Whether you’re looking to build an online business flipping blogs, selling t-shirts, or monetizing with AdSense, you’re probably looking for a way to inject a little life (read: money) into the site. You’re tired of waiting. You want things to speed up. You’re fed up with the trickle of traffic that Google brings your way. This is a simple guide to help you inject a little juice into the life of your site and speed things up (whether you’re looking for traffic or links or PageRank).
1. Submit your articles to Reddit
There is no greater law than this. Go to Reddit and get an account. Then get a bookmarklet for your browser for quick submissions. Even with a failed submission, you usually draw in about 50 unique visitors. If you get fortunate enough to land a front page Reddit (and I get lucky about once a month) then expect the floodgates to open up and see 5000+ visitors rush to your site.
Don’t have content to submit to Reddit? Then shame on you. Even if you sell t-shirts or have a real estate business, you should have a blog and you should write articles on a regular basis that establish your business as an authority in its niche.
So why is Reddit number one on your “to-do” list? Reddit has the biggest potential payoff for the least amount of work. Submission is simple with very few hoops to jump through. Plus, a submission to Reddit, so long as it is a positive contribution to the Reddit community, has a guaranteed payoff. I can’t say enough good things about this form of promotion.
If you’re short on time, and you can do no other form of promotion, promote through Reddit.
2. Submit your story to Netscape
Now most people will probably kill me for putting Netscape above Digg. But, the problem with Digg, as far as I’m concerned, is that it is still a tech heavy social voting site. Digg is great if your company is tech. But think twice about using Digg if you’re in some unrelated niche.
The great thing about Netscape (and Reddit above) is that they were created to be all-inclusive. There is no niche that these sites don’t cover, and it’s for that reason that I put them both above Digg.
But Netscape has some interesting advantages over both Digg and Reddit. Netscape is the only site of the three that is PR 9 with internal PR 8 pages. For example, the financial page http://money.netscape.com/ is PR 8 as is the pets page http://pets.netscape.com/. If you can consistently land articles on these subpages (and with Netscape it is not that difficult to do…you only need 2 or 3 votes), you have a consistent flow of PR 8 into your site. Not a bad side effect!
Now we should be clear, Netscape doesn’t send hordes of visitors to your site, but it does send some. In my view the benefits, right now, of submitting to Netscape are: 1) multiple links from each tag 2) high PR links 3) search engine credibility and 4) ease of entry. So go here to sign up and add the Netscape Bookmarklet immediately.
3. Submit to Digg
Digg is Digg. What else can I say. Great for tech. Great for geeks. But honestly, I don’t see the payoff being that great for non-tech sites. The audience just isn’t right. Plus, a submission to Digg takes 8x as long as a submission to Reddit and 2x as long as a submission to Netscape. Only submit to Digg if you’re interested in marketing to the tech crowd (they’re cheapskates by the way and don’t monetize well) or if you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands.
But take note. If you’re vain and you like playing vanity games, then it can be quite exhilarating to land a front or even sub- page Digg. I’ve done it plenty of times, but the results are only subpar, and usually result in nothing but pretty little spikes in your traffic graphs and inflammatory comments on your blog. In terms of residual effects, I find that you get better payoff with a reddit/netscape tagteam than a digg. But still, Digg is Digg. And you should try digging sometime just to say you dug.
4. del.icio.us, Furl, StumbleUpon, YahooMyWeb, Google Bookmark
Those are the 4 social bookmark tagging systems I use. I’ve listed them in what I see as their order of importance. While del.icio.us is the most popular, I prefer Furl and StumbleUpon. If I’m short on time, I usually just hit up Furl and StumbleUpon.
Social bookmarking doesn’t have the dramatic effects that the first three steps have, but it does make a difference. With Stumble Upon you’ll often see a sudden surge of traffic if your site catches on. With Furl, I find the main benefit being the backlink strength of their tag pages. And tag pages serve to help the search engines identify the niche of your site more completely.
5. Your Niche’s Social News Site
Every major niche normally has its own popular social news site with user contributions. Sometimes these are voting sites like Digg and Reddit, but other times these are community blogs. Become an active contributor/participant in these communities and work to develop your authority. Pretty soon you’ll find that people actively look for your submissions and seek out your site.
So there you have it. These are the 5 steps that I’d recommend every website owner take a serious look at. Are you doing these things on a daily or at least weekly basis? Are you creating sticky content that works on these sites? If not, then it’s time to take a deep look at your online business and consider how you might start engaging the most active online communities in the world.