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UCF student pivotal in Google Plus Daily launch

By Jake Lamb
On June 9, 2013

Imagine the opportunity to tech-write about your favorite social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Well, Clayton Pritchard does just that as the marketing director of Google Plus Daily.

Pritchard, a senior marketing major, helped develop Google Plus Daily after working with co-founders on #googleplusupdate, a Google+ page that was started as a way for Google+ users to find all the updates on Google+.

“The first idea with that page was to re-share all those updates they have and the smaller ones they don’t mention,” Pritchard said.

Even with solid content, Pritchard knew that the Google+ page needed to be rebranded.

“We decided it was probably best for us to rebrand,” Pritchard said. “Because the name #googleplusupdate was pretty terrible for our branding and I’m a marketing guy so I was wanting to get rid of that.”

In December 2012 a website was created with a new logo to make the site more legitimate. It was officially launched on Jan. 10 as Google Plus Daily. The site has published 190 articles, with more than 40 of them written by Pritchard.

“We have been really successful so far, we have over 14,000 Google+ followers,” Pritchard said. “This last month we had almost 40,000 visits to our website.”

Google Plus Daily Editor-in-Chief Lee Jarratt certainly understands how valuable Pritchard has been to the launch of Google Plus Daily.

“Without Clayton’s help, GPD wouldn’t be where we are today,” Jarratt said. “Since launch, he’s been making and building connections for the website, and his knowledge and experience with marketing has helped growth in a dramatic way.”

Google Plus Daily aims to deliver timely and quality news and content on everything Google+. Their content is separated into four different categories: News, How-To, Culture and Opinion.

Unlike a lot of sites, Google Plus Daily is not riddled with ads; however, they do have “featured ads” strategically placed throughout and they like it that way, Pritchard said.

“Right now were focusing more on trying to get more readers, more followers and the monetization will come with that,” Pritchard said. “If you try to monetize too quickly people wont want to be there to read it because there’s an ad in their face.”

Since the launch of the site in January, Pritchard estimated that their selective advertising has brought in more than $200.

“It’s not enough to really pay for our time, but enough to do some advertising of our own site, site maintenance and stuff like that,” Pritchard said.

So why did Pritchard come and work for Google Plus Daily, a site that cannot yet pay him for his time?

“All of us are really passionate users of Google+, we just really enjoy it, and enjoy writing about it,” Pritchard said. “Yeah, it’d be nice one day, after I graduate, to work at an innovative tech company like Google or somebody else. But that’s not really necessarily the end goal, it’s really just to do this, to put out good content for our readers.”

Pritchard hopes that one day the site will generate enough revenue to make it his job.

“If this could make enough money for me, I could just do this because I enjoy doing this,” Pritchard said.

Some might call what Pritchard and the Google Plus Daily team did dumb luck, but associate director of UCF Blackstone Launchpad Pamela Hoelzle seems to think it was a culmination of the right pieces at the right time.

“Timing was right, smart marketing and branding,” Hoelzle said. “You have these tech guys some times that don’t have that other side of the brand marketing, but Clayton is an example of someone that’s in the tech space that also understands community, connecting, engaging and branding.”

Hoelzle referred to Pritchard’s business assets as “the perfect storm.”

“If I ever talk about his stuff, he comes back and likes it, he puts a plus one, he makes a comment,” Hoelzle said. “He’s constantly engaging his followers and going out and talking to them real-time as people.”

Pritchard has found a way to take his skills and turn them towards a niche that he already utilizes, Hoelzle said.

“People have all these questions about Google+,” Hoelzle said. “He has found something that he is really bringing value to [by helping] people and accelerating the rate [at] which they learn.

“That’s how I see his value proposition, he’s helping the rest of us on Google+ do what we wanna do faster,” Hoelzle said.

Pritchard will be speaking at the Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference, which will be held in Orlando in September. He will be presenting “Making Google+ Work for You” on behalf of Google Plus Daily.

To learn more about Google Plus Daily, visit googleplusdaily.com.

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