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How To Promote Other People’s Content and Drive Traffic to Your Own Blog

Much has been written on the topic of how to utilize social bookmarking and networking sites to promote your own blog posts. Submitting your posts to sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit – posting about your posts on Twitter and Plurk….

All of these techniques can work to drive significant traffic to your blog – however there’s another tactic that can be quite powerful that I’ve not seen many people write about. It’s similar to the idea of submitting your posts to social media sites:

  • It still involves social media sites
  • It still can result in significant traffic being driven to your blog

However there’s one main difference. It involves submitting other people’s posts to social media sites.

Let me give you a live example of how promoting another blogger’s post drove significant traffic to my blog:

Yesterday I noticed a little traffic coming to my post on my switch to Gmail and using it drastically reduced my email workload. The traffic was coming from another blog who had picked up and extended my ideas. The post was good and the blogger had generously linked back to my own post quite prominently in the opening paragraph.

Many bloggers would see a post like this linking to them and feel happy about it – but leave it at that. But what I decided to do was to promote it heavily via my own social media networks. I immediately dugg it (it had already had a few diggs), voted for it in StumbleUpon (again it had already been submitted) – but then decided to ‘sneeze’ the link out to my networks.

I Twittered and Plurked it and also shot the email to a few other key bloggers who I thought would find the post helpful (one linked up on their blog and another couple Twittered it too).

An hour later the post was on the front page of Digg and had quite a few extra Stumbles. The result was quite a bit of traffic coming over to my post from the link in the first paragraph. By no means was it as much traffic as the post itself would be getting but it was still significant.

I didn’t ask anyone else to vote for it on Digg – but knew that by promoting it it would naturally get Dugg as the post has a Digg button prominently on it. I also don’t think that it was my efforts alone that got the post popular on Digg – the article was good quality and deserved some attention – I just gave it a little help.

The Benefits

This practice is one that has multiple benefits.

  • Obviously the first one is that you drive some traffic to your own blog indirectly.
  • You also build some good will with the blogger that you’re promoting. Helping someone achieve a front page article on Digg is something people generally get excited about.
  • SEO – there are some secondary and longer terms SEO benefits from being linked to by another blog that gets on the front page of Digg. A post getting to the front page of Digg gets a lot of other blogs linking up to it in addition to the link from Digg. This means that that post gets some good ‘Google Juice’. This of course flows onto your own post. Even if it doesn’t go ‘popular’ even your extra links on Twitter and Plurk can give the page a little ‘juice’ that can have flow on effects.

A Few Words of Advice and Warning

  • I should say that I don’t do this for every post that links to me. I only select the best posts and ones that I think add value to those in my network. I don’t purely do this in the hope of getting traffic – I do it with the goal of linking to good content for my network and building relationships with other bloggers.
  • Don’t just share links to your own posts or posts that link to you via Twitter or Plurk. Regularly share posts that add value to your network from lots of sites. Otherwise you’ll get a reputation as being too self centered and spammy. Your followers and friends will begin to see you as a valuable resource if you provide them with genuine value over time.

Ways to Promote Other People’s Content

There are a variety of things that you can do to promote other people’s posts in this way:

  • Submit them to Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Share the links on Twitter/Plurk/Pownce
  • Share the links on Facebook/Myspace etc
  • Promote the post to other relevant bloggers
  • Blog about their Posts
  • Share the link on Google Reader

Feel free to share some of your own ideas on how you’d go about promoting other people’s content.

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. Mike Vidal says:

    Excellent advice. I think a key takeaway from this post for me is to promote good quality content, otherwise the hard earned “powerful sneezer” status will suffer.

  2. Funny you should mention this as I did it for the first time today.

    I saw a post that I liked (it was the 12 year anniversary of the birth of the video game Quake), and basically crafted a post surrounding it on a bunch of retro video game forums I was a member of, kicking off discussion with their memories of the game. Of course, the blog I was promoting was in the signature link, as well as the forum I am promoting off it (which is the one I link to above), and I have since gained 3 or 4 new members.

    I also mentioned it to the original poster, and he has joined my forum. He’s a rather established blogger in the retro video game scene (he’s got the members, I’ve got the SEO), so it’s quite a feather in my cap getting him posting on my forum.

  3. Shanel Yang says:

    I freely refer to other blogs I fully endorse in responses to emails and comments on my own blog. it’s not only a great way to spread the news about other great blogs but it saves me a lot of time trying to explain areas of expertise that I don’t necessarily have, e.g., I refer to Millionaire Mommy Next Door and The Simple Dollar for personal finance advice and to you, Darren, for top-notch blogging advice! I’m not sure if this will ever drive traffic to my blog, but it’s what I like to do. : )

  4. Laura G says:

    I managed to combine a few of your suggestions into one easy step.

    I have my shared Google Reader entriespublished to Twitter, and then my Tweets show up on Facebook. Cuts the work in half :)

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  6. You could also do the same thing for a guest post you submitted to another site…

  7. Darren,

    Thanks for the excellent advice. My blog is very new and I’m hopping this method will increase the traffic to my blog. I’ll try it out.

