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Use Niche Social Networking Sites to Gain Readers

Many bloggers attempt to use social networking sites to gain new readers for their blog. In this post Kevin Palmer of Social Media Answers shares some tips on how to do it.

One of the most undervalued places to find readers is a niche social networking site. Right now there are niche sites for just about every subject imaginable. Would you like to share your love of old cars? Not a problem. Want to connect to other mothers? There are tons of sites. Do you want to reach out to other people that pose as vampires? Believe it or not there is a site for you.

Here are some of the benefits of joining a niche social network:

You know other members share the same interests.

Instead of having to hunt through groups on larger sites or looking for people through keywords in their “about me” section you know right off the bat you share the same interests. Just by participating on the social network you are going to be connecting with people that may be interested in reading your blog. It is a targeted and focused environment for you.

Tip: Try spending 10-15 minutes a day just adding friends and interacting. Not only will people find your blog but also you will discover loads of others.

Smaller community but a larger voice.

Sure the pool is smaller compared to larger sites but you can be a big fish in a small pond quickly. You can quickly obtain an authoritative voice in a niche social network by listening, participating, and sharing.

Tip: Participate in forums or large groups to establish your voice and become a go to source of information. Sharing your knowledge and helping others out has lasting benefits.

Most of these sites link to your blog, pass on page rank, and bring a flow of traffic just from filling out your profile.

I have registered on over 700 social networking sites in the past few months and I was shocked to see the sheer number that pass on page rank when I link to my blog within my profile. Additionally by just setting up profiles and including my blog information I was getting a steady flow of traffic to my site even though I hadn’t “officially” launched yet.

Tip: Take time to actually fill out your profile. Have a document that already has your about me, favorites, and other typical topics you find on social networking sites ready to go so you can cut and paste your info from it.

Additional features like social news voting and forums are a great way to gain readers.

I found multiple sites ranging from sports to art that had their own social news section that was active. In testing a few of these out for a client I realized that the conversion from visitor to subscriber was high. Compared to traditional social news sites where it is very low.

Tip: The traffic from here can also lead to voting on traditional social news sites as well. Use these features to drive people to posts you really want to push on Digg, Reddit, or other sites. Make sure you embed buttons on the post to give them a cue.

Now don’t just run out there and register for every niche that might apply to your blog. There are a couple of things to watch out for:

  • Is the network active? Make sure you check out the forums or any place that shares content from other users that has a date. Check to see if there is a constant and recent flow, it is a good measuring stick to show you how active the site is.
  • What is the target country for the site? – If your site has a regional appeal you may want to check to see where the site is based out of and where the users are from.

I highly recommend picking out a site or two and experiment with it. Investing a little amount of time per day or even week can go a long way on these sites. On my blog I have a pretty comprehensive list of niche social networking sites, which is always evolving and growing, hope this helps as a starting out point.

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. Sunny says:

    Nicely put. I have experienced the same result for my site. In fact turnout from social networking sites has been greater for me than search engine traffic.

  2. Matthew says:

    Great post, I am currently looking to dive into Generation Y niche social sites but struggling. Suggestions welcomed!

  3. Good points. I’m guilty of spending too much time ;)

  4. Jason Finch says:

    I couldn’t agree more! My business is creating and nurturing niche social networks based on the social engine I’ve been developing and evolving since 1995. I regularly get people telling me they’ve had more positive and interesting results and contacts from these smaller sites in one month than they’ve had from a year or more on LinkedIn, Facebook or any other large social networks.

    The demographic is important, the ability to – as you say – immediately become immersed within the target audience who “automatically” share interests by the nature of the site.

    There’s a lot to be said for smaller niche social networks – particularly their power to bring people together away from the internet and to then continue that networking online, bring it offline again, and so forth. You’ve hit on it.

  5. Guillaume says:

    How do you manage 700hundreds profile?? Don’t you fear that people might get tired of your “profile with interest”??

  6. P@r@noid says:

    I believe forums are the best way to gain good amount of traffic and this one is for people who follow everyone on twitter :

    If you follow everyone on twitter and spending time on forum which doesn’t belong to your niche you are loosing a big chance of getting quality traffic.

    My advice follow people on twitter who are from your niche :
    You will get to know about latest upcoming news and you might get the love for retweet.

  7. TechMata says:

    I have never thought that it would really give a great impact to your traffic. T_T Maybe it really depends…

  8. Your “smaller community but larger voice” tag hits home. We can’t be all things to all followers, so defining niche and really exploring/contributing to it brings the most satisfaction.

  9. amanda lee says:

    So true! I write a blog that’s primarily about fashion. I’ve found that no matter how much promotion I’m doing, I typically get the most clicks from people looking at my submissions to Flickr’s Wardrobe Remix community. ;-)

  10. Thanks for the interesting post, as well as the great list of social networking sites out there. I had no idea there were so many! Excuse me now while I check out for any related to health and fitness. :)

    - Dave

  11. Allan Ward says:

    Great post. Your list of niche social networking sites is very comprehensive. I can’t believe you’re registered in over 700 sites – I didn’t think so many existed.

    I’ve just started using Facebook to promote my blog, but you’ve given me a lot of other options. Thanks

  12. Thanks for the insight, i presume you have to set up a feed of your most popular social hangouts to keep people interested. I guess you also have to spend some time crafting out an interesting profile to pique peoples interest.
    There’s no way you can keep up with so many sites, but the knock on effect could prove to be valuable for your blog in gaining new readers.

