Why Aren’t You Using G+?

09.25.12

I love G+ because I can select who is in my circles. I’ve got a couple thousand people who pepper my timeline with electic yet interesting news items and I work hard to share the best of the web as I see it. 

Periodically I share a bit of my own work there, but like every social media effort I try to stick with a 7:1 rule. I try to share seven things that I have zero personal involvement in before I share one of my own. It’s like a dinner party, ask more questions than you answer.

Yesterday I shared a video that I enjoyed very much. Apparently the folks who have circled me on G+ enjoyed it too. Less than 24 hours later and 1,100 people who saw it in my stream have given it a +1 and 836 of them have re-shared it.

My experience is that video does very well on G+. My experience is also showing me that most of my peers are not on G+ and the ones who are use it only to promote their own feed which will likely lead to frustration and the declaration that Google+ “doesn’t work”.

I’d love to have a circle of readers so please leave your Google Plus URL in the comments below. To get your URL sign in to Google+, click on the left sidebar where it says “profile” and then copy and paste your URL in the comments below and don’t forget to circle me.

Growing Your Blog Traffic

10.14.11

This morning I read a post about how to get more traffic. It’s a good post, and like any blog post it’s a good beginning. Because blogs are short… they’re so short that blog isn’t even the word, they were Web Logs but bloggers can’t even be bothered to have seven letters and a space involved.

I digress. Everyone wants to know how to get more traffic to their site.

I don’t know with great authority, no one does. I know that if you try to do what someone else is doing it won’t work.

I can’t be like Ciaran because only one person can be Momfluential. I can’t be like Debbie because if I said Throat Punch it would be weird. I don’t disagree with Helen Jane, but she’s a vague about how to create that train wreck.

I might have hyperlinked back to those women because they have significant audiences and my hope is that my link baiting them they’ll share this post with their audiences.

I can help you avoid pitfalls that I’ve personally experienced.

Giveaways are incredibly time consuming and will not bring you a community or readers. You’ll get passers by who are unlikely to read you again.

Images are a great way for people to find you and should be well named. I do not use images because I’m slow to learn.

Do not automate twitter to share every post. The only person who can break this rule is Guy Kawasaki. I don’t know why Guy can overshare and no one else can, I just know that’s how it works.

Don’t join a StumbleUpon group. Those kids at StumbleUpon are smarter than any blogger, their algorithm will start ignoring you and StumbleUpon traffic is so delightful you wouldn’t want to lose that.

Don’t reprint a press release. It doesn’t count as quality content and I’m not visiting your site to get the same content that 2,000 other bloggers are publishing.

The things that you can do to get readers:

Tell people you’re a blogger. Add a signature to your emails.

Generously share other people’s content on your social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Share different stuff on each channel.

Say something outrageous, memorable or poignant. Make your audience love your community.

Write every day, or as close as you can.

Respect your audience and don’t bullshit them about loving a product that no one in their right mind could love.

Above all else every blogger should know that they’re incredibly privileged that anyone wants to read anything they’ve written. Assume your audience is smarter than you are and never pander to them or to advertisers. People want, and deserve, honest writing that you can’t get from a glossy sell out space.

Don’t be an asshole. People will read.

Google Plus, SEO, Driving Traffic and Losing Friends

08.19.11

I’m enjoying Google Plus right now. I like the hangouts and I like the stream. I like the stream of information because it’s a small stream and it’s not super spammy, yet.

With twitter and with facebook I’m connected to a lot of bloggers just like myself. Bloggers love to promote their work. Bloggers are also paid to promote their work. I guess I should say that you have to circle bloggers with care.

I have a few G+ tips that may or may not build the numbers everyone is looking for, but would do a lot to increase the quality of interaction.

  • Keep a good ratio of solid content to promotional content. For example: share 5-10 articles written by someone other than yourself before you share your own
  • Ask questions. The best conversationalists are probably the folks who use the words “I” and “me” the least
  • Don’t monopolize a hangout. I was in one last night where one person seemed totally unaware that there were seven other people in the hangout. This is not YouTube where you talk at people, this is a group chat, where a group chats.
  • Name your circles appropriately. Although Google is run by adults we should all learn our lessons from Facebook. Anything could become public at any time. So that circle that you want to name “Social Media D-Bags”? Call it something else, like “Smarty Pants” just in case they see it some day.
  • Be specific and small with your circles. Circles of 100 people or more don’t do a lot of good, but circles for Foodies, Cars, Angelinos, and parents have served me well. If G+ lasts a while (I think it might) it’s important that you are organized from the start.
  • Know that if you’re in a hangout someone may screengrab or broadcast you publicly. It sucks, but it happens.
Google Plus will have an effect on SEO so you will be tempted to share every single thing you ever wrote. Fight the urge and just try to create good compelling content that others will be motivated to share on your behalf.
If you’re not on Google+ and you have a gmail address consider this your invitation. Of course it would be really great Karma to start by adding a +1 to this post.