Social Bookmarking is a way to organize and share your bookmarks on the Internet. Apart from being able to store your bookmarks categorized, helping you find what you search easily, it’s a very effective way for webmasters to promote their website.
The two most important positive effects of using social bookmarking sites are the increased number of direct visitors if the story you submit gets voted and appears on the front page and the link value that they give to the article. Submitting your articles to social bookmarking sites will help each post get “link-juice” and rank much better for its main keywords.
There are two types of Social Bookmarking sites: general bookmarking sites and niche bookmarking sites. In general you can submit almost all your posts in whatever niche it belongs to, excluding of course adult oriented posts, gambling, etc. Niche social bookmarking sites have less traffic than the general ones but are much more focused, helping you spread your message in a much more efficient way. Getting on the front-page of a niche social bookmarking site often can also help your branding tremendously.
Let’s start by mentioning the general ones first and then go to the niche ones.
General Social Bookmarking Sites
Delicious is the first social bookmarking website that went live on the Internet and remains one of the most important of its kind. If you want to use only one site and you just need to organize your bookmarks, Delicious is the way to go. Its tagging system will help you organize everything according to the tags you specify and you can access it from any device connected to the Internet. Delicious can bring a lot of traffic if a story submitted reaches the frontpage but mostly that has to happen organically: you just submit your article to it and that’s it.
Digg is one of the first social bookmarking sites set up that still ranks in the top 5, whose popularity suffered a small decrease after its redesign (which I’ve actually found to be pretty great). Don’t get me wrong though, getting on the front-page of Digg will bring you thousands of visitors to your post and hundreds of backlinks. It’s an asset for your promotional efforts. Stories that work very well for Digg are world news, technology, and humor posts. If your website niche is close to one of the aforementioned, your chances are increased.
StumbleUpon is not only my favorite social bookmarking site, but the guys who created it sold it to eBay and after two years of steady drop in traffic, they bought it back in order to resurrect it, and they did! Now StumbleUpon is more powerful than ever.
StumbleUpon is heavily based on its toolbar that Firefox and Chrome fully support. After the registration, the system asks you to enter your interests and hobbies and then starts to show you relevant sites to your interests when you press the Stumble button on your toolbar. By liking and disliking the pages you visit, you “train” StumbleUpon for it to serve you pages much closer to your taste, making it the perfect tool for missing your deadlines :P As you can imagine, it is an amazing tool for you to promote your own pages as well. You can discover a page in stumble upon, set its category and hope that the users who stumble upon it will like it too, creating a snowball effect, bringing even more traffic. Needless to say that in my 7+ years in Internet Marketing, SU is by far the number one referrer to my sites.
But beware: It’s not a tool to shamelessly promote your web properties. You must first be a user and then a promoter. Stumble doesn’t like it when the same account discovers pages from the same domain all the time and there’s really no way to fool it. If you like using stumble on your free time, you might do very well when submitting your own content too, otherwise you’re out of luck! This Social Network deserves a proper full review and how-to post that’ll be published really soon.
Reddit is a love-hate relationship for me. If you’re looking for a site with the best community that will sometimes help you, sometimes troll you, hey, that’s what Reddit is for! The most powerful user driven site on the net.
For simple users it’s heaven but if you want to promote a story, there comes trouble. A ban can come as easy as adding a post in a sub-reddit. To see if you are banned, copy your username page url inside reddit, log out and then refresh it to see if it is visible. If not, you’re banned and there’s no point in submitting new pages.
Reddit has what it calls sub-reddits, something like a social bookmarking comminity inside a social bokmarking community. Each subreddit has its own rules that submitters and users have to follow, and it’s self maintained by the users. Every subreddit has the url structure of http://www.reddit.com/r/subredditname, and when you submit a story, you have to type that name where you want your story to appear. People vote up or down a story and then you have a chance to make it popular on that sub-reddit. If it becomes that popular and the subreddit is big, many people will start seeing it on the main page. And that’s where you’ll get amazing traffic!
