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Why I blog on Google+ (And how)

Mike Elgan | Oct. 15, 2012
The best blogging platform isn't a blogging platform, but a social network, writes columnist Mike Elgan. He explains how and why he uses Google+ for blogging.

If Tumblr is a small step, then Google+ is a giant leap.

As is the case with Tumblr, people who discover your Google+ blog can follow or "circle" you. But follower growth happens faster on Google+ for several reasons. First, people share more actively -- by clicking two buttons, anyone can repost what you posted to all of their followers. If enough people do that, your post could make it to the Google+ "What's Hot" list, and a million people might read it.

Second, your readers can share you as part of a circle. Good bloggers end up on circles that are shared and reshared -- circles with names like "Technology Women" or "Home Beer Brewers" or "Foodies." Once you start getting shared in these circles, it never stops, it only grows and grows, as more people add the circle and reshare it themselves.

Blogging on Google+ sets you free. You can write entries of nearly unlimited length and post an unlimited number of pictures. Readers can click a button to discuss your post in a Hangout (a group video chat). You can edit, re-edit, share, reshare and link to anything (including Google+ Search or Google Search). You can narrow the readership of your post if you want by simply addressing it to circles rather than "Public." You can toggle commenting on and off, delete comments, mute or block users and much more.

Blogging on Google+ has become popular with the Internet's biggest tech bloggers, including publishing mogul Tim O'Reilly, technology evangelist Robert Scoble, marketing genius Guy Kawasaki and Digg founder, angel investor and serial entrepreneur Kevin Rose.

Kawasaki, who was marketing evangelist for the Apple Macintosh, says that Google+ is the Mac of social networks, and he wrote a book about it.

O'Reilly wrote, "G+ is my favorite blogging platform" and he said Google+ is "like a Tumblr 2.0, but more social."

Google+ blogging isn't for every blogger. If you really need custom design, traditional archives, widgets and other nonblog functionality or advertising, you're better off with a regular blog platform.

But for everyone else, Google+ is the by far the best place to blog.

How I blog on Google+

Here's my advice for how to blog on Google+. First, create a "headline" by bolding the first sentence. Type an asterisk on either side of the headline to bold it.

Google+ offers a place to add a link, which auto-generates a thumbnail picture and "blurb" at the bottom of your post. This is fine for the personal social sharing of links. But when you're blogging, never use this option. The thumbnail is too small to attract the eye, and the blurb is an extraneous element that competes for attention with your headline and post.


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