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Reputation Management Part 2: Blogging and commenting on blogs

Here we are, Reputation Management Part 2! Using blogs to build your reputation.

Yesterday’s post was about using LinkedIn to begin building an online reputation. Here is the link in case you missed it:  Building Your Reputation Management Part 1: LinkedIn

I just want to remind you that using the right key words and phrases  and using them consistently across various platforms and mediums is one a good best-practice when developing your reputation. (This includes your name and photo too.) We all want to be known for something. The other important message is to be sure to demonstrate your best qualities and skills on line. Be nice, be sincere, be helpful, be generous. This is all part of your brand/reputation as well.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, blogs were designed to be interactive.  Try develop relationships with people by asking for comments. Interact with your readers, that is what makes a blog different from a website.

If you haven’t thought about starting a blog, maybe now is the time. I remember when I first started, I had so many questions and there were so many options I felt overwhelmed.  Let’s keep this simple and uncomplicated. These are just my recommendations based on my experience and a pretty basic level of technological savvy.  I had to self-teach myself a lot but it has been worth every minute I’ve invested.

To Blog Yourself

You may be thinking you don’t have the stamina, ideas, or even desire to start a blog by yourself.  Don’t rule out blogging just yet. Ask yourself these questions before you decide one way or another:

  • Can I commit to writing once a week (or at least once a month)?
  • What area of expertise do I want to showcase?
  • Who is my audience (who would benefit from reading what I have to say)

Yes, there are many other things to consider and you can check out ProBlogger for more on getting started and improving your blogging. These are particularly good resources as well:

Starting Your First Blog? 29 Tips, Tutorials and Resources for New Bloggers from Problogger

Blogging for Beginners and 10 Blog Traffic Tips from Entrepreneurs Journey (Yaro Starak)

68 Ways to Make Blogging Work for You from For Bloggers By Blogger (Danny Brown)

Business Blogging Articles to Get You Started from Denise Wakeman’s Better Business Blog

Choosing Your Weapon (I mean platform)

  • WordPress.com (free)
  • WordPress.org (you have to pay to host it on a server)
  • Typepad (free)
  • Blogger (free)

WordPress is the more popular of the platforms for blogging.  I have found it has the newest and greatest bells and whistles (themes, plugins and widgets).The others all have their own following and pros and cons.

I would suggest you ask around and pick a platform that someone you know is using.  This will make it so much easier for you to get your questions asked and help for your problems.

A Lighter Load

Are you thinking that you aren’t ready to learn code, master SEO and all the other stuff?  Maybe either of these sharing platforms would be an easier solution.  They offer much of the same benefit of building a reputation but with a bit less work. Often referred to a microblogging sites, they allow you to write posts and share links, photos etc.

Tumblr

Nope, Not Ready to Jump off That Bridge (yet)

Perhaps this is sounding like too much of a commitment.  Fine, start commenting on blogs in your industry.  You will be able to contribute to the conversation and begin building relationships, learning and acquiring digital terrain.

So where do you find good blogs to comment on?

Google Blog Search

AllTop

Technorati

SmartBrief

Commenting Guidelines:

  • Be professional at all times
  • Check grammar, punctuation, spelling before submitting comments
  • Join in on the conversation by reading the other comments and contributing, adding, politely disagreeing or supporting
  • Add value to the post by adding your thoughts on the topic/issue
  • Be sure to keep it relevant to your areas of expertise
  • Be generous and gracious and polite
  • Use your real name/the name by which you want to be found by

Log in/Sign in

Commenting on blogs usually requires that you sign in. The choices you have vary depending on the blog.  You want to use the same login/profile consistently.  You can also sign in with other accounts such as your Facebook, Twitter or Google. Discus is another popular sign in tool bloggers use.

Then other times you can use your name, email and URL/website.  If you don’t have a website, use your LinkedIn URL (I think this will work, let me know if it doesn’t).

