Since I began blogging a little over a year ago, I’ve experienced and seen many different things. I’ve learned from others. And sometimes, these lessons were on what to do and what not to do as a blogger. I like to share these experiences as tips for my readers and fellow bloggers. Here are some links to past posts:
And now, for part 3 of the series: Things Every Natural Hair Blogger/Vlogger Should Know
#1: Do not post news on your blog without verifying it first. Just because you saw it on another blog does not make it true. Verify, verify, verify.
The best example of this: the firestorm created by Solange Knowles’ tweets concerning her natural hair. Once she started tweeting, some people in the natural hair community responded quickly and swiftly without understanding the context of the situation. There were so many blog posts about the situation, and many bloggers missed important and pivotal moments. Even though it took some time to understand what went down, I patiently pieced together the story from beginning to end (click here for a synopsis).
#2: Get someone’s permission before attributing something to them. In other words, act like a journalist.
It’s fine to say, “in a recent conversation with natural hair blogger X, he/she said that ‘some members of the natural hair community police others hair, style, etc’ ”; but only identify them by name if you have their written/verbal permission. Think about it. Would you want someone to post something you said in confidence without asking you first? No? Then ask first.
*Important note*: Re-posting content is different. Read someone’s copyright policy (usually in the fine print at the bottom of the home page but it can be anywhere) before re-posting their content. Generally, you should always include the source of your information, even if their copyright policy doesn’t require it.
#3: Honor your commitments.
As a blogger, if you volunteer/get asked to make an appearance at an event, be there.Unless there are extenuating circumstances, be where you say you will be. We get it. Life happens. We have the best intentions, and sometimes we can’t always honor those. But it’s not enough to have your name/logo appear on a flyer; you have to show up to events. Your followers and the event organizers are expecting you to be there. Otherwise, you may develop a reputation as someone who doesn’t follow through. And you don’t want that.
#4: Share the link love.
If you mention or quote another blogger on your blog, include a link to their website. When your readers click on the link, the blogger will be notified that you’ve linked to them. It’s like adding someone to your “Follow Friday” list on Twitter. This can help drive traffic and awareness of your blog. It can also help you build relationships with other bloggers. Bloggers will appreciate you for it, and they may just return the favor.
#5: Be careful of whom and what you support.
The more popular you become, it’s likely that people will approach you to do product reviews, giveaways, endorsements, etc. Make sure you understand the terms of these requests, and ask yourself if this association is smart, profitable, and in line with what you believe.
Straight from the editor: I recognize that we can learn something new about blogging everyday. These tips are only meant to provide some general guidelines or advice to bloggers. There are some bloggers out there (imo) who give us a bad name by not doing their due diligence before posting news/information. Speaking for myself, I want to become better at blogging and I hope that you do, too. That’s why I suggest this to everyone: do better.