Commandments of Blogging

There is not much I dislike more than getting up in the morning and getting an email like this..

hello Sara, I found your website from (site removed). I have to admit its
really nice site and i just loved it. I was thinking if you want to do link
exchange with me. Although i dont know if my site will interest you in anyway. I
am still new and working hard on getting some back links. If you are okay with
link exchange then pleeaassseee email me back so i can add you in my blogroll
also. Thank you. Have a nice day N take care 🙂

I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, really I don’t. We all start out somewhere. But gosh damn this is one of those times I really wish there was a Terms and Conditions that had to be signed when you start blogging. Something to give you an idea of what the rules are, and what is proper netiquette when it comes to dealing with other bloggers.

Commandment #1- Thou shalt not request links from other bloggers.

Link exchange requests are lame. Really. Write good content, and the links will come, I promise. Doubly lame is requesting a link from someone you know and even admit to would have NO interest in your blog. Wtf?

What bad blogging behavior have you encountered? Rude comments? Double-linking to their site in your comments section? What would your personal commandment for blogging behavior be?

Posted in Old

49 thoughts on “Commandments of Blogging

  1. Ye shall not use an unedited Blogger template.

    Ye shall not put automatic music on ye site.

    Ye shall not post ye boring details of life.

    Ye shall not write 1,000 words of unbroken text.

    Ye shall go read everything on Problogger.

    Ye shall not spam Sara, the queen of the bloggy smackdown!

    Love ya -Hawt Mamma!


  2. Those requests never bothered me if they were individual and genuine. I think a lot of people prefer to be notified when they get linked (I like to know). I always try to notify people if I link to them in reference—e.g. in a blog post—or in a blogroll and most appreciate it.

    I don’t like those troll-y spam comments, really general and link backs, clearly spam.

    I bothered somebody because I put a link in my signature that I used to comment. I hadn’t used to do it, but a big blogger told me I *ought* to in order to make it easier for people to follow-back, so I began doing so and met some nice new people. Then someone else told me it was tacky so I stopped, and someone else asked why I had. I had only meant good by it, and don’t mind links in my comments so…what to do?

    So the rules aren’t absolute and you can’t please everyone.

    I generally don’t have super rules for others and their behavior. There is so much space in the blogosphere I don’t have to be there if I don’t care to.

    I did get really irritated when I got a nasty comment on my blog yesterday—utterly uncalled for—that was very debate-like in nature on a post that was just announcing a family tragedy. I do plenty of debate stuff and encourage opinions then, but on personal posts, no need to be cruel. So I asked the commenter to go elsewhere.


  3. I hate it when people come visit and stir up a fight in a post that was emotional and clearly begging to NOT have a fight brew up on the topic. I am pretty free with the Delete Comment button.

    I have to second the commandment about not putting auto-play audio on a blog. That should be banned.

    And the biggest commandment of all should be: thou shalt not steal other people’s content, even if it’s linked back. I hate the spam blogs that pull entire posts from various blogs into their blog – it’s nothing but other people’s material, encased in Google Ads, of course. Providing a link back does not make it legal.


  4. Thou shall piss off if you so choose to judge me & my content. I shall happily & immediately block you. My blog, my life, my thoughts. I hate haters.


  5. I hate it when people talk about you or others in posts, but don’t actually link, even worse when “tagging” people.

    Would second content thieves and audio… ugh! Try to keep the widgets and giant mp photos to a minimum too, as not everyone owns the latest and greatest computer and your blog could easily crash it. There goes a visitor! 😉


  6. I hate the people who get uppity when you delete their comments. They act like if you don’t want their trash on your blog it means you really know that they’re right and are just scared to admit it. Ugh.


  7. I’ve never really understood those requests – rewrite = I understand but I don’t see the point! All those spammy requests are in the same category for me. Maybe I need a bloggy tutorial.


  8. I got an e-mail the other day requesting for me to link to this new person’s super-cool website. And the e-mail was addressed to “Jennifer”. Perhaps they had me mixed up with Playgroupie?

    I would also ask that someone have even a tenuous grasp of the written language before blogging. I can’t stand reading blogs or e-mails filled with spelling and grammar mistakes (it must be the former English teacher in me).

    Oh, and like Christina, those stupid splogs really irk me.


