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7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of January 2006 Blog Promotion 106

I’ve been watching the del.icio.us Popular Page quite closely lately. I’m fascinated by the list for many reasons – for one it’s a great source of content ideas and links, secondly it helps keep a finger on the pulse of what people are into at any given time and thirdly it’s a highly trafficked page that has the potential to send out large quantities of traffic very quickly and is increasingly being targeted (along with other social bookmarking pages) by bloggers who are doing quite well from the traffic it sends them (in fact I know of three bloggers who credit del.icio.us and digg.com as kick starting (and feeding in an ongoing way) their blogging careers. I know last time I hit the top of the list I had an extra 8000 visitors that day directly from it and the links from others who saw it there.

While I haven’t done an in depth study into del.icio.us – it is interesting to note the type of links that consistently get to the top of the del.icio.us popular page. Here are seven of the characteristics that are often present in these popular links (often more than one of the following apply in each instance) which could improve the chances of getting into the mix as a popular link:

  1. Make a List – Just by scanning the current popular links titles it is evident that lists dominate the… list (they make up over 40% of the current links). One of the first times I made it to the top of del.icio.us was with a list (fittingly it was a list of why lists are good for getting traffic). Of course some people are ‘anti-list’ – they argue that breaking things down into lists ‘dummifies’ the content. While I’ve seen plenty of lists where this is the case – I would also argue that lists that are well crafted can be just as meaty as other forms of writing.
  2. Number your List – It’s not just any old list that gets popular but quite often lists that have a number in the title. I’m not quite sure what it is about numbers that capture the attention of del.icio.us users – but they do. I can’t remember the last time when there wasn’t a title in the popular list like ’10 rules for…’, ‘5 ways to…’ , ‘6 trends that…’, ’50 tips on….’. There is obviously something about quantifying a list that readers respond to. How many points is ideal? The jury is still out on this one. As I look at the current popular page I see a list of 50, numerous lists of 10 and a list of 3.
  3. Write a ‘How to…’ – Another type of link that is often popular is the ‘how to’ post. Walk your readers through a process that teaches them how to achieve a goal they might have and they’re more likely to want to bookmark it. Again as I scan the current list I see a number of titles that indicate that the links will teach or guide readers through a particular issue. Often the titles use the actual words ‘how to…’ in them. Others use ‘Guide to’, ‘Tips to…’ or ‘Tutorials’ etc. On the flip side of the ‘how to’ I also regularly see ‘how not to’ type articles or articles that talk about ‘common mistakes’ that people make.
  4. Make Big Promises and Claims – It’s interesting that the del.icio.us popular page relies totally upon the title of the link to get people to click on it (ie there are no descriptions to draw readers to visit – just the title). As a result the way titles are constructed has a lot to do with converting the link into visitors. One strategy that some successful del.icio.us links use is to make a big promise or grand statement. A recent post on ProBlogger that did this that got into the popular list was Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days. While it’s not a promise – it’s a title that certainly got some attention (well worded Adrian). Of course a good title isn’t enough, unless you have something worth reading you’ll not get the necessary bookmarks to create the social bookmarking wave to surf to the top.
  5. Get Technological – The vast majority of links in the popular list as I write this post have some sort of technological bent. It features links about SOAP, Powerpoint, video games, AJAX, CSS, Blogging, Top Websites, Linux, Microsoft, Cell Phones etc. Obviously del.icio.us users are tech savy folk – so to get their attention you’ll want to tickle their tech bone.
  6. Inspire – I notice here at ProBlogger that sometimes my most helpful ‘how to’/techie posts are not the only ones to get attention from readers – in fact probably the most linked to and bookmarked posts at ProBlogger fit more into the inspirational/motivational category rather than an educational one. People like to be inspired and touched on an emotional level.
  7. Use Humor – Of course it’s not only techie or inspirational posts that get to the top of the del.icio.us heap. Sometimes it’s links that go for the funny bone that are also popular. Ten Simple Rules for Dating My Daughters was a link that caught my eye a few days back for this reason – it got close to the top of the popular page. Of course if you can use humor in the form of a numbered list on a techie, inspirational topic and make a big claim at the same time you’re set!

I’m sure there are plenty of other characteristics of del.icio.us links that make it to the popular page – interested to hear what others think.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. 1. Interesting.
    2. Thank you.
    3. jane :)

  2. Is this irony?

  3. anyone want to be this will make the top of the list?

