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

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.

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Comments

  1. Mag says:

    Simply it’s a method of sharing favorite websites publicly on the internet, but I’m afraid it may turn to a perfect place for spammers if not carefully handled by Yahoo.

  2. jf.sellsius says:

    FARK.com brought one of our posts 23,000 visitors. I think FARK may be bigger than delicious & digg. IMHO

    here was the post if you’re interested. It fits your profile because it’s a list (I think odd numbers work best but not proven) & it was inspirational. It also had a freebie tied to it.

    http://blog.sellsiusrealestate.com/?p=913

  3. tejveer says:

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  4. Thank you for this tips !

  5. Shawn says:

    Its a little unfortunate reading this article, it seems that the methods cant easily be applied to non tech, commercial sites

    Shawn G
    Bathroom Vessel Sinks & Faucets
    G-NET Car PC & Vehicle Computers

  6. Dean says:

    I use del.icio.us a lot to store my bookmarks but I never thought about using the popular page before. An excellent tool. Thanks.

  7. Dean says:

    del.icio.us seems to be one of the best social bookmarking services. I wonder which of their category listings can produce the most clicks since from what I saw that number can differ greatly depending on which category you are aiming for…

  8. re.flect.net says:

    7 ways to get to the top of the del.icio.us popular page by Darren Rowse from Problogger.net.

  9. d.edlen says:

    Excellent! I was wondering how delicious worked with blogs. This’ll also help tremendously. Useful pillars. Unique lists. Inspirational pedagogy about my MotoRIZR. I love it. I just need to keep tying it into my goal. Thank you.

  10. Nice tips on getting free website traffic from Del.icio.us

  11. Mitesh says:

    del.icio.us Popular Page has a pr 8 and to have a link on it means great booster for any website –

    Great job dear

  12. Niall says:

    I also like using reddit. I started a video blog called http://www.ifoods.tv and when i made the hgomepage of digg which resulted in 25,000 hits in one day and caused us to go pro!

  13. William F says:

    Excellent advice. Leaves me with a few questions:

    1) What are the key differences between de.icio.us and Digg?
    2) Is one “better” than the other?
    3) Are there any [free] tools to help automate the submission process for social networking sites?

    One of my newest Blogs is http://iblogfat.blogspot.com/ which is a place where we walk a thin line between giving overweight people practical advice and tearing them down until they cry. We’re not bad people, but our society makes so many excuses for fat people these days, it’s time someone stepped up and told the truth about these fatties.

    We get a lot of hate mail. ;-)

    Check us out if you want a good laugh.

    http://iblogfat.blogspot.com/

  14. Ivo says:

    Probably you answer to may main question of the day..Thanks!

  15. Linilla says:

    Wow, good tips… and I see the article is 2 years old!

    I have a new blog and NO ONE is reading it so I need tips like these to keep me from giving up.

  16. Interesting Darren. One of my posts got very near the popular page the other day, i know i’m new but it alone sent me 650 visitors. whilst that might seem tiny to big blogs such as yours, for me it told me that what i write really interests people, and it gave me a boost, and made me feel really good. Its hard to describe the feeling.

    It was the same when my website reached Googles page one, position 5 for my keyword “Logo Design”. over the moon.

    Keep up the great work Darren. Love your posts.

  17. Rosa says:

    I have seen a lot of people do this to get to the top. I have noticed that even when i am doing freelancing work on the computer, the ones that are top — list will usually get a lot of traffic or become popular within a little bit of time. I hardly ever submit to social bookmarking sites but I probably should and plan on running an experiment on it to see what happens.

  18. Rodney says:

    This is definetly something that I needed to know as I am just starting up my very own website. I didn’t know that bookmarking sites could get you that type of traffic.
    I am really glad to have found this post.

    Keep up the good work

  19. Mark says:

    this is so helpful! i have a website, (www.whimber.weebly.com) not a blog, but these tips have already helped me get traffic!
    great work & congrats on making it to the top of del.icio.us!

  20. thanks for the post… i have to agree about lists and instructions cause i find it easier to read.. and easier to follow

  21. Jayne says:

    Im new to this so bare with me. im still learning to blog lol I think this infomation is useful . I hope to expand my maternity wear business and to help new mums on a low budget thanks mr gordon brown !!!!!.

  22. Get Paid Now says:

    Your absolutely right Darren! I always save helpful lists so I can go back and read them again without having to search for them.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

  23. joepete says:

    I like how you make a list of reasons why you should make a list. I will definitely incorporate your thoughts into my blog. http://jojobanjo.blogspot.com

  24. rushit shah says:

    Thanks a lot for the help, it really helps. Do you have a post for people who are beginner on delicious and twitter?

  25. I am currently planning on getting traffic from delicious because i have got any traffic from them recently. I am also trying to try twitter as source of traffic.

    Thank you for the ideas.

    http://www.resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com

  26. Cepsrm says:

    Nice post, now I have some choice how to get more traffic to my site

Trackbacks

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