Blogs are a dime a dozen on the world wide web, and therefore any new blogger entering the blogosphere already has an uphill battle to get noticed and find an audience when faced with so much competition. As a newbie blogger, you should therefore be looking for any possible means to get ahead, promote your blog and stay ahead of the curve—and one way of doing that is utilizing Google+. I can already hear you saying ‘Google+? Nobody really uses that!’ and that assessment isn’t far from the truth—Google+ is certainly one of the less popular social media networks out there and it is yet to find a specific niche like LinkedIn or Pinterest. But Google+ is growing, and it certainly has a lot of features that make it a blogger’s best friend. Google+ is already a techie’s haven, and in the next few years it will likely emerged as the social media network of choice for both bloggers and businesses. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Well here are just some of the reasons why every newbie blogger needs to devote at least some attention to Google+, and why that attention will pay dividends.
The ‘Circles’ feature of Google+ is all about community: breaking into certain blogging circles and getting to know the people who populate your given niche is important if you want to put down roots. As a new blogger, the resources and intelligence of people in your niche is more valuable than gold, so start talking and start seeing what the elite of your particular blogging niche have to say. Once you have found your community and can begin those all important first conversations, you can really get the marketing ball rolling.
2. Promote Your Brand
Like any other social media platform, Google+ is basically an exercise in decent branding. Google+ however pushes the boat out further than any other social media network in how it allows you to connect with your follows and promote your brand. Google+ is made for content, and unlike Twitter and Facebook you can host that content locally without needing to link out to your site all the time and annoy your followers. It doesn’t matter if you are a ‘pure’ blogger or you blog as a side-effort to attract people to your e-commerce website: the tricks of the trade remain largely the same. The best B2B marketing method involves capitalising on inbound marketing and allowing potential visitors to naturally gravitate towards your brand. Once you get to grips with how Google+ works (check out a couple of your own favourite brands on Google+ and see how they do things), you can really start pushing your blog as a brand and drawing in those visitors (and therefore business).
3. Hangout with Visitors and/or Customers
Social media is a form of inbound marketing because it is not a one-way conversation like traditional print advertising for example: if you put something out there, your audience will talk back. Harness the power of two-way communication and speak to the people who visit your website or buy items or services from it: allow them to send you messages, comment on your posts and even ‘hangout’ with you in a video chat. That way, you can learn what your visitors want, project your business personality and promote your own affable persona.
4. Love the SEO benefits
While +1s do not factor directly into Google’s ranking algorithm, Google+ is a great SEO tool because its open and crawlable nature means that you can derive a lot of incidental SEO benefits (at least more than you do from Facebook or Twitter). If ranking higher is a priority for you (and it should be), then you should be hanging on to all the white-hat SEO tips you can find, and joining Google+ is one of them.
5. Get Ahead of the Curve
As I’ve already noted, Google+ is not yet the biggest player on the social media scene. But it does what it does well, and is unlikely to fade into oblivion anytime soon—in fact, it’s more likely to grow. So invest early and concentrate on what Google+ will be like 2 years or 5 years down the line: if you can build up a great profile and use the rel=”author” tag to link your blog and blog articles to it, you will soon be able to reap the growing dividends