Posted on May 19th, 2009 in Advice, Affiliate Program, Customers, eBay, listbuilding, Strategies, Twitter, Web Traffic | No Comments »
This guide explains everything important about using social bookmarks to drive web site traffic. This information can be used to easily create a targeted list. Of course, the guide is especially valuable if you’re looking for free traffic. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs, internet marketers and small businesses.
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Introduction to the Social Bookmarking Traffic Guide
Social bookmarking might seem dull and boring. It might seem like a fad or a craze that will die off. But, when done right, using social bookmarks can dramatically increase high quality web site traffic. If you’re serious about growing an online business, it needs to be a tool in your “traffic secrets” toolbox.
Here’s something to chew on…
If you don’t follow the advice in the Social Bookmarking Traffic Guide you are losing out on cheap and easy traffic. I know that’s a strong statement but by the time you get to the end of this guide, you’ll understand the full power of tagging and bookmarking.
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I want to first make sure you clearly understand social bookmarking. In short, it’s a way for humans to keep track of stuff online. It usually means using “tags” and metadata (which is data about data).
Tags are really nothing more than words or phrases that you use to describe other words. For example, you might use “online marketing” as a tag for The Rhodes Brothers. Or, perhaps you might use something like “tagging” and “traffic” and “bookmarking” for the guide you’re reading right now.
There’s nothing magical about the tags you use. Feel free to use words and phrases that mean something to you. Or, if you’re trying to drive targeted traffic, use keywords that are meaningful in your niche. We’ll cover this in great detail later on; no worries.
Most social bookmarking systems allow you to show or hide bookmarks. So, you can use bookmarks for yourself only or you can expose them to the public.
If you keep bookmarks private they won’t have any impact on web site traffic, although they might be useful to you personally. If you make them public, however, you will enjoy free traffic. The world can find your bookmarks and find you by clicking on your links. I explain this in detail below.
So in large part social bookmarking is an activity where you are categorizing your web sites, domains, articles and blogs. You use social bookmarking to develop a way to stay organized online.
If you want free traffic from your social bookmarks you just expose them. For example, if you have a blog you can use Del.icio.us to bookmark blog entries. In turn, Google will find your bookmarks and your blog. And finally, people will find your bookmarks and your blog in the search results of Google. This is how organic traffic flows from your bookmarking.
Yes, it’s that simple.
At this point you have a basic understanding of social bookmarking. You could leave right now with confidence about how to get started. However, if you really want to know how to get traffic or if you want to avoid serious problems, keep reading.
I’ll also say this: There is a very specific model that I use to drive maximum web site traffic with web 2.0 bookmarks. I promise to reveal this model with you — there is no catch here. I will give you everything you need to succeed with your social bookmarking.
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Social Bookmarking Issues
Social bookmarks are not perfect…
You cannot ONLY use social bookmarks to drive traffic nor can you expect to build a real online business by just using Stumble Upon, Del.icio.us, Reddit and Technorati. You need an entire marketing funnel in place — This is something I explain in detail later.
Before I go on, here’s my list of the top 10 social bookmarking sites. Keep in mind that these sites allow tagging and bookmarking but they aren’t necessarily dedicated to bookmarking. For example, Del.icio.us is very much focused on tagging and bookmarking — that’s its core job. However, Digg is really more of a news aggregation web site but you can tag and bookmark, and therefore drive a lot of traffic.
OK, let’s get back on track. Here’s my list of the top 10 social bookmarking sites:
There’s nothing scientific here. These just happen to be the bookmarking sites that have worked well for me. I have certainly used other sites and other tools. Don’t read too much into this list; caveat emptor.
By the way, I’m guessing that you’re getting worried about something: WORK. In other words, I suspect you’re worried about all the time and effort you’ll need to apply to get killer results.
Don’t worry. I’ve got your back covered. I cover this below…
Another issue is that your site, blog or article often get pushed to the bottom of the stack, or off the page. This is especially true with the social media new sites like Digg and Propeller. Imagine that your new blog entry makes it to the front page of Digg. Although you’ll enjoy insane traffic for a little while, after just a couple of hours your blog entry will drop off the home page.
Some people are worried about this problem, but it’s a false problem. First, you’re getting a gush of traffic in a situation like this. Second, you’ll get residual traffic even after you drop to the next page. Third, other people will link to you as a result and you’ll get residual, off-Digg traffic. Fourth, you’ll get some very powerful backlinks and therefore Google will love you. You’ll be enjoying serious organic traffic.
Another potential problem of social bookmarking is that your tags (or keywords or keyphrases) are terrible. If your keywords are meaningless then no one will care what you have to say. No one will find you through Google.
But, again, this is a false problem. Sure, you can have issues with keywords but let’s face it — you probably know how to find great keywords and niches. I don’t have room to fully explain keyword selection, but it goes like this:
- Go to Google Keywords and start searching
- Find keywords that people are using a lot
- Or, target keywords that make sense for your niche
- Look on Google’s Traffic Estimator to figure out your competition
- Choose keywords with plenty of searches and low competition
That’s a pretty bad explanation but you get the point. Use tags that are based on popular keywords that aren’t very well represented by competitors on Google.
Or, just pick really popular keywords. That can work for you as well because it takes less time and energy, but it takes longer to see robust results.
Let’s get back on track…
Another issue is that people don’t spell very well. Many tags are sloppy. They are dirty. There are misspellings all over the place.
