Promoting Older Posts With Social Media

For any blogger or website owner, traffic is at least somewhat inconsistent, and ups and downs are a natural occurrence. However, during those slow times most of us would like to be able to turn the tables and get some new traffic flowing to the site. The common thought for bloggers is that new content should be created and promoted to get things moving. This isn’t always necessary.

As I mentioned in a post last week, StumbleUpon has been by far the number one source of traffic for this blog since it launched. It can literally send hundreds or thousands of visitors as a result of just a few users giving a thumbs up or a review to a particular page. There are plenty of articles about drawing traffic from StumbleUpon, but I don’t remember reading anything about using SU as a source of traffic for older posts.

Most blogs have a number of older posts that are of high quality but just didn’t get a lot of exposure for one reason or another. It may be possible to promote these older articles rather than just always relying on new content for generating traffic.

Not too long ago I was wondering what type of results I could create by sending an older blog post to a bunch of friends on SU. I had a feeling that during a period of slow traffic, this would be an easy way to get a boost. As I was surfing one day I noticed a post on Blah, Blah! Technology that I really enjoyed, and I saw that it had not yet been submitted to StumbleUpon. At this point I thought it would be worthwhile to test this experiment by sharing a page from my own blog and by sharing a post from someone else’s blog and comparing the results of both. Well, I’m half way through the experiment so I thought I would share the results so far.

I contacted Wayne Smallman of Blah, Blah! Technology to ask if he minded me promoting one of his articles and if he would be willing to share some stats with me after the fact. Wayne was willing to work with me on this, so I submitted a review on StumbleUpon for Google FeedBurner, Analytics and Webmaster Tools Should Be Combined. The article was published on 12/11/07 and I submitted it to SU on 1/7/08. I then shared the page with 30 friends through the SU toolbar (which is way more people than I have ever shared a story with before, but I was curious to see what would happen) and one of those friends shared it with another 5 people.

Within about 1 day the post had ten reviews and over 50 thumbs up (the most that SU will display). Over the next 3 days the post received 3,962 visitors (3,749 were from SU), with 2,589 coming on 1/7/08. I also submitted the post to Mixx, which only sent about 35 visitors even though it received over 60 up votes. Wayne also mentioned to me that he got a bit of a boost in subscribers during that time as well.

This experiment clearly shows to me that StumbleUpon, and other social media sites for that matter, present an outstanding opportunity to generate traffic from older posts. In this case all I did was spend a few minutes sending the page to some friends.

One of the reasons that I used Wayne’s post was that I wanted to see if the results showed a difference in sharing someone else’s content as opposed to sharing your own. This is why I said I am half way through the experiment. I plan on testing in similar scenario with one of my own older posts and sharing the results.

Have any of you had significant results promoting older posts with social media?

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