  13. Jon Griffith says:

    Just like any other social networking site, dropping your “business card” i.e. your profile and leaving won’t help you as much as interaction and actual networking. Reaching out to others and offering help to them free of charge is a great way to build relationships that last.

  14. Tony Sena says:

    That’s quite a list of social networking niche sites!

    Niche social networking sites are the way to go to interact, make contacts and grow your business.

    If you aren’t going to invest time into the sites you join, don’t waste your time creating an account.

  15. Zane says:

    I don’t know if you’ll find 700 sites relevant to what you do, but ning is another good place to start. I write about some styles of music that are specific to particular niches. But I’ve found a number of social networks catering to them.

    I think it’s important to be a part of those communities, which can be more work than just building a profile. Hopefully you’re joining a community focused on something you’re passionate about. Then it won’t seem quite as much like work.

  16. Kevin says:

    I probably should have been much clearer about this in my post. I registered with over 700 sites in order to review them for my blog about social media. There is no way I am active in all of them. I pick a handful to use for various functions.

    There is no way anyone should register for 700 sties. Nor would it be worth the time.

  17. Mike says:

    good points in this post, you have to actively promote yourself! I like to interact on Youtube! Watch other videos and comment on them…it works!

  18. Rachel says:

    I found that new social sites with few members are better than the popular ones.
    you can connect easily to the members and make them visit you blog or website.

  19. Tinh says:

    GReat post, it is very hard for a junior blogger that just step in blogging but it will help me how to be different from others. T

  20. Muzi Mohale says:

    very educational post really appreciate it, would anyone recommend a travel/tourism social network site?

  21. look like everything going to be niche. Something like niche in the niche, surely, these all happen because of the consequencies of increasingly competitors day by day. What we call something is niche, maybe in the future to be general thing. What a growth of world…

  22. I just signed up for a ton of those lists and wondered almost immediately for the photos category Where in the world is Flickr?!? lol

    Thanks for the list!

  23. Starwrite says:

    I think this year will make a trend to social network

  24. 700 social networking sites? That is impressive!

  25. Thanks for the list…

  26. pet snakes says:

    Is it worth while to join any and all social networking sites or just the ones related to your niche either directly or by proxy? If you’ve joined 700 it seems you probably joined every one you came across but I’m wondering if there isn’t a point when the sheer numbers aren’t as important as carefully targeting the communities you join.

  27. NomadNeedles says:

    Matthew –
    do you know about Brazen Careerist? Geared toward Gen Y.

    I’m not even a Gen Yer and I find it very motivating and inspirational

    Any vermicomposters out there? vermicomposters.ning.com is a fun, informative and active site.

  28. This is one of the best tips in recent times. I am going to devote 15 mins to add new friends on digg and stubleupon.

  29. Agent SEO says:

    I’m just starting my newest blog and I’m trying to get some traction via social networking sites. This is a great article that just reaffirms the value of getting yourself out there in the social realm.

    In fact, just to further solidify your point, my small blog (although it is still in its infancy) is recieving some nice traffic and referrals from some of the social sites I’ve registered with. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the 700 that you’re currently at though :)

    Great article!

  30. Tumblemoose says:

    I have to agree that 700 sites is pretty impressive. Also, just yesterday I gained two new subscribers just because of a comment I left on a website. It pays to spend the time. Also, I am getting more and more relevant traffic from Twitter. I worthwhile consideration for sure.

    Cheers

    George

  31. Wow amazing post. Thanks for sharing this great links, will check out this social niche sites and gain some backlinks.

  32. Ben Moreno says:

    I think it would be more beneficial to join as many social media as possible because there are so many people out there.

    This post came coincidentally because I just started doing just that yesterday. Good job. Now I feel even more motivated to do so.

  33. Kevin, wonderful and informative post your list of niche social networking sites is a great desert to the main course thanks again.

  34. SEO Tips says:

    Nice article, loved the structure of your article seemed some what similiar to that of Darrens, great for either people reading thoroughly through it or scan reading it.

  35. I’m interested in the fact you have registered for 700 social sites, you must have a lost of love to give out if you can be socialble over 700 sites :)

    My preference is to concentrate on 2-3 bigger audience sites and build relationships rather than link building.

    A very interesting point of view thanks

  36. axel g says:

    Thanks Kevin!

    Great suggestions and info +_+

  37. Katie says:

    I really liked your post as always. I think that is also a great idea as well, mashable have a list of social networks too but it is fairly old now in comparison and doesn’t really have the comprehensive list since the boom in social media.

  38. Gennaro says:

    Excellent link. There are a few niches that do very well with Digg and other social networks, but a social network for a specific niche evens the playing field to a degree. It won’t give the mass traffic, but even better, it will bring in truly interested readers. One’s who may return regularly.

  39. Phew! 700 sites! I didn’t even realise there was anything close that that many social networking sites. I will certainly make use of this tip, I like many utilise the ‘established’ social networks, but I understand your point about picking up the niche audience – again a good one for ‘long tail’ types…

  40. Yasar Curtay says:

    very well written. i guess this will surely help. actually i would like to share my experience.. i registered at twitter and followed a few people of same interest and people did came on my site. hope you guys might be able to give me more feedback.

    Regards
    Yasar
    http://www.rocksolidbody.com

  41. Nancy says:

    Social Networking Sites—Great idea! Thanks for the link to the Media site….