9 Ways to Use Social Networking for Blog Promotion

In one of my most popular posts, The Blogging Process, I compiled a list of things I do to keep kikolani.com running, including prep work for posts, social media promotion, bookmarking, interacting with readers, and other technical updates. This article focuses specifically on using social networking for blog promotion. Unless your blog is purely personal in nature and only meant to be shared with family and close friends, chances are you want to bring in more readers. Because what is the point of putting your thoughts online if you have no audience? And if your motives for blogging are fiscally driven to create a secondary source of income, or at least to cover the costs domain renewals and hosting services, then it is going to take a lot of traffic to bring in the revenue.


Here are 9 ways I use social networking to promote my blog, in order of the networks that bring in the most amount of traffic for this site.

1. StumbleUpon Promotion


StumbleUpon is my top source of incoming traffic. When I publish a new article, poem, or photo that I want to share with others, I use the StumbleUpon toolbar in Firefox to share that post with all my friends and fans using the Send To option.

Also, there are groups on StumbleUpon. If your blog is about Gmail, then join the that group and get your link posted as a related site, or add a Gmail-related article to the discussion pages.

2. BlogCatalog Promotion


BlogCatalog, a network for bloggers, has several ways to promote your blog and articles.

Once you have a profile setup and your blog added to their directory, you can send broadcasts to all of your friends each time you have a new post, or alternatively, you can send a “Weekly Digest” broadcast of recent posts. These Broadcasts are displayed in your friends’ Dashboards, and also are emailed to them, so be sure to use an appropriate subject (as opposed to “New Post” or “Blog Update”), since this is what will be the attention grabber for your broadcast.

Other ways to promote on BlogCatalog include finding related discussions (like Yahoo Answers) and including a short answer plus a link to your related post. Also, you can join related groups and post links to your articles within group discussions.

3. Twitter Promotion


Twitter is probably the simplest network to use to promote your blog. Simply post a eye-catching, 140 character or less tweet with a link to your new article. Be sure to include the top keywords for that article, since not only your followers will see it, but people using Twitter search may come across it as well. An added bonus would be to check which queries are popular the day of your post, and use those keywords in your Tweet. For example, today’s popular topic is #oscars, and an always popular topic is #haiku.

4. Facebook Promotion


Facebook offers a number of ways to promote your blog site and posts. For starters, you can create a Facebook Page for yourself or your blog. An unlimited number of fan will be sent updates whenever you update your page with new notes, articles, photos, etc, and you can also send everyone on your fans list direct Facebook messages.

Another promotion method is to build a Blog Network (now called NetowrkedBlogs). This creates a community for your blog followers, including a discussion wall and an updated RSS feed. A new feature for the NetworkedBlogs is broadcasting to all of your fans, but it is only available if you upgrade your account for $4.99, whereas if you create a Facebook Page you can message your fans for no cost.

To promote your new blog articles, you can post a link on your profile, which shows up in your friends’ News Feeds, and post a link into your status update. You can also join groups and post related links on the group’s discussion wall.

5. Myspace Promotion


Myspace, although less business and feature-friendly compared to Facebook, still has a large community to reach. The best method to use is to create a profile with focus on including keywords, and a link to your blog in the beginning of the About Me section. The benefit here is Myspace profiles do show up in Google keyword searches. Plus friends will be updated every time you update your profile. So when you change your song, for example, friends will come check out your profile, and if you have a widget with an RSS feed to your site, they may continue onto your site as well. You can also post a new bulletin which will show up on your friend’s Bulletin Board.

*As a side note, I do not know how well Myspace works for newer users. I have been on the site for many years, and the traffic I generate from it is from people who have been longtime friends on that network. The groups that would be related to blogging or other serious topics are not highly trafficked, and the status updates do not include hyperlinking with URLs.

6. Plurk Promotion


Plurk is another network similar to Twitter in the sense that you have to communicate your message via short, 140 character phrases. The difference? You can also share Youtube videos and images that will show up in your plurks (instead of just links).

7. Digg Promotion


Digg allows members to share sites via voting, or Digging, them. The best method of sharing links via this site is not to do self-submissions, but to add a Digg submission button or badge to each article and let your readers submit your story.

Going a bit against the grain on this topic, I typically submit my own posts to Digg. I do this primarily because I have my anal-retentive streak about making sure the post ends up in the proper category with an appropriate title & description, as those things cannot be changed later. Plus, people are more likely to add a vote for a story than take the time to submit it. I like my site’s social bookmarking to be as simple as possible for readers.

