Today is the last of the mini-series of social media and sex writing. Not that I won't talk about social media in future posts, just that after this week, I've got a few ideas to share about how to make your blogging work better for you to help in your marketing efforts.
For the record, yes, people are using it. Does it have the numbers of Facebook or Twitter? No, but it could. Anyone with a Google email address has access to a Google+ account, so if everyone with a gmail address was on Google+, those numbers would be insane.
If you're like me and have multiple Google accounts for the different facets of your life, you can and do have multiple Google+ profiles, too. Best of all, I can use my Kayla Lords account and not have to worry about anyone demanding my ID to prove I'm who I say I am, like they do on Facebook.
Great for Search Results
If you do nothing else with Google+, do this:
Set up your profile with image and website and author information. Next, set up your blog so that when you hit publish for a blog post, it automatically posts to your Google+ profile.
Because the more often you post to your profile, the higher chance you have of being found in a Google search, even if your website isn't a top ranking site. Look at this:
This is a screenshot of what happens when I Google my own name. Do you see the third one? That's a post on Google+. It's not just my profile, it's an actual post. If it looks good to someone doing a search, they can click on it and get to actual content. Pretty cool, right?
Check out your profile on Google+ - not your newsfeed, but your profile. You'll see how many times your profile and the content on your profile has been views. Currently, I'm sitting at 95,000 or so. It's not a number I track, but if you need a little proof that your profile can be seen, there it is. Note: the more you post to your profile, the more views you'll ultimately have.
Groups are Gold
For ages I've basically ignored my Google+ profile. I automatically post to it when I publish a blog post, and leave it alone. Until Facebook cut me off, and I didn't have an easy way to share and post other stuff. I played around with Google+ for a while, and it's actually a fairly busy place.
The most action is in the groups. There's a group for absolutely everything: BDSM, erotic writing, bloggers, you name it. And if you don't see a group that you think would be helpful, you can create one. I did - a group for anyone wanting to be in better physical condition in order to get kinky: Fit for Kink (more on that in another post).
By participating in groups, I've found guest blogging opportunities, book review opportunities, and gotten some good information on submissions and other projects.
Advertising on Google+
I'd never heard about advertising on Google+ and didn't think much about it until I began working on this post. An article published in 2014 talks about how to advertise but you have to have at least 1000 followers first. A search for something more recent shows absolutely nothing. Google Ad Words are always an option, but that doesn't work for NSFW anything, so that's out.
I would imagine, although Google doesn't restrict the content we share on our own profiles - at least not that I've ever experienced - they would definitely restrict us if advertising were an option. Use Google+ for it's ability to build a community and it's search engine magic, but I wouldn't worry about trying to advertise in this space.
As always, don't spam. Yes, share your blog posts and your book releases. Of course, highlight when someone gives you a good review or you get a guest post spot on someone else's website. But, especially in groups, follow the golden rule of social media - don't freaking spam everyone with the same "buy-me-look-at-me" messages. It gets old after a while. You'll be ignored and your efforts will be in vain.
Google may not be trying to build Google+ into anything big - not once it realized it couldn't compete with Facebook and Twitter - but that doesn't mean it's not valuable. It's a great way to connect to a different audience and help you get found in Google searches. Frankly, I've reaped the benefit of having a Google+ profile without having to do much work. If that's not a reason to use it, I don't know what is.
Feel free to add me to one of your circles on Google+: Kayla Lords
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