Your Guide to Getting Started with Online Reputation Building

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Every entrepreneur, business owner, freelancer and anyone else working in a field where it is important to have name recognition wants to get their moniker out there and pulling up (positive) results on the Google SERPs and the (largely Bing-driven) voice search results.

You already know about setting up a website and/or starting your relevant social media accounts, so we’ll skip over those and talk about how to get legitimate sites linking back to your site or account of choice or, at least, mentioning your name.

Let’s take a look at four ways you can get started building your online reputation.

1. HARO

If you’re not familiar with it, HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. The website has been around for years, connecting people looking for experts and general sources and, well, experts and sources.

For example, let’s say that someone writing a blog post is looking for someone to comment on ways to increase productivity in the workplace. If you feel like you have something to say about that, you can send a response to that query with your workplace productivity tips.

If the blog writer likes your tips, they’ll use them in the blog post and usually give you a link back to your site and often a link to your social media accounts.

Although much of the HARO queries sent out are blogs, some actual news sites also use the service. Associated Press (AP) constantly has queries on HARO and I was able to get one of my clients some national exposure by getting him featured in an AP piece about small businesses.

Note that for the blogs it helps if you have a large social media following, so do what you can to attract those Twitter bots.

To get started with HARO as a source, register on the site and choose your fields of expertise and you will get three daily emails with opportunities to share your opinions as a source.

2. Ideamensch

Ideamensch is all about featuring entrepreneurs and business people who have amazing ideas. They have a standardized interview that you answer, so everyone responds to the same questions. You simply send in your responses and a high resolution photo and wait a couple of months and you will be featured on the site. The stated purpose on the site is to “help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life by sharing their stories.”

If you don’t have any other mentions that pop up with a Google search, this is a good place to start because it is easy to get on to, the result will come up at the top of the search listings and it is a nice, authoritative hit to have when your name comes up.

3. Getting published on websites.

There are a lot of websites that accept guest posts on various subjects that you may have expertise in, especially if you are an entrepreneur or marketer. You can try getting published on these sites, which will usually give you a link in your bio back to your site or a social media account.

Some sites to try include:

Publishing some articles on reputable sites will help with establishing an online reputation for yourself, but also get you some links back to your site or social media account. Think of it as a stepping stone to the next level of online reputation building, which is …

4. Get a regular column on a high authority site.

Being a regular contributor on a high authority site is invaluable for online reputation building. If people search for your name and one of these sites pops up, that means instant recognition and trust in you as an expert in your field.

Some great sites to try and become a regular contributor on include:

Rather than having one-off contributors, these higher end sites prefer a commitment to contributing a certain number of pieces per month, like three or four.

I regularly ghost write a column on Inc. for one of my clients and we give them four pieces per month, which keeps them happy.

What about my own blog?

Yeah, you can always do your own blog, podcast or video series. As long as it is displaying your expertise in your chosen area and you do it regularly, it can be an incredibly helpful tool for your online reputation management.

You can choose to publish on your own site, on LinkedIn, on Medium or some other blog hosting site. Regularly publishing your own content will likely help with getting published on other sites. And, again, those social media followers count.

Wait, who has time for all this writing?

If you have time for content creation, great. If not, though, you can still get high quality content published on these types of sites by hiring a freelance writer. For a few bucks, you can get a person like me to whip you up something that sounds halfway professional and pitch it to a publisher. (My own personal process for writing for clients is to outsource the writing to the guy who collects cans from my outdoor recycling bin, but other writers actually do it themselves.)

You can find people like me by search, networking on LinkedIn or sites like:

Regardless of whether you do your own content creation or you hire a freelancer to create word salad for you, by putting in some time and effort (or paying someone to do that for you), you can be on your way to establishing yourself as a trusted source of expertise in your chosen area and building your online reputation.

I strongly believe that business communication is still human communication and businesses should connect with people, not Google algorithms.

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