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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Value of Traffic from DIGG, Reddit, del.icio.us, etc
    Like many I've only dabbled in doing much with these sites, but I'm really wondering if they're worth the effort. Let me preface that.

    I know a front page story on DIGG can send a glut of traffic, and have read that Reddit is good for link pop. I've also seen immediate slurp visits following submission to del.icio.us, but rarely have I heard any mention of actual revenue from these sources.

    I guess what's sparked my doubt yet again is reading over Reddit today. With so many of the top stories being train wreck type stuff it makes me wonder if there's much value in the traffic, or if the value lies in offers targeted at teen to twenty-something young men, similar to Myspace and youtube?

    There must be some value though. The number of sites plastered with icons for every social hoo haa site on the planet must indicate value for the effort, right? Or wrong...? There's definitely a massive audience, but what do they buy? NASCAR has a massive audience as well, but I wouldn't try to sell them brie or quiche...

    I'm not really stating an opinion here, just curious about success and/or failure experiences with these sites as they relate to revenue. That or I'm procrastinating...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think social traffic is interested in social sites. If you've got a site that uses social features you may have a better chance of harvesting loyal visitors from these sites. They are fairly general consumers who likely purchase most anything under the sun, but I don't think a traditional website will catch their attention. They're looking for communities that are worthy of their participation.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Scott,

    I'm sure you're right on that angle. I've mostly experimented with DIGG and posting blog entries, as well as a recent experiment related to bloggers. Knowing one of your sites from a past link exchange with you, I can see where you'd likely reap a lot more value out of the traffic than I've seen.

    Are you seeing much in the way of direct sales, or mostly indirect (community building, link pop, friend referrals, etc)?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    There must be some value though.
    Eathan, I think a lot of the value you gain from compelling content that reaches the front page of Netscape, DIGG, etc. comes from the link popularity you gain. The traffic might not convert or be worth all that much, but if you can get your site listed in a high profile area of these sites the crawlers will quickly take note... which will help in the long term with related web searches.

  5. #5
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    I submitted a page to DIGG and it got about 60 diggs. Never got to the first page and didn't pick up any direct customers/users or value. But, now when I check the webmaster tools of Google that page has 40+ back links listed due to the user profiles that show what those users "DIGG". While the back links don't amount to a high PR or maybe even no PR, but they are there and I presume they must add some value to the Google algo.

    Just submitted another page last night and no diggs yet... likely won't get any as it's not something that community would necessarily go for. But at least I"ll show up for a back link.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    Are you seeing much in the way of direct sales, or mostly indirect (community building, link pop, friend referrals, etc)?
    I don't get direct sales from social news sites. People just aren't visiting those sites to make purchases. They're visiting for entertainment and information purposes. They are worth something in terms of readers and backlinks, but I wouldn't focus on making sales from social news sites.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    These are pretty much the replies I expected, but was curious to see them all in one place. I guess it just strikes me as a little odd how much attention these sites are getting when the traffic is so far removed from the buy cycle.

    I see del.icio.us owned by Yahoo and it reminds me of all the other high profile deals. It's a bit like the old days before "the bubble burst" when VCs were throwing money at every .com with an open hand and a business plan. Where will they monetize when Coke can just as easily post their own video as sponsor another, or Coors can donate a hundred kegs to Warped Tour and get DUGG all over the place for the price of 100 kegs?

    In the context of affiliate marketing, I just think a lot of affiliates who don't have long term brand or community goals sink time and energy into trying to get DUGG or REDD that could reap more immediate and significant rewards elsewhere. Personally, I think offline is way under utilized by affiliates.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Most of these Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us users are savvy visitors, who are webmasters, online marketers themselves, and they can spot an affiliate link from 5 miles away. They will also recognize AdSense other contaxtual ads and usually won't click on them. They are not mainstream web surfers, so trying to make money off of is very difficult.

    However, being featured on these sites can help you in these ways:
    - generating buzz and recognition for a new site
    - establishing links to your web pages
    - some bookmarks for your relevant content
    - even generate revenue if you publish CPM ads

    Being Dugg or Redd or (whatever it is called) is a lot like "bad sex": They come rushing all at once, they go straight for obvious stuff (videos, pictures), they never "hit" the right spots (ads), and when they're done sucking up your bandwidht, they just leave (rollover and sleep).

  9. #9
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    Digg is interesting, but it seems that only stories submitted by a relatively small group of diggers ever reach the home page.

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The social networking arena is just another opportunity to help with SEO to your primary site or deeper pages. Like any SEO method it is a culmination of many methods and hard work that pay off. No webmaster should focus on only one strategy but put a little time into the social posts then go back and see if you get a benefit.

    Regardless, make your copy a benefit to the reader. If you get a little more traffic, another link and one step higher in a ranking for 15 minutes of your time then it was worth the investment.

  11. #11
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    I got on the front page of Digg once. Got 4 months traffic in 24 hours. It was useless in terms of aff sales or AdSense clicks. But...

