"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Are You "Google" Worthy?

There's a popular song that states "you're nobody until somebody loves you."
That's old news.
Today it seems that you're nobody until you have an online identity through Google.

It's true.  Folks conduct Internet "background checks" for romantic connections, employment purposes, business deals, and even to snoop on your personal and professional affiliations.

Agents use it to see your publishing history, your "following" and the quality of your body of work. Your competition even uses it to see what you're up to and how to keep up with you!

This discovery came to me some time ago when I received an Email from a writer friend of mine living in Tennessee. He told me had Googled me to see what projects I had been working on, and was impressed that I had my hands in so many different things!  "I see your work has even been translated into several languages, bravo!" He said.

I thought he was just pulling my leg. Different languages? 
So I Googled my name with quotation marks.  Sure enough, there it was.
My short stories written years ago, for Simon and Schuster's anthology series "Chocolate for a Woman's Heart", appeared to have been in Spanish and Japanese.  How cool!

And, might I add, when it comes to this Google thing, I've even gotten out-of-state clients due to my Google-ability. (Is that a word?):-)
Indeed, Google is the "new black."

How about you?  When others look up your name online what does it reveal?
Are you linked or referred to on others' websites?

Do you Blog?  Are your postings "tasteful"?
Do you have a diverse online portfolio?  Any online complaints or war of words?  These are things to consider.

Here are 10 ways to become more Google worthy:

1. Get a life!  I mean a writing life. Post pieces to online forums,
article directories, or Blogs.  Have something to say, and say it well.
Be the writer others aspire to be like and want to know more about.

2. Get a website or Blog. No matter what your level of experience, every writer benefits from having a quality, online web page or blog. You can get feedback from visitors, hone your writing skills, speak your mind, and showcase your talent.

3. Consider asking friends or writers who are more established to allow you to link to them and ride on their coat tail.

4. Get out and get going! Participate in public readings, library workshops, and other events in your local area-- these activities often lead to online coverage.

5. Send out press releases to let the media know what you're up to.

6. Post reviews on books, music, and movies to the many online sites seeking your two cents.

7. Join online writers'groups. There is strength in numbers!

8. Write a weekly or monthly column. I currently have several.
In fact, TheDabblingMum.Com has a nice opportunity for greater exposure.
They will (upon approval), publish quality columns and newsletters that you create, that are not widely circulated on the Internet, as a part of their forum.

9. Join some of the networking websites like Linkedin and Facebook. Get connected!

10. Periodically Google yourself to see what's out there.  Sometimes there are inaccuracies in what's posted, sometimes there may be some plagiarism going on with your work or unauthorized usage.
And sometimes you'll smile at the cool comments people make about how your work has impacted them. 
And at the end of the day, isn't that what this writing thing is all about? 
Here’s hoping you have oogles of Googles!

Pen and Prosper welcomes your comments on this post. Agree or disagree?

Image Credit: Graeme Weatherston


  1. Hi Jenifer!
    I couldn't finish reading your article, without skipping over to Google and doing a Google search on my name. :)

    I came back and finished reading your post. This is very helpful to me, especially because I aspire to become a good writer. Great list, by the way and thanks for sharing!

    Take care!

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 9, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Hi Evelyn,

    Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in. :-)

  3. I agree! I've done many of these things, and plan on adding some of the others to my list. I have seen it pay off in writing friends, connections, an online presence, and writing jobs. Good post, thanks for the info!

    Off to Google my name...
    Happy Monday,
    :) Karen

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Much thanks, Karen! You too.:-)

  5. Guilty as charged! I find that when I google myself, surprises always crop up. As for googling others? It's mainly when I want to prove a point, or, to find out more about an interesting contact.


  6. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 10, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Interesting. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. Two things:
    #1 Thank you for not being afraid to provide advice in list form. So concise and easy to read. I love it! Keeps me coming back to your blog.
    #2 Congrats on the Biz Chick Blogs recognition!

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM


    How lovely of you to say! You've made my day. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts. :-) Have an awesome week!

  9. Blogs and ezine articles are my claim to fame. And thanks to the most recent announcement about my Live Blogging presentation at the Wordpress Meetup on next week, my name has increased on page one.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 11, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    How cool! Thanks for weighing in.

  11. Hi Jen,
    Your articles are always “spot on”! Networking is so important. I’m always amazed at the “power” of connections. Thanks for sharing this post! - Nikola

  12. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 12, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Thanks Nikola, for sharing your thoughts!

  13. Thanks for perfect ideas to become worthy in Google!

  14. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 10, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    You're very welcome!