If you have ever written an article for Associated Content with the goal of making money then you most likely understand that upfront payment is only a fraction of the equation and performance payment is where the real income stream is to be found. Even if you write an outstanding article, however, and do your keyword research properly it can still be hard to get the kind of views that you believe your piece deserves. This is where social bookmarking comes in, and more importantly the proper use of social bookmarking for maximum views.
If you are in the habit of promoting your Associated Content articles on social bookmarking sites already but still see little to no additional traffic from it then you need to start using social bookmarking properly, as a promotional tool.
Social bookmarking is probably one of the most powerful promotional tools available online, but you need to know what you are doing. Simply submitting your article to sites such as Digg and Propeller may get you 10-20 visitors, or even a few hundred on a good day, but properly promoting on social bookmarking sites has the power to bring the kind of traffic that would bog down a normal server. Are you ready to learn how to use social bookmarking sites to gain some real traffic to your AC articles?
Let us focus first on Propeller, the traffic is somewhat less here but so is the competition. Because of this it is a great social bookmarking site for learning before you move on to the monster that is Digg. The first thing that you need to know about Propeller is that you have to be on the front page to get a decent amount of traffic, and the second thing you need to know is that it is not nearly as hard as you may think. To get on the front page you will usually need only about 20 votes, or ‘props’, in the first few hours since your story was submitted, the longer your story is up the more votes it takes. The best way to get some easy votes is to bring exposure to your profile. Here is the method for building a powerful Propeller profile:
1. Make Friends – There is absolutely no way you are going to get the votes you need without a large friend base. Add as many friends as you possibly can. This is time intensive but only needs to be done once. A few hundred friends in an hour is not that difficult. Remember, you want active friends and ALL of the top contributors. Don’t discriminate though, the more friends the better. Anything above 500 is great and you can simply add 10-20 each day when you are submitting your articles after that. Voting for your friend’s stories helps to get reciprocal votes but is not even necessary, many people will vote for your stories just because you are their friend.
2. Submit a Lot – Submit as much content as you can. Just because you only write an article every other day at AC doesn’t mean that you only need to submit a few articles a week to Propeller. Submit as much content as your spare time allows. Go to the big sites, CNN, Fox News, AP, etc. and submit any story that isn’t already on Propeller. This achieves a few advantages, first it helps you to get your Profile in the top 10 for your category, this automatically puts your stories up higher on the category pages which, in turn, gets you free votes to get you on the front page. After some time this will actually swing you on to the top 10 for the site if you devote enough time to it (before Propeller changed their layout and I left I was the #8 user), this gives you great exposure and many free votes on all of your stories, often 65%-70% of your submitted stories will hit the front page if you are in the top 10. Additionally it exposes your profile to more Propeller users, this will lead them to add you as a friend and read or vote some of your other stories.
3. Comment and Vote on Everything You Can – This goes back to making your profile one of the top 10. Comments and Votes are taken into account just as submissions are. Also comments provide people to learn what kind of opinions you have on certain matters, this personal touch often encourages them to add you as a friend or vote a story that they see you submit even if they do not read it.
These are the three very simple techniques that I implored to get a top 10 profile on the social bookmarking site Propeller and, as a result, brought enormous traffic to nearly anything that I submitted.
Once you have mastered Propeller you have nowhere to go but up; and up is Digg. Digg has so many more users that the traffic potential is astounding, but with this competition for the front page, even of a category, grows exponentially. As an example the first blog post that I ever had front paged on Digg hit 60,000 UVs in a matter of about 20 minutes, then my server got so bogged down that nobody could access my blog at all!
For an AC article to get front paged on Digg you need to not only invest a lot of time but have a very good piece of writing. In addition to this your writing needs to be something that the Digg masses deem important, a recent Google Trend or anything that the unemployed and over educated college kid masses deem as ‘epic’. If your article is not outstanding then no amount of Digg knowhow is going to get your front paged.
Now that you have written an article on AC that is ‘link-baity’ enough to be front paged it is important that you know how to get it there. Digg is much more difficult than Propeller because their algorithm takes into account two variables that do not exist on Propeller. These are:
1. Age of Your Account – Accounts with older ages hold more weight on Digg. A vote from a newly created account is not equal to a vote from a two year old account. This goes not only for the account submitting an article but for the account that every vote on your story originates from.
2. All Users Are Not Created Equal – A vote on your submitted story from someone who is a friend of yours does not carry the same weight as someone who is not your friend. In addition someone who votes on your stories often will have weaker votes than someone who has never voted on your stories before. This makes it very hard to get the vote power you need to hit the front page.
Because of these vote weight factors I use two accounts on Digg for every story that I submit. Each one has quite a few friends. Remember when adding friends, add people with old accounts, they are worth more. With my first account, account A, I submit my Digg story and then leave a comment (comments also factor in to how well a story is doing). I then ‘shout’ my story to the 100 friends that I am able to shout to at once. Give them a standard message like “Digg this please, shout me back anytime! Thanks!” Now I log off of account A and on to my second account, account B. On account B I have different friends than account A. I now digg and comment on the submitted story, then I shout it to 100 of my friends which are NOT friends of account A, this makes their votes worth a lot more! After this take a little break, go have a smoke (I smoke a lot) and give it a minute. This is because you are only allowed to send 100 shouts in a given amount of time. When I come back I will log back on account A, shout to the next 100 friends and then do the same thing for account B. Repeat until all of your friends have been shouted. This is the easiest way to get your AC article front paged on Digg. The only other thing that I can add is that most Digg users have a ton of friends sending them shouts, because of this if they are not active within a couple hours of your shout it will be buried under many others. This is why you should do all of your submissions at the same time of day every time and fine tune your friends to ones who are active at this time.
Hopefully now you have learned a couple of great strategies for promoting your Associated Content articles with social bookmarking websites. Be sure to get the maximum profits from each article by increasing your page views with social bookmarking.