8. Other Social Networks Promotion


The amount of traffic you get depends on your activity and number of friends on those networks. Other networks I offer for use of blog promotion via the icons at the bottom of each post include Mixx & Reddit (both similar to Digg in the sense that they allow voting/rating for articles), Magnolia & Delicious (bookmarking sites), and Technorati. Also, there is SocialBrowse that allows you to bookmark pages via a Firefox plugin, and BloggerUnited that will post your most recent blog entry to their homepage when you login to the network. Although I belong to all of these networks (Delicious being my favorite for bookmarking), I do not notice a high level of traffic coming from them. However, since everyone has a preference to network, I like to have the options for them to share on the networks they choose.

9. Traffic Exchange Promotion


In addition to sharing posts directly through the networks mentioned above, there are also numerous groups on Facebook, BlogCatalog, Yahoo Groups, Tweetworks, and so forth for traffic & RSS subscription exchanges. While I do not think you should bookmark, promote or subscribed to just anything to get the exchange, there are good bloggers in these groups with great articles. Find ones you truly like, and then reply that you have Reddit/Dugg/Stumbled/subscribed to their article or site, and send your featured post or RSS link for the exchange. Also note the format that people send their links – if they send just the article link, or if they send their article link directed to the method they want you to promote (such as digg.com/their-post-url or feeds2.feedburner.com/kikolani). The easier you make it, the more likely more people will return the promotional favor.

Also, I know there are those that think this is not a legit way to promote your site. I have heard traffic exchanges referred to as cheating, cheap, and other negative connotations. But what is the difference between traffic exchanges and creating a contest to gain more rss subscribers? I think that if whomever I am exchanging with, I would have helped out without the exchange offer, what harm is there in that?

*Bonus Notes*


Explain Social Bookmarking to your users. Not everyone who crosses your blog will be familiar to the benefits of Web 2.0 features on your website.

Consider the time you do your promotions. Try during peak hours, which is generally business hours Monday through Friday. Considering some people have thousands of friends, a status update when the most people are active is best, because a status update Sunday evening will be lost once everything on Monday comes in.

Build a large community on each network you join, because without any fans/friends/followers, there will be no one to promote to. When I started my blog, the place I found had the best leads to other bloggers on social networks was ProBlogger’s Social Media Love-In.

Be active, because more people notice someone whose name pops up on a daily basis in their interactions.

Help others, which goes along with being active, but specifically, be sure to provide some sort of benefit to your online friends, as opposed to just tooting your own horn. Helping can be as large as sending tips on how to re-design a website, or as small as sending a little “get well soon” comment when someone’s status update shows they feeling under the weather.

Q&A


Now, I pose this question for my readers: What networks work best for you, and do you have any additional tips you have on how to use those networks for blog promotion?

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Comments

  1. says

    Great list of social networking sites helping with the promotion of your blog. I myself use Digg, Twitter, Facebook, MyBlogLog, Technorati, and PingoMatic. I dont really spend a lot of time promotiing it but i do get the traffic needed to keep my blog alive.

    Awesome post

  2. says

    Well-executed post. Depending on the type of blog “social” traffic is one of the cornerstones of success and traffic. I like Stumbled better than Digg. People seem to stay on sites longer. I’m fairly new to Twitter, but so far it’s better than I thought in terms of exchanges. Use Facebook a bit and I’m watching MySpace slowly fade away.

    Gennaros last blog post..8 Great Movies For Paris Travelers

  3. says

    @Pheak Tol: Thanks. I’ll have to check out the PingoMatic. :)

    @Gennaro: Twitter is pretty awesome for traffic generation, especially when other users start re-tweeting your link. Myspace is fading, but I guess since there are some people who swear by that network over Facebook, it doesn’t hurt to advertise there too.

  4. says

    I use a lot of these sites and gradually you build up a long list of friends on each site, still need to be a bit careful though as I have found that quite a few people send you requests time after time for loads of different websites but never reciprocate when you make a request.

    I find this a little annoying when I have supported maybe 20 requests and when I make 1 request there is no response.So worth keeping tabs on who is actually playing fair and who is all take and no give.

    Brians last blog post..Setting Up Local Host for Website Testing

  5. says

    Hi Kristi – This is a great list of social networking resources and the best ways to use them. I’m not active on many but I do try to keep up with twitter, stumbleupon and facebook.

