If I had a dollar for every time I (figuratively) banged by head against the wall while learning blogging, I would be rich.

It’s no wonder bloggers get stressed out and aren’t always sure how to grow their blog.

In yesterday’s post we learned how addictive we become to spikes in traffic created by social networking sites.

But have you ever done any research on how many social networking resources there are?

I did, and I may have only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Today’s Lesson

Wikepedia has a huge list of social networking websites (approximately 125). They include sites such as Buzznet, Couch Surfing, Linkedin, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and many more.

Of the big shooters, Facebook reports:

* More than 70 million active users
* Facebook is the 6th most-trafficked website in the world (comScore)
* Facebook is the 2nd most-trafficked social media site in the world (comScore)

According to the data on Wikipedia’s site, MySpace claims 110,000,000 registered users, and Windows Live Spaces reports 120,000,000.

I’m not done yet.

Lets jump to another class of social networks.

This list is the result of a link Kaye (NBOTW) shared with me.

On Social Maker.com you can join up to 47 social bookmarking sites. These include Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Propeller and Spurl, just to name a few.

Whew!! That’s exhausting.

And there is more (+/- a duplicate or two), as neither list included MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, or Squidoo.

Add to that, bloggers who strive to get their blogs listed in Technorati’s “top 100” blogs.

So the question becomes, what will work best for YOU?

Do you do what others do, or do you venture out on your own, researching each social networking website to determine if you want to be a part of that specific community.

It’s a tough choice, but it’s a choice only YOU can make.

Today’s Assignment

How have you determined which social network works best for you?

Do you allot a specified amount of time for time spent on social networks?

Has it helped get your blog found?

Do you think it’s important to join multiple social networks, or is what you’ve done enough?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    The one that’s new to me is LinkedIn…I joined Posh Mama’s, by accident and someone sent me an invite to LinkedIn and I just didn’t bother to join, then a coworker sent me an email for the same site and I’m considering it….I don’t know…it’s all too much. A few of the attorneys in my office use LinkedIn, so maybe it’s a little different than the others because its not really about you and your videos, but referrals and a way to keep in touch.

    I’m probably done with joining networks, but never say never. I’m only staying up to date on 5 of them and I’m even behind on those.

    Naturals last blog post..I Think I Love My Car

  2. Thanks for this post Barbara – I’ve really got to take advantage of social networking more. Even though I’m going to focus on content, it can only help. (But I’m still avoiding Twitter for now – too much!)

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..Do You Believe in Magic? (How I Met Bruce Springsteen)

  3. HELP! I’ve never even been on Facebook (just the name turns me off for some reason) and I feel completely overwhelmed by the whole social networking thing.

    But it sounds like I really do need to put my toe in the water – or should I say put my toe into the black hole from which I may never escape??

    I’m enjoying your blog – especially that it’s not too techy – thank you!

  4. I’ve decided to stick to two social networks to promote my blog – stumbleupon and digg. They give me a small amount of extra traffic at the moment, but also I think having the option to stumble and digg makes your blog look more professional.


    David | beplayfuls last blog post..Aspects of Playfulness: Magical Enchantment

  5. Like David, I use StumbleUpon and Digg. StumbleUpon because it’s fun to use and gets you some traffic with just a few votes, and Digg because it can crash your server if you make the front page (which I think is a good thing). And Twitter is great, as long as you don’t read the tweets.

    Yesterday I turned off shouts on Digg (shouts are emails sent through Digg when someone is asking their contact list to digg their stuff). I started getting too many of them, including multiple shouts for the same post. And yesterday on LinkedIn I got an invite from someone I don’t know. A few days ago, Barack Obama joined my LinkedIn network. It’s all a bit much, I think.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..14 Defenses Against The Anti-Entrepreneurial

  6. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, Barbara you must have been inside my mind when you decided to write this. All I have to say now is I am so overwhelmed with all this social networking stuff right now that I am about ready to scream. How do you decide? What do you do? What do you not do? That is the question. I liked the suggestions of Digg and Stumble. Maybe I’ll stick with those and Facebook since I get to keep in touch with people I actually know outside of cyberspace.

    Currently, I’m on FaceBook, MySpace, Digg, Technorati, and somehow last night I ended up signing up for Stumble Upon even though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing when I first started. It’s been so much that I haven’t even been on MySpace in a couple of weeks!

    Think I’m going to go outside and scream now.:)

    That’s pretty good, Barack Obama on LinkedIn! lol lol

    Jennifers last blog post..The Art of Peaceful Bill Paying

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    I just had an invite from Linkedin too, but didn’t really know what it was all about, so didn’t sign up. It appears to be popular with business people

    Hi Mark,

    It makes me wonder if we really need social networks as I don’t think there were many, if any, when the big name bloggers became popular. They made it with their content. I think they help to get a blog found a little faster, but I don’t know if they are vital to the success of a blog.

