Four Effective Ways to Get Your Blog Listed on the del.icio.us Popular Pages - Blogger help, tips and hacks

Four Effective Ways to Get Your Blog Listed on the del.icio.us Popular Pages

del.icio.us is a popular online social bookmarking website which allows you to create web bookmarks of any websites you come across while surfing the web. You’ll also have the option of sharing these bookmarks with other del.icio.us users, friends and the general public.<

One of the most widely used social bookmarking services on the internet, del.icio.us has a very large member base which actively tags and bookmarks a wide variety of websites.

These webpages are organized in terms of the number of bookmarks they receive and the items with the most bookmarks are listed in the del.icio.us ‘Popular’ section. Consequently, these links receive a lot of web traffic from the general public and other del.icio.us users.

The aim of this article is to examine how you can get your content listed as popular items in del.icio.us, which will ultimately send a massive amount of visitors to your blog.

Benefits of Getting Popular on del.icio.us

Getting on the Del.icio.us homepage usually means that you’ll receive a fairly large amount of web traffic from both del.icio.us and content aggregators like Popurl.com.
This can mean several thousand new visitors to your website within the span of a day.

There will also be long term traffic benefits depending on how your content is heavily and widely bookmarked on del.icio.us, which also has an internal search engine that lists its search results according to the amount of bookmarks for each webpage.

This search algorithm, along with the use of ‘popular’ tags, ensures that well bookmarked articles are always exposed to del.icio.us users or visitors.


Understanding del.icio.us and the Bookmarking Instinct

Learning how to get your content popular on del.icio.us entails studying the bookmarking impulse. What makes someone bookmark a specific article? What makes the visitor decide to save a link so as to revisit a webpage at a later stage?

While we can’t definitively uncover the motivations behind each individual bookmarker, we can however examine the popular webpages to discover what type of content provokes this bookmarking instinct.

The easiest way to do this is to take a look at the list of links on the various del.icio.us popular pages.


Analyzing the Popular Links on Del.icio.us

In my experience there are several similar characteristics, shared by the various websites that are heavily bookmarked on del.icio.us.

I’ve done a quick research of all 50 Popular tags on the del.icio.us popular pages and made a list of the type of webpages which receive the most bookmarks.

There are obviously a huge amount of different content types on del.icio.us so I’m only listing out the types that you can easily integrate into a blog. Also included are brief examples of each content type:

  • Blog Posts in the form of Numerical Lists (Top 10 Mac Utilities)


  • Web Comic Strips (XKCD, Dilbert)


  • Free Web Design Materials (IconBuffet.com, Maxpower.ca)


  • Satirical Articles on Personalities (Secret Diary of Steve Jobs)


  • Detailed How-Tos and Ultimate Guides (Web 2.0 Design Style Guide)


  • Web-based applications and tools (Zamzar.com, YouTube Downloaders)


  • Interesting Videos (Internet Pornography Statistics Video)


  • Open-Source/Public online resources (MIT OpenCourse Ware/MIT World)


  • Theme-based Photo Albums (Flickr Photosets)


  • Life and Tech Hacks (Mac OS X: Keyboard Shortcuts, Productivity/GTD tips)


  • Online Games (Desktop Tower Defense Scoreboard)


  • A Single JPG image on a website (Flickr, Imageshack)

While this list is limited to only to Del.icio.us, I do think it provides an indication of the type of material that will be popular on other social bookmarking or voting websites as well.

In a way, the structure of these popular articles can serve as blueprints from which to develop specific content that will be well-received amongst a broad audience.

delicious-screen-shot.jpg


Four Ways to Popularize Your Content on Del.icio.us

While these four methods focus specifically on making your articles popular on del.icio.us, it will also be useful to view them as a guideline which helps you to develop quality content that attracts links/traffic from other websites as well.

In this section, I’m going to cover some basic content-oriented strategies for blogs, which will help you to increase your potential for being bookmarked heavily on del.icio.us.

Bear in mind that coming up with quality content is a prerequisite for success, particularly on del.icio.us because it is purely a social bookmarking website that places all emphasis on your content and less on the actions of others.

The following four methods are tailored towards bloggers and excludes several methods which are more suitable for traditional websites, although some of the points below can be equally applied by all.


