What is to gain from social bookmarking sites?

I’ve been doing some experimenting with social bookmarking sites, like Digg, Reddit, Mixx, and StumbleUpon. When no effort is made, they provide an absolutely small measure of traffic. On a blog that was recently launched, that has no real established following and is relying entirely on link sharing for traffic, we see roughly 30 visits total from all social bookmarking sites per blog post. This is practically worthless. That’s not to say that social bookmarking sites are worthless, but that traffic from these sites has more to do with who the submitter is, and their personal network within each site.

Don’t underestimate the value of building relationships within these social sites – it’s not enough to simply submit links. As with all social networks, online or off, it’s essential to build relationships and trust within a community. Once you have built a network, then you should see a steadier stream of traffic. Of course, a higher traffic rate doesn’t mean you can let those networks sit idle – they still require regular maintenance.

That’s the nature of being social.