Let’s assume that you’re just like every other joe or jane on the street. You don’t own a company. You haven’t been slandered in the press. No one is saying anything bad about you online. In fact, no one is saying anything at all about you online. You don’t have to be a marketing guru to do a little basic reputation management. Let’s say you’re looking for a job or, maybe, thinking about looking for a job, and you want prospective employers and head hunters to learn about you online.
On second thought, maybe you just hate searching for your name on Google and finding results for some other guy or girl with the same name. Each circumstance will be unique, but here are a few quick and easy ways to improve your online reputation without paying a professional:
1. Buy a domain name.
Try to buy your name as a domain name (example: johnsmith.com). I recommend DreamHost to register and privately host your domains. If your name is common and the exact match is unavailable, look for a combination of your name and either a location or a professional title (example: johnsmithdallas.com or johnsmithcopywriter.com). Pick something you like, but make sure your name is up front. If you register at least one domain in this manner, you can go ahead and check to see if your name is available with hyphens (example: john-smith.com). Owning this domain is fine, but I would operate it as a second domain, not as your one and only. Hyphenated domains don’t always rank as well for keywords.
It’s not enough to OWN a domain name. You need a live site and you need readable, relevant, content. Since you are not likely a web designer, I recommend you download WordPress blog software for free and start a blog on your new site. Write at least once a week and remember that what you write will be read by your professional peers and potential new employers – each blog post you write is an opportunity to showcase your personality, intelligence, wit, and your grasp of your chosen profession.
2. Join several free article publisher websites.
I recommend Buzzle, Amazines, Content Articles, Helium, and Ezine Articles. These are listed in order of importance and current search engine authority. Join each of these publishers and post at least one article on each that you write. Pick a subject that you are somewhat of an expert on and keep it simple and informative. Remember that any headhunter or interviewer may review these words prior to your interview, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve posted well written pieces.
3. Join several social media / networking sites.
Top recommendations include: LinkedIn, Twitter, Naymz, Delicious, Technorati, and Magnolia. When you are trying to build search engine results for your name, each site you join must be joined under your real name. Use nicknames and handles for those sites or profiles meant just for your personal enjoyment. Create each profile for reputation management under your first and last name and be sure to add background and professional information when possible. Other sites you should consider joining include: Digg, Reddit, Propeller, and Facebook.
4. Register your blog with several blog directories.
Top picks for blog directories include: Globe of Blogs, Blog Catalog, Blogflux, Bloghub, and Blogarama. Register under your first and last name and follow the online directions to add your blog to each directory.
5. Read other people’s blogs and write comments.
Most blogs require you to enter your name and email address before you can post a comment. This is another chance for you to write intelligent responses to what you read, and to earn some low level rankings for your name as well. Go ahead and enter your blog URL in the field available. This gives you the added benefit of sending a few blog comment readers to your site.
6. Create a blog that is hosted on the blog software URL.
Blogger and WordPress are the two most popular blog platforms and their URLs already have some strength. You can create a blog on Blogger’s or WordPress’ site and piggback off of their search engine authority (example: johnsmith.blogspot.com and johnsmith.wordpress.com). I know it sounds like you’ll have to write copy for several sites, and you WILL, but taking 30 minutes per blog per week shouldn’t be to hard to fit in, especially if you’re motivated to create some good search results and content to promote your career.
Each one of these options is free. They take a little time, but the rewards of a solid search reputation is well worth it. Of course, you will have some questions along the way like “how do I add WordPress to my blog?” or “how do I set up my new DreamHost hosting account so I can put a blog there?
Personal repute management can be handled quite well by individuals working from home. This is especially significant for those who aim at running their personal businesses online or find a home business opportunity profitable for them. As published in the home business review journal increasingly high number of people is eager to find work at home to avoid the hassle and cost of commuting long distances while some others work from home for the ease and flexibility it offers.