This is a guest post courtesy of Mckenzie, with a lil edumucation on manners.
I know your mama (or papa, or some equivalent) taught them to you so don’t pretend you don’t know what they are or how to use ’em.
This post is specifically about manners and etiquette as it relates to guest blogging, but hey… manners are manners and good use of them is appreciated everywhere.
Apply liberally to every endeavor.
Oh and good manners dictate if you like this post, share it. hehe
As a link builder, I am constantly reaching out to webmasters and blog owners and trying to instigate a mutually beneficial relationship.
As a result, I have encountered countless cranky individuals who either don’t see the value in what I do or who just don’t want anything to do with me.
When a webmaster is not interested in what I have to offer, there are some who respond politely to me while turning me down.
There are also those who don’t respond to me at all.
And then there are those who don’t see the value in what I do so they respond with rude or snarky comments that are clearly meant to be insulting.
This isn’t a Miss Manners rant, but rather a look at the increasingly toxic relationship between guest bloggers and webmasters and what might be done to fix it.
To the Guest Bloggers
Blog owners and web masters get a ton of emails every single day asking about guest posting opportunities and no doubt many of those are mass generated and don’t provide any real value to either the webmaster or guest blogger.
It’s a tiresome endeavor to weed through those emails.
When a blog owner is interested in guest posts, it’s a lot of work for them to go through and edit the articles that are sent to them and then format them so they fit well on the site.
Realizing and respecting how hard they work is only going to help you out in the long run.
Even if they reject your article or tell you that they aren’t interested in guest posts, the only way you should respond is graciously.
Yes, I realize that coming into contact with a snarky webmaster is like pulling up in a drive-thru when the person at the window is in a piss-poor mood despite your efforts to be polite.
All the same it’s best to turn the other cheek.
To the Webmasters
As you know, writing quality articles takes a lot of time and effort.
When someone is offering their guest posting services to you, the polite thing to do is respond.
This is especially true if you have your contact information visible on your website, whether it’s an email or a contact form.
Why have contact information if you don’t want to be contacted?
As with any job, there are going to be aspects of it that you don’t enjoy doing and some that even down-right suck and for you that might be dealing with guest post inquiries.
You have to deal with it and being rude to people isn’t going to make it any better.
If you aren’t interested in looking at guest posts, the polite thing to do is to either note that by your contact information or respond to inquiries by saying that you are not interested and thank them for reaching out.
To the Online Community
It’s not just etiquette, it’s manners.
Etiquette usually covers things like how long before an event should you send out invitations and remember to send thank you letters.
While etiquette is important, people usually only call upon it when they want something out of the situation.
You should respond to comments on your work because that is proper etiquette but knowing proper etiquette is a little different than having manners.
What I’m talking about are the one-on-one interactions you have with people online.
Having manners involves a level of politeness and decency to towards those you come into contact with. Just because you are hiding behind a keyboard doesn’t mean that you should say whatever you want.
If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face in front of your boss, you probably shouldn’t say it in an email either.
This includes interactions such as referring to a guest poster as a “content farmer” (yes, it is a derogatory term) or telling a site owner that their site is of extremely poor quality.
If the site is really that bad, as a guest blogger, you probably shouldn’t be going after it in the first place.
Learn to Forgive
It’s so easy to hide behind a keyboard and lash out at someone you have never even met before.
I’ve been guilty of it and I’m sure most other people have been as well.
We can’t always be perfect but being aware of how you come across to others is important.
I recently had a blog owner respond in an extremely rude way to one of my pitches. It was very offensive so I lashed back with my keyboard as a weapon.
I had a knee-jerk reaction to defend my honor and my work by degrading this particular blog owner’s site.
While my response made me feel better in the moment, I have to wonder what would have happened if I responded in a more gracious way.
Perhaps I could have salvaged the relationship and had an article of mine go up on what was otherwise a quality site.
Even if it wouldn’t have worked out, I still would have had a better chance had I taken the high road and been more forgiving.
Why Does It Matter?
When someone is rude to you, your blood pressure rises and you get this “how dare he?!” response. As a result, you want to get ‘em where it hurts!
Rudeness causes stress
At least that’s what usually happens to me whether it happens on the Internet or not.
Lashing back may feel great for a moment (or even longer) but indulging yourself isn’t worth it.
For one, you are just wasting time.
If you aren’t trying to salvage the relationship, there isn’t a whole lot of reason for you to spend your time constructing an email and engaging in battle.
Relationships are important for guest bloggers to create an online presence just as they are important for webmasters to create a following for their site.
For two, you are contributing to unneeded stress in your life and in the life of someone else.
No one needs to put up with that.
You lose credibility
No one likes dealing with jerks.
One too many rude comments can ruin your online reputation and either drive people away from your site or discourage people from publishing your hard work.
This is obviously counter-productive to what your original intention was in the first place.
And the number one reason manners are important?
They make life easier and more pleasant for everyone. So be nice dang-it!
Over to You
Think manners still matter? Are they becoming a lost art in our world of envelope pushing to get reactions, excessive busy-ness coupled with impatience, and the technological advancements that allow us to hide while simultaneously saying or doing things we’d never say or do face to face? You tell me, comments below.