    ...about 200 people subsequently linked to the page in question from their blogs. So I got a lot of incoming links out of it. Weeks later, and new backlinks still keep appearing.

    Since everyone and his dog is tryin to get "dugg" only a tiny tiny minority make it. I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

    For the record, getting dugg wasn't planned. I wrote a humorous piece and forgot about it. Not even a "digg this" icon on it. Woke up in the morning to find a friend had submitted it and the stats going through the roof.

    It was fun. And depressing. For every one who linked to the article, another copied it. Some even copied it and then submitted it to digg/reddit as their own work...

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    If you get a little more traffic, another link and one step higher in a ranking for 15 minutes of your time then it was worth the investment.
    I'm not sure I totally agree. Like a brick sitting on a table has potential energy, every 15 minutes of time has potential value. Realizing that potential comes from investing the time wisely.

    If we're among those who believe in content, we're going to write that anyway, and hopefully make it something that will serve our audiences, rank for relevant terms, get read, get bookmarked, etc, but I don't believe that spending the extra 15 minutes is necessarily worth the effort.

    For some sites, yes for sure, the 15 minutes is a no-brainer, but not for all. I'd even go so far as to say not for most. I'm still not 100% sure, but I think that's the point I'm getting to, or at least the conclusion I'm coming to.

    Say my site was about quilting. I could write a fantastic page about ideas for hosting a quilting circle. I could include tips on best times, snack recipes, "don't forget plenty of coasters" type stuff, best number of quilters to invite, supplies to have on hand in case people forget some of their quilting kit, R.S.V.P. or not to R.S.V.P., etc. My article is written and my page is up. Now I've got 15 minutes to spend...

    Option 1: I could post to DIGG and likely get some traffic, even some DIGGs, but I imagine most of the visitors would be clicking because they thought it was funny to see a quilting story posted to DIGG. Googlebot hits the upcoming page while my link is there and I get some link cred, but it's on the second or third page by the next day, so the link slips in credibility and value.

    Option 2: I could post a link to my favorite quilting forum where I'm a known and respected entity. I'd get some clicks from my target audience, maybe some bookmarks, and if the feedback is good, some of the other quilting webmasters might link to the article - links that would likely last until the cows come home.

    Option 3: I could set up a nice little email subscription form on my site with a catchy bit of push - "Enjoy more great quilting articles, subscribe to our Quilting Weekly email newsletter. Join Now!" Once the form and DB table are set up I can add it to my other article pages. I won't see any immediate revenue from the 15 minutes, but it may be that my actions have just established the foundations of my eventual quilting community/empire as Mable forwards to Dottie, and Dottie to Sue Ellen, and Sue Ellen to Frank, and...

    Option 4: I could find Amazon links for the cookbooks I got the snack recipes out of, link to a scrap-booking site for card stock for making invites, find links for low cost "guest supplies" like scissors, thread, needles, etc, even links to coasters for sale online. As bad as some of the network search options are, it might take more than 15 minutes to link everything in my article, but I could nail a few. Here my 15 minutes has revenue potential.

    15 minutes can go in a lot of different directions, and the main difference between $100 a month in commissions and $10,000 isn't so much the amount of time invested, but how it's invested.

    I know most of the regulars on ABW know all of this, so to some extent I'm preaching to the choir, but a lot of newer affiliates don't, or don't think about it. A huge number of novice affiliates spend their energy going down paths they read in e-books, or see posted by affiliate pros, and I think a lot of them get sucked into all the 2.0 hype without stopping to think if it's actually worth the investment for their site and the audience they're after. They don't have a plan, so they do what they've heard works.

    Anyway, this was more for the lurkers than the choir. Hope it helps a bit.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I have never tried to get Dugg, but I did have one page that did fairly well with it. It was just a page that I put together as a service, not something I was trying to monetize. Once I saw the traffic coming in though, I looked for a way to monetize it. It wasn't something that anyone had an affiliate program for, so I put up eBay links to some of the items. I made an easy four figures in a few days and a fairly minor residual after that.

    The traffic from Web 2.0 sites isn't anywhere near as good as most traffic, but it can be monetized, and the backlinks that follow (as others have pointed out) are usually okay as well.
    Michael Coley
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I have never tried to get Dugg, but I did have one page that did fairly well with it. It was just a page that I put together as a service, not something I was trying to monetize. Once I saw the traffic coming in though, I looked for a way to monetize it. It wasn't something that anyone had an affiliate program for, so I put up eBay links to some of the items. I made an easy four figures in a few days and a fairly minor residual after that.
    That's gotta be one of the best Digg stories I've heard, congrats Michael!

