How Are People Succeeding on Digg?

Many Elements to the Strategy

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[ Social Media]

Well, some are paying for it directly, but if you don’t want to do that, you can just develop your reputation and basically make friends. That is really what it’s all about.

Everyone knows that Digg is a popularity contest. It can still be a great place to find interesting stories, but it’s not unbiased. You have to know people (or pay them) to get your content enough Diggs to really get noticed by the community at large.

Fortunately for those trying to get a substantial amount of Diggs, the circle of friends that make up the community isn’t completely closed. It will however take some effort on your part to earn their respect and make your way up the ladder of Digg respect.

First of all, Digg’s not supposed to be about marketing, which is why if you truly want said respect, you need to take the community seriously, and actually favor them rather than yourself when submitting articles. You can’t just submit a bunch of your own content and expect it to go anywhere. You’ve got to submit appealing content and get your friends to help you digg it.

Brent Csutoras has a great article about creating a compelling profile at Search Engine Land. He breaks down eight points, which include: deciding whether or not you want to use your real identity and choosing a memorable one, choosing an avatar that works in all sizes, being careful what you link to, being active, being a good user statistically, not adding too many friends at once, and being natural.

Brent actually joined our own Mike McDonald and Internet marketing consultant Todd Malicoat in a discussion about this at Pubcon recently:

Another Search Engine Land article by Muhammad Saleem talks about some additonal points to succeeding on Digg. He talks about things like playing the different categories, obsessing over titles and summaries, using appropriate thumbnails, wooing power users, and commenting frequently. "Comments breed more comments, which ultimately means more visibility," says Saleem.

Earlier this year we covered SearchRank’s five ways to score big on Digg:

  1. Remove Blog Name and/or Sections From Title: all you need is the title of the post
  2. Include Appealing Descriptions (Stay Within Character Limitations): if you want to practice writing tighter copy, and you should, sign up for Twitter and practice summarizing your post in 140 characters, including a link.
  3. Submit to the Most Relevant Category (Avoid Multiples if Allowed): stay on topic; to be specific, stay on one topic.
  4. Stay Within The Topic of the Social News Site: SearchRank noted how sites like Sphinn and Small Business Brief cater to a dedicated niche. Your submission to these sites should do likewise. At bigger sites like Digg, keep to the most relevant category.
  5. Will Others Find Your Submission of Interest? Boring only gets clicked when the facts are truly staggering; think about the recent revelations about major leaguer Roger Clemens and his friendship with country singer Mindy McBride.

I would add that stories about Digg are often popular with the Digg community as well. Probably not a story about succeeding on Digg, like this one, but ones about things that Digg is doing, why Digg is great, or what Kevin Rose had for breakfast. Digg users love Digg, so if you have a lead on something Digg-related and are the first to submit it, I would say there’s a good chance you’ll get some play within the community.

Update: I stand corrected, this story is getting a little play on Digg.

How Are People Succeeding on Digg?
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  • http://www.linuxhaxor.net pavs

    Well there is no doubt that there is some level of unbiased articles on the digg frontpage, but on the whole digg is very good at stopping wholesale spamming and distributed effort to hit digg frontpage. Otherwise every single articles submitted by the power users would make the frontpage; in reality only a fraction of their submissions makes the frontpage – the fact is they submit a huge amount of story everyday.

    There are lot of elements that make a digg front page; and diggers as a community are very good at weeding out the “spam” from the “real thing”. So even if someone was paying someone to get diggs (which I think is just stupid of the person who is paying for such a service), there is absolutely 0% gurantee any one can give you their story will hit the frontpage. I have seen stories with 500 diggs not make the frontpage – because there are reasonable amount of people who burried them (which you can’t see).

    Being a digg user since the beginning and actually a power user (top 50 or so), I personally think that they are better ways in marketing a website to get relevant traffic. Digg is a shortcut of getting traffic, especially if its not tech related site.

