Five social networking tools to publicise your blog

How to drive traffic to your website

OK, so you’ve written your blog.  The content is great: fresh, witty, relevant and people who read it are hooked.  Great job.  Well done.


You’ve also got a great design – not so showy that it distracts from your great content, but nice enough to make it look like you know what you’re doing.

Pictures?  Sure – you’ve got great imagery that complements the text and makes your readers fall to their knees giving thanks for having eyes.

Viewers?  Yeah, that’s not so good.  Nobody is reading your work. But you just know that if you could get them there to read it then they’d love it and they’d come back every day and they’d love you for ever and ever.

It’s one of the most difficult things for new bloggers: how do you get people to come and read your blog?

Well, fear not, for I bring good news.  I’ve spoken in the past about Twitter and StumbleUpon but I’m going to give an overview of five tools that can help drive traffic to your blog. 

I’ve looked at the traffic that has come to my blog over a 2 day period and calculated what percentage of traffic came from each tool.

The table below shows my findings.  (Please note that Twitter also generated traffic from other websites (such as surmize.com which takes a feed from Twitter) so I’ve provided a percentage for traffic directly from Twitter and traffic generated via Twitter)

Figure 1: Traffic generated by various social bookmarking and networking websites

The results looks pretty clear to me.  StumbleUpon and Twitter are the clear leaders and therefore should be the first choice when looking to publicise your content.  Digg didn’t send much traffic at all and has had its day.  Delicious is a waste of time.

Not quite.

Firstly, the posts I made during this time period were about SEO, and Digg is somewhet picky about articles that cover SEO (as mentioned here: http://seo2.0.onreact.com/how-to-get-any-story-buried-on-digg).  Therefore I don’t think that we can automatically discount Digg.  It has a huge user base and your blog topic might be just what the Diggerati are looking for – if so then prepare for a huge surge in traffic (and wait for your website to crash under the pressure).

Secondly, you can’t discount Delicious either just because it sent only 1% of the overall traffic.  Delicious is a bookmarking website and people tend to bookmark things so that they can refer to them later.  In terms of continually sending a stream of traffic, Delicious is a great tool and should be part of your longer term view.

Thirdly, I have different people in each of my networks (in fact, I wasn’t even a member of Mixx when these stats were gathered) and each of my networks is of a different size. I may have a fan in SU that has a network of influential people (in fact, I do) so we can’t automatically assume that SU should be your first choice.  However, a website that can send almost 35% of social networking traffic to your website cannot be overlooked.

The conclusion or this confusing analysis and that all five tools have their place and should all form part of your publicity strategy.

  • Twitter is great for sending huge volumes of traffic in a very short space of time. 
  • SU sends a large volume of traffic over a short period of time as well (but a longer period of time than Twitter).
  • Delicious sends a continual stream of traffic over a long period of time.
  • Digg has a huge user base and depending on the content that you’re trying to promote, could be your first port of call.
  • Mixx I can’t comment on, having only just joined yesterday. But it has sent more traffic than Digg without me doing  anything and so definitely has potential.

Also, as mentioned in one of my other posts, your network on each of these tools is critical.  You can post all you want to SU and Twitter but if nobody is there to listen then you’re wasting your time.  The bigger your network, the bigger your potential audience so make an effort to get to know the useful people on these tools and start to impress them and get them in your network.

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Gregor Spowart is a partner in Mass Media Design, a website design and Internet Marketing company based in Reading (Berkshire), Swindon (Wiltshire) and Cardiff.