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Tell A Friend – Let Your Readers Promote Your Posts

Here’s a cool little blogging tool to help spread news of your blog posts from readers to their networks of friends via email, social networks, instant messaging and their blogs – it’s called TellaFriend.

IN essence it’s a little widget that you embed above or below your posts that readers can click to ‘tell a friend’. Here’s a video to describe it.

There are numerous tools out there that do this type of thing but this incorporates a number of services into one. The only thing I’d probably suggest that they add is the ability to include submission to social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon etc (think ShareThis (which enables bookmarking and emailing a friend) meets Tell a Friend).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren,

    This is an awesome tool. I’ll definitely use this to promote my new blog! Thanks!

  2. Looks great. Has anyone tried it?

  3. lol, anyone else see the resemblance to The Common Craft Show?

  4. I’m not sure I like the interface – I think this is giving the reader too many different things they can do, and it’s super confusing.

    A blogger I respect recently wrote about this problem:



  5. Now that is a very good idea. I never even thought of it. I have the social plugin on some of my blogs to let my readers help spread the word but didn’t think about a tell-a-friend widget. I will definitely check it out.

  6. This sounds like an additional tool which may be of use to others who may have some friends, but what if you don’t have friends? what then eh?…..Someone be my friend…boo hoo!

  7. I believe this is a paid service. There are ways to do this without paying, such as the ShareThis plugin or CformsII plugin.

    The idea is spot on.

  8. I think it makes sense to give it a try. I can never remember everyone’s email addresses as they’re populated in outlook.

  9. It is another one of the many services that still ask for a gmail (or other email provider) password, linked to your Adsense, Adwords, Analytics etc.

    I have written about similar self hosted scripts in the past, there are loads of potential problems.

  10. I’m always tweaking my various “sharing” settings and options to find the right mix between getting readers to pass it on and preventing readers from just passing on it.
    I think it depends on your readers, and the more you know about them, the better you can choose from the amazing widgets (like this one) out there.
    I personally prefer widgets that work fast and cleanly. No weird popups, logins, or interference with standard browser addons like NoScript in Firefox.

  11. That is a nice little tool. It is always nice to allow your friends and readers the ability to do the marketing “for you.”

    However, I prefer using the “I Love Social Bookmarking” plug-in because it is so simple to use and setup. It allows people to subscribe to your feed along with a lot of social networking features.

    I just wish it had an e-mail/tell a friend feature like the one you just talked about.

  12. I agree with @Andy …
    I do not personally want to trust anyone, especially someone I haven’t heard of, with my password.

    I’m sure this company is trustworthy, but you simply never can know for sure. they may say they’re not storing your password, but who’s to say? Maybe they are and we just don’t know about it.

    I trust too many 3rd party apps as it is. I don’t want to ask my readers to make that decision too. It’s not fair to them.

    PS – that goes for all the stupid 3rd party twitter internet apps. That’s why I don’t use any of them.

  13. Darren, looks like you and Sid are butting heads on this issue. Lets have a cage match! ;-) Simplicity versus choice!

  14. Actualyl, sorry, it was Jonathan who wrote the post about simplicity in choice for bloggers. Either way, a fight to the death is in order!

  15. I like the idea of Tell-a-Friend a lot — I’m just not sure of the implementation. Like others, I use the ShareThis plugin, and wish the functionality were built into it. I hate cluttering up my posts with lots of buttons and gizmos!

    Nevertheless, I’m going to try it out for a week or so and see if it does anything positive.

    Thanks for the tip, Darren!

  16. That is a nice tool to have. I agree about adding the option of social bookmarking sites, without that I don’t think I’ll get this tool. It just doesn’t seem to be worth it without those options.

  17. Hi Darren

    As always thanks for being up in the gadgets. Might consider adding it to my blog eventually. A lot of technology out there, hard to tell which ones to stick to, and which ones not too, don’t want my site to be too cluttery.

    Thanks for sharing.


  18. this post couldn’t have came at a better time for me, I just launched a blog and trying to get traffic to my blog, thanks!

  19. I’m with Andy Beard on this one. The idea sounds good for readers/visitors to spread the word about articles, but I’m not comfortable with giving my login name and password on the site. Tell A Friend may very well be trustworthy, but it does seem risky.

  20. Looks like a pretty cool and handy time saving widget
    gonna get mine right now!

    See ya!

