One of the things I struggle with in writing these articles is whether or not to talk about subjects that most of our readers already understand. I usually try to stick to topics that I think most people haven’t thought about or where I can share best practices that I don’t think are common knowledge. In this post I’m going to talk about Google Alerts, which I’m sure most of our readers are already using. I’m going to talk about it anyway because it’s so easy and so important that even if only 10% of our readers haven’t set it up, it’s worth it for them.
Google Alerts is a free service provided by Google that can send you an email whenever it finds new content on the internet including a phrase that you’ve entered an alert for. I have an alert setup for “Lizzy Ford”, “Guerrilla Wordfare” and every one of Lizzy’s book titles. Every day I get one email from Google for each alert where it discovered new content on the internet. Sometimes the alerts are from articles we’ve written on our site, sometimes they’re from sites that link to our site a lot like curiosityquills and sometimes they’re from sites I had no idea had linked to us until I saw the alert. The last situation is the reason why you set Google Alerts up. If someone mentions you, your books or your site in a blog post etc., you should check it out.
We’ve discovered blogs which wrote beautiful reviews about Lizzy’s books. Those bloggers should be thanked. Some people advocate offering free copies of other books etc., but that’s a personal decision. If nothing else, a simple ‘thank you’ works wonders! We’ve met some great people writing about Lizzy and her books via the Google Alerts. I wouldn’t have known many of these reviews existed if I didn’t have a Google Alert set up for Lizzy’s name and book titles.
Setting up a Google Alerts account at http://www.google.com/alerts is quick, easy, free and worth your time if you haven’t already done it. The first thing you have to decide is what text you want the alert to hit on. As I stated earlier, I have “Lizzy Ford”, “Damian’s Oracle” etc. The other significant options are where you want the alert emailed too and how often you want them emailed (I picked daily). Enter the info, click save and move on to the next Alert. The process will probably only take you a few minutes, and you’ll never have to think about it again, unless you want to add new alerts.