I know that a lot of people don’t like blogging because they are worried about saying something wrong or someone pointing out that they have written something which turns out to be incorrect. It can be scary putting your opinions out there!
Please don’t let this concern stop you from blogging. Blogging is such a great way to increase your business knowledge. It gives you a reason to research topics and check your understanding, by writing it up in your own words. It allows you to share your passion and interests, which I promise will surprise you when you realise how much you have to share. And it gives you the chance to learn new facts and figures about your profession.
I read these amazing rules when I first started learning about blogging. Abidemi identifies six items as good ‘blog etiquette’:
- Respect your reader – write content you are proud of
- Get your facts right
- Delete ‘clickbait’ – don’t entice readers in and then not deliver
- Respond to comments on your blog
- If you do something wrong or get something wrong, admit it and apologise
- The blog is not ‘all about you’ – engage your readers, think about what they want to know and what will interest them
Source: Abidemi Sanusi and ATV courses, 2016
I think if you follow these rules then you can’t go far wrong, and for this blog post I think numbers 2 and 5 are particularly poignant.
Get your facts right
If you are stating facts, rather than opinions or advice, then make sure they are correct. Don’t state something as fact unless you have done your homework. It is ok to say something like ‘in my opinion’ or ‘I believe’, so that your reader is not misled.
It doesn’t take much to check facts. If it is a statistic or product name which you are referring to, then in most cases a quick Google search will back up what you have written is true.
Furthermore, ‘reference’ your facts. This means giving another source to prove where you got your facts from. Simply a name and a hyperlink to the original source(s) will suffice.
If you get something wrong, admit it
We all get things wrong…according to my children I say or do something wrong most days! If someone notices an error or discrepancy in your blog post, then acknowledge their comment, thank them for helping and correct your mistake.
If someone says you have made a mistake or said something wrong, but you do not agree, then do not be overly defensive or aggressive. Reply to the comment, explaining that you can appreciate their position, particularly if it is something which is quite subjective or widely debated, and then explain your viewpoint. Don’t get entangled in a ongoing argument. A healthy debate is fine, but if comments are becoming nasty then I would recommend diffusing the situation with a ‘Thank you for your further comments but we may have to agree to disagree on this one’ or ‘I appreciate it is a contentious issue/widely debated topic with many strong opinions’. Perhaps if have evidence to share then you could include this too, but try to stay neutral.
Lastly, let me say that in my time blogging and from people I have spoken with who blog regularly negative comments are rare, especially in a professional situation. Instead the benefits you get from sharing your thoughts and views can be huge.
If you have any concerns, or if you want any advice, I will do my best to help – just give me a shout.