March 20, 2014

Blogging Standards, For Real?

In a different blog post, I asked the question, "When it comes to blogging, who is doing it the right way?" More importantly, does anyone have a right to tell us what standards of blogging to observe?

Blogging standards

I then went into the five things other bloggers want us all to believe, in an attempt to cultivate an open-minded perspective. (Go ahead, read and see if you actually believe in any of them.)

My discussion soon brought me to how we should interact with people from PR. Do we blog for free? Do we ever ask to get paid?

Bloggers and PR: Should we blog for free?

Every relationship is a two-way street. When a PR firm asks you to blog for free, that's fine, for as long as they give you something in return.

"But there is nothing wrong with helping others," you might say. True. But there might be something wrong with you telling others they should do things the way you do.

Bloggers are often subject to abuse. A person working in PR just might ask you to blog for free because journalists in traditional media don't get paid by them, either. But a person in PR already knows you are most probably blogging for your own website, with nobody employing you. And he probably knows you deserve to get paid... yet he decides not to pay you.

Now, let me continue with the last blogging myth I can think of. (In case you haven't yet, you can see the other 5 blogging myths here.)

Blogging myth no. 6: "Bloggers should always ask for payment."

Always? Really?

There are occasions when blogging for free is perfectly fine. Most international blogging groups I join insist in getting paid every single time, but there should be an exception to every rule.

I can think of many occasions when I blog for free. For instance, when I'm doing it for a friend. Or when I'm doing it for a brand new blog and I have more to gain than the client from my blogging. Or when I need new material for my blogs and I happen to have my eyes set on an opportunity.

Oh, should I get paid for those, anyway? Maybe. But I chose not to, so there.

Standards, Schmandards

Should we have standards for blogging? My answer is yes.

But there is an important disclaimer that should be mentioned here: My standards are my own. They are applicable to me based on my circumstances.
I want to impose my own standards  on you, believe me. And if I do, it could go either way: I may be right, or I may be wrong. But that's not the point. The point is, I probably have no right to do so.
When you attend an event and you decide to act like you're just there for the loot bags, that's your problem, not mine. You might be giving bloggers a bad name if you don't behave yourself - and maybe that's why other bloggers (and even writers) hate you.

But I always tell my blogger friends this: When people take one look at you and judge you based on their opinion of bloggers in general, they are revealing how judgmental they are, not how evil the bloggers in our community are.

If you have strong opinions about how others should behave as bloggers, congratulations! You are behaving like a human being.

But do not delude yourself that you are always right. Of course, if you have opinions to share, do so. After all, isn't that one of the many perks of having a blog?

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