I have come up with 13 ways for an author to use Google tools that will enhance your productivity and the final product. I first wrote about writers using Google in 2012. But Google’s array of tools has grown and my needs as an author continue to morph, so I realized it was time for a new list. As you read through my list of both obvious and clever ways to put Google to work for you as an author, keep an open mind that you may have 13 additional ideas. Feel free to share! [Read more…]
What are the social network numbers in 2014? Just how many people are using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and more?
The social network numbers are staggering. There are 7.2 billion people on planet Earth – the top 21 social networks have a combined 5.7 billion user profiles. More than a third of the world population now has access to the internet.
Some people still argue that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the other top networks are huge time wasters. Maybe so. But the numbers tell a story. To dismiss social networking as irrelevant feels similar to the great Yogi Berra quote: “No one goes to that restaurant anymore because it’s too crowded.”
Whether you join a network because it’s the newest craze, to connect with old and new friends, to entertain, to be entertained, to market and sell, to buy – or some combination that includes other reasons, here is what is happening in the universe of social networks in 2014. [Read more…]
I’m not getting paid by Google to write this and I use a variety of production tools besides Google – some more helpful than the Google counterpart. But just familiarizing yourself with the array of Google products can add productivity to your work as a writer. Here are a few obvious and not so obvious ways that Google can increase your productivity and quality as an author.
1. Docs. Upload and share working document with peer review groups, co-writers, editors, publishers, and anyone else you are asking to make your writing better. Google Docs will soon become Google Drive with more space and features.
2. Calendar. The obvious use of Calendar is time management – and I also use it to sync my appointments between devices – but I also found it incredibly helpful to create a specific calendar while writing a novel to keep track of days, weeks, and months for the events in my storyline.
3. Maps. Want to add authenticity to the addresses, streets, cities, and other places in your writing – Maps even has pictures of the landmarks at street level.
4. Blogger. It’s the absolute easiest way to set up an author website with simple push-button publishing. I’ve used it for years and recommend it – though I know many authors like WordPress better because of the SEO advantages.
5. YouTube. Set up a channel to serve as home for your video blogs to promote your book. I use YouTube as the main video source for my blogs on this website.
6. Translate. Want to add some phrases in another language to your book? Translate is an unbelievably easy and valuable tool to use. Now includes 50 languages.
7. Web Search. I never felt the need to switch to Microsoft’s Bling. Maybe it’s better but I find that hard to believe. No one has helped more people find the information they are looking for faster and more accurately than Google Search. You have an entire library at your fingertips.
8. Groups. Create mailing lists and discussion groups to promote your writing or interact with like-minded creators. This feature might be falling behind and fading fast – but I predict they replace it with something rivals the leading apps in the near future. (Edit: Hangouts arrived.)
9. Specialized Search. Did you know that Google has tools to help you examine search trends – content of blogs – content of scholarly papers – and more? They do. Keep clicking.
10. Analytics. Keep track of what and how people follow your v/blog. And as a bonus way that Google can help you – if you have a growing online following, you don’t want to be without Google Ads to generate income from page views. It takes an enormous amount of page views to add up – but better to set it up early in your online writing career.
You can use iGoogle as your homepage and set up your Google apps – and other apps – just the way you want to see them as on online dashboard – plus a whole lot more.
Google has a great array of products that can help you focus on what your best at, maximizing the value you deliver. And whether your prefer other tools over one or more Google apps, their suite will at least alert you as to what is available to make your work easier and more focused.