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There are those that say it’s all about appearances, this is very true online. Why? Because everything you do online not only leaves a footprint but it’s also your 24/7 resume. If the footprint you’re leaving looks unprofessional and half-finished, it might not bode well for your online reputation and sales. Here are some quick tips on how to look good online:

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Social Networks: with social networks it’s not about quantity but quality. I often have authors tell me they are on numerous social networking sites (some are on as many as 50). That’s great if you can keep them all current, if you can’t find the ones you can participate in and stick with those. Remember that the first word on social networking is “social” so if you’re not able to participate actively (at least once a week) then get out.

Sign up for Google alerts: who’s saying what about you? If you don’t know you should. This is (usually) a good thing. You want to know where reviews appear so you can a) link to them and b) thank the person who reviewed you or mentioned you on their blog or website.

Get a blog: in order to get on blogs, you must have a blog but it’s more than just having one, it’s about keeping it updated. (see Participate)

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Participate: In order to reap the benefits of the online world you must participate. This goes back to the social networking site and your blog. Participate, communicate and listen. Three rules online that will never steer you wrong.

Don’t get greedy: lead with the benefits, not the dollar signs. What I mean by this is that if you’re going online to make a quick buck, get out. You might make a few dollars but success will be short lived.

Network: it goes without saying that networking (especially online) is important. Network, lend a helping hand, show people how you can help them.

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Get a website: don’t just get one, get a good one. You’d never think to show up for a car race with a scooter. Don’t even try to go online with anything less than a professional website. While I know it’s tempting to do it yourself most authors always end up regretting it. “My website is fine.” They’ll say till you ask them how well it’s selling for them. If the answer is: “it’s not” then you need a new site. Much like bringing a scooter to a Nascar race and hoping to win, show up online with a site that reflects your expertise, creativity, and message. This is one race you can’t afford to lose.

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