Social bookmarking is a hit or miss strategy for many, but utilizing it in a very specific manner using specific tools has been very effective for me.
It is a key component of my marketing strategy whenever I build a new niche website, or whenever I want to promote or build back links to new articles on my blog, websites or articles that I submit to directories and web 2.0 properties for article marketing purposes.
Social bookmarking is the bookmarking, recording or saving of a particular URL (a website or a single web page of that website) to a social bookmarking platform such as Digg and Stumbleupon. The reason why the strategy is effective is because social bookmarking platforms are some of the most credible and high ranking websites, not to mention the possibility of your content going insanely viral.
The reason why social bookmarking doesn’t turn out that beneficial for many marketers is because many use it haphazardly, without a specific approach that has a clear objective. Clarity and focus are critical in everything you do. Like most similar approaches, this initiative is like shooting in the dark.
Having a specific strategy with a clear objective in mind is how you gain the maximum benefit from this marketing approach. With that said, there are many ways to use social bookmarking to meet various objectives.
Personally, I use social bookmarking with two specific objectives in mind, to gain quality back links to my websites, and to get my web pages indexed on search engines before I begin spinning the articles and submitting them to article directories. Subsequently, I use it to boost the rank or build back links to articles submitted to directories.
Although high quality content can spread like wildfire if noticed by a high profile social bookmarker, and many use social bookmarking to do just that, I don’t proactively seek to gain this result from my social bookmarking efforts because the outcome is way beyond my control and involves a high degree of luck. What I do intend to gain however is a solidified page rank to stabilize by ranking on search engines through back link building.
Just like article marketing initiatives can help provide a boost to your website and the various web pages within, social bookmarking acts in the same way and can also help take your link building effort a step further. Not only can you bookmark your web pages, but also the articles you submit for article marketing purposes on various article directories.
Imagine three layers that start from the core, which is your website or blog. The outer layer is the article marketing initiatives which brings back links to the inner core. Another layer outside the article marketing layer is the social bookmarking initiative, which brings back links to your articles, which in turn passes on to the inner core which is your main website.
As you can see in the diagram, I also use social bookmarking sparingly to link directly to content that is on my web properties. Use this approach sparingly and slowly.
So which social bookmarking sites should you utilize to drive back links to your articles? Digg and StumbleUpon are solid social bookmarking websites to start with, but these are just two of several effective sites. There are social bookmarking tools you can use that come with a pre-populated list of popular and effective social bookmarking sites you can target.
In my experience, social bookmarking is a numbers game in that the more sites you target the more effective your efforts become. The utilization of an automated tool helps you do this relatively easily.
There are three tools that I came across when I first started looking into using social bookmarking, Social Bookmarking Demon, Social Marker and OnlyWire. I personally don’t like Social Bookmarking Demon because 1) it is clunky 2) it is expensive for no good reason in my opinion and 3) it doesn’t give me any more benefit from using it relative to the other two.
I used Social Marker for some time and find it better than the Demon because it is FREE. The downside is that their customer no support is non\-existent. Moreover, depending on which day you try it, the tool may or may not work for you. This frustrated me more than anything else and for that reason I don’t recommend it.
OnlyWire is what I use today because it is easy to use and it I like their back end support best of all three programs. For a non techie like myself, robust customer service is very important and I am willing to pay extra for it. However, OnlyWire has a free plan that you can use to market one website for up to 300 submissions per month. That is plenty for most people and you may never have to spend on a social bookmarking tool.
Since I have over 20 niche websites, I use the Corporate plan at $99/month because it allows me to market an unlimited number of websites with unlimited submissions. They also have an intermediate plan that starts at $10 per month which allows you to market one website for an unlimited amount of monthly submissions. For me, the fee well worth it relative to the benefits I gain from utilizing this powerful Internet marketing tool. However, you can totally take advantage of their free offer.
Note that utilizing social bookmarking mass submission tools doesn’t mean you don’t have to sign up with each social bookmarking site. You still do, but you only have to do it one time. You can’t skip this step no matter what social bookmarking tool you use.
Once your login credentials are stored in the software you are using, the rest of the process becomes relatively streamlined. You can mass bookmark specific web pages across multiple social bookmarking platforms with one click of the button. For example, in my Onlywire dashboard, I have most social bookmarking sites clicked, or enabled for submission (see below).
You can definitely benefit from social bookmarking without spending money on social bookmarking software, but utilizing one will make the process much easier, much less time consuming and more effective in my opinion.
What strategy(ies) has worked best for you? What kinds of results have you experienced? What tool do you use and what’s your opinion of it? If you are not leveraging social bookmarking in your marketing initiatives, why?
Full Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with OnlyWire and get paid a commission each time someone I refer to it makes a purchase. I currently use OnlyWire for mass Social Bookmarking.Previous: The Secret Ingredient to My Success & How I Use It to Achieve More Success
What are the specific benefits of social bookmarking? You talk about page rank but does it also help get traffic to your sites? How often do you bookmark, daily, weekly, monthly?
David, I bookmark all new content through OnlyWire. I use it primarily for backlinks and indexing, however it does bring in traffic as well (though not my primary objective). a bonus can be that someone “influencial” notices your stuff and spreads it viral
These are great important tips for old and new bloggers, you are soo right when you said that many use it haphazardly, without a specific approach or a clear objective. I think the serious ones with a passion give it a lot more work, attention, focus and drive with a clear plan and strategy.
how are you using it or plan to use it Mary?
