Friday, March 7, 2014

#MFRWorg Blogging Etiquette: Be A Good Guest

How Polite are You?
Blogging Etiquette from contributing blogger, Vicki Batman

Don't you just love having different folks guest on your blog? I do! It's an opportunity for both of us to pique the interest of other people. 

I asked fellow Plotting Princesses—Michelle Miles, Liz Lipperman, Pamela Stone, Karilyn Bentley, and Sylvia McDaniel—and top-notch authors who host blogs—Paloma Beck, Kayelle Allen, and Christina Cole—for their thoughts about blogging.

Do you ask others to post on your blog? I invite loads of folks for Handbags, Books...Whatever and the Plotting Princesses. I have placed my contact and submission information in yahoo groups' databases.

At Ye Olde Inkwell, Michelle generally asks writers she knows who have a new release. Paloma told me she has moved toward creating special features at Romance Beckons with invited guests who fit in with her own writing. Christina says she asks people to post on two of her blogs, Time for Love and Seasons of Love. Kayelle doesn't invite guests on her personal blog, Unstoppable Heroes. However, the Romance Lives Forever blog is geared toward guests.

Do you share the post with your followers? Michelle, Sylvia, and I funnel our blogs through Triberr. I post to yahoo groups, FB, and Google+. Michelle uses a special Wordpress plugin which spreads the word. Pamela says yes, especially when on the Plotting Princesses or on a guest blog via Twitter, Facebook, and email.

Paloma writes her post goes to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, Triberr. If it's an author she has read or knows personally, she'll do a bit more to promote; otherwise, it's just the standard in these social media outlets. Christina actively promotes all guest posts through Twitter and Facebook.

Kayelle's blog is shared via Networked Blogs, Bloglovin', and Linky Followers, automatically shared on Facebook and Twitter, and feeds to Triberr which amplifies the post thru a network of like-minded bloggers on Twitter. It's tied to, a newsletter that auto-curates material based on the blog's RSS feed and the hash tag #RLFblog. Guests on Romance Lives Forever get an average of two newsletter mentions and about forty-five mentions on Twitter, plus links to at least three pages on Facebook.

Do you have rigid submission formats for the blogger to follow? Ms. Lipperman told me no, and Michelle asks the post be sent at least 24 hours in advance since she schedules posts. I do have requirements for my #handbag Monday posts as this day is about my favorite accessory; however, I do let authors include a jpeg, one line blurb, and one buy link. Sylvia doesn't have submission formats either; however, her blog is new and she is learning.

Christina tells me on Seasons of Love she has a very strict format regarding how the information is to be posted and presented. On Time for Love, it's more "anything goes" -- as long as it doesn't include promotional material.

I've had to format posts with a specific font and size. Fix my jpeg a called-for size. On Handbags, Books...Whatever and the Plotting Princesses blogs, I've dealt with Rafflecopter. Pictures here and there. Crazy html—yikes! All takes up too much time when I should be writing.

Paloma uses guidelines but wouldn't call them rigid. She has a specific page on her blog with all the information. Check out how she does this at this LINK.

On Romance Lives Forever, Kayelle provides specific formats for five interviews. She has spent too much personal time cleaning the posts for publication. Images are placed in areas for the most views, and the font is easy to read.

Princess Karilyn likes blogs with questions; however, guidelines are helpful. She likes to talk about her books, but not craft. She also adds that in her head, no comments has her wondering if anyone saw the post, but realizes the trend is not to comment.
Several of us think keep it simple is most beneficial. 

What are pet peeves? Ms. Lipperman and Pamela say they're annoyed when people don't check back to respond to comments. I agree. I am also upset when the blogger doesn't share my URL in any social media outlets like I have.

Paloma doesn't like late submissions. Would you arrive at a dinner party an hour late? I think not. So please be mindful of your time when coming as a guest to my blog.

She adds: Not promoting yourself. Guests should promote their post and encourage others to visit the blog. Then they should be there to answer questions and engage with those who comment.

Christina is peeved when guest bloggers ignore the rules: sending a 150-word "blurb" over the asked for 25 words or less, or ignoring the "no promotion" restriction and sending a post all about their latest release.

Kayelle finds it annoying when formatting requests are ignored, for example: all URLs must be written out and not embedded because the free promotion the author will receive is being included in a pdf at the end of the year that provides the author's buy links for their books. You'd think people would love that, but often the links are embedded anyway. That's not just annoying; that's rude.

Anything else? Kayelle says if you build a good social media platform with your blog, you will get results.

In summary, for the Blogger, I recommend:
1. Share the post with your followers, yahoo groups, Facebook, Twitter, Triberr and anywhere else you can think of.
2. Don't ramble. A 250 word post is really long enough.
3. Turn in your post on a timely basis.
4. Don't over use fancy fonts.
5. Send pictures in jpeg and note in the post where to insert each one, but don't overdo the picture thing.
6. Writing about a proper topic and not shouting "Buy My Book" or whatever.
7. Provide working URLs.

For the Host, I recommend:
1. Share the post with your followers, yahoo groups, Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, and anywhere else you can think of.
2. Don't overdo the formatting requirements.
3. Do provide reasonable content guidelines.
4. Be flexible because...stuff happens.

To sum up, blogging etiquette is really what our moms told us: Be nice. 

TALK TO US... What kind of blogs do you like to visit or read about?

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