4 Social Media Sites that Should be Integrated into Your WordPress Blog

Social Media is hit or miss, it can bring you massive amounts of traffic or a trickle. It all depends on many factors, most of which are out of your control. Despite this, it’s important to participate in social media websites, mostly because of the valuable backlinks that they provide. Some, like Stumbleupon, will bring you reliably steady with the occasional spike.

Unfortunately, many bloggers make the mistake of not integrating social networks into their WordPress blog. Here are a few of the basic social media sites that you should have integrated into your blog:

Twitter

Beyond blog comments, Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with your readers. You should get as many followers as you can because they become a massive audience for your content. You can integrate your blog into Twitter by using tools like Twitterfeed that will publish your blog RSS feed on your Twitter feed whenever you publish a new post.

You can also install WordPress plugins that put your Twitter feed into your blog sidebar, create a TwitThis button in all your posts and put a Twitter badge in your sidebar. Twitter can be a great source of steady traffic once you gain a large enough following, it just takes time to develop it.

Facebook

Believe it or not, Facebook can be a great source of traffic for your blog. The first thing you should do is integrate your blog RSS feed into your own profile so that your close friends and family can see what you’re up to. Next, you should create a fan page for your blog that will get searched by the search engines. It’s also not a bad idea to seek out Facebook groups in your niche and post comments and links to your blog. Don’t spam the groups as you’re likely to just piss them off, but participate in the conversation and encourage people to give your blog a visit. Facebook also lets you put a badge on your website so that people can connect with you on Facebook.

Digg

Digg is the Holy Grail of social media. Getting to the front page can bring upon riches beyond what you can imagine. Well, actually no it won’t. But if you make it the front page of Digg, you’ll get a huge spike in traffic, create awareness of your blog and you may even pick up a few new readers. Diggers are notorious for not clicking ads, so expect your ad click through rate to be low.

Sadly, it is a very difficult task to make it to the front page of Digg. Such a thing requires many different factors to align, with a little magic thrown in for good measure. But just submitting your blog content to Digg is worth the effort as Digg backlinks are incredibly valuable. Usually when you submit your post to Digg, the Digg page will rank at the top of Page 1 for the topic your post is about (of course this is not always the case).

It takes five minutes to submit to Digg, then stick around and participate in the community, you’re more likely get further if you do. It’s also a good idea to submit your posts to sites similar to Digg such as: Reddit.com, Propeller.com, Sugarloving.com, etc.

StumbleUpon dan mccafferty-into the ring download

Stumbleupon is by far the most addicting social media service on the net. It’s a simple concept. People tell Stumbleupon what they’re interests are then the algorithm will take them to websites they might like. What does this mean for the lowly blogger? It means highly targeted traffic. This is great if you’re in a specific niche. If the right people Stumble your content, you could get a huge burst in traffic.

Mostly though, Stumbleupon will send you reliable hits every day for people interested in your website. To get on the Stumbleupon train all you need to do it download the Firefox tool bar, register for an account and start Stumbling. A good word of advice, though, is to Stumble other people’s content, not just yours. Only Stumbling your content is a great way to get no traffic at all from the service.

Be forewarned, once you start Stumbling, it’s very hard to stop!

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It Doesn’t Hurt To Try

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If you are worried that you won’t see any benefits from these sites, I highly recommend trying them anyway. It may take some time before you see results but once you do, you will become addicted to them.

What’s your favorite social media site you use with WordPress?

Navigate the Forest with these Esoteric Powertools for SEO and Web 2.0

Yumi lost in the forest

When you stray off the beaten path you can either get hopelessly lost in the bramble or you can discover hidden wonders. In this article I hope to serve as a compass as we veer off the road less traveled in search of some lesser known treasures for SEO, marketing, networking, optimizing and monetizing your blog.

How To Stay Out of Bad Neighborhoods

Text links have always been recognized as an important factor in search engine ranking, be they inbound or reciprocal links.

