Thursday, March 3, 2011

{A Little Blog Etiquette, Please and Thank You}

I have been blogging a few years now. For those of you who blog, you know the work that goes into it. Especially a blog like this. True, I took most of last year off and this year is turning into a repeat of last year, and it's only March, but there is a good reason.

I blog and I blog and hardly anyone comments! For those of you who share the love by leaving me a comment, THANK YOU! You absolutely make my day. With each of your comments, I think, "Yes! Someone is tuning in and it's worth it to keep going." So, again, my deepest appreciation. Seriously, it means the world to me. You keep me sharing this crazy craft with you.

But the fact is... I have 153 followers. I get about 50-75 visits to this blog each day. I'd say 99.9% never leave a comment. You arrive, you read, your are inspired and you leave. :(

I have a feedjit tracker. I can see what you are looking at. I see what pages and posts you read. I see when you single in on a photo and chances are... you are doing the carnal sin of lifting it! Please don't do that. I don't steal from you... please do not steal from me. If you want copies of my photos, write me. I will be glad to send them to you so that you can use them for inspiration.

I was recently contacted by someone who said that someone had stolen some of my Disney pages and was using them on Google Search to link back to THEIR PAGE! It's a business, I guess. I have tried writing and get no response. I have recently contacted a lawyer and he is looking into it for me. I am nice girl, but don't mess with me... and don't steal my work to increase yours.

A friend of mine, Alli, recently posted Blog Etiquette rules on her blog. She got them from another blog, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I give them both full credit for the rules and the inspiring me to post this. I loved what they wrote. It is exactly what I have been thinking for sometime now, and just haven't known how to put it into the right words. Thank you, Alli and Kristan. You are awesome!

I am going to share these rules with you today. I learned a lot from them and have fixed those things I was doing wrong. I hope you will, too. May we all be better bloggers and readers for it. Oh, and, I hope to hear from more of you, more often. °Ü°

Here we go...

1. Be yourself.

One thing I've learned since I began blogging is that people will love you no matter what, as long as you're honest. Are you a neat freak? Is your house a mess? Do you REALLY like bacon, or are you just a self professed "bacon addict" because it seems cool? In the blogging world, cool is being who you are and loving yourself, perfections AND imperfections included.

2. Be good to your readers. You were one once, too.

I was a blog reader WAY before I was a blog writer, and honestly, I still spend more time on OTHER blogs than I do my own. I cannot stress how important it is to never forget that fact. When my blog was barely a month old (and I had NO CLUE how to take a picture) I sent an email to Bakerella. And she replied!! I cannot even express what that did for my morale. It was like meeting a celebrity, in a way. These days, I get quite a few emails myself and I can only imagine how full her inbox must have been. It makes the fact that she took the time to reply mean that much more.

3. Leave a comment.

Let's face it. Bloggers thrive on comments. Our posts and pictures are the sunshine and water, but comments are the beautiful flowers that sprout up as the result of our hard work. If you have a blog, you know this better than anyone else. So when you visit a blog, do as you would have done unto you and leave a comment. I am very guilty of popping on various blogs and not commenting because I think that the blogger is so fabulous, they don't need to hear from me. But I should know better, and I am making a conscious effort to leave a comment after every visit.

4. Give proper credit.

If you see something on another blog and love it so much that you decide to spend hours of your time recreating, photographing,and writing about it, it deserves more than a footnote at the end of your post and you know it. We all feed off of each other's ideas and inspire one another and that's fine. But when you downright copy something from another blog, repay them for the fabulous idea by throwing a little praise and maybe a new reader or two their way.

5. Do not namedrop.

Just like in the real world, we all have some people we are closer to or relate to more than others. But to use that friendship as a way of impressing people is just tacky. This isn't high school and you weren't invited to hang out with the head cheerleader. We're all adults here, and when you name drop simply for selfish reasons, it's completely obvious to everyone, name drop-ee included.

6. Do not correct a fellow blogger's spelling or grammar in a comment.

For real. If I was talking to you in front of a huge group of people and noticed your fly was down, I wouldn't loudly point it out in front of everyone. I'd find a way to pull you aside and tell you quietly. Same thing here. Send a friendly email, and let them know so they can fix it before anyone else catches it. It's the right thing to do.

7. Never say anything on your blog that you wouldn't say in person.

The only exception to this rule is "LOL" because I realize that no one, (besides my 12 year old stepdaughter and her friends) says that in real life. The Internet is not an invincibility shield. What we say is in print, and can be forwarded and printed out and saved for all eternity. So mean what you say and be willing to stand behind your words.

