Friday, April 1, 2011

Friend Friday: Rules of Engagement

It’s Friday and time for this week’s Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday questions.  This week Katy asked us about interacting with other bloggers.  This is actually a good topic for me because I am a fairly new blogger and have absolutely no idea what the rules are for interacting with other bloggers.  As it turns out, there are no rules which can make it a bit tricky. 

Below are my answers to this week’s questions, and if you’d like to see how others answered them, there is a list of participants on the Modly Chic site.

1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot?

I know absolutely nothing about guest posting, but if I were to guess, I would think you would want to cultivate a blogger-relationship with that person prior to asking them to guest post, so that you know what they're about and they know what you're about.  You don't want to jeopardize the integrity of your blog with a rogue guest post.  After you've determined who you want, then I think an email to the blogger you'd like to guest post on your site is probably the best way to go about it. 

2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?

I feel like this is a trick question – just don’t say “Follow Me” in your comments!

Seriously though, I comment on blogs that incite a comment from me, for whatever reason, not because I’m trying to get them to follow me.  And if someone includes the “Follow Me” request in their comment on my blog, I won’t necessarily follow them, but I don’t rule it out.  Maybe I’ll like their blog and want to follow it.

For my part, if I find a new blog and decide to follow it, I don’t mention that in my comments because I don’t want the blogger to think I’m only following them so that they’ll follow me back.  I don’t want to feel obligated to follow someone’s blog and I don’t want them to feel obligated either.

3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work.  How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?

I don’t send mass emails.  At most I email bloggers for permission to use their picture and recreate their outfits in my Blogs for Giants series, but those are to the individual bloggers.  And I think the fact that my emails to these bloggers are to the individuals and not mass emails seems to be working just fine – everyone has been very receptive to my requests.

4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?

My interactions with other bloggers are usually comments and the occasional Blogs for Giants email.  I try to keep my comments supportive of them and their blog and not come across as seeking support for my blog.  If they comment on my blog in response, that’s great.  If they follow me, even better.  If they add me to their blog roll, that’s fabulous.  But, they don’t have to do any or all of these things in order for me to follow them.  I follow blogs I like to support, for a variety of reasons – not because I expect to be followed in return.

5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?

Early on in my blogging career, a fellow blogger awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award.  I didn’t realize that I was supposed to do anything more than say thank you until a week later.  I did finally end up doing a post about the award and linking back to her, but I did feel bad about taking so long.

Outside of that, I don’t think I’ve made any other errors, but I’m not sure I’d know if I did.  Because there isn’t a handbook on how to interact with other bloggers, I could be insulting people left and right.  That being said, I really do try to be respectful of other people’s blogs, linking back and always giving credit for ideas and inspiration.  And I would hope that if I had offended anyone, they’d let me know.