It can be a bit confusing to know what social networking sites to target to improve your blog readership. One of the most popular sites to use to generate hits on your own site is Digg. Digg has been going since around 2005, and has grown steadily in popularity so that its website traffic was ranked 100th by Alexa.com in April 2010.
What’s it all about?
Digg is a site that allows people to find and share content from anywhere on the web. It operates without editing, as a truly social site. All the content is placed on there by normal people who simply read something they like, and then ‘Digg’ it to let other people know about it.
Basically, it’s a big online popularity contest for good content. Material is ranked in order of popularity and value, and any site, however small or mighty, can be included in the lists. At a time when we are flooded with web pages from all over the world, it can be incredibly useful to have an index of content which is rated by normal readers with no ulterior motive than to share good stuff with other people.
The ‘America’s Got Talent’ of web content
Just like a reality TV show where people are voted on or off according to the entertainment value of what they do, so Digg allows pages to move up or down the scale depending on how good they are. ‘Good’ content could be funny, informative, useful or just plain silly, but it must have something catchy and relevant about it to hit the top spots.
Once a submission to Digg gets enough ratings from people, it hits the front page of the site where millions of visitors can see it. This is like winning America’s Got Talent and hitting the jackpot of popularity – a great goal for anyone who makes a living through online writing or video.
Digg includes images, music, news, video and articles, so it covers the whole spectrum of available web content in its rankings.
Supported by an online community
Digg also offers a community service, where people can discuss items and share them, passing on other pages of interest. Digg’s philosophy is to promote content in an unbiased way, which means that anyone can get on the front page if their material is interesting. It doesn’t make any difference how big or small your site is – it’s the content, and how people respond to it that counts.
In reality, these days it can be incredibly difficult to get onto the front page due to the power users who dominate the site. I’ve been on the front page twice (not with this site as I deliberately only have Twitter on here for reasons I can talk about another time) and can vouch for the massive increase in traffic, but just getting a small amount of traffic from many articles is often worthwhile.
Adding Digg to your blog
It’s pretty easy to use the Digg plug-in to get it on your WordPress site, and start to benefit from sharing your content with other people. There is now an updated application that builds on the previous Digg buttons and widgets, making it straightforward for you to engage Digg on your blog. You can also use a plugin like Share This, Sociable or Sexy Bookmarks.
If you have visitors to your site who like what you do, they can ‘Digg’ your content and start you off on the great global popularity contest of social computing – it’s well worth getting this on to your blog, if only to encourage people to share what you do with the rest of the world!