So there’s something out there nasty about you online, and it’s hurting your reputation, personally or professionally. Your online reputation is not always easy to fix, but you do have some control, especially if you have a blog. Take charge and help repair your damaged rep.
1. Talk Yourself Up (but do it credibly)
This is your blog – it’s about you personally or your business; use it to your advantage. The more positive material that is out there about you, the better, and who better than you to create it? The trick is, make it relevant and credible.
When using your blog to praise yourself or your company, it’s best to do it in an honest, genuine style that your customers or fans can relate to. Talk about what you do, and how it can be helpful to others, instead of just rambling about how fabulous are. Give examples and real life incidents of how you are making a positive impact in your field and the community. Maybe it relates directly to your field, like an award or rave review you received, or maybe you worked hard volunteering for a non-profit completely separate from anything else – talk about it.
2. Incorporate Testimonials
When your online reputation was being damaged, it was probably due to a bad review or comment somewhere about you or your business. Incorporate the reverse on your blog. Have a guest blogger or customer write a testimonial about you, and let it shine. Sometimes things are more believable coming from someone else. Again, try to use one with concrete examples so you can show off what it is exactly you do more than in a general, vague sense.
3. Face the Music
There does it come a time when you should fess up and explain why your reputation has been damaged. Maybe someone is mad at you and making things up; maybe you did mess up somewhere and someone’s calling you on it. Either way, it will do wonders for your online reputation management to talk about it. Everyone appreciates honesty, and perhaps an apology is due as well. Your blog is an excellent forum to address this.
4. Use Your Blog to Link to Other Positive Information About You
Not only is your blog an excellent place to share your own thoughts, it’s a great venue to use to direct your readers to other good information about you. Just as there may be ugly information about you online that’s hurting your reputation, there are probably some good things out there, too. Incorporate links on your blog so your readers can take a look at the positive.
5. Stay Positive
Whatever happens, remain positive. Remember what your mother taught you, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. Even if you need to address a negative experience, do so in a positive manner. You can gain a lot of respect that way. Whether you are discussing a bad incident or a colleague or a competitor, stay positive. This in and of itself will garner respect from your readers.
Just like the everyday world out there, people talk. People say not-nice things, and word on the Internet travels as fast as it does through a middle school cafeteria. But you can stay strong, genuine and positive. Use your blog to showcase your good qualities and the bad rep will soon be forgotten, or at least pushed aside.
Heather Legg is a blogger who writes on small businesses, Internet safety, and the beauty of staying positive in life.