    Ramesh
    The Geek Stuff

  8. Edward Lomax says:

    Great idea. It is also a good idea to set up Google Alerts for your name, domain and any products you have. Then if you see a post about something related to you you can put it into social sites.

    I agree, just don’t put posts that link or talk about you… pick the best. Great posts or content are the only things that should be put into the social sites anyway.

  9. Coen Jacobs says:

    Hi Darren, thanks for this great post. It really means so much to me that a ‘great’ blogger like you, actually picks up my post and links back. Really, really great!

  10. ~Kat~ says:

    I hadn’t thought about it that way. I will be on the look out for those bloggers who blog about me. Thanks!

  11. Through advertising a a fellows work you could advertise your own! Mindboggling but awesome.

    Oh Internet. Word of Mouth has become World of Wireless.

    nice post.

  12. Everyone wins! Yay!

    Oh Internet. Word of Mouth has become World of Wireless.

    Good advice. Thank you!

    -Jeremy

  13. oops. I tried to reword my previous comment and it didn’t send so i was going to delete it but there’s no delete button…hey, the more comments, the merrier

  14. What you write here is one of those things that make you go “why didn’t I think of that?”.

    Very useful stuff indeed. And it got Stumbled, of course. More posts like this one, please. :-)

  15. Bash Bosh says:

    Hi,

    This is really great and very useful article… thank you for sharing this with all! And I think that this promoting technique can be really good for gaining quality and good popularity for your sites.

  16. Terence Yang says:

    Thanks Darren for sharing so openly. Top notched advice from a Pro. I will keep on learning from you as I am new to blogging.

  17. Marelisa says:

    I think that it’s important to create a reputation for yourself as being a good citizen of the blogosphere, and one way to do this is by promoting posts by others that you think your readers would benefit from. Of course, if that post just happens to mention you, even better! Thank you for the advice.

  18. Lenin Nair says:

    Hello Darren,
    that’s wonderful of you. I am personally your fan for your prolific linking out to relevant blogs, no matter large or small. I even learned this technique from you.

    Good work that the guy got some traffic with your help. I have also linked to one of your past posts on plagiarism, from my blog. (Not mentioning to get any traffic with your help, just mentioning it, that’s all hehe!).

    Lenin

  19. I always try and promote other people’s blogs. If they comment on my blog I always thank them for the comment and plug their blog.

    The Masked Millionaire

  20. Rick says:

    I have a few blogs that I follow closely (ProBlogger being top of my list), and one of my normal activities is to tell my readers about sites, posts, or news, that they might find interesting. Dareen has a wonderful community of readers who are fully engaged and his techniques are always an inspiration. Thanks Darren.

    Rick

  21. Keith Erwood says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing the idea.

  22. Michael says:

    That’s an interesting idea, the first time I heard about doing something like this was when John Gruber admitted that he often links to people who link to him, but the idea of promoting blogs that link to you through Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. is something I haven’t really heard of before.

    Great tip!

  23. Elbert F says:

    Very interesting post Darren, I was wondering why the number of diggs on my submission exploded like it did. It already had more then a 100 diggs in the first 2 hours and then it took off again thanks to your effort.

    I love the Social Web. :)

    Elbert F
    http://crunchlabz.com

  24. Excellent points here, Darren.

    Another version of this tactic that I have used successfully are trackbacks. Since my blog is still a rather small one and not that often written about on other blogs, I can add value to a discussion on another blog in a new post on my blog, returning a link and a trackback ping to the post I’m responding to. If that post is popular, it’ll bring me good traffic and more rss subscribers.

  25. ulla says:

    I especially like the ideal to twitter about good posts or just announcing them by saying “reading …” That’s the way I offen get hints for good blog posts, and why not doing the same for other people?

  26. Alex Lover says:

    Hi Darren, thanks for article, it very useful for me! I think StumbleUpon is better way for increase traffic…
    p.s. +1 digged ;)

  27. Pras says:

    Great post. We can also use ‘Status message’ area of the Google Chat to promote contents which adds value to the web.

  28. John Joubert says:

    I agree, good content would be key to this time of marketing. You have to be very careful which posts you choose. Nice post btw.

  29. Great post, thanks for sharing the idea

  30. AMiRU says:

    As always a good tip from Darren. I wish there will be people who blog and extend the idea in my blog.

  31. This is great advice. It can bring about a lot of goodwill. It’s always good to give before we can think about receiving.

  32. Chamuri says:

    Yeah, Would love to see some of you talk about the content of my site! http://euro2008girls.blogspot.com/

    But tell me Pro, isn’t this very common phenomenon anyway all over the civilized blogosphere? Pardon me for being blunt – but from problogger, I expect a bit more insightful advice.

    People quote you, problogger, coz your blog is famous. I am sure you get a lot of coverage anyway.

