Five Ways to be a Responsible Blogger

 Five Ways to be a Responsible Blogger

Bloggers may not be journalists, but they certainly have a social responsibility to readers. As blogs become more and more influential in our daily lives, writers are being held to greater ethical and professional standards. If you want your blog to get a higher ranking and increase your readership, it’s going to take some extra work and a lot of responsibility. Here are five surefire ways to be a responsible blogger:

Watch What You Say and Monitor Readers’ Comments: As a blogger, you have to police yourself and your readers’ comments to maintain civility in the blogosphere. This doesn’t mean you can’t be frank or say what’s really on your mind, but comments should never turn into insults. Hateful comments have no place on here, and you shouldn’t tolerate it either. Despite what people say, this “policing” doesn’t take the fun out of blogging; it just makes it more civil. As a rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Your words are permanent and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Always Give Credit Where It’s Due: Just like journalists and other writers, bloggers cannot use another person’s words as their own and they must give credit where it’s due. Copyright laws still apply to bloggers. Whether it’s a statistic or a photograph, bloggers should be in the habit of always citing their sources. Don’t for get to give credit to the authors and contributors of your open source software and free templates, as well. This ethical writing practice will help cover your tracks and give readers a place to verify facts, if need be. In addition to citing your sources, you should also consider the authority and credibility of the site, person or article you’re referencing.

Keep Your Content Current: Responsible bloggers should always strive to keep their content current. Of course, unexpected things happen in life and you may fall a little behind here and there, but it’s important that you keep up with your blog and post regularly. Stagnant blogs offer little to no benefit to readers, and end up being a waste of your time and money, as well. Responsible bloggers will make a point to maintain their blog and stay connected to their readers. This includes responding to readers’ comments and questions, keeping the blog free of spam and offensive comments, posting articles weekly and promoting and engaging with other bloggers.

Be Transparent: Responsible bloggers are transparent with their readers from day one. Bloggers should not lie or misrepresent themselves to readers because the success of your blog depends on the relationship and trust you have with readers. In order to achieve trust among your readers, you have to be transparent about who you are and what your blog is really about. This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as talking about yourself in the “about” page or bio, and engaging with readers and other bloggers. Readers will get to know you through your posts, opinions and comments, and they’ll hold you to your word. Blogging the truth is the most important thing you can do as a responsible blogger.

Use Disclaimers: The last thing a blogger can afford to do is get caught in a lie, or worse, a lawsuit. Bloggers are generally not experts on the topics in which they write about, but rather have a strong interest in or admiration for particular subjects. Therefore, responsible bloggers will always use disclaimers to clarify that their blog is for informational purposes only, and the opinions expressed here are strictly their own and no one else’s. Disclaimers are especially important if you ever write about health and safety or offer legal advice. A comprehensive and clear disclaimer will help protect you from legal prosecution if readers were to misuse or misinterpret the information on your blog.

Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com

Visit Stacie Vaughan {SimplyStacie.net}'s profile on Pinterest.

Comments

  1. says

    Great post!

    After a week off due to some family issues I’m starting to think of ways to make my blog better and more engaging to readers. My husband and I will be moving to a 2 bedroom apartment soon and I have intentions to turn the second room into a fully functioning office. My goal in doing so is to create an environment that allows me to treat most of my online activity, especially my blog, as a business and be more mindful of what I post rather than just random nonsense as it has been.

    I doubt I will make any money blogging but I’d certainly like to create a blog that can be engaging and interesting to read, not just what I happened to do that day or all about me. That reminds me…I need to change my header too. Ramblings from an overcaffeinated housewife just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

    • says

      You are going to laugh when you hear where I do all my work- right in the comfort of my bed on my laptop!! I am more comfy lying down (I have chronic pain and hurts to sit). I like your idea of having a separate space just for business though. I’ve thought about doing that too and would love to get more organized.

      The money will come- it just takes time. Keep blogging and publishing content frequently and you will grow. It took me about 2 years before I started making any kind of income.

      If you are looking for a new designer, check out The Pixelista- she did my new makeover and she’s amazing!!

  2. says

    Great advice thank you. I totally agree with you especially on the use of Disclaimers. It is so important to disclose why you’re writing a piece & what you’ve received or not received to write it.

  3. patti says

    I’m in the process of redefining my blog. Up until now, it’s been kind of random posts…health and fitness, couponing, pets, gardening. I’m working on how to still incorporate all of those interests but in a more organized fashion…not there yet, but it’s percolating in my mind!! And thanks so much for the advice!

  4. says

    Excellent advice! I agree that if you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t hide behind the internet to do or say those things.

  5. says

    Great post! Really good advice. I went and added a disclaimer to my sidebar after reading this…just to cover myself. I had never though of that before.

  6. says

    Great tips! As a freelance writer and a blogger, I heartily agree with these. Sometimes it’s a downfall to have no editor between the writer and the reader (in the blogosphere) to help prevent rants or angry comments. As bloggers, we need to be our own editors and not write and publish something we’ll later regret. :)

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