How To Be An Ethical Blogger And Role Model For Your Readers?
Purpose and goals of blogging have changed over the years. Initially people started a blog to share their ideas and thoughts with others. Blogging was not looked as a medium of business or self-promotion but times have changed now. It is becoming a necessity for all businesses to have a blog. Blogging is used a marketing medium and turn individual visits into sales nowadays.
Whatever may be the reasons for taking up blogging, it is necessary to follow some rules of blogging in order to earn respect from your readers. Let us learn about blogging ethics and understand how it affects you as a blogger.
1. Never misrepresent information and make false claims
I do not know a blogger that would intentionally try to provide wrong information to their readers. Sometimes a blogger may not have enough time to research a particular topic and present a piece of information from other blog or website without checking authenticity of the information. Mistakes generally do happen because bloggers are short of time and want to focus more on blog promotion. Providing wrong or outdated information will make the readers lose out valuable time on doing some tasks that will not work for them. This in turn will make you lose credibility as a blogger. Update older blog posts with the most current and relevant information available.
2. Know your limitations and stick to them
As a blogger, it is advisable to stick to a particular niche and become an expert in your domain. You cannot keep on writing about everything under the sun. If your expertise is SEO then write only about SEO and nothing else. If you do not have a MBBS degree, you cannot write about surgical procedures. Since you have no practical knowledge about it, you may end up guiding people to do procedures in wrong way and create complications. Be mindful about your knowledge and share things on which you have expertise.
3. Don’t steal others work without giving them proper credit
Offer you readers some fresh information and not stolen from other websites. Copying content from other website and claiming it to be your own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is one of the worst things that is affecting the blogging industry these days. Several websites publish RSS feeds from other websites and run ads to make money. Another form of plagiarism that is equally harmful for original content writers occurs when bloggers take original ideas from other websites, rewrite them and claim it to be their own original creation. Use other blogs as source of inspiration and not source of content for your blog. If you are using information from some other blog, please link to the original source of information. This will show your honesty as a blogger and make you gain trust among your readers.
4. Be honest to admit the products you are associated with personally
There may be situations when you write a sponsored post on your blog. It is your duty as a blogger to disclose it being a sponsored review. While writing a sponsored post please make sure that product reviewed is genuine and helps your readers. Businesses are forcing bloggers to publish content provided by them instead of allowing them to post their own honest reviews. As far as possible avoid writing reviews of products which you have not used or tested yourself.
5. Never write blog posts only for SEO
As a blogger, you want genuine readers to visit the blogs and not just some bots from search engines. Write for your readers without putting excessive stress on SEO by stuffing unnecessary keywords everywhere in your blog post. Aim to create content that is useful, entertaining and engaging for your readers. Having a great content will help you get more genuine readers and appreciation from your readers.
Before posting your next blog post ask yourself if you have followed all the ethical rules as a blogger as mentioned above. How is your experience with content plagiarism? Have you ever been a victim of it? Please share steps you had taken in order to overcome plagiarism of your content by someone else.