    One last point to make is that digg algorithm changes very frequently, so whatever tricks was working for someone people might not work anymore the next month, so this keep everyone on their toes.

    • Chris Crum

      It would be interesting to see the buries.

  • http://internetonlineproducts.blogspot.com Guest

    This article was quite informative. No doubt Digg is a good site but the most important thing is that it is one of the leading social bookmarking sites. Creating a friend community is one of the basic things in Digg. You can either digg on other’s article or submit your contents. In this way you can build a good reputation on Digg.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, using the site for its intended purpose is amazingly still a good idea.

  • SEO And Traffic Guide

    Great post! i especially found it useful where you stated. Digg is very useful for me to promote my site. Thanks

  • http://www.correctmyswing.com correct my swing

    Digg would be good but they suspend for the littlest sh*t…


  • http://theredpin.net Morris / theredpin.net

    At the moment Digg gives our site, http://theredpin.net, about 50% of total visitors so you could say it’s quite important to us. But Digg is not only important to generate traffic but also for finding out what kind of content on our site is interesting to visitors.
    Since we are a travel site, we use Digg to find out which regions and styles of writing are interesting to our visitors. We make heavy use of this analytic aspect since it’s much more accurate then purely analyzing page impressions.

    • Chris Crum

      Very good idea. You don’t hear about Digg as an analytic instrument real often. If you’re getting that much traffic from it, you might as well learn how it can help you even more.

    • http://www.prowrestlingarena.com Pro Wrestling Fan


      You say you depend on Digg for a lot of your site’s traffic. Do you submit your own content to Digg? If yes, do you get clobbered by people there for being a “spammer”?

      We run a website and submit our content on Digg and other social networking sites and have found lots of people hammer us for “spamming” if we submit our own stuff and they figure it out.

      And our stuff isn’t spam. It’s original, high quality (at least we think so) content. It’s not like we’re shilling Viagra or Enzyte.

      Have you encountered this? And if so, how do you handle it?

      • http://theredpin.net Morris / theredpin.net

        We make no bone about promoting our own content and never had problems with people considering our content as spam.

        This pretty sure may vary though. Since travelogues and regional information are obviously pretty different from most types of commercial content, Digg users seem to understand that we don’t generate content for monetary valuation primarily.

  • http://civilengineerblog.com Civil Engineer

    I found myself 50% as above.
    So cotinue the rest tasks.

  • http://seowebmarketing.co.uk Susan Dolan

    Yes it is a 50/50 playing field and it takes time to be a valued member of the community but once that has been established it is an excellent resource for personal and business marketing reasons. Good article, thanx Web Pro News,


  • http://www.bestcreditcardratings.com BestCred

    Thank you so much for this post. I never knew that some people pay to get digg. This is a very informative article.

  • http://fightface.blogspot.com/ Fight Face

    to hear people talking about Digg for its intended purpose rather than gaming it or ruining another site.

  • http://www.body-rockin.com Body-rockin.com

    To be honest I have never visited Digg, mainly because my site is in the adult area and not many places like that allow for my type content, even if my site isn’t really hardcore XXX, is mainly a portal with links to more um adult content, like Yahoo and Google huh :). It’s more of a mini search page really but for specific adult content sittes..featuring hot girls to drive my traffic..so not sure Digg where I could post anything and get away with it anyway.

    Not sure why so much of the mainstrean companies on the net blacklist adult sites as far as ad potential, when those millions of visitors still buy everything they market. I mean so what I guy visits a adult site, he still buys GM, from Wal-mart etc etc.

  • http://www.dogticks.org Marius

    Digg remained useful for me since 2007. But if the content is really Unique! Yeah they usually kick you for Little sh*t! Basically a duplicate content! Unique content creators never face the problem! I guess the best promotion to your product or site can be done through these Social Bookmarking site :).


  • http://www.garlic-recipes.net Garlic’s secret

    Thank you Chris. you take me a shiny sight on digg. thx a lots!

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