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Why You Should Ignore Social Bookmarking Sites

Aug 17, 2007
Social bookmarking sites have really taken off as a way to drive traffic to your website. A hot topic on Digg, for example, can crash many an unprepared server. Who needs that?

Apparently many webmasters do, since many try hard to get traffic from Digg and similar sites. It scarcely matters that their server may not cope. They want those eyeballs.

The Trouble With Social Marketing Traffic

All that traffic can mean a lot to your business. Downtime. Slow access for serious customers. Negative comments from people who aren't interested in your site but want to say something anyhow. A popular story can be a painful experience.

Perhaps worst of all is that social bookmarking website rarely deliver traffic that is likely to buy or click on ads. You may get a ton of traffic, but get just about nothing for the trouble it caused.

So Why Do People Want It So Much?

While social media sites have some serious negatives, there are some good things about them. A popular article can gain a lot of links as bloggers talk about it. This can result in good, relevant traffic from the search engines.

You may also gain subscribers to your RSS feed or email list. The conversion rate to this will probably be small, but present. If you can get subscribers who might possibly turn into buyers or otherwise valuable visitors, does it really matter how low the conversion rate is so long as your effort was minimal?

When Should You Skip the Social Bookmarking Sites?

If you aren't ready to offer more than a single appealing article, you probably aren't ready for the social sites. You'll get a quick burst of traffic but if you have nothing more to offer you cannot expect people to stick around.

If you depend solely on AdSense or other CPC income you cannot expect to thrive off this kind of traffic. You may do better with CPM, but perhaps not as well as you might hope as ad blockers are popular with the social bookmarking crowd.

When Are You Ready?

You can get your website ready for success. Start off with content that you hope will appeal to the kind of people who Digg, Stumble, Fark and so forth. Your content on other pages should be good too, as some visitors will check other pages.

Have a clear call to subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed. The conversion rate may be low, but you will get subscribers if your story or article goes big enough. Don't waste the opportunity.

You won't get the big traffic every time but as you study what kinds of stories go big you can greatly improve your chances of getting a ton of traffic through social bookmarking. This kind of traffic can help you to earn thousands of dollars if you use it well.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/blog/ about running an online home business. For more tips on using social bookmarking well, visit her site.
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