In the world of social media, google plus is relatively new. I for one am still trying to work way my around it. Like most things, there are pluses and negatives and everyone will have an opinion but seeing as google are pushing google plus then I think its handy to have, especially if you are a blogger.
Signing up to google plus is super easy. You can sign up here - with google you only need one user name and password to sign into all google related platforms. Once you're signed up and logged in for the first time, you'll be asked to create a profile with your name etc, you can also upload a picture and follow any pages that might be of interest.
In google plus, you add people to circles. In my public profile on the about page, you can see people I've added to my circles. When you want to add someone to a circle, you can basically put them into a category. So for example, you could add people you know from work into one circle, friends in another, bloggers in another etc.
Below you can see on my public profile, the people who have added me to their circles. Theres also a view count on your public profile page which personally I don't pay attention to as I doubt that I've had almost three million views on my profile. Maybe with bots but it seems far too high to be realistic in my opinion.
Now on my page above, you can see how it links my blog and I'm listed as a contributor. When searching for my blog in google, this means my google plus profile is linked in my results - see under my blog link!
You can find out how to do that here but its pretty straightforward. Google authorship is said to bring more traffic to your site by better search rankings and more click throughs from search results. Obviously my knowledge is pretty limited but theres a really great article on how google authorship can get you better traffic here.
So you've set up a profile, google authorship and added people, now what?
As a blogger I always share my posts on google plus. You can do this by going to your dashboard - posts - click share under the post link. This will bring up a box where you can share to your profile and people in your circles.
You can see how my profile looks below - this is like the 'dashboard' of blogger and what only I can see - notice how I can view what I've posted, people in my circles, people I may want to add. I can also update my profile by going to the about page.
If I click to my public profile, you can see all the posts I've shared - people who view this can add a comment or share the post via +1
Before I go on to the next part, I highly recommend reading learn how to use google plus | a beginners guide - seriously this post is awesome and explains using google plus far better than I ever could.
Now you've seen your profile, you'll want to have a look at your homepage - this is where you view the content people in your circles have shared as well as suggestions from google. To do this you go to the little icon in the top left and choose home in the drop down menu.
So on my homepage, bloggers I'm following have shared their posts, I can also add other users and I can also share other content in the top left box. The homepage is also where I can view content others have shared. Basically that means if a user decided to +1 (or share in other words) one of my posts, it would appear on the homepage of users following them. This is how you can maximise the outreach of your blog posts and in turn get more hits to your blog.
This is just a basic guide to google plus - I definitely recommend signing up if you're a blogger as its a platform becoming more and more popular and it may increase your blog exposure. The two links I've shared go into more depth and should add some more understanding. Google plus has grown on me since it first launched. Its worth spending some time on there to really get to grips with it but all in all its a useful tool to have.