Thursday, 13 February 2014

7 Ways To Create An Eye-Catching Google Plus Post

How to Create an Eye-Catching Google Plus Post
Google Plus. It still strikes fear (or apathy) into the hearts of many bloggers, and I completely understand that... I was one of them. I've mentioned before that when I first joined Google+, I was not happy at all. It was confusing. I couldn't see the point of it. However, I'm finding that more and more bloggers, especially as new bloggers come on the scene, are joining - and using - Google+.

I've written this post to give you an easy guide to the dos and don'ts of posting onto Google+, and how a carefully constructed Google+ post will create a big impact in others' feeds, help your blog reach a larger audience and hopefully increase your PageRanking. (And talking of PageRanking, this is a great post specifically about increasing it).



The most important bit first: Don't share directly from Blogger.
This is the biggest mistake you can make when sharing your post to Google+! If you use Blogger there is an option to automatically share your posts on Google+ when you publish a post (SAY NO), or you can share it afterwards where you have the Edit / Preview / Share options in your posts list (DON'T). The image below of a tweaked screengrab shows the difference between the sizes of a post shared automatically and a post you simply create yourself. The next points will explain exactly how to achieve that large, glossy post and make yours really stand out.

So - how do we get that lovely large, clear Google+ post?

A Google+ Post That Creates Impact


1. Upload a picture first
Always start your post from scratch on your Google+ page, and, just like posting on Facebook, start with the "Share what's new..." box. Don't type first - click on Photos first. Then upload your most powerful image from your blog post, and only then start typing in the box. This will create a full size picture rather than the little thumbnail you see above. Remember we are stimulated by visuals - our eyes are caught by pretty pictures before we read text (think Pinterest feed).


2. Write something that compells the reader to read the rest of the post
Don't waste the opportunity to grab the reader's attention with a catchy title! Instead of "New post" or "Blogged" (why do people write such unimaginative things?), write something to make the reader go Oooh, I must read that. The classics are How To..., 7 Ways To..., 5 Reasons To..., etc. It should be as compelling as your actual blog post titles (and if they're not drawing readers in, then perhaps rethink those, too).


3. Use asterisks to make text *BOLD*
This is a little trick I learned only recently: if you add asterisks around a word or phrase in Google+ it will make it *bold*. I always add my blog name in the text somehow (so people get to know my blog name as well as my Google+ name Catherine Summers) and I make Not Dressed As Lamb bold to make it stand out in the text.


4. Like Twitter & Facebook, copy in brands' names
Just as you would in Twitter, you should make a brand aware that you've featured something you've bought (or been gifted) from them by mentioning their Google+ name in the post. To do this, type a + symbol followed immediately by their name. Not all brands are on Google+, but if they are you will be given a list of matching suggestions as you type. If you're lucky they may share your post to their followers, giving it even more exposure and hopefully more click throughs to your blog.


5. Use bitly.com to make links - don't paste in the actual URL of your post
Of course once you've added a picture, then written your text and copied in brand names, you must add a link to your blog post. This is the biggest mistake I see: really long URLs that are split across two lines which look really messy. It's such a shame when a fantastic post is ruined by a messy URL - they ain't pretty, people! Instead, create shortened links using www.bitly.com. If you've never used it before, it will open up a world of possibilities for you - it can be useful for all sorts of applications. As well as creating short, neat links, you can track how many clicks that link has had and when (amongst other things). If you create an account (it's free), all your links will be saved so you can access them at any time. Stop pasting long URLs now and use short links instead!


6. Use hashtags to attract new followers who may like and share your post
Want to increase the chances of your post being seen by a new audience? Use hashtags! You can add them into the text or, as I do, in a list at the end. When you type the hastag and the start of a word, you will get a little box with suggestions (same as Twitter and Facebook), e.g. #fashio... will give you #fashion, #fashionblog, #fashionblogger, #fashionstyle. I try not to add more than 2-3 lines of hashtags, which usually allows me to add about 10. This Google+ post about whether you should care about hashtags is worth a read.


7. Join blogging communities and upload posts there
I'd been posting onto my own Google+ feed for a while before I discovered that there was such a thing as Google+ communities - these are "places for people to get together and talk about the interests that they share". You join an existing community or even create a new one yourself - it's just the equivalent name to a Facebook group; I've always found that I get a lot of interaction through posting directly onto fashion blogging-related communities. There are many you can join, but as a start check out United Fashion Bloggers, Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) and a new one for us oldies: 40+ Fashion Bloggers. Join a few and post to them regularly to see your interactions and followers shoot up.


The reason for doing all of this?
Google+ is really no different in terms of usage than Twitter or Facebook. You have followers, you post something, they see it on their feed - that's really all there is to it. I prefer it to Facebook as it's more aesthetically pleasing, simpler and nowhere near as fiddly and confusing (to me), but look how many people use Facebook. I'm convinced that posting on Google+ has helped my PageRanking, as I was noticing within a few days that the latest post I'd added to Google+ was appearing nearer and nearer the top of a Google search with the keywords I'd used.

So try out these tips and let me know if any of them help you at all - I'd love to know how you get on!
Catherine x



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39 comments

  1. So brilliant Catherine.
    I already do that on facebook, but never thought of doing it on Googl+
    I am off to try inmediately, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

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    1. Oh I'm glad it's given you some good tips Sacramento!!

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  2. Tks Catherine, how was wondering how the whole thing works, so confusing i tell you!

    Ariane

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  3. These are great tips! I am new to the blogging thing, and trying to build my blog. Had been wondering if my google post were doing any good. I am going to start using these tips

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    1. That's good to hear Lewis - G+ is definitely the way to go, so good luck!!

