Come on, you know you want to….
Everyone is doing it…
If you haven’t taken the time to type your name (in all its forms including any screen names you use on bulletin boards and listserves) into the massive internet search engine Google, then you are missing a chance to control your brand as an author. Take a look at the web search. Ideally you want your name to result in a top hit for your professional blog, website, twitter, etc. If it isn’t you, you may want to consider adding a middle initial or name or re-titling your blog to something catchy and memorable. Remember to Google those too before you make the change. You want to stand out, be true to the brand you want to project (in tone and content), and be easy to find.
If your web presence is there but below the fold, there are a few things you can do to optimize your place on a search engine but they all take work. By the way, this is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
- Update content often. Make it well-written and relevant.
- Inbound links. When others link to your content or put you on their “blog rolls” that drives traffic to your page, which optimizes the search.
- Use key words. Tag your blog posts. Be consistent.
If unprofessional images come up in your image search, click on them to see where they are posted. If it is on your own social media pages, check and tighten your privacy settings and tighten your self-control. Never post what you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times. Contact others and ask them to remove images from their site– especially if you didn’t give them permission to post in the first place.
There are companies that help people with their online reputation, but I have no experience with these. If anyone does, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
FMI check out these resources:
Have a great week, and happy writing & illustrating!