Why Google Plus is Better For This Blogger
When I worked in corporate, every other Thursday night was THE night to schedule the sitter, meet up with friends and start winding down from the week.
Occasionally I’d get on the bar hop train.
A few friends and I would head out to meet up with other friends across the city.
Spend some time here, head over to the next pub, spend sometime there. All along the way seeing other friends and making new acquaintances. Shooting a game of pool here, having a chicken basket there. Listening to this band sing downtown, laughing at that comedian uptown.
All in one night.
Get home by 1am, up by 8am to head to work again.
Sounds great, right?
Get all your socializing done in a few hours. Be seen everywhere. Have a great time.
Ahhh, to be 26 again…
The downside to it all?
I’d see friends I hadn’t seen in a while, but there wasn’t much time to talk.
My chicken baskets went half eaten and many times I wasn’t in one spot long enough to get a pool table.
By the time we made it to the comedy club or the bar with the live show, it was standing room only with a bunch of drunks using the opportunity to cop a feel in passing.
And the commute between bars was a total time suck.
Wouldn’t it have been awesome if all my friends, food, the pool table, the band, the comedian and my favorite bartender were all in one space?
A bar court as opposed to a food court. Hahaha. That would have been so cool.
Lucky for my ulcer that doesn’t exist in my neck of the woods.
And 10 years and 2 more kids later, bar hopping is just not in the schedule.
Nor is it my cup of tea.
But socializing always has been, and sadly I didn’t do that enough in 2012.
I did a lot of platform hopping…I was seen almost everywhere for the first half of the year, but did it fill my need to socialize? To sit back and have interesting conversations around family, work, film, local news…ya know, everything you usually bullshit about, with friends, over a few drinks.
And having to time how long I spent on each platform, keep up with the updates from multiple platforms and sign into each platform…another time suck.
But, it’s a new year, right?
And as many of my fellow mom bloggers are doing, I’ve made some decisions about how I’m going to be more productive and engaging in the new year.
Enter…the Ultimate Social Media Platform For This Busy Mom Blogger.
In Google Plus I’ve found everything I need:
- I can easily connect with others.
- I can easily make new friends by commenting on their G+ posts.
- I get instant email alerts while cruising G+ posts and watching videos.
- I can chat publicly and privately.
- I can show off my portfolio.
- I can start communities, be a part of communities.
- I can express myself in more than 140 characters.
I know, you die hard facebook fans are saying, so what, I can do that on FB too.
This is true.
But, there’s a difference.
One: Google Plus is SEO friendly for my blog.
I can share a post now and you could find it within hours in your search results because I’m in your circles. You may have not thought of me in a while, you may have not visited my blog ever, you may have circled me randomly, but you search for the same topic I posted about and I’ll be in your personal search results.
Learn more in Why Bloggers Can’t Avoid Google Plus.
Two: Google Plus is sexier than Facebook.
Ok only for the moment. I won’t put it past Google to find a place for ads.
But for now, it’s super sexy ad-less space has me fanning myself.
It’s all about me and my peeps.
Any person with a Google account can go to Google Plus and instantly create or join a Hangout – a live video chat, where all members can:
Share data onscreen (including anything they’ve got open on their desktop)
Watch a YouTube video together, right within the Hangout
Create a Playlist, so your Hangout can re-watch any YouTube videos you’ve used
Work with Google Docs onscreen during the Hangout
Use SlideShare presentations during the Hangout
Click on any Hangout participant’s thumbnail video screen and talk to them directly
Work with texts on the side, if participants prefer to type questions and comments, rather then talk
This is a big deal for me and my 2013 plans for the Google Luv Course.
I always have Gmail open and building a Google Plus Private Community for the Google Luv Course students means I see group messages instantly and can respond from within my email in real time. Heck I can ever +1 posts and comments from within my email. I can add pictures, links and videos just as I would in a FB group, but guess what? No ads cluttering the page.
Five: Google Plus Pages
There’s no huge admin panel in my way.
I can easily navigate to communities and other pages.
Having a Google Plus Page for my blog means I can verify with Google that I am a publisher. This gives me a boost in the search engine results.
Does this mean I’m leaving Twitter and Facebook?
But if you want to find me, Google Plus is where I’ll be.
Wondering how to build a Google Plus Page for your blog and get it verified?
To the left of your Google Plus Profile is a little floating sidebar. It’s where you can access and switch between your feed, pages, communities, etc. You can organize it by pulling icons from the More menu..
- When you click on the little “Pages” icon, you’ll be taken to the “room” that houses your Google Plus Pages, as well as any Pages from your others you’ve been given rights to access.
Later, when you have your own page or maybe access to someone else’s, you can select from these already-created Pages to instantly open up the one you want.
- Press the red “Create Page” button to start setting one up.
You’ll be taken to a new page, where you’ll select the first of three simple steps – deciding what type of business yours is.
Being a blogger, I say go with Brand.
- Next, you’ll be asked to enter your Page data. Fill in:
Your Page name
The website URL you want it to point to
Click on the little arrow for a drop-down menu to set the rating
Check the radio button to agree to Google’s terms (do read them first. They’ll open up in a separate window)
Click the red “Continue” button
Once you’ve worked your way through fields to be filled out, you’ll finally be able to customize your Page.
- Start by uploading a custom background (akin to Facebook’s “Cover Photo”) to replace the default background.
A jpef or png file at 940px x 180px. If it’s bigger, you’ll have the opportunity to crop it.
You’ll find your Profile photo already there; I suggest leave it as it is – you should use the same Profile Photo across all your social networks unless you want to add your logo or blog badge instead.
But you can change your Profile Photo easy peasy. Hover over the picture for a link to change it.
Head over to the About page. Verify your email and Link your website.
It’s a good idea to configure your Google Analytic account before clicking that Link Website button. By doing so, you’ll find that once you click that button, you’ll receive a message that your site has been verified. Otherwise follow the steps provided by Google.
Remember to Share your page and promote it across other networks.
And that’s it! Super super easy.
So where will you be socializing online this year?