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October 16, 2007

SMX Social: Exta Extra Social News Sites

By Li Evans

SMX Social:  Social News Sites - Tips, Advice and Tricks for Digg

Neil Patel - ACSSEO.com
Neil Patel starts off the session.  He loves Digg.  What is Digg and why should you care?

It's simple, you submit and if people like it it'll go to the front page, if it sucks it won't.  Why should you care?  He did a study, on average a front page digg will get approximately 129 links from unique sites.  You also get on average over 10,000 visitors in an hour as well great branding.

Older people do read digg, in fact Washington Post featured Neil, their audience is older, but they are reading Digg.

Requirements, you need a website.  You need a content, picture, podcast or video to submit, however podcasts don't drive much traffic.  The way digg works, is on a voting system.  Time also works, a hundred votes in a 100 days, not so important, 100 votes in an hour then it's important.  Voters, 20 votes from active users better than 100 votes from new ones.  Friends is another factor, act like a Tom Cruise, get friends!

Unwritten rules:

  • No self promotion. 
  • Don't pay for votes (usersubmitter.com)
  • No spamming
  • NO SEOs Allowed  (if you are an SEO, don't let it be known)

Only .7% of all stories get to the homepage out of the thousands submitted a day. Top 100 control 56% of the homepage, and you can't control what people say.

Tamar Weinberg from RustyBrick.com
Digg Tips and Tricks
In less than a year, Tamar's become a top user.  Also a critical user of Digg.

Advice for Winning Content

  • Viral content such as lists, games/quizzes, controversy, tolls, breaking news, videos, pictures (digpicz.com) and technology/science.
  • A solid title and description are critical
  • Be careful, don't slip 1001 blogging tips onto mortgagesrus.com with a "salesy header", differentiate your content from others.


  • You want people to know who you are, and digg your stories
  • Make yourself identifiable, you want people to remember
  • Provide content information
  • Befriend users and Digg their stories early, they'll take notice
  • Comment on stories.  Get ideas look at popular Digg posts and sort by most Diggs.  If you want to be noticed by particular members, comment early and often
  • Promotion in private is safest (a lot of top diggers don't like the new shot feature and will burry it)
  • Take advantage of Digg's social elements beyond "shouts"


Things to Note:

  • They hate SEO's or marketers.  Aboid terminology in titles adn description that can kill the potential for your story.
  • When netowrking don't simply ask someone to Digg your story.  Become friends with influential players who have similar interets
  • Digg's algorithm, plays on the diversity of the number of Diggs per sotry within a specified timeframe.  24 hours is typically the cutoff. Don't get the same people to Digg the story again and again
  • Don't promote your story too quickly 20 Diggs in 20 minutes is unnatural.  Let Diggs accumulate naturally or push your story slowly
  • Check out the digg.com/news/upcoming/most or digg.com/videos/upcoming/most to promote stories to the front page.

Lesser Know Tricks

  • When you promote your content to Digg, also focus on submitting to StumbleUpon.
  • Subscribe to the Digg RSS feed and check it regulary
  • Browse through the Digg archives www.digg.com/archives
  • Focus on categories when submitting.  Tehcnology and Gadgets is popular.  If applical put your content in another category that may still relate to your content .  These less popular categories require less Diggs to hit the front page
  • As you move up the rungs to become a more pupular user, you'll require more Diggs from more users.  You can either stop submitting for a few days, or get more friends

Chris Winfield - 10e20.com
Digging your way to the top!
Why would you want to be on the front page of Digg - Traffic and exporsure.  You can get up to 10k to 100k visitors to your site.  But most people are looking for links.  You also get repeat visitors and bookmarks, which leads to getting on the homepage of these other sites.

Believe it or not, sales do happen.  When blogs pick up stuff from digg, it does promote sales.

Know the language:

  • FTW - "For The Win"
  • i can has?
  • RTFA - "Read the F'n Article"

Know what diggers like

  • Apple
  • Ron Paul
  • Heroes
  • The Office

More Important to know what they don't like:

  • Hate RIAA
  • President Bush
  • FoxNews.com

What not to do

  • Press releases are boring
  • Overtly selling
  • Faking it - Sony's fake PSP site

What works

  • Knowing your audience
  • Photoshop
  • Lists
  • Death
  • Get featured on a popular blog
  • A creative idea - knowing your audience

Case Study:
Leading vacations package company:
Why:  get high quality links, brand exposure
Challenge:  Boring!  Didn't want to just do "top ten vacation tips"
The Plan:  have something that relates to them but is appealing to people on digg and everyone else
Incorporating cities throughout the world to help encourage discussion.  Used beautiful pictures, video and cool facts.  Flickr, Wikipedia and YouTube are your friends - use them!

Stripped out sidebar navigation and anything that is too overtly selling. 

Submitting to Digg
Using the number "11" rather than the word "eleven" help to grab people's attention.
Description, make it personal and opinionated.  Highlight keypoints and start the conversation.
Choose the right topic - if it doesn't fit it can be the killer
This case study made the front page in 6 hours.  151 comments, most positive, over 20k visitors from Digg alone.

It spread to other networks: eBaum, stumbleupon, etc.

Then spread to influential blogs, comments on the blogs lead to direct sales.  300 days later, 1000 natural links came from this piece of link bait.  Over 100,00 visitors in 24 hours from all those sites. 200 new email list signups.  12 new bookings from blog referrals.

One Digg Tip to Live By....


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Great presentations - thanks for sharing this recap!

Nice recap Li...

Thanks Li, good coverage. A lot of this seems like common sense but could see how you could overlook a thing or two. Not only no self promotion but stick to the favorites. Or you could be digging a Foxnews.com story on how Bush supports the RIAA.

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