Blog Comments: Part of Your Online Executive Brand Communication Plan from Executive Career Brand (Meg Guiseppi)

Guest Blogging

Maybe you don’t feel ready to commit to hosting your own blog.  If you find a blog you like, you might be able to become a guest blogger.  Many times blogs are looking for people to contribute. See if there is a “guest blogging policy” on their site and follow those instructions.  Reach out and introduce yourself but it might be a good idea to interact on the blog via comments first to build name recognition.  If you go this route, you should have samples of your work and be a strong writer or a new angle.

Here are some parting thoughts and I am sorry this is longer than I intended it to be.

  • Watch and listen.
  • See what others are doing
  • Experiment with new ideas
  • Have fun
  • Build a community
  • Make your blog interactive, ask for comments, feedback, ideas, other solutions

And Part 3 in this series of reputation management is going to talk about Twitter!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ed Han June 22, 2011, 6:54 am

    O wow, I love this blog Hannah and you’re so right about the merits of commenting if blogging is too intimidating/demanding. Another thing about commenting on blogs: it’s a great way to network!

    I hadn’t thought of guest blogging as part of the strategy, even though I’ve done some guest blogs already. That’s excellent advice too.

    • Hannah Morgan June 22, 2011, 8:17 am

      Ed

      Due to the social nature of blogging, I agree, it makes a wonderful opportunity to meet some really interesting people- not just the author but those that comment too!

      As always, I appreciate your perspective and upbeat messages, here, on Twitter and Facebook too!

  • Steve Levy June 22, 2011, 7:07 am

    Hannah….this is a GREAT primer on how to start building your own online data warehouse – you could not have made it shorter. Please let me add something that might help your peeps…

    1. I keep an idea notebook with me in which I jot down idea snippets. I also use Dragon Dictation – a free app on my iPhone – when I get a lightbulb moment but don’t have my pad handy.

    2. Most of my ideas come from what I call “Andy Rooney moments” – on 60 Minutes, Andy always seems to start his rants with the words, “Ever wonder why…?” When these come to me – and these thoughts can be caused by anything, they go into the notebook and become future posts.

    3. One way or another, thank people for their comments.

    4. Final thought…unless you really know the blogger whose post you want to comment about, there’s nothing wrong with first offering a comment in which you ask the writer to clarify their words. Comments that are so off base are legendary in the blogosphere.

    Never be afraid to offer up a blog post where you ask readers to help you understand something.

    • Hannah Morgan June 22, 2011, 8:23 am

      Steve,
      Thanks!
      Your additions are super! Keeping an idea notebook is a great way to always have post content ready.

      Thanking people for their comments should have been my first rule. That’s what we bloggers live for.

      Your final warning is a good one as well. Misunderstandings and assumptions are dangerous online. I’ve read really interesting discussions on blog posts and so often seen disagreements occur over misinterpretations.

      I always enjoy your thinking and appreciate your words of wisdom on this!

  • Daniel Bud June 22, 2011, 9:26 am

    Hannah, What do you think of Tumblr? Is it too basic or too “casual” of a service to be taken seriously in this capacity? I’m just curious what you think because it just passed Wordpress in the number of blogs it hosts!

    • Hannah Morgan June 22, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Bud,
      I think using Tumblr vs Wordpress or other platform depends on the message you are trying to create. Number of users is not ALWAYS the best indicator. The fact that Tumblr is very simple could attribute to the increase in users. From what I understand, the regular blogging platforms have more oomph, bells and whistles and clout. This could change.

      Because I haven’t used Tumblr, I can’t truly speak to its benefits vs others. You raise a good question and perhaps someone else will chime in.

  • PaulJenkins33 June 22, 2011, 9:32 am

    @Hannah Morgan. Awesome article. Actually learned a bit even though I’ve been blogging for quite a while. Thanks.

    Google just released “Me on the web”; a tool that allegedly lets you monitor exactly what’s being said about you on the web. To me, this is perfect for persons, but companies, not so much.

