Ed. Note: thanks to Helen Cartwright for this Guest Post.
As we move further and further into the digital age, one’s online reputation and appeal becomes a primary concern. Popularity on the internet is no longer just a matter of vanity, but a vital aspect of pursuing dreams and establishing a basis upon which to grow a business, cultivate a hobby, or even just communicate with like-minded individuals.
Many people are still at a loss as to how this new cyber universe works. Particularly stressful can be the struggles we face in just getting noticed by billions of potential new friends, customers, or fans.
10 Steps to Getting Noticed By 3 Billion Internet Users
When it comes to establishing yourself online, you’re essentially branding yourself, your personality and your talents, as a product. Just like any business, the key to success in doing this is through a series of proven activities, in addition to hard work and patience.
Branding means putting out the message you want potential customers to receive and that may differ from your own personal tastes. It’s worth taking the time to determine just how you want to proceed, before going further with establishing yourself online.
Once you have a firm grasp on the way you hope to brand yourself or your business, the following steps to building online followers can be adapted for your personal situation.
Build the Website
First, there’s your website. Even most high school students have one and so should you. It’s expected and it’s not difficult to do. There are a number of web hosting sites that provide templates and themes for the design of your site, making their services accessible even to the most HTML illiterate of us.
If you are in a better situation, you can also think about hiring a professional website design agency as they can provide a unique and structured website based on your preferences. Additionally, many companies offer free hosting. You can expect third party ads to run on these sites and a longer web address with the name of the hosting company included, but it’s a good way to get a taste for the experience and see what services are most important for your circumstances.
Build the Blog
Secondly, a blog is vital. The website will just establish yourself, or your business, as a presence on the web, but a blog with frequent posts will establish you as an expert in your field and keep visitors coming back. The website and blog have been lumped together here, because, in most circumstances, the blog can be incorporated as a part of the website.
Publish A Newsletter
Once you begin attracting website visitors and developing a fanbase, the best way to keep them coming back for more is through a newsletter. A frequent publication to users’ inboxes will keep you fresh in their minds and bring them back for more on the snippets provided in the newsletter.
List Yourself on Internet Directories
These are different from search engines. Where sites like Bing and Google organize search results by SEO rules and rely on the whims of bots, directories are organized and run by humans. There are paid and free directories and all of them are run by people who list your site on the basis of its value to users. The more directories you join, the farther you can extend your reach.
This is a big one! Everyone is on one social networking site or another. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the major ones, but sites like Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn are consistently growing. It’s necessary to maintain an account with at least one of these sites and consistently posting to stay relevent in your followers’ newsfeeds.
In addition to maintaining a free account, business owners may want to enlist the help of eCommerce platforms tailored to your company’s interests.
Pictures Speak for Themselves
The hard truth is that people prefer images over text and our shorter attention spans want something we can look at quickly. Additionally, posting frequent pictures provides proof that you are who you say you are and today’s society values transparency over all else. Be sure to also have a professional looking logo – remember, it’s all about first impressions. If you don’t have a large budget or don’t know where to get a designer, you can check out sites like Design Contest where you can get your logo designed by professionals at a reasonable cost, and you can pick among many options.
Similarly, videos will help you stand out among the crowd and may be valued even more than photos. Videos provide the online community with an opportunity to see you, or your organization, in action.
This is an option, whether you’re an independent artist seeking to sell your own products or an established business. In either case, take advantage of the platform’s free consultation services to ensure you’re getting the most out of every dollar.
Maps Are Still Useful
This is particular true of businesses with brick and mortar stores. By listing your store on Google Maps, by way of one example, customers can easily find you. Now that GPS programs have taken the place of paper maps, this is quickly becoming as essential as a website.
Post to Other Blogs
It isn’t enough to just post to your own blog. The best way to attract new followers/clients is to reach out to other websites and contribute on their blog. By posting intelligent and useful articles, you will garner interest from other users and they will seek you out.
Additionally, many sites require users to register, before they can post. This will work out in your favor, because many site profiles include a field for listing your own website.
Whether you’re an individual or a part of an organization, these methods can work for most situations. The key to making them work is persistence and a degree of trial and error. Use analytical services and your own observations to determine what’s working and what areas could use a little tweaking. Before long, you will discover that you have mastered the online branding of your image and maintaining that presence will become second nature to you. Before long, you will have accessed the billions of internet users throughout the world and your growing list of followers will reflect your digital success.
Track your progress in getting your site noticed online, by using a rank tracker to see how your content and links are helping your SERP rankings.
About the Author:
Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-writes for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.