Social Bookmarking – Orkut

Orkut is likely one social networking site you’ve never heard of. That’s simply because it’s not as popular here in the United States as sites like Facebook and MySpace. However, India and Brazil have found Orkut to be their number one social networking site. I mention it here because it is yet one more way you can help promote your online existence.

The site was created by a Google employee for which it’s named, Orkut Büyükkökten. I personally set up an account here after reading about it on Google, but I don’t use it much. This is mainly because there aren’t many people from the U.S. on it.

What is Orkut?

Orkut is your standard run-of-the-mill social networking site with a few minor differences compared to Facebook. One major difference is the use of themes to change your profile layout, much like MySpace. Another difference is that you can upload videos on the site and have them appear on YouTube directly.

As stated above, the majority of this site’s users are from India and Brazil, so if you’re doing business in either of these locations, this site is a great addition to your existing Facebook and MySpace page. In fact, check out the traffic chart to give you an idea of where this site is currently ranking worldwide. The U.S. used to be the top visiting country when the site launched in 2004.

Should I use Orkut?

I always say use every tool you can to help bring in more traffic to your site, but I would stay focused. If you have too many social networking sites, you won’t be able to keep up with all of them. Just pick a few that you know will serve your interests best. If you or your expected visitors are going to be coming from the high traffic countries, then use this site.

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Social Bookmarking – Plaxo

Over 40 million people trust Plaxo to store their address book in the cloud. At least that’s how it started out. Today, Plaxo offers the same address book features plus adds new social networking features that are very different than Facebook, MySpace and others because it isn’t a place where you simply add a bunch of people you don’t know.

Benefits of using Plaxo

Plaxo offers a new way to network with your friends. The approach is different than other sites because it isn’t a place where you see how many online friends you can collect. It allows you to connect with your real friends, co-workers and family.

Plaxo has something called Pulse that makes all this possible. It allows you to better see what everyone is creating and sharing online–things like blogs, pictures, videos, etc. They tout the fact that they have one of the strongest privacy policies out there and make sure that your personal information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Plaxo is part of Comcast

Comcast Interactive Media now owns Plaxo and this will allow them to offer more connectivity through the Internet and tv based connections. They intend to make Plaxo the most unified social networking site available.

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Social Bookmarking – Facebook

I doubt I need to explain to you what Facebook is, but I thought I’d give you some pointers on how you can maximize your Facebook experience while promoting your website at the same time.

Use Facebook to promote your site

If you’ve ever used Facebook to post blogs, you’re already at an advantage. The first thing to know is what each of the different Facebook pages are and how they can further help your cause. There are three types of Facebook pages:

  • Profile Page — This is your standard Facebook profile. If you have an account, this is was you’re already familiar with. Beyond all the normal profile features you get, you can use a profile page to post blogs and events. This tools can be used to submit articles (as blog posts) and showcase this content on you profile wall.
  • Fan Page — I wrote an entire article about how to use a Facebook fan page to advertise and promote your business. Before creating a fan page or even a group page, read it because there are some significant differences between them. A fan page is basically a public profile that you set up for your business and people will become fans of it instead of friends.
  • Facebook Group — A group page is basically the same as a fan page except that you can’t promote it via social ads. Another difference is that Facebook users have to join your group to become a “friend”. Group pages tend to be used more for actual groups such as clubs and organizations.

Blogging tools

Another advantage to using WordPress is that there are many plugins that allow you to post links on your wall that lead back to your blog site automatically. What this means is that if you post an article on your WordPress blog, the plugin will automatically post the link on your profile page.

