What is Google Alerts?
A powerful web monitoring tool.
Receive automatic email updates of the newest, relevant
Google results (from the news, web, blogs, video, and
discussion groups), based on your search query.
Why Use Google Alerts?
Gather personal and competitor “intel”.
Source industry or genre-specific news.
Generate leads and track client activity for freelancers
and non-fiction writers.
How to Create a Google Alert
Go to www.google.com/alerts and enter your search term or keyword.
Choose the type of Google alert (“everything” will give you all result
Specify how often you want to receive the alerts.
Decide if you want all results or only the best results.
Add an email address, click “Create Alert” and you’re done!
Gather Your Intel: Personal
Track mentions of your name, pen names and/or business name. This can
provide opportunities to connect with supporters (or note detractors).
Create an alert for your website, author blog and/or book blog.
Specify the name and extension, like so: “YourWriterPlatform.com”.
Tracking mentions of your book or articles provides a great opportunity
to thank those who mention your work, and note where your articles
are appearing online.
Gather Your Intel: “Competitor”
Keep an eye on competing or comparable titles and authors by setting up
alerts for their name and book titles.
Where are they being mentioned? Who’s talking about them? Note
what they are doing that works (interviews, media coverage, speaking
engagements) and tweak it to fit your marketing campaign.
Also track mentions of their blog/website. Those that reference author
blogs in your genre or area of interest may be receptive to your content
or point of view as well.
Gather Your Intel:
Industry News & Stats
Create alerts for keywords and key phrases for your industry, or for your
genre or topic.
Use alerts to track relevant industry or genre-specific news and statistics to
use for blog posts, to share on social media or to use as supporting data for media
and PR coverage.
Engage with your target audience (as well as “competitors”) by using new and
relevant industry info to add value to conversations. Blog commenting, forum
discussions and social media outreach are all avenues you can use to contribute
meaningfully to the conversation and demonstrate your expertise.
Gather Your Intel:!
Lead & Client Research
Freelance writers and some non-fiction authors can track their clients’
activity, like media coverage, mentions or possibly even complaints.
A timely note of congrats for a big win, or a heads-up on a negative
discussion or story on your client, will help build relationships and provide
valuable insight moving forward.
If you’re a freelance writer, use Google Alerts to help generate new
client leads by creating alerts for your specific niche–like copywriter
or web writer–and add “wanted”, “jobs”, “job listings”, for example.
Google Search Tactics
Exact Keyword Search - add a “+” sign to the beginning of the word to
receive only exact matches (not variations of the word).
Exact Key Phrase Search - enclose your search phrase in quotes (if not, Google
just returns anything with all the words in the phrase).
Related Terms - use a tilde “~” in front of the keyword to get synonyms or
Alternate Keyword - Using “OR” (capitalized, no quotation marks) between your
keywords will return results with either keyword.
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