How You Can Get Traffic With Document Sharing Sites

By Samuel Frost
How You Can Get Traffic With Document Sharing Sites


I’ll let you in on a little secret – for traffic generation purposes “traditional” article directories are all but dead. Early in 2011, they had a nasty encounter with a raging Panda; the Google Panda, to be specific. Gone are the days of getting thousands (if not more) of article reads on article directories, as well as masses of traffic through our resource boxes. 

Here’s a personal anecdote – between 2008 and the start of 2011, I wrote and submitted around 450 articles to (under various noms de plume, I might add) At the turn of 2011 I had amassed over 1.1 million views of all my articles, and around 350,000 resource box clicks. Fast-forward a year, and this figure is just over 1.25 million views and 372,000 click throughs. What happened? Google Panda happened.

So does that mean that there are no easy ways to get traffic by submitting simple articles to 3rd party websites?

Of course not, and today I’m going to show you one of my “hidden gems” of traffic generation. I’m talking about getting traffic with document sharing sites.

These are sites like:

They allow users to upload documents in a variety of formats, including Word (*.doc) Open Office Word (*.odt) and the venerable PDF (*.pdf)

Now most people use document sharing sites for, well sharing documents with friends and family, or finding papers and research documents for college or university work. Think of these document sharing sites as “public” cloud storage for basic text-based files.

Over time, these document sharing sites have grown to become very large, and have a lot of inbound links. This means they have high PageRank, and often rank very well in the search engines for keyword phrases. 

What I’m saying here is that you can upload your keyword-based articles to document sharing sites, and rank highly in the search engines. 

Here are what I see as the benefits of posting your articles to document sharing sites:

  • You can get indexed in Google very quickly
  • Add images and flashy formatting to your articles (this can boost click through rates)
  • Create your document and upload to multiple document sharing sites for more traffic and views (I’ll explain why this ISN’T duplicate content in a second)
  • Easily add affiliate links into your articles.

Document Sharing Sites & Duplicate Content

I mentioned above that you can write one article, let’s say I’ve written an article called “Muhammad Ali Memorabilia”, and submit it to multiple document sharing sites. My “Muhammad Ali Memorabilia” article could quite feasibly rank for multiple positions on the front page of Google on more than one document sharing site, even if I don’t reword any of the content.

This is due to the way that search engines look at documents on sites like Scribd and DocStoc – they don’t place so much emphasis on the article itself, because of the way they are displayed in a special format. Instead, search engines tend to look at the description, tags, title, and any accompanying notes/comments. This means you can write one article, submit it to 3 document sharing sites, and then use variations in title, description, and tags for the lot of them. 

You should still keyword optimize your articles properly, as there are some arguments to suggest that search engines are learning to read these specially displayed documents, and keyword-researched articles tend to have better click through rates anyway.

Document Sharing Sites & Backlinks

One area where document sharing sites fall short of the mark is in providing backlinks. Because search engines cannot properly “read” an article posted to a site like Scribd, any links you create back to your own site(s) will not be counted. 

What I’m saying here is that there is little SEO benefit in submitting articles to document sharing sites; your aim should instead be generating lots of traffic to your main site or affiliate links.

How to Create a Document

Creating a document-based article to upload to sites like Scribd or DocStoc is easy. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Research your keywords, like you would with a normal article.
  2. Create a blank Word or Open Office Word file.
  3. Write a quality article of at least 400 words. Remember that list-based articles are very popular.
  4. Write a resource box at the end of the article, like you normally would. Remember to add a strong call to action to encourage people to click through to your website or affiliate offer.
  5. Add links throughout the document. With my Muhammad Ali Memorabilia article I could add an Amazon Associates link for each product I mention, for example.
  6. Add images to spice up your document; make sure you use text wrapping. You can hyperlink images as well.
  7. Use fonts, colors, and text highlighting to draw attention and make your article more attractive to read.
  8. Save it and upload to document sites like Scribd, DocStoc, and SlideShare (even though SlideShare is meant for Powerpoint presentations, it still accepts Word files without needing any editing)
  9. Rinse and repeat for more keywords.

It really is that easy.

Document Sharing Tips for More Traffic & Sales

Here are some of my best “insider tips” for getting more traffic with document sharing sites:

  • Save your file name as your keyword. For example, my “Muhammad Ali Memorabilia” article could be saved as something like Muhammad-ali-memorabilia.doc 
  • Experiment with different file types. Sometimes you will find that PDF files tend to rank better than DOC files, or vice versa. I can’t understand the logic or process behind this, but have noticed myself.
  • Write a detailed document description that is at least 100 words long, and features your main keyword + variations. Remember that search engines will look here to understand what your document contains.
  • Add plenty of tags (keyword variations)
  • Write a descriptive and interesting title. For example, something like “7 of the Greatest Muhammad Ali Memorabilia” (boxing fans will understand this little joke, and be more inclined to click)
  • Put links throughout your article – not just in the resource box at the end. You should have a link or two near the start of your article, as well as a prominent resource box.
  • Use a larger font when writing (at least 16 point) as your documents will display much smaller online, unless visitors opt to view in full-screen mode.