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  4. Such great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    xoxo Tamara Chloé

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  5. as far as bitly.com, do you go to that site everytime to shorten the html?

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    1. Yes - but if you register for the free account and sign in before creating the links, it will save them for you. So you can just sign in and look for the link you've already created and copy it again if you need to :))

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  6. I just did my first post, very easy to follow thanks.

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  7. A new beginning on Google +, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  8. Geat tips! Yes you are right! Sharing directly from Blogger is not the greatest idea...

    Tiffany Ima
    Style Honestly

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  9. You are my hero, Catherine :-) Although you convinced me earlier to use Google+ this post is so very useful. I didn't know about uploading and using my "own" photo rather than choosing one from the blogger selection. Also the asterisks for a 'bold' formatting was new to me.
    And finally, I totally agree on the hashtags and will use them only at the end, otherwise it will be too hard to read the text.

    Again, thank you so much!
    xo
    Annette | Lady of Style

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    1. Brilliant Annette - so glad you learnt some new things. I've picked them up from various places so it makes sense for me to share what I've learnt! x

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  10. Sooo eye-opening, Catherine!! I didn't even realize there WAS a different way to get my blog posts onto Google+...that's how clueless I am!! Not sure I can implement your tips right away, though...sharing straight from Blogger is just a single click; and I STILL haven't found the time to even set myself up on Facebook yet, so where the heck do I find the time to do a whole separate post just for Google+?? Maybe I need some time management advise from you!!

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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    1. It's not that you're clueless at all, Monika!! I just experimented one day by clicking "add photo" first when I noticed other people had large images. And if you're prepared to stay up till gone midnight and do all your social media then maybe you can fit it all in...?!! :))

      Noooooooo you can only do what you can, hun! I'd love to share every post on all platforms but I blog full time and I still can't find enough hours in the day! x

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    2. Hello again, Catherine!! I'm back from Internet "no-man's-land"...and boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do!! Yes, it's true...I sometimes stay up until past midnight to fit in my various blogger responsibilities; but I'm trying very hard not to make a habit of it!! After all, sleep is important, too; and we ALL only have 24 hours in a day, right?! XO

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  11. Oops...advice, not advise!! (Just noticed the typo!!)

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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  12. ooooo - wonderful post, and some real gold dust information there - Thank you . Google+ could be so good but it appears very confusing/unintuitive
    Paul

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    1. ps - Do you create a post for each community you want to post to , create a single post and then share that in each community, or can you create a post and share it to each community in one go? I have previously posted separately to community but then my profile has loads of the same post repeated, I used to think there must be a better way but couldn't quite work out what it was?

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    2. Followed your post instructions & it works a treat - Its very easy to do. Thank you. Have shared with communities but apparently you can only share to one at a time Doh! But at least the multi posts are only visible to me as a poster, so at least I'm not spamming everyone

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    3. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, Paul... basically you've discovered exactly what I was going to explain! So yes it's only if someone clicks on your profile before adding you to their circles that they'll see you've posted the same thing s few times, but it's what goes into people's feeds that matters. So yes you've done it right IMO. Glad you liked the tips :))

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  13. Catherine, this post is great. As a new 40+ blogger, your posts are like online tutorials for blog dummies. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. This is a great and helpful post. I tried it and the big picture really makes a lot difference. Thanks for sharing and def will let you know how it helps my blog.

    xo
    Sam
    http://fabulouspetite.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh yes please do, Sam! That would be great to know how it's help, thank you hun x

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  15. Brilliant tips! I will be giving these a go!! x

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  16. Thanks again for your well explaining help. The Google+... got that. The big pictures... found that out... The shrunken urls... guilty (I only do that at Twitter, but you are right, it is stupid. So thanks for telling me the solution.
    But I will confess... I will never make it. I get tired even reading about all this extra "work".
    Greetje

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  17. Thank You! I needed this. I'll try it after I wake up from my valentine's night cheese fondue/red wine stupor!

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    1. Hehe thank you Kate... I hope you've woken up by now, hun...!!!

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  18. I really need to stop neglecting my google+ account and start using it properly.
    Thank you so much for these tips! You are amazing! x

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  19. Catherine,you constantly impress with your generosity in sharing information like this. I am so clueless about Google+ and I really appreciate this post. Thank you:)

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    1. Well we're all clueless about anything we've just started, Deborah - we have to start somewhere! I was clueless about G+ too, but with a bit of practice, a few experiments and a tip or two picked up here and there, it all started coming together. So glad you found the tips useful - do report back, won't you...!

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  20. Thank you Catherine, my mum recommended this post, and it really is SO helpful!
    I will try it out right away!
    I hope you have earned enough Votes to win on FB! ;)

    Thank you again and kisses from London,

    Alena | meet me stylish

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    1. That's great, Alena! Bless your lovely mum for recommending it to you... hope it helps, hun (plus it's so nice to meet you)!! x

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  21. I had to laugh because I've been doing it all wrong, of course! Google+'ing directly from blog,check,putting the word "Blogging" in my post, oh yes, always! I never would have thought to upload a photo first or use bit.ly even though I use it all the time on Twitter! I did join a couple of communities but I'm still finding my feet, it does seem like an untapped resource that many bloggers ignore. Another really helpful post, thank you! :-)

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    1. I was doing it that way too, Steff, until one day I saw a really big, bold post on G+ by someone that made me think WHY haven't I been doing it like that?! I'm sure there are lots of things I'm still doing wrong that I just don't know I'm doing. It's all a learning curve... a never-ending one I'm afraid where blogging's concerned, haha!!

      Glad it's helped, thanks so much for all your lovely comments x

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