Social Bookmarking 101

social bookmarking screenshot
I’ve got a few posts scheduled to come out over the next few weeks discussing social bookmarking so I thought it would be a good idea to start off with a short post covering the basics.

Social bookmarking sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg & Delicious are designed to let internet surfers “bookmark” pages they like and share them with other users. If you have a blog or a website this is obviously behavior that you want to encourage. I wrote a few weeks ago about using the ShareThis plugin to make it easy for your site’s visitors to share your site with social bookmarking sites so I won’t talk about that part of the “how to” here.

Advantages of Social Bookmarking

There are a two big advantages to using social bookmarking. The first one is that it can work as intended and bring users to your site. We’ve never never gotten a huge flood of traffic from any social bookmarking site but what traffic we have gotten is well over 90% new visitors. Bringing new eyes to your site is never a bad thing.

The other big advantage of social bookmarking is that when you submit your article to these sites, you’re placing a link on those sites to yours. These aren’t mega valuable links (since there are so many of them) but they’re not bad links either and they will help with your site’s SEO.

Is there a Disadvantage to Social Bookmarking?

Not really but there are a few caveats. The first being that one person sharing your post will probably not bring in a flood of visitors. It’s possible, but usually it takes a few people sharing a post to get it to rise up to where other people see it. When we share our articles they usually don’t catch on, but when we share author interviews they sometimes do since in addition to us sharing it, the authors are sharing it and encouraging their friends to share it too. That’s exactly how social bookmarking was designed to work. Some people try to jump start this process by having multiple accounts on each of the big social bookmarking sites but that brings us to the second caveat, time.

I only set up one account at a few major social bookmarking sites and it was still a pain in the butt. I can’t imagine trying to set up multiple accounts on multiple sites. Even with one account per site social bookmarking can still be a time sink and nothing is more valuable to authors then time. Like most of my SEO and social media activities I try to find out where the point of diminishing returns is and stop there. With social bookmarking so far that has been Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg & Delicious. In the video below I show how quick and easy it is to share your new content on these sites.

Reddit picked that time to make me verify my email account but you got the picture as far as the small amount of time it took. Doing these steps will cover you for the major social bookmarking sites but there are literally thousands of smaller social bookmarking sites on the internet besides these. Are they worth time? The answer is probably no unless you can find a way to do several with only a few seconds worth of work.

These smaller sites are almost guaranteed to not bring you traffic but they can still provide links which can help your site’s SEO a tiny bit. In my usual style I have scoured the internet and found a site which will let you submit your content to over a dozen random smaller social bookmarking sites for absolutely free. The best part is it’s even quicker to do that then it is to do the four I showed in this video. I’ve got the article written, the video made and I’ll be posting it next week.

6 thoughts on “Social Bookmarking 101

  1. This is an area where I’m also lacking. Mostly because of time constraints. Stumble Upon is the only one I ever see multiple results from. The others are mostly one off’s here and there, but for me I’ve had the most luck with Stumble upon. So that’s pretty much the only one I use just because of time. How do you get your readers to “share” your stuff? It’s one thing to have the share buttons there but what is a way to get people to actually “click” them? This is also something I need to work on as well but short of begging I don’t really have any ideas.

    • We sometimes get hits from Stumbleupon and sometimes for Reddit but that’s about it. Neither delicious or Digg have ever sent anyone our way.

      You could ask readers to share your stuff at the end of your articles (I never have, maybe I should) but I think the most popular way to get people to share nowadays is the “we’re having a give away, you get one entry for tweeting us, one for liking us on Facebook, one for stumbling us, one for…..). That’s something else I should probably do but haven’t yet.

  2. Just my experience, but Digg and Delicious have never done much for me. I’ve had more success with Stumbleupon and Reddit, but it’s hit and miss. For some reason, it seems to come in waves. I’ll go a week or two with SU and Reddit doing almost nothing for me, then suddenly I’m getting a few hundred viewers a day from the sites. That’ll last a week or two, then it drops off. I’ve yet to figure out exactly why this is, but it doesn’t necessarily seem to be related to my links’ topics.

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