(This is the outline of chapter, not an actual chapter. The sample scenario chapter in the workbook is 21 pages)
10 Steps for a Beginner:
Below are the basic steps you can take to solve small, immediate reputation challenges. We only hit some basic highlights of items here but which are much more extensively covered in the workbook:
While scanning these steps, remember that solving solving larger problems is, of course, much more complicated that just these few basic concepts. In the workbook we give you detailed and easy to follow information including how to buy a domain, how to create a website, how to build free websites, how to create a blog, using social media marketing, SEO tips, and much more.
1. Google yourself. Google your name along with the offending key phrase(s) or negative information, and see where you stand, where it is posted, and how much of a problem you really have. Then go to Google Alerts, enter the same phrases and your name, and set it to email you “as it happens” so you’ll get an email every time your name and negative phrase is mentioned. Then you’ll be able to monitor how you’re doing.
2. Get social! You hopefully already are, but go in and clean-up your MySpace, Facebook or other Pages. While updating your information in a more professional manner, and making sure it is accurate, take down anything vulgar or childish and especially undesirable photos (although they never actually go away). If your social sites are not in your actual name, then start new Social Media pages using your real name at Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Google Profiles, and Squidoo. Simply follow the instructions on each one. Spread this out over at least two or three nights, but better yet over a week or two. Search engines don’t want to think they are being scammed by one of the less desirable search engine companies who do it all at once.
3. Original content. When it comes to your bio or other content that you insert into the social sites, make absolutely certain that you don’t copy and paste the same text from one site to another. Search engines will severely penalize you for not being original. Just make sure you change each one up a little bit. Or a lot is fine. IF you have time, completely rewrite material from scratch each time in a different format, such as using bullet points in one but not in another. Creating original is especially true for other links and websites you create later on.
4. Buy your own domain. It’s easy. Go to GoDaddy.com and search for your name as a “.com” domain (such as “www.johndoe.com” or “www.johnwdoe.com” and buy the best possible domain of your name! You can usually buy the name for $10 – $12 or less. Instead of signing up for a year,perhaps sign up for three years which tells the spiders you’re going to stay around awhile. Your domain is extremely valuable “web real estate” that you’ll want to own forever. Buy it before someone else does!
5. Create a website. While you’re at GoDaddy, sign up for web hosting of your one primary domain (under $7/month for a basic site) and be sure that at the same time, when you guy hosting, that you sign up for WordPress (for free) as the webpage software. That’s why I recommend www.GoDaddy.com The site will take care of all the work of downloading WordPress to your new web domain for you, all by itself. WordPress is used universally, is free, is exceptionally easy to learn right away. Yet it is also extremely powerful, has unlimited themes to create your site in minutes, and perfect it for as long as you want. And it has thousands of really cool and useful “plug-ins” (you’ll learn about his later, trust us.) There are also a dozen other ways to create additional FREE websites, discussed in the book.
7. Content. Have fun learning and it’s far easier than you might think. But you need content. Create a bio page, or a page about your favorite interest perhaps, or an article that has been printed about you if you have one or two, and of course a contact page. Content is king, so try to find anything recent, and of course accurate! Each tab you want on your site is called a “Page” in WordPress. Even a three page website is fine for now.
8. Links: For good measure create links to your social sites such as Facebook and Linked In. Then on all of your social sites put in a link back to your web page. Google search programs want to see that your site is linked to other sites and vice versa (showing that your website is “popular.”)
9. Start a Blog. Start a blog page on your domain using WordPress. Each blog entry is called a Post (as opposed to pages). It is simplicity itself to create a quick, short blog entry. Try for maybe 100 words, about a subject that interests you. Once or twice a week is fine. Or once a month. What you are doing is keeping your website fresh which is a key criteria that the search bots are looking for. Soon your page will be rising further up the list of search results, hopefully to the first page of results when you search your name. And “pushing down” the negative information to below the first page of results. That’s the goal.
10. Search Engine Optimization. One reason to use WordPress is my favorite – the “All-in-one-SEO” plug-in. Go to “Plug-ins” section in your WordPress dashboard, look it up by name and then select it. It will download and install itself! How cool is that? This gives you boxes where you can fill in a page title, page description and keywords for each page of your website that will all go into the internal coding of the site — without you having to be a programmer. Here’s where you’ll use your creativity to make sure the search engine “bots” find you and your important keywords. So give it some thought.
10. Keep working. Negative posts don’t disappear overnight, but if they are not too severe or too widespread, the steps above may be all that it takes. But your long-term success depends on being persistent and also creating fresh content. Make a point to update one of your social sites or your web page every so often, and to post a new blog item each week or two.
Best wishes. — (firstname.lastname@example.org)