Social Proof: The Importance of Adding Google Friend Connect to Your Blog

I’ve recently came across Katie Freiling’s blog and she has impressed me with her ways of reaching out to people. Last Friday, she posted a video that demonstrates, How to Add Google Friend Connect to your Blog and Why it is Important. I have since added Google Friend Connect to my blog. As you can see, I only have a few followers on Google Friend Connect compared to my followers on Twitter.

Katie made some great points as to why we need to have Google Friend Connect on our blogs. I’ve added Google Friend Connect yesterday to my blog and since then I have joined a few other blogs that have Google Friend Connect on their website. I have seen an increase in activity on my blog. This is because Google Friend Connect allows you to build a community with other bloggers. When I join their sites, it allows other users to see my profile and what I am interested in. This way, you are just creating some additional exposure for your blog. Yesterday, I’ve discussed “Marketing Without Search Engines.” This is one of the tools that will allow you to do that.

Have you been using Google Friend Connect?

How are you been using it? Are you finding it useful? Please share your experience here with other readers of this blog.

If you don’t have Google Friend Connect on your site, make sure you watch Katie’s video and or follow the instructions below.

It is very simple. You don’t have to be a coder/programmer to implement Google Friend Connect into your blog. I am going to show you how you can add this to your WordPress Blog. Go to http://www.google.com/friendconnect and create an account if you don’t have one already. You can login with your existing gmail account, AOL, Yahoo, etc.

google_friend_connect_one

If you already have an account, just click on “get started.” It will then ask you to agree to the Google’s Friend Connect Developers Terms of Service. Read that and agree to it if you feel comfortable with their service. Then it will take you to another screen where you can setup a new site.

google_friend_connect

Click on “Friend Connect for Standard Websites.” This will take you another page where you will have to provide details about that website. You will have to enter a name for the website, a URL and a language of the website.

google_friend_connect_formOnce you do that, you will then be asked to download two files. You will have to download these two files and upload them to your root directory of your blog. As you can see in the image below, Google will tell you where the files should be located on your site. For my blog, the root directory is the main directory /public_html/ since my blog is setup directly on startupbooster.com. Some of you may have your blog setup on sub-domain names or in another folder. Please make sure these two files are uploaded to the directory of the webpage that you’ve provided in the previous step.

google_friend_connect_file

Once you click “continue”, you can test to make sure your have uploaded the files to the right location. Google will allow you to do this. Click on the “Test to Finalize Setup” button. Google will test to see if you have the files in the right place.

google_friend_connect_test

Once you are done with the testing, click on the “Members gadgets” on the left hand side. It will take you to a page where you can create the Friend Connect widget for your website. Click on “Add a Members Gadget” link. It will then provide you with an opportunity to customize the look and feel of the Friend Connect for your site. Play around with the colors and the size of the gadget you want for your site. Once you are done with that, just simply click the button “generate code.”

google_friend_connect_members_gadget

Google will provide you with the code you can insert into your own blog. That’s it. It is that simple. You can now go back to your Dashboard for your Blog and playaround with the widgets to insert the Friend Connect code.

You can do this in multiple ways. If you know coding, you an always insert the code wherever you want it to appear on your blog by editing the theme files. Or you can go to the theme’s widgets section. In there you can add the “Text” widget to your sidebar where you want Friend Connect to show up.

google_friend_connect_blog_text

You should be able to drag and drop the “Text” widget to the sidebar. You don’t need to enter a title for this “Text” widget. You just have to insert the CODE you got from Google into the body of this widget. Once you do that, just click “save.” Your Google Friend Connect should appear on your sidebar. The image below shows you what it will look like when you drag and drop the “Text” widget into the sidebar.

google_friend_connect_blog_text_insert

You should watch Katie’s video because she really explains it very well to do this quickly.

Why You Should Use Google Friend Connect?

When you use Google Friend Connect, you are encouraging the community to interact; hence improving user engagement on your site. You are also demonstrating to others that you have credibility – social proof. When new readers see that you have many followers, you will give them a sense of how important your site is and why they should consider following you as well. This will increase the number of followers. Once you add this, you will definitely increase traffic to your website. As always, you will have to take your time to participate in other sites you’ve joined. That is how you grow your network.

I would like to ask you to join my site by clicking on the “Join This Site” button of my own Google Friend Connect. You can see this on the top right hand side of this blog.

Wish you all the best. Please share your experience with me and other readers of this blog by leaving a comment.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Grier August 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Thanks again Guna for sharing your experience with us. I am definitely going to have Friendconnect on my blog when I launch it. Your tips have definitely made me redo some work for my upcoming blog.

Nikki August 30, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Great! Another great posting by you. It is all about entrepreneurs!

luv,
Nikki

Lynn Allen August 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Tried it. Like it. Hope it will help me build my community, as you predict. Thanks for the tip!

Damayanthi August 30, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Hello Guna

Great post, you have done a great job with the screen shots. I followed Katie’s training & added the friend connect as well.

Look forward to connecting more with you.

Damayanthi
.-= Damayanthi´s last blog ..Blogging for Home Business – 8 Benefits of Blogging =-.

Martin Zwilling August 30, 2009 at 11:18 pm

I’ve done the Friend Connect with your site, and it’s certainly easy. I have it on mine, but am not sure how much it really helps. We will see over time. Keep up the great articles!
.-= Martin Zwilling´s last blog ..Healthy People Build Healthy Businesses =-.

Bill Bartmann September 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂

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