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Of course you want people to read your blog, and you try to stay up on the latest trends for driving traffic to your content. New, more hyped social networks like Pinterest seem to get all the attention for content marketers and bloggers when it comes to achieving more pageviews. However, if you look at the data, social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and Delicious continue to be among the top social media services readers for sharing and major traffic drivers to blogs.
Here are some tips on how you can make the most of social bookmarking sites to get your content in front of new readers.
What Are Social Bookmarking Sites?
First things first, what are these sites? Social bookmarking sites include StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg and Delicious. Each have their own idiosyncrasies. But for the most part readers post a link to an article they like, select a category for the link and tag it for keywords. Readers can subscribe to newsfeeds to see particular categories of links. In some cases, “voting up” links helps them stay at the top of newsfeeds.
StumbleUpon is a creature of its own. By clicking the Stumble! button at the top left corner of your screen, readers can essentially “channel” surf from site to site until they discover one they like.
5 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Blog
Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to engage your potential audience on social bookmarking sites.
First and foremost, you’ll have more success if you participate on these sites by not only sharing your own content but also by curating the content from other people. It’s not a waste of time: You’ll get more blog post ideas by following the popular posts related to your blog audience. You’ll get a sense of what’s already out there and what’s being shared. But like participating in any social network, it can be time consuming if you let it be. Discover where your time is best invested by digging into your analytics and learning which social networking site is already driving traffic for you. You can discover this in Google Analytics under Traffic Sources/Referrals.
2. Make it Easy For Your Audience to Share
If you’re using Shareaholic’s plugin for WordPress, you can add StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit or Delicious as a sharing option for your audience under settings.
3. Make Your Headline Count
We’ve written before about how your headline is your first impression and you have to make it count. Same thing goes for social bookmarking sites. Your headline may be the only thing that your potential readers see in a newsfeed like Reddit. Unlike on Twitter or Facebook where a sharer can include a comment or anecdote when they share your content, on many social bookmarking sites it’s the headline alone that needs to describe the value of the content and market it.
To get you started, here are 10 examples of shareable headlines to inspire Digg-worthy titles for your blog posts.
4. Use Visuals
Especially when it comes to StumbleUpon, when your potential readers use social bookmarking sites, they are essentially channel surfing. They are browsing the links on newsfeeds to find something that stands out to them. With StumbleUpon, they are clicking from site to site until they find an article that catches their eye. A great site design helps, but remember that pictures are especially appealing along with a great headline. Before you hit publish on your next blog post, think of it as a TV show. Ask yourself, “If I was channel surfing, would I stay on this show, or would I turn the channel?”
5. Blog Often
Color me obvious, but creating great content on a reliable schedule is a good way to build a community of people who enjoy and are willing to share your posts. It’ll make your blog’s brand more recognizable. When potential readers see a link from you show up in a newsfeed, they’ll be more likely to check it out because you’ve proven yourself. They trust your quality, and are interested to see a new post from you that they haven’t checked out yet.
While these tips are particularly helpful for earning traffic on social bookmarking sites, they’re also sure to help you gain more traffic from other social networks. At the end of the day, great, frequent content gets traffic – no matter where that traffic comes from.
How do you promote your blog on social bookmarking sites? Do you use StumbleUpon to discover things you like to read? Let me know in the comments.
Want more tips on how to drive traffic to your blog? Check out our free guide on how to use Pinterest for content marketing.