At this stage I think it’s generally accepted that owning your online presence and making it the best it can be is getting more important every year.
Ever entered the name of a new acquaintance into a search engine? It would be the obvious thing to do wouldn’t it? There are people who don’t exist online at all, but they are few. What do people find when they search you? Search engine algorithms favour original content, so as soon as you start really existing online, you will benefit from it. And by every year that passes, these benefits will only grow.
There are two main ways you can get started. 1. Invest in getting your own space on the web straight away, or 2. Using free blogging platforms, spend time playing, finding your feet and building confidence before setting up on your own.
Whichever way you start – to really make the most of all the content you are creating, you will want to aim to have it on your own space before sharing it. You’ll want to have a domain, which you need to buy, and some space to put your stuff on. Luckily there’s no need to faff around building a website. Get a content management system (at this point I like to recommend WordPress.org, but the Internet moves fast and by the time you read this, that might have changed. WordPress.org is open source and free.)
Content management systems (CMS) provide a framework to allow you to add content and change design aspects of your website without knowing any code. Setting this up and learning the basics is something you might consider getting help with, just hire someone for half a day and you’re all set. It’s really that simple.
This website is the centrepiece of your online presence. Here is where you’ll want the search engines to find you, because here you can completely control the content and the image you want to project. This also means that not everything you are doing necessarily has to live there. The basic thought process should be: if it’s worth keeping, put it somewhere else than facebook. Have as many side blogs as you want, connect them or not, use your real name or not.
1) what to post now you have a space
2) don’t talk into an echo chamber: how to create your playground