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Online Business Idea: Social Bookmarking Sites

online business ideaI see a trend in the past few months – social bookmarking sites seem to sell like lemonade on a hot summer day! Despite most of the sales I know don’t involve any significant revenues, but they sell well on webmaster marketplaces. Is it a good online business idea?

Social bookmarking sites are those social sites in which visitors can register to submit their “stories” (read: links to other interesting sites or their own sites.) Visitors and other members can typically “vote” for the stories they think interesting. The stories receiving plenty of votes will generally displayed on the front page, giving plenty of exposure – great for driving tons of traffic to your web pages.

That is why social bookmarking sites are generally getting a hefty amount of traffic; Internet marketers and web promoters use the social bookmarking sites to promote their or their clients’ web pages for both back links and traffic.

Some examples of great social bookmarking sites are BizSugar (social bookmarking site for business), Digg (THE social bookmarking site,) Reddit, etc.

Why social bookmarking sites sell

When buying a web business, most people are attracted to these 5 factors:

  1. Traffic: Google Analytics, Alexa
  2. Ranks: Google PageRanks, MozRanks, backlink counts, etc.
  3. Income: Revenue and profit figures
  4. Operational complexity: The more automated the site, the more appealing
  5. Potential for further growth

Social bookmarking sites generally answer 4 out of 5 of those issues.

A decent social bookmarking site can offer you great traffic, good ranks, minimal management (all you need to do is actually moderating stories, which are coming your way automatically due to the demand,) and good potential growth (everybody goes social media…)

Despite most social bookmarking sites are not generating worth-mentioning revenue, despite the huge traffic, they still appeal budding online entrepreneurs who have an idea or two to monetize a social bookmarking site better.

How to start a social bookmarking site?

It’s fairly simple: Just find the available social bookmarking sites – there are premium scripts, but I recommend you to use Pligg – it’s free and powerful. You need to pay for more themes and add-ons, though…

You or your IT guy will need to install it and customize it to give your social bookmarking site more powerful features and to differentiate from the others. Don’t worry, it’s open source – so codes are accessible and can be tweaked as you like.

When you have setup everything, all you need to do is to promote, promote and promote!

I’m more into buying: How much acquiring a social bookmarking site will cost you? Where to buy?

The answer to that question is highly depending on the quality of the social bookmarking sites. Of course, acquiring Digg would cost you millions, even billions of dollars… however, acquiring start-ups will get you a nice social bookmarking site at less than $500.

All you need to do is to visit webmaster forums that have website marketplace section, such as DigitalPoint Forums’ sites buy, sell and trade forum, and start browsing. Anybody can list any sites for free, so beware of scammers.

If you want more trusted website marketplace, try Flippa – probably the best marketplace today. The websites are generally listed at higher price tags, but the listings are more trusted as they need to pay to get their sites listed on Flippa.

It’s a great online business idea, but…

…just like any other business websites, you need to promote them to get better results. Social bookmarking sites are run almost in automatic manner, but you need to promote right to get most of them.

You also need to find better monetization strategy than CPC ads such as Google AdSense. Such sites are generally generating low click rates and low pay-per-click rates.

If you finally discover the “secrets” social bookmarking sites can be winners.


Ivan Widjaya is a webpreneur and an owner of a site network. He actively runs Noobpreneur.com, a small business tips blog, and CBRdigital.com, a cloud business blog .

2 Responses to “Online Business Idea: Social Bookmarking Sites”

  1. Hi Ivan,
    Thanks for writing this article about starting a new bookmarking site. I have just emailed one of my friend this page who is planning to start a new bookmaking site. Hope this will help him more.

    Valentine

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