If you are a writer, blogger, or any form of web resident who gets excited by Page Views, then you owe it to yourself to check out Digg.com.
Digg is a social networking site similar to Facebook but different in that the sole purpose of Digg is sharing of articles, videos and photos. But unlike Facebook, what you post is visible to everybody who accesses Digg, rather than only your friends.
Digg is a massively powerful tool for web writers because it can quickly generate a massive amount of traffic to your pages. I have had articles hit 110,000 page views within a couple days, just to give you a personal example. The more popular articles can, however, get far more than this.
If you publish on Associated Content, you are probably already doing the math, realizing that 100k page views would be worth over $150. And the kicker is, you get those views without actually doing anything!
Show Me the Page Views
It works like this: somebody submits your article. People who view you article have the opportunity to “digg” it, which is basically to say they like it, or to “bury” it, which is obviously to say that they didn’t like it. Now the website then uses an algorithm to determine if a submission is “Popular”.
To put it more simply, if a story gets a certain number of diggs in a certain time span, then it becomes “Popular”, hit’s the Digg front page and is promoted by Digg. It is when submissions hit the “popular” threshold that they then receive the tens of thousands of page views.
Digg states that an algorithm is used to determine if a submission becomes Popular, and it depends on the number of diggs of course, the “diversity of diggs”, as well as the time frame, the subject matter, and other unidentified factors.
It usually takes somewhere between 100-150 diggs for a submission to become popular. And really, this is not much. The key, an astute reader may notice, is to have a network of friends who will Digg you when you ask so you can hit that Popular threshold.
The concept is simple. But it does take some time and effort to get there. When you do, however, you can then consider yourself to be a “Power Digger”, one of the most influential members of the modern blogosphere.
How to Get Started
As previously noted, Digg is a social networking site on which members submit links to news articles, blog postings, videos, and pictures from all over the web. Whatever is posted is viewable by everybody, not just your group of friends like on Facebook.
But you need to get lots of “Diggs”, and this is where your loyal friends come in, and since everybody basically wants the same thing, its simply a matter of reciprocation: you scratch all your friends’ backs, and they will scratch yours.
In the beginning you will be tempted to submit some of your articles, but refrain from doing this. Let me repeat: DO NOT SUBMIT ANYTHING!!!
This may seem counterintuitive for a website which is designed solely for submitting things, but it is of absolute critical importance that you do not submit anything at first.
Digg Like Your Life Depends on it
Your goal in the beginning is simply to establish a good track record of “digging.” Good Digger friends are people who will quickly Digg whatever you submit, but don’t fill up your inbox with submissions requiring your digging. Again, this may seem counter intuitive, but to establish friends who support you, you have to first show that you are able and willing to support them.
So you digg like crazy for the first several weeks. Your goal is to get up above at least 1000 digs (one thousand), this will show others who look at your profile that you put time in and support your friends without hesitation.
Once you have this solid record of Digging, you want to start looking for other Digg members who do the same. You are looking for people that have thousands of diggs and a high ratio of Diggs to submissions, say at least 20:1 for somebody who has been a Digg member for several years. But preferably more like 100:1.
Start looking for these people and start friending them. Once you begin to have a fair number of friends, you want to stop digging random submissions just for the sake of digging, and start digging only your friends submissions. This is easy to do because there is a “Friends’ Activity” tab at the very top of the screen. Click on that, and you see the activity (diggs, submissions, comments) of all your friends. Then click on “submissions” on the item list to the right, and you will see only the submissions of all your friends.
Digg Your Friends
At this point, be a good digger and digg all their submissions. Unless of course there are submissions that you don’t feel comfortable digging. It is a free country, a free internet, and that is fine. You do want, in general however, to Digg all your friends submissions.
Members who you friend will likely have hundreds if not thousands of people who friend them, and they will probably not reciprocate by confirming your “friendship” for a while. Before they confirm you, you will remain as a “fan” of theirs and you will still see all their activity just as you would if you were friends. Make sense? It will once you explore the site.
Now since they have thousands of people friending them, they use another website called friend statistics.com to track who is digging their submissions. Since you have been digging all your friends submissions like crazy, the people you friends will over time notice your support and will reciprocate by confirming the friendship. Then they will start digging your submissions.
Eventually you will use the friend statistics tool to remove those members on your friends list who do not support you. This will be important because it takes a minimum of 100-150 active friends to have any hope of your submissions becoming popular, and any freeloaders who are submitting but not digging your submissions are extra weight. Dumb them, and you’ll be more efficient.
Make a Difference
It will take time for you to build up a network of active digging friends depending on how much time you spend each day on Digg, but once you do, you will have a high proportion of your submissions become Popular. You will then be able to promote your own content as well as articles by you friends. When you get to this point, still keep the number of submissions relatively low, to 4 or less per day, and submit mostly other people’s content.
Some power diggers have suggested that only 10-15% of your submissions should be your own content, and the rest from other people. Feel free to ask your friends to submit your work, and of course be open to submitting things for them as well.
And remember: the more you help others, the more they will help you.