Something Can Be Done About It
Every day, it seems, I’m coming upon new Web 2.0 tools that can be used to drive visitors to your site or blog. At first, I tried to do justice to this with a blog post here and there, attempting to catalog some of these. My list has since grown out of control, though, so I’m writing this blog post as much to inform, as to organize my own thoughts on this. I am a Scientologist, I have a message I want to get out on my blog, and as such would want people to see it and find out about Scientology. It’s the same problem that someone trying to sell bicycles has, or someone trying to peddle on-line pet care products or washing machine catapults.
Here’s what I’ve found has been successful, in varying degrees, to get people to come to my Blog. I’m extremely curious, though, what other people have found successful — as I’ve never really ‘hit the jackpot’ on this.
Social News Sites:
These are sites like digg.com, reddit.com, etc which allow people to vote on ‘news’ that they think is best. These drive great sums of traffic — when your message is right. Unfortunately, a great deal of the stories that people think are interesting are very ‘corn and games’ type news — where the newest photo of an exploding laptop or a photoshopped picture of Steve Ballmer in a bikini or whatever ends up as the most popular thing on there. Fine, it’s the masses, and that’s the planet we’re on. But it still drives traffic. Best ones I’ve found are:
All of them have had varying degrees of effectiveness. I’ve had a handful of Netscape stories on Scientology make the first page, and those got some serious traffic, but since one of their latest redesigns, Netscape is no longer optimized to actually drive traffic to the news source. Digg.com and Reddit.com have been the best, though – routinely sending quite a few visitors for good posts.
Social Bookmarking Sites:
I’ve had slightly less success with Social Bookmarking sites, but still – they’re fun, they’re easy, and they do move along some manner of traffic. Best ones I’ve found are:
1) – Kaboodle:
I found Kaboodle to have, by far, the best bunch of features of any
Social Bookmarking service — and they’ve been steadily adding feature after feature over the past 6 months. One can easily make pages of grouped links
which are extremely easy to share. For example, a page I made on the
speeches done by David Miscavige (which I wanted to have all in one
place) now show up with a regular, easy-to-type “.html” page URL that I
can just type in myself or share with others. Likewise, when Iw as
doing a bunch of research on SEO, I used Kaboodle instead of my regular
Firefox bookmarks — just using the “Add to Kaboodle” button that goes
in my bookmarks toolbar. I actually found it was easier to do this
than to work out an organization that made sense in Firefox. Further,
I was then able to share this grouping of pages with others (http://www.kaboodle.com/jetteroheller/seo-pages.html
for your edification). Descriptions of links and pages and items are
also easy to add, and you can then share your Kaboodle links with
others. So, though the site is only in beta, I would heartily
recommend it as it has a ton of features.
2) – Furl: I found Furl to also be a very easy one to use, and is faster to bookmark sites than Kaboodle. It doesn’t have the same visual flair, but allows for nifty groupings of items, and also allows you to see how many people have viewed the items you have bookmarked.
3) – Del.icio.us: The old heavy-hitter. Del.icio.us definitely doesn’t have the visual flair of
other ones like Kaboodle or even Simpy, but is used everywhere. The other nice thing is that bookmarks you add to Del.icio.us can be imported into many other different bookmarking services directly.
4) – BlueDot: This one probably has the slickest way to add bookmarks, which makes it
extremely useful. You can click “Dot this” in your toolbar, and a little baby window will pop up and allow you to still select text in the page you’re bookmarking while keeping the add-to window open. This makes it easier to grab little relevant pieces of content and stick them in your BlueDot list — which then makes your list more valuable to others. Bluedot also added a “Digg”-like feature which you can get to by hitting http://bluedot.us/front — it’s sort of a “Best of Bluedot” page with voted-in bookmarks.
5) – ClipClip: This is an incredible service (and recently fully-redesigned) that allows you to highlight whole pieces of websites that you want to share with others – which you can then group into “activities”. For example, let’s say you wanted to “get help” or “find out about scientology“, you can create whole sections of web pages that forward that activity
or answer that question. Very useful for the researcher.
Flickr / Photobucket:
After reading a neat e-mail newsletter I got on marketing using Flickr and Photobucket, I started checking this out. Both Flickr and Photobucket have photos currently numbering in the billions, with millions being added every day. Every photo you add can be tagged and can have HTML associated with it — so kicking up discussions on Flickr & Photobucket can potentially create quite a bit of traffic for you.
Probably one of the most classic ways to drive traffic to a site is with active message board posts. If you have a number of people who are active on message boards, you can drive a REDICULOUS amount of traffic to a site. Whether or not they stick or do what you want is another question, but the traffic is undeniable.
Back in November, I posted an article on my blog about Psychiatry, Big Pharma and Scientology — and how drug companies have been lining CBS’s pockets to the tune of over $600 Million, in exchange for some serious amounts of editorial control. That post hit a couple of message boards, and next thing you know, I got more traffic the next 2 days than I had gotten in the previous lifetime of the blog.
So, in that case, the trick is going to Google Groups and other popular message boards, and finding message boards that match the content of your blog. Then, drop a few good posts there, and you’ll have some traffic. In the case of the above traffic — I never dropped any posts at all — it was some random other fellow who saw the post and started talking it up.
In any case – that’s my take on traffic right now. Comments?
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