Raise your hand if you’ve successfully used social bookmarking sites.
What, you’re not using social bookmarking?
You could be missing out on one of the most valuable tools to gather all of your relevant information in one place. These sites can also be your secret weapon in generating interest in your freelance website and writing work.
I’ll get into that in a minute, but let me first explain what they’re all about.
Why you should care about social bookmarking sites as a web copywriter
From this recent Inc. magazine article, social bookmarking sites developed for three major reasons:
- Managing favorite website content.
- Determining the value of that information based on readers’ ratings.
- Accessing these sites from any Internet connection.
When it comes to updates through social media, we’ll often head to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. That’s because seemingly everyone (including our potential clients) has a presence there.
But if you write any kind of web content, especially blog posts and articles, you’ll really want to take a good look at social bookmarking sites. If you’ve written great optimized content that people will want to read, bookmark, and share, it might generate curiosity about your own website and services.
Let’s take a look at the top four sites, as ranked on the Top 15 Social Bookmarking Sites by EBizMBA.com (December 2013).
A closer look at four top social bookmarking sites
According to this list, Twitter and Pinterest are the top social bookmarking websites. That’s because with the sharing, passing along, and re-tweeting of links, as well as trending topics, people can find lots of useful, up-to-date content.
Right after those mega-popular places, you’ll find …
The third most-popular site after Twitter and Pinterest boasts a user-friendly interface, thumbnail visuals, and user anonymity. With 35 million monthly visitors and an avid journalist following, Reddit is a valuable web resource. On Reddit, you can post links to reader-created categories or “subreddits” that can target audiences — very useful for marketing to a particular demographic.
Some regular users of this site have complained about its recent redesign. But, you’ll still find its most well-known feature here — voting up or clicking on the “Digg” button for a given link. If the link gets a lot of “diggs,” its placement is more visible. If it gets enough “diggs,” it may land on the Digg home page, the most desirable place to be. Digg’s popularity is due in part to its super-charged ability to make links go viral. That generates lots of inbound links for the page in question, and of course, a lot of traffic.
The voting feature makes Digg very dynamic — pages and links are constantly updated on the site.
Called the “intelligent search engine,” this site categorizes and sends information to your inbox based on your stated interests. This is what distinguishes it from its social bookmarking rivals. If you integrate its toolbar into your web browser, you can vote thumbs up or down on any web page you visit, contributing to its StumbleUpon ranking. There’s also the Stumble button, a link that leads to related personalized content.
This site sounds like it should be associated with the Food Network, but it’s actually a true bookmarking site. Unlike Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon, Delicious doesn’t have a ranking system that determines site placement. Instead, it relies on users tagging and sharing their bookmarked sites to determine what is listed at the top of its public section. Getting a higher listing on Delicious helps improve Search Engine Optimization.
Bonus Site: Tumblr
While not on the current EBizMBA top 15 list of social bookmarking sites, Tumblr provides an essential tool for bloggers. It features more than 150 million blogs and allows for easy sharing and tagging of content — both yours and others you find interesting. The most fun feature here is the customization of your Tumblr page, where you can choose your own winning design to match your copywriting business image.
Using social bookmarking for your web copywriting business
There’s really two simple ways to get the most mileage out of these sites.
One is for client and market research. Spend some time on these sites to see what users in your chosen niche are most interested in. Then, gather information that you would normally not find elsewhere.
Bookmarking sites can also help you market your copywriting business. A lot of freelancers aren’t using them, mostly because they’re not quite sure how.
It’s definitely worth a try to incorporate a few elements of this social media strategy, especially if you’re working with a shoestring budget. MidasCode Ltd. “buzz” marketer Dean Hunt reports, “[Digg] has allowed me to launch websites on a budget of zero.”
Who wouldn’t like that kind of attention for their freelance business, for no cost?
Here are some basic guidelines to get you started:
- Create accounts on your chosen sites. Look around each to see where your target market is. Make sure you complete your business profile as much as possible, and provide links to your site and blogs.
- Download buttons and tools and incorporate them on your site, so visitors can click on them and bookmark your content.
- On the bookmarking sites, create categories and lists, then organize your information and the content your target audiences would find interesting.
- Get active! Submit links from others’ sites (not just your own), rate content, and comment. This will help build your trust and authority on the site.
- Network with other site users who have similar interests … especially potential clients.
In the next few months, I’ll be implementing self-marketing strategies using social bookmarking, and I’ll keep you posted on my results.
What are some ways you’re using social bookmarking to promote your freelance business? Let me know by commenting here.
Good luck with your social bookmarking efforts!