Google+ has already existed for a few years and there are still some who cannot seem to fathom everything about it. Writers, in general, seem to find Google+ quite a mix of being interesting and mysterious at the same time. What do you personally know about Google+? What can this strong social media platform offer you as a writer?
Well, perhaps the first thing that might come to your mind when you hear the name Google+ is that it is ‘yet another social networking site’. However, the power of Google+ is in its being both a business tool and a social one with a number of features that can help your work as a writer. Some of these include the following:
Create your own circle
Upon registration, you can add some friends to your circle as they are known in Google+, and expect to receive some invites and requests as well. To maximize the potential of this social media platform for your writing business, aim to create a large and strong circle. You can further segment down people you want to connect with as ‘friends’, ‘family’ ‘acquaintances’ and yet other people who you want to follow.
If you have people in your circle and you share updates on Google+, then these people will be notified should you choose to do so. Similarly, when your contacts update their profiles, they also have the option to notify their circle. Beware of those who update too much though, as these can quickly fill up your inbox. Google+ handily allows you to turn off updates as and when you might need.
Communities for writers
The real strength of Google+ lies in its groups or communities as they are known. These communities serve as a virtual place where members of countless niches come to together in a mutually supportive way. The writing niche is no exception. Your will find communities on fiction writing, writing science fiction, romance writing, non-fiction writing, poetry, self-publishing, marketing for writers and so on. Some of these will have thousands and thousands of members.
The benefit of joining such communities especially created for writers is that you will meet individuals and businesses with similar goals for their ventures as you have for yours. As a result, you can share ideas with each other on all areas of writing, be it the actual writing process, making sales, how to publish, getting reviews, and generally bouncing ideas off each other and inspiring members of the community. Each community will have certain rules, so be sure to abide by the guidelines and respect them. This will help ensure you remain a continued, welcome member of the community.
Many of these communities will allow you to post examples of your writing, so that you can get feedback, post links to your book pages on your website, or retail sites such as Amazon and Smashwords, and will allow you to post links to blog posts you may have wrote and share those written by your contacts. If members of a community like what you will have shared, they can +1 the share to express their appreciation, and even share what you have just done with contacts in their circles. Before you know it a blog post that you may have shared with 10,000 people in a community could end up reaching 100,000 people across Google+!
Another neat feature of Google+ is Google Hangouts, which offers instant messaging and video conferencing facilities. You can set up a Google Hangout and invite your contacts along on a specified date and time. Once the time comes for the hangout, each attendee if they have a webcam can connect directly through video. For those who don’t have a web cam, they can still participate in the hangout through text based chat.
There are numerous ways you can utilize Google Hangouts. One great way is to create a mastermind group of people, including yourself that meet regularly and discuss strategies on how to create new business through writing. If you are an author just about to release a new book or eBook and you have fans who follow you on Google+ or who you are friends with, you can even create a hangout to do your very own book launch!
These are but a few things that Google+ can do to help you as a writer. If you still don’t have a Google+ account, now is the best time to create one.