It would be great if each blog writer could engage the Internet’s equivalent of the town crier to publicise their work ~ Anon.
I remember the first blog post I ever wrote, looking back nowadays I recall it had a couple of errors in it, but the greatest challenge I had was having people I knew read what I had written, I needed that Town Crier. Aside from creating their masterpieces the greatest activity any writer needs to be committed to is publicising the writing on their blog and across the web there are many websites that have been created to aid those publicity efforts, each works slightly differently, but each has it’s value in showcasing your work and are classified as:
- Social Networks
- Social Sharing
- Bookmarking, and
- Specialist services
Truth is on-line writers need to leverage all the tools available in order to spread the message about their work, as most do not have the funds to engage the services of a publicity company. It is unlikely that you will use every site listed, indeed some have very specialist uses and will not be for everyone.
Having researched this over many years I am aware there are many services available in languages other than English, but I have not included those services here as I am unable to fully explore their capabilities. These services that have been described here are, of course, subject to change over time, but all were active at the time this article was written.
Social media is the first place most writers go to publicise their work. The first four should be familiar to most who reading this and need little comment. Most social networks allow multiple postings linked to the same page over time.
- Facebook – Social network used by 2 billion people worldwide. If you are only connected to family and friends then it may be of limited use to you, but if you connect with others sharing similar professional goals then it can be a very useful publicity tool.
- Twitter – Social headline site. you should post material here regularly and aim to build a large following (don’t be afraid to make your following massive) .
- LinkedIn – A business focused social network, if you produce business focused material then this should be essential to your publicity goals.
- Google Plus – Google’s social network, has a lot of blog communities which allows you to publicise your posts to people in your industry.
- Xing – A business focused social Network mainly active in Europe.
- Yammer – Enterprise based social network.
- Tsu – A social network that claims to be like Facebook, but pays for posting.
- Twoo – A social network and sharing site.
Many sharing sites use the term social network, but tend to allow a user to only share a page once, so they can be a little limiting, whereas those I have called social networks do allow pages to be shared multiple times which gives your publicity efforts the ability to run multiple campaigns). They are social in that they have the concept of friends, but the types of posts you can have are more limited.
- Pinterest – A place to pin pictures (and associated words/links). It is easy to build a large community here and a great place to share your work.
- Arto – A sharing site (primarily for pictures) but also links to articles you have created.
- Corkboard – Social site for posting pictures and video with links.
Anyone can bookmark any web page but with most sites you can only bookmark a page once for each user. The original goal of social bookmarking is that anyone may bookmark any page that they like, this is the blog post we like, magazine article, etc. These site owners realised that marketers would take advantage for free advertising, so limited each person to posting a site only one time. Of course the writer is like the marketing person, looking for further avenues to display their work.
The first five in this list are the most well known public bookmarking sites.
- Delicious – Public bookmarking site that carries advertising.
- Digg – This site has a front page to showcase recent posts under its various categories.
- Diigo – Maintains a library of links you have posted to the site, a social bookmarking site that allows users to link with others on the site, search for other people based on specialty.
- Reddit – Public bookmarking and commenting site, allows anyone to post sites they like, which are displayed on the main site. All pages bookmarked on Reddit are also posted on Twitter by Reddit.
- StumbleUpon – Provides a browser toolbar with a thumbs up for any page you like and pages are easily added to the site.
- Blogmarks.net – A multi-lingual social bookmarking service to share pages.
- Buddymarks – Claims to be “online personal, group and social bookmarks manager” that allows you to share book marks with friends.
- LinkaGoGo – Allows a user to add bookmarks and favourites through its own tool bar.
- Folkd – A site for storing any page and sharing it with others on the site. A multi-lingual site in English German, French, and Spanish.
- Netvouz – Allows you to create and optimise public bookmarks. There are various categories already against which your page is linked.
- Newsvine – Was originally started as a news-wire service but has transitioned into a public bookmarking service that allows you to share published material, you are, however, not allowed to share your own work.
- StartAid – A service for saving all your bookmarks and favourites on-line, which are shared publicly.
- Stumpedia – a human powered search engine supported by social bookmarking. The advantage of this site is that you don’t have to have an account to share a link (although you should if you intend to post a lot).
- Xerpi – Web and social bookmarking site.
Specialist Sharing Services
Various services that offer various options that can be useful to the writer.
- Buffer – Used to buffer a collection of pages that will be posted to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google Plus in the future. I use this regularly so that posts are added while I am busy working on other things.
- Citeulike – Service for sharing, managing and discovering scholarly references as articles are regularly added. Can be used to share references.
- Edmodo – Educational resources for schools.
- TheCherryShare – for food articles
- N4G – A gaming community which allows posts to be added.
- MoShare – to share your posts to others via their mobile phone.
- Embedly – Service that allows you to generate html code that will allow you to embed a post on another site, a tool which can be used for re-blogging.
- LiveJournal – a promotional site to post your work.
- Flipboard – A news service which allows users to create their own magazines.
- WeHeartIt – A place to save things you love.
In conclusion I wish to say that all of the sites identified will help you with a part of your publicity regime, you will need to experiment and find what works best for you. This article was not intended to be a commentary of which is best merely a look at some tools that are available.
Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for contributing his thoughts on sites that aid publicity. All images used here are either created or owned by Peter Giblett or have been sourced from a public domain source.
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