I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
The blogging world is a crowded space. But hey, this world of ours isn't a rock concert where we don't mind being lost in the crowd.
Online we want the equivalent of a big neon sign pointed at us. Our reasons may all be different – to get a job, to get noticed by brands, to get more blog traffic – but our motive is the same: to get noticed. Let me show you five ways to do just that by improving your online presence.
1. Use the Same Profile Picture Across Social
Most people see hundreds of avatars in a day. Scrolling through a Twitter feed. Browsing Facebook. Finding projects on Pinterest they'll never do. When you're building up an online presence, help people quickly identify you. This is one of the simplest ways to do it.
A few tips when choosing a profile picture:
- Make it big enough to see your face. Crop your favorite picture of yourself down to just a headshot. Anything else is too small and doesn't help others get as familiar with you.
- Faces make more of a connection than a logo. Speaking of faces, unless you have a good reason (you're anonymous, co-own a blog, etc), ditch the blog button image and use a face instead.
- Use a picture that actually looks like you. Online connections often lead to offline ones, whether it's meeting at a conference or a local meet-up. You want people to actually recognize you, not have to ask your Twitter handle before they say “ohhhhh yeahhhh I know you!”
2. Create a Gravatar
If you know the term “gravatar,” then you probably already have one. But it was easier than saying “Get a Little Picture of Yourself to Show Up Beside Your Comment Every Time You Leave One on Any Website.” But that's exactly what it is and it looks like this:
How does my image get there? A Gravatar connects an image to your email address. So when you fill in an email to leave a comment? You're instantly legit. And instantly recognizable. That's great for the places you comment often. Those site owners now know a face to a name instead of you being a general Gravatar logo.
If you don't have a gravatar, you're gonna laugh at how simple it is to set up. How to set up your gravatar (and leave a comment to see it in action).
3. Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Fresh
Are people using LinkedIn? You bet they are. Bloggers connecting with bloggers. Brands connecting with bloggers. Hiring managers looking for people to hire. You name it.
Whether you're looking for a job or looking to work with more brands, you NEED to be on LinkedIn. If you're not already, run and do it now… and add your blog to your work experience. Just please use your real name.
Set quarterly reminders to keep your profile updated. Besides the obvious updates like new a new headshot or a new role, you can update your profile with brands you've worked with. If you've spoken at any conferences and are allowed to share your presentation, upload those to your profile too!
I just updated mine to reflect my new title at Burt's Bees as Social Media Strategist. Yay!
4. Really, Truly Interact on Social
When we get extra busy, our blogging priorities seem to go like this: write posts and share them. Everything else gets pushed off. I've been guilty of it. I know you have too.
But it's not enough for people to see our profile pictures in their never-ending feed. In order to make connections online, we have to BE online. Commenting, replying, answering, listening.
Reach out to three new people every single day, whether it's leaving a comment on their pin, replying to a question they asked on Twitter, or commenting on their blog. Other people often see comments or tweets and will join in the conversation. And there you go: you've connected a little deeper with someone you already knew and met someone new in the process.
5. Create a Simple Personal Website
Many of us bloggers don't have a personal website, but they can be an amazingly powerful tool for building your online reputation and personal brand. And I'm not saying you have to create a site that needs constant updating. I'm talking about a static website with just a few pages.
Here's why you might want to have personal website:
- Showcase your work. It's a great place to showcase your work in greater detail, whether it's brand campaigns you've worked on or clients you've worked with. You want your blog's About and PR/Advertising pages to include some of this, but having a separate website gives you the freedom to go into more detail without diluting the purpose of those blog pages. Send those who want more detail to your own domain.
- Can improve the search engine ranking of your name. If there are a lot of people with your name, you have some competition. Having a website with your name can help YOU come up in search results.
- Create one single location for your overall online presence. If you own more than one blog or contribute to multiple blogs, having a personal website acts as a resume to show just how awesome you are online.
- Impress hiring managers. If you're looking for a job, a study by Workfolio says that 56% of hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool.
This one has been on my to-do list for a long time, but one thing was holding me back. The .com domain.
The problem with .coms when it comes to our names is that more often than not, your name has already been taken. Even less common names like mine are taken. I tried but no alternatives to my name looked quite right as a domain name… like using my middle initial makes it melissaaculbertson.com. Think anyone's going to remember that extra A? I bet half of you didn't even notice it! Plus, other premium domain extensions like .info or .net just seemed like second best.
When I heard about Domain.ME, it suddenly clicked. I don't have to be constrained to the .com monopoly (take THAT, dot.com). A Me URL isn't a .com alternative; it's a clever way to reinforce that your site is all about you. I actually JUST bought the Dot.Me domain melissaculbertson.me and plan to create a simple personal website within the next couple of months.
Remember when I mentioned having your own website helps with search engine rankings? Well, Domain.me URLs actually have the same SEO benefits as .com, .net, and .org domains. There are some famous .me domains you might recognize: fb.me, about.me, despicable.me.
How to Grab Your .Me Domain
Want to snag your name on domain.me? There are 160+ accredited registrars. I started at the Domain.ME website, saw my name was available, then found my registrar of choice (GoDaddy). In less than five minutes, I had my own unique URL.
I'm rubbing-my-hands-together excited about creating a personal website on my new domain.me website! Visit Domain.ME to get started on yours and build some awesomeness.
Have You Done All Five?
What ways have you increased your online presence? Any of these on your to-do list? Dish in the comments!
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!