As a blogger for yourself or for clients OR if you’re a community manager, preserving your web reputation is a big ol’ deal. Following are some tips.
Google yourself – once in a while you should be searching for your own name on Google or other search engines. Note that using capitals, such as Jennifer Chait begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting vs. jennifer chait and incorrect spelling can bring up different results. Searching for your own name allows you to see what others may be saying about you, see which of your posts are the most popular, check for lame plagiarism issues and so fourth.
Get bad stuff deleted if possible – sometimes if someone writes something that’s mean or false or that can harm your professional online image you can write the site’s webmaster and request the item be taken down. It’s illegal to disrupt the reputation of another person via libel. However, just because someone is in disagreement or debating your idea that’s not libel. Learn more about the legal aspects of libel.
Be consistent from the start – consistency is important because it creates a trust factor. For example, if you’re a well known pro-democratic blogger, and someone Googles you and sees that you’re also writing pro-republican pieces it’s questionable what your motives are. Even on topics you think may not be as important you should try to maintain a sense of consistency. For example, I don’t just blog green topics, but that’s what I blog the most. That said, I’d never write a post at one of my other (not green focused) blog telling people that I think BPA is no big deal because someone could see that and seriously question my knowledge as a green blogger. Stay consistent while also staying on topic. if you haven’t been consistent in your online presence you should be from now on.
Consider a pen name for oddball topics – sometimes we all take writing gigs for money, not for the love of the topic, but if a new topic might hurt your online personality consider a pen name. A great example might be a family-minded blogger who takes on an erotic website job – or vice vs.
Be nice – web manners are seriously underrated in my opinion. Being known as nice, being known as polite, and just in general treating others how you’d like to be treated can go a long way. Note that being nice doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover.
Create lots of goodness about you online – while bad content can hurt your online rep, flattering content goes a long way toward helping to keep your online presence in good standing. Write great interesting posts and set up flattering profiles on social networking sites.
Don’t forget that the little things matter – comments you leave, tweets, FaceBook links, and all those little issues figure into your online reputation. You may also want to read how to make more blogging friends and be insanely popular for many more tips about how you should act online.