All of your friends will then be able to see your post with a small introduction of text that describes what the content is about. If you posted any images on the site, it’ll show a thumbnail on Facebook. The top WordPress Facebook plugins:

  • Facebook dashboard widget — This is a simple solution to bring the Facebook data to you. Using the dashboard widgets available in WordPress 2.5 and above, this plugin will process your Friends status updates RSS feed, your posted items feeds and/or your Facebook notifications feed, and add a widget for each to your WordPress admin dashboard. So now you can keep up with whats going on in your friends lives from anywhere without needing to access Facebook!
  • Add to Facebook — This plugin adds a footer link to add the current post or page to a Facebook Mini-Feed. While the plugin is activated a link will appear after the content of the post with the text “Share on Facebook” or the Facebook icon or both. Clicking this link will bring the user to the Facebook site. If the user isn’t logged in they will be prompted to do so. Once logged into Facebook the post will be added to the Mini-Feed of the account.
  • Wordbooker — This plugin allows you to cross-post your blog posts to your Facebook Wall. You can also “cross polinate” comments between Facebook and your Wordpres blog.

    Various options including “attribute” lines and polling for comments and automatic re-posting on edit can be configured.

Facebook ads

Facebook ads works just like Google AdWords where you purchase ad space based on keywords which makes your site visible to a targeted audience. This is a great way to get your business in front of millions of users. I was reading a blog post that showed the 10 rules for advertising on Facebook and I think it’s some of the best information I’ve seen on this topic. Check it out now.

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Social Bookmarking – Sphinn

Sphinn is a concept site that specializes in discussing Internet marketing and news. One of the major advantages of using and being on this site is that it allows you to take part in discussions and network with similar people in your specific field.

How can Sphinn help my site?

If you’re running a blog, Sphinn can give you an advantage over other site owners. Just like most of the social networking site I’m covering in this section, you are able to submit articles and news related to your topic of choice. Naturally, these articles link back to your own website where you are currently marketing yourself or your products.

  • Publish original articles – When you publish original content, submit it to Sphinn so you can start building web traffic that you need for your site. The more original and fresh your content is, the better it’ll rank.
  • Discuss – As a member of Sphinn, you can jump into a conversation about any item on the site. This creates a very interactive experience.
  • Network – Meet other users in the same industry as you and talk about topics that are of interest. You can also add these people to your contacts list.

Is Sphinn for you?

As mentioned above, this site is only for content related to Internet marketing, SEO and making money online. If your site does not fall into one of these categories, Sphinn will not be able to help you out.

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Social Bookmarking – MySpace

When you think of MySpace, you probably don’t think much about social bookmarking, but then again, you probably don’t think of that with Facebook either. However, besides all the fun and games you can have on MySpace while connecting with all your friends, you can also use it as a platform to help promote your website and/or blog posts.

Another good thing about MySpace is the relative ease of buying advertising space on the site. It’s inexpensive and it can still jumpstart a flow of traffic to your site given the millions of users still on it.

Using MySpace as a promotional tool

Back when MySpace was huge, it was pretty much the only social networking platform of its time and you probably saw all sorts of things being promoted on it such as movies, companies, celebrities, news, etc. I can remember not too long ago, just about every single new movie coming out had its own MySpace page.

The reason for this was because it works. Here you have a site with hundreds of millions of users all interacting with each other which opens up the flood gates for potential customers. Here are some ways you can maximize your earnings on MySpace:

  • Find as many friends as you can. There’s no shame in adding people you don’t know! If you’re promoting something on the Internet, you’re going to run into a LOT of people you don’t know. You might as well add them to your list.
  • Buy advertising space. Just like you would do with Google AdWords, you want to maximize your presence as much as possible. MySpace ads work the same way by offering your ad to a targeted audience that is already interested in the things you’re selling.
  • Post blogs. Use the MySpace blog section to post new pages about current offers you have or new products you’re selling. Everyone on your friends list can see these.

My two cents

I’m not going to tell you that you need to have a profile page at every social networking site you can find, but I will say that you should stick with one and blow it up. Make the most of whatever site or sites you settle with and don’t let up. It might take time to get a huge list of friends, but it will pay off in the end.

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Social Bookmarking – LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a really neat site that is basically like Facebook or MySpace except that it’s strictly for connecting with co-workers and other people in your industry. If you have a huge list of contacts in your field or a stack of business cards, you’ll want to check out this site.

