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Converting Diggers: How To Maximise Getting Dugg

Reading blogs and forums you would think that getting on Digg is all about short term pops of traffic. Yes the traffic boost is nice but if those visitors arrive and leave like a tide without anyone sticking around then all you have for your efforts is a slow web site for a while. Is it worth it, and more to the point, what can we do about it?

  1. Exposure – more people know about your site. Recognition is important in building trust.
  2. Brand – if your content is good then your site will have positive associations, get on Digg a lot for having good content and your brand will grow.
  3. Secondary Effects – many many people use Digg as a source of news, that is what it is there for. The initial traffic boost is nice but it is the blog, forum and mainstream media references that bring the good stuff.

But wait, are we just giving up on the initial Digg traffic? No way.

This is where we need to talk about a little thing call conversion. A topic for a future post, but here are a couple of tips

  • Keep the visitor involved and on-site – if you can convince your visitor the Dugg article is not a one-off you increase your chances of keeping them around, show your best stuff, related content, anything to convince readers of value
  • Put your RSS and Email subscriptions right where they can be seen, in your side bar, under the post, IN the post
  • Call to action not just “subscribe” – give a reason why they should sign up, a damn good one

You might not grab a high percentage of your Digg visitors as subscribers but with a bit of work you can improve your conversion rate and reduce your wasted hits. Every subscriber counts!

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Comments

  1. I’m not convinced that Digg traffic isn’t inherently non-converting. Unless you’re actually selling something of interest to these people (Thinkgeek-style) I doubt you’ll get any value from them. They sure as dammit ain’t gonna click on any ads.

    Still, I dugg this just to see if the world would implode.

  2. I’m not convinced that Digg traffic isn’t inherently non-converting. Unless you’re actually selling something of interest to these people (Thinkgeek-style) I doubt you’ll get any value from them. They sure as dammit ain’t gonna click on any ads.

    Still, I dugg this just to see if the world would implode.

  3. It depends on the site really. Digg users aren’t big on clicking links but then most tech-savvy people don’t tend to be. You can though convert them to subscribers, email opt-ins, downloads and other products providing you demonstrate value and make it easy for them.

  4. It depends on the site really. Digg users aren’t big on clicking links but then most tech-savvy people don’t tend to be. You can though convert them to subscribers, email opt-ins, downloads and other products providing you demonstrate value and make it easy for them.

  5. Outside of the backlinks, Digg traffic is mainly useless. That audience just doesn’t convert well no matter what you do. Sure, you may be able to get more RSS readers, but outside of that, backlinks are really what you are looking for.

  6. Outside of the backlinks, Digg traffic is mainly useless. That audience just doesn’t convert well no matter what you do. Sure, you may be able to get more RSS readers, but outside of that, backlinks are really what you are looking for.

  7. That’s the thing, once they are on your feed/email list then you build trust and sell down the line, don’t expect to be able to do it all in one go. Go for the easy opt-in and sell later.

  8. That’s the thing, once they are on your feed/email list then you build trust and sell down the line, don’t expect to be able to do it all in one go. Go for the easy opt-in and sell later.

  9. Chris –

    Hmm, I definitely see your point, but what’s more important – Digg user “trust” or Google “trust” through more backlinks? To me, the Digg demographic just doesn’t convert well (too young, too open source “free” minded (although Apple supporters are the most indulgent individuals in the tech area right now)) where as the less informed users from Google do convert much better on the whole.

    I think there is a fine line you walk with Digg – no matter how useful, too many front page stories and you are accussed of gaming. Only get one or two stories and the traffic increase doesn’t seem to convert over time. However, by monitoring backlinks and referrals in, you can see traffic coming from newer sources and generally a bump in the Google SERPs.

    I’d like to see some actual conversion numbers from someone who can relate an increase in converts to Digg. That might be an excellent case study. Great article though – got me thinking which is the sign of a good post.

  10. Chris –

    Hmm, I definitely see your point, but what’s more important – Digg user “trust” or Google “trust” through more backlinks? To me, the Digg demographic just doesn’t convert well (too young, too open source “free” minded (although Apple supporters are the most indulgent individuals in the tech area right now)) where as the less informed users from Google do convert much better on the whole.

