Miss Wilma Preston is a noted author and etiquette consultant who has worked in both the business and private sectors and most recently was etiquette advisor to many of the world’s political leaders. In 2014, she announced her retirement from the political arena saying, “There’s nothing I can do.” Miss Preston now writes a regular column here at the Bloggington Post, answering our readers’ questions on blogging etiquette.
Dear Wilma, I was told that if someone follows your blog, it is polite to follow theirs. I have lots of followers who never say anything about my posts so I’m not sure if they’re even reading them. I always read their posts and comment on them. Is it okay not to follow them if they don’t do anything? Rete Ernable
Dear Rete, Reciprocity has always been a difficult etiquette area. You are correct in understanding that courtesy would dictate that a follow gets a follow. However, in my work I have seen many instances in which this understanding has been exploited by the unscrupulous. You will find, Rete, that there are some people who “play the game” as we used to say on the hockey field when I was a girl. It is a strategic move to garner more followers but they have no intention of returning the favour. My advice in this situation is that if it is clear that a follow is only to gain yours (for example, if your blog is about knitting tea-cosies and you receive a follow from someone who blogs about hog-tying) then I think it acceptable not to reciprocate.
Dear Miss Preston, Thank you for your wonderful column! You always give such great advice!! I have been blogging for about three months now and it is so much fun!!! My question is why am I not getting many readers?????!!! I think I am a great writer!! But I only have a few readers!! And even when someone does read a post and comment, I never seem to see them again!!!??!!!?? Can you help me??!!?? Perky Buttons
Dear Perky, Thank you for the compliment. I believe you will have more success if you learn to moderate your punctuation.
Dear Wilma, I love blogging and I have lots of great bloggers I follow. I like to read all their posts and make a comment if I can. Recently, though, I have been really busy in my work as a Doll Hospital nurse and I am now behind on reading the blogs. What is the Catching Up etiquette? O.V. Loaded
Dear O.V., First let me say that yours is a common problem and it is a question I am often asked. There is no easy answer in terms of etiquette nor in terms of convenience. You can work through the old posts for all your bloggers in chronological order but this can be time-consuming and ultimately fruitless. You will in all probability continue to fall behind. Catching up with one blogger at a time makes it easy to ensure you have read all their posts, however other bloggers may be offended you have not visited their blogs. If you follow the etiquette rule I always promote – “Don’t just click” – and write a comment on each post, the blogger will suddenly find him- or herself with six comments from you to which they must respond. This may make them grumpy. My best advice is to forget the old posts and just write a comment on the newest one apologising for being absent. Although I do not usually recommend it, at times it can be acceptable to utilise a “I fell under a bus” excuse if you so need. Good luck with your reading!
Miss Wilma Preston welcomes all blogging etiquette questions from our readers. Send your letters to The Editor, Bloggington Post, Global Post Box 2003.