Proper Online Writing Etiquette

By Mike Gagnon

Proper Online Writing Etiquette

This article is an instructional piece aimed at new and budding writers who are making the transition from writing on chat rooms or their own personal blogs, to writing for respectable, paying, serious web publishers.

I think all new writers should respect and be aware of what legitimate online writing is and is not.

When you want to publish an article, a respectable online media source is a place to write a well thought out and researched topic, possibly obtained from the site. Possibly reflecting or leaning towards your own viewpoints and beliefs. You don't necessarily have to be an expert or professional writer, just put some thought and effort into it. At least spell check.

The most important and professional thing to do is to research your topic and use that research to form your article. If anyone questions the accuracy, you’ll always have the research to back you up.

There are no bad article topics, no matter what the subject, just a few writers who have misunderstood or ignored the entire concept or disregarded submission guidelines. The web has everything under the sun. If the website you want to write for does not publish articles on the subject you want to write about, search around and try to find a good website that does. You probably will. Never try to force a website to consider topics they are not interested in.

There are many articles out there that are two lines, and resemble chat room posts. Some even refer to each other and other writers as if they are communicating to each other through their articles.

Is that not why there are chat rooms?

Remember that the boundaries need to be drawn and respected.

If you want to write postings and converse on a chat room than by all means do so till your heart’s content, but as far as articles go, an article is supposed to be a shared knowledge to help inform the readers of the website.

Any website that carries self-posted articles should have every right, and exercise the right, to remove articles that are actually just chat room postings or articles that are so poorly spelled they are incomprehensible.

Even one or two spelling mistakes are fine, but when you can't read or follow the article there is a problem.

I have seen several "articles" online that consist of the following:


"Nice article (insert other author’s name here). I totally agree with your opinion. I feel that is how things should be done and I found the article informative. Good job."

It's great to pat each other on the back, but that is not an article. These comments should be made to each other in a chat room.

I'm not an advocate of censorship by any means, but in my opinion any writer who really wants to see the quality of online journalism increase should respect the format and not abuse it.

Those who blatantly abuse it in the way I have detailed above should have their offending articles removed.

If you ever hope to work your way up to a respected website that pays writers well and reviews article before posting, it is best to establish professionalism and work ethic in your writing as early as possible.


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