Most people know that sharing your articles on social networks is a great way to get the word out to a number of followers, but Google+ has taken this a step further. The network has little nooks and crannies that seemed to be designed specifically for writers. In other words, if you’re looking to get published online and help improve your personal brand, Google+ should be your new best friend.
For those who are unfamiliar, Google+ is one of the newest members of the social media world. It was launched in June of 2011 and continued to update the site with games, business pages, photos, and +1 buttons. Although the site is still trailing behind Facebook and Twitter with around 40 million users, it has continued to grow at a drastic rate. It is expected to continue to grow to be one of the largest social networks around, so using it for personal branding purposes is key. Consider some of the ways Google+ works specifically for writers:
Top 3 Ways You Can Use Google+ to Gain Exposure
1. It offers a “contributed to” option on the profile page
If you’re hoping to get published online then you likely have a portfolio of sample articles. Getting published online generally means that you are pitching an editor via email, so this portfolio is most commonly attached as a spreadsheet or written out in the body of the email. This can sometimes be a daunting task, and many editors would prefer not to have to load a spreadsheet and try and figure out the links to your articles. This is where Google+ comes into play.
The social network has an option called “contributed to” on the “about” section of a user’s profile page. This allows users to add a website and a link to an article they have written on that website. For example, the screenshot below shows some of the websites where I have contributed. If you click on the website link, it will take you right to the article I wrote for that website.
Websites that have a Google+ business page will also display their logo on the side. This makes it easy for editors to see all of the articles you’ve written through a medium that is comfortable for them. Overall, it should help your business proposal pitch because it will be easier and quicker than sending over a spreadsheet or list of sample articles.
2. The Google +1 button allows you to share your articles
Another way you can share your articles is by hitting the little +1 button that you see to the right. The button will likely be found on the webpage where your article appears. Once you hit the +1 button, two things will happen. First, if someone who is following you on Google+ does a search in Google and your article comes up on the search engine page, your picture will come up saying you have +1’d the article. This will help connect you with your articles (and more people will be apt to click on an article that their friend +1’ed). Below is an example of what it will look like:
As you can see, Likeable Media +1’ed this article. Likeable Media is in my Google+ circles, so I can connect them with this article that was featured on their site. The second way +1’ing articles can help you is by transferring over to your Google+ account. Whenever an editor someone wants to see what you have +1’ed, all they have to do is go to the “+1’s” tab on your profile and it’s all right there in one place.
3. Authorship and author stats can be connected to Google+
Everything that you +1 and add to your Google+ profile will become a part of Google’s new authorship feature. Along with this feature comes something called “author stats” and allows you to see how many people are reading the posts you have written. If you post something on Google+, the author stats feature will show you whether or not it is showing up in Google searches and how many impressions and clicks that post is getting. This will help give you a lot of ammunition when an editor asks about your posts. You will have real, concrete date in the form of a graph to show them. Although this won’t work with every article you post online (a website must have the authorship feature for you to get the credit), authorship is expected to grow. Learn how to set up authorship and author stats, visit the Google Webmaster Tools website.
In the end, Google+ is great because Google is so huge. The company has the ability to link everything you do because they control so much of the online world. They understand that there is an interest in writing online, so Google+ caters to this interest. If you’re looking to improve your personal brand, Google+ is a great way to get started.
Photo Credit: wildheartamcbay.blogspot.com
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility.com, a nationally recognized SEO company that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.