While Google+ may not have as big a reach as Facebook, it does have an estimated 540 million active users. That’s a huge audience, and a lot of people are starting to wonder how they can capitalize on it by monetizing their Google+ content. Although monetizing hasn’t yet become mainstream on Google+, there are some tactics that are proving successful for savvy users:
The big news is that Google just unveiled a new way to monetize your account: consumer surveys. Once you sign up, users will need to answer a survey question before they can access your content. It works just like a paywall that operates on questions rather than cash. You get $.05 per each question answered, and you can set it up however you like (which content, what frequency, etc.). If you have a lot of followers, that $.05 per question can add up fast, so this looks like a great way for people who produce premium content to cash in.
While you can’t put Adsense ads directly on your Google+ page, you can include links to external pages – like your blog – that host Adsense. The key is to insert external links that people want to click, because they offer something they can’t get on your Google+ page. One idea would be a free ebook. You’d give the book away, but you’d still make money through AdSense.
Another possibility is to create a members-only community that charges a fee (either a one-time charge or a subscription). The catch is that it would have to offer something that users can’t just get free elsewhere. Real-time live support would be one example – whether it’s for gaming, cooking, or fashion advice. You can also sell “tickets” to a Google+ event. If you were going to offer a live tutorial on a Google Hangout, for instance, you could charge users to access it.
Products and services
This is another monetizing option that involves external links. You build a community of users who would be interested in whatever product or service you sell, then include a link to an external landing page. The trick is to avoid being spammy – make sure any posts are relevant to the community, and don’t overdo it. You can increase your reach by creating circles for the people who are most likely to buy your products to increase the chances that they’ll see your posts.
People have made money for years by flipping blogs – building a following and then selling it (all of those followers have social value). You can do the same thing with a Google+ community.
Affiliate product sales
So far, Google doesn’t seem to have a problem with users promoting affiliate products on their sites. To better target your market, create circles that include the people most likely to be interested in the products you review. Whenever you post a review, post it to that circle as well as to your general page.
The monetizing of Google+ is still in its infancy, but you can bet that it will take off fast, especially with the introduction of Consumer Surveys. Have you monetized your Google+ account yet? What did you do, and how did it go? Your thoughts and comments below please…