  9. Wow. Imagine how the poor woman feels that ya just called out.

    You want to know what I saw in the message?

    “I have to admit its
    really nice site and i just loved it.”

    I hope if she’s watching comments she comes over and checks out Huckdoll…I’ll hook ya up with some good people, girl.


  10. I really wish there had been some kind of rules WRITTEN in an easy place to find when I started over three years ago. I went in blind and luckily I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much in the beginning. I just tried to keep my mouth shut as much as possible (which is difficult for me) and read other blogs to figure out what those “unwritten rules” were.

    Ocassionally I would come across a post like yours and say THANK GOODNESS someone finally wrote one down so I don’t have to read between the lines and figure it out based on what other people appear to be doing.

    But the lack of link backs? Really irritating. And the splogs REALLY infuriating.


  11. If you sound like a bitch it’s because you are. When the person wrote

    “Although I don’t know if my site will interest you in anyway.”

    She was just being modest. Something you apparently lack. If there is someone who needs to learn some netiquette its you. You could have just politely said no, and spared the poor woman’s feelings or offered to help her out in some other way by providing some well meaning tips.


  12. So there’s this blogger who ALSO has a template business. (And NOT my beloved Nap Warden.) She left me a comment on a personal post that just said, “Hey, I’ve got a template contest. Put up a button and you could win!” Blah, blah, blah, more to that effect.

    She said NOTHING about my ACTUAL post. I mean, if she had something like, hey cute pics, or SOMETHING, and then CASUALLY mentioned, “Hey! I’ve got a contest going on, come check it out!” THEN I wouldn’t have deleted her comment.

    And what’s up with those CRESCE Net comments? RANDOM!


  13. While I *think* I get the point you are trying to make here (I have had similar comments and they are usually spam-like in nature), I am really bothered by the tone of it, more specifically the comments. I would be afraid to comment on some of these commenter’s blogs, lest they find out I have a knack for using a comma in the wrong place.


  14. You’re completely over reacting to a newbie who was trying to reach out to a blogger with more experience and more knowledge than herself.

    “Whatthe” said it best, “If you sound like a bitch, it’s because you are.”

    You should be ashamed of yourself.


  15. Alright. I have your site in my reader and I genuinely enjoy some of your posts. Yes, I lurk and have commented on some things in the past. But this? Kinda low.

    Its things like this that make new bloggers hesitant to comment or even attempt to comment other bloggers. Sure she could have connected with you through comments but I would put money down that she has TRIED to do that with other bloggers and has not gotten a response. Did you maybe think that she might have read something you wrote that made her feel comfortable enough to email you?

    What you did today is something that bothers me about bloggers. Especially bloggers I actually enjoy. Its like she just got denied to your “cool club”.


  16. i agree with the “Thou shall not play automatic music” commandment. That’s tacky.

    I’ve found that when I engage in the content of other people’s blogs – which means commenting on the topic of conversation, not just saying something like, “great post!” – these are the times I discover other blogs and other bloggers discover mine.

    Blogging is largely about engaging in community – at least it is for me. I will never do a link exchange on request, but if someone comes out of lurking and comments on my site, I will eventually begin reading their blog, and will probably link back to them if their content is engaging.


  17. I’m with Julie – if it was genuine, and not spammy (for my blog, anyway), i would respond kindly with whatever decision I’ve made.

    I purposely did not put a blogroll on my site so I wouldn’t hurt feelings (not to mention it would be super long). Instead I try to follow back after a comment is left and leave a comment at their site – but it doesn’t always work out because we all get busy with life. We ALL need to let that go already. 🙂

    I’ve made tons of mistakes blogging over the years. There are no hard and fast rules and what works for one person, won’t likely work for everyone. The bottom line is, your space, your rules. Anyone who has a problem with you deleting comments, calling out a request that offended you, or any of the million other things that are unique to you and your blog? Well, they always have the option of letting you know, moving on, or both.


  18. I, too, think that your reaction to the email, and this post was entirely rude, and hurtful. Like LunaNik, and feel you could have simply just replied to her that you would be happy to check out her blog, but you don’t add folks to your blogroll until you have been reading them for awhile. There seems to me, no reason to make her look a fool.
    My commandment would be “Treat other bloggers the way you would like to be treated!”


