Hello, darling Bloggiesta-ers!
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!
During the last full-length Bloggiesta, I hosted a challenge on Google+. Remember that? Well, this time I’m upgrading the challenge to dive further into Google+. Thus, this is the 201 challenge. If you haven’t tried the How to Tackle Google+ 101 challenge yet, do that first. (And yes, it’s been fully updated.)
Ready? The 201 challenge is going to tackle Google+ pages versus profiles and automating your blog updates with social media tools. It’s the social media tools part that make it an advanced challenge.
1. Watch this video.
You guys, The Stacey Harris is my go-to expert for Google+, and you’re not going to find a better explanation of the difference between profiles and pages. In fact, she’s even got a Google+ self-study course if you want to get serious about Google+—I’ve taken the course, so I know how useful it is.
Even though Stacey talks about businesses, this applies to bloggers, too. How important is it for you to promote your blog as its own entity? How serious are you about social media updates? That will determine your answer for the next step.
2. Decide whether you want to use a profile, page, or both.
Stacey lays out the pros and cons of each. Here’s what *I* do, if that helps:
- My business, The Path of Least Revision, has its own page
- My book blog, On a Book Bender, has its own page
- My books and authorship run through my profile, because it’d be confusing to have a profile and page for Amanda Shofner
I use my profile to interact with communities because I’m trying to strengthen my name as a brand (plus, it’s just easier). I also like to compartmentalize my updates so I can cater to a specific audience. People who circle (ah, Google+ lingo) my business page probably won’t want to see my book blog updates, and my feed could get cluttered if I had everything under my own profile.
That might be a way to decide: if you had a page, would the updates be the same as your profile? If you’re duplicating content, it might not make sense to have both a profile and page. The decision you have to make then is which you want: strengthen your blog name with a page or keep everything under your name with a profile.
[Optional] 3. If you’ve made a change (gotten rid of a profile/page or created a new one), go back to How to Tackle Google+ 101.
Every time you change something, your profile information might become out of date. Use the 101 challenge to optimize your “About” sections and create circles—basically, get everything up-to-date and the way you want it.
Even if you haven’t changed anything, you might want to double check your information and make sure it’s still up-to-date.
[WP users] 4. Hook up your blog to Google+ to push updates of new posts.
.com users: Use your share settings to connect your blog.
If you’re a Blogger user, proceed to step 5.
5. Try out a 3rd party tool for scheduling updates (Hootsuite, Buffer, Do Share)
Remember, as Stacey said, if you have a profile only, you’re limited to using Do Share, which can be buggy. If this is a big issue for you, consider using a page instead. If you’re on Firefox, they have a Google+ Share add-on too, though I don’t know how it compares to Do Share.
Hootsuite and Buffer only connect to your Google+ page. I believe both Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to add an RSS feed, so you should be able to push updates of new posts, even if you don’t/can’t use JetPack.
I’m not going to provide a how-to on connecting your Google+ profile or page to these tools—this is an advanced challenge, and I assume you have the technical know-how to do this already.
6. Comment on this post and tell me what you’ve done.