If you’re using Digg as a linkbaiting tool, then you’re perceived as a villain. Everyone from Digg itself, to the community, to other self-proclaimed social media experts thinks you’re the bad guy. Even though good linkbait provides value to the community (because who doesn’t like remarkable content?), if they know you’re putting up the content in the hopes for links, then they’re automatically on defense. Because of this, Digg has become very hard for marketers over the last year. It’s hard, but not impossible, and here are 10 steps that will improve your chances for success.
- Submit with a good account. You don’t have to use a power account, but you should definitely submit using an account with a positive track record for getting content to the homepage, actively participating, and not always trying to submit hooky linkbait from shady domains. The community likes digging stories from other users that are known and trusted.
- Check your commercial domain at the door. Sorry payday-loan-company.com, you have no chance of making the Digg homepage with a domain like that. You’re better off setting up a new domain or forgetting Digg altogether. The community doesn’t like promoting stories from commercial domains. Set up a new domain if you have to because links from that are better than no links at all.
- Write a good title and description . I can’t stress this one enough. Even though it’s already been said time and time again, this is one of a few suggestions I just can’t leave off this list. Put extra time and energy into this one and make sure your title and description are rock solid before you submit.
- KISS your content. Keep it simple — you have a better chance of gaining extra diggs if people can browse over and grab the meaning in mere seconds. These people are reading through a lot of other stories and they will appreciate you formatting and writing your content in a way that is easy for them to enjoy.
- Randomize your diggs. Emailing, IM’ing, tweeting, and even calling your friends is a great way to get extra diggs, but mix it up. Completely randomize who you’re asking to digg your stories. Any kind of pattern has the potential to set off the Digg algorithms and that’s not a good thing.
- Use natural timing. This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip. When you’re asking all your friends for diggs, make sure you spread it out. If you don’t think Digg will notice when you get 50 diggs in the first hour and only 5 in the second hour then you’re crazy. Again, the algorithm will catch this.
- Use Digg buttons wisely. You know those big Digg buttons that you sometimes see at the top of blog posts? Those can be a great way to collect a few extra diggs from your readers. At the same time, you shouldn’t be using these on all your posts. Your readers will become blind to them, and the ones that don’t get a lot of diggs give off the impression that your site is a ghost town. I love to use the buttons, but I will only put them on pages I am actively promoting on Digg. Once my story hits the homepage I take them off.
- Comments are great. Ask your friends to seed your submissions with good comments, but make sure they are really thoughtful and not overly positive. I’ve seen a fair share of stories get buried simply because of negative comments. Sometimes when users will leave one the rest of the community blindly follows them.
- Wear camouflage. If your story looks, smells, feels, or tastes like linkbait then you’re fighting an uphill battle. Take a few extra steps to hide your true intentions: getting links. This is an area where common sense can play a huge role. You can be honest with yourself and judge your own content or ask a friend’s opinion. Good linkbait doesn’t look like linkbait at all.
- Karma: it’s something that you always want on your side. Simple things like always making sure that you’re digging friends’ stories in return can go a long way. Use Digg too; don’t just jump on for five minutes once a week right before you submit. Spend some time reading through, digging stories you like, and understanding the way it works.
Bonus: Don’t put all your eggs in the Digg basket. Other social news sites can provide tremendous results. If your linkbait fails on Digg, then move on and put in a solid effort on sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon. These sites have huge audiences and shouldn’t be ignored. Some of my most successful linkbait campaigns have failed on Digg, yet ended up with over 2000 solid links.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.