Miss Wilma Preston’s Guide to Blogging Etiquette

Bloggington Post

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.

Reciprocal Manners

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.

More Readers!!

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.

Reading Time?

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.



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73 thoughts on “Miss Wilma Preston’s Guide to Blogging Etiquette

  1. Perky Buttons! Oops, sorry, I should have added more exclamation points!!!!

    And I am officially apologizing for not being around much lately, but I was abducted by Rincewind and Twoflowers on a journey over the rim and have only just returned. These things can’t be helped, you know.

    And early in my blogging life I read something which stuck with me: “You will have followers who never read and readers who never follow.” That made a lot of sense to me and kept me from ever thinking too much about it. As long as my dear tribe members are around, I’m happy.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. There you go again, coming up with a madly attractive idea ! 😀 What would we do without you ?! – I do not wish ever to find out.
    I see Barbara is back – she should be fighting fit after a relaxed weekend …
    So, Minerva— sorry, Wilma … I shall come up with a question or two, you’d better believe it. [grin]

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I fell under a bus on my way to reading this. It hurts to type, but I want you to know that I have been absent from reading your blog since the last time you posted. So here I am now, liking you, which is kind of weird since I’ve never met you. Oh well, off I go to nurse my bus wounds and check up on the crazy antics of M-R. Later…

    Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t mean to be fishing for compliments but thank you H. As far as what I thought every blogger’s courtesy should look like when I had 100 followers is quite different now. I just couldn’t manage it. Maybe if I gave up sleep. 🙂


        • If I thought you were fishing for a compliment, you wouldn’t have got one. I’m not that easily hooked. Well, except for chocolate.
          Ah yes. The downside of the Magic Blue Sticker. I would think you’ve got a hard enough time responding to every comment on your own posts. Amazes me constantly that you manage that AND still have time to write lovely comments on other people’s blogs. Superwoman, you are. ⭐
          (You can have that compliment for nothing.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I would give you chocolate for that one H. I am very interested in the topic that you are writing about. I know not all my followers even read the posts let alone like or comment on them.
            Is that what you are finding too?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Based on average views on a post versus the number of supposed followers, I get about a 15-20% readership. And I would say about a 5-10% commentship. The readership percentage is possibly even less because I know I get a lot of friends who read my posts via a Facebook link but aren’t WP followers.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I would say mine is similar. You see a lot of these followers are bloggers so there is definitely a lot of ‘what’s in it for me’ I think. Getting non blogger followers, hits from Google, social media is likely more reflective of interest. I don’t mean every blogger isn’t interested because I truly think you have one do the most entertaining blogs out there. I can’t wait for your posts and I’m not saying that to get chocolate. 🙂 I think what happens is we develop a core of bloggers who enjoy each other and the posts. Then there is a lot of others who are fishing.

                Liked by 2 people

  4. Pth-th-th!!!

    Follow for following’s sake? So silly. What if someone has a cooking blog, or a blog only about pet piranhas, and they happen to like my Krazy About Karmann Ghia blog? Suppose I have NO interest in cooking, and and am every ecologist’s nightmare–I think all piranhas should be exterminated. Am I supposed to Follow my Followers? Pure silliness. If I see a piranha leap out of the river, I will run right over it in my Ghia, I can tell you THAT.

    And–I was going to blog about this, but let me just open the topic here: What about this male vs. female thing? You KNOW there’s a double standard. You have to know that. You women expect tit-for-tat on this follow and comment stuff from other women, almost measure for measure, but don’t expect the same level of same from the male bloggers whose blogs you visit. And they don’t GIVE it, either!

    Why is THAT?!


    Miss Preston, it is no mistake that your initials are W.P. You are clearly a wilhelmina’o’the wisp–front–a construct–created solely to tether all of us 24/7 to our keyboards, following and commenting and replying every waking minute, upping our anxiety quotients to consume more products shown in any ads.

    Anyone who features “Miss Wilma Preston” on their has either had the shorn sheep’s leavings wrapped firmly about their orbital area, or is a shill for our string-pulling W.P. overlords.

    Liked by 4 people

    • [Hang on while I wipe my screen first….]

