First of all, check out that word, “deservedly.” What that means is, you should only use these techniques to promote blog posts that are good in and of themselves, that people will be interested to see. If the blog post doesn’t meet that standard, not only do I not recommend these techniques, but I recommend that you delete the posts entirely. After all, if they’re no good and boring, who needs ’em?
This doesn’t mean that your life journal entries should be wiped from the face of the planet; it means instead that you post them because posting them does good, it does you good, and that’s reason enough to post them. But not everyone on Digg needs to read them, so using this technique would be way overkill.
So, you’ve got a blog post that’s not only darn solid, but darn interesting as well. How do you get other people interested in this interesting interestingness? You encourage them to pass it around, that’s how. You make it easy for them to grab hundreds of people by the shoulders and say, “Hey, check this out! It’s really cool!”
You do that with social bookmarking links, like these:
Each of those icons is a live link to a different social bookmarking site, a site where the members, who may number in the millions, make recommendations about interesting things to read. You’ll have seen them on pretty much every post on this blog, and this is how you make them for your own WordPress.com blog (it works for other blogs, too, but you may find there are shortcuts for other services we’re not covering here).
When people click on them, it takes them to their social bookmarking site, where they sign in and a post is generated automatically, alerting the readership of that site to something someone thought they should see. In some services, like Digg, there’s space for a bit of explanation about the story; titles are very important in attracting readership, and can sometimes be quite long and detailed, including keywords like [vid] and or [pic] to let people know what they’re in for.
Here’s the simple 411 for putting in your own row of social bookmarking links, and many thanks to sunburntkamel, who taught me everything I know and uploaded these images in the first place.
- right-click to download the Word document Social Bookmarking Template Sunburntkamel
- That code already contains links to the images hosted at WordPress.com, so you don’t need to upload them in your own space like you usually would to avoid hotlinking. It’s copacetic this time.
- This updated version is a little narrower, and includes that all-important Facebook icon.
- Now, make your post and publish it, just like usual.
- Go to the post (not the main blog page) and copy the URL for that post.
- Open the social bookmark links template that you made above and if you’re working in Notepad, untick “Word Wrap”. That’s important, otherwise you just get a ton of HTML instead of your nice links.
- Do a Search and Replace (Go to Edit, then Replace) for the word addy which is short for “address” and in the second box put the URL of the blog post. Then hit Replace All. This will take everywhere the word ADDY was and replace it with the address of the blog post (that’s why you use a weird word like ADDY, so it will never be a part of the actual name or anything; less confusion).
- Now do a Search and Replace, only search for the word nomen which is Latin for “name” and replace all with the actual title of the blog post. Now your code is ready.
- Copy all of the code, every bit of it, and go to Edit your blog post.
- Click over from the Visual editor (with the icons) to the Code editor.
- In the Code editor, scroll down to the bottom of the post and paste in all the code you just copied.
- Click back to the Visual editor to make sure that the buttons showed up nicely and just double check everything. If it’s all good, just hit Save and it’ll manifest its lovely, button-sprinkled self on your blog post.
- When you close the Notepad document, DO NOT SAVE THE CHANGES!!!! ever, ever, ever. If you save the changes you’ll blot out the “addy” and “nomen” placeholders and replace them with stuff specific to that post; then when you open it again it’ll be useless. Do not ever save those changes.
Now you’ve made it easy for Social Bookmark Site members to recommend you to their readers, so sit back and relax and wait for the hits to roll in. No, what am I saying? Get blogging something ELSE!