Getting started with Google Sites

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Google Sites is one of those forgotten G Suite tools that actually can be very useful for creating a quick website, whether it be an internal team site or public site that can be indexed by search engine bots and displayed in web search results.

Google Sites have actually been very popular in the classroom.  Teachers at schools who have a Google For Education license use the Sites product to collaborate with students, display class information, and much more because of how incredibly simple Sites is to setup and use.  Sites is literally a drag-and-drop web tool, so just about anyone can use it.  Sometimes "drag-and-drop" web tools are given a bad rap, and for good reason. They often don't look nice and don't pass for looking very professional.  I have been around website development tools for a long time, and have worked hands on with many of them, and I can honestly say that Google Sites is the best out there.

I am a long-time, loyal Squarespace customer and continue to use Squarespace for client projects, but I use Google Sites for a lot of personal one-off web projects that don't fit within my public-facing, personal brand site.  Most of my Google Sites projects are internal only, but I will be building some public ones over the coming weeks to show the capabilities of the Sites tool.

How to get started with Google Sites

I wanted to offer up a quick how-to post on getting started with Google Sites.  The steps below are set up to only show you how to get to the Sites tool. Coming posts will go into more detail on building out a site.

Getting to the Google Sites tool

After logging into your Google account, click on the app launcher in the top-right corner of the browser window (shown in the image below).  In that launcher, you will see the Sites logo.  If you do not see the Sites logo, click on the "More" link.  This launcher menu offers customization, so you can drag-and-drop the icons to put them in any order you would like.  (NOTE: I recommend using Google Chrome as your browser for all your web activities, but especially when using Google Sites.)

Classic Sites vs. Updated Sites

In the summer of 2016, Google released a completely revamped interface for Sites.  The legacy or "Classic" version will remain up until mid-2018, so for now you are launched into the older interface.  In the left-side navigation menu, I recommend clicking on the option that will take you to the new version of Google Sites.

Your dashboard in Google Sites

Now you are your site directory, where all the site you build will be shown.  If you are new to Google Sites, nothing will be in this view and you will need to get started with a new site!

Starting your first site in Google Sites

To start a brand new site, simply click on the red plus sign button in the bottom right of the screen.  That will load up a template for you to get started with.

Keep learning about how to use Google Sites

This article just gets you to the starting line... now the fun begins!  I will be offering tips and tricks for using Google Sites, so to stay up-to-date on all the great articles to come, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, where you can select different Google topics you want to follow, including Google Sites!

 

A Look At YouTube Channel Management Tool TubeBuddy

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I have mentioned a couple of times on this blog and on social channels that I am launching a video project this month, which will have a presence on YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch.  I have spent quite a bit of time over the past couple of months reading articles, listening to YouTube podcasts, and watching videos in order to learn as much as possible since I don't have much experience with video.

To help stay committed to my project, and make it the best possible product, I took the leap and purchased a tool to help optimize my YouTube channel and videos.  The tool is called TubeBuddy, and while I have not had much time to play around with it yet, I can tell you that it is an incredibly robust, comprehensive tool.  TubeBuddy is a Chrome browser extension that is free with a premium subscription model you can pay for (I purchased the Legend subscription tier).  It is also worth noting that TubeBuddy is a certified YouTube partner.

TubeBuddy includes an unbelievable amount of features, but here are some of the ones I am most excited about:

  • Video scheduling
  • Thumbnail generator
  • End screen templates
  • Bulk video management options
  • Video SEO auditing
  • Keyword rank tracking
  • Advanced tag management
  • Automated video promotion
  • Rich video analytics
  • Channel health assessment

As I start to upload my videos and get deeper into the TubeBuddy tool, I will post more of my thoughts on the product.

7 Best Podcasts About Building and Growing Your YouTube Channel

For the last couple of months, I have been working on a video strategy I am looking to roll out in November.  Because I don't have much experience in video marketing and channel strategy, I have been watching a lot of videos and listening to a lot of podcasts on the topic.  Here are seven of the best podcasts about building and growing a YouTube channel that I have come across over the past couple of months.

YouTube Creators Hub - YouTube Creators Hub is a podcast for YouTube creators looking to grow their YouTube channel for business or personal use. The podcast is hosted by Dusty Porter who is YouTube certified and knows his stuff. If you are looking for YouTube strategies, tips, and tutorials this is the place for you.


TubeBuddy Express - Dusty Porter makes my list twice!  In this podcast, he shares his knowledge about all things YouTube and video content in general. He talks about different tips on how to utilize the TubeBuddy plugin (which I have purchased) to help you with your daily YouTube workflow. He talks about YouTube news and features as well as interviews different video creators and how they are creating content that makes a difference.


TubeTalk - TubeTalk is a solid podcast hosted by Jeremy Vest. TubeTalk is an amazing source for expert tips and trends about online video, marketing, advertising, SEO, social media, and more.


Video Creators - Learn with Tim Schmoyer and other full-time YouTuber creators about how to grow a business around your online video audience. These entrepreneurs discuss topics related to their own personal YouTube channel growth and the business that surrounds the audience they've built. Listen as they discuss advanced strategies and tactics they implement to earn a full-time income from their YouTube subscribers and social media audience.


Grow on YouTube - This podcast comes off in the description as a YouTube gaming podcast, and there is gaming talk involved, but many of the episodes give great tips for any YouTuber.  The "Grow On YouTube Gaming Podcast" is hosted by YouTuber, entrepreneur, and marketer Jay Cartere. On this podcast you’ll learn how to grow your channel on YouTube and build your personal brand through Cartere's experiences as well as strategies to help you achieve your goals.


Another YouTube Podcast - This is a relatively new podcast that just got started in August 2017 but has kept up with posting regularly.  Some of the episodes are lengthy, so if you have long commutes, you will like this podcast.  Worth a listen for sure.  The one-stop shop for everything and anything related to YouTube.


Tuber Talk - Tuber Talk is a podcast about YouTube hosted and produced by Maddie Gudenkauf.  This podcast started off strong in February 2017, but has not posted a new episode since March 2017.  I do think it is worth checking out the episodes that were posted, though, and I plan on staying subscribed just in case it comes back to life.  Maddie's YouTube channel is still running though, so that might be worth checking out.