Getting traffic with document sharing sites really isn’t that difficult. I wouldn’t spend hours and hours every day submitting to them, because there is little SEO benefit for your main website. However, if you spend 30 minutes a day for a month writing and submitting to document sharing sites (and make sure you optimize your articles for high rankings) then you should definitely notice a big boost in traffic and sales!

An article submitted to somewhere like DocStoc, and that has been properly optimized, can easily rocket to the front page of Google in a couple of days. 

One final tip – start by hunting out low competition, long-tail keywords to build your confidence and see faster results.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on using document sharing sites to generate traffic. Just leave a comment to join the discussion!

jack flagg 12 years ago
thanks for the tips! i've been meaning to try these document sharing sites for some time now, and I think i'll go ahead and look for that easy keyword and try this out.
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
No worries - it definitely helps targeting "easy to rank for" keywords first, just so you can get an idea of how document sharing sites work and to build your confidence a bit.

You've got to learn to walk before you can run!
Post And Courier 12 years ago
Thank you, I have just been looking for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain about the source?
Eric 12 years ago
Thanks, I just started using doc share sites and have noticed a uptick in traffic after a very short time. Your article is really well laid out and I will bookmark it so I can refer to it in the future. Once again, Thanks.
James Pruitt 12 years ago
Thanks for this article Sam. I have used doc sharing sites for a while, and often forget that others don't know to use them.

this is one way that I leverage some of the spun articles that I have from mass syndications.
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Hi James,

Thanks for your kind comment. You're definitely right that document sharing sites are a good way to leverage spun articles as well!
paulie69 12 years ago
Thanks vey much Sam for the hard work and accuracy you've put into writing this article. I really appreciate this quality information!

As usual we have nothing but brilliant quality coaching presented here on Affilorama! :)
Samuel Frost 12 years ago
Thank you very much!
Ankan Kd 12 years ago
Thanks so much for sharing all of the awesome information..
Ken Paxton 12 years ago
Ohh!! thats really helpful for me..actually I want start my own adsense so that's why i need it..
Backlink Service 12 years ago
I seldom leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here How You Can Get Traffic With Document Sharing Sites | Affilorama. And I do have some questions for you if it's allright. Is it simply me or does it look like some of the remarks look like coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing on additional sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of all of your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
Ken Rumbarger 12 years ago
This looks like very useful information and I appreciate your sharing it. However, I note that you mentioned the search engines are likely to learn how to read files on doc-sharing sites. I have a saying: "what Man invents, he circumvents." As Michael Ullman explained in his webinar on Panda, Google hires more PhD's than anyone else. This is going to be an ongoing altercation.
website submitter 12 years ago
Anyone used the tool from Or anything like that?
I would love to have automated the website syndication.
Nicholas Bryant 12 years ago
I wish I wouldve saw your post before i actually bought a wso on this particular subject... great tip... and it does work
Carla Easley 12 years ago
Great tips! I've used document sharing sites last year when I first heard about link building but I was using the method incorrectly. Thanks for explaining how to optimize the document to increase traffic.
Goh Yau Kuang 12 years ago
This article is great as it touched on the finer points on how one can use to generate massive traffic to any website. I am rather surprised and certainly enlightened by the fact that such method do not generate backlinks due to the way search engine parse and index documents. On the other hand, I suppose it is just a matter of time people start to SPAM on such sites and this will piss of mighty Google.
Clint Butler 12 years ago
Document sharing sites are great and I don't discount the back linking and traffic power that they provide. The issue that I have is how time consuming it is to manually submit your content all the time. Automate that and I would use these daily.
Jason Greene 12 years ago
Hi, thanks for the article. Mark Ling discusses document sharing sites in the newest version of AffiloBlueprint. He spends time spinning the articles he's submitting in the video pertaining to that section. You've stated in the article that it's not necessary to spin, since Google can't count the backlinks anyways. So is it really OK to just send unspun articles? or do you think that it's (probably) worth the time and effort? Sounds like it's not. And if I don't HAVE to spend time spinning and then creating a new pdf for each site, well... I just want to do it "exactly perfect" as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) always said, fully aware that "exactly perfect" will never be fully attainable. ;-) Thanks.
Philip Keller 12 years ago
Thank you for the information Sam. A very informative and useful post and a great file sharing list. Don't know why Mark didn't refer to your post in Affiloblueprint, in video 6e in section 6
Gabe 12 years ago
do i need a facebook account to get more traffic from document sharing sites? or am i going to get lots of traffic from document sharing sites without a fb acc? which one can get more traffic with social network or just a document sharing sites itself??