But an overzealous linking strategy can also backfire; sites known to be linkfarms or that link indiscriminately to content of which some or many advertisers steer clear (porn, gambling, hate speech, splogs) can drastically decrease the number of higher quality ads that show up in your Adsense or similar displays. What’s more the search engines will recognize these follow-through destinations and penalize you in their rankings.

Michael VanDeMar’s free Bad Neighborhood Link Exchange Tool will scan the links on your website and where they lead, and flag problematic destinations.  Understanding this relationships between so-called “bad neighborhoods” and your own empowers you to make choices about to how to reorganize your linking strategies.

How To Be Everywhere At Once – Build a Consistent Brand

From the “why didn’t I think of that” category comes this deceptively simple yet powerful tool for checking where a given username has already been claimed and where it remains available. CheckUserNames.com runs this search across some forty online social networking destinations from BallHype to Zoomr and everything in between. It is a great way to safely identify and build your brand across the web.

Turn Yourself into A Search Engine

Lijit

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claims to increase searches from your site by up to 5x what it is now by unify your content across all your social web and blogging accounts and making it searchable. It also offers statistics on user searches so that you can better understand your readers’ interest and refocus content to this end.

As a search line on your site, Lijit shows visitors other recent searches as well. It an easy to install widget that can help keep people focused on your content and promote interactivity while giving you a clearer perspective on what is working and what is not.

Protect Your Content and Build Good Habits With Copyscape

The benefits of using Copyspace are twofold – first it protects your hard work by checking its appearance across the web to ensure that your materials are not being republished without your permission. Second it demonstrates to you that you can’t simply copy and paste other people’s work without being caught which ideally builds better habits and prevents sloppiness on your part. Copyscape is a valuable resource that is being used by ever growing numbers of content creators to self-police the internet for plagiarism and unsanctioned use of their precious commodities.

What Are You Worth

It is important to check your inventory every so often and assess that value of that in which you are investing your precious time. In my early days as a blogger I frequently saw the Blogerati talk about their “failed blogs.” I now understand this to mean either a domain, niche or site that requires far too much effort for the amount of traffic, interest or ROI it is generating. Some of my blog experiments do well regardless of whether or not I update them frequently likely because I have discovered a strong niche and the content I am offering therein is serving the interest of that audience. Others I am simply not interested in and ultimately neither is anyone else.`Acknowledging a failed blog means cutting your losses on such expenses as domain renewals and hosting, but more importantly on your precious time.

If you have ever wondered what your blog is actually worth, the answer is, as Yaro Starack put it: “Whatever someone is willing to pay.” But there are a couple of admittedly inexact tools that can give you a better sense of what your blog might be worth in relative terms. These take into account factors like “top level domains” which could mean the number of non-abstract words in the domain name, whether it is a .com vs a .tv, whether it is a developed property and thus its Google Page Rank, Alexa rank, how many inbound vs . outbound links it has and so on.

I tapped in one of my domains and both of these spit out that the sixth month old .com site about video games was worth roughly $12,000! Another of my sites, which I once felt was a virtual gold mine showed as having a value of exactly $0. They are not hard science nor are they a crystal ball, but they are an interesting way to get a sense of what is up with your respective properties.

Cubestat is a free tool where you simply enter the domain so that it can project its worth based on daily pageviews and daily ads revenues among other factors.

Sootle works in a similar fashion to Cubestat but also spits out some code you can embed in order to place a widget that displays your site’s current value to prospective advertisers and buyers.

You will likely find a discrepancy between the values each of these calculators returns but at least you will have a place to start.

Understand Google Page Rank and then Stop Obsessing

Google Page Rank is one of those dark arts that often consume too much “mindshare” for people interested in SEO, especially because it is, necessarily, a moving target.

Ian Rogers breaks down the Google Page Rank algorithm white paper (of course this is just someone who knows a lot about it attempting to reverse engineer the methodology so take it with a grain of salt.) that is not so much a tool, as a sobering analysis of what you are up against.

Into the Woods

You will need every tool available to survive out there in the wild. I hope some of these help you on on your journey.

Photo “Yumi Lost in the Forest” courtesy David Light Orchard used under Creative Commons License

About the Author:

Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com

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. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com