What do you find when you enter your name into an Internet search engine? Whether you blog for fun or it’s your full-time job, you need to monitor your online reputation in order to ensure that you and your blog are presented in the best light. Attacks to your character can be as small as a rude comment on your site or as serious as identity theft.
Why Your Online Reputation Matters
First and foremost, blogging is about reaching your audience, and in order to do that, you need to maintain your credibility. You risk losing readers if you don’t address issues like negative comments or links to undesirable websites. Furthermore, if your site is followed by other bloggers or funded by advertisers, their reputation is connected to your good standing. So, if you ignore what other people are posting about you, it could harm your relationship with your supporters.
Even more importantly, your online status can affect your real-world reputation. Your friends, family, and acquaintances read your blog (and might even be in some of your posts), so you want to make sure that you are represented positively. This is especially imperative if you are only a part-time blogger and work outside of the home. Employers depend on the Internet for advertising and are also looking to improve their reputation, so they don’t want their employees attracting any unfavorable attention. In fact, many companies now include Internet use clauses in their employment contracts, which make improper Internet use cause for termination.
Ways to Monitor Your Reputation
A simple way to keep an eye on your status is to pay attention to feedback in the comments section of your blog. While you can’t please everyone, commenters might offer you good advice to help you improve your site. When you’re faced with negative comments, try to stay calm and avoid being defensive or rude. Respond in the politest way possible, and if the poster gets abusive, see if you can block him from your site or have his comments removed by an administrator.
You should also regularly perform an Internet search for yourself and your blog name to see what others are saying about you on their sites. This will not only make you aware of any harmful information, but also may alert you to anyone who is reposting your writing or pictures without your permission.
If you need assistance, think about removing negative information by using a company that specializes in character management. For a fee, these companies offer to search for potentially damaging material and keep you updated on their findings. Some services even help you delete unflattering information, manage reviews that are written about your blog, and maximize your online visibility.
However you choose to monitor your online reputation, remember that building up your Internet profile is not just about removing negative information. Be proactive and increase the amount of positive buzz about you and your blog by addressing issues before a poster writes damaging comments, using social media to promote improvements, or asking followers to write favorable reviews. Protect your good name on the Internet in order to find blogging success.
Stephanie Marbukh is a freelance blogger who obsessively Googles herself and writes about topics including Internet news and money-saving opportunities.