who you are, giving a link to your blog, and a brief outline of the post you had in mind. If they like it, great. If not, try someone else? Or ask how it could be changed to fit. Once you have written the piece and sent it to the blogger, don’t be upset
if when they edit it a little. It will happen. Make sure too, to link and tweet the link to the guest post once it is published – it’s only polite. If you’d like the opportunity to guest post here, on Sugar and Spice, head over to my page and drop me an email. For an even more comprehensive and coherent guide to pitching a guest blog, check out Liberty London Girl’s post over on IFB.
2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?
Leaving comments is something that always gets me. I can go for a few weeks leaving thoughtful comments and then another few when I am still reading all of the same blogs avidly but not leaving any comments. That’s bad, right? If it’s a blog you read and comment on often, a short comment every now and then is fine – just to check in. But for the most part, I try to leave a comment which demonstrates that I have actually read the post on which I am commenting and might even add something to the post. Chelsea, over at Dear Winnie my new blog addiction), recently wrote a great post all about commenting and laid out her 4-step guide to writing a comment:
1. Say whether you liked the post or not (and use the person’s name!).
2. Say what you liked or didn’t like (see the next section for more on this).
3. Say why you liked or didn’t like it.
4. Thank the blogger and wish him/her well.
3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?
Unless I have an actual reason to, I don’t tend to send emails. If I’m planning a specific post or series of posts that I would like input from other bloggers on, then I will send an email, but I make sure they are to each individual and a little bit more personal than a group email.
4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?
I think that’s just it, any communication should be genuine and, if possible, have an additional mutual support angle. If you are simply asking for a link and nothing in return, expect maybe a reciprocal link, then it is unlikely that anyone will respond.
5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?
In the beginning, I used to leave very short comments on posts on any blog. I was very indiscriminate and impersonal. But, as I have discussed above, I have learned the error of my ways and am now (for the most part) a reformed commenter.
What are your dos and don’ts of blogging?