    I think there is a fine line you walk with Digg – no matter how useful, too many front page stories and you are accussed of gaming. Only get one or two stories and the traffic increase doesn’t seem to convert over time. However, by monitoring backlinks and referrals in, you can see traffic coming from newer sources and generally a bump in the Google SERPs.

    I’d like to see some actual conversion numbers from someone who can relate an increase in converts to Digg. That might be an excellent case study. Great article though – got me thinking which is the sign of a good post.

  11. Not exactly conversion numbers, but I can show you the top 15 outbound clicks from a bunch of Diggers from 2 days ago. Received 55,573 referrals from Digg, total referrals that day were 75,865 coming from other sources like Lifehacker, Delicious, Gizmodo, etc.

    Here are the top 15 outbound clicks:

    enginepuller.com/engines/114/Thomas%2… 466

    feeds.feedburner.com/SpeakingFreely 106

    catb.org/hacker-emblem 104

    blogburst.com 23

    home-office-guide.com 20

    newstons.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/6-t… 19

    10e20.com 18

    wolf-howl.com 17

    learningcenter.sony.us/assets/itpd/re… 17

    seo-theory.blogspot.com 16

    abhilash.us 16

    bitty.com/manual/?contenttype=rssfeed… 15

    andreasviklund.com 11

    newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/subext.a… 11

    wordpress.com 10

    Enginepuller was from a link in the comments. Next was the feedburner link, large orange graphic, then the hacker emblem, blogburst chiclet, etc.

    Not a very good percentage of outbound clicks. I can almost bet that the hacker emblem clicks were of the ‘WTF is that’? variety.

    Accumulation of inbound links though is an entirely different story. Yahoo showed an increase of over 4k links in two days. I’ll certainly take links from Lifehacker and Gizmodo.

    The piece that was Dugg ended up with over 2000 Diggs. Comments are still coming in as are backlinks from other blogs, etc.

  12. Not exactly conversion numbers, but I can show you the top 15 outbound clicks from a bunch of Diggers from 2 days ago. Received 55,573 referrals from Digg, total referrals that day were 75,865 coming from other sources like Lifehacker, Delicious, Gizmodo, etc.

    Here are the top 15 outbound clicks:

    enginepuller.com/engines/114/Thomas%2… 466

    feeds.feedburner.com/SpeakingFreely 106

    catb.org/hacker-emblem 104

    blogburst.com 23

    home-office-guide.com 20

    newstons.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/6-t… 19

    10e20.com 18

    wolf-howl.com 17

    learningcenter.sony.us/assets/itpd/re… 17

    seo-theory.blogspot.com 16

    abhilash.us 16

    bitty.com/manual/?contenttype=rssfeed… 15

    andreasviklund.com 11

    newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/subext.a… 11

    wordpress.com 10

    Enginepuller was from a link in the comments. Next was the feedburner link, large orange graphic, then the hacker emblem, blogburst chiclet, etc.

    Not a very good percentage of outbound clicks. I can almost bet that the hacker emblem clicks were of the ‘WTF is that’? variety.

    Accumulation of inbound links though is an entirely different story. Yahoo showed an increase of over 4k links in two days. I’ll certainly take links from Lifehacker and Gizmodo.

    The piece that was Dugg ended up with over 2000 Diggs. Comments are still coming in as are backlinks from other blogs, etc.

  13. Agree with you on Conversion. Also the aftermath of the digg effect that really counts. The number of follow up blogs, forum posting and other news on your story are the ones that will continue to drive quality traffic to your site.

  14. Agree with you on Conversion. Also the aftermath of the digg effect that really counts. The number of follow up blogs, forum posting and other news on your story are the ones that will continue to drive quality traffic to your site.

  15. Diggers are actually a tiny proportion of internet users even if it does seem that they represent a flood when they hit a site.

    db

  16. Diggers are actually a tiny proportion of internet users even if it does seem that they represent a flood when they hit a site.

    db

  17. You also have to keep into account that most diggers hate blogs, but yet say that they only like the ones that their friends like – techcrunch, mashable are a few examples.

    Diggers digg some blogs, but don’t digg others and mark them as spam.

  18. You also have to keep into account that most diggers hate blogs, but yet say that they only like the ones that their friends like – techcrunch, mashable are a few examples.

    Diggers digg some blogs, but don’t digg others and mark them as spam.

