6 Must Have Google Hangout Apps for Bloggers

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Have you tried Google Hangouts yet to build your blogging platform?

If not, you should. Connecting with people via video can be an incredibly personal experience. This is why webinars are so effective.

Webinars can do what text cannot – add a human element to what you do. When we first started hosting webinars, we were a bit taken back at how popular they were with our audience. People wanted to connect with us personally. Video can be a great way to build authenticity and trust with your audience.

The Power of Google Hangouts on Air

While Google Hangouts was a bit buggy in the beginning (in my opinion), it has slowly grown in both reliability and popularity.

Along with this, many developers are building apps to make this an even better platform. I’m even currently experimenting with a WordPress plugin that works with Google Hangouts that allows you to hold professional-looking webinars with no monthly cost (more on that in a minute).

Google Hangouts on Air allows anyone to view your live broadcast. There is even an embed code you can use to embed your live broadcast on your blog if you want. The pic above is from a Live Google Hangout I did recently with a group of blogging students.

6 Google Hangout Apps for Bloggers

To date, here are some of my favorite Google+ Hangout Apps I have enjoyed using to date.

1. Cameraman App

This is a built-in app to the Hangouts on Air feature. Before you go live, you can choose to mute video and audio feeds as people join your hangout. This is what allows you to hold a professional hangout minus the background noise. This is incredibly valuable if you want to be the main speaker in your hangout.

2. Lower-Third App by Hangout Toolbox

I love this cool little tool. This app allows you to place a professional looking title below your video like you would see on a television newscast. You can even add a logo, adjust colors, and change font. See the picture above I took to see how I am using it.

3. Cacoo Sketchpad

Sometimes it is helpful to have a sketchpad handy when trying to illustrate a point or describe something in more detail. This app turns your screen into a whiteboard so you can sketch out a diagram or text.

4. SlideShare App

Slideshare allows you to upload powerpoint and pdf slides so you can display them online. The Slideshare app connects to your account and gives your hangout a professional looking presentation feature. This is great if you are delivering a content-rich presentation to your audience.

5. Google Docs App

The Google Docs app is already pre-loaded to your Google Hangouts account. You can open up a shared note and type in any text that you want your audience to see. In a recent hangout, I simply did a copy-n-paste of blogging questions that were emailed to me. Everyone could view the questions as I answered them live.

6. Screenshare

This is another app that comes built-in. It is surprisingly fast and reliable. I have used many screen sharing devices on just about every webinar platform out there and this is as fast as it gets. You can share just your browser or your entire desktop.

If you have yet to use Google Hangouts to build your platform, I’d encourage you to give it a try. The more I use it, the more I am convinced that it will eventually overtake some of the higher-paying webinar providers out there.

I am currently testing a new WordPress Plugin that integrates webinars into your site using Google Hangouts. The plugin is called WebinarExpress and so far I like the features it delivers. Once I do a little more testing, I plan on doing a more thorough review of what I like and don’t like with the plugin.

Question: Do you have any apps you like to use with Google Hangouts?

8 thoughts on “6 Must Have Google Hangout Apps for Bloggers”

  1. Jonathan – I host real estate webinars using GoToWebinar. It’s important for me to show powerpoint visuals or photos, etc. and I always have a guest speaker. In addition it’s important that I can record the webinars to add to my library. Can Google Hangouts do this and more?

    1. Jonathan Milligan

      Hi Bruce. When you use Google Hangouts on Air your hangout is automatically recorded and placed on YouTube. Powerpoints are simple to show via Screenshare or SlideShare. I haven’t tried it with a guest speaker yet, but I know others have. It is something to test for sure. Like I mentioned in the post above, the missing pieces of Google hangout seem to be covered in the feature of the WebinarExpress WordPress Plugin.

  2. Dennis McIntee

    This is great Jonathan! You are My Blogging Answer Man 🙂 I appreciate how resourceful you are. I’m putting focus on using google plus to build my platform!

  3. Good stuff – I’ve recently started using Google Hangouts with my assistant who is in another state. We’ve used some of these features – and we’ll check out those that we haven’t used.

    1. Jonathan Milligan

      Awesome. Pass along any tips you find along the way. I’m testing out the embed code you get with Google Hangouts on Air along with Chatroll.com to have an integrated webinar experience for students in our BYPU membership site. So far so good.

  4. Michael Brinson

    You mentioned above that you can change the font in the Hangout Toolbox tool. Would you mind sharing how you accomplished this? I’ve been using it for a while and I have yet to discover how you can change the font.
    I also noticed that with the newest version of the app, it has completely revamped how your “Color” selection gets applied. Just a very thin strip at the top, with the rest of your lower third overlay box being white. Also, the text is very pixelated. Not smooth at all.

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