It’s time for Part 4 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series here on Freelance Writing Jobs, and today, you’ll learn about manipulating search engine results and how to handle negative conversations about your brand online. You can find links to Parts 1-3 of the series at the end of this post.
First, it’s important to understand that this is not a lesson in search engine optimization, although some of the suggestions in Part 3 and Part 4 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series certainly do apply to SEO as well.
With that said, here we go…
What kind of results do you get when you Google your name or your freelance writing brand name (if it’s different from your personal name)? Are they the results that you want people to find when they type your name into the Google search box? If not, then you have some work to do if you want to build your online brand reputation and build your business. Fortunately, writers are in the perfect position to do exactly that because we’re great at creating content! With a bit of strategy, we’re positioned to be the best content marketers!
The key to manipulating search engine results is to leverage the power of the compounding effect of blogging and content sharing as discussed in Part 3 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series. Generating incoming links to your own amazing content and getting others to write about you and your amazing content are the free and easy steps that you can take to begin the process of adjusting search engine results for your name.
Here are some ways to do it:
Offer to write guest blog posts on popular blogs that rank well for search engine optimization (use a site like MyBlogGuest.com to find guest blogging opportunities), create your own branded content, offer your services for interviews on interesting blogs, podcasts (poke around BlogTalkRadio.com to find shows that match your niche), or create your own video content and publish it on your own YouTube channel. Again, anything you can do to create amazing content that people want to talk about and share is a step in the right direction to getting positive information about your brand to the top of search engine results.
But what if someone says something negative about you online? What do you do? What if that negative information shows up high in search engine results for your name?
First, don’t panic. If you’ve been creating amazing content, making connections with other online publishers, and sharing and conversing with people across the social web, then you’ll already have a handle on your search engine results and these types of negative comments are unlikely to really affect you. However, if they do appear too high in your search results for your name, then you have three effective choices, which I refer to in my upcoming book, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, as flight, fight, or flood. Here is how the concept works:
If someone says something negative about you online, which you’re worried could damage your online brand image, you can avoid it entirely — flight. Consider the source of the negativity. Often a negative comment, particularly if it comes from someone who has his or her own reputation as being known for publishing such comments, will disappear quickly if you let it. Also, the more time you spend online, the more you’ll notice that some people start conversations simply to incite others. In time, you’ll get better at identifying these people and ignoring them.
If the source of negative information related to your brand is an online influencer with a strong following or the negativity is spreading quickly, you can step into the conversation and add your side of the story — fight. Just remember to always communicate in a manner that accurately reflects your brand image. Furthermore, if you’ve already been creating amazing content and networking and building relationships with other people across the social web, then your reputation might already be well established and your network of brand advocates (those people you’ve connected with and built strong relationships with) are likely to come to your defense!
If a negative result shows up too high in search engine results for your name, you can flood the Internet with positive content fully search-engine optimized to rank high for your name in order to bury that negative result. There are many useful search engine optimization resources and websites. I’ll write a post with some SEO tips here on Freelance Writing Jobs soon. In the meantime, one of my favorite resources is SEOmoz.org.
Bottom-line, you can be in control of your online brand reputation and make sure potential clients, publishers, and employers find the results that you want them to find when they Google you by creating amazing, shareworthy content, making online connections, building relationships with those connections, and monitoring your online reputation (i.e., Google results). Stay tuned for Part 5 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series where I’ll talk about how to monitor your online brand reputation.
Read Parts 1-3 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand Series