Blogger: Rachel Kent
When you start writing for publication, you are putting yourself in the position of needing to keep up appearances–especially online. If you are publishing magazine articles or books, readers might search for you online to see what your credentials are or to see if you have a blog or books to read, or anything else that might be of interest to them. If you are still unpublished, agents and editors might search for you to see what kind of presence you have. From what I’ve seen, the authors that really take getting published seriously have started to build an online presence. Having a website and a professional Internet presence isn’t a prerequisite for agent representation, but it does show an agent/editor that a writer is getting ready to be published.
Here are some tips to help you to build a professional presence online:
* A bad-looking website can do more harm than good. Find someone with some website building experience to help you to put it together. You don’t need to spend a lot right away, but taking your website beyond the pre-built template with advertisements on it can really help you to look professional.
*Reserve your name for your website domain name. If you can’t get your name, be sure to use something professional like the name of your ministry or business.
*Use the same domain name for your email address extension. Don’t try to get cute with your email address. iloveshoes @ yahoo.com isn’t the way to go. If you want to use a free email service like gmail or yahoo mail, put your name in the email address somehow.
*There’s a big difference between a “selfie” and a professional photo. A snapshot taken by a family member isn’t the best idea either. They end up looking like mug shots, and that’s not the look you should be going for. Pay for the professional picture and be sure to get the rights to the photo. It is expensive, but it is important.
Remember, these business expenses can be written off of your taxes. Talk to your accountant about the details.
*Be sure you are posting relevant things on Facebook and Twitter, and do try to keep it positive. If I see that a potential client is an online complainer, I am very unlikely to take that person on. I am sure you all have some Facebook friends who do the complaining thing! If you love Candy Crush, Farm Heroes, or other online games, start a private Facebook page for your games and game friends. You shouldn’t be playing games on your professional pages.
*Always watch your language and think twice before you post anything.
What are some rules you follow to help keep your online presence professional?
What changes might you need to make in your online presence?
How do you keep your online presence professional? Via literary agent @RachelLKent Click to tweet.