When I first started blogging, I was lucky enough to get some help from more established bloggers and I took the opportunity to pick their brains as much as I could. That eventually lead to a collab post that is still dear to me where Remi and I just talked about the unspoken rules of anime blogging as we saw them. If you’re interested, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.
This was one of my first collaborations and I really just let Remi take the lead as he was the expert. And I learned a lot! I’m glad I got a chance to do it.
Now that a few years have passed since that post, I started wondering if it was still relevant. Whether the stuff we talked about it there still applied to bloggers in 2021 and whether my own personal feelings about these subjects had changed at all. And here is what I found out!
Self-Promotion in People’s comments
My views on this haven’t really changed. Adding a comment to someone else’s post linking back to a post you wrote that’s relevant to the subject is great. It gives readers more information and it even adds links to the post. Win all around.
But when someone only comments if they can link back to their blog, it does start to feel like they might be using the comment section to avoid having to pay for advertisement on your blog. Especially when they don’t return the favour by equally advertising your blog to their readers.
As for how relevant it is. I’m not so sure. After the post came out I had some issues with a troll adding really inappropriate (and potentially virus-ridden) links in my comments and I decided to make it necessary for me to manually approve links in comments to avoid this in the future.
Since then, people have really slowed down in pasting random links in my comment section. I do still get them regularly but they are mostly relevant stuff that I approve or spam which I dump. Also, I think my spam filter has gotten way better at catching stuff since then. So I’m not seeing the issue on my blog at all and I haven’t noticed it in other comments sections either.
I’m a bit curious in fact, are you guys still getting tons of links in your comments?
on Blogrolls and Follow for Follow
My views on this became much more nuanced as my blog grew. I think blog rolls are awesome, but honestly, they can be very difficult to keep up with. I have a widget on my sidebar that directs to posts from other bloggers and that’s been doing most of my heavy lifting for blogrolls.
I do also regularly post blog discovery posts although I haven’t had as much time lately, I do want to take them up again once the season is over. But I really don’t expect most bloggers to do stuff like that. If you like a blog it’s nice to shout them out but you don’t have to is my take, I guess.
As for Follow for Follow. It works really really well. And people use it a lot. Especially if you are a brand new blogger, you can quickly get tons of likes on your posts by just following and liking everyone. And I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with that. But it’s hard… Unless you are able to dedicate several hours a day to liking posts and finding new blogs, it’s likely that the tactic will get very exhausting quickly. I’ve yet to see anyone who aggressively uses it manage to not burn out or cut back on their interactions significantly. If you can do it though, amazing!
On “Fake” Likes and Comments
Believe it or not, there was a bit of a hoopla at the time with bloggers getting really steamed if they suspected people liked their posts without taking the time to really analyze them. I haven’t seen anyone talk about that lately so I think it may not be relevant.
I personally don’t really care that much. I appreciate all the likes I can get and I understand if someone who reads my blog either isn’t interested in a post or is pressed for time one day, just reads a few lines before hitting like to encourage me. I think that’s fine but I respect bloggers who want to have more accurate representation of their writing.
As for comments, I updated my thoughts on the subject not that long ago so I won’t go into it too much today. I will say however that although I can’t pretend to love receiving negative comments, I think it’s fine for my readers to leave them. I might learn something.
Tag and Award posts
I love getting tagged in posts. I really do. But I don’t always respond. I just no longer have the time for it. But I appreciate it so much and whenever I do manage to get a tag post out, I have a lot of fun writing it. Bottom line, I don’t think you have to respond to tags but it’s fun so why not if you can!
I think this is in fact a fascinating question. Do reviewers have a responsibility to point out problematic or triggering elements in a work they are reviewing. I’m still not entirely sure what my stance is but I do think it’s a question to deserves discussion. If anyone wants to collab with me on that, let me know. I bet it could be really interesting.
Getting Plagiarized and Linking to Other People’s Blogs
To my knowledge, I have only been plagiarized a handful of times. Considering how many posts I have published, that’s really not much. And by plagiarized here, I mean someone else took one of my posts verbatim and claimed the authorship of it. The only reason I found out, each time, was that they forgot to take the links to my other posts out and I got a pingback. Since I have tons of posts without internal links, I don’t actually know how often it happens.
Every time, I asked to be credited but I honestly never got a response from anyone. The posts I do know about didn’t get that much traction so I let it go. A small part of me was flattered anyone even wanted to take credit for my writing. This said, if someone actually managed to build a blog on the back of my uncredited work, I would be very upset. I think we can all agree, this is not the best practice.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed a lot of blogs reblogging my posts out of the blue. They aren’t taking credit, and their posts redirect to mine, so it’s absolutely fine by me. But I wonder how I would feel if a blog with views opposed to mine were to reblog one of my posts? Has that ever happened to you?
But what about linking to other people’s blogs. I do it a lot with discovery posts. I tell you about a great blog I found and I link to it. Generally, if I find something relevant I link to it. I have always done this with good intentions. Because I wanted to share something with my readers that I thought they would enjoy. Maybe give some publicity to my fellow bloggers.
However, in writing this post, I realize that I really didn’t take the time to consider that some bloggers may prefer not to be associated with my blog in any way. I’ve never received any complaints but I might want to consider getting proper approvals in the future. What do you guys think?
As you can see, my feelings haven’t changed all that much. They have kind of softened on a lot of things. I appreciate how little time bloggers have a lot more than I did back then. There are also a lot of things that just don’t bother me as much anymore.
If you have your own views on any of these points, please let me know. I always love a good blogging discussion.