If you are an online writer, you need to increase your visibility, promote your content and boost your author rank in Google search pages.

Here are eight ways to use Google+ to build your online authority:

1. Optimize your Google+ profile
If you haven’t already done so, join Google+ and update your profile. Fill in all the fields and include keywords in all relevant sections of your bio.

2. Boost your influence in Google+
To enhance your reputation in Google+, try to increase number of your followers, the number of +1s you get, and the number of times your content is shared. Also, be active in Google+ – post original posts in different formats, share links, and re-share content. When you share a link to an article or blog post, write a fresh headline and add your own comments.

3. Target your content with Google+ Circles
One of the advantages of Google+ is that you can segment your audience into topic-specific groups using Circles and deliver appropriate content to each Circle. For example, you could create separate Circles for friends, family, fellow writers, prospects and clients. Then you can share content relevant to each one of those Circles.

However, avoid creating too many Circles and ensure that you devote one Circle to your core audience because it’s difficult to grow a large audience in more than one Circle.

4. Maximize the life of your content
One way to increase exposure to your content and extend its life is to post it on your blog first and then modify it and post it on Google+. After posting on Google+, you can add the link to the Google+ post in your original blog post and vice versa.

Don’t fret about duplication of content. John Mueller, Google’s Manager of Webmaster Tools, reportedly said that as long as you link the post on Google+ to the post on your site, you need not worry about duplicate content issues. Google will treat your blog as the primary source of your content.

5. Increase the range of your content
You can use Google+ to publish and share content on topics that are not suited for your blog.

For example, if your blog is about fiction writing and how to tell stories more effectively, you can use Google+ to write about other topics such as non-fiction writing, current events, and work-life balance. Writing about these topics in your blog may alienate your core audience and confuse search bots.

6. Join communities sharing your interests
After you join Google+, you can take advantage of its Communities platform, which consists of Google+ users focused on a common interest. When you join a Community, you’ll see the posts posted in that community in your Google+ stream. It’s a great way to network with people in your niche by posting, sharing, and commenting within that community.

For starters, you can consider joining communities such as

You can even start your own public or private Google+ Community by clicking on the “Create Community” button on the G+ Communities page.

7. Take advantage of Google+ Hangouts
One of the outstanding features of Google+ is their video chat—Google+ Hangouts. You can use it to host a video chat with ten people and everyone can interact with everyone else during the conversation.

Recently, Google released Hangouts On Air, a feature that allows you to schedule live video broadcasts on Google+, YouTube, and your website. These broadcasts can be recorded and automatically saved on your YouTube channel.

Best of all, both these features are free of charge. So you can use Google+ Hangouts not only to host meetings or brainstorming sessions but also to broadcast webinars or video interviews.

8. Claim Google Authorship
Google Authorship markup enables you to display your authorship information in search results for the content you create. Once you implement the Google+ authorship markup, your content will have your hyperlinked byline in Google search results. Anyone who clicks on your byline will land on your Google+ page. To implement your Google Authorship and Link your Google+ profile to your content, follow the steps in the Google+ authorship sign-up tool.

Final Takeaway
If you are an online writer, Google+ should be your social network of choice because it helps you to boost interaction and engagement with your target audience with minimal investment of time and effort.

Are you a Google+ user?

How do you use Google+?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

(30 July 2014)

Rohi Shetty has published five illustrated e-books for children on Amazon. Subscribe to his blog Write. Publish. Repeat. to receive free copies of his e-books and connect with him on Google+.

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