Insider Tips on Using Social Media Bookmarking Sites For Online Marketing

Insider Tips on Using Social Media Bookmarking Sites For Online Marketing

Ever worked on blog posts for hours, creating articles you’re proud of, only to wish you had more readers?  If so, you’re not alone.

But here’s a bit of good news: never before have there been more ways to amplify your blog posts and get people to see them. And by getting more people to your business blog, you get more people to see your business brand.

One method to publicize and promote your blog posts is social bookmarking sites.  My company owns and operates a bookmarking site called, for small business content.  In this article we’re going to open the kimono and give you 5 insider tips for how to get more traffic and visibility from a social bookmarking site.

But first, let me explain what we mean by “social bookmarking site.”

A bookmarking site is a website where a user can submit a blog post or article. The purpose of submitting a post is to get people to see the link and click back to your site to read the full article. So, bookmarking sites send you traffic.

Here’s how these sites work. On most bookmarking sites you submit a link to your blog post, along with a title and short summary.  Community members come there looking for great content. They read posts. Then they vote on their favorites.  The more votes your article gets on the bookmarking site, the better. With enough votes your submission gets bumped up to a higher-visibility section of the bookmarking site such as the home page. When that happens, even more people will see the short snippet about your post … and in turn you get more traffic to your blog.

Without further ado, here are 5 tips for making the most of bookmarking sites to promote your blog content and your business:

(1) Choose 1 to 3 quality bookmarking sites – You’ll make the most progress if you focus on one or at most a few bookmarking sites. Don’t dabble with dozens. You’ll just dilute your efforts and won’t get traction on any. Pick bookmarking sites covering relevant topics. Non-relevant content will just be removed from actively moderated sites by human moderators. Or it will be ignored – so what’s the point?

A good place to find quality bookmarking sites is the Pligg Gallery. Or this site lists over 500 bookmarking places – but quality varies. I’ll let you in on a secret: most bookmarking site owners slap up sites, but don’t manage them. As a result, many bookmarking sites are soon overrun with spam. Spam-riddled bookmarking sites are worthless for small biz people trying to attract a quality readership – don’t waste your time. Find clean, actively-managed sites.

(2) Upload a profile picture – Sounds too simple, right? But it works. On BizSugar, the people who take the time to upload a personal photograph in place of the default avatar get 10 times the payback, on average, by our analysis.  That means they get more votes … more click-throughs to their own sites … and more chances for added visibility such as making it into our weekly newsletter top 10. The reason is simple: people respond to people. The photograph means you are a real person – not a bot, not a faceless company, but a human being. (By the way, this same rule applies to EVERY social media site.)

(3) Write good titles and summaries – Spend the time to customize the title of your submission.  Rewrite it if necessary into a ‘grab me’ title.  Instead of a blah title like “Increase Sales,” try to captivate the reader, as in: “What My Son’s Nanny Taught Me About Closing the Sale.”  A little mystery and human interest go a long way.

The same applies to the summaries. Pligg sites like BizSugar will automatically pull in a snippet of your article when you are completing the submission form, and use it as a summary description of your blog post. This autofilled information is convenient — but not always compelling.  Usually it pulls in the first paragraph from the original article.  But the underlying article may not have had a hard-hitting opening to begin with. In that case you’re better off rewriting it. Add just enough tease for why the reader should click through and read the whole thing.

(4) Vote, comment, connect! — So you’ve submitted your blog post and can now cross ‘marketing your blog’ off your to-do list. Wrong! You’re only partway done. Now you have to get votes.

As mentioned above, the more votes your submission gets the more traffic it likely gets. But there’s another benefit. Bookmarking sites can help build links to your blog. Bookmarking sites vary, but many sites are built on the open-source Pligg platform (400,000+ downloads to date). The standard Pligg install has links which are ‘nofollowed’ until the community gives the submission sufficient votes to bump it up to the home page.  ‘Nofollowed’ means that the link back to your site has less benefit in search engines.  But once an article makes it to the home page of the bookmarking site, it becomes a full-powered link.  That’s another reason you want to try to get as many votes as possible.

And to get votes, you have to participate in the site: vote on others’ submissions, comment on others’ submissions, make connections with people.  In other words, for best results you must be social!

(5)  Share widely — Once you’ve submitted your link, do you also tweet on Twitter and share the link on Facebook to gain community support? Have you encouraged other members of your tribe to join the bookmarking community so that they can support your content as well? Of course, a bookmarking site is about broadening your current small business community, but sharing your contributions with your network will also increase your success.  The best bookmarking sites offer marketing tools to aid you, including voting buttons you can insert in your blog posts, widgets, social sharing buttons and toolbars.

I hope you’ve found this insider look to be helpful and that if you haven’t tried social bookmarking sites, you will – or that you’ve learned at least one new technique to deliver more ROI (return on investment) for your bookmarking campaigns. Good luck!

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About the Author: Anita Campbell runs online communities that reach over 2 Million small businesses and entrepreneurs annually. She is the Founder of Small Business Trends and the CEO of BizSugar.

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Comments (6)

  • Anita Campbell Reply

    Hi Leslie, thanks for much for including my guest post here.

    I’m happy to answer any questions or clarify anything. Just ask. 🙂

    – Anita

    April 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm
  • Steve Murphy Reply

    Hi Anita –

    Great post. I think many people don’t understand the impact social bookmarking sites can have on traffic. On a recent post, analytics showed that 40% of my traffic had come from ONE social bookmarking site alone. This consisted of 100% new visitors and over 3 minutes avg time spent on the site. Its a great way to reach a completley new, and potentially interested, audience. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm
    • Anita Campbell Reply

      Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience. That would make a great case study, by the way.

      I would add this: it’s like anything in life or in business. You get as much out of it as you are willing to put in learning about it and using it.

      – Anita

      April 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm
  • Cindy Lavoie Reply

    I can vouch for this. BizSugar is a great place to join a community of small business folks, all sharing wisdom about important small biz topics. And if you have some of that wisdom to share, it’s a great place to get your word out and build a following.

    Thanks for your great bookmarking site AND blog, Anita!

    April 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm
    • Anita Campbell Reply

      Wow, Cindy! Thank you. Sometimes when you are having a bad day, you question yourself for a moment or two and wonder if you’re on the right track…. But hearing words like these makes it all worth while.

      – Anita

      April 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm
  • Vicky D Reply

    Thanks for the great article, Anita! We’re a big fan of BizSugar ourselves.

    We’ve recently launched TiltZero, a new social bookmarking community, at We’ve put a lot of time and love into it, if you can check it out and you like it, feel free to include it in your lists!

    Thank you in advance!

    April 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

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