This guest post is by David Leonhardt of Zoomit Canada.
Zombie accounts at Reddit are increasingly frustrating content creators on the internet. A “zombie” account is an account that appears to be active to the user, but to nobody else, usually as a punishment for that user submitting his or her own content.
The user submits, and he sees his or her submission. S/he comments, and sees the comment. S/he thinks s/he has an active account, and can go on for months thinking s/he does. But nobody else reads that person’s submissions or comments, and his or her up-votes are generally nullified by automated system down-votes.
No social bookmarking is so cruel as Reddit. I mean, this is downright mean. And no site is so easy to cross, because self-promotion (submitting your own blog post) is frowned upon in almost every way. I’ll bet that the zombie accounts at Reddit outnumber the real accounts by a gazillion to one. Okay, perhaps that’s just a bit of an exaggeration…
So what is a blogger, video maker, infographics publisher or other content creator to do if we wish to legitimately spread the word about a blog post? How are we to know where we can submit our own content and where it will just get us banned? Let this post be your guide.
The following sites frown on any form of self-promotion.
- Reddit: No self-promotion allowed.
- Newsvine: No self-promotion allowed.
- Stumbleupon: Self-promotion is frowned upon, but if you don’t overdo it, you should be fine.
- Mixxingbowl: Self-promotion is frowned upon, but if you have a non-commercial site with news or blog posts, not too many people will despise you.
The following sites welcome self-promotion on any topic.
- Digg: Well, not officially, but it has been a long time since they seem to care, mostly because you just won’t be very successful if you are too self-promotional. It’s in the algorithm.
- Olddogg: Submit anything.
- Delicious: Submit anything.
- Dropjack: Submit anything.
- Snagly: Submit anything.
- Cloudytags: Submit anything.
The following sites welcome self-promotion, but you’d better be on-topic.
- Bizsugar: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about small business.
- Tipd: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about finance.
- Fwisp: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about finance.
- Pfbuzz: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about finance.
- Zoomit Canada: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about Canada or a Canadian site.
- healthbuzzing: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit about health and fitness.
- Newsmeback: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit newsy, informational items.
- Blokube: Self-promotion’s okay, assuming you submit on topics related to blogging and making money from home.
- Politicollision: Although the site is very new, they seem to welcome any political news, including your own content.
- Serpd: Self-promotion’s okay, as long as you submit about online marketing.
The following sites are harder to classify—see the notes for each to get an idea of what you can and can’t submit.
- Buzfeed: It is more the quality of the content than the source that they seem to be interested in. (Yeah, I know. All the sites say that.)
- Blogengage: Any submission is welcome, as long as it is a blog post. Any topic. Any quality. But they will be brutal if you actually promote your post.
- chime.in: Too new to tell.
- Pinterest: Too new to tell.
This listing reflects just one user’s observations. There are actually official terms of service at each site, and other users who might have different observations. The thing about “social” sites is that so much depends on people and their judgments, not just the terms of service. Hopefully this guide will help you decide where you feel like being self-promotional, and where you would prefer to keep your hands in your pockets.
Ultimately it is up to you to get a good feel for the site and for what is generally accepted before you submit your first item. And as a newbie, it’s worth erring on the side of caution; your account will likely be held to stricter standards than those of people who have already proven to be community builders.
If you’ve had any difficulties sharing your content on any of these—or other—social sites, let us know in the comments.