  19. A lot of Diggers do like blogs, I think it is mainly when someone submits a blog url that doesn’t add anything rather than the actual story Diggers don’t like it.

  20. A lot of Diggers do like blogs, I think it is mainly when someone submits a blog url that doesn’t add anything rather than the actual story Diggers don’t like it.

  21. Well, I’ve never seen that diggers don’t really like blogs: when they have something to say (when I say ‘they’ I mean some of the ex top diggers) they use their blogs, and blogs are mainly to express one’s opinions, whereas the comments areas are used only on digg to discuss a current topic. I’m the expert here, but this is what I think.

  22. Well, I’ve never seen that diggers don’t really like blogs: when they have something to say (when I say ‘they’ I mean some of the ex top diggers) they use their blogs, and blogs are mainly to express one’s opinions, whereas the comments areas are used only on digg to discuss a current topic. I’m the expert here, but this is what I think.

  23. It all depends, obviously, on what a ‘conversion’ is to your blog.

    Is a coversion an adsense click? Forget it. Digg users do not click. Plain and simple. You are much more likely to get clicks from less scrupulous readers that find your blog via traditional methods.

    Is a comment on your post a conversion to you? Again, not likely with Digg users, most tend to comment back at Digg, that’s where they are most comfortable and have control within their own community.

    Is a conversion a subscriber? You might impress a digg user enough to subscribe as this is actually the least offensive and least labor intensive actions of the choices. This is indicative of the number of clicks received on your feed icon in the above example.

    All in all, Digg is hype.

  24. It all depends, obviously, on what a ‘conversion’ is to your blog.

    Is a coversion an adsense click? Forget it. Digg users do not click. Plain and simple. You are much more likely to get clicks from less scrupulous readers that find your blog via traditional methods.

    Is a comment on your post a conversion to you? Again, not likely with Digg users, most tend to comment back at Digg, that’s where they are most comfortable and have control within their own community.

    Is a conversion a subscriber? You might impress a digg user enough to subscribe as this is actually the least offensive and least labor intensive actions of the choices. This is indicative of the number of clicks received on your feed icon in the above example.

    All in all, Digg is hype.

  25. I notice you use your past ebook and previews of your upcoming one in order to drive subscriptions, how do you feel about other alternatives such as contests?

    What *are* some other alternatives? I’ve been thinking about this and so far have just come up with contests and free stuff as incentives go.

  26. I notice you use your past ebook and previews of your upcoming one in order to drive subscriptions, how do you feel about other alternatives such as contests?

    What *are* some other alternatives? I’ve been thinking about this and so far have just come up with contests and free stuff as incentives go.

  27. @valiko75, there is a blog-this feature at Digg too

    @buzzdroid, in this context I do regard for myself a subscriber as a conversion. Subscribers are your long-term value plan

    @Andrew, anything with perceived value to the reader eg. audio, video, members-only forum, archive, exclusive content, money-off voucher, consulting, a secret, newsletter, …

  28. @valiko75, there is a blog-this feature at Digg too

    @buzzdroid, in this context I do regard for myself a subscriber as a conversion. Subscribers are your long-term value plan

    @Andrew, anything with perceived value to the reader eg. audio, video, members-only forum, archive, exclusive content, money-off voucher, consulting, a secret, newsletter, …

  29. @Chris:

    So further content could be used to drive subscriptions, as long as it’s exclusive to rss or newsletter subscribers. That makes sense, thanks :)

  30. @Chris:

    So further content could be used to drive subscriptions, as long as it’s exclusive to rss or newsletter subscribers. That makes sense, thanks :)

  31. @Chris

    I don’t mean that diggers don’t like blogs this way. I’m familiar with this feature on Digg, but I mean that I have very often seen comments that clearly told that “this is a blog and I don’t want to see it on digg” (something like this, I can’t recall the exact place and time). I just think that many diggers think of a potential promotional campaign of a site when they see a blog. I hope I made myself clear! But anyway: nice guideline!

  32. @Chris

    I don’t mean that diggers don’t like blogs this way. I’m familiar with this feature on Digg, but I mean that I have very often seen comments that clearly told that “this is a blog and I don’t want to see it on digg” (something like this, I can’t recall the exact place and time). I just think that many diggers think of a potential promotional campaign of a site when they see a blog. I hope I made myself clear! But anyway: nice guideline!