  19. Geez… I am, for once, speechless.

    “MISS” said everything I wanted to say. Show some compassion. She obviously emailed you because she felt like she had some type of connection.

    Your post. So not classy.


  20. I, for one, am a “Say something nice or say nothing at all” kind of person.

    With that in mind, I will say nothing at all. Ever.

    I haven’t read your blog all that often, and I have never read your first commenter’s blog, but I assuredly will not now.


  21. Okay.. okay.. hold your horses here folks.. too much of the bitch word being thrown around and if you’re going to do that you might as well get creative and share the family braincell, ya’ll might come up with another curse word to use.

    @Whatthe and @LunNik.. grow up! Please. This is the internet, this is blogging and what this person has done is no different than those begging letters that lottery winners who are too stupid to remain anonymous receive.

    Links are currency. They are dollars. They have real value to a blogger who intends to monetize.

    Who goes around asking for links, other than bloggers trying to monetize? The only reason you ask for links from an author where the author may not have any “interest you in anyway”, is to score a link for monetization reasons.

    Any blogger truly worrying about meeting like minded bloggers and genuinely building a readership will seek out like minded bloggers.. and you 2 know this. They will not ask for links, they will earn them, though their writing…

    Well I should say that if you’re in any way serious about being bloggers you know this..

    But then again some folk just blog for the potential bitch slap and controversy.

    Don’t get me wrong.. I’m not trying to imply that what you do is comment in blogs to stir the heap in hope of a little traffic form eager comment clickers…

    But, well… come on.. you come to a blog and stir the shit pile.. fair duce.. but back up your arguement. Please.

    Now.. LunaNik.. I just visited your site.. and at least you have the decency to make your comments under your own blogging name. But.. unless you’ve blogged before.. that is your first site and you have to realize that people asking for link exchanges know what the f**k they are up to.

    They have to… a link exchange wouldn’t matter unless you know the value of it.. and in this day and age you should know that a link exchange is viewed by Google as a paid link unless the content is highly relevant so you risk a drop in page rank, and possibly even removal from Google. Unless you get it right.. which is why they send out these emails in the hopes of luring in bait..

    That would mean punishment for Sara and I assume you’d rather that her blog wasn’t punished over someone else’s letter and wouldn’t want that to happen 😉 (considering you’re here reading and commenting etc..)

    Just a little free something to think about… while you’re busy calling Sara a bitch…


  22. WOW, tough crowd here. First of all I think you are right. Asking for a link does seem to lead to having concerns of the link’s intentions. There are way too many people building blog sites just to draw traffic to their Google Ads in hopes to make their millions. Unfortunately, most of the black hat SEO’s tell newbies that they are a ‘loser’ if they do not hit every blogger online to exchange links with them…then provide some mathematical equation that rationalizes the millions of hits they would get to their site if they got just a percentage of the bloggers to exchange links. I can’t believe anyone falls for that load of crap.

    So I am with ya on the need to get newbies filled in on how these requests for link exchange are coming across, no matter how nicely they are written. I know it is a longer road to take, but producing quality content generally generates more hits to a site than how many Pay-for-click ads you post on your site.

    That is my two cents…


  23. “I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, really I don’t. We all start out somewhere.”

    Sounds pretty bitchy to me. Perhaps if Sara clarified that it WAS spam in the first place, this wouldn’t be happening.

    “But then again some folk just blog for the potential bitch slap and controversy.”

    I bitch slap when I see a bitch. ‘Nuff said.

    To all ya “high-fivers” that commented earlier in favor of this post ~ ‘Nuff said = enough said. Sorry to offend. Feel free to NOT visit my blog. You AIN’T welcome. YA DIG?

    Paul ~ Wow. You sound like an aged blogger. Thanks for coming out man. You’re no better than any of the “high-five” commenters above my original comment. Thanks for getting us stupid little newbies learned.

    Fussypants ~ SO. NOT. HELPFUL. Ye blog is full of boring details of ye life.


  24. As a newbie to the blogging world, I had no idea of the “value” of a link exchange. Maybe, the person who wrote the email didn’t either. Not every blogger has dollar signs shining in their eyes. That may sound naive, but it’s the truth.

    As for this situation, a simple explaination emailed back to her would have solved the problem nicely. Why post her email for all to see and embarrass her by pointing out a faux pau that she may not have known even existed??