  4. Nice list. I’d bet it gets near the top too.

  5. I agree strongly with the fact that del.icio.us can be a really good source of incoming links. Lately I’ve written a short post entitled ‘Increase your energy levels in 1 minute’ (point 4 in your list).

    I’ve only posted in in lifehack.org community page. From there somebody posted it on reddit.com and then it started to be tagged on del.icio.us. But the real inflow of users started when I saw del.icio.us/popular in referral links.
    In several days several thousands people visited the post, there were a lot of comments a follow up link and several dozens of subscribers to the blog.

    Now the link was tagged around 150 times on del.icio.us and more on the homepage.

    It was definately a great new year’s present for me.

  6. I’ve been hoping to see some of my posts do a bit better on del.icio.us and I keep some of these things in mind when I created —

    A technical how to on a new CSS technique: CSS Curly Quotes

    A technical List: Top 5 Firefox Extensions for Web Designers

    But no dice. They’re not fluff posts either — I think they’re not half bad.

    Amazingly, my post on Christmas Pudding is getting more traction right now.

    Ah well — they’re in the archive, so who knows. My articles from a few years ago are still performing well.

  7. I agree with the humor one, i click every funny links i find :)

  8. and this post makes it on the del.icio.us :)

  9. great post Darren!

    This is the third time he’s been on the popular page since he went on holidays – he’s a master at it. Pity he’s not around to enjoy the ride.

  10. I’ve seen a spike in traffic, not necessarily unique readers, but many google bots scanning my pages since I tagged all my files on delicious and also Technorati. Great advice.

  11. @Jacob: Wait until you have posted something on the lifehack.org frontpage – if it is on the taste of lifehack.org readers it is definitely will hit del.icio.us popular. BTW, thanks for the post in http://community.lifehack.org

  12. 8. Write a post called ” 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page”

  13. I absolutely agree with everything said here. I’ve gotten on del.icio.us popular countless times with Top 10 lists, 10 ways.. , techy articles and how to’s. Actually, I’m on del.icio.us popular right now for this torrent making how to.

  14. I was actually in the process of writing an entry almost exactly like this one, down to the actual items you listed — you dare you read my drafts! :-)

    There’s actually one very important thing I would add to this list: Length. It really helps to make a huge page that people will tag ‘@toread’ for later. Whether or not they actually read it later is immaterial – they’ve tagged it!

  15. I made a neat life-hackish website (www.justoneclubcard.com) where you can combine all of your club/discount cards but it never really took off in del.icio.us, reddit, or digg. But it certainly doesn’t follow any of your rules, so perhaps that explains it.

    Maybe people at those sites want to Read and not Do. Perhaps that’s another lesson.

  16. One more tip: according to marketers, for some reason odd numbers seem to pull more than even numbers.

    Therefore: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Odd-numbered Lists as compared to 8 Habits of Not-as-Effective Even-numbered Lists.

  17. This surely is irony, or at least hopefully.
    You say “for one it’s a great source of content ideas and links”.
    But the delicious popular page is polluted with all those list (including this :-) so it isn’t worthy any more.. what a pity.

  18. Excellent tips Darren. In fact there are many more Del.icio.us Tools made by the community which make it more popular as a social bookmarking tool.

  19. […] Darren Rowse the ProBlogger wrote a number of tips and suggestions for anyone looking to get his Article or Post on del.icio.us popular page, which is guaranteed to get him a lot of Traffic and ensure a wide exposure of his words, the tips are: […]

  20. The key to getting to the top of the del.icio.us Popular Page is to get on the Popular Page at all! I’ve made the top slot a few times and each time it’s been because I got picked up by high profile bloggers, enough to get 20 or so links, which put me in down the bottom. The Popular Page then feeds on itself. The higher up you are, the more people link you and the higher up you go. It’s quite fun to watch!

  21. […] 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page: Blog Tips at ProBlogger […]

  22. Of course, now that you’ve published ways to get to the top of the list, people will attempt it, the practices you outline will become more commonplace, and less worthy of many Del.icio.us tags….
    Yay Heisenberg!

    -Chris

  23. great info. I’m right now thinking which future post I can convert into a list or howto.

  24. The first four are classic direct mail copywriting techniques. Another is to headline it with a question: “Are you taking advantage of these 7 secrets of wealth building?”

