google_plusGoogle plus (Google +) has been called “Google’s answer to Facebook.” This still relatively new social networking site has people talking.  Many marketers and entrepreneurs are interested in discovering how to make money using Google plus.

To say that Google plus is a Facebook clone is a bit misleading, though its creators definitely intended to compete with it.  Google has some unique features that can’t be found on Facebook. Since Google plus first went public in late 2011, Facebook’s designers have been making changes to try to rival some of those features.  If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Google pluses creators should be proud.

Currently there is no way for users to make money directly off of Google plus.  You can’t set up a virtual shop to make money by selling products.  You can’t collect “points” that can be sold to other users to make money.

However, there are still ways to make money using Google plus as a platform.  This idea for making money is sometimes referred to as “cross-marketing.”  It’s the principle of using your personal Google plus profile to promote products or services that you sell somewhere else on the Internet.

If you already have your own products and a Website from which you sell them, you can create a Google plus account and use it to advertise that site and your products and make money.  You simply do this by talking up your site and products on your profile.  You can also drop links to your Website all over your profile.

Don’t have your own products or services to market?  That’s okay.  It’s still possible to make money using Google plus as a platform.  You can do this by becoming an affiliate marketer and placing links to your affiliate product(s) on your profile.

You can find hundreds of affiliate programs on the Internet and a variety of products that you can advertise.  Sometimes private companies also have their own affiliate programs.  Simply select one or more products that you like and apply to become an affiliate.

Once you do this, you are typically given a unique link leading to an order page.  This unique link tracks sales that originated with you.  You receive a commission each time someone clicks on your link and purchases the product.

It’s this unique link that you’ll need to sprinkle around on your Google plus profile.  However, you can’t just create a Google plus profile and start posting links.  First you’ll need to build up a following.

You can do this in a couple of ways.  You can send personal invitations to people that you know to join Google plus and then make them a part of one of your “circles.”  You can also search for people that you know who are already using Google or Google plus and include them in your circles.

You can also choose to “follow” people that you aren’t personally acquainted with.  When you choose to “follow” someone else you can ask that person to return the favor.  Finally, you can invite people to “follow” you.

In order to best market your product or affiliate product, you should try to amass friends and followers who are likely to be interested in what you’re selling.  You can do this by searching Google plus for people who indicate an interest in that subject.  Become their “follower” and invite them to follow you.

Every Google plus profile home page has a “stream.”  It contains postings from other Google plus users, including any links that they post.  Anything you post (including links) will show up in the “streams” of your circles and followers.

This is how you make money using Google plus as a platform.  Keep posting links to your Website(s), product(s) or affiliate product(s).  Talk up your products by continually posting informative, compelling and relative information.  This will entice people to buy what you’re selling.