8. If you feature someone on your blog, let them know.

I can't tell you how many times I've noticed a spike in my traffic, only to find out that I was featured on a blog and not notified. It's like throwing a party in someone's honor and not inviting them. Let them know so they can stop by and read your kind words and all the comments your readers left in response. It really means a lot and can totally make a blogger's day.

9. Promote a blog you like.

Don't be a lurker. If you love a blog, visit it frequently, and know that they could benefit from you letting your readers know, do it. I have gained so many readers from bloggers like Cheryl (TidyMom) and Bridget (Bake at 350) taking the time to retweet my posts and letting their readers know that they like what I'm doing. We could all learn a lesson or two from ladies like them, and they are who I look up to and use as my own example.

10. Never, ever plagiarize.

Our words and pictures are our heart and soul. To steal them is to steal the small piece of our world that says, "this is who I am." Don't do that. It's really unforgivable.

So, there you have it. Rules to Blog by. Let me know what you think?



Tara said...

I am still shaking my head in agreement, I can't agree more with everything in this post!

D'On Marx said...

Amen and Amen! There's been many a time that I want to quit blogging altogether because most of the time I get ZERO comments on things I felt comment worthy. hahaha I changed my tactics a bit. I try to comment on other blogs as often as I can. When I don't, it's pure laziness. Plus I ask others to leave comments on the blog and how much it's appreciated. Once people start getting the idea. I'll stop asking. :)

I can NOT believe someone stole your stuff. How absolutely ridiculous! I hope it all pans out for you soon. Love ya girlie!

Denise G said...

I too rarely get comments on my new post, even though fedit tells me I get plenty of traffic.

Oh, and by the way your work is wonderful. I don't make it to your blog often, but I do enjoy your work.

As for your comment on people using a search of your pictures to get back to your website. If it is a google image search that is bringing this up this other site with your photo, then don't go down that road legally. (And check your computer for malware if you went to that site.) The people doing it are not after your pictures, they are after the computers and data of the people who click on the link. My husband is in IT Security and that is the latest money maker out there. It is a big business that spans multiple counties, so you have little legal recourse.

My husband spends hours investigating cases like this. It is a rather sad trend that has sky rocketed in the last few months.
Unfortunately it is from the end users side, not your side, but I can ask him of your options if this seems to fit your situation.

Best wishes and keep up your wonderful work.

Fi said...

Thanks for the post on blogging ettiquette. I have been a follower of your blog for quite a while and love your work but admittedly haven't commented when I've visited as yet but I will be doing so from now on so you know I've had a look and been inspired by your work. I think your Disney Pages are beautiful as are your other pages but I would never CASE them or any other persons work without giving proper credit, you ca be assured that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful creations - truly inspiring!

Michele said...

Gosh... so sorry that you are going through this. Just know that I have you in my "Blog Follow" list... but I admit... I don't get to as many blogs during the day/week as I would like. Your work is awesome!! I noticed you have put a watermark on some of your picturs... but not others. Wouldn't that help with 'Others' stealing your work??

Stephanie Tobler said...

I agree 100% I am guilty of not commenting however I know it makes my day when people comment on my blog. Also try to leave credit where credit is due. Most of the time it's only my family to stops on by to say anything, I do feel however that I'm being bother some when I e-mail people asking for them to e-mail me their photos for inspiration but I will e-mail you next time I'd like one of yours. I'm sorry! Thank you for blogging! I really enjoy following you!

The Avid Scrapper said...

Tara and D'On, thank you for your support. D'On, I hear ya and will be commenting on your beautiful blog more...I promise!

Denise, thank you for your advice! I did check for malware or anything malicious after I went to the site and there was nothing, but something was definitely fishy about it. My lawyer advised me to run a sweep and my computer was clean. I appreciate any advice you and your husband can give me. It is sweet of you to check for me. Thank you! You're awesome!

Fi, thank you for your kind words and for following this blog. Disney pages are my favorite and I am honored that my pages help to inspire other's work.

Michelle, Thanks for adding me to your blog list. I really do need to go back and add the watermark to older pics. I just recently started that and so the older ones are "naked". It is just one of those time consuming things, but it needs to be done so no one else will be tempted to lift my pics. Thanks for nudge on that! :)

Stephanie, your name sounds so familiar to me. Do I know you? I bet we know some of the same people. Know that you can email for anything. I spend many a nights writing to people asking me for photos, advice, product reviews... you name it. None of it is bothersome. I am always happy to hear from everyone and always happy to help!

