Writing is a form of interaction and as such, there are guidelines to follow for respectful behavior. As a writer, you are responsible for what you publish on the internet. You are already familiar with some rules of good conduct: don’t promote yourself shamelessly on discussion platforms, don’t overuse hashtags and all caps…
We’re all guilty of having done some less than commendable things before. But now is the time to raise your standards and demonstrate integrity. Maintaining social etiquette is essential to nurturing healthy and fruitful relationships with others online. Etiquette covers a lot of aspects, but in this article, we’re going to discuss some key recommendations that will help your writing be properly understood and well received by your audience.
Behave As You Would In Real Life
Being anonymous on the internet does not excuse poor behavior. As you publish content online, you can’t afford to be careless or insensitive. Speaking ill of someone to make a point or reacting strongly in comment sections will detract people from coming back to engage with your work.
Simply put, do not write what you would not say in person. Treat others as you would like to be treated. That means no strong words or needless accusations. Courtesy goes a long way in establishing yourself as a writer whose work is worth reading. Readers will respect for your ability to write in a polite manner, as well as keeping a cool head and responding professionally to shortsighted comments or aggressive tweets. Take cases like these as an opportunity to win over your audience and cement your position as a trustworthy content creator.
Always be thoughtful of how your writing will be perceived by others and what kind of reactions it can generate.
Think Twice Before Publishing Anything
Take a detached look at your writing. Think about how it can be misinterpreted, or have someone read it if you can. Either way, leave no room for ambiguity. Take the time to choose the words that convey the intended meaning in the most accurate way, and try to address potential objections a reader may have regarding the topic you’re discussing.
Before using a joke, ask yourself if it can be misunderstood by readers. Unless you really know your audience and what kind of humor they respond favorably to, it’s preferable to use a simple and pleasant voice. Humor is a great way to build a connection with an audience, but if misused it falls flat and drives away potential readers.
Another important tip is to avoid sharing disturbing content like images or videos depicting nudity or violence. However, sometimes it can be relevant or even essential to the topic you’re writing about. In that case, make sure to warn the reader beforehand that the content she is about to click on is “not suitable for work” or NSFW for short. That means it’s not suitable to look at while at work. You wouldn’t want to cause an embarrassing situation for the person reading your piece.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Be clear about using something that is not your own creation. When you include relevant quotes, cite their authors. Back up your statistics with reliable sources. This shows that you have done your research and boosts your credibility.
The same goes not only for information but media as well. If you find a fitting picture for your next blog article, check if it’s free for use or not. Look up the proper way to credit an image. This will keep you safe from copyright issues. Plus, both readers and the original owner will appreciate your transparency. After all, how would you feel if someone were to steal your content?
In conclusion, be courteous with others, write in a thoughtful manner and give due credit. Your writing will become more enjoyable and persuasive. These recommendations are not exhaustive, but they are a good start to adopt proper online etiquette and engage with readers in a positive and meaningful way.
If you feel ready to put your writing skills to good use, why not drop us a line? We’re looking for writers willing to lend their voice.