Google+ or Google Plus, no matter how you write it, is an author’s best friend. Why? Here are just a couple of reasons to join for the ones that are not already on Google Plus, more in an article from September 2011 “7 Reasons to be on Google+“:
Search Engine Ranking: As the main search engine Google indexes and ranks its own site much higher than any other content. Google+ posts are easily indexed by Google search, and unlike tweets or Facebook posts, are treated much like regular web pages. That means a well-constructed G+ post – with a main keyword in the first sentence / title and a good amount of engagement – can rank well in Google search and stay ranked for a long time.
Google+ helps in building your author rank content, and your author reputation will be determined by your Google+ activity, e.g. how many +1’s (Likes or re-tweets) you receive and in how many circles you are.
An important step in claiming authorship is to link from your blog to your Google+ profile and linking back from Google+ to your blog.
On Google+ authors can create a separate page for each of their books. You have immense space to show images, such as your books cover, even if it has 36 MB, which I just tried out. And you can show images as often as you want during the day. Important tip: Always add the image of your book cover first, and once it shows up, add text and link to Amazon, B&N etc. If you start with the link, only the ugly generic icon from Amazon appears, not showing your cover at all.
On Google+ you can publish your press releases, blogs, testimonials, case studies and news. The difference with Google+ is that your content, if found, will be listed at the top of Google personal results mixed in with traditional search results.
Google+ works with “circles”, which will enable you to “separate” your readers from your private followers or to divide genres in which you write, for sample romance from children’s book readers. Each of your posts can get different audiences.
Another great feature are the “Hangouts”, which can be “used for interviews, small-group Webinars, question and answer sessions etc.
Then there is the Event-Planner where book launches and book signings can be announced, including a map where the event takes place. This way an author in Melbourne, Australia can invite people to her book signing or a book launch party in New Orleans can be brought to the attention of readers. URL
Set up the automatic function of transferring your Google+ posts to Twitter, as described in a blog last month.
Don’t forget to be “social” and comment and +plus other peoples content. It is called social network, not advertising board, so engage a bit with others and appreciate their posts, it is a two-way lane after all…
How can you get lots of followers on your Google+ presence?
- First of all your Google+ page needs to be attractive for visitors: Spend some time optimizing your Google+ page and building it up with content and posts before you start promoting your presence.
- Use lots of images, get links to free images at former blog posts, where we listed free photo sites.
- Announce your Google+ page on your other social media sites.
If people are following you on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, they already find value in the content you are sharing.
- Write a blog post about your new Google+ Page,
what you’ll be sharing there, and why your blog readers should want to follow you.
- Include a Google+ Badge on your blog or website.
Link your Google+ page to your site. Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+. Just go to Google developers and copy / paste the code there into your website code (choose between an icon, or a small or standard badge).
Now you can invite people into your circles:
- Use the icon on the left side of your Google+ page, from there go to “find people” around reader keywords: (type them into the search function on top of your page) book lovers – book worms – reading – books – reads – literature – e-books – Kindle books – publishing – novels etc. and add interesting people to your circles. Try to find readers, not writers and build your own circles.
- Visit other Google+ circles to find like-minded “Googler’s”
- Transfer your Gmail account contacts and add them to your circles
Bill Hartzer gives these tips in a great post:
– Follow people and add them to a Circle.
– Wait a period of time and see if they follow you back.
– If they aren’t active and they haven’t followed you back, then consider removing them from your Circles.
The timing of all of this (adding people to Circles, waiting for them to follow you back, removing them from Circles, etc.) is really up to you–I recommend keeping it to about 250 people a day, although there are some limits on Google+:
– You can only follow 5000 people at any one time.
– There is NO limit to the number of people who can follow you.
– There is a limit to adding people to circles, which is 1000 per day.
Read his very useful post with lots of screen shots.
A great help in establishing your Google+ presence is Guy Kawasaki’s e-book (only 99cents) “What the Plus” – which we already described in a former blog post.
Google+, which was only officially launched in June 2011, has now already more than 400 million registered users, and more than 135 million active users and is rapidly growing. Compare it with Twitter which has only 500 million total users after almost seven years, and more than 200 million active users. Let us know about YOUR Google+ presence and we will add you into our circles. Find our brand new publishing page http://bit.ly/VmtVAS which we just launched, beside the other page, that has around 2,000 followers and 4,600 following (no time to un-follow : )
Google+ is just like any other social network. In order to be social, you need to have friends. You need other people on your social network to interact with, people who are active members of that social network. If they don’t log in on a regular basis and keep their profile active, they can’t interact with you.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris