How to Tackle Google+ 101 {Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge}

Posted March 26, 2014 by Amanda Shofner in Bloggiesta / 44 Comments

Spring 2014 Bloggiesta

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.

Below are 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.

44 responses to “How to Tackle Google+ 101 {Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge}

  1. Wesley at Library Educated

    I’m pretty new to Google Plus but I keep forgetting to fill out my profile. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Thanks for the info! I joined the Bloggiesta community, updated my profile and linked my blog to Google+.

    Thanks for the help!

    Steph

  3. My Google Authorship is up to date.
    Updating my Google + profile is one of the must-dos on my list.
    I joined the Bloggiesta community, updated my tagline and links, created a new circle,

  4. I introduced myself in the Bloggiesta circle, have already enabled my Google authorship and added 10 new-to-me Bloggiesta community members to my Book Bloggers circle. I love G+ and look forward to the video. Thanks for the challenge and the chance to win!

    • Yup, totally understand keeping your profile sparse. I use mine for business, so I don’t mind sharing. Glad you joined the Bloggiesta community, though. It’s a great place!

  5. I didn’t know about connecting the profile until now. I thought I had it done right, but maybe not…I might stop by tonight to see if I did it correctly. Even if I don’t, this post has been a great help and I appreciate you letting us all know about it (Google Plus).

      • Thanks, Amanda. I don’t have that option, but good to know. I think I found my way around through WordPress(.org) to confirm Google authorship (using JetPack). It might take a few days, but I think it will work. It might supersede my idea of making an author box for each post since Google Plus already does that, I think. I just watched your Google Hangout and I thought it went very well. It was a good introduction for folks who might not know much about Google Plus. I’m still learning myself.

        • Yeah, I think it takes a while for everything to go into effect—probably until the next time Google crawls your site. Glad you enjoyed the video. One of the biggest hurdles with Google+ is just getting used to it, so I hope people find this challenge useful that way. 🙂

  6. Thank you! Google+ has always been a mystery to me, and now, thanks to you, I can handle myself with it. I certainly hadn’t consider how helpful it could be with my google search. So I updated my profile, joined the bloggiesta community and created a google+ page for my blog. Turns out it’s the same as updating a profile. So thanks!

  7. I just updated my profile, added a cover to correspond with my “brand” and joined the Bloggiesta community & introduced myself. Thoroughly enjoying learning how to use Google+! Thanks so much for hosting!

  8. I was already using Google+, so I already have authorship and my profile is complete. I did update some links in my link list. I also introduced myself on the Bloggiesta community (I was already a member). I have also already created a circle called ‘author and book friends’.

    Thanks for the great mini-challenge!

  9. I just joined the community and added you to my google+. Look forwards to meeting great people and learning more about blogging and social media.
    Thanks 🙂

  10. Great explanation of the basics. I have a presence on G+ as myself and two of my blogs but not my book blog. I’m not ready to have a page on there yet for it though. I did introduce myself in the Bloggiesta community (which I was a member of) although I had to do it from my phone as my desktop will NOT let me on G+ and hasn’t in months.

  11. Thank you for this mini-challenge! I had previously set up a Google+ profile and page for my blog, but I was having trouble with motivation and know-how on how to finish it up. I think I’ve got everything connected now. Yes! Win for Bloggiesta!

  12. I already had my profile up and filled out but your post and video really helped me understand some of the details better! I’m going to try to use G+ more and see what kind of an impact it has on my traffic!

  13. Thanks Amanda! That has demystified Google + A LOT for me. I have been feeling really lost there. I already had a profile, so I updated it a bit. Joined the bloggiesta group, added new people to my book blogger circle, chatted a bit. And thanks for the +1 explanation, thinking of it as a FB like explains it perfectly.

  14. I swear, Google+ is the bane of my existence. BUT I fixed up my profile so it’s nice and spiffy; thanks for sharing yours!!! I’ve had Google+ added to my blog for a month now and I tried to add authorship about 2 weeks ago. I’ll give it another couple of weeks – I just tweeked it again and got better results using this tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

    … someday

    Otherwise, I’ve been doing circles for all my “friends” for a while 🙂

    Thanks for the challenge! I needed it!

    • Yeah, webmasters is another way of doing it, but I went for the easiest way possible. 😉 I think I used webmasters for my book blog and JetPack for this one. As Google+ grows, so will the ability to connect it to our blogs.

  15. Fay

    I am loving Google+ at the moment and taking my sweet time getting to know what is going on! Great post and many follows from this end 😀

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