    Obviously, what you said in the article is true as well and you can use Google’s Tool for exactly that. Monitor what’s being said about you online, then answer the negative comments/reviews professionally, maybe even bring evidence to the table to further enforce your point.

  • Donna Svei June 22, 2011, 9:53 am

    Hannah,

    Your post goes well with yesterday’s post on AvidCareerist: “Job Seekers: To Blog or Not to Blog?” http://bit.ly/mf6gKR

    We have a lively conversation going on the pros and cons of blogging as a career strategy.

    I hope you’ll come by and add your insight plus a link to this excellent post!

    Donna Svei
    http://www.AvidCareerist.com
    @AvidCareerist

    • Hannah Morgan June 22, 2011, 1:08 pm

      Hi Donna,
      Great, I will come on over and join in. I guess we are thinking along the sames lines! I hadn’t seen your post, otherwise I would have referenced it!

  • Bonnie Arnold June 22, 2011, 11:59 am

    When will you be presenting the Social Media and Reputation Management class again? Could not go to the session at the Fairport Library today because I was already signed up for a different class at a different location for the same time frame. The Fairport Library did not have another class on this topic scheduled and suggested you may be making the same presentation at another location sometime soon.

  • Carol White Llewellyn June 22, 2011, 7:54 pm

    Hannah –
    Great post and nice coverage of the benefits of blogging and reputation management. I’m not sure if one of my favorite bloggers who writes about blogging is included in the 29 tips & resources, but beginners should check out Yaro Starak (http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/) His blog looks a bit commercial, but he offers some terrific advice.

    I think many people who don’t blog or do social media would be surprised that the benefits transfer far beyond your online presence. I can’t tell you how often I’ve attended a meeting or met someone through a friend and heard, “Hey, I read your post about _____________!” or “So you’re the author of those posts.” Online, your reputation precedes you, and it’s a great way to open networking doors.

    One additional tip I’d like to contribute is that it’s wise to put your best foot forward. In other words, positive comments can be made to the world, criticism (constructive or otherwise) should be delivered one-on-one, not in a public forum such as blog commenting.

    Thanks, Hannah, for this wonderful post, and keep up the good work!
    Carol
    Finger Lakes Travel Maven

    • Hannah Morgan June 23, 2011, 4:58 am

      Carol,
      I do reference Yaro Starak too! Yes, his site does look a bit commercial, but it is packed with information I found helpful, so thank you for supporting him.

      I love the points you make about people referencing your posts when you meet them. This is exactly what we want to happen, it helps establish you and brings recognition!

      Finally, I do agree that criticizing in public is not a wise move and your recommendation for contacting them in a less-public forum is another way to build relationships!

      Thank YOU for your contribution and support along the way!

  • Denise Wakeman June 23, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the shoutout and link to Build a Better Blog. This is a great introduction to why and how to use blogging to support your business goals. This week I published a simple comparison chart of blogging platforms and hosting services. Your readers may find some value if they’re are contemplating starting with a blog: http://www.buildabetterblog.com/2011/06/how-to-choose-a-blogging-platform-comparison-chart.html

    Blog on!

    • Hannah Morgan June 29, 2011, 4:36 am

      Denise,
      I have followed your work and greatly respect your vast knowledge in the blogging sphere! Thank you so much for sharing this additional link comparing blogging platforms! Yay!

  • Linda Ann Nickerson October 16, 2011, 11:08 am

    Insightful post, Hannah!
    Everything a user posts online can show up in a potential employer or professional contact’s online search on that user’s name. Comments count!

    • Hannah Morgan October 17, 2011, 5:09 am

      Lindsey,
      You are a woman who puts your money where your mouth is! Absolutely, comments count! Thanks for stopping by!

  • your reputation November 26, 2012, 1:29 am

    This is really exciting! I don’t think you’ve considered the human factor, but I still think you make a lot of sense.