I’ve been talking to some new bloggers recently and I’ve been asked questions about how they should work on growing their blog, increasing subscribers, and getting more visitors. Most bloggers know about the potential impact of social media and some even spend considerable amounts of time on sites like Digg with hopes of getting a rush of traffic to their blog.
In my opinion, many new bloggers miss out on some great opportunities by not being more active at niche social media sites. These will not have nearly as many users as the major social media sites, so they will never send a comparable amount of traffic, but there are many reasons why they are every bit as valuable for the new blogger.
1. Targeted Traffic
Niche social media sites provide links to content that focuses on a specific topic, which means that most of the people that use that niche social media site will be very highly targeted if your content is a good fit with that topc.
While the most popular social media sites may be able to send thousands of visitors very quickly, those visitors are typically not very well targeted. Some of them may be interested in the subject of your content, but most would not fit in your target audience. With niche social media sites, a very high percentage of the visitors you receive will be exactly the type of readers that you want to reach.
2. Better Conversion to Subscribers
Social media traffic is usually pretty poor at converting to subscribers. There are a few reasons for this. First, the average social media visitor is just browsing for interesting content, they’re not looking for a source of information that they will keep coming back to. Second, because the traffic is not targeted they will not be interested in subscribing and receiving the content on a regular basis. B
ecause visitors from niche social media sites is more targeted, part of this issue will be taken care of. Additionally, users of niche social media sites tend to have a strong interest in the community of other users of the site who have similar interests, and this can carry over to the links that they find through the niche site.
3. Higher Chances of Success
One of the most significant reasons that I think new bloggers should be submitting their content to niche social media sites is that it is much easier and realistic to get your content to the front page. You could spend tons of time using Digg and trying to push your content and you may never get a post to the front page. Most bloggers that try to get traffic from Digg never have much success.
On the other hand, a much higher percentage of submissions at niche social media sites will get promoted to the front page. If your content is not making it on its own, you can even find a few friends and request some votes. With most niche social media sites it only takes a small number of votes to get from the front page and this is often possible to achieve just by asking a few friends for a vote.
4. Networking Opportunities
Social media and social networking sites provide plenty of opportunities to get involved with the community and get to know other users. With niche social media sites you will be able to network with like-minded users who have a lot in common with you. Making strong connections is very possible through this contact.
5. Can Lead to Success with Other Social Media Sites
Most social media users are active at several different social media sites. You may be able to easily get 100 visitors from a niche social media site. That may not seem very significant, but maybe from those 100 visits you will get a few Stumbles that will lead to even more traffic, or some Delicious bookmarks that will help you to make it to the frontpage. This domino effect is something that I have been writing about for a long time, and it sometimes can have big impacts.
What’s Your Experience?
Do you use niche social media sites? If so, how have they helped your efforts to grow your blog?
If you’re not familiar with any social media sites in your niche, see our categorized list of social media and social networking sites to see if you can find anything that may be of use to you.