What’s so great about LinkedIn?

In you’re currently using MySpace or Facebook to do all of your networking, you might be doing yourself a disservice because those sites are not geared for this type of networking. I’m not saying they can’t handle it, but instead, they focus primarily on sharing things like photos and videos over business-related ideas. Because of this, it’s not hard to get your personal life and your professional life mixed up.

Beyond that, you’ve probably heard of these stories where an employer has accessed the Facebook page of an employee to determine what kind of life they lead outside of work. If you’re trying to maintain a professional image at work, don’t let your wild weekend adventure take you down a few notches in the eyes of your boss.

LinkedIn helps you bypass this by allowing you to create a professional profile to share with all your colleagues and work friends without having to censor yourself.

More benefits of Linked In

  • Groups – LinkedIn now offers LinkedIn Groups, a new way for groups to bring value to their members. Many professionals advance their business goals by counting on professional groups, alumni organizations and work groups to make vital new business contacts which will enhance their trusted connections.
  • Find jobs – Using your LinkedIn profile as a professional resume can help you land jobs! There are tons of job opportunities out there that are tailored to match your profile, so it makes finding a new job much easier.
  • Network with others – Now you don’t have to search for people who might be related to you (in terms of your industry). They become part of your extended network and you can choose to add them to your list of contacts.

How does this help your site?

As with any online account system that contains a profile, you can add your site link(s) to it so anybody who’s a friend of yours or anyone that happens to stop by your profile will be able to see what you’re all about and they might be prompted to check out your website. Check out my LinkedIn profile to see what I’m talking about!

Get started with LinkedIn today!

<< Back to StumbleUpon Forward to MySpace >>

Social Bookmarking – StumbleUpon

Over 10 million members have made this site a place to go for organizing your “corner” of the Internet. More importantly, it allows you to use a simple toolbar to share websites that you’ve been to so others with similar interests can find them.

Over time, people who share the same interests as you are more likely to be recommending websites that you’ll also enjoy. This can be a drastic improvement over standard web searching because you won’t have to filter pages and pages of search results that are exactly relavent to you.

What is StumbleUpon?

Install the toolbar and get browsing! When you “stumble” on a site that you enjoy or one that you found very helpful, you can click the Stumble button and instantly share it to the rest of the community. The system then matches this result to your previous recommendations. In time, StumbleUpon will get to know you and be able to make recommendations of other sites it thinks you might be interested in.

  • People-driven – StumbleUpon now has over 10 million web users all with unique interests. The combination of human interaction with computer-based learning technology makes find relavent websites fun and easy.
  • Up or Down ratings – Using a thumbs up or thumbs down rating, you have control over which sites are ranked higher than others. This will then affect which sites other like-minded people see (or won’t see).
  • Toolbar – The toolbar is always available and you can rate any website that you travel to.
  • Dynamic content – StumbleUpon changes as the web changes–which is every minute of the day! As older content becomes lower-rated, it eventually drops off the site while newer, higher rated content stays fresh.
  • Better results – Because the content has been recommended by other users that share common interests with you, you will receive more relavent websites than you would from a basic keyword filter on most search engines.

Can StumbleUpon help my site?

It sure can! When you become a StumbleUpon member, you can download the toolbar which allows you to Stumble any site you wish. All you need to do is simply navigate to your own site and say that you like it by giving it a thumbs up.

You can also add your site or a specific URL from within your user account. At any rate, once your site is listed, it gets broadcast across the network for others to see. If your content is good and everybody likes it, you’re going to get a lot of thumbs up ratings and this means more and more people will be seeing your page!

How do I get more thumbs up ratings?

Of course, the first way to do this is to create awesome content. Make people want to click on thumbs up. However, even when people do like your page, they may not take the time to vote for it (good or bad). Fortunately, if you’re using WordPress, there’s a plugin that will look at where the user came from and if it says they came from StumbleUpon, you can display a custom message to remind them to vote!

