Do You Google Yourself?
This blog was originally going to be titled "What's in a Name?" After googling every possible combination of my name to see what came up, I decided to change it to something more appropriate. Let me start by saying that I have a plain Jane married name. It's Pat Ballard. Nothing fancy. My maiden name was Pat Lafferty. That had a rather colorful Irish ring to it, but I got married just before women started keeping their maiden names. Not sure the term maiden with all that it implies was ever appropriate for most of my generation, but whatever. My family was extremely eccentric and famous for it in the small Kansas town where I grew up, so I couldn't lose the Lafferty fast enough. It was really embarrassing as a teen to be introduced to people and have them snicker when they heard my name. The first thing out of their mouths was usually, "Are you related to.....?" As I've gotten older this has changed, I'm rather proud of my very odd collection of ancestors. With the exception of Uncle Max, no one wants their name connected to his..... even now! It says something that he's been dead almost 40 years, but the stories linger on.
As I learned more about selling online, several important points have sifted out of the mass of information out there about marketing products. First, I realized that there is a market for everything on the internet. It doesn't really matter what it is. With all of the billions of daily hits it takes, a number of people are going to want that product. Second, the really important part of electronic sales is to get the product out there where it can be found. With the rise of google as the premier search engine, I have developed an obsession with googling myself. Googling or to google has become a verb! I have googled Pat Ballard, patballard, Patricia L. Ballard, and Pat Lafferty. For the most part, I have to admit Google is pretty good. It gets it that I'm the same person under all of these names. Most of the time anyway, but even that's impressive.
What frustrates me is that, I rank below Pat Ballard the songwriter. Did you know that he wrote the l950s hit "Mr. Sandman"? Oddly enough, his wife is the godmother of a friend of mine. The world is small and getting smaller everyday. Also, above me in Google ranking is Pat Ballard, a romance novelist. She's the queen of Rubenesque heroines, and she seems like a wonderful person. I want to cut inline and jump ahead of them both! More Pat Ballards that are above me are a Pat Ballard who is charged with a hit and run double homicide, a Pat Ballard male model, and a Pat Ballard who lays linoleum somewhere in Britain. There is also a Patricia Ballard autumn aster. It's pretty cool to have a flower named after you.
What conclusions can I draw from this obsession? The daunting part is that there is more to learn than I can cover in 6 life times. It's made me resolve to do more research on how to improve my google ranking. There are many web pages devoted to this, and they have tons of useful information. Then I need to work on my very small fledgling website and put in the correct links and keywords. Dreamstime tops the list as my stock "home." Lastly, it pays to just keep plugging away at it. The more art you have out there and the more writing and studying that you do, the more notice the google gods will take of your existence and the product that you're pitching. A few of the sites that came up when I googled "google rankings" are listed below. Hope this helps any google virgins. If there are any left! Information from more experienced sellers and other useful web pages would be very much appreciated.
Pat Ballard (The photographer/fractal artist not the alleged murderer, songwriter, or romance writer!)
Photo credits: Patricia L. Ballard.
How to shoot events