So to make the long story short, Reddit is not somewhere you just go to submit your posts and leave: it’s a one way road, and that’s to actively participate in it, engage in conversation, help others and at the same time promote your properties too.
Pinterest is the new social media craze. While being a new social media website, it already has managed to become one of the most visited websites on the internet (Alexa Rank: 53). While the majority of the traffic comes from a female audience, lately and after the thousands of posts that spread on the Internet everyday about it, its male audience started to get an increase in numbers too. I don’t know if this climbing in traffic will continue, but if it does it’ll be something that I won’t be able to explain.
If you’re promoting products that heavily rely on images and design, then Pinterest is your heaven. You should create new content with amazing product shots and images and promote it on Pinterest.
While Facebook is not even close to a social bookmarking site, it would not be fair not to include it in this list because it plays such an important role, even in organic results in Google. In Facebook you have two ways that you can promote your articles: one is to submit your articles in your personal feed, and the other one is to create a fan page, and while promoting that to your friends and readers, distribute your article links there. In the long run, creating a fan page is the best thing to do and what we do with our in-house projects is to always buy some Facebook ads in order to gather a good amount of links to the fan page, increasing the initial likes by a bit every time we post something on it. It’s not something you should ignore, no matter what type of site or store you have.
While Twitter as well, is not a social bookmarking site, it really has to be in this list too. We both added Facebook and Twitter to this list because they are both part of your social bookmarking efforts. When you submit a post to social networks and social bookmarking sites, you hope for mentions, links and visits and both Facebook and Twitter can help you in that. In Twitter, you create an account and have a stream where you post interesting links that people who follow you can see. It’s great for any niche because when someone follows you it’s sure they will love to see more from what you’re posting and that’s why you shouldn’t go off topic a lot.
Google+ again, is not a social bookmarking site but if you are serious about your website and especially if your niche is business oriented, Google Plus is the place to be. And I’m not talking about just pushing your links to your stream; that won’t do anything. You have to become active and network with other like-minded people and players in your niche. It’s actually the best social networking tool you can use to build your reputation. One tip goes a long way and that is to try to get into the most shared circles you can (relevant circles with your niche, ofc). There’s only one way to do that and that is to share amazing content with the network. The force is strong with this one.
LinkedIn is the most popular business social network. While Facebook has many more times the traffic that LinkedIn does, with LinkedIn you can build a brand and reputation while at the same time explore new job opportunities and partnerships. You can also use LinkedIn to promote your latest posts by sharing your posts’ links on your timeline and in groups you belong to and are relevant to that post’s theme. LinkedIn is one of the best referring sources of traffic for this site and works amazingly well for all business types of blogs.
Bloggers is a social network for bloggers but it can also work very well for social bookmarking too, and without the need to manually submit your posts to it. All you have to do is to add your site to the bloggers platform and add their banner to your site. Then, when you publish a new post, it will automatically get it and show it as your blog’s latest post and others will be able to vote for it. If it gets enough votes, it will be promoted to the site’s main page and get much better exposure. The key is to make friendships with other users so you will be able to mutually vote other people’s posts that are worthy and at the same time get votes on the good posts you publish too.
While FriendFeed has been acquired by Facebook for quite some time and its feed is displaying the links with a nofollow attribute, it’s still a powerful website to post your links to. It works like twitter mostly and it’s very fast to submit a link; so why not utilize FriendFeed to get one more link to a post you have created? I wish it was still being actively developed, but well, you can’t have everything, they still have the site up and running well. :)
Pinboard is very close to Delicious and gained a lot of traction when there were rumors that Delicious was about to close. It’s a paid website but giving close to $10 once is nothing when you’re in it for the long run. It’s a great and fast way to bookmark your links so if you haven’t already registered, do so now. ;)
TiltZero is the brainchild of this team and just got released to the public. You might think, why the heck does the world need one more social bookmarking site? And the answer is that if everyone thought of that, the Internet would have less than 1000 websites. Social Bookmarking is something we actively do and we thought that creating our own social bookmarking community would benefit both us and all the users of the site. Being one of the first people that use a website has its benefits (having a powerful account when the site goes mainstream), so jump in the bandwagon with us and start submitting your useful and inspiring posts with the rest of the world. It’s a general social bookmarking site that accepts links on many categories. Check it out. ;)
BlogEngage is a well established social bookmarking website with good traffic and a well established community. It’s a general bookmarking site that prefers business and motivational articles, but anything goes. It’s one of the sites that are worth your attention because its results can be quite good for your website. The key is to participate in the community and make friendships. Give it a try, you will most probably like it.