      Dear Ms Babe,
      Thank you for your correspondence. Let me assure you that Miss Wilma Preston is employed by this newspaper which is wholly owned by Constipated Press, a subsidiary of WorpDress Ltd. Any similarities to the interests of the other company to which you refer is purely coincidental and in no way can be proved.
      I have referred your comments to Miss Preston and I am sure she will address your concerns in a suitable forum at a later date.
      Thank you once again for your interest.
      Fullerton Stop, Editor-in-Chief, Bloggington Post

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Too late to use the “I fell under a bus routine” but I feel like I have. I spent my childhood in etiquette school and managed in my later years to shed most of the shackles of respectable behaviour. Mind you few people now talk to me but it doesn’t seem from what you say to make a difference. Perhaps it is the punctuation. I put too many pauses and due to my age by the time the pause finishes I’m asleep or I’ve put my reader to sleep. 👿 XD

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Now then…I am twit! I am embarrassed beyond embarrassment….on finding your blog, I remember not how, I thought…oh who knows what I thought but I mistook you for someone else (how rude am I?) and so the blether I have been spouting must sound like utter madness to you and I can do nothing but apologise….may we start again? purlease? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Miss Presto! – As I reflect back from your post I see myself in a whole new blight. Thank you for your clever words and putting me uptight. It’s magic I say the rules you convey, you do it much better than an instant replay. So I hope it suffices to confess my vices, for as you publish away your genius is priceless 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am really so delighted with your comment, Unreqwrited! Feedback such as you have stated, truly is appreciated. Thank you, too, for taking time to pen a clever, witty rhyme. Readers such as you are clearly held in high esteem, and dearly. I hope that you will come again and please bring Babe, your rhyming friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah Wilma, what is your advice about the email versus reader? I simply don’t ever get to my reader, so I only follow by email… and I am definitely O.V. Loaded. So I have become very miserly about return following… though I always check out a new follower. And I confess that I don’t always comment, but I never click unless I have read.

    Reading the above, I realise that you have walked into a giant gap in the market. As Wilma you could rack up a splendiferous following in days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There will be further work done to facilitate this market. Just as soon as I can find a spare few minutes. At, like, maybe three o’clock in the morning. And Miss Preston will attend to your question in her next column, I’m sure. 🙂


  9. Very clever post. Miss Wilma hit the nail on the head. Well written with a lot of wit and sage advice. I do feel the urge to go and visit other blogger’s blogs when they comment on mine – but sometimes I really just don’t have the time when life calls. Which is also one reason why I’m one of those bloggers who tend to get behind responding to comments and usually respond a few days late. Better late than never, I suppose.

    Reading is one thing. Thinking is another. And putting thoughts into words is a whole other thing altogether. Maybe that’s why we have some silent readers out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yes, I find I have the same problem. I could be reading more but I always feel if I’ve read it I should comment and more than a “Great post!” kind of thing. And,like you, sometimes I just don’t have the time for a considered response so I tend to leave the reading until ‘later’. Which often never arrives….. (Even now, I am squeezing in these responses while I wait for boys to get ready for school.) Maybe I’ll consider becoming a semi-silent reader.

      I will always welcome a comment. It’s never too late. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. After reading all the comments, I feel like I just spent time with a roomful of noisy friends after a few bottles of wine. Whew! my head is spinning from all the witty comments. I could hardly keep up 😀

    My question is … why did I have to get this post via M-R instead of WP? Why do they keep insisting that I don’t want punctual delivery of all your posts? Maybe Miss Wilma has an answer for that one.

    *sigh* you can run, but you can’t hide 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re trying to keep us apart, Joanne! But given the unreliability of the delivery of messages, probably best I don’t pretend to kill myself so we can run away together. It could only end badly.

      Sometimes it’s too much fun hanging out here. I should be baking muffins for school lunches…. Meh. Next week.

      I’ll put your question to Wilma. Or you could. The postbox is just over there. [H points up and to the right] 😀


  11. First time to your blog. I have three bloggers I correspond with daily off of our blogs and this truly is a challenge they try to meet with courtesy. The more successful they become with followers, the more they feel they must follow and comment on every post. Some bloggers post as many as six times a day or more…. The inevitable happens: they are reading more than they are writing and eventually have to pull back just to do their own work. I am so pleased to see it is not just us, but a part of being a blogger. Thanks for your words of wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

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