Peter Lages 12 years ago
Thank you so much, I've recently been searching for details about this particular subject and yours is the greatest I have found to date.

I recently began making use of doc share websites and get observed a uptick in site visitors after having a very small amount of time.
passive income 12 years ago
Hi James,

I came across your article because someone in my FB group posted a reference to it.

I have started to use Scribd and my results are pretty good. Your post is a perfect addition to my "good references" swipe file.



Amy 12 years ago
Some good suggestions and a good list of resources. Though I would add, in response to a commenter above, that it's far better to do these kinds of submissions manually than to automate it. Like anything else, do it too much and it can probably hurt you. Try to use document sharing sites to showcase your best content, not every spun article out there. Doing that might get traffic to a site quickly, but it will also bump up your bounce rate, if the content isn't relevant or is of low quality!

One more resource is, for document sharing, etc. The tagging system is different and the document can be viewed in plain text which is also picked up by search engines.
Nima Parham 12 years ago
As a webmaster I learned a lot from this article. I didn't know much about document sharing. Thank you so much
Vitalka 12 years ago
Hello, friends!
Yes, using document sharing sites is a good strategy. As for me, I would advise to make unique titles and descriptions to all favorite sharing sites. From my experience - it's enough 3 sites to manually submit files, with absolutely different title and description.
But, as we know that a lot of other sharing sites are existing on Web. Does anyone knows any free tool or service that could help in quick upload files to other (not so strong as favorite 3) sharing sites? Something like PixelPipe, but for documents only (DOC, PDF)? If you have any idea on that subject - all subscribers of Affilorama would be happy!
shamsudeen 11 years ago
Thanks a lot,i have never heard of this.i will try it out and see how far i can go with it.thanks for the info.
anu mandava 11 years ago
Great read, Thank you samuel. Nice list of Document Sharing websites and the information also seems good. Once again thanks.
Joseph Ofori Danquah 11 years ago
Bravooo Sammy! ,I'm expert in business.I normally make posts on business documents,finance management etc but my site is unknown to people.I will apply your tips to make people benefit from my posts on business.
Siim 11 years ago
Thanks for the article. I hoped that it's going to help me in seo but now all I can see is that it helps me to get traffic. Bad that in our country, people don't use theese pages.
But I can use it in my other projects. Thanks mate!
Hi Sammy,
Thanks for your nice post. This stragery is effective, I follow and it help me get more traffic.
robin huang 11 years ago
thanks..but actually i have been using it,,
11 years ago
I have a question if , with advancement of Google algo, Google start to understand the (may be already has started) content in body then posting a single article to nos. of doc sharing sites would not work and may be a duplicate content penalty may be applied.
Is my idea correct? So creating unique article or get spun for each site is not a better idea?
Tim Aucoin 11 years ago
Great article! Never considered document sharing at all. Thanks for opening up another traffic avenue for me.
Coupons Masti 11 years ago
Great approach to get more visitors on your site
thanx for sharing these tips, i've implemented these tips on and found increase in visitors.
all the best..!!
mike poland 11 years ago
Read your article about submitting to doument sites as i am na complete novice to all of this how would I know what document to write, can you write about anything?. Idont understand how you would generate traffic with a document
Clyde Thomas 10 years ago
Followers count does mater on such document sharing sites to get your profile a good PR so do-follow top influencers on such sites like slideshare.
Elvia 10 years ago
I am curious to find out what blog system you have been using? I'm experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any recommendations?
Cecille Loorluis 10 years ago
Hi Elvia,

We recommend using Wordpress for your blog. They have good security, which you can make even better by using additional security plugins to your site. Most webhosts have Wordpress on the control panel or under CGI scripts so its easy to install on your site.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
Nolan Wilson 10 years ago
I have been using the document sharing sites you have mentioned and had some success. They are a great way to build awareness for your brand online and give you another touch point where people can find your content, while generating backlinks.
Dan 7 years ago
Still trying to see what sites are do follow. I read that Slideshare for instance is no follow but I couldn't find the tag in the page source for one of my presentations?
Karisma 7 years ago
Thanks for your valuable article. It is nicely explained.Before I had a lot of misunderstanding about document sharing. but now you have cleared my all doubts.
lettersbyliz 6 years ago
Thanks for sharing this valuable tips. I have one question that is: what is the format of document submission for more traffic?
Cecille Loorluis 6 years ago
The format depends on the directory or website you're submitting the document to. Some are ok with .txt submissions while others prefer gDocs.

Always follow the instructions of the websites you'll be submitting the documents to.

Hope that helps. All the best!
RNB kumar 6 years ago
VERY nice written this post. thank you for sharing.
4 years ago
This is what I'm looking for to drive traffic to my affiliate link, directly. This is great!