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I made an easy four figures in a few days and a fairly minor residual after that.
    Now, that's a success story! First time I've heard of anyone monetizing DIGG traffic too. Nice going!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Monetizing traffic is usually the easy part. It's getting the traffic that takes more work. For what it's worth, this was a ton of traffic monetized at a very low rate. And yet another piece of evidence that "providing value" works. It was Dugg because it was valuable. Monetizing it was an afterthought.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Social sites for me bring in good traffic even if I don't get to the front page. Those sites are not places I've really done any affiliate work though, however, whenever I get good traffic my adsense and other earnings go up signifigantly, so yeah, they can be monetized. Other things to consider:

    - If you hit the top of these sites consistantly, people will start coming back on their own.
    - You get a ton of really great backlinks when you get to the top, it helps your SEO for years to come.

    For me, it only takes about 15 minutes to put out my article to about 6 social sites, so the traffic that it brings in is worth the effort.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I don't get direct sales from social news sites. People just aren't visiting those sites to make purchases. They're visiting for entertainment and information purposes.
    And sometimes, they're visiting for other reasons (that parents everywhere should keep in mind at all times)...

    MySpace.com Finds 29,000 Sex Offenders, More Than 4 Times Previous Total
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070725/myspace_security.html

  19. #19
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    Better stop PPC, I'm sure criminals use Google too.

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'm sure they do as well.

    And if your post is meant to be a retort to my implication that people shouldn't market to MySpace folks cuz there's predators there, don't you think I ought to make such an implication first?

    I didn't say don't go there or don't market there, I said if you're a parent, you should know about this tiny sliver of users there.

    I saw this story this morning, thought it was noteworthy for several reasons, not the least is the Richter thing and his claim about distraction stories, the story's assertion that MySpace is dodging true numbers of identified predators, as well as other news worthy affiliate related things. So I searched ABW for recent MySpace threads and this seemed to be the most relevant - discussing the nature of social shopping sites and specifically MySpace.

    I do believe that the vast most activities there are not shopping oriented (nor are they predator related), and because of that lack of shopping focus, I think MySpace is a lesser opportunity than PPC, SEO or even targeted Email marketing. I also believe there's room for others views that are quite different than mine.

    But my point in posting this story was not to assert that MySpace should be avoided because a teeny percentage of users are folks to look out for. Of course, I expect you to be able to easily discern that - but hey, I often give you more credit than you deserve - I'm a generous guy like that.

    It's always fun to be intentionally misinterpreted by an ABW Moderator, I enjoy your twists on my posts - they're gentle reminders to provide more clarity in the things I post here.

  21. #21
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    Your post reminded me of when you got at Rhia. In this case you're playing Rhia and I'm playing Donuts

    We're talking about the value of traffic from these social networks and you're bringing in sex offenders.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    :-)

    Thanks for reminding me to be more clear, I mean that.

    I never meant to insinuate that this story has anything to do with the marketability of MySpace.

    We could discuss Rhia's confusion in that other post, but that's not central to our point here, but is plenty funny to me.

    In any case, a few more thoughts of mine about MySpace...

    It's got super heavy traffic, a very well defined demographic (especially compared to what we face eslewhere through other sites and other tactics) and they have fairly clear rules about how people can commercially engage others there (clear rules level the playing field and as such, favor the small guys, us).

    It's certainly viable and interesting and, for some avenues and niches, very compelling. But generally, speaking across the affiliate landscape, most will be better served to start elsewhere where the mindset of visitors is buying. Getting into eBay or Amazon for instance, would in my view, be vastly superior - people are there mostly to shop, not socialize.

    Thanks for the fun gentle poke in the ribs Trust, you're a good sport and I do appreciate your intellect.

    And for clarity, predators at any social sites have virtually nothing whatsoever to do with their general marketability to us. In fact, an enterprising affiliate might leverage their presence into marketing ideas (though tons of other non-pred related ideas also apply) like writing content about security practices for kids at social sites, or background check services that might "sell" there...

  23. #23
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    ...In fact, an enterprising affiliate might leverage their presence into marketing ideas
    Bulk lollipops?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager DaveAMWSO's Avatar
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    From an affiliate perspective, I think a lot has to do with the type of affiliate site you're trying to build. For example if you're building sites intended to hit people right in the buy cycle: coupon site, single review site, trademark keyword focused site, Then I doubt many of the social sites will add a whole lot of converting traffic. The biggest value add will just be the link juice that could come.

    Now, if you're trying to build a community....a blog or a forum for example...or a site where users submit reviews, etc. Well in these cases social sites might add a tremendous amount of value. Yeah, you're hitting a general audience, and people that aren't neccessarily in the buy cycle, but you could be adding people to your community that might perhaps buy later.

    The key of course would be having some other compelling content on your site that will make a user want to come back or bookmark it aside from your "socialized" page.

    Also, I think all these niche social sites that are popping up have a lot more potential above digg for affiliates. For example, if you have a fashion site then there could be a lot of potential for getting involved and participating in a site like Stylehive.

    Dave
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  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think one thing that needs to happen is people need to learn to shop on social sites. Once people become used to the concept and learn how to shop with their friends this will get a lot more interesting. People are just learning what a social network is so it'll be several more months, if not years, before the general shopping public expects to shop on a site like Myspace. But let me tell you it's coming.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

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