Articles for Webmasters     Promote Your Website with Social Bookmarking

Sometime in 2001, website owners started to learn that it's a lot cheaper to get others to promote your website by word of mouth than it is to purchase advertising. Fast forward to the present day, and marketing your website is all about generating social media buzz. Social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook , microblogging sites like Twitter , and popular blogs like TechCrunch carry a lot of weight in the online world. But by far the easiest and least time consuming beast to tame is social bookmarking, a form of social designed specifically for sharing links. In this article, you'll learn about what social bookmarking is, how it works, and how you can translate your new knowledge into increased traffic to your website.

The internet offers the average user access to an unprecedented amount of information from news and advice to humor and vacation photos. But the web is a big place, and it's becoming harder to sort through the information overload every day. Social bookmarking is one solution to this problem. Essentially, social bookmarking sites allow visitors to democratically elect their favorite links. Anyone can submit a link, and members of the community can vote up or down on content. Links that get the most positive votes rise to the front page of the website and receive the most exposure.

The biggest and most well-known social bookmarking sites are Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon,, and Yahoo Buzz. These mainstream sites tend to cater to those looking for eye-catching news, political banter, tech breakthroughs, and, above all, a good laugh. Though these are the staples, almost anything can become popular through social bookmarking if the content is accessible, compelling, and unique enough. There are also more niche-oriented social bookmarking sites like Sphinn, an internet marketing oriented website. These niche sites can be invaluable in directly reaching your target visitor demographic.

The key to getting yourself noticed on one (or many) of these sites is offering people something memorable that they can get interested in and forward on to people they know. This means making a vivid impression on visitors. Make your site design clear and easy to read, and be sure to include some of the buttons provided by social bookmarking sites so that visitors can vote for your page. These come in the form of little snippets of HTML code that are fairly easy to find at Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon , and most of the others. If you use a blog platform like WordPress for your site, there are numerous plugins that will display these buttons for you. Having these available means that people who like your content don't have to jump through any hoops to vote for it.

There is no magical formula for writing "sticky", media-friendly content. Having said that, there are definitely some things you can do to make your message more attractive to visitors. Don't spend too long getting to the point, because social bookmarking visitors are notoriously fickle. But don't write obvious sales copy either, because people hate to feel like they're being sold to. Instead, simply write in a clear and informal style. Offering a relevant personal anecdote or a few well-placed, striking images can really make your page stand out. If your content is just a photograph or a video, make it look professional quality. Remember, though, that all these factors can only complement the subject you're trying to convey.

Your account on a social bookmarking site is an important asset, understanding this concept is vital to doing well in social media. Resist the urge to submit every page of your website or every blog post to Digg or StumbleUpon. Instead pick the pages that are already getting visitors and those that you feel represent your best work. If you find something interesting somewhere else that is in the same niche as your site, submit that as well. This way, you can build up a following of people who value your ability to find things that interest them. This trust can be very valuable because, over the long run, it can make you an authority in your chosen niche. Even if you're not a blogger, building up a following will help you promote any website.

Although this may seem contradictory to your mission of building up trust, don't be afraid to cast your net wide. Once you submit something to Digg, put it on Reddit, StumbleUpon, even Diigo and Propeller as well. You never know what might become popular somewhere. Everyone who has become social media savvy will tell you that some seemingly perfect blog posts, photographs, videos, or submissions will fail to capture the public's attention. Don't let this discourage you the first time it happens. Keep trying, refining your skills, and eventually you'll win your first 15 minutes of internet fame.

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