This year I want to encourage you to make one of your blogging goals Google Plus. You have probably heard a lot about it or have been toying with the idea of setting it up. You may have even set up an account and tried to use it but felt it was a “ghost town” with no engagement or traffic. I am here to help. I will help you learn about everything that you want to know about Google Plus
I love G+ and have been active on it since March of 2013. Although I am not an expert, I would love to share what I have learned and help and encourage you to start using G+.
Let’s just get this myth out of the way – G+ is a ghost town.
It is actually the second most used network behind facebook. It is used more than twitter and instagram. The common phrase to use about G+ is that FB is for the people you already know, G+ is for the people you want to know. Do you only want the same people reading your blog or do you want to grow your audience and find new people? That is what G+ is for.
Danielle wrote a great post a while back on G+ tips. I don’t want to repeat what she said, so I decided to talk about circling people and expand on communities and sharing.
The big difference with G+ is that you can circle whoever you want. You are not friends with them and it does not have to be mutual. They may or may not circle you back. But it is important to note that people you circle are the people YOU want to see things from, not vice versa. And although I do not recommend circling a bunch of random people just to have people to circle, I definitely recommend building up the people you circle. Once you have a few hundred you circle, it will feel like less of a ghost town.
When you put people into circles, try to be organized from the beginning. If they are food bloggers, have a “foodie” circle. If they are craft bloggers, make a circle specifically for them. If they are both you can put them in both circles. If you feel you have to circle someone out of obligation (your crazy cousin) and they are annoying, create an “annoying people” circle. The great thing is that no one but you can see what circle you put someone in.
These are basically groups of other plussers who share an interest. I am not too FB savvy, but I think they may be similar to groups. Communities on G+ are a great way to get to know other people.
There are thousands of communities available. Whatever topic you are interested in, there is probably a community for it. There are blogging communities, recipe communities, craft communities, mommy communities, etc. Join several communities and start to engage with the people in them.
Although you can find communities that allow you to self-promote and post links to your blog articles, I would approach these communities with caution. Most of the time they are simply a “link and leave” community. Every one just leaves links to their own posts without looking at anyone else’s. You will gain many more followers and have a much better G+ experience when you focus on the communities that do not allow link dumping.
Sharing on G+ is another way to make your experience better. For every one of your own posts that you publish on G+, you should be sharing at least 5 of other’s posts or other original material. Posts do not always ahve to have links in them. By sharing others’ work, it will help you get to know other plussers and increase your authority with G+ (which could help with pagerank and SEO!) The more you share, the more other people might share your stuff.
Couple tips on sharing
- Share large photos – thumbnails do not get the same attention as larger photos do.
- If you share others’ work let them know by + mentioning them.
- +1s are nice and a great ego boost, but commenting, sharing and +mentioning are much better for engagement.
Of course there are so many facets to G+ and one blog post is not going to be able to cover it all. If anyone has more questions, please ask. You can leave them in the comments, but also come over to G+ and you can ask me there.
I would love to help answer your questions if I can. I can also recommend great communities to join and G+ influencers to follow that will make your G+ experience great.
So what more do you want to know about G+?