Google Plus for Writers (Build a Social Media Platform)

Google Plus LogoGoogle+ offers unique benefits for writers wise enough to take advantage of them. Why do we need another social site when there’s already Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? While these social sites are great networking tools, they don’t have all the capabilities of Google+.

Another consideration is cost. Only a fraction of those who sign up to receive your Facebook updates are allowed to see them. Facebook will extend your reach, but at a cost. Google+ lets you contact those in your circles free of charge.

Google+ is growing but has not yet reached its full potential.

Google+ has overtaken Twitter as the 2nd most popular social network in the US, according to a March 2013 Survey by Burst Media.”   | Jun 03, 2013 REPORT: Google+ Overtakes Twitter as 2nd Most Popular Social Network in US

More men than women were on Google+ at the outset, but more men tend to become early adopters. The gender stats are leveling out, according to D Erickson (JUNE 7, 2013) in Top Social Networks By Gender, March 2013 [TABLE] for e-Strategy Trends. It’s not too late to get in on the rise of Google+ to build your author social media platform. 

Interest communities can help you find readers.

One of the things that Google+ does best is to connect people with similar interests. An author. You can search for groups, start a group, and manage your groups

Increase your discoverability.

Updates you make to Google+ rank well in Google’s search engine. This puts your updates higher in results for relevant search terms. This can make you as an author more visible to readers.

Create videos, host author chats and network through Google hangouts.

Up to ten people can connect through hangouts. Through its Hangouts on Air capabilities, Google+ gives authors a free and easy way to broadcast live. Better yet, it then can automatically update your Google+ home page and YouTube account. You can also embed your videos on your website or blog. Best of all, you don’t need technical skills to get in on this. Learn more about Google Hangouts on Air.

Lets you sign up for Google Authorship.

You may have wondered how images of some authors appear in search engine results, like the one, below.

About Janalyn Voigt

Your image, tagline, and most recent update will appear in the sidebar for searches of your name. This can be an important advantage if you have a popular name. The fact that Google shows my follower count helps my credibility.

Janalyn Voigt's Google author bio

To learn more about the advantages of Google Authorship, read 10 Reasons Writers Should Claim Their Google Authorship Markup by  for Copyblogger.

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking Google Plus in building your social media platform.

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About Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt's unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates imaginative fictional worlds for readers. Beginning with DawnSinger, her epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, carries the reader into a land only imagined in dreams. Janalyn is also working on a romantic mystery novel. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary. Janalyn mentors other writers through her popular website, Live Write Breathe. Her memberships include American Christian Fiction Writers and Northwest Christian Writers. When she's not writing, Janalyn loves to find adventures in the great outdoors.

21 thoughts on “Google Plus for Writers (Build a Social Media Platform)

  1. I joined G+ before joining Facebook, and I still post on it. However, I feel I’m only speaking to other writers, since my non-writer friends and acquaintances are on Facebook. Do you see this changing, Janalyn?

    • We’re seeing a shift of memberships on G+. It used to be dominated by men but now stats show genders about even. (See the link in my post to D Erickson (JUNE 7, 2013) in Top Social Networks By Gender, March 2013 [TABLE] for e-Strategy Trends.) Prior stats pointed toward technically-oriented men as the main population of G+, but most writers are women, so I suspect the problem you mention is specific to you.

      It’s easy to connect with other writers on social sites, and that’s not wrong, but we also need to use these tools to engage readers. A strategy you might consider trying is to search Google groups with keywords that define your readership or that touch on topics in your books. To decide on groups worth joining, look for membership numbers but also level of activity. Here’s a link to browse groups: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!browse

  2. Hi Janalyn,
    Timely post for me. I just did the authorship picture thing. But it doesn’t show up on all my searches. Is it only for posts done through google+? For instance if someone googled my name and my website popped up, should my photo be there? I’m just getting my feet wet with this. Thanks so much for the post.

    • I posted the link to the Copyblogger post because I’m still learning the ins and outs of Google authorship myself, Dianne. I have noticed that my image doesn’t show up next to my website, but that my image, contact info, and latest post is in the sidebar. I suspect that this may be how Google wants it, since some well-known authors who should be on top of their game show the sam
      e way. That Copyblogger post is a gem, and I’m going to be going through it myself step-by-step. You might consider doing the same.

    • Diannechrisner, It takes a little time for your picture to show up with your posts. I think it’s a server caching thing. So be patient. Within a few days it should work if you did all the steps correctly. Hope that helps.

    • That’s a popular misconception, Jessica. Those who discount G+ will miss out on a golden opportunity
      .

  3. I recently co-hosted an author interview for one of our fellow WordServe clients on Google Hangouts. It went beautifully, and now the video is posted in numerous places on the web, including YouTube. Google Plus is definitely on the rise, and does create unique opportunities for writers.

  4. Great post. Thank you for the information!! I have a Google+ account, but have yet to make the most of it. I will be Giving it a strong second look now!

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