Thanks for this post Sunil. Until recently, I didn’t realize that social bookmarking links held any value except to drive traffic. I recently jumped into the site game and need to learn how to effectively build links. This post has definitely shed some light for me and I plan to try some of your tactics on a couple of my that aren’t ranking yet.
Quick question: How many Web 2.0 properties would you have for a small niche site with 5 to 10 articles?
I believe I have a list of 4-6, wordpress and hubpages are two that come to mind immediately. that said, my focus has been more on my semi authority and authority sites (larger). I really think this is direction engines are compelling us to go in. how is your smaller site doing?
well yet again Sunil, you are posting powerful info — thank you! hope that was an affiliate link b/c I just signed up!
it is Kathleen and I have added a disclosure within the post as well rather than just having it in the disclosure link. it’s good practice. thanks for the reminder, and more importantly thanks for your support. I want to know how the initiative turns out for you.
Once you sign up for each individual social bookmarking site, how active do you have to be on each one? Do you just signup and never login directly again or do you have to add friends, join groups, etc. at each site in order to have the best benefit?
I try to be active on Facebook Nick. but for the rest, I mainly use them for syndication. you have to pick which 1 or 2 or none that you will continue to hone. but I think what you are trying to get at is whether one has to be active on any of these when using a tool, and so my short answer is no.
I like the post Sunil, however i use Onlywire but I’m currently experiencing some issues with it which i don’t know if its from the plugin or from my blog. The issue is that i had a notice of the new version, but when i tried to update, i kept getting error which even stoped my blog from displaying until i went to my hosting control panel and removed it. Apart from that, i have been enjoying the service. So Sunil, i don’t know if you have any advice for me based on this.
Thanks for sharing.
hi Theodore, no I have not had any trouble using it or upgrading it, but I don’t use the plugin. I purchased OnlyWire before I even started blogging and used it for my niche sites initially which were mostly static HTML sites. I just never got to exploring the wordpress integration option.
I also use Digg and StumbleUpon for my social bookmarking tasks. I guess, everybody does. Similarly, I also have almost a hundred sites on my list though some of them are not really effective, most of them help me build links and get traffic for my site.
that’s right. it’s really about the links first, and traffic second unless you are deliberately doing it for traffic generation purposes. you just never know who ends up seeing your bookmarked piece
hi, just curious, so when you setup the bookmarking profiles, do you just create a fictional person for each one, but then won’t all these profiles just be solely bookmarking just back to your site, doesn’t that start to look unnatural?
Bobby, yes I use an Alias and I only bookmark once, and don’t bookmark everything. I can see how it may look unnatural if I was to evaluate it from the other side of the fence, but I have no evidence showing it is hurting me from a ranking perspective.
thank you sunil, just to clarify, you’ll mass bookmark your new articles/sites/2.0 properties via onlywire to all your alias accounts (ie delicious, diigo, freindfeed etc).
so that each of the accounts will all point to the same articles, sites and properites and you never really mix in any other random bookmarks?
that’s right, although each social bookmark site within onlywire has a check box next to it. you can enable and disable any one of the several sites to mix it up. I think this is what you were getting at (variety) correct?
yeah that makes sense man thanks a lot for answering.
you’re welcome buddy
This makes a lot of sense to bookmark articles. I have a question about usernames for each book marking sites. Should user names be different or one username can be used for all sites.
don’t think it matters. sometime back (even now in fact) people would create social bookmark accounts with their main keyword(s) in the account name for SEO purposes. many are more cautious about this approach given changes in search engine behavior. I have campaigns where all my account names are the same, and I have others where the names vary from one account to another. there has been no apparent difference in performance. does that help?
When I started blogging, I never knew anything about social bookmarking until I saw a YouTube video and learned how to do it. I guess almost everybody uses Digg and StumbleUpon for social bookmarking. I also use these sites together with other sites and yes, these sites bring me unexpected traffic to my site.
how often do you do it, how (manual/automated) and what kind of traffic are you seeing from these efforts Charleen? have you been able to trace its impact back to your page rank or overall website’s ranking in SERPS?
Another very informative post, Sunil. I’ve used Onlywire in the past for my main site, but I never thought to use it with the niche sites.
I have a question regarding the actual social sites. On Digg, for instance, do you have one fictional account that then bookmarks the articles from all of your niche sites, or do you actually have a separate Digg account for each niche site?
I do have one “persona” that I use for article marketing and I even have a couple of social accounts for him as well. Should I have a new persona for each niche site?
I keep separate article directory and social media / bookmark accounts for each site. a bit more work up front but keeps everything separate and each “entity” self sufficient
Thanks for the post. I have researched a lot about social bookmarking. Most reviewers preferred bookmarking demon because it submits to a higher number of sites and it has one time purchase cost. does submitting to a higher number of sites, increase the traffic substantially or its pretty much the same?
hi Soniya – I tried Bookmarking Demon in the past as well as a couple others and actually found it to be the least efficient. at the time it was also the most expensive. I chose to go with OnlyWire because of the ease of use and results. to answer your question, I have most all boxes/sites checked for submission. I’d guess more is better but I wouldn’t know otherwise
After i read your post i decided to check out Only Wire. To tell you the truth i really like it. Its very easy to use and it has increased traffic to my blog. Thanks Sunil!
great to hear Jose. can you share some before and after numbers with us? I am sure that would help many
At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read
have some Wheaties for me Reuben
I read you blog. This is very useful and informative blog about social Bookmarking. Thank you for sharing. What are the benefits are included with social bookmarking?