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How to Build and Maintain a Strong Online Web Presence

Hello folks,

What I've got here is a list I've originally gotten from ComputerARTs Mag and expanded on quite a bit. Should make for some good reading not only for designers / developers, but many of the ideas discussed can be broadened to benefit the majority of us web brokers (for lack of a better term).

To build and keep your strong presence on the web:

1. Post a blog (tutorials + tips, something to give to community and bring in viewers)

- Not only does this provide viewers with an outlet to your ideas, it also serves as a portal or connection to your progress as a web figure. A great way to keep users in touch and also clued in on what you are up to.

2. Promote a cause (http://www.g8reboot.net/)

- This will make you appear to have a stance on an issue, and can only increase your rep. Also appears as if you are part of something for good and don't necessarily need the business (but the promotion this step provides is phenomenal!)

3. Speak at an event

- Now, maybe this would not apply to all of you, but nothing says official like speaking at an event. I have done several live tutorials in user groups such as SDMMUG (San Diego Macromedia Users Group), and even though the crowd may be 20 or so people, it always makes for great reviews on the web.

4. Create a gallery/domain portfolio (http://unaradio.com.ar/gaston/pingpong.htm)

-Similar to but more important than a blog, this is the meat and potatoes of your work. All of us show have some kind of accessible web outlet to what it is exactly that we do, so I will not get into this much more.

5. Attend events (what to bring, what to say, who to meet, how to find them)

- Nothing says you are part of a crowd like going to their events. Take pictures. People love to see pictures from inside the biz. Read up before you go, and find out who to meet. Introduce yourself, and have a good time. After all, you should only be attending events that interest you.

6. Network (expand on 5.)

- Not only at events, network constantly. Whether you are at the grocery store or on a lunch break, let people know what it is you do and how/if you could possibly help them. Domainers, perhaps you may not be immediately of service to anyone, but you may find that end user on the street just as easily as on the web.

7. Start a community site

- This one is also very important, but comes with time. It takes time to build an image for people to respect, and even longer to build a loyal user base. Take time to decide what community you could really contribute to, and do it! It will definitely pay off in the long run.

8. Signature / Link to / Graphics packages (being legit and keeping your name on the web)

- Market yourself in a friendly manner, and don't forget about signatures. You want those backlinks for google and also for people to see your link as much as possible! Brand loyalty is key here!

9. Have a memorable business card

- This is extremely important, nothing under 12pt card stock is acceptable. Nobody is going to keep just any Joe-Schmo's crappy card in their wallet just because you have a cool company name. You're going to need something that's memorable and sturdy. The first cards I always throw out are the poorly printed ones, what about you? Mine are double-sided 14pt Glossy UV, and I havenít had to give it twice to anyone yet.

10. Be Nice!

- Nobody ever got big by offering a unique/quality service with a bad attitude. It takes years to find a good customer, and only one bad experience to lose one. Always think about other's feelings, especially on the web! The disconnect from reality can sometimes lead to miscommunication and it's very important you keep a good reputation for yourself everywhere you go. The web is large, but news spreads fast.

Dylan Butler is an XHTML coder for http://www.pint.com, and a student at the Art Institute of CA- San Diego for Interactive Media Design. http://www.DylanButler.com

Source: www.articledashboard.com