Well, the word Netiquette is accepted (I know because my spell checker does not decorate it with a wavy red line) so why not Betiquette??
I can summarize my own "Betiquette" by saying "be a considerate and honest blogger":
• Respect your reader
• Respect other bloggers
• Don't neglect the other sort of people (those who live in your house, those you work with, those that call you a relation, friend etc)
I am sure others could add many more points to this list so please feel free add a comment to this post or email me; letting me know if you think I have missed anything out. I am writing this on the fly so it is likely that I have. Many of these points are not only relevant to behaviour but will also pay dividends in attracting and maintaining readers.
- Respond to what you readers seem to find the most interesting by creating more posts of a similar nature or topic. This does not mean you have to neglect other areas especially if you are trying to widen or increase your blog audience but you need to be mindful of what is of interest.
- Try to develop respect even if you are posting topics or opinions your readers may disagree with.
- Try to create a rapport with your readers by bringing your own personality to bear in your posts.
- Respond to comments if a question is posed or just to say thank you. (there are some comments you most definitely would not to say thank you for! Then again you may not even allow them to be shown.)
- Try to be as helpful as possible by responding to questions or requests.
- Take care with your template that it is not too slow to load, not full of glaring graphics, backgrounds and colors and that text stands out well from its background. You may like it yourself but your audience may not find it easily readable.
- Ensure it is easy to navigate.
- Have clear categories.
- If you need to approve comments, ensure that you do so speedily.
- Write at a level that your readers can clearly understand and do not use jargon, colloquialisms or slang if you think your desired audience may not understand it. (Without a brussel no one 'll have a scooby and won't come back to take another butcher's)
- If you refer to other blogs or to posts that others have created, always create a link back to the post or blog.
- Do not just repeat the post verbatim but add your own comments and explanations. I believe it is ok to repeat a phrase or sentence as long as this is clearly credited back to its writer e.g. a clever comment that you are praising them for.
- Be sure that the other blogger will appreciate comments. Some personal sites with select readers may not. If you are unsure contact them and ask.
- If you are writing about some external topic e.g. a new blog tool, online application etc, do your own research: do not just mimic that of the blogger who pointed you in that direction.
- Do not leave comments on other blogs merely to get link backs but because the post is comment worthy.
- Do not be rude or show anger in your comments and take care with your language (my language is always 'appropriate' anyway of course, at least when no one is listening or occasionally if there are no children around and I stub a toe, break a favorite ornament etc).
- If you are part of a community or network associated with your blogging behave as if you are not just there to gain readers. Contribute.