Thank you, all of you! You have made my day with your kind words! We live in a blessed day when our computers and social sites and blogs help to make the world a bit smaller. I have met the most amazing people through net working that I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. Crafters in Canada, Switzerland, Australia... and from all over the US. It's all about inspiring one another. Learning from one another and make the world a better place for us all to live. Communication is the key! It is great to get it started today, with all of you.


Maquel said...

Great post. Comments on my own blog make my day, however, I too am guilty of not leaving a comment during my visits!! Sometimes though, I'm just browsing quickly, through my list of "followed blogs" before I go to bed, and don't have time to comment on everyone! I vow to do better though! :) Thanks for reminding us what's important in this blogging community!

Fi said...

Hi again! I've just posted on my blog and put a link to your blog cause your post has really struck home and I thank you for that. I know I love receiving comments from people on my blog and since I read your post on blogging etiquette I have been posting comments left right and centre when visiting others cause it's nice just to see others sharing their amazing talent! I love it and it's one of the highlights of my day reading others blogs and being inspired by them!
Thanks again :o)

Denise G said...

I tried to use your email, but it bounced. I spoke with my husband about your post more. Can you send me the link to the site that is using your images? (I wouldn't recommend anyone opening the site. I don't trust it to be clean.) He has special software to do an analysis. He hopefully should be able to tell you the sites intent and he was telling me some of your options, but more on that later.

Also do you know the search words used in google to find it?

Email me, my address is in my blogger profile.

Cindy said...

Wow this is one of the best posts I've read in quite some time. I too am guilty of the no comment thing but recently made a self discovery that if you leave comments it comes back 10 fold. I have great respect for the bloggers I follow and always try to link back. Hadn't given much thought to giving them a heads up but now I will. These rules could apply to every day life in so many ways. You've earned a new follower and my respect. I hope you have a wonderful week.


Cathy said...

I am a new follower and I have to say your list was interesting. I don't always leave a comment at each blog but do if something inspires me. I love looking at your work and think to myself that I should try something like that design and get some page layouts done. Sad part is I then go back to making cards and never get the layouts done. :( I do not have a blog and have no interest in doing one but can say your side of it. I will try to keep that in mind. Keep up the good work!

The Bunny Burrow said...

I just came across your blog in an internet search I was doing. I think it's great and your designs are beautiful. I'm new to blogging myself and so I'm very glad to learn the etiquette! I certainly wouldn't want to be one of those that pops in but doesn't say hi.

The Avid Scrapper said...

Maquel, thank you so much for your comment. I think all of us bloggers are guilty of not leaving as many comments as we should. I am making it a point to drop a line on any blog I am visiting. It's been great to interact with so many great and talented people! That's what it is all about.

Fi, I visited your blog and LOVED it! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing your link with me. I have added it to my blogs list. :)

Denise, I will email you today! Thanks so much for your help.

Cindy, thank you so much for sharing. Like I said, we all a little guilty from time to time. And you are absolutely right about the comments coming back 10 fold. Carma is real! :) I tried checking out your blog and and none of the photos were available. I will definitely check back later today. Thanks for sharing your link!

Cathy, thank you so much! There is never enough time to scrap it all! I, too, go back and forth between cards and layouts. I have all these great ideas and never enough time to do it all. Thanks for stopping in and commenting! I really do appreciate it. :)

Bunny, thank you so much. I just had a friend of mine say that when you drop in on someone's blog and don't leave a comment, it's like stopping by their house and not saying a word to you while they are there! So true. Thanks so much for your kinds words. Good luck with blogging. It's a blast!

Miranda said...

Hello! me again - I love this post! Reading it just reaffirmed my blog etiquette :) I definitely feel you have to give credit where due and I always make a conscious effort to do so. I agree with you on the commenting..I really wish visitors would leave me comments, but they are few and very far between. Granted, I only have 7 followers and would love to build it! Thanks again.

Tiff said...

Thank you for posting these. I love your blog and enjoy reading it. It's sad to think that there are people out there who make it so we have to have rules.

Jeanette said...

Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say thanks for the blog etiquette's so helpful...but more importantly, thanks for your side comments on how you price your layouts/work...It really helps...I work in a school and tend to donate crafty items for fundraising purposes..I was recently approached by a parent looking for party favors and when I gave her the prices, she looked at me as if I was know the look "it's only paper" why the price...but like you said, people don't take into consideration the time and effort plus supplies spent on projects...well enough said...
Sincerely, Jeanette
(a new follower)


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