4. Immerse yourself in a social bookmarking site
Many people have a hard time getting their foot in the door with social bookmarking because they just try to use it without giving back. Most social bookmarking sites are a community of people who enjoy interaction and discussion – if you just pop in long enough to toss up some links and then wonder why you’re not successful, you’re simply fooling yourself.
Why do we look at Digg and Del.icio.us and all the other bookmarking sites out there and just blindly demand they shovel traffic our way? Why do we look at our precious readers and subscribers as something that can be just forced toward our sites?
We shouldn’t be asking what Digg or Del.icio.us can do for us, how about what we can do for them? OK, maybe that is going a little loopy, but when’s the last time you went to a community site and just wanted to throw your link out there and hope someone was stupid enough to click it? Is that fair to the community? Who are you helping with this sort of behaviour? Really, you’re not even helping yourself, because traffic that comes from spam is rarely helpful to a site owner. In fact, it usually results in traffic slams and no advertising payoff or subscription increase. Why do we bother?
Well, in all walks of life, people think there is a free and easy way to success. Perhaps I can just write a few posts, slather on some Adsense and then throw my link at whoever will listen, and then I can sit back and count my money. If anyone reading this is really waiting on that to happen, I wish you luck with that scheme.
That’s why I loved the way the author mentioned that social bookmarking sites were helpful to him because he was a helpful member.
If you want to be successful on a social bookmarking site, get involved. I’m involved in several – I post links to both my own articles and to other things and I’m also involved in many discussions on what others submit. Over time, people start checking in on what you submit on those sites and tend to be predisposed to voting them up, which can in the end merit you a lot of legitimate attention.
Years ago, when I started a small cloth diaper company and sewed and sold cloth diapers for young mothers, the ONLY way I marketed the product was through forums and chat rooms. And, it wasn’t by spamming all of the people! I just took part in the discussions going on, like How to Wash Diapers, How to Waterproof Diaper Seams, etc. and was a helpful part of this niche community. People sent me emails to ask my advice and I wrote articles online for the sole purpose of helping people. The only way that people knew I had a business was because it was in my signature of my forum posts and in my email signature.
Was I successful with this limited advertising? Well, within the first month we had $25K worth of orders and I had to contact a manufacturer to take over, and these darn diapers cost $8.95 each! After a year, the work was so intensive that I stopped taking orders and shut the company down once the last orders were filled. My small, home business, was so busy that it was removing me from my family, and that was the whole point of my working from home at the time, so I canned the business. Don’t believe me? Look at the Way Back Machine for Duzins.com. Also, I still have links in for this domain that focus on cloth diapers.
That diaper business taught me that people don’t want to be marketed TO, but they want to learn from people, make friends, and be treated as if they matter. My business, my site, was successful not because I knew how to spin things or because my diapers were better than anyone else’s diapers (although, they were heh heh), but because I cared about people and I was known as a helpful and knowledgable member of the cloth diaper community.
Who do you think about when you write your blog? Who do you think about when you submit your link to every site under then sun? I’m not saying social bookmarking is wrong, I do it occassionally, but I do think you should do your level best to focus on what your readers want (or potential readers), rather than just selfishly spamming all the community sites you can find.
Crafting a new site isn’t hard though it does require a lot of time. With a wireless broadband connection working does become easier. There are many sites which offer people good packages to buy domain names and hosting services. As the site grows and years pass load balancing is required amongst different servers and online backup for all the data is essential. A site that is about a year old should give off decent money through affiliate programs. Though during this entire process the marketing of the site is important to increase the traffic, hence comes in social book marking.