  6. says

    @Mad Haiku: Thanks. :)

    @Robert: That reminds me of another link I wanted to add into this post…

    @Brian: I think that after awhile, it’s easy to spot those people. But in some of their defense, I know that some only bookmark within a certain subject matter. So they could send me 20 posts on tech things, and I’d bookmark them (because I liked them, not just because). Then I send one post on poetry, and since their prime interest is in techie things, they do not reciprocate. So I guess really you have to find friends of the same interests. It doesn’t hurt to try though.. you could luck out and a power stumbler who usually doesn’t pick up your posts does find one interesting, and it’s non-stop traffic from there. :)

    @Kim: Those are definitely the top three. It’s VERY time consuming to be really active on everything that is out there now.

  7. says

    Hi Kristi!

    Wow awesome list, I think I do about 4 out of the 10… no time for them all! I find they are all so good, but at the same time so time consuming.

    I haven’t had much if any success with Digg though, not sure why, perhaps it was the network I built up?

    Anyhow these are great points, I keep saying I am going to get more involved in these but running the blogs when people have full time jobs and then some in their life is enough where time is concerned. And in the end I feel, I really enjoy the blogging part so I immerse myself with that and the traffic perhaps slowly, but surely will follow.

    Evitas last blog post..The Parts of Life

  8. says

    @Dennis: Yes indeed. Sometimes I run across posts with advice, and I give it a shot, and wonder how it could have really worked. So I tend not to write about anything that I do not have personal experience with.

    @Olzen: I’m glad it does. You’re very welcome.

    @Evita: Digg is somewhat difficult. It depends on your network, and how many people will share the post their network of friends.

    Your blogs are quite excellent, so the traffic should come in naturally. :)

  9. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I will say that Twitter works as, Brian tweeted your link & here I am.

    I have just started bookmarking so, I do not know if it is better than others on your list.

    The Firefox add on ShareAHolic makes sharing links on other sites easy also.

    I do belong to some Friendfeed rooms that have been useful. You can also target those to your niche.

    I know for a fact that commenting on blogs & forums have been my best for click traffic. Of course they both take more time than other things but, I learn allot and enjoy posting while doing it.

    You have a great blog, I will stop in again.

    Sheryl Lochs last blog post..Reviving Old Blog Articles

  10. says

    I usually find your posts via Twitter if I am online, and if not then via BlogCatalog as I get an email from them. It was Blogcatalog that led me to this post which just goes to show how well it works.

    Do you stumble all your posts, as I’ve heard that was the wrong thing to do?

    Sires last blog post..Of Web Hosts And Blogger Friends.

  11. says

    @Sheryl: Thanks for the proof about Twitter’s effectiveness. I am on FriendFeed as well, so I will have to take a closer look at the rooms. Firefox plugins are definitely the best way to go in bookmarking – I have one for Delicious, Digg, Stumble, and SocialBrowse, so bookmarking is one button or right click away.

    @Sire: I don’t Stumble my own posts, rather, I just send them to friends via my Stumble toolbar. But I do Digg my own posts, simply because it takes a lot longer to do the first time submit and then get Diggs, vs me submitting it, putting it in the right category, and then getting Diggs from the badge in the post.

    @Justin: We’re thinking Sea World, San Diego Zoo, and Six Flags. Adrenaline rushes, and lots of photography opportunities. :)

    @Brian P: I need to give a bit more focus on Reddit. A lot of people swear by it.

    @Moin: Those are probably two of the best. Especially Twitter… easy to keep up with, and gain lots of followers.

    @Paul: Thanks! I wanted to make it to where anyone on these networks could benefit from a few easy tips. And if they aren’t on these networks, they could see how easy it is to use them for marketing. :)

    @Harvey: I hope use of that tip brings some results for you!

    @Managed IT Services: Thanks.

    @William: I hope it does help… article marketing can be great for your site. I’ll definitely check it out!

  12. says

    Regarding using Twitter, there is a a service called Twitter Feed that you can use to submit your RSS feed to Twitter. Once you register it will ask you for your feed and the frequency that you want it to check. Just takes away that extra step of creating the Twitter.

    BeverlyPs last blog post..Olay Professional Pro X Product Review

  13. says

    @Tevis: I’m glad I could provide some useful information for you. :)

    @Debbie: You’re welcome.

    @BeverlyP: That sounds like a good option.

    @Steven: I haven’t heard of that service, but I’ll definitely check it out.

  14. says

    I have to admit I’m guilty of hardly using any of those techniques to get traffic to my sites. I think its about time I gave them a good try and see how they go. If you don’t try you will never know, its just getting into the habit of doing each one.