    Gary McElwain

  21. That looks like a cool idea, but if it doesn’t do StumbleUpon and Digg, then I guess we have to add another widget on the post

    I’ll check it out anyway, thanks Darren

  22. Hmm.. looks like it’s more appealing to high school and college kids to use on their Facebook pages, Livejournal blogs, and various personal blogs.

    The exclamation points in the brand name are a give away there!!

    It’s also seemingly user-friendly to those who understand what the icons mean and may not know about mouseovers. It’s not user-friendly to the people and organizations I’m trying to persuade to join the web community.

    Thanks for the tip, though, Darren! I’ll let the high school tech club kids know the next time I see them!

  23. that’s too long video for a tool that has already been out with so many versions :p

    I even made one, check out Acakadut Soksial on my blog ;)

  24. I’ve been waiting for something like this. It was so easy to install. Now lets see how involved my readers really are.

    Thanks Darren,

  25. Darren –

    Thanks for sharing. Even though surveys show 11% are using RSS, this appears to be an easy user interface and I am eager to see how it impacts my blog (I just added it!)

    Jeff P

  26. From all the big internet marketing blogs out there (don’t want to name names) I dig your the most. This is just a shout out, great content all the time. Yaro is definetely my other favourite choice. Keep up the good work.
    By the way a question: how come you don’t use the TELLAFRIEND plugin? Is it because you already have enough traffic or what?

  27. Wow, finally found an awesome service! I am looking for similar service for long time, thanks for sharing it!

  28. Amazing special effect on that video, not the best way to promote your product is it? if they can’t even make a good video can they develop a good app?

  29. Hi Found interesting and helpful tool.
    I will use in my blog.

  30. I was having problems with my hand-coded tell a friend option on my site due to cross browser compatibility. This is a great find, I have used it on my site you can see it in action. Thanks Darren.

  31. I’ve been using the ShareThis plugin for a couple of weeks now, it seems to be doing great for me. Thanks for pointing this out as well, I’m going to try in on my blog.

  32. “Email this to a friend” is a feature I always liked in websites, but I have a problem with services like this, even when no passwords are needed:

    I cannot ask my visitors to trust their e-mail addresses and, more importantly, the e-mail addresses of their friends, with a third party.

    I already do this in one case, Feedburner’s e-mail notifications, but this is an extra step I take for the convenience of visitors that prefer e-mail to feed readers, and visitors only have to enter their own addresses, not the addresses of their friends too. :-)

    This tool seems to work well, though. I just tried it. Thanks for the post.

  33. Thanks for the overwhelming response, we are very excited. Here is what is coming next week, a whole bunch of connectors, that will make SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend the most powerful widget in its category:
    1. WordPress.com: They don;t let you put scripts, but now you can let users announce every single post, not just the site.
    2. LinkedIn
    3. FriendFeed
    4. Identi.ca (microblogging)
    5. MoveableType (Blog)
    6. Xanga (Blog)
    7. Joomla (CMS)
    8. Expression Engine (CMS).
    9. Drupal (CMS)
    The good thing is that you can choose what channels, services are appropriate for your user base, when you signup.

  34. This seems like a useful tool, but is there any research out there that shows around how many people would actually use a service like this to tell all their friends??

  35. Seems like a great idea for my blog. Even though this one is free, does anyone else know of any free widgets for a blog that is similar to Tell a Friend?

  36. Well this is the kind of widget that I’ve been looking for quite sometime. Viral marketing is one of my interests for some time now. I’d surely check this one out.


  37. This is really cool! I just read the article and watched the video and about 5 minutes later, the widget it live on my page.

    I have to say, it was super easy to add, no matter what blogging interface you use, plus it’s unobtrusive and easy for readers to use.

    Time will tell if anyone uses it, but I certainly would if I found it on other blogs I liked.

    You can check it out in action on my blog (just click my name).

    Thanks Darren!

  38. completely perfect. sometimes back i was thinking the same about how to inform friends about a blog post and deals. this is cool. i am going to try it. thanks

  39. Yes its good widget….But need to add few more social media websites to it.


  40. Hey Darren – Thanks for telling us about this widget. It is great to hear about the ones that stand out that are not just beneficial for “me” but also good for my readers. I share articles all the time through Google Reader and Delicious, but this makes it easier for the less tech savy.

    Another reader commented that this video is a copy cat of Common Craft’s format – something CC just wrote about on their blog and how it is affecting their brand. http://cli.gs/L7MYR3

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