We’re finishing our series on connecting to the design community this week with a focus on article submission sites. If you’ve thrown your hat into the design blogging ring you’ve probably discovered that writing great articles is not enough to succeed. You’ve got to be able to promote what you write in order to get some attention and all that follows.

There are several good options for article promotion, the most obvious being through social media. But while Twitter and Facebook will take you far, there are other, less visited social media sites to take advantage of. Sites like Design Float and DZone offer a collecting ground for quality design and development content. In addition to social media sites, many design blogs offer community news sections to highlight articles from other blogs in their niche. Forming a promotion plan that includes these type of sites will help spread the word about your article, your blog, and your brand.

Make the Most of Your Promotion Time

Before we dive head first into the links, here are a few strategies to make the most of your promotion focus.

Spread Out Your Promotion

Hitting all these sites in one swoop may seem like an efficient use of your time. However, gaining all the attention at one moment may not be the best play. Social media and community news sites have very short lifespans for individual articles. Being featured on the homepage of a site may only last for a few hours, if that. Taking this into perspective, one approach that I employ is spacing out your promotion over several days.

Here’s my basic strategy. On the day the article is published, I’ll let some naturally organic traffic make it’s way to the site. Helping it out on twitter, facebook and other major social networks usually happens on the same day. Then I take to the design-niche social networking sites (Design Bump, Design Float, etc.) and work on getting those votes in. This usually happens at the end of the first day or the beginning of the second day after an article is published. Finally, over the next 2-3 days, I’ll promote the article through various community news forums on other design blogs. This usually happens in groups of 5-10 at a time.

Spreading the load over 2-5 days really helps maximize the visibility of the article and brings in more consistent traffic to my blog. If you’ve seen other strategies work, please feel free to share your success stories in the comments below.

Develop Your Network

In addition to just throwing your article out there and hoping it sticks, having a network of designers, design bloggers, friends, etc. to help with your promotion is a great way to increase your visibility. Votes on social networks, tweets on Twitter, and shares on Facebook are great examples of how your network can help you get the word out.

One word of caution. It seems that many social sites are being clogged with junk articles because people blindly vote, tweet, and promote articles as favors without first reading the article to see if it’s worth sharing. Please caution your network to only promote your best articles and ensure that they are doing so with the intention of sharing valuable information, as opposed to just doing you a favor. Nothing will help the design community more than bloggers taking action to promote only the best content.

Copy Paste Tools

Finally, with all those submissions, it pays to take shortcuts when possible. Most all of these sites require the same information: article title, url, article summary, etc. I found a great tip is to use copy paste techniques to input the information fast. I use a great copy-paste tool, Clips (sorry, Mac only), to copy multiple items to a clipboard. Then when I launch each site, it takes only a few seconds to paste in the required information.  When your schedule is busy, shaving a few seconds here and there really adds up.

Now that we’ve got the basics under control, let’s get to the good stuff.

Social Media and Social Voting Sites

Most of these sites work around a voting system that encourages promotion of popular content. Building your network through these various sites is very helpful (although writing knock-out articles with catchy titles helps too). All of these sites can bring in some serious traffic and are definitely worth exploring and learning.

  1. Digg
  2. Delicious
  3. Stumble Upon
  4. Design Float
  5. Design Bump
  6. Reddit
  7. Mixx
  8. DZone
  9. The Web Blend
  10. ZaBox

Community News Sites

Most of these sites won’t generate the same traffic that some of the social media sites offer but they are still a great way to get your name out (and every little boost helps). In addition, most of these sites are run by design bloggers like you so there’s the added benefit of networking that could be initiated by simply submitting your articles and posts.

  1. Visual Swirl
  2. Script and Style
  3. Top Roundups
  4. The Pro Designer
  5. Skillz Community
  6. UX Booth
  7. Admix Web
  8. Dev Snippets
  9. Knowtebook
  10. PSD Fan
  11. Fuel Your Creativity
  12. CSS Leak
  13. Design Your Way
  14. Loon Design
  15. 10Steps
  16. Crazy Leaf Design
  17. Fav Share
  18. CSS Drive
  19. Creative Fan
  20. Build Internet
  21. MyInkBlog
  22. Spoonfed Design
  23. Tripwire Magazine
  24. Design Follow
  25. Speckyboy
  26. Share Brain
  27. Design Related
  28. Reencoded
  29. Web Design News
  30. Freelance Review
  31. Designrfix
  32. PVM Garage
  33. Visual Blast
  34. Queness
  35. Best Design Tuts
  36. Who Freelance
  37. Design Mag
  38. Colorburned
  39. Instant Shift
  40. Design Newz
  41. Abduzeedo

Tutorial Submission Sites

Many design bloggers spend a lot of time writing tutorials. If you’re a tutorial master, be sure to add these sites to your promotion list.

  1. Tutorialized
  2. Good Tutorials
  3. Pixel 2 Life
  4. Photoshop Lady
  5. Tutorial Outpost
  6. FSTutorials
  7. Photoshop Roadmap
  8. PS Lover
  9. Pxleyes
  10. Tutuorial King

Connected Yet?

I hope this series has helped you better connect to a growing and flourishing design community. In case you missed them, the first two articles in the Design Community Connect Series can be found here:

While this post concludes this particular series, I’d love to hear other ideas for future posts on connecting to the design community. If you’re a new designer or design blogger, what other topics would you be interested in reading? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Also, if I’ve left off other great social media or community news sites, leave a link below.

Share it With Your Friends:
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Design Float
  • DZone
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • Mixx
  • Tumblr

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