  15. says

    @Sire: If you want to use the Send to method I was talking about, then yes, a few friends would help. :D

    @Khaled: You can always give them a try, one at a time. Once you get into a routine with it, then you can add on another and so on.

  16. says

    @Ranjeet: That is a great list of tips you have of the things you’ve learned. :)

    @Brian: Awesome, thank you. I’ll be adding some videos soon!

    @Sire: You’re posts are pretty awesome!

    @Ben: Thanks, and I’d love to write an article about Digg. This post has done the best in Digg so far, so what I did this time must have worked. :)

  17. says

    @Sire: You’re welcome. :)

    @Caleb: While I do like the idea of submitting things to each network in one swoop, some of the things I do for promotion doesn’t include just the submission – it includes letting my friends know via messaging, shouting, broadcasting, etc. Plus, depending on the subject of the article, I might make the invitations more custom for certain people, instead of a generic one for everybody. If the tool can do those kinds of things, I might give it a whirl. :)

  18. says

    A very nice post. I would love it if you joined my network Blogeter. It’s for all blog marketers and bloggers. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks.

  19. says

    @Brandi: I will head over there shortly and join. I’m just starting to play around with the Ning network… it looks promising. Thanks for the invite.

    @Alessandra: I’m glad you decided to make your first comment, and I hope you continue to enjoy the articles. :)

    @p.selvaraj: You’re welcome. I hope you find them useful in your promotions.

  20. says

    @Caleb: I think it all depends on how you use them and what you expect to gain from them. :) And thanks, I’m glad the changes were for the best.

  21. says

    Good tips Kristi. I think I have not used social networking as much as I should. BTW I read that it’s bad to stumble your own posts and you should let others stumble. What are your thoughts? Also I’ve had stumble traffic but no conversions. Do you have better success with Stumble?

    Peter Lee

    Peters last blog post..The Secret To Catchy Headlines Using Good Keywords

  22. says

    @Peter: I think that the network monitors people who only Stumble their own posts, so I made many friends on Stumble with similar interests, so we could share our posts with each other to have someone else submit it. I do get good traffic from it, and I’m sure that some of the new visitors became subscribers. It’s a give and take network… you have to do stumbles & reviews for others, and they will do the same in return. :)

  23. says

    Very valid points. A few extra’s I do is to update my blog I created at today.com and point it back to my main blog. I had quite a good increase in traffic for it.

    Another great site is pingler.com. This is really effective as it pings to over 90 pinging sites in less than a minute. I love it.

    Feel free to subscribe to my blog here http://need-to-get-some.blogspot.com/ and sign up on the pink icon on the left with the diamond heart. Please, it will only take a minute and gifts will be given…shameless bribe hehe.

    Take care everyone!

  24. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Thank you very much for a this great post. Although I am not one to signup to all services available because I figure I wont have enough time to dedicate to all at once, I do like facebook.

    I already have a group and working on a page but I’ll sure try out the Facebook Networked Blogs thing to see whether it can be useful to my networking efforts :)

    Thanks – William

    Williams last blog post..Site Traffic – How You Can Generate Traffic To Your Site

  25. says

    These are all great resources to promote your site. I have become addicted to twitter so I sometimes neglect some of the ones you have mentioned here. Great post keep up the good work Kristi

    Thanks
    DannyinTampa

    Dans last blog post..PPC Advertising-Pay Per Click

  26. says

    @Garret: Good tips. Definitely, if you have another blog that brings in heavy traffic, linking back to your other sites can be a huge traffic boost!

    @Rahul: Stumble brings in a lot of new visitors, I find. Or if you have a large list of friends, repeat traffic thanks to the new feature that allows you to share a post with all of your friends, instead of having to go one at a time.

    @William: I think if you are a power user on one site, it can equate to just as much (if not more) traffic than being a on and off user on lots of sites. So that is a good approach as well.

    @Almir & Kiran: Thanks!

    @Dan: Yes, when getting started out on a new network it is easy to get consumed by it for a while. But it will balance out in the end… better to learn everything you can while you’re into it, and then use those tips quickly in the future.

    @Jonathan: Glad you found it helpful. I really should get a print/email icon on these posts too!

    @Paulo: Yes, sometimes it is easy to get behind in promotion, and then realize when traffic takes a dive. Glad you find the tips useful!

    @J. Chu: Thanks! I’m happy to be included on your list of resources, and am going to visit the article as well. :)

  27. says

    This post is great, I love social media and I have been looking to increase my influence there. Thanks for this wonderful useful post, i will tell my friends about this one.

