Etiquette ( /ˈɛtɨkɛt/ or /ˈɛtɨkɪt/, French: [e.ti.kɛt]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
Many people in my life call me the Devil’s Advocate, a person who in an argument can take a side they don’t necessarily agree with for the sake of the argument. Generally, in my position, I do this because the opinion of the opposite side is unavailable to argue their point; so I feel I must. This doesn’t work out very well in my marriage (ha!), nor generally with my immediate family members, however it is the one thing that has been the most successful aspect of my personality in Business given the fact that it requires a skill in parlance.
par·lance [pahr-luhns] noun
- a way or manner of speaking; vernacular; idiom: legal parlance.
- speech, especially a formal discussion or debate.
- talk; parley.
So how does that apply to Blogging and especially Etiquette? Well… in order to have a successful business relationship with anyone you have to understand both sides of the equation, regardless of your agreeing on them; as well as be capable of upholding a certain etiquette (or code of behavior) when dealing with either bloggers or business representatives. I’ve been seeing an insurmountable amount of disrespect, ignorance and arrogance on both sides that it’s gotten to the point of me realizing that somewhere along the line people have forgotten the point of ‘agreements’ and the respect between the parties making those agreements. Older Bloggers are aware of these things, but the new people coming in are being brought up by what I would describe as nothing more than inattentive parents only bothered with their degree of entitlement.
The problem with this is that these younger bloggers are contacting the same people as the older bloggers and they are more in mass than the ones that came before them. Unfortunately, this means that most of us that are actually working towards building and establishing a relationship with a company are being hidden within hundreds of emails demanding things that they feel they deserve. The difference between offering a mutually beneficial long term arrangement and getting something momentarily free.
Which I might add… is not actually free. Real Bloggers pay taxes.
I’m not against young blogs, we’re only 2 years old here. However, I’ve had over a dozen years in online personal / customer relations so my advice comes from years of experience. I love seeing blogs grow, given the goodness of intent and purpose. I understand the need to tell one’s story, to feel as though you are a part of something (a movement, a group, a collective); we’re all human after all. I just don’t like the attitudes that begin to transform as blogs grow, especially with incorrect upbringing. Bloggers begin to lose their sense of appreciation for anything, if they had it to begin with.
- Never forget where you came from, how you started or why you started blogging. Our platforms are not commercials, our readers are not our consumers. We are Bloggers. People who write about our experiences, our observations on life, these places are our testimonials. Content is everything.
- When we review products it is not to force someone into purchasing it, but to give them our honest opinion on whether or not the products are best fit for them. In our case: Families. Reviews and Giveaways for us are a way to inform parents on what is out there so that they can make reasonable (knowledgeable) purchases. Giveaways are not simply for the sake of numbers; they are a way of giving back. They are a way of saying – Thank you. To give someone a wonderful day.
- Corporations are not People. However, the emails you send out do go to people who help run the media / press sections of those Corporations/Companies; often times Small Business. When emailing, be considerate, knowledgeable about their purpose. Every company has values, ideas, the reason they sought to create themselves. Does that same purpose fit yours? Don’t waste anyone’s time just to get something for Free, you’ll learn that it’s not worth it. We’re hear to establish relationships and kindness, understanding and appreciation is the key to any successful long-term relationship.
- Every blog is different. Everyone has their own uniqueness to offer. Just because you may have low or extraordinarily high statistics doesn’t make you any more or less special than someone with the opposite. You are special, find out what you have to offer and be true in those values rather than lower your worth for a few extra numbers or a product that has no personal value. Don’t lower your standards to feel less than another, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Remember – this is not Kindergarten.
- Statistics are not our ‘bread and butter’, Business relationships are. Stats can go up and down, depending on the day – week – month – year; relationships (good relationships) can last no matter how bad or good you are doing. Every relationship needs nurturing, sometimes that also means putting away your desire for money to establish sustainability through assistance (generally promotions). Everyone, even Bloggers, need to know that they are appreciated.
- If you feel that someone is giving you the wrong advice on blogging, regardless of how ‘successful’ they may appear to you. Question that. Seek help from people that know what they are doing, not just to get something, but to evolve yourself. Asking for assistance is not ever the problem, if you find that no one is helping you, look to how or what you are asking for. Lots of us get asked how we get all these things for free, the few that actually look to how they can grow themselves (rightly and lawfully) are the ones that are never turned away.