Growing Traffic To My WordPress Website With Digg, Stumbleupon and More

In August 2009 a Nielsen report revealed that 17% of all time spent on the internet was on social networking sites, and this was triple growth based on the year before.  Advertising giants are recognizing the power of tapping into this traffic, with online ad spending on social networking sites up by 199% in 2009 to $108million.

Any website needs to tap into this traffic to guarantee success and it’s much easier than you might think.  There is now a new breed of social networking sites which allow people to submit stories, articles and ideas from the entire web, and other people then vote on them, pushing good ones up the page and bad ones down.  The best articles get onto the front page, which can mean a surge of 100,000 visitors to your website in just one day!

The most popular of these sites are Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot, Technorati and  This article shows you exactly how to take advantage of them with your WordPress site.

How To Get Your WebPage Highlighted

While it’s okay to submit your latest blog every now and then, the best way to achieve success through these sites is to get your visitors to do it for you.  The key is to make it easy for them to do it, so you need to add social networking icons at the bottom of each post.  There are a number of different plug ins to do this.  Here are some of the most popular:

  • Sociable: allows you to put links at the bottom of each post to up to 99 different social bookmarking sites.  Choose your favorites and see which have the most success.
  • Submit to Any:  this plug in automatically gives you icons at the end of each post to allow visitors to place it on Technorati, StumbleUpon, Digg, SlashDot and
  • ShareThis: allows your visitors to share your post via email to their friends or on their own social bookmarking sites.
  • I Love Social Bookmarking:  if you don’t like clutter, this gives you a neat and tidy drop down menu of social bookmarking sites at the end of your posts.  Your readers can then choose which ones to use.
  • Social Bookmarking:  this plug in gives you a list of XHTML compliant graphics at the end of each post, allowing visitors to easily click to over 50 social networking sites.

Which Should I Focus On?

The truth is that different WordPress websites have varying success with different social networking sites.  Digg might work really well for you, but for others not at all.  The thing is with Digg, it can be pretty hit and miss.  If you don’t get onto the front page, you won’t really get a lot of traffic.  However get on the front page (which takes around 150 diggs) and you could receive over 100,000 hits in just a few hours.

StumbleUpon tends to give less traffic spikes, but generally more consistent, longer lasting traffic.  Just a few thumbs up and you could get hundreds or thousands of extra visitors in the long term.

If you’ve just created your WordPress website, try several different sites and use a plug in such as Google Analytics to see where your visitors are coming from.  This might help you decide which social networking site to focus on.

Say Thank You

This is a secret tip from professional bloggers which can really help to improve and maintain your Digg and StumbleUpon success.  Obviously when you get a huge spike in traffic, someone put in the initial work by becoming a fan of your page and submitting it to the sites.  If they’re a fan, they may become a regular reader and continue to give you free publicity.  If you take just a few moments to say thank you, they’re even more likely to do it again.  It’s easy to find out who originally put your webpage forward:

  • On StumbleUpon: first open an account.  Then go to the story in question and click on the white speech bubble, which shows you the person who stumbled your story.  Then you can send them a personal message of thanks, make them your friend on the network and you might even do the same for their blog or website.
  • On Digg: become a Digger by signing up for an account.  Then find the person who dugg your story.  You need to look for their name in a small avatar beneath the story.  Befriend them by going to their profile, click “add friend” and then send them a message of thanks.  You may also find their email on their profile, which allows you to communicate direct.

Protect Your Website From Crashing

Just a word of warning… some social media sites will give you instant success, meaning a surge of traffic that your site might not be able to cope with.  What you need is to install the WordPress plug in WP Super Cache, available with all the plug ins mentioned in this article on our resources page.  What this does is freeze the state of the popular page and prevents your site from crashing when too many people try to leave comments.  Then it will manually refresh the page at the interval you decide instead of after every comment.

If you do get a sudden surge in traffic, it may also be worth temporarily disabling some plug ins, such as Popularity Contest, as this can put extra pressure on the site.

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About the Author

Melanie Citron

Melanie Citron is a freelance writer and self proclaimed “techie” who lives in Denver with her husband, Glenn, and their three dogs Ralph, Sam and Billy. Melanie has become the “go to person” for creating online businesses for her friends and family. “I do it every day so I may as well write about it” Her knowledge has appeared on websites, in local newspapers and in person as a public speaker. In her spare time Melanie loves the outdoors and hikes and cross country skis.