    Hi Ann,

    Welcome to the BWAB community. It’s great to see you here. I never get too “techy”, as I don’t understand it all. My motto is keep it simple. 🙂

    Some social networks can help you find great blogs, but be forewarned, networking is time consuming and can be addictive.

    Hi David,

    Like you, I like Stumble and Digg. They are fairly easy to use and are good for traffic building.

    Hi Hunter,

    You’re getting around, aren’t you? Now, you have Obama joining your Linkedin network. Do you think he’ll read your blog? And comment? 😆

    Hi Jennifer,

    You have my permission to scream. It is very overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to decide how connected (or not connected) we really want to be.

  8. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry for the little rant earlier. I have just been a little overwhelmed recently. I’ve had some time to relax and calm down now. As I talked about in my post last week simplicity is the key. Stick to what is most beneficial and the rest is just a distraction.

  9. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I didn’t mind the rant at all. I think you expressed what we all feel at times.

    Yes, simplicity does make life more manageable – in all areas of our lives.

  10. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    I have decided that I want my blog to grow organically, that’s slowly but surely. Which means (another cliche comming) less is more. Concentrating on two methods of networking and doing it well will create quality traffic for my blog. Eventually it will catch fire. I just need to be patient.

    chriss last blog post..My Family’s Shape

  11. It’s a lot, isn’t it. Early on before I really knew how any of those sites worked, I lucked out and one of my blog posts hit the front page of del.icio.us on a Saturday night.

    It’s been bookmarked by over 450 people, I received lots and lots of links, and my page rank for that blog article’s page is a 6!

    Pretty cool.

    I think if you want to succeed in leveraging social media sites like those to market yourself or business you really should just concentrate on 2 or 3 and work those. It’s best if they compliment your niche.

    As far as Facebook and Myspace goes, I really can’t stand them. They’ve caused so much – jail time, infidelity, fights, etc.

    Personally, I stay away from those.

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..Finding Your Purple Cow By Thinking Laterally

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Chris,

    Yes, less is more. Growing a blog organically helps to not be dependent on social networking traffic, thus you’re not subjected to joining and participating which saves you a massive amount of time.

    Patience is definitely the key. I’d say you’re on the right path.

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    That is cool – front page of del.icio.us, AND a page rank of 6.

    You do bring up a good point. Some social networking sites do not compliment all blogs.

  14. Barbara –

    I think Stumble is most professional of all the social media as it is not too intrusive. Digg is good but I always felt that you have better odds if you know some power diggers. I’ve seen content lot lower in quality getting to the front page. That is insane. I agree with David and Hunter that Stumble and Digg are the best two networks to use to grow the traffic.


    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..How to Work Less for a Happy, Balanced Life

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shilpan,

    I do agree, some of the front page Digg content lacks quality.

    Stumble is an easy social network to use. Although you can see what your “friends” are stumbling, I think it’s more fun to use the toolbar and stumble through random sites. It’s always a surprise to see what’s next.

  16. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Great stats and perspective.

    I haven’t made time for Twitter or Digg yet, but I’ll only do it if I can find a way to leverage my existing workflow. I’m a fan of synergy and efficiency.

    > When is enough enough?
    I heard Eight is Enough.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..The Curse of Knowledge

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D.

    I’ve heard “eight is enough” too . 😆 That’s good.

    Yikes…I hope that doesn’t mean I should join 8 social networks.

  18. As Barbara said, I create links by bookmarking using socialmarker.com.

    I’ve got a Linked In account, which is slim, but at this point I mainly use for the links back to my blog. I’ve got friends who use it religiously and have been very successful with it.

    Next on my list is Facebook. Given my workload, I’m thinking I’ll be able to get to that in July. (I hope).

    Thanks Barbara for asking this question. I’ve felt behind the times with not being more active, but seeing these responses, I’m feeling better (and more realistic.)


    Kaye Swaffords last blog post..Call of the Wild

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kaye,

    As you can see, it’s tough for most bloggers to find the time for social networking. I’m sure it’s a great concept, but we also need balance in our lives.

  20. Dr.CasonNo Gravatar says:

    I just joined Twitter and have had to monitor how much time I spend over there but on the upshot it’s great to network with other people such as myself who are physicians and not getting themselves “out there”.

    At least with twitter you can comment @ other people or just put your thoughts into the world- one little bitty sentence at a time.

    I’m DrCason if ya wanna twitter me and check it out 🙂

    I also joined LinkedIn but haven’t figured out how that’s going to help me. I also joined de.li.ci.ous and stumble and haven’t figured those out either. Seems like a lot of work and most of it should probably go to creating good content as well as networking.

    Dr.Casons last blog post..Back to Normal

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Cason,

    It sounds like Twitter is working good for you. It does have that 140 character advantage.

    With so many social networking sites out there, it is hard to determine which will work best. And, what works good for one person, may not work well for others. We just have to decide how connected we want to be.

    And like you said, still find time to create good content.

    I’m visiting blogs tonight, and you’re next on my list 🙂