Like the other leading social media websites, del.icio.us can be a great source of traffic for your blog. In order to make the most of del.icio.us, follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to driving thousands of new visitors to your blog.
1 – Use Powerful Headlines/Titles
Headlines and Titles are always important for getting your blog posts read, but they are especially important for drawing traffic from del.icio.us. Some readers will bookmark a page without even reading the whole thing, influenced primarily by the title. Even more important, as your post starts to move its way up the popular pages on del.icio.us, the title will either entice people to click or it will not stand out enough to get them to take action. If you look at the items that make it to the front page, you’ll see a predictable trend that almost all of the items have very effective titles.
2 – Be Original
Think about what makes you decide to bookmark a page. If it’s information that you can find at a number of different websites or blogs you’re probably not going to bookmark it. Be original, provide readers with something they haven’t seen before, and make them want to bookmark it before the forget where to find it.
3 – Use Lists
While lists aren’t a prerequisite for getting to the front page of del.icio.us, it’s another consistent trend that you’ll see. Why do lists work? For one thing they’re easy to scan and readers can quickly gauge the content without reading word-for-word. Numbered lists, such as this one, also tend to work well.
4 – Encourage Bookmarking
If you actively encourage your readers your bookmark your posts they are more likely to do it. This can be accomplished by placing a sentence at the beginning or end of your posts, or it can be accomplished with buttons and widgets that let readers bookmark with one click. Whatever your method, for the best results you should place the link to bookmark in a prominent spot where readers will see it. WordPress users can use the Antisocial Plugin (an SEO-friendly version of the Sociable Plugin) to display buttons for various sites, including del.icio.us.
5 – Encourage Others to Join Your Network
Building a network is one way of sharing links with other users. It certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get more of your pages bookmarked, but it makes it easier for others to see your bookmarks. del.icio.us provides a great tool to make this easy. When you’re logged in, go to the settings page and you’ll see a link for “Network Badges.” From that page you’ll get some code to paste into your blog that will encourage visitors to join your network (Mine is on the sidebar if you want to see an example and join my network).
6 – Write About Hot Topics
When you’re looking at the del.icio.us front page you’ll notice that many of the popular bookmarks are technology-related. This is a common trend, so if you write about technology you have a better chance of getting bookmarked. Visit the page regularly to see what is hot and learn how you can benefit from knowing other users’ bookmarking habits.
7 – Get Your Posts Popular with Some Other Social Media Site
This may not be easy, but many of the pages that are popular on del.icio.us are also popular on other social media sites. This is actually how I made it to the del.icio.us front page for the first time. My article 83 Top Webmaster Resources became popular at D-Zone, and the increased traffic that came from D-Zone lead to a lot of bookmarks and a spot on the del.icio.us front page for a while. Using other social sites as a gateway is a proven tactic.
8 – Show How Many People Have Bookmarked Your Post
The del.icio.us Tagometer will show readers how many people have bookmarked the particular page they are viewing. It’s a great way to remind visitors that other people are bookmarking the page. If no one has bookmarked the page yet, it will say “be the first to bookmark this page!” Here’s an example from our post Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website.
9 – Use FeedBurner’s “Save to del.icio.us” Feed Flare
FeedBurner users can insert a link into their RSS feeds that will allow readers to bookmark. It also shows the number of bookmarks and the most popular tags from within the RSS reader. To active this FeedFlare, login, click on the Optimize tab, click on FeedFlare and check the box.
10 – Allow Other del.icio.us Users to See Your Bookmarks
By default your bookmarks are viewable to other del.icio.us users. You can change them to be private in the settings tab, but if you’re bookmarking your own pages you will be decreasing the chances that others will see your pages. Leave this on the default setting.
By using these 10 tips you’ll be able to increase the number of bookmarks your posts get, which will help you to bring floods of new traffic from del.icio.us. If you have any additional tips for our readers please leave a comment. If you’re a del.icio.us user feel free to leave your id or a link to your profile in the comments and grow your network.