How Are People Succeeding on Digg?

    December 9, 2008
    Chris Crum

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.