1. Develop Extensive Resource Lists which encourage bookmarks

I’ve already written about how I think Resource Lists or a collection of resources on a single webpage are the ultimate linkbaits. They are fairly easy to create and do not require much analytical thought, interesting insights or even great copywriting.

There is absolutely no need to create a compelling article that is extremely well-written, even though that will be to your advantage. Resource lists are also timeless and their information or value are less likely to be diminished with changes in current events.

The essence and raison d’entre for a Resource List linkbait is very simple: It must contain an overwhelming and massive collection of information which cannot be digested by the reader in one sitting.

Faced with this overwhelming collection of interesting information, visitors usually have three options:

  • Bookmark it using an online social bookmarking service like del.icio.us
  • Bookmark or save it locally on their computer browser
  • Subscribe to the site feed in order to have access to it through a feed reader

All of these actions reveal one thing: The intention to revisit the content and consume it in another sitting. This is the direct cause of bookmarking any specific webpage.

Resource lists are simply very effective means which provoke the bookmarking response. The very large number of resource list-style articles I’ve encountered on social bookmarking and voting websites attests to their success and attractiveness.

If you’re interested in a step by step guide to creating your own Resource List article, please visit my article on how to build your own Resource Linkbait.



2. Market Your Content: Social Website Channeling & Email Pitches

Now that you’ve produced a definitive resource list or ‘Ultimate’ guide, you’ll need to market it. The biggest obstacle most bloggers face is that they do not have a large bookmarking audience which will naturally propel their blog posts unto del.icio.us Popular pages.

To counter this, you’ll need to get your article out in front of as many people as possible so they will consider bookmarking it. There are two main ways of doing this and they include using social voting websites as well as targeted email pitches.

An article that is made popular on other social networks like Digg or Reddit is very likely to be made popular on del.icio.us itself. This is particularly true when you have a truly impressive blog post that begs to be bookmarked.

You actually don’t even need to be hit the front page of these social voting websites to see an actual effect, even though it would be an ideal scenario.

Your goal at this stage, is to get your blog post to be viewed by as many people as possible. Social voting websites are absolutely the fastest way to accomplish this.

Depending on your article’s success in these social voting websites, you’ll definitely pick up some bookmarks and new readers as well.

Sending emails to larger blogs or websites in your niche is also a very useful way to pick up links and traffic. A link from a website with a large readership ensures that your article is well-exposed to many readers and hence, increases its potential to be bookmarked.



3. Seed Your Bookmarks

Bookmark seeding simply refers to the practice of getting people you know to give your article a push by collectively bookmarking it in their del.icio.us accounts.

Usually several bookmarks (perhaps upwards of 15) are needed before your article starts to be noticed on del.icio.us, which will then send visitors to your website. These referral visitors may choose to bookmark your blog post as well.

After you’ve done all the initial marketing, consider asking if some of your friends to give your blog post an initial boost by bookmarking it. Some webmasters I know will go out of their way to aggressively trade del.icio.us bookmarks, which I think may be too excessive.

This artificially inflation in bookmarks is limited to your online social network and will eventually be unable to move beyond a certain point. I do suppose that the articles might even be eventually pushed off the popular pages over time.

I don’t recommend putting any energy or time in aggressive bookmark seeding because the returns are usually higher if you focus on writing high quality content and promoting them effectively to targeted websites and social voting platforms.



4. Social Media Optimize Your Content

After you’ve finished the three steps above, you can revisit your article and perform some social media optimization. This simply involves making your blog post easy to bookmark by including bookmarking icons or links and encouraging your regular visitors to bookmark or vote for your post on social websites.

If you’ve noticed that your blog post has been submitted to social websites like Digg or Netscape, put up a smart badge which tells your on-site visitors that they can vote for it if they are so inclined.

If you are focusing on a specific social website, you can include the specific icon or badge more prominently on your blog post page and also personally call for more supporting votes.

For instance, if you noticed that your article is receiving traffic from del.icio.us, it might be useful to insert a simple one-liner with a text link which encourages and reminds users to bookmark the article for future reference.

I’ve included social media optimization as the last step because I think the other three steps should have a higher priority. Doing this at the last step will also allow you to gauge the response of social websites to your article and react accordingly.


Have you been Del.icio.us-ed before?

Has any of your articles ever gotten popular on del.icio.us?

I’m always fascinated with the value and amount of traffic sent through social bookmarking websites so do leave a comment if you have any insights to share.


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