Google+ for Bloggers and Writers

Google+ for WritersSo I have to admit, although I initially signed up for Google+ when it first came out, I haven’t used it very much since (and neither have many of my friends). Recently I’ve noticed that a lot of my blogging and other writing friends use it, although I wasn’t quite sure how. I had an old account set up via my university e-mail, but all of my attempts to log in to that account pretty much failed. I set up a new account using my current Gmail e-mail. While that pretty much left me to start from scratch, it allowed me to get a better feel for all of the new settings Google+ had to offer, such as cover photos (hello Facebook and Twitter) which I made my blog’s logo. I filled out the basic information and then started exploring.

From there, I decided to do some research to get Google+ up and running for my blog, Adult Ballerina Project, and share what I learned with Entrepreneurship Life readers along the way.

 

Communities and Circles

Circles are pretty easy, which I found out via my old Google+ profile. To fill in my own, I used their process to go through your Gmail contacts and used that to add a lot of my coworkers and other contacts. I also added a lot of my Sweat Pink Ambassador buddies. So that was pretty easy. I even created a circle just for my Sweat Pink buddies to keep them managed well.

I didn’t know anything about communities until I saw Code It Pretty’s series, Why Bloggers Love Google+. It took me a little to track down these down (I had to read this Google+ FAQ before I realized I need to hover over the Google+ logo to find them). Right away, I joined the Fitness community and introduced myself. While I’m not sure how helpful these communities will be, they certainly will be useful depending on what your writing about to share your posts. I’ve noticed that a lot of people will share their training plans and such here.

I also worked on starting my own community for adult ballerinas, but I’m not sure enough of my fellow bloggers are using Google+. We’ll see.

 

Hangouts

Just starting out, I haven’t gotten a chance to try this feature yet, but I know that some of my fellow bloggers use hangouts to meet with their writers virtually to plan out what they’re going to be writing in the future, so it could be super useful for that. There’s also a lot more to explore in hangouts (you can even watch them later), as Code It Pretty mentions there’s a whole bunch of interesting options from Museum of Modern Art’s MoMA Learning Hangouts, Hangouts with the White House, and Chef Dennis Littley’s educational foodie Hangouts.

 

Google Authorship

This was the part of Google+ that is perhaps most useful to ordinary bloggers as well as freelance journalists and writers. It allows your profile name and photo to appear in Google search results, whether the post you write on your own website (which is super easy to set up if you’ve got an e-mail address from your domain), sites your regularly contribute to, or sites you guest blog for.

Check out this Google+ post for how to set it up for both kinds of profiles, and check out this Code It Pretty post for how to best use it with guest posts and more (by adding a link to your post and adding it to your contributor list on Google+ in your bio).

When I checked, my authorship didn’t seem to be quite working yet, but I had just set it up, so it should be working in the near future, as Code It Pretty notes it can take awhile. You can even track your authorship stats using Google Webmaster tools.

 

Google+ Pages

You can also create pages specifically for your brand as well to provide updates from you website, blog, etc. While this has been a tempting option for me, I’ve been holding off to see how my own Google+ following gets going before creating a page. I’ll then consider launching both a Google+ page and a Twitter account just for my blog at the same time to get the blog rolling for both.

 

Advantages with Blogger

Bloggers using Blogger have more advantages with Google+, such as implementing a Google+ comment system where users can use their Google+ profile as well as easy linking between their profiles. If you use Blogger, I would definitely take advantage of this use of Google+.  There are some plugins that attempt to make this happen in WordPress, but it’s not as seamless.

 

Final Thoughts

While I’m thrilled to have finally figured out Google Authorship and having a Google+ profile set up for those purposes, I seem to be struggling to find others who use Google+ and find additional uses for it. While many of the things I read recommended using Google hangouts and other things to connect with readers and fellow bloggers, Twitter seems to be working out really well for me. I think Google+ use for me is going to come down mostly to Google Authorship and using Webmaster tools in connection to it. Blogger users might have better luck though.

I think I’ll explore some other lesser-used social media tools in the future for blogging such as Pinterest and my favorite, Tumblr.

Do you use Google+ for blogging/freelance writing? What other social media tools do you use?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

Comments

  1. Great post! I don’t use it at all yet, but I definitely want to jump into it soon.

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