Um, so what?
People are people. Using misspellings can actually offer you a competitive advantage. This little secret has made some people on eBay thousands and thousands of dollars. (Think about it; this can mean BIG money.)
Furthermore, you can use BOTH misspelled keywords and properly spelled keywords. You can tag like crazy — tag carpet bombing! Here’s a simple example to make this 100% clear:
No one can stop you from using all four of these words. Of course I don’t think you should do this all the time. However, if you are tagging and your gut says, “Hey, I’m not sure how to spell this!” — Others will have the same problem. Take advantage of it and enjoy the extra free traffic.
Let’s push forward…
I promised to talk about how to handle all the work associated with social bookmarks. Let’s look at that in the next section.
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Two Secrets of Social Bookmarking
The are two simple ways to eliminate the pain associated with social bookmarking. As I’ve said, it can be labor intensive so you need to decide between these two options:
- Burn hours and hours of time creating your own bookmarks
- Use social bookmarking tools or hire (outsource) the work
Obviously you want to use tools or hire smart, affordable people to do work for you. Better still, you want to pick a great tool, master it, then train someone to do the work for you using the best tools available. That’s maximum leverage.
Right now, the best tool is probably Social Marker. It’s a semi-automatic social bookmarking tool. You sign up for access to each of the individual social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg, Del.icio.us, Furl) then head over to Social Marker and sign up for that too. Then you use Social Marker to semi-automatically update those sites.
If you have issues with Social Marker, no worries. There will always be sites and tools out there for you to use. If you’re really desperate, head over to RentACoder or ScriptLance and have someone develop one for you.
So, I’ve revealed two of the big secrets of social bookmarking. First, you need to find tools that make sense. Second, you need to use outsourcing web sites to get the bookmarking done for you. Or, have tools built for you.
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Revealed! More Secrets of Social Bookmarking
There are several really good reasons to use social bookmarks and tags. You can get very high volumes of traffic in very little time.
You might say, “But that traffic isn’t targeted, John.”
Fortunately, there is something I call Social Traffic Filtering which I’ll tell you about. In essence, the amount of traffic is vitally important as an input factor for your traffic funnel. All traffic funnels require traffic. There is no way around this. I’ll explain why this is so crucial in just a moment.
Although a lot of social media and bookmarking traffic will be useless, the fact remains that a lot of it is legitimate, targeted traffic. There are humans clicking and reading what you’ve written. So, if you’re providing valuable content then people will reward you with repeat visits and they’ll join your lists.
That is HUGE.
Let me say that again…
If you’re providing valuable content then people will reward you with repeat visits and they’ll join your lists. (Your list is the blood of your business.)
It’s your job to qualify these leads. You must be ready for this social traffic and filter these folks using great, high quality content. You need to give them high value; respect their time. Then, you need to filter them out with top notch squeeze pages. Offer them something wonderful and grab their email addresses. If they don’t stay and read, and if they don’t join your list, just move on. Let them go. They’ve been filtered out.
To frame this another way, you cannot expect to make a lot of money online just by getting a ton of social bookmarking traffic. That’s just plain silly. You must plan ahead with a Social Traffic Filtering marketing plan.
I explained the basics above and I’m sure you can see how this selection process can provide you with a good list — maybe not Rock Star great, but that’s fine. These people are solid prospects and as they opt into your email list, your business is growing and growing.
Oh, one more thing. Here’s a big Rhodes Brother’s tip: There’s another level of filtering. Here’s how that plays out…
Once you have folks on your list, your autoresponder series can push and pull them in many different ways. It’s up to you to use the autoresponder to qualify people. I strongly encourage you to provide value and pre-sell. If you start selling immediately, you’ll filter out just about everyone. That’s no good for you and it’s no good for them.
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Traffic Leverage From Social Bookmarking
Here’s a very simple concept with profound implications.
What you need to do is combine several different social bookmarking tools together (i.e., assets and plumbing). If you stack these tools the right way, you will have over-the-top, compounding traffic.
I know this sounds vague. So, once again I’ll break it down using an example to make it crystal clear. Here’s just ONE example, step by step:
- Post a fantastic blog entry on your niche blog
- Digg the blog entry (or ask someone for a favor)
- Go to Twitter and talk about it; gently ask for ReTweets
- Privately direct message (DM) some trusted Followers; “Please Stumble”
I know this seems simple but let me tell you, this works great. I don’t do it too often because I don’t like to burn people out. It’s a special weapon.
But again —
This is just ONE way to use these various social bookmarking web sites and tools. This kind of activity gives you serious traffic leverage. It’s also another type of marketing funnel that you can tweak and tune over time.
One more thing —
By doing this kind of bookmarking and “backscratching” you can build a powerful affiliate network. It’s also a great way to find and develop JV partners. Remember, this is all very social. It’s about relationships…
Sidebar: Join the Rhodes Brothers Affiliate Program.
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Traffic On Traffic On Traffic
Your web site is not yet flooded with traffic but you’re ahead of 99% of everyone else — You’re in the club.
At this point you must take action…
I strongly recommend that you sign up for Traffic Drill. Like this blog posting, it’s absolutely free.
We’ve put together more material for you about getting traffic to your web site. I give Traffic Drill my highest recommendation. So, if you’re serious about web site traffic read about Traffic Drill.