If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. How many times have you heard this? It may be a cliché, but the thing about clichés is that they are rooted in truth. That’s why they’re clichés. If you’re working for yourself, you don’t have the advantage of a big bad company to shield you from the slings and arrows of outrageous trolls. The same situation that gives you freedom from traditional corporate demands also gives you the task of keeping your own nose clean. With great freedom comes great responsibility or something like that.
Here’s the whys and how’s of managing your online reputation.
You build a reputation by seeing and being seen in the area where you want to be noticed. As a writer, you need to do three things: write, write, and write some more! The more you write, the more people will be exposed to the awesomeness that is you; and a reputation is born.
Remember Deadlines And Keep Them Holy
Another part of a writer’s reputation is their ability to work within deadlines. If you respect deadlines and handle rewrites in a timely manner, you enhance your reputation.
Aw, Go Google Yourself!
Now that you have built a reputation, you need to keep it pristine. You need to see what people are saying about you. The simplest and most direct way to do this (and also kind of fun and ego-boosting!) is to simply plug your name into a search engine and see what pops up. Unfortunately, this is not a very precise or accurate means. There may be people out there who share the same name as you, so not all of the hits will be relevant. Furthermore, the “Me On The Web” feature of Google Dashboard keeps you updated on other content about you.
It may even be worth your while to check out other reference sites where your name could come up. Someone may have created a Wiki page about you. If you’ve done any work that’s even remotely associated with movies, you may have managed to attract an IMDB page.
Go Right To The Scene
Constantly check the comments and feedback sections of sites where your stuff is posted. If the mechanism exists on the site, you should set things up so that you receive e-mail notifications when your material is commented on. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re up on your social media participation. Join Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, any site that can help increase exposure and also allow you to keep tabs on how you are being perceived.
It’s All About You!
Shameless self-promotion is the name of the game. Try to get your name as a domain name. Create a WordPress blog. Make it easy for people to find you by having one centralized place where people can find your content as well as information about you (and needless to say, but it’ll be said anyway, jealously guard your privacy!).
Take The High Road
Don’t get into it with trolls. Seriously. It’s not worth it. In fact, restrain from having any argument on the Internet. It’s like the old saying: “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig.”
Thanks to today’s social media scene, a writer needs to know not only how to write; but how to be Internet savvy and cast themselves in the best light.