BlogInteract is the brainchild of Bryan Hollis, and while it had some uptime problems in the past it has now become more stable than ever. Bryan is heavily involved with it and we’re expecting many great new features for it in the future. BlogInteract accepts all kinds of posts and if you haven’t already got an account there, give it a try, we’re sure you’ll love it.
Chime is one of the new players in the Twitter competitor list and while maintaining good traffic levels, it hasn’t yet become a great threat for Twitter yet. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t promote your posts there. In fact it’s a very good site to ping with your posts and updates and the use of tags is very well thought.
Whenever you add a new “chime”, you should add the most important tags for that specific post and that will help other users find your post within their most preferred categories. It’s a great promotional tool to use.
Diigo works like Delicious and has quite some traffic: you should submit your articles to it but more than that, I can’t find any other reasons than link value to be more involved.
Fark is the strangest of ‘em all! A social bookmarking site to submit funny, strange and amusing posts. If you have a site with funny images, it would be a great site to submit your posts to. Or any other offbeat news to be honest!
ZooTool is a great social bookmarking website that also has an iPhone application. You can create folders and submit your articles in a folder, making their retrieval later on a breeze.
While Folkd seems to have a lot of traffic, it does not have a strong community. Just submit your links and you’re good to go. One day I’ll study this site more but until that day comes, that’s what I would suggest.
NewsMeBack has decent traffic and from the quality of links seen on the frontpage, should be moderated, so send your links to it without being afraid of being blacklisted without reason from the search engines. Other than that, I can find many more reasons to be more involved in other social bookmarking networks. It’s a great place to enter a link into but not a community site.
Tagza is a good place to bookmark your post but that’s it; no reason to stay longer on the site since the community there is underdeveloped. That’s what you get when you focus more on promotion and less on the community. And we’re not saying this to blame them, we’re just trying to repeat it so we never forget it. ;)
Business social bookmarking sites
BizSugar is the most popular social bookmarking website for business articles. They’re heavily promoting it using all kinds of online promotion but most importantly, banner retargeting. This gives BizSugar the traffic it needs to be the number one social bookmarking site for business blogs and sites. Getting on the frontpage of BizSugar will give you many benefits. While the traffic to your story is not that big (approximately around 200 visits), top stories are distributed via their newsletter; plus, the link value benefits are great. If you’re in the appropriate niche, BizSugar is one of the websites you should first submit your articles to.
Inbound is a brand new website, but being created by the CEOs of SEOmoz and HubSpot, we’re sure that it’ll soon be the most popular bookmarking site when it comes to sharing Internet Marketing posts. It’s mostly for Internet marketers, but will gladly accept anything about blogging, startups and business too. And in the Internet marketing space, this is the front page you should be looking at every day for all your link building and Internet marketing news and updates. It’s a tool that shouldn’t be missed.
My SEO Community is a social bookmarking community dedicated to search engine optimization posts, but also focuses on blogging and design too. It’s a great place to start your bookmarking efforts because it’s a moderated community and if your social media profile is not that powerful, it’s a great place to submit your good content and you will have a good chance for inclusion to the main page. The moderating team is great and the articles accepted are 99% frontpage worthy.
MMO Social Network is focused in the general niche of making money online but also accepts articles about blogging and web design. It’s also moderated so it’s a good place to start submitting your helpful articles if you think that they belong to what the site wants in terms of content category.
