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Day 8: What I’ve Learned About Bookmarking Sites and Internet Robots

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Day 8:  What I’ve Learned About Bookmarking Sites and Internet Robots

MY JUNE GOALS FOR LIFE FULFILLMENT   

1.  Draw something every day

2.  Learn about art

3.  Read blogs and learn how to promote my own

One of my goals for this month is to learn how to promote my blog better. I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year and have gained a little over 100 followers, which I’m proud of, but I know in the “blogosphere” those are potatoes the size of Skittles.

The other day, I googled “how to promote a blog,” and found this: 30 Powerful Ways to Promote Your Blog.

Some of the suggestions are things I’m already doing: post regularly, add pictures, share on Facebook and Twitter.

Then there were suggestions I didn’t really understand:  syndicate my blog (isn’t syndication something that happens to old TV shows?) and use SEO’s (I know this stands for Search Engine Optimization but I don’t know how to do this).  There was also a mention of the RSS feed, and, I must admit, I don’t really understand what this is.

Then there was a suggestion that, as soon as I saw it, made me feel like slapping my own forehead: use bookmarking sites.

Bookmarking sites help users find new websites and blogs related to their interests. Of course! I needed to put my blog onto these types of sites so that people interested in a slightly-zany thirty-something girl-woman trying to write and live a fulfilling life (that’s an interest category, right?) can find my blog.

So I signed up for all six bookmarking sites listed and added my blog to each one:
Stumble Upon
Digg
Reddit
Tumblr
Technorati
Delicious

Stumble Upon and Technorati  allowed me to add my whole blog to their sites, but for the rest I have to submit each post separately. Annoying! Luckily, I realized that WordPress (the site I use to create my blog) has an option to put bookmarking icons down at the bottom of my blog posts. After I write a post, I just click on these icons one at a time to add the new post to each site. Still time consuming, but not as bad as it could be.

share

bookmarking site icons

The question is, are these bookmarking sites bringing more traffic to my blog? Well, after signing up to Reddit, I checked my site stats, and in the five minutes since I’d joined, I’d gotten thirty views, all referred by Reddit. Whoa! But upon closer inspection, I saw that the 30 views were only from 4 visitors, all in foreign countries. I suspect robots. In fact, I’m just going to go ahead and say that I don’t like Reddit. I don’t like the layout of their site, and I think they have a pact with evil robots.

So which bookmarking site would I recommend? Definitely Stumble Upon. Not only is it the most well-known (it was the only one I’d heard of before reading the article), but it’s the most user-friendly and seems to be the most effective. While Technorati lists the top blogs of the day and Digg lists top news stories, they are both lacking in important categories like Art and Writing.

Stumble Upon lets me choose categories I like and organizes websites I might enjoy in a pleasing visual display. It’s the only bookmarking site I’ve actually been using to help me find other blogs and websites of interest. Sure, sometimes the suggestions are a little bit lame (in the category of writing they suggested a syllabus from UPenn and the wikipedia page for English idioms), but with patience I’m finding some interesting stuff.  Plus, while the referral activity from Reddit has pretty much dropped off, every day I get one or two visitors to my blog who have been referred by Stumble Upon.

In conclusion, if you’re going to bother with bookmarking sites, stay away from the robots at Reddit, and check out Stumble Upon. Also, refer people to my blog. I like to think that good old-fashioned word of mouth is still the best means of promotion.

Here are some drawings I’ve done recently:

my hand

my hand

Self portrait.

Self portrait.

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About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

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