  33. Everett says:

    Funny you should write about this today. I posted something that went up on Sphinn last week regarding this exact topic:
    http://sphinn.com/story/53562

  34. Alex D says:

    “Don’t just share links to your own posts or posts that link to you via Twitter or Plurk. Regularly share posts that add value to your network from lots of sites. Otherwise you’ll get a reputation as being too self centered and spammy. Your followers and friends will begin to see you as a valuable resource if you provide them with genuine value over time.”

    You are so so true! I have just realized that I am too self centered and from now on I will avoid being like this.

  35. Henry says:

    Giving is better than receiving. Some writers ten to think that promoting other people’s content detracts from their traffic. Not saying that’s not possible, but sharing a value-adding piece with your readers irrespective of the author always yields great benefits. This was an excellent post.

  36. Rob says:

    I have done this time to time, and it does work. If you are going to spend the time on a site, and your link is on it, you might as well help promote that site. This is networking at a subliminal level.

  37. Chase Roper says:

    I used to be good at Stumbling and digging posts that I enjoyed on any topic – not only the ones that were in the niche I might blog about. I don’t recall getting much traffic from it, but I really built some great blogging relationships and even was asked to write for a reputable Comedy Magazine website (punchlinemagazine). This post will help re-focus my good old good habit.

  38. Chris Lang says:

    You have just described everything I have been talking about for months Darren. You have to give back more than you expect to get.

    How can any blogger expect others to post their links for them if they are unwilling to post others?

    If you have a good article I post it right away to my social marketing group on Searchles. In fact I am going to do that with an article that linked to yours that I found this post thru.

    Hey, Darren, you just made the front page if Digg, you don’t need the help. But because the site that linked to yours can use the help I am am going to bookmark him up.

    Now because he linked to your site, you are going to get just as much traffic out of the deal.

    The Google slapdown is coming and it usually comes just before Christmas. Google changes the algorithm to slapdown what everybody has been doing to spam the Google index.

    Sites that have been doing nothing but submitting their own content to get traffic on social bookmarking sites are going down the drain hard.

    If you change you ways now you may have a chance to avoid it. Keep submitting your own content to Digg and shouting your own links to get Diggs is going to really hurt you very soon.

    Not you Darren, LOL.

    Don’t believe me, read this, I wrote this case study 3 months ago, but no one listened.

    http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=79

    Right after I published this article Digg deleted all my posts and accused KeyWebData of spam. Thanks Digg!

    Social marketing is about being social, so go be social. Just don’t write articles critical of Digg.

  39. what do you think about create useful articles with link anchor text to our web and send to free directory article? is it very good effort ? thanks

  40. Hisham says:

    Actually I was doing something else, just started a few days back, instead of bloging I though it’s good to create a big blogroll, and link to all blogs I found something good to read, spread it with my group friends which can also help me to decide what post to link to, and provide me with their favorite articles.

    After thinking about what while I am creating the page, I thought to make it in a different domain name, so it was a mix between a community and blog directory! I also Dugg and Mixx all posts, so.. reader started to follow me through Twitter and gain more friends as well.

    But after reading your post, the picture is more clear to me, I will play more and lets see what will happen.

    Thanks, Allow me to link to your posts!!

  41. Excellent article about a traffic generation technique that’s so easy to implement most people don’t think about it. So I had to share right away.

    For maximum exposure and less work I “Pinged This” with a new service called Ping.fm which includes posting to most of the social media sites mentioned in your article.

  42. Congrats for your article… Always a pleasure to read you, and thanks for sharing with us from your experiences :) . I’ve promoted sometimes articles of other bloggers who don’t link with me, only because I’ve liked their articles, so rise the thumb for your article.

  43. Ryan McLean says:

    Good idea
    But what if you are just starting? Like me on my financial blog and nobody writes about your posts?

  44. Garry says:

    I have only recently got involved with blogging, and I have to say that this post of Darren’s once again proves that good relationships are the key to success.

  45. Brian says:

    Darren,

    You hit a bunch of good points on addressing the power of social-networking sites; however, there can be a draw back. People might catch on to how you’re promoting yourself. If you push something too much, people will resist. Have you heard of Adoptic? I’ve found it useful for choosing what “posts” from other bloggers gets on your blog. Well, best of luck with everything you do. Take care.

    Brian

  46. uwak says:

    thanks for the sharing……social media still the choice for creating network and free traffic……, so many great information from article above plus more benefith with detail description…..thanks

  47. carrie says:

    Hi Darren,

    Its really amazing to here these tactics…I searched in several forums..but I didn’t get any solution to my answer.

    Keep it up!

    keep share good information…

    Thanks Darren!

  48. carrie says:

    Hi Darren,

    Its really amazing to here these tactics…I searched in several forums..but I didn’t get any solution to my answer.

    Keep it up!

    keep sharing good information…

    Thanks Darren!

  49. Great post! You reiterated a point brought up in one of Napoleon Hill’s books. Napoleon Hill stated that making money requires that you first serve others. By helping others generate more traffic you will eventually help yourself, however, you cannot do it solely to help yourself or you will be seen ad insincere.