Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blogging Ethics

Here is my kitten in a stroller to help you calm down.
This post may come across like a rant, but I really think it is something that needs addressed. Lately, I have been reading really disappointing blog posts from my fellow bloggers. I mean you'll always come across some whack jobs that are just out there to scam people but there seems to be a trend happening in the past few months that is bringing down the quality of the blogging community. I don't know about you all, but I would prefer not to be associated with the whack job bloggers, just because I write a blog. Not all blogs are the same and neither are bloggers, but we should all strive for quality. To address these problems (or disappointments) that I have been running across more and more frequently, I have compiled three rules or "ethics" that I think we should all apply. These shouldn't be new, but apparently they need reviewed. 

Blogging Ethic #1: Your Title Needs to Apply to Your Post

I know this one is absolutely shocking, but you would be surprised how many times I have read a post that actually had nothing to do with the title. Here is an example, (not the exact example I read, but close enough) the title is "10 Things You Should Know About Your Man" however, the article is actually about why men don't read lists. So, I get that this is some form of satire, but in the blogging world your title needs to inform your readers about the content of your article. This is how readers find you and like you and come back for more. They don't want to be mocked or tricked and they don't want to be used to boost your numbers, so unless your blog is related to The Onion, just don't do it.

Blogging Ethic #2: Your Post Should Not Be Riddled With Unnecessary Keywords

I get it. I completely understand your desire to make your post appeal to the search engine gods, but something's got to give here. There is no need to include the word "twerking" in a post about photography rights, or "Miley Cyrus" in a post about blogging (ha! did you see what I did there?). The readers that are searching those terms are not going to be interested in your content. Period. You want readers that are looking for your specific article. There is no need to cast a net so large that a majority of your viewers won't care. The other side of this is when bloggers use the same phrase over and over again to try and capture the SEO's attention. It makes your content boring. It makes you look like a bad writer. It makes me not come back to your page. When it comes down to it, you need to stop worrying about keywords and focus on your audience's needs. It's truly the best way and the least annoying.

Blogging Ethic #3: You Shouldn't Make It Difficult For Readers to Comment

 This is one that I just don't get. Why do you have a public blog if you do not want readers to get involved? If you are that afraid of negative comments then you shouldn't be a writer or you should at least make your blog private. There is no reason for a blogger to have a reader find a bot-filtering code, give you their home address, credit card number and then wait for you to "accept" their comment. Ok, so maybe that was an exaggeration, but you get my point. It shouldn't be this hard, and I will tell you flat out that I will not leave a comment on a blog with contraptions set up to prevent me. And I probably won't come back to read either. Blogging is a community that is meant to be shared, it shouldn't feel like a trip to Riker's Island just to tell you I enjoyed your post. So, just stop it. Be friendly. Be open. And if I am a spammer then just delete it. There is no need to punish your real readers because a few spammers or haters infiltrated your page.

So, there you have it folks. I think if we all would adhere to these ethics, we would live in better blogging world. I mean if you are going to write content like this, you should probably just copy write for some Nigerian Prince that is trying to scam old people out of their retirement funds. Because that is what you are doing, scamming people to your site. Am I right?

Does anyone have any other ethics would should include on this list besides stealing other's content? (I think that one is a given.) Or is anyone guilty of any of these in fractions and would like a chance to address the court? Please feel free.

I rest my case.

-Jami Lynn