The name of the plugin is called Increase Sociability and it’s free.

Join StumbleUpon now and let the world rank you! You’d be surprised how fast your traffic can grow from submitting a few great content pages!

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Social Bookmarking – Digg

Digg is a very popular site that brings together the top stories in just about every subject matter you can think of. It also allows people to recommend websites, links, videos, pictures, etc. The service accomplishes this by using a recommendation tool called a “digg”.

Websites and blogs all over the Internet have the ability to include a button or link somewhere in their written text that allows a user who likes what they see to digg the site simply by clicking on the link. This click then takes the user over to their account and allows them to post the content on for everyone to see and search through.

Digg Advantages

As a web publisher, Digg gives you the ability to allow others to rank your content. The more people dig your stuff, the more it’s seen. This gives you the opportunity to promote yourself even more. Here’s how you can use Digg to promote your site:

  • Publish original content – When your content is original, it’s more likely to be included in the directory because when Digg sorts data, it checks to see if there is similar content already on the site before including any new submissions.
  • Digg buttons – Use a button that links to your Digg account on your site so users can cast a Digg vote right from your site. If you’re using WordPress, you’re already at a slight advantage because there are plenty of plugins that support Digg!
  • Digg others – Your account can be viewed by every other member and if you create a name for yourself by consistently recommending quality resources, people will view your profile page. This can cause more people to see your own content and drive traffic to your site.

My two cents

Digg is just one of many similar services out there that can maximize your content’s reach. If I were you, I’d get signed up with all of these services and start plastering your content everywhere you get a chance.

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Social Bookmarking – Technorati

I’m sure at some point in your blogging career, you’ve seen an article or two that pops up on the mega blog site,, but you probably didn’t know much about it. Don’t feel bad; neither did I.

We all know and love Google for they’ve been able to accomplish in the Internet industry (it’s amazing that we can now call this an industry!), and now we can love Technorati for doing great things just for blogs. As a reader, you’re able to search some millions of blogs all around the world talking about anything you can imagine. From there, you can leave comments, Digg articles, re-tweet your favorite bits of information, write for the site as a free lancer and even advertise your business there.

Freelance Writing

But as a writer, you can do one more important thing: promote your blog. Everywhere on this site, you read about posting quality content, finding backlinks and getting ranked high in Google. Well, here’s another way to promote and all it requires you to do is create an account. You can use Technorati to promote your blog and gain exposure and web traffic for your site.

Once you create your account, you “claim” your blog by adding a link to it and then Technorati will have you place some random text somewhere on your site. Within a few days, they will have found your site, verified you’re the author of it and then added it to your account. Now, whenever you post an article on your site, it will be referenced in your account and therefore, searchable. The more you post, the more likely your stuff will be found and that equals more traffic for your blog.

The advantage here is that you are listing your content specifically to a blog community. Being listed here can only help your cause over at Google. One thing to remember is that above and beyond any tips you’re going to find about how to create a successful blog, the most important one is whether you’re credible or not. I’ve said it many times before, but I’ll say it again. You can have a wonderful site with tons of content, but if nobody cares about what you have to say, then you’re lost and your site is considered dead.

Technorati Ranking

Technorati will also rank your blog against every listed blog in the database so you can watch your site gain popularity as your rank climbs higher and higher. Here’s a screenshot of my account page showing my claimed blog and ranking:

As you can see, at the time of this writing, I’m ranked at 40,606! I plan to drop this number as fast as possible and if/when I do, I’ll post a follow-up to this post to give you an idea of how long (and how many posts later) it took to get to that position. I may also post the traffic/rank ratio to help you get an idea of where your site ranks.

I think another great thing about Technorati is that you can claim multiple blogs. Just keep adding them to your account and you can then compare ranks between them to find out which ones are more popular. You mix this site together with your WordPress stats and Google Analytics, you will know exactly how to fix your blog if you need to.

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