If you’re unfamiliar with Bloggiesta, you should know it’s the coolest blogging party around. Here’s the official explanation from Bloggiesta:
In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!
I normally host mini-challenges on my book blog, On a Book Bender, but since I’m taking on Google+ and my Google+ account is associated with my personal brand, well, I’m here to keep it consistent.
Google+ is probably one of the most protested (and least liked?) social networks right now. People don’t know how to use it. They don’t want another social network. They don’t like Google forcing them into using it (or that it’s ever going to take off as a social network). Whatever your opinion, it’s valid. I’m not here to change your opinion, only to provide an opportunity to explore Google+ if you want to.
FIVE FOUR ways you can tackle Google+. You can do whatever you’re comfortable with. In the comments, tell me which ones you’ve accomplished.
1. Watch this video.
If you have questions related to what I talked about, feel free to ask in the comments. The video will walk you through the Google+ interface, plus some benefits to using it.
2. Set up, fill out, or optimize your profile.
Your Google+ profile has a couple advantages over other social networking profiles: your profile is searchable, so you can include keywords, and you can include links to other sites and profiles.
Examples of this would be to give yourself a tagline, fill out your introduction section with links to your sites, fill out skills (these are also searchable), add your blog(s) to the “contributing to” section. You can check out my Amanda Shofner profile if you need an example.
3. Join the Bloggiesta community and introduce yourself.
If you’re familiar with groups on Facebook, Google+ has a similar feature, except theirs is called communities. And an added bonuses: communities allow the owner or moderator to add categories to sort posts. It’s probably my favorite.
Check out the Bloggiesta Google+ community (just click the link and join!). Once you’re in, introduce yourself using the Introductions category. Tell us who you are and where we can find you.
If you’re brave, search through some of the communities suggested for you and join one or two. (And if you’re an owner of a Google+ community, leave us a link.)
4. Establish Google Authorship. (9/3/2014 update: Google no longer supports authorship)
When you establish authorship, it means your Google+ picture appears next to your blog information when you show up in search results. The benefit to this is that it puts a face to the content and makes you stand out.
Here’s how to establish authorship on Blogger.
Here’s how to establish authorship on WP.com. (If you’re using WP.org and you have JetPack, these steps are the same.)
Some WP.org themes also have options to connect your blog with your profile. I think using JetPack is the easiest. I also fill out my profile information in the user setting panel.
5. Create a Bloggiesta circle and add other participants to it.
It doesn’t have to be a Bloggiesta circle; you could create a “book blogger” circle or “blogger” circle or “cool people” circle. Whatever makes the most sense for you. You can also put people in more than one circle. Many people in my Bloggiesta circle are also in my book blogger circle.
Circles are essentially lists, so you can look at only what Bloggiesta people are doing or, alternatively, you could share a helpful post you think other Bloggiesta people might enjoy with that circle.
If you’re not sure how to create a list, here’s Google+’s explanation. If you’re not sure who to add, I suggest starting with the Bloggiesta community members. When you hover over their name, their profile will pop up. Look for the “add” button and add them to whichever circle you wish.
Note: People don’t know the name of the circle you add them to, or how many circles you add them to.