Every once in a while I’m motivated to blog about something due to an experience. This is one of those posts.
Working in a hospital, we are obligated to be professional. Being professional has a lot of different perspectives and ideas. One business’s professional standards may be different from another. By this I mean dress codes, appearance of employees, appropriate conversations etc. An example of this could be tattoos. If you work in a tattoo parlor, bar, design maybe this is acceptable in terms of a business environment and employees. (Please I have nothing against tattoos but I know many businesses have dress code rules on this matter). Where I work, you are not allowed to have visible tattoos. If you have them on your forearms, for example, you are required to wear long sleeves to cover them.
What about with blogging? For some, your blog is your business, or at least, you hope it one day will be. For others, it may just be an outlet. There could possibly be a hundred reasons people keep a blog. If you’re blog is a business (or hopeful one) professionalism is necessary to obtain and keep your clients. I think most bloggers are aware of that and do follow through with that. Where some bloggers kind of forget sometimes is in forums or sites off-blog.
Myself, I am active on several forums, product review sites, social sites, etc. I always link up my blog where it’s acceptable to do so. In this way your name is attached to your brand (blog). I was recently on a site. I won’t say where (for the purpose of this post it’s not important). There was an on-going conversation amongst some bloggers. The conversation was less than professional. It was a site where companies are too. When blogging is your business you need to be aware of your surroundings. In this particular setting not only is it not good for the bloggers who are involved in the conversation but it also takes credentials away from the bloggers who are trying to maintain an appropriate business environment.
Yes there are times that we need to vent. Maybe you have an issue with another blogger. Maybe you didn’t like a comment somebody left on a particular subject. Whatever it is, if you can’t let it go than go to that person directly. By email, by twitter DM, facebook IM, just privately not posted all over a public forum. Approach them respectfully. Sometimes what you hear is not the whole truth or was misinterpreted. Think about how you would like to be treated and approached. I think that is the bottom line to professionalism.
I’m not perfect. I’ve said and done things I regret. If you type something out online, there’s always the delete button.
Here is my blogging professionalism thoughts. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and your own tips:
1. Be honest.
2. If you hope that a particular person or group doesn’t read what you posted, then don’t post it.
3. Give credit where credit is due.
4. If you have a problem with someone online go to them directly. Don’t announce it publicly.
5. If you don’t like a product, site, comment etc approach respectfully. You may not know the whole story. If someone were to approach you, how would you want them to approach you about it?
6. Consider your audience.
7. My own personal rule and works in many settings: stay away from conversations regarding political affiliation, religion, and sex unless the situation requires you to do so. If it does, give only need to know information. Of course this will vary greatly. If your blog is about your church, political news, your family values, and so on, then go for it.
8. When you’re angry take a break. Walk away from your computer. Step out of the room. Whatever it takes for however long it takes before you write. Give yourself time to cool off and think about how you should really approach something. OR if you should write something.
9. Spelling, punctuation, and proof reading. Yea I know, like I’m the one who should be saying this. I re-read my own posts all the time and think “ah you goof that’s supposed to by my not me.” I know this is an area I need to work on
10. Stay true to your blog–Me, I refuse to do paid posts on over-priced products or services. I’ll do a review but I’m gonna tell the truth (see #1). You can send me a $200 face cream but I’m gonna tell my readers it’s too expensive unless it zaps every wrinkle and you never have to buy another bottle. (In that case, sign up as a rep because then it’s a good value lol)
I know there’s probably a few i missed. I know there’s a few I need to work on myself. Please feel free to comment with your tips.