Self Promotion Means Always Having To Say You're Somebody

This week a single page on my website received close to 10,000 visitors from StumbleUpon. I don't know why they came, there weren't any reviews of the page that I could find, just eight or ten people who had given it a "thumbs up." I've never been very active on any of these social tagging networks, I think the only one I ever dug things on was Digg. But self publishing and self promotion go hand-in-hand, and self promotion means always having to say you're somebody. The trick is telling the right people. In the current Google dominated phase of Internet search, nothing is more important than the company you keep, often described as your "neighborhood." Thackery's unforgettable character Becky in Vanity Fair had internet based promotion worked out a hundred fifty years ago with the line:

"One must, my dear, show one is somebody", she said. "One mustn''t be seen with doubtful people."

As we move into the long slow summer and I think about redoing my blog template for the first time in a while, I'm wondering if I should add some self promotion buttons as a sidebar feature. The icons in this post only operate for people who are members of the named services. Otherwise, they'll ask you to create an account.

The blog search site that I occasionally use myself and ping my blog on is Technorati. I only started a feed recently so I have relatively low "authority" but maybe this post will help.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Digg is more focused on news stories, and the need for self promotion in the self publishing world is hardly news. But maybe you dig the blog.

Digg!Digg it!

StumbleUpon is really more of a social tagging site, where my impression is it's more about sharing sites with "friends" than creating a new index for the web. As I mentioned above, StumbleUpon and their nearly 2.6 million users can throw a lot of visitors your way, and maybe this will help a couple more trip over me.

Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!

So, this is my version of standing on a bench in a park and yelling that I'm somebody. One way I can tell I'm not real good at it is I had to search around the web for an hour just to find example links, and I don't even know if they'll work. Still, it's important to try new avenues in your promotion efforts from time to time, or you're likely to discover that you're preaching to the converted. So, I'm going to post this now and try out the links.


Steve Weber said...


I've also gotten some traffic this week from StumbleUpon. But the quality seems bad -- they stay for less than a minute and view only 1.6 pages. Just long enough to give a thumbs up or thumbs down I guess.

I've had Digg and Delicious buttons at the bottom of my blog posts for about a year, and as far as I can tell, nobody has ever clicked on either.

Morris Rosenthal said...


The traffic was surprisingly well targeted, they stayed a while and on average, viewed another page, but it was illustrated computer stuff.

I'm skeptical myself that the buttons would encourage somebody who wasn't using a toolbar or widget to pay attention, so I probably won't change the template, they'll just be in the one post.