With the huge rise of social networking and social media, most bloggers are finding a wave of traffic coming from social bookmarking sites. But, are you getting all the traffic you could be getting? Almost every social networking site caters to all blogging niches. However, some of those sites cater more to a specific niche.
If you’re blogging about pets and you’re targeting a social networking site that loves blogs about blogging, you’re missing the boat for your wave of traffic.
Researching, discovering, and understanding the vast majority of social networking sites takes a lot of time, patience, and work to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience.
Surely you have read the multiple posts out there by bloggers talking about social networking traffic not being sticky. This means visitors come, read or scan the post, and go. You don’t see an increase in subscribers, comments, or any residual traffic.
If you’re thinking that it’s because your post wasn’t as good as you thought it was you could be wrong. It may just mean your wave of traffic came from a site that doesn’t really cater to your niche of blogging.
Light Bulb For starters, you shouldn’t attempt to target every social networking site out there. You may end up overworking yourself with little reward. By spending hours upon hours networking at all these sites you’ll be spreading yourself too thin and creating more work when chances are, time is already limited.
To start your quest for finding the best social networking sites for your niche, you should go back to your traffic reports. Hit up your Google analytics account, Sitemeter, or whatever tracking system you use.
Have you gotten social networking traffic? Great! Where did it come from and in comparison, what networking site brought you the most traffic so far?
By knowing what site has worked for you already, you can start your search there to discover if this site is right for your blogging niche and bringing you sticky traffic.
If you haven’t gotten social networking traffic as of yet, that’s OK. We can still find the sites that cater to your niche to start bringing in the loads of sticky traffic you deserve.
Finding the Niche
So, how exactly do you figure out which sites cater to which niche?
Have a look at what the top users of the site are doing. Know the pages that they like, often bookmark, and often review with comments.
The top users of any social networking sites tend to dictate what is displayed at the highest levels of any social networking site. Even though there is a vast majority of content within the site, by going through the top user’s submitted information, you’ll get an idea of the niche that’ll best be pushed forward on the site.
Understanding the niche that the top users submit will also help you to encourage some bookmarking love from those users. If they notice your content is rising within the site, visit your post and bookmark it, you’re going to get 10 times further than you would have before!
Reviews & Comments
What posts are people talking about? Good, bad, or indifferent, you want to see what posts generate a lot of reader response within the site.
Remember the old saying, any publicity is good publicity? That’s true for social networking as well. Everyone wants to see how the blogger messed up and thus negative comments will even help determine what is popular within a site.
Most (not all) networking sites have tag clouds. Scan them, remember the more popular a tag, the larger the font will be. It isn’t hard to take a quick scan of these tag clouds to see what is most talked about on the site.
If your blog matches what’s popular in these tag clouds, chances are you’re getting closer to finding a networking site that works for your niche.
Google Blog Search
Google Blog Search As a blogger, Google should be one of your best friends. Using their blog search is even more helpful when discovering the niche of each social networking site.
If you find yourself interested in a particular site, before jumping through all the hoops to test run the site, Google blog posts on that particular networking site. Find out what is and isn’t working from other people’s experience.
Let the work and research of others be your guide to getting the most out of niche social networking.
Testing the Waters
To best understand if any social networking site is going to work for you, you’ve got to test the waters. Everything else at this point is just research in helping you discover and understand the site. Additionally, that research will help you when you get to the point of testing the waters.
While testing the waters of the site, you want to use the site to full capacity. Don’t neglect any aspect of using the site by allowing yourself to think that this could or could not be wasted time. It’ll never be wasted time and you won’t have a full understanding of the site if your test run isn’t complete.
Complete Your Profile
Fill out everything you can in your profile. Don’t overlook the little details thinking they’re unimportant like what kind of music you like, your favorite movies, and your favorite subjects. While some of this may seem irrelevant to you or your blog, you may be discovered by someone who has the same interests and loves your blog…
When you’re submitting posts from another site, make sure you submit to the site you’re testing the waters on. You want to be an active user or you won’t get noticed and your test run will become fruitless.
The last step to your niche social networking endeavor is to evaluate the results that you received over a specific period of time. My suggestion would be to test the waters of the site for no less than one month. This will allow you to compare a full month data to another full month of data helping you best determine if you received sticky traffic to your blog.
Repeating this process for several networking sites should help you come up with three to five sites that are really going to help your blog grow by leaps and bounds. And once you understand the traffic you’ll receive from each site, you’ll also understand how much time you need to spend working on that site to ensure you receive maximum exposure.
Remember, not all of the sites are going to be right for your blog. Not everyone will love everything about your blog, and no two sites seem to be the same. Full evaluation and use will help you target the right places at the right times with minimal effort.