  25. anonymous says: 01/07/2006 at 2:21 pm

    You forgot

    8. provide a link to bookmark it at the bottom of the page

    :)

  26. Lazy Weekend Links

    TGIF!  Let’s sit back and enjoy some Lazy Weekend Links.  Have you ever started dancing in the street and everyone you bump into know all the steps and begin dancing with you?  Or have you ever lit an entire room the size of a footbal…

  27. The question I have, however, is how does one stay atop the del.icio.us lists for a considerable amount of time?

  28. […] how to be a popular del.icio.us link (tags: seo) […]

  29. […] 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page: Blog Tips at ProBlogger (tags: del.icio.us blogging tips) […]

  30. ironic but true. great thought.

  31. anyone else tired of advice to game your posts?

  32. […] 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page: Blog Tips at ProBlogger (tags: webtips blog) […]

  33. … or else just write a simple “7 ways” for deliciuos it self like you have! ;-o

  34. […] del.icio.us had became kind of the eariler Google or Yahoo. without all the crap in your search, i think it is more efficient than any search engine right now. Although it meant to be a online bookmark system in its purpose, being well search ranking in del.icio.us is also important now. Problogger pointed out some theories. definitely it is very useful. […]

  35. Okay… I just tried your “7 Ways to Get to the Top of del.icio.us Popular Page” on my posting “How To Weigh a Pig with a String” (http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-weigh-pig-with-string.html) It will be interesting to see if that scores at all. I have a rather niche topic. :)

  36. […] 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page (tags: del.icio.us blogging tips howto blogs) […]

  37. This article was great! I wish I could get help in getting more traffic to my website and get out of the sandbox of “Google”. Any suggestions?

  38. Thanks for this write-up about “delicious”. It made an interesting read. I am implementing it for my website asap! :)

  39. […] Darren Rowse of ProBlogger talked about how much traffïc he received from getting to the front page of Del.ico.us. In the end, he saw 8,000 visitors in one day from that front page exposure and garnered a number of external links from it as well. Imagine just how much traffïc a website could receive by constantly being near the top on a website like Del.ico.us. […]

  40. […] So thanks to Steve, Paul and Mr. Veloso and, if you’re interested in social bookmarking for your blog as a way to get read by more people and spread your words, definitely go and read Darren Rowse’s Social Bookmarking: Getting Your Blog Noted and 7 ways to get to the top of del.icio.us popular page over at Problogger.net. […]

  41. 1. Thank.
    2. You.
    3. Darren.

  42. […] Digest your information and things your learnt. Present it to people, preferrable make it a list. […]

  43. really good article, i plan to set up a blog like yours, my domains is:
    http://www.adsensepublish.com, can you provide me your blog soft?
    Thanks in advance.

  44. Interesting tips. Now I have another way to promote my blog.

  45. […] So how much traffic are we talking about? Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net noted that when a post of his reached the front page of Del.icio.us, he saw around 8,000 visitors that day from Del.icio.us alone. This does not take into account all the bloggers and website owners who discovered his site from Del.icio.us, posted a link to it on their site or in a forum, which would in turn generate more traffic to his site. […]

  46. […] So how much traffic are we talking about?  Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net noted that when a post of his reached the front page of Del.icio.us, he saw around [url=http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/01/06/7-ways-to-guarantee-getting-to-the-top-of-the-delicious-popular-page/]8,000 visitors that day[/url] from Del.icio.us alone.  This does not take into account all the bloggers and website owners who discovered his site from Del.icio.us, posted a link to it on their site or in a forum, which would in turn generate more traffic to his site.  […]

  47. […] http://del.icio.us/popular/ is a great way to know what sites are popular at any point in time. Learn the 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the del.icio.us Popular Page. 03.06.2006 […]

  48. […] So how much traffïc are we talking about? Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net noted that when a post of his reached the front page of Del.icio.us, he saw around 8,000 visitors that day from Del.icio.us alone. This does not take into account all the bloggers and website owners who discovered his site from Del.icio.us, posted a link to it on their site or in a forum, which would in turn generate more traffïc to his site. […]

  49. […] So how much traffïc are we talking about? Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net noted that when a post of his reached the front page of Del.icio.us, he saw around 8,000 visitors that day from Del.icio.us alone. This does not take into account all the bloggers and website owners who discovered his site from Del.icio.us, posted a link to it on their site or in a forum, which would in turn generate more traffïc to his site. […]

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