Bloggie Wednesday: Do Emoticons in Blog Posts Make Them Less “Professional”?

Bloggie Wednesday: Do Emoticons in Blog Posts Make Them Less "Professional"?


Readers of Beautyholics Anonymous already know this as it’s very obvious in my blog posts but I use emoticons in my blog posts. In my WordPress settings, I have the option to convert emoticons like =) and =P to graphics on display. I’ve always had emoticons in my blog posts since way back when I started personal blogging so it has never occured to me that most other bloggers don’t do the same.

A few weeks ago, I was reading some of the blogs I follow on Feedly and it finally hit me; about 99% of them don’t use emoticons in their blog posts. I’m not just talking about the emoticon graphics that WordPress automatically converts; heck I don’t even see the good ol’ typed out smiley face. It got me thinking: do emoticons in blog posts make them less professional-looking?

I know that Paris B uses emoticons in her blog posts. Perhaps it was her influence that I too use emoticons in my blog posts (she started blogging before I did). I love using emoticons when I started using a mobile phone and learning how to text many years ago and it was very natural for me to translate that onto my blog as well. I don’t do text speak but I sure as hell love a good smiley face. Many a time when I’m blogging, those emoticons reflect exactly what I was feeling or doing. When I’m writing something funny, I often laugh to myself and when I’m writing something cheeky, I literally have my tongue sticking out. True story.

Most of the blogs I follow have blog posts devoid of emoticons. They convey their emotions in words and a lot of them do it very well. I’m not an LOL person so I prefer to either type “hahahahaha” or add smiley faces. I took something that comes naturally to me and added them to my words as well.

So, to answer the question, do emoticons in blog posts make them less professional? Well, yes and no. It depends on what the blog is about. The context of the blog is very important. If it’s a newsy, very informative blog, then emoticons have no place in them. Imagine reading the New York Times with smiley faces. On the other hand, if you write a personal blog and want to pepper your blog posts with emoticons, I personally don’t see the harm in it. Having said that, it would be better for reading when emoticons are kept at a sporadic level. Emoticons can be distracting and and too much of them can take you away from the content.

That’s just me, of course. What do you think? Do you think that emoticons have no place in blog posts and that they make the blog appear unprofessional? Do you use emoticons on your blog? I’d love to hear what you think!

Note: There’s a difference between emoticons and emojis. Emoticons are what I was referring to in the blog post e.g. smiley faces like this =). Emojis are what you currently have on your phone and come in graphic form. The image used for this blog post represents emojis, not emoticons. I just chose to use it because it’s cute. πŸ˜›

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.

For weekly updates, news and heaps more fun stuff, do subscribe and join the awesome BA Insider community!

Join the BA Insider Community



18 comments… add one
  1. LeGeeque

    It actually depends on the quality of writing. If the quality of writing is pretty decent, a sprinkling of emoticon in a 1000-word post is seriously not a big deal. A blog, after all, is a social media platform and has a tiny little wiggle room to be a little more fun as opposed to say, a journalist reporting on the Middle East crisis. However, if the blog post or blog is written as how a person speaks (major pet peeve, by the way) then it’s a major turn off. I think in terms of writing, writing styles as well as emoticons, I’m very traditional. If a post is littered with LOLs and emoticons (plus the extremely “casual” writing style), I won’t bother returning. I’m not known as the grammar Nazi at work for nothing πŸ˜› (My favourite phrase: ENGLISH IS YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE, WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?!)

    1. Tine

      I don’t know if you remember, but back in the day (heck I’m not surprised that it’s still happening), a lot of Malaysian bloggers finished their sentences in their blogs with “wtf”. Still baffles the hell out of me what those sentences meant. πŸ˜›

  2. Me my best and I

    I recently added the plugin and while I don’t use them all the time or in every post I do like them at hand when Im trying to subtley emphasise something in my writing (like embarrassment or a wink, I love a good emoticon wink!)


