Etiquette is a tricky subject. There are things every blogger is kind of expected to know, but there really isn't a lot of information out there to make sure we know it.
A lot of these things are things I wondered and worried about as a new blogger, or mistakes I have personally made. This is mostly just my own opinion and experiences, and I'm certain I'm not covering every blog etiquette concern there is, so when in doubt let's just do onto other bloggers as we would have them do unto us. That simplifies things a little, doesn't it?
#1. Always give credit where credit is due
I'm sure you're all already doing this one. If you are sharing anything at all that did not originate from you, link to the person who created it. It is good practice even to link to people who inspired your blog post or project.
- DO give a clear and obvious link to the creator of the image/quote/idea you are sharing
- DO link to any instructions, tutorials or recipes you used in a project you are blogging about.
#2. Give traffic where traffic is due.
This one is a bit trickier. Let's say you find a coffee cake recipe on Pinterest and try it and love it. Sharing the actual recipe on your blog (even in your own words) with a link to the original site at the bottom of the post would not be ideal. Your reader has no real reason to click over to the original recipe. They've got the information they need, and they don't need to visit the blogger who created it. A better solution would be show sumptuous pictures of the cake you baked, describe how great it was, show adorable photos of your kids with cake on their faces and then link to the original recipe so that your readers have to click through and give the recipe's creator the pageview he or she has earned.
- DO encourage your readers to check out the links you've shared.
- DON'T give away so much information that they don't need to click the link.
#3.So...Do you have to ask before using an image or some text from another blog?
The short answer is yes. Their words and photos are their property. Using them without permission is copyright infringement.
However, many bloggers have a blurb on their site stating their sharing policy. You can see mine (at time of this writing) at the very bottom of my blog on the right hand side.
Also, to complicate the matter, it has been generally accepted that it is okay to "feature" another blogger's project or tutorial on your blog, or do a "round-up" post where you link to a variety of projects or ideas on a single theme. For example a blogger might do a list of "10 Awesome Valentine's Day Crafts" in which they show images of 10 crafts made by other bloggers and under each photo give a short description and a link to the original tutorial. Bloggers do this all the time,and they don't ask for the use of the photo because featured bloggers are often thrilled by the extra traffic the feature brings. It is generally considered an acceptable practice.
One concern is that with the rise of Pinterest, that photo is now going to end up floating around the web linked to the person who did the round-up post instead of the person who created it. To some bloggers this might not be an issue because that Pinterest pin still eventually leads to their blog. But I think you can probably see why it's a tricky situation.
Use your best judgement. And when in doubt, ask. Most bloggers will jump up and down at the thought of more incoming links.
#4. Link to the blog, not the pin.
Personally, I feel that instead of linking to a specific pin on pinterest, it is better to link to the original post that contains the content we want our readers to see.
I'm going to show you an example with a Pin that I've pinned from my own blog.
Instead of this:
"I was browsing around pinterest the other day and saw this great tutorial."I think we should do this:
"I was browsing around pinterest the other day and it lead me to this great tutorial."The difference is that in the first example the reader may click over to the pin, get the gist from the picture, and the person who created the image never gets the pageview. Since for many bloggers more pageviews = more money (and, for all bloggers more pageviews = great excitement!) I think it's best to link directly to the content we consider valuable.
#5. Be careful about Hotlinking.
Hotlinking is displaying an image that is hosted on another blog instead of saving the image to your own computer and uploading it yourself. The difference is that hotlinked images draw on the original website's bandwidth (which is a problem if that site pays specifically for their bandwidth) and slows down the original blog when your site is being loaded.
- DON'T upload photos to your blog from another person's URL
- INSTEAD save the photo to your own computer and then upload it as you would your own photo (and of course you will only do this if you're allowed to use the photo and you link back to it's original source.)
I know this post only touches on a few points. If you have any questions about blogging etiquette that I didn't cover, please ask them in the comments below and we can all debate and discuss it and maybe come to a conclusion.
As always, I am so glad you took the time to visit The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking!