Making Google Plus Work For You!

All too often I hear the same lament from fellow food bloggers, “Google Plus just doesn’t work for me”.  When I hear this I do my best not to cringe, shout out expletives and tell them exactly why it doesn’t work for them…….sigh

Instead I take a deep breath, and repeat I’m one with the Universe, I’m one with the Universe………and then I begin my explanation.   I’ve said it so many times, to so many people, that I feel I should be wearing a name badge stating   “Hi, I’m Chef Dennis and this is Why you should be using Google+” 

This morning once again I heard from a blogger that has been on G+ all of two weeks telling me how disappointed he was in G+, because evidently his posts in a community had been marked as spam  and as he put it,  ” it would be nice if I could have some guidance on what not to do. it would also be appreciated if maybe G+ could clean up its act and go after the real spammers, because chasing off people like me is an excellent method of ensuring the platform’s mediocrity”

Mediocrity, really? Guidance, really?  I guess all those posts I’ve done and that so many others are doing  just isn’t enough help(not to mention the help two of us have already given him).   The comments that are made and the attitude some people have towards G+ just leave me speechless.

He then went on to say that he will probably curtail his activity on G+because of the problems he was having……Oh please, say it isn’t so…..sigh

I have to admit that I now mark blog posts as spam and report them to Google, when a community members (who’ve been sent the rules twice before they even come into the community) disregards the guidelines and decides that the rules must apply to everyone else and not to them.   Google takes a pretty firm stance on what is considered spam and they leave it up to moderators to decide how their communities should be run.   The Mark as Spam, Ban and Report button does come in handy occasionally (I only ban on the second offense).

That being said, anyone that knows me, knows how much I help other bloggers, I’ve spent countless hours as have other members of my community helping new plussers learn the ropes., and find their way on G+.  I don’t think I’ve ever turned anyone away that’s asked for help, but after reading his comments the only thing that came to mind was my favorite Godfather quote “You’re dead to me Fredo”     Hopefully I’ll feel better about this tomorrow………

But for now the question is why aren’t some bloggers successful on G+, and the answers really pretty simple, after all it’s not rocket science.   Here are my top 12 reasons-

You Might not Be Successful on G+ if-

1.  You Post content that’s only of interest to you….such as your own blog post , or posts of only a small circle of friends (who only post each others work ).

2.  You schedule your posts.  (Plussers don’t respond well to those that don’t engage others, they can tell by your profile if your active or just leaving your posts)

3.  You post a link with a thumbnail so only a small picture with your descriptions shows up. (Posting a large picture with a link will get you shares, comments, and +1’s.  G+ is a photo driven community)

4.  You have no interaction with others on G+, you only leave comments for other food bloggers.  It’s all about engagement and making new friends.

5.  You think G+ is Facebook, its not…..get over it and learn how to use G+

6.   You think G+ is only a passing phase and will never really catch on (kind of like what you thought about digital photography)

7.  You think Google Authorship is one of the new cruise ships for their writers.  (not really but I thought it was funny and wanted to see if you’re paying attention)

8.   Seriously, you have no clue how important Google Authorship is, and if you do, you don’t think using Google+ will help you.  (Google rewards its users, the more you use G+ the more your searches go up)

9.  You believe posting the same content to as many communities as possible will help you  (when actually it will get you banned in some and ignored by good plussers)

10.   You aren’t a good plusser, and you don’t want to share your sandbox.  You don’t understand how important sharing good content is, and that good content doesn’t have to always have be your content. (and you wonder why no one wants to follow you)

11.   You over share your content.  Post it once and if it’s good content, it will get re-shares and comments which drive it back to the top of the stream. ( if its not good content it and you keep re-posting it, that only makes things worse)

12.  You believe that you don’t need to follow people you don’t know, or you only follow food bloggers, or you don’t follow people who have less followers than you do….sigh (if someone has a good profile and a pic and they post good content, follow them)

If you’re guilty of some or all of these examples, this is why G+ won’t work for you, and this is why you will fail.   But don’t despair, it doesn’t have to be that way, and the first step to your success on G+ is to try to understand how it works  and use it as it was intended to be used.   Not how you think it should be used.

Stop criticizing G+, because you don’t understand it, you simply need to find someone patient (like me….sigh) to sit down with you in a hangout and explain how things work and then start applying what you learned.

Then be patient, you’re not going to be an overnight success no matter how many followers you have on twitter or facebook, and only through your diligence and engagement will you begin to see results.  It will take about 3 months for you to begin to feel at home and start seeing the time you’ve spent paying off.  You don’t have to spend all day on G+, it can take as little as 20 minutes a day twice a day if you use your time wisely, but I’ve found the more time I spend on G+ the less time I want to spend on any other social media, they just don’t compare.

So my friends, if you want to Make Google Work for You its going to take time and effort, but since G+ will eventually take over as the #1 social media on the planet, it might be a good idea to start now!




  1. good stuff!! I’m still struggling to get ahold of this idea, but slowly learning my way around, any help i can get is always appreciated!! anne

  2. Thanks for this very useful and informative post.

  3. Thanks for the post! Motivating me to try to explore G+ more! Good tips – I’m guilty of only posting my blogposts!! TY!

    • Thanks Tina, have you joined my community on G+, I was looking through the membership but didn’t see you. Its a great place to learn more about G+ and get answers to blogging questions

  4. Very useful and informative content. I would admit I am not very active on G+ yet. Trying to get my head around all the social networking for my new blog and slowly getting acclimated. Thank you for this post, Chef Dennis.

  5. Dennis, you’ve been nothing but helpful, kind, and encouraging, assisting me and countless others get our bearings on G+. I’m also thankful when you post your periodic “how to’s” because I see things I can do better or differently every time. And, I have fun doing it! Although I haven’t been as “regular” on G+ as I’d like (a hint you’ve posted before), I’m working on getting into a routine. I look at it as checking in with the WORLD — how cool is that?! Thanks so much for being the Godfather of Google. 🙂

    • Kim it just takes time, not everyone has the same time to devote, just make good use of your time when you do get on. I’m happy to help anytime you have questions!

  6. aah!! thats a gud info… even i don’t peep into G+ that often other than sharing my posts 🙁 thnx fr ths post 🙂

  7. Very good points here, Chef Dennis. Thanks for all you do.

  8. Sigh… I joined Googlw+ with the best intentions and then my life turned upside down and I was left watching from the bleachers:( But, I am determined to learn the ropes and catch up, as I am convinced that this is a great social platform (yes, I imagine a horde of nasty trolls waiting to ambush me as soon as I attempt to break “the code”, but I will prevail, with your help, of course!) Thanks for your endless patience!

    • You’re very welcome Lana, and life does take priority over social media, just be patient and be a good plusser, and you’ll start to really enjoy your time on G+

  9. Chef Dennis, Its been a month since I started using G+ and your posts and Hangouts have helped me a lot to learn this social platform. Thank you for being so helpful with your insightful posts.

  10. I noticed the headline and had to drop in. I am one of THOSE –– I have no clue how Google plus works or what it does for me. Thanks for these notes, I really should look into it and start using it as a tool to meet new bloggers out there. Now to get started….

    • hi Deana

      G+ is really an amazing place to be, and I would love to have you join my community of food bloggers, we have 1300+ members after only 3 months, I think you would really enjoy the community and the events I run weekly. I found you on G+ and added you to my circles and sent an invite to our community, I hope you stop by!


  11. Great post Chef, I always learn something from you. I really need to branch out, meet new G+ peeps, my world is def food blogger heavy (not a bad thing) – I get it.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thanks Aggie

      I too have a lot of food bloggers in my circle, our community is very important to me, but for growth we all need to branch out and friends with varying interests.

      Its just finding that balance.

  12. After all of your patient instructions and guidance, I’m still guilty of #12. I’m pretty much interacting with food bloggers. Thanks for that reminder Chef Dennis.

    • Lea Ann,

      you’ve done very well using G+, now for your continued growth you need to start connecting with people other than food bloggers, they will become your new blog readers.

  13. Great article, as always. I have only been on Google+ for 4 months and at first I was skeptical about its value but once you get into it you soon recognize that it is pretty awesome. I continue to have to review the rules and suggestions for making google+ successful. It takes awhile to sort through everything and get it firmly planted in your mind. All the expertise and experiences that you and others in the community share so freely is certainly appreciated.

    • Thank you Terri, I happy I can help. You’ve been doing great, just keep learning and keep growing and you’ll be amazed at the dividends G+ will begin to pay back to you for your time and effort.

  14. Lori Ferguson says:

    Thank you for your patience! 🙂

    I’m a google+ newbie and learning how to navigate feels like I’m putting together a puzzle and somebody has left a few pieces in the box. I will persevere. I will.

    Thank you for highlighting some ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to help make it all come together!

  15. So well said Chef. Don’t let one or two who aren’t willing to try and use G+ get to you. I’m sure I can easily say, you’ve helped thousands of others, who do now “get it” and are using G+ correctly, AND starting to see the benefits because of you and others like you. I know it took me at least a year on Facebook to develop a fan base, why would I think G+ fans would be easier. Anything worthwhile takes a little time and effort.

    A sandbox is too small, give me a whole beach and lets have a party!

    • Thanks Joan, one of my great joys in life is helping my friends, I know I can’t convince them all, so I just move on to someone else that needs help

      I hear you about the beach, I’m counting down my days to retirement but plan on spending my beach time at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach!

  16. Dennis, would love to see a “best practices” post about G+. Or maybe I missed it?

    • I have one called “How to be a Good Plusser” that I posted in December, that might be the closest thing to a best practices post.

      If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, or if you have time to jump online I’m off for spring break next week and would be happy to answer your questions in a hangout.

  17. Thanks for the tips! I have made the mistake of posting my blog articles with the smaller picture, and will start the new technique for sure! I too enjoy the Google + Community better than any other site other than Twitter, and love the fact that you meet so many new people…more people need to join!

    Ang 😀

    • Thanks Ang, we are building an amazing community on G+, it’s hard to believe its only been 3 months since we started it. There is a debate over links vs the larger pics with a link, but I think you end up getting so much more in return when you post the larger image.

      thanks again for stopping by and reading my post!

  18. Chef Dennis, I just recently signed on to Google+ and appreciate all your advice and pointers. This is so new to me and I need all the help I can get. I find myself coming back to your site time and time again. Next up for me is setting up Google+ authorship. Thanks again.

    • Hi Robin,
      thank you for stopping by to read my posts, I’m happy to hear you find them helpful. As for authorship, if you’re on wordpress there is a plugin for that. Also we have Gareth Mark in our community , he is the resident expert on authorship, he’s written quite a bit on the how to’s of Authorship

  19. Thank you so much for the tips. I’m still working on loving G+. Almost none of my friends have come over to G+ so it makes it a little difficult to see the great aspects, but I’ll keep trying.

    • You’re quite welcome Ryan, I know what you mean it can be a little lonely with out the people you do know here to make it feel more like home. I felt the same way when I started, I couldn’t drag food bloggers over here, but it did give me time to connect with a lot of people I may not have met, if my group had already been here.

  20. Well written Chef. Now how do I find other people that aren’t on our list?

  21. Chef Dennis! You’re fantastic 🙂

  22. Thanks Chef Dennis , I really have to go learn how to use it properly. Each time I post up a new content on my blog, this screen appeared and ask whether I want to share with my circle of friends. So, I will normally click yes not knowing that it will appeared as spams :p Thanks for this post and I shall go check it out and hopefully I will know how to use Google plus properly.

