Don’t be a Blogger Behaving Badly

Don’t be a Blogger Behaving BadlyBy Rebecca Flansburg

The online world/blogosphere is filled with tons of amazing tips and advice on how to be a super- dynamic-the-bees-knees-type blogger. However, I am fairly certain that there is not nearly as much information about what to NOT do available for those of us whose blog is an important part of their livelihood.

After blogging actively for over eight years, I am sure I could muster up some useful tips and what-to-avoid-type tidbits of wisdom. But instead of boring you with volumes of information about funky apps or which web host to avoid, I will make it all short-n-sweet for you. I can sum up what to not do as a blogger in one simple phrase: Don’t be a Blogger Behaving Badly.

I think as bloggers we all have a certain amount of responsibility to conduct ourselves with integrity and work to be role models for those who are new to blogging. That integrity needs to also be accompanied by a big dose of common sense along with the need to treat others as we wish to be treated. We’ve all witnessed virtual catfights on social media that would put the Real Housewives of New Jersey to shame, but in my world having integrity and common sense equates to behaving like civilized adults on and offline.  Just as things can get heated quickly on social media, these situations also occur within the confines of our blogs as well.

For those times when you are on the receiving end of a Blogger Behaving Badly (someone who feels compelled to be bold and brave within the confines of your comment section) I don’t recommend responding in a fit of anger. As tempting as it is may be to leaving a scorching response to someone who has just blasted your work, remember your readership is watching and waiting to see how you handle the situation. When those occasions do occur, the best piece of advice I can give you about those who chose to attack via the comment section of a blog is this; Don’t Feed the Trolls. Don’t buy into their bad behavior by responding in an equally inappropriate way, fighting back, or trying to sway their opinion. And if they are being vulgar or hateful, just quietly delete, BLOCK and move on.

This controlled response extends to your actual blog content as well. Your blog may be “your real estate,” but it is not the place to dump, unload, complain or target someone or a business in an unkind way.

“Wait,” you may be saying. “I need to be able to ‘vent’ on my blog.”

Don’t get me wrong; venting is a good thing.

Venting is about blowing off steam and sharing your incredibly crappy day with those who “get” how you roll. Venting can occur when your day takes a turn for the worse after oversleeping, having to deal with a ridiculously rude client, discovering your tire is flat and then eventually realizing you just did your whole networking group presentation with your fly down. Done correctly, venting should be an intentional and temporary state.

On the flip-side, venting takes a turn into improper territories when you choose to use your blog as a vehicle to angrily and publicly share the name of the “rude client,” attack your networking group for not giving you a “head ups” about your barn door being down or blaming your flat tire on the crazy cat lady next door {insert her name here}.

Some people call that “venting” (not me) but at the end of the day, if it’s something you wouldn’t say to someone’s face in real life, then it has no place on the Internet much less your blog. These vicious and unkind displays of meanness that have no place in business will do nothing to further your business or reputation. If you do find yourself blowing off steam with your keyboard, that’s fine. But that sort of content is best left in Draft or off the Internet completely. Once you release something into the “wild” of cyber space, this is no going back. Baby, it’s out there.

So the bottom line is (and this applies to all social media) don’t unleash your fury in a hateful way on others on your blog. There is fine line between ripping someone to shreds and blogging about the frustrations of life. Yes, there are instances where wrongs need to be righted and readers need to be told a tale with a lesson. If you are feeling the need to go all Erin Brockovich and expose the environmental wrongs of the world on your blog, be darn sure that by doing so your are not damaging your business’ future. There is a time and a place for advocacy on your blog, and trust me, you’ll know when those times are. Until that time arises, stick to your focus and goal of providing useful and valuable information for your readers that aligns you as an expert in your field

Rebecca Flansburg proudly left a 30-year stint in the 9-5 world three years ago to work full-time (from home and on her own terms)  as a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and blogger. Rebecca is the Cover Girl writer for HERLIFE Magazine Sacramento & Central Valley, is an avid blogger on her own veteran blog Franticmommy and is co-creator of FREElance FREEdom-a site dedicated to helping women discover life beyond the cubicle.

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