There are some rules in the blogosphere. Not everyone follows them, but it is best to try.
Before writing a blog entry it is absolutely fine to surf the web to find interesting topics, facts and inspiration. I do it. I recommend that you do, too. But there are rules. They’re basically common courtesy and common sense. It shouldn’t be too hard to follow basic blogging etiquette for your business blog.
10 Rules of Blogging Etiquette:
1. Do not cut and paste someone else’s content into your blog and pass it off as your own. It’s plagiarism, copyright infringement and not nice.
2. Same for images, graphs, etc. If you are using someone else’s image, try to give them credit by linking back to the image or simply noting that it’s theirs.
3. If you like someone else’s blog, reference it and provide a link.
4. If you are quoting a block of text from another blog, link to that too.
5. Allow comments after your blog. Leave comments on the blogs of others, especially your regular readers.
6. When commenting on other blogs, be respectful. It’s a Golden Rule thing. And really, if you don’t have anything relevant and respectful to say just forget it and move on.
7. If someone leaves a negative comment on your blog, try to refrain from barking back at him. If it’s a legitimate point, use diplomacy. However, if it’s uncalled for don’t feel obligated to leave it there. You can delete it.
8. As blogger, Cafemama put it, “it’s OK to spam as long as you’re not spammy”. When commenting on other blogs add your name and link to your site, but don’t overdo it. If it seems cheesy, it’s not serving your business well anyway.
9. You’re not required to notify someone that you’re linking to their blog but as Ward-o-matic mentions, “If there is a particular blog that really struck me, I’ll let the blogger know that I’m linking them, but I never expect them to reciprocate”.
10. Most small business owners and bloggers are not professional journalists. You’re not expected to call every reference and check every fact until you’re sure you are absolutely correct. However, try your best to make sure you’re right. You are the writer, and you’re responsible for the words.