Blokube is a Social Media oriented social bookmarking website that accepts everything from SEO to WordPress, design and technology articles. It’s traffic is quite good and you should invest some time and connect with its members.
Serpd is all about Internet Marketing and Blogging. If your website is about something related, Serpd is the place to be. While not having the best traffic on the planet, Serpd has a very strong community, in fact one of the best, and believe me, that makes up for the lack of amazing traffic. One other thing that I haven’t seen on any other social bookmarking site is that when you try to submit a second link from the same domain it won’t let you, forcing you to submit something else first and then something from the same domain again. This forces spammers to leave the site without submissions from the same site again, and at the same time, Seprd wins because of new quality content that they wouldn’t otherwise have. When I need to submit something from my domain again, I just open my RSS feed, get something from my favorites that has provided me with something useful and submit it, waiting 2-3 hours before I submit the next one.
Tip’d is a social bookmarking site that is different from all the rest. It’s focused on a sub-niche, sharing financial posts. While most of us would easily bet that the site wouldn’t have a lot of traffic, Tip’d showed us that it can happen, having a lot of traffic, more than the most social bookmarking sites out there. If your niche is finance and economy related, not only this is a great opportunity for a good amount of visits to your blog but also a great source of information laser-targeted to your niche.
Programming Social Bookmarking sites
Hacker News is the number one source for programming, geeky, and startup material. Its community is very helpful and will many times go to great lengths to help a person who has a technical problem. Even some types of business articles go very well in hacker news because let’s not forget, programmers also need to promote themselves, their startups and their projects too. Personally I’ll check Hacker News at least once a day to see anything new interesting to read, most of the times spending more than 30 minutes reading great content found on the site.
DZone is an amazing website for any type of developer out there. You will find anything about tutorials, videos, cheat-sheets plus help from the community. If you are a programmer, not only you should submit your posts there, but also participate in the community and often check out their hope page for programming gems that can help you in your work.
Web Design & Development Social Bookmarking sites
Design Float is the most popular design oriented social bookmarking website on the Internet. It’s a great place for Designers to get feedback on their creation and showcase their work or templates; plus it loves programming tools that will help designers make their life easier.
If you’re a freelancer and trying to find more ways to get new clients over the Internet, you should really start promoting your designs and create freebies for other designers and start distributing them through social bookmarking.
The Web Blend is a web designer community that was recently re-designed and has went live for the public. It’s one of the best social bookmarking sites to promote your articles and designs, plus it allows news about advertising, Apple and programming too. It’s by far the best designed social bookmarking site and that’s how it should be, because being a site for designers, it too should have an amazing design! Kudos to the guys who redesigned it.
Design Poke is a design oriented social bookmarking site, but also focuses on marketing, usability design, programming and WordPress too. It doesn’t have that much traffic (compared to the two previous sites) but it’s a great place for you to submit your link to. After all, you never know how well it’ll do, plus, when you are promoting your articles, posts or designs, you should think that whoever does the most work will win in the end. (This is not a life lesson, nor an Internet marketing one: please don’t sue me for giving advice that didn’t work out for you. ;))
DeziNews is another design oriented social bookmarking site and a great place to find freebies for your own designs too! Traffic is close to DesignPoke but as we said before, the links are permanent and you want the extra exposure. In addition, you never know which social bookmarking site will be the dominant one in two years from now, so why miss the chance to have an account in great standing on the site?
This is not a complete list of the social bookmarking sites that exist on the internet. And it shouldn’t be! The rule “the more the better” doesn’t apply to social bookmarking too. Stay away from services that will submit your website to 1000′s of social bookmarking sites, because most of them are not moderated and you really don’t want your links to be placed together with God knows what else. You WILL see an increase in your ranks, but that’s only temporary.
I’ve tried to add all the best social bookmarking sites that I could think of and am using, and it took me more than 10 hours to write this article. If you think that I’ve missed a network that is worth mentioning and will give value to other people, it will not only help me, but will also help the thousands of others that will read this post. Help me help them!