    If the emailer’s intentions were not honorable and she did indeed just want a link for reasons of monetization, then I eat my words. BUT, if she truly made an attempt to reach out to a blogger that she saw as experienced and potentially helpful, then what a slap in the face to come here and read this post. Until Sara knew exactly what she was dealing with, she should not have thrown stones.

    As for the bitch comment…let me revise…Sara said she doesn’t mean to sound like a bitch. Instead of saying you ARE, I should have said you DO. Meaning you DO sound like a bitch. For that I apologize because she may in fact be a very nice person in real life. Unfortunately, this post doesn’t show a very nice side of her.


  25. Just. Plain. Mean.
    What you wrote was small and petty and made you sound way too full of yourself.
    Hope that woman comes on over to my site. I’ll give her the linky love.
    Because blogging isn’t about stroking my ego, like it seems to be for you.
    Blogging is about hooking up with the most awesome women ever and getting to totally make out with their words, minds, and thoughts.
    There is no room for hate on the blogging playground.


  26. I have to agree with LunaNik’s last comment. I am a newbie blogger and an incredibly naive one at that. I learned something new here about spamming links which increases my compassion for this post. At first, I thought it was a rather harsh post for someone trying to be considerate. In light of the new info about spam, I can see the other side. I will say, however, that the email in question could have been me. There’s a blogger I admire whom I read everyday. When I finally “launched out into the deep” of blogworld, I wanted to add this person to my blogroll but wasnt’ sure if that was acceptable. I emailed this person (which was more discreet in my estimation) to ask the proper way to go about this and if they would mind. I am so grateful for the time they took to respond kindly. Imagine my surprise when I noticed later that they had graciously added ME(!) to their blogroll! (That was not something I had requested.) I personally love seeing other blogger’s blogrolls. It’s an opportunity to explore and broaden my horizons. I personally started a blog to explore my creativity and draw inspiration from others creative endeavors. It’s my personal place where I answer to no one else for my expressions. I think that’s part of the beauty of blogging.


  27. @Huckdoll.. no problem with newbies.. most of them come with a spirit that the “older guard” lack or have lost and it is most welcomed and appreciated…

    However, do not confuse apparent niavity or ignorance for intent…

    As for being an aged blogger.. thanks 😉 about time somebody noticed. 🙂 (I was going to make some smart assed comment about it having to be a 3 month old blogger who noticed.. but I’m not mean that way) Thanks for noticing 🙂

    Hmm.. “Perhaps if Sara clarified that it WAS spam in the first place, this wouldn’t be happening.”

    WTF is spam.. other than a common agreement about what form of crap we do not want in our in boxes?

    Besides that, I think that most of Sara’s regular readers, if not all (yeah.. all) are more intelligent than me, which would mean they would have immediately picked up on the implication that this email was spam and wrong.

    I’m not always the first or fastest out of the blocks so to speak 😉

    But what is spam? Is it sex ads.. Viagra ads.. porn ads.. ads for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.. or maybe TypePad have launched a marketing campaign..

    Oh wait.. if know.. It’s the 200 hundred emails I’ll send you over the next 12 months asking and begging for a link exchange because your site has bugger all to do with mine.. but I just want a little slice of your PR ranking…

    Or maybe not.. maybe I’m just nice…

    Maybe I’m an ignorant git who doesn’t understand the value of a link exchange and would have no reason to peddle one!

    Or maybe, just , maybe this “aged blogger” has been around enough to smell the bullshit before it arrives…


  28. I think whatever works, works. And I have to agree that “Treat others as you’d like to be treated” and it should apply to posts as well as comments. No one likes nasty comments, or to be bitched about openly. I think if people try hard enough they can find a classy way to disagree with a writer or the commenter(not that I have responded in classy ways to my troll, but I digress)…and name calling-so not necessary. I truly hate trolly comments from “anon” guests. That is my big no-no. I love moderating comments. Oh-also the unintelligible comments-DELETE!


  29. Paul…

    “…they would have immediately picked up on the implication that this email was spam and wrong…”

    In that case, I’m guessing the infamous Sara doesn’t want new readers.

    “It’s the 200 hundred emails I’ll send you over the next 12 months…”

    Bring it.

