A beginners guide to getting started with Google+ to promote your creativity

According to Wikipedia Google+ 'is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author. 

It is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+'s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments. In October 2013, Google counted 540 million active users who used at least one Google+ service, of which 300 million users are active in "the stream".'

So in short, yes it's worth your craft, creative & handmade business being on Google +. 

Here's a brief guide to getting started ...


1. Go to Google Plus at http://plus.google.com and login or create an account if you don’t 
have one already (if not, why not!!)
2. If you’re new to Google you’ll need to select a profile photo to use – TIP: try and be 
consistent with other social media photos you may already have

3. You’ll get a welcome to Google notification and then click to proceed to Google+
4. Next, search for people you know on Google through the search bar or via submitting your 
email contacts. This will start to build your ‘circle’ of who you are ‘following’ on G+. You can 
have lots of different circles – those you are just following, friends, acquaintances, family 
etc to keep your contacts separate depending on how well you know them and the level you 
wish to connect with them at. Once you’ve searched for your contacts and identified those 
you’d like to follow (ie receive their updates in your newsfeed) simply click continue. 

5. TIP: Once you ‘follow’ someone, you will receive their status update/posts in your G+ news 
feed. You can then decide to share their posts with your followers by clicking the +1 button 
at the bottom of their post. You can comment as well. Ideally, anyone you follow will, in 
time, follow you back and then they will receive/see the posts you’ve make in their news 
feed too. They can then choose to share or comment on your posts. Sharing is the key. 
The more shares +1, the more widespread the content goes. This is the secret sauce of G+. Tip: It’s tempting to follow as many people as you can in the beginning. However, 
bear in mind that all their status updates/news will be in your newsfeed to filter. TIP: I only 
follow those who I believe will have highly relevant content for me. As I know what makes 
my followers tick I am highly selective about what I share with them so as not to overwhelm 
them, disinterest them or dilute the focus of my own brand.
6. Select your interests so Google can also share (ie fill your newsfeed) with what it deems to 
be relevant content to you then continue. Your interests can be fine-tuned at a later date if 
you become overwhelmed.
7. Enter your work information, schooling & location then click finish
8. You’ll then see your Google+ profile page. 

9. To share your news with those you selected in #4 above, simply type your content into the 
‘Share what’s new’ box. You can add video, photos, URL links etc to your post for more 
exposure & connectivity – certainly advised! TIP: I always use an image to attract attention, 
video works even better! I also always set my content posts to ‘public’ visibility but you have 
the capability to select posts to just be seen by your circles or just named contacts.
10. Google will kindly interpret your interests entered in #6 above and show ‘What’s hot and 
recommended’ topics you can choose to follow if you wish to receive postings – What’s hot 
& recommened is on the bottom left hand side. You will also see contact suggestions in 
‘who else you may know’ to the right hand side. You can also join Google+ communities 
you could join based upon your interests – or even set one of your own up! TIP: My 
suggestion is not to overwhelm yourself to begin with by joining/following anyone and 
everyone as you will be having an awful lot of news to sift through in your feeds each day! 
Build your circles over time.
11. You’ll also see ‘what’s trending on google at present’ which can be a great source of hot 
topics to blog/tweet/pin/post about on other social media platforms to gain visibility.
12. On the left hand side is a sidebar of other options available to you – Home, profile, people, 
communities, settings etc. Simply click on each one and enter your information as required 
to maximise the potential reach of your G+ account. 

13. You’ll see Google Hangouts to the right hand side – that’s another guidance topic but 
basically Google Hangouts are a great way to connect and chat in real time or via videocam 
to those you are connected to. TIP: Try it with a few friends first! 

14. Google also has it’s own user visibility metrics installed – Google Ripples. More on how to use Google Ripples to come!