  28. says

    Squidoo is another source for blog promotion. A properly optimized Squidoo lens has helped bring traffic to our blogs and websites. For instance, search Google for ‘richland wa recycling’ and our lens brings related visitors to our website/blog. ;)

    Kennewick Colleens last blog post..Kennewick WA Homes for Sale

  29. says

    I have prompted my blog by a similar way of you in Firefox to share. But I have not been so successful, so thanks for your details. The blogcatalog promotion sounds useful to a larger extent.

  30. says

    Hello Admin,

    Your tips is absolutely very useful,as because its mine personal positive experience from all these above mentioned bookmarking sites a specially from Stumbleupon.

    Lots of Unique Visitors will come from Stumbleupon groups If you have some interesting,common but helpful topics related blogs and Must need one active profile from your side.

    By the way,I stumbled also this informative article.:)

    — Sandy Boje…

  31. says

    yaa Kristi,
    I love your post all 9 tips are excellent i also got more from stumble upon but here i want add one more thing for blog promotion important is Consistent writing in your blog, if the reader’s are your regular costumer who always visit your site.
    Thanks!!!

    SEO Companys last blog post..What a Web Directory has to Offer

  32. says

    wow nice tips i also use some of them i use face book, digg, stumble upon, twitter, regular basis and these things give me more traffic i think you 9 tips is also great very help full for me thanks!!!

  33. says

    Great job with your article. I use all of these social networking and news sites to promote both my Real Estate blog and also my website. There is no doubt these avenues increase traffic.

    • says

      I also use twitter with great success:)
      Thanks for writting such a goos post. I didn’t even realize how much traffic I can get from the social networking. Now it’s my main source of new visitors.
      .-= New from planszowe gry Osadnicy z Catanu =-.

  34. says

    Almost all the points mentioned in this post are extremely worthy of implementation. It is indeed very important that you take appropriate steps to promote your blog to your network. While you do this you should also be careful that you do not spam their inboxes.
    So far as submitting your own posts and articles to Stumble Upon and Delicious is concerned, I personally feel that the goodness you derive from it is extremely minute in comparison to what you can get by getting somebody else to submit them. But no doubt Stumble Upon can be a source of enormous traffic, if done correctly
    .-= New from R Kumar@earn money online blogging Getting Quality Backlinks by Guest posting =-.

  35. says

    Wowo! Thanks for the great list; I’m pretty active on blog catalog but never thought of using Myspace or StumbleUpon for promotion. Also I guess I gotta check out tweetworks!

  36. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I’ve always had the most success from using facebook and stumbleupon for blog promotion. Thanks for the great list of other ideas too.. These will keep me busy for a while.
    Aaron just posted Free Blogs

  37. says

    I have used most of the sites listed above for blog promotion.Here are my review for some of the sites that will work for any new blogger.

    For the beginners (with a mid size blog), I would like to suggest them that they should go for Blog Catalog because it always prove to be the main source of traffic for any new blogger.Try it for your self.It never fails.

    Now for Stumbleupon, I would say that you will only get a little traffic from there though many people claim that they have received thousands of hits in a day from Stumbleupon.I don’t know I am not sure ,how?.Do not work for me that good.

    For Digg,Once upon a time it used to work like a charm.Getting on the front page would give you massive traffic.But no more now.I think its quality has decreased mainly after introduction of ‘nofolow’ and also constant spamming too.

    For Twitter,it works (though you will not find it on your Analytics Page)

    As far as Social Bookmarking is concerned I would suggest the readers of this Blog to go for Folkd.
    Patrick just posted How to Trace Mobile Phone number in USA Canada and Caribbean Islands

  38. says

    So far, I only use Twitter and Facebook promotion because handling a lof of things are still our of my ability. I’ll improve my efforts. Thanks for writing this Kristi :-)

  39. says

    Hi Kristi, great article as always (love your work!). LinkedIn is an important network for us as well since we sell to other businesses. I’d highly recommend joining all revelant groups (many have thousands of members) and sharing relevant blog articles in your replies to discussions or starting new discussions around your blog article plus putting new articles in your company updates (new LinkedIn feature). LinkedIn and Twitter are the biggest referring sites for us being B2B (after the likes of Google organic search of course) for our company blog on social media, SEO, online marketing etc. Anna :)
    Anna Gervai just posted 17 mistakes companies make on Facebook & how to fix them