Hello and welcome to the Biannual Blogathon Bash mini-challenge on How to Incorporate Google Hangouts on Air into your blog! Now, maybe you aren’t just sure what the Biannual Blogathon Bash is? Ok so you know how there just seems to be a never-ending list of “to do’s” for your blog? Little things from sprucing up your about page to fixing those broken links to ….well the list could go on and on! This is your chance to set aside some time and devote it to getting those things done!! Not only that, but if you participate, you even have the chance to win a prize. How cool is that? Head on over to the Blogathon website to sign up and get started. It’s not too late!
In the past 6 months or so, I’ve been making use of Google+ Hangouts on Air and incorporating them into my blog. There are several advantages to this- one is that video is becoming more and more popular way of sharing on digital media and the second is that it carries some pretty serious SEO juice with it. With Google+ Hangouts on Air, you can record your video and it will automatically upload to your Youtube channel AND you have the ability to embed it to your blog too! That gives you double the juice for one simple video!
Using Google+ Hangouts on Air is pretty simple – here are 9 easy steps:
1) Set up your Youtube Channel if you don’t already have one.
2) Sign into your Google+ account and go to the drop-down menu on the left-hand side where it says “home”.
3) Scroll down to where it says “Hangouts on Air” and click on that.
4) Click the blue button that says “Start a Hangout on Air”
5) Give your hangout a title, add any people or circles you’d like to invite (you don’t have to, especially if you just want to do a test run), and click start hangout on air but remember, even without inviting people specifically to your hangout, once you’re on air, people can just stumble onto your broadcast and watch!
6) Now don’t worry – you aren’t on air yet and no one can see you at this point. It takes a few seconds for Google to set up your hangout on air and you’ll see a little progress bar telling you how close it is. Once it’s set up, you’ll see a button top center that’s red and says “Start broadcast”. You still aren’t on air until you’ve clicked that button and we have something else to do first.
7) Over on the left side there are some great options that give you a lot of flexibility with the hangouts – things like screen-sharing – but I’m going to keep it simple and just tell you how to do a really basic broadcast. Let’s begin by getting this broadcast set up on your blog. That’s right – you can embed it to your blog before you even begin broadcasting and direct your readers to that blog post to watch you live from there. For those of your followers who might be less comfortable with Google+ or not even using the platform, this is a great option. You’ll see the embed button just to the left of the one that says “start broadcast”. Clicking on that will give you the code you need to embed this into your post.
8) Once you have it set up on your blog (which you don’t have to do but I find my followers really appreciate it and it’s so quick and easy to do!), you’ll want to hit that red “start broadcast” button. Once you click that, it will ask you to confirm that you want to go live, and you click OK. There will be a little countdown where the red “start broadcast” button had been to count you in, you’ll hear a tone and BOOM, you’re on air! I like to leave a couple seconds even after I hear the tone before I start speaking just to be sure that I don’t get cut off. This also gives you a chance to take a deep breath and relax.
9) When you’re ready to sign off, hit the red “end broadcast” button. Again, you’ll hear a tone when you go off air. I still sit there and smile for a second or two just to be sure!
That’s it! You’ve made your first video using Google Hangouts on Air! It will automatically be uploaded to your Youtube channel by Google. It’s a good idea to head over to Youtube sometime soon after and add a good SEO description and tags and to set your thumbnail pic. You can use one of the thumbnail options provided by Youtube or you can upload one. Thumbnail pics are 480 x 360 pixels. Research shows that videos with thumbnail pics get more views! And did you know that you can even monetize your videos if you’re set up for Google Adsense? In the coming week, I’ll add a few more posts to give you some more in-depth information about using Google Hangouts on Air if you’d like to do something a little more advanced or get into things like monetizing.
YOUR (mini) CHALLENGE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT:
Do a short (1-2 minute) Google+ Hangout on Air and embed it on your blog. It could be something as simple as telling the viewer 5 things about yourself but just get one under your belt to give it a try! Share the link here in the comments!