    1. Tine

      Haha me too! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  3. Kat Ness

    I love putting in emoticons. I’m still living through my MSN days haha. Of course it depends on the type of blog someone has. Mine is very casual and I like to ‘type speak’ my writing. I’m pretty sure I made that up =P I also put in actions too!

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I remember the good ol’ MSN days. Although for me, back in the day would be IRC and ICQ. God I sound old! πŸ˜›

  4. Angie

    I guess it’s a similar thing to whether a reader prefer blogs written in a chatty, witty or conversational style rather than a to-the-point, dry style… I definitely prefer to read chattier blogs so I guess that’s why I’m not at all opposed to emoticons. I actually think the emoticons makes your blog more memorable! I haven’t used them in my posts but I have a chronic πŸ™‚ habit in emails.
    Angie recently posted..The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live WithoutMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha me too! I’m always peppering my emails with emoticons. Have to hold myself back from smiley faces when it came to writing business emails. πŸ˜›

  5. swati

    thank you thank you thankyou, Tine, for this post!! so trueeeeeeeeee. i do not understand why people think it unprofessional. i was asked for a guest post by one of the bloggers and then she mentioned do not use those ol’ smileys. i do not use emoticons but only the smileys and i was flummoxed! i mean one major part of blogging is connecting with reader and even if we are not in a good mood, one smiley changes the emotions we convey, so why not use them for better expression.
    swati recently posted..Essential Oils 101 Vol. 2 – How do the Essential Oils work?My Profile

    1. Tine

      My point exactly Swati. I find that emoticons (when used correctly and sparingly on each post) connect better with the audience. To each his/her own, I suppose. I follow a number of blogs whose writing is so good that there’s absolutely no need for emoticons because I could tell when the blogger was happy, sad, sarcastic, etc. My writing is not on that level so I need help with graphics smiles! πŸ˜›

  6. Paris B

    Haha didn’t we start blogging at around the same time? πŸ˜€ But my take on emoticons is this – it depends on the type of blog you have and your voice. If you have a chatty style of voice and blog, then by all means emoticon away! Within limits of course, and always for emphasis or to make a point. If it’s an encyclopedia or newsy style blog then emoticons will be out of place. Either way, I don’t think it’s more or less professional to have them or not have them – it’s just our different voices and styles πŸ™‚
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Do you care at all about the Pantone Colour of the Year?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Nah, you started first. Personal blog, remember? That was before Champagne Tastes πŸ˜‰

  7. Grace-melody Moo

    Well, it really depends. For me, if it is a personal blog, with a face behind and all, some emoticons (and not toooooo many, of course) make the article/sharing less robotic and easier to relate to, and doesn’t reduce the professionality of the post. πŸ™‚
    Grace-melody Moo recently posted..Mother’s GuiltMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah I agree. Having said that, I’ve seen blogs with animated emoticons. Now that’s when I draw the line. πŸ˜›

  8. gio

    It depends on the blog, really. If it’s a personal blog, or written in a chatty style, using emoticons is ok. It can help convey what the blogger is saying. Just as long as you don’t use too many.
    gio recently posted..Product Review: Avon Clearskin Blemish Clearing PadsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Have you seen the ones that use animated emoticons? YIKES!!

  9. MonicaP

    Only if they are animated – that drives me nuts! But a smiley here and there .. is just fine πŸ™‚

    MonicaP recently posted..Jennifer Lopez Bootcut Jeans at Kohl’sMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I cannot, CANNOT stand those! There are emoticons and there are annoying emoticons. Animated ones fall on the latter category. πŸ˜›

Leave a Reply

Share your latest blog post with us!

Scroll To Top

Not another bloody pop-up! I know. But now that I've gotten your attention (because this is how I roll *ahem ahem*), come join the BA Insider community! Sign up for a weekly newsy letter for your beauty and lifestyle fix. Straight to your inbox.

Because I love you for reading this and not closing the pop-up just yet, you'll also receive a FREE Skincare Cheat Sheet where I share some of my tips for taking better care of your skin. Let's keep that gorgeous mug of yours glowing!

We hate spam as much as baked beans. We also won't share your details with anyone because we're selfish like that.