How To: Manipulate Del.icio.us to Drive Visitors and Dollars to Your Site – 20 Tips and Tricks
Although Digg gets the bulk of social media attention, del.icio.us is a powerful tool that’s not to be overlooked. It’s not quite as big and overpopulated, so del.icio.us offers nearly a perfect combination of easy entry and gameability. Here we’ll discuss a number of strategies you can use to dominate del.icio.us and see a massive influx of traffic and revenue.
- Control the first bookmarking: If you’ve established a rapport with popular users, call in a favor and ask them if they’d be willing to submit a particularly important piece for you. If your work is submitted under their name, it’s much more likely to get heavily bookmarked. In addition, a popular user is likely to know the sorts of titles that are most likely to succeed on Del.icio.us. And since the first bookmarking normally controls the article title on Del.icio.us, by having them submit on your behalf you’re getting free titling advice.
- Let the popular page dictate you: Don’t waste your time writing about stuff that may or may not get popular. Check out the popular page and the tag cloud to figure out what you should write about.
- Tag liberally: Bookmark your article with popular tags, even if they’re only marginally relevant to your article. Many del.icio.us users have favorite tags that they bookmark blindly, and you can benefit from this.
- Linkbait: For content that bookmarks well, your focus should be all about linkbaiting. Create content and titles that have a hook like resources, a news scoop, or some sort of important giveaway, and then deliver on it.
- Develop a bookmarking circle: Build a network of 10 or so friends that you can count on to bookmark your stories. These can be friends you already know, or just others you pick up along the way. SEO forums and AIM chats are great places to pick up voting friends.
- Locate popular users: Beyond regular friends, you’ve got to seek out the cool kids. Keep an eye on the front page to locate potential friends whose bookmarks spark others to follow suit. Although the “power user” doesn’t exist on Del.icio.us to the same degree it does on Digg or Reddit, there are still users who have a large following. Google their username to find their email or AIM contact info and make friends.
- Submit top stories from other sites: Your bookmarks shouldn’t all be your own work. In fact, it’s a good idea to build your reputation by submitting stories that are proven to be popular elsewhere. Browse Digg, Reddit, and other social media sites for content.
- Find a niche: By posting content in tags that aren’t wildly overpopulated but still popular (look for second tier terms on the popular cloud to find these terms), it’s easier to get traffic, and even better, targeted visitors that are more likely to bring conversions.
- Email your post to other bloggers: Seek out other bloggers in your niche and ask them to take a look at your post. Whether they bookmark it for later, or pick it up and share it with their readers, you’re golden either way.
- Take your ads down…for a day: Del.icio.us users aren’t crazy about ads, but you’ll be getting related traffic for a long time even after you’re not popular on del.icio.us anymore. So stay ad-free to get popular, but put them right back up once you get there.
- Hire strangers to bookmark you: There are loads of forums where you can find people who are willing to do bookmark trades for free or for hire. DigitalPoint’s Traffic and Freebies forums are two that seem to work well.
- Reciprocate: Find pages that link to your site, and bookmark them if they have relevant content. When they do well, so do you.
- Use commonly-searched terms: When titling your piece, or even just your submission, use terms that are popular on search engines. It’s helpful to use terms that are popular on your site’s own internal search engine as well, which will send you more qualified visitors.
- Get popular on a smaller site: Work to get popular on a niche social media site, and you’ll inevitably get a del.icio.us boost from the clickthroughs. You can prod things along by providing a link that makes it easy to bookmark your story.
- Link to revenue-producing pages: Instead of serving up ads that will turn del.icio.us users off, you can embed links to the pages in your site that help you earn revenue, like affiliate reviews and product pages. This way, you can still enjoy a revenue spike without earning annoyance from the community.
- Change your titles: If your existing title isn’t very bookmark-worthy, change your submission title to something else that’s likely to get more attention. As in, if you’re linking to a book that’s about SEO, but the term linkbait happens to be more popular, give your title a facelift with the more popular term, if only for del.icio.us. As we’ve mentioned, you can check out the popular page and the tag cloud for inspiration.
- Be ready for the traffic: Although del.icio.us isn’t going to send you Digg-size traffic, there’s always a chance that getting popular on the site will give you an overload of traffic and kill your server. Obviously, that’s not a good thing, because in the end you’ll lose traffic and revenue.
- Edit tags en masse according to popularity: If you’ve discovered that your once-hot tag has lost its charm, use Scripted Re-Mark to change all of your associated bookmarks to something better.
- Use catchy titles: Some titles just beg to be bookmarked, like “[Blank] Little Known Ways to [blank]”, and “What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank].” You can find these templates and more at Copyblogger. Often, you’ll get bookmarked even when someone hasn’t read your entire story.
- Make friendly URLs: If one page can by accessed via multiple URLs, you need to consolidate, or your bookmarks may get split up. Use redirects to keep this from happening.
Thanks to Brian