Google Plus Primer For Bloggers
One Too Many Social Media Platforms?
Yes, another bloody platform.
But there’s diapers to change, dinner to cook, rest to be had.
Where the hell are you suppose to fit in Google Plus?
Between giving away +K and liking FB posts?
Or before retweeting but after checking Commun.it to see who you need to follow back.
Oh! And hello, blogging is on that to-do list too.
If you’re blogging to have fun, screw it all and play on the platforms you like most.
If you have financial goals for your blog or just want to grow your readership check out Why Bloggers Can’t Ignore Google Plus.
I know it becomes overwhelming. My Advice? Try the major platforms out. Focus on where you traffic comes from and track it. You’ll know what platforms to give daily priority, every other day priority and weekly priority to and which to just keep for a rainy day.
Below is not a tutorial on how to set up Google Plus and use it. It’s a primer on what you need to know when using it. Once you know this stuff, setup is easy.
Here’s a list of the sections below:
- Your Profile
- Sharing on Google Plus
- Promoting Your Blog With Google Plus
Google Plus Basics
1. Your profile is public. So if you have an anonymous persona for your blog, then use it to signup for Google and use it for your blog only. At the very least, you’ll want to use that new profile to create google+, email, youtube and picasa accounts (depending on which of these products use use). At least this way they all tie into your blog. I made the mistake of creating a separate You Tube account for this blog, now I can’t import my ABB videos into the YouTube account that’s tied to my Google Profile.
2. If you change your existing account name instead of creating a new one, keep in mind, your name will change across all your Google Products, including email, you can’t change it again for up to three months. Using a Nickname is considered changing your name.
3. All that’s required of your Google+ profile is your name. You could leave everything else blank. Only the fields you fill in will show up on your Google plus profile (About) page. If you use Google+ on your smartphone and see your phone number listed on your profile page, don’t freak out. As long as you don’t manually list it on your profile page, it won’t show up.
4. If you delete your profile name, you delete your Google account including whatever other Google products you use.
5. You can choose to have your profile indexed by the search engine or turn this option off so your profile won’t show up in searches.
6. For maximum search exposure, be sure to add a keywords to your description (located under your name) and to your about page.
1. Circles are basically Facebook’s Friends Lists.
- you categorize everyone into lists/circles
- you can limit who sees what post by only sharing with a circle, multiple circles or public
- you can view posts from certain circles only or from all at the same time
- you can add people to multiple circles
- you can create your own circles and name it whatever you want, the people in that circle will never know if you put them in the asshole list.
2. You can add a person to your circle or change what circles they are in by hovering over their name.
3. If signed in to Google and searching for something, you can add people to your circle who are listed in the search results by following step 2.
4. Like Twitter, there’s no need to ask for permission to follow anyone.
5. If you’re not added back by someone into their circle(s), you can only see what they share Publicly.
6. Extended circles are the circles your connections are in that you aren’t. At first you may think, “Oh i don’t want people I don’t know seeing my status updates.” If that’s the case, stop. Though you can limit status updates/g+ posts to your circles, there’s no point using Google+ if you’re not going to benefit from added exposure.
7. You can import Facebook and Linkedin friends by exporting them to a Yahoo Email Contact list and them importing them into Google Plus. Here’s a recent post with steps to get your stuff from facebook to google plus.
8. If you want a specific circle to show at the top of your circles list (for example: Favorite Bloggers Circle) place an asterisk * at the beginning of the circle name.
9. You can remove someone from your circles by hovering over their name and unchecking the circles they are in. You can also block them.
Sharing on Google Plus
1. You can mention a Google Plus user by adding a plus sign or the @ sign before their name.
2. You can share with specific users by clicking on the box that says Add More People and placing a plus sign before their name.
3. You can share with specific circles, all your circles, extended circles and publicly.
4. You can lock your post so it can’t be shared by others. (which is stupid if your posting to promote your blog or promote your friends)
5. Easily add photos and video.You can edit photos from within Google Plus. You can upload multiple photos and videos at a time. They’ll be listed on the Photos and Videos tabs under your name and picture, accessible by any who view your profile. You can also hide content so only you see it by visiting you albums page accessible from the Photos tab.
6. You can reshare posts by clicking on the Share button.
7. I’m not going to explain the 1+ button.
8. Once you comment on someone’s G+ post, you start receiving updates whenever someone comments on it. At the top of the post there’s an arrow that leads to the option to Mute the post.
9. Etiquette applies here just as on facebook and twitter. Mention circle friends, +1 posts you like, share their posts you like, leave comments.
10. Don’t overlook the comments section of your friend’s posts. you may find new people you’d like to circle.
11. To get the most out of sharing on the Google Plus platform, you need to let go of the facebook mentality and not share private stuff. If you’re only connected to someone via Google+ and want to share something personal with them, then yes you can limit the post to sharing only with that person. But even as I say you can do that, I advice to share mostly public stuff if you’re looking to get the most out of using yet another social media platform.
The Importance of expanding your Circles.
Two days ago I reshared a post on Google Plus about censorship. I made a comment saying, oh look! more censorship.
Ever look at a word and wonder if you spelled it right?
It just looks odd?
So I Googled the word to see if Google would correct me. I found myself at the top of the search results for the term censorship with reference to what I just posted on Google Plus a minute ago.
I figured, I know it’s because I’m signed into Google, I wonder if people from my circle will get this too.
So I asked one of my closest peeps, who’s also in my circle, to head over to Google and search censorship.
And there I am again.
Promoting Your Blog With Google Plus
There’s no automatic way to post to google plus yet as you do with facebook and twitter.
1. However, you can share from any blog, including your own, that has a Google+ share button. Just hover over the count box and this dialog will show up.
2. In the Add A Comment field, be sure to add a comment preferably one you’d like to be found in Google Search by your Circles for, as I did with the word censorship.
3. Link your Blog with Google Plus. Very simple.
- Add a Google Plus Badge to your site (it may require you to add info to the <header> area).
- In Google Plus, head over to your profile, click the About tab, on the far right there’s a sidebar to add your profiles. Look for Contributor To and add your blog’s url.
4. Add Google Plus sharing icons to your posts. Make it easy for people to share your posts on Google+.
You can create a Google Plus Page, similar to a FB Fanpage. Add a badge on your blog for people to circle your blog in the event they just want your blog updates. Keep in mind, you’ll need to share your posts manually on your Google Plus Page, at least until someone shares an automated plugin.
Here’s my take on Google Plus Pages as it stands now. If you have multiple blogs, than yes, add pages for each blog and post updates for each blog on it’s own page. People may circle you via their blog or from coming across you in a Google Search or by way of a comment on another G+ Member’s post. Be sure to Follow Back every Google Plus Page that Follows you. As you would with GFC, this is how you build community with the added benefit of pushing your posts in their faces.
Seriously, how often did we use GFC for anything more than showing a blogger we support them and to build numbers to show advertisers?
How did being a GFC member remind you to visit a blog or make it easy for you to visit a blog.
I know a lot of people are pissed about GFC, in my opinion, this is the better option. What do you think?
By the way, would you like to show up in my personal search results?
Circle Me on Google+ so I can Circle you back!