    Have a nice day ,

  23. Chef Dennis, I read all of your articles and thank you for all the videos and your generosity in helping food bloggers. You do this all for FREE! I’m trying to be a better plusser, but it is hard when you work full-time. Still, I have followed your advice, and I am meeting new people through Google Plus. It’s a fine line, for many of us, who are blogging for pure enjoyment and really aren’t focused on making this an income. I do have to keep my day job!
    Thank you for all that you do. Your passion really shows, both in the kitchen and on Google +

    • hi Debby

      I do understand working full time, some days its all I can do to get everything done. I think learning to use G+ correctly will only make it more fun for those using it, I’ve met so many wonderful people there.

      I’m not quitting my day job yet either, but it is fun to think about!

      Thank you for your support!

  24. Hi Chef Dennis,

    I think that I have read every one of your posts to help us in food blogging. My teaching schedule is so hard to sync with your presentations on Google+ so I truly appreciate you having the transcripts and/or videos available for those like me who work more than 50 hours a week outside of blogging. You are truly a great teacher (from one to another) and appreciate you helping my learning curve continue in my middle-age years.

    I hope you can stop by sometime too,
    La Bella Vita Cucina

    • Thank you Roz, I am always happy to help my friends, and to be able to count on them for their knowledge, support and kindness. I have been truly blessed to be part of this amazing community!

  25. Hi Chef Dennis,

    I’ve only been on google+ a short time and can tell I will like it. Although, it is a bit overwhelming at first. I have lots to learn. I’ve found your input the most helpful. Thanks so much!:)

    Katrina Scott

    • hi Katrina

      I’m happy to hear you found my post helpful! I also have a few You tube videos on G+, if you have time to check them out. If you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask, I’m always happy to help my friends on G+


  26. I don’t know how I missed this before, but it’s 1. hilarious and 2. awesome and 3. true and I owe al my G+ knowledge to you. For that I say Thanks!! and thanks for being so very helpful in the Food Bloggers community.

  27. Thank you for being willing to share your knowledge. I joined Google+ over a year ago, but I’ve had trouble adjusting to it and have done nothing in communities except lurk and try to figure it out. I’m bound and determined to figure it out this weekend!

    • Its my pleasure Savanah, I just started a new series on G+ that begins next Monday at 1PM EST to help new users become more familiar with G+. If you can’t make it the show will be recorded on You tube and available for viewing at your convenience.

  28. I did a “Why Google+ ?” search and lookie who popped up! 🙂 Totally pinning this! Great tips!

  29. Jayne Hewitt-Hood| The Coupon Cook says:

    Great article! I am fairly new to using G+ as a blogger and I am learning slowly but surely! I hope to be able to help others learn the helpful tips that I am learning here! Thanks for this information, it is much appreciated!

    • hi Jayne

      I’m glad you found the post helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out. I do have some other posts on hangouts and youtube you might find helpful.


  30. Hi Dennis:
    Charlie, here.
    I have been struggling to just set up.

    1. Does the google shopping bag work with an apple os x laptop. If so how do I access it? It keeps telling me that I can’t download it.

    2. I want my google page to go to the communities that I am a member of. How do I link to them.

    I have so many questions, but will start with these two.
    Thank you so much.

    • hi Charlie

      I’ve never used Google Shopping bag so I can’t help you with that. As for your page going to the communities you belong to, you can’t just link them to your page, you would need to go to each community and post. You have to be very careful with that though, since most communities would consider it spamming them (check their guidelines before posting) and if you post the same message more than twice in communities Google will consider it spam, so again be careful.
      The only way to really get engagement with your page in the communities is to engage in them on other peoples post.


  1. […] All too often I hear the same lament from fellow food bloggers, ?Google Plus just doesn't work for me?. When I hear this I do my best not to cringe, shout out expletives and tell them exactly why it doesn't work for them??.sigh … Go […]

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