10 Blog Tips for Email Etiquette
I came across a post about the best ways to email a blogger you might wish to contact. Just recently I was asked the same thing as I get a lot of emails from bloggers for blog tips or requesting a link. So I thought I would put my own spin on it and flesh the list out a little with 10 blog tips for email etiquette:
1. Develop a relationship with the blogger before you email: Or in others, developing a rapor before asking for favours. You can start by leaving nice comments on the blogger’s posts. Some might call it brown nosing, others would call it networking or collaboration. It’s your pick (but please — not with your nose).
2. Don’t send indiscriminate emails to people who don’t know you: Some might consider that spam. The rules of etiquette apply no differently than that of the real world. You wouldn’t call a stranger on the telephone without an introduction would you? Unless of course if you are a telemarketer, and if that’s the case I will be out so please don’t bother.
3. Be brief, be kind, and be appreciative: An old girlfriend of mine once preached “you get more with sugar than salt”. Ok, she was no confucius but you get the point (I hope). It took me 20 years to figure it out and needless to say she and I are no longer together.
4. State why the post might be of interest to the recipient:It may be perfectly reasonable to you why you’re post is the most amazing thing in the blogosphere, but it might not necessarily be that obvious to the recipient. Don’t assume anything, especially when writing. Unlike direct conversation, there is no live interaction with the other party and misunderstandings can easily happen. Remember what your mom always told you about first impressions.
5. Be patient: I prioritize my email and the first order of business is I’m looking for something to blog about. Next is business that needs taken care of, and then personal affairs. Last on the agenda is responding to requests for blogging tips, links etc. Don’t take it personal, but if I don’t know you then first things first.
6. Contact people the way they prefer to be contacted (not everyone likes email - IM, IRC, blog comment, etc.):If you don’t know the person at first blush that might be difficult to figure out. With me that’s a no brainer because I welcome people to contact me via comments (which will reach me by email). Or email me directly if it is more of a person nature (but nothing is really off the record). With others it may take some snooping around. The first place I would look is in the about section, faq or profile if they have one.
7. Be sure the person hasn’t already written about the same thing:Most blogs offer a site search capability so it would be wise to check that first. Serious bloggers are looking for new information to blog about. Not yesterday’s archives. Unless of course you have written a new spin on an old topic (like I’m doing here), which is something the blogosphere (i.e. recylesphere) is famous for.
8. Random selfless acts communicated separately. (Say thank you in a separate email): That could be anything from someone linking to your post or… like it says any “random selfless act“. (See #10, “10 Reasons Why I don’t Like Your Blog”.)
9. Be sure it is among your best stuff and in the blogger’s field of interest:It is not about shoving your agenda down someone else’s throat. Make certain your material is up to snuff and relates to the blogger’s theme. Or in other words I wouldn’t be sending Daily Kos stuff to the Instapundit. Chances are Glenn won’t be interested.
10. Have No Expectations and Silence Is Not An Answer: Have you ever heard the sound of a single hand clapping? Neither have I. Perseverance is the word and don’t take no for answer unless it is a definite “NO”.
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