Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Google+ Community by Ashley Lynch-Harris

I met Ashley Lynch-Harris in a Google+ Community and asked her to share a little of her experience in G+ Communities. -- Sandy 

Ashley: Google+ is a social media network. I’ll be honest; upon first learning of this site my initial reaction may have been a bit severe. I believe my exact words were: 

“No! Not another social media site that will consume more of my already dwindling writing time!” [Cue throwing myself across the bed in dismay].

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being able to connect with other readers and writers, but I really don’t want to manage a million sites. Quite frankly, I believe that most things are best in moderation (well… except chocolate. That’s just great all of the time.)

Being a good sport, however, I looked into Google+, and I found that “Google+ Communities” actually appealed to me.

What is a Google+ Community?
What differentiates Google+ from other social media sites is that they capitalize on connecting people through their common interests.

Users create “communities” based on people, places, or things that interest them. 

For example, I created the community “Christian Fiction (for Readers and Writers)”. We discuss all types of Christian fiction books, share reviews, alert each other on promos, etc. Right off the bat you have a group of people that are excited to share and discuss a certain topic.

From a Writer’s Perspective
When I first joined Google+ I joined several writing communities. Various professionals, from authors to agents, utilize the site. To grow in our readership, however, I also recommend stepping outside of the writing realm…  

Tips for Writers
To get the most out of the Google+ Communities, here are a few things I have personally found helpful.

  • Create a community and/ or join other people’s communities because you genuinely have an interest for that topic—even… and especially those outside of writing. Readers encompass all types of people with all sorts of interests. If we only stick to writing groups, we miss connecting with the rest of the world and limit our readership. 
  • We strongly identify as writers, but we are also wonderfully multifaceted. If you love gardening, create or join a gardening group. Due to the fact that this is of natural interest to you, you will be more likely to leave comments, share your genuine enthusiasm with others, and as a result you will naturally build relationships with those who share your interest. Furthermore, some in your community may initially “follow” your profile because of your mutual fondness for hydrangeas, but they will also learn about your latest book release because it will now show up on their news feed.
  • Balance is key. Share the things that you enjoy, BUT also interact with others. They are just as eager for their posts to be read, and those posts are important to them. 
  • Leave comments. We write for God and to share God’s love. Even if it is only one post a day, that still makes a difference for that person. Plus, if you’ve connected with people and communities that share your interests you may be pleasantly surprised at some of the inspiring things they have to share as well.

Have you joined any of the Google+ Communities? Formed your own? What do you like/dislike about them? 


Ashley Lynch-Harris loves reading, writing, and most importantly her Savior, Jesus Christ. On her blog, Ashley humbly shares some of the lessons that she has learned while walking with the Lord. She hopes that others may be encouraged from her experiences and the truth of God’s word. Ashley is also pursuing a career in writing. She has a passion for mysteries and endeavors to use her “little grey cells”, much like one of her favorite literary detectives, Hercule Poirot, when plotting her own. Married to her high school sweetheart, Ashley enjoys spending time with her loved ones, sipping tea with a good book in hand, and being stirred deep inside by God’s word.

You can find Ashley on her blog at and on Google+. You may also reach her via email at