    “…PR ranking”

    Sad. That’s what it’s come to? You couldn’t pay me a million bucks to have my name on the Suburban Oblivion blogroll. You can tell you’re the only one whose got her back here. Props. That’s some mad reader support. Trust, I won’t be back after this bullshit is finished. She lost a bunch of readers today. FACT.

    “a 3 month old blogger who noticed.. ”

    I’ve been around for longer much longer than 3 months. Huckdoll is new to the scene, blogging is not. Perhaps if you read a bit instead of furiously clicking my archives to get that “burn”, you’d have known that. Welcome to the Newschool.

    Sara, you’re a lucky girl to have such a great mob squad (Paul). When ya coming out to throw it down without your man?? I WIN.


  30. I don’t know anything about “link exchanges” (yes I am a relative n00b), nor do I know whether or not this email Sara put up was spam. I do know that Sara puts spammers/trolls and the like on blast regularly on her blog (which obvs ppl have differing opinions about doing – ha!).

    What I also know is that the first time I commented here, Sara wrote me an email almost immediately thanking me for commenting and reading, and welcoming me to her blog. I can’t say that has happened often. So there, proof that Sara does like n00bs. Haha.


  31. I’m really scarred here! I’m a newbie and have been to alot of the sights that are agreeing with the commandments. I hope that I haven’t offended anyone but I can almost gaurantee I did…after seeing this! I’m really, really sorry!

    I can say that I feel that this email was innocent. I don’t think she meant to piss so many people off. I will admit…I prayed that it wasn’t me who contacted you. I have contacted some bloggers by email and obviously, I broke the law! Sorry, I’ll learn my lesson! My intentions were pure and I just wanted some advice and don’t want to drop out of the blog world. However, I find alot of bloggers trying to be the most popular never visiting or leaving comments on your sight even though they beg for your attention and links. That could hail as a commandment!

    I am sorry that you have had such negativity. Hopefully, this will blow over but just remember, everyone starts somewhere and there isn’t any rules for us to follow. We learn as we go! I wanted to give the opinion of a virgin blogger!


  32. Get a life, people. A blog is a website. It doesn’t define who you are. It doesn’t make you any worse or any better than anyone else. It is your little homestead on the web, nothing more. I can punch a veteran blogger in the face as much as I could a newb blogger (and get just as arrested). Your blog does not make you. Don’t take it so seriously. Unless that is all you have, in which case, I weep for you. I’m empathetic like that.


  33. Seriously!

    You’re a 4/10. You can link me anytime.

    I just got a similar mail this morning. Loves loves loves my site, gets a TON of traffic even though they’re a 0/10 and can they please please please link to me? Then in teenie tiny print “will you link to me, too?”

    Right. Yep – sure you can link to me! Thanks! Have a great day!!

    That’s how that goes.

    (I’ve been in the same position before, received enough of these solicitations over the years to know they’re solicitations – and no, you’re not a bitch, nor was your tone inappropriate. Not that you didn’t know that already!)


  34. Wow- people do get all riled up about this blogging business, don’t they?

    Your blog, your rules. And you get to post about/bitch about/whine about whatever you want including obnoxious emails. If someone doesn’t like it, they have the option to click away and not come back. Life is short, do what you like and get the hell over everything else.

    A fairly new blogger who’s easily irritated by judgemental blowhards.


  35. Thou shalt not publish excerpts of posts making me click through to your site from my reader.

    And for Pete’s sake, if you do that…at least make the first four lines interesting!

    That’s my peeve for this week. Grrrrrr!

    Whew. That felt good.


  36. If you’re going to spam, at least spam in English. And at least have your site up and running before you ask for a darn link.


  37. Oohhh, I wrote a whole list of commandments! :: shuffles through archives and gives up :: Somewhere. Anyway, amen. AMEN.
    Also, that reminds me, I really REALLY need to update my links. I still don’t think you’re on it. WTF?!

    Slacker = Me


  38. Hi -first time visitor – oh the controversy I dropped in on . I didn’t know people did this and nor about dropping backlinks – I guess now to get there ranking up.
    I am a newish blogger and it has never even crossed my mind to do this. I can imagine popular and A list bloggers must feel used and abused.
    Why I came – I saw a message posted on my friends bloglog asking for a favour – so I came by to check it out – couldn’t see so I just went back to check it was 18th Dec.


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