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How to do social bookmarking

Social bookmarking, the right way.
As a business owner, web entrepreneur or just the average Joe trying to make money online you can take advantage of sites like Digg, StumbleUpOn and Reddit to drive huge amounts of traffic to your website. This traffic can be beneficial in several ways; bettering your Alexa rankings, boosting your search engine positions, increasing the appeal (and the price) of your advertising spots on your website and of course generate more clicks on your AdSense ads. But unfortunately it is a little bit more difficult than just mass-publishing everything you write to social bookmarking websites. Like everything on the web that involves making money you will have to create a well planned strategy to profit from it.

These tips that follow are used by me and a lot of other people out there that is currently generating a lot of traffic from bookmarking websites. If you learn to master them all you could be seeing over ten thousand people coming to your site, reading your articles, leaving comments and clicking on your ads which in turn makes you even richer and famous than you were before.

Create a catchy headline.
At first I would like to start out focusing on your website instead of the social bookmarking sites, because in the end you could be super famous on the bookmarking websites, but if you fail to write good content on your own website you will also fail at getting people to share it.

A headline can be the difference of getting one visitor or a thousand visitors to your articles via social bookmarking websites. If you fail to write catchy and enticing headlines for your articles you will never reach your full potential with social bookmarking since a lot of people will never pay any interest to them. Admit it, if you see a headline anywhere on the web that sounds really boring, would you click it? I guess not. People are impulsive, so try to write a headline that promises something that they have never seen/heard of before, but at the same time don’t make it too exaggerated since you will also have to deliver what it says once they click it. A good way to find great headlines is to visit websites owned by the most famous people in your niche. These people know how to get their readers interested, so why not borrow some ideas from them. But don’t copy their headlines straight of, tweak it and make it your own.

Seal the deal.
Ok, so you now have a great headline for your article that you think will generate a lot of clicks, but what’s next on the list? Well, the headline is just a small (but important) part of the whole picture. If someone clicks on your headline, taking them to your website, then you will need to catch their interest instantly in order to keep them on your website. The first paragraph is the most important of them all. Many will read that first paragraph to determine if the article is interesting or not. To create an interesting paragraph you could use quotes, jokes, promises and much more. Spend some time creating this first piece of your article; after all, if you fail you might be losing a lot of potential money from returning visitors and so on. However, if you are smart you will do as I have done on this website; put an AdSense ad next to the first paragraph. This will ensure that if I don’t get them interested in my article right away there will still be a chance that the ads gets their attention, leaving you with money, wohoo!

Describe your article accurately.
Most social bookmarking websites will leave you with the option of creating a customized summary of your article. It is important that this description of your article is accurate and succinct as possible, but at the same time gets them interested in reading the full article at your website. If you own a WordPress website this description will most likely be added automatically if you have an excerpt written for each article.

Content is still king!
Who have not heard this cliché a billion times before? Well, I know that I have and to be honest it is still a valid statement, and after the panda update that Google just released you will want to focus even more on your content. Even if your headline is godlike and your first paragraph makes people’s eyes pop out of pure awesomeness the rest of your article needs to be above average as well. In the end, you’re relying on that people will share your article over and over again, and who would share and article that does not deliver good and unique content?

Make it easy for your visitors.
As I said above, you are relying on that people are bookmarking your articles because they like them, so why not make it easy for them to do this task? Most CMS (content management systems) has plug-ins that you can use. WordPress is one of the easiest platform to find social bookmarking plug-ins for. If you have your own coded website then don’t worry, there are free codes that you can simply copy and paste on your website from services such as AddThis.com. Place the bookmarking function at the end of the articles, this will ensure that everyone who reads the article will also see the buttons and hopefully share it on StumbleUpOn, Twitter, Digg and so on for you. If you’re lucky you will get someone that is famous at these bookmarking sites to share your article, which may result in you getting publicity from thousands of his followers.

Time your posts carefully.
Most of the famous social bookmarking websites has a “24 hours” testing period for each new bookmarked site. This means that if your bookmarked page does not generate enough interest on the bookmarking site, it may be lost forever. By continuously testing different times to submit your content to the bookmarking sites you will learn which times that works and which doesn’t. Try to post then there is not so much competition but at the same time many people are online socializing.

Build your online reputation.
This is a crucial part if you want to make money by using social bookmarking. Your reputation at each bookmarking website determines if people will listen to you or not. If you do not have enough reputation at a website then people might take you as any of the other spammers out there just trying to promote their website. Try to socialize with others, take part of the community and focus on becoming known in your area of expertise. Reputation is everything online, without it you’re screwed.

Choose the right categories.
All social bookmarking websites have categories where you can submit your content. Some sites have quite similar categories but it is easy to make the mistake of submitting your articles to the same categories on all bookmarking websites. Take StumbleUpOn for example, they have hundreds of categories and some of them appear to be quite similar, but each category has a different amount of subscribers. Find the category that is most popular and use it.

Cooperation is important!
Yes, social bookmarking websites can be very competitive but I would still like to take time to tell you that it’s better to be cooperative than aggressive. Help your fellow bookmarkers by commenting and sharing their content as well. This will make sure that they might share you content in return and it will also create a more “friendly” atmosphere on the bookmarking sites. The more you help others in the same niche as you the more followers you will most likely get yourself. Everyone is seeking to get the most out of their bookmarking experience to succeed and potentially increase their traffic and income. So why not do it together, it sure beats being a loner.

Don’t automate everything.
People hate it, I mean is there anything less personal than sending out hundreds of automated messages to social bookmarking websites? Sure, it might help you save some time, but the result is that almost no one will click your links since they are not targeted to the social networks audience. Not only that it’s un-personal, it’s also unprofessional, which may result in getting voted down or even banned in some cases. Automation may sound great at first, but it will most likely backfire on you.

So there you have it, my own thoughts and tips about social bookmarking and how you can use it to successfully increase your traffic and making more money. Remember that bookmarking websites are created to quickly share information with similar minded people all over the world. Be helpful and engaging in the network and always try to deliver high-quality!

If you have any questions I would love to answer them right here, so be sure to leave a comment. I would also like to hear if you have any strategy to achieve high traffic from social bookmarking websites. After all, we’re all here to learn how to make money (even I) so why not share the information? Have a great day everyone and be sure to check out my other articles on how to make money online. =)

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