Friday night, I submitted my first blog post to Digg. The next day it made it to the popular page and then proceeded to rack up over 2700 diggs in one day. As I write this, the post has over 3000 diggs and almost 300 comments and counting. It got as high as the number 3 technology story of the day. It is still on the Top in 24 Hours page. The post itself has 67 comments right now. So basically in this blog post I am going to tell you how I did it. It has everything to do with what you write about and knowing Diggers likes and dislikes.
Your Writing is Crucial
Now when I started writing it, it was not my goal to make the Digg home page. I never really even expected that to happen. However, once I began organizing the ideas in my post, I realized it was perfect diggbait.
To really get people to respond, you need to write about something controversial, and the more controversial it is, the better. Knowing what diggers like and dislike really helps you here. Among their likes are Google, Apple, Steve Jobs, Firefox, Linux, etc. Among their dislikes are Microsoft, Bill Gates, Internet Explorer, SEO, President Bush, “The Man,” big corporations in general, other than Apple and Google, etc. They also love conspiracy or the appearance of a conspiracy. That’s how I figured out that my topic was perfect for Digg.
Once you have your topic, write a title that makes a bold statement and back it up with the article itself. Remember that it’s the title that gets people to read the article, so be creative here. The information in the post itself should be factual, but you shouldn’t be afraid to suggest things that may or may not be true. Posing a question is a good way to appear controversial while not saying anything definitively, and it gets people to participate in the discussion and add their own ideas. It doesn’t have to be very long either, just long enough to back up your claim and get people interested.
In the digg submission itself, I made the title even more controversial. The title in your submission can be different from the article itself, but it still needs to relate to the article. They will not allow you to deliberatley try to trick people though, and if you do, you could possibly have your account banned. My point is I made the title on Digg more controversial than the title on the actual blog post, and it paid off big time.
The day of the week may also have something to with the success of your Digg. I submitted mine on a Friday night. On Saturday, it got 2700 diggs. I don’t know for sure, but submitting it on Saturday may have had something to do with it since it was a weekend and most people are not working.
The Newly Popluar Page
Once your submission is done, it goes to the upcoming stories page. From here you really only need about 30 or 40 diggs to make it to the newly popular page which is on the home page. That is what you have to do to really get it to take off. If it is good enough, it can really skyrocket, like mine did.
I really don’t know the secret to getting to the newly popular page though. I am fairly new to Digg, so here is what I did. I started searching for people that had submitted articles that were similar to or had covered topics in the past related to mine. I began adding those users as friends. I don’t know if that’s what did the trick or not, but adding someone as a friend lets them see your diggs. If they have similar interests, they are very likely to digg your story as well.
I think the crucial thing though was being the first one to the table with my story. No one else had pointed out what I was going to, and that seems to be the clincher to me. You need to search Digg before you post to be sure. Digg also alerts you when you submit stories that may be similar. They also won’t let you post something that has already been posted. If someone else has written about your story, you need to be substantially different to stand out. Usually that just requires a little thinking and is not too difficult if you try.
Digging Your Own Stuff
Remember that it does not hurt to digg your own stuff as long as you are digging other people’s stuff as well.
The Effects and Benefits of Digg
As to what the benefits to being on Digg are, I’m not sure there is a definitive answer to that. A big benefit is traffic, but sometimes your site can crash under the weight. Mine stayed up, fortunately. Also, the traffic is only temporary. But, you can see other benefits, such as an increase in the number of links to your site. This will increase the authority of your domain and could potentially drive future visitors through resulting search engine traffic.
In addition, you may see an increase in your site readership. Most diggers will just go to your site to read the post and then leave, but if someone really likes your site, they may become a regular reader. So you could notice an increase in repeat visitors, but nothing like the original traffic spike you will receive.
In conclusion, I think to do what I did, you need to be controversial, you need to cater to the digg community and you need to be first. If you do that, you may just have what it takes to be a Digg superstar. Really though, I did not find it that hard, and it may not even be that beneficial in the long run. I have to admit, it sure was fun though!