Digg, much like many other social bookmarking tools, is built around a small community of highly “ranked” users that control ninety percent of the overall success for the other millions of registered members. It is not a big secret that an article does not have to be excellent in order to climb through the Digg infrastructure and come to rest on the homepage.
As I am writing this, a quick look at Digg.com reveals that ten articles currently being dugg were submitted by two different users. Is this coincidence? Maybe they are just the modern marvels of information, or maybe they have a knack for knowing what millions of people are interested in. Not likely. After looking at their profiles I find that almost every article they submit hit the digg homepage and most of the following submitters are the same bunch of people. I am not saying they are cheating the system, although possible, but more likely they have just built a strong following of Digg users, that now watch what they submit and follow suit.
So how do they get so many followers? That is the big question on a lot of peoples minds, and the 6 steps below will put you on the right path towards answers.
Step #1 – Start by registering for a new account on Digg.com. Choose a username and profile image that is unique and most importantly memorable. Do not include your real name or blog url if you eventually want to submit your own articles. Users tend to look down on this practice and all of your hard work will be for nothing. So keep all of your information different than what is publicly visible on your blog so there appears to be no relationship.
Step #2 – Start searching for sources of what many call Digg bait or articles that are likely to be dugg. This is not as hard as it may sound and the best tool for finding this is Digg itself. There are a number of sites that reach the Digg homepage frequently, which would make these good sources of information. A few places to get you started are Mashable.com, BoingBoing.net, ArsTechnica.com and TechCrunch.com. If you haven’t already noticed these are also blogs from the Technorati Top 100 list, so start checking into that list, and find more information. Don’t forget to have a look at some of the other bookmarking communities, lots of articles from these places make their way to Digg as well.
Step #3 – Check all of the sites you found in step 2 frequently. Look for articles related to popular topics on Digg. Try to catch them as they are published and quickly submit them to Digg, you want to be the first submitter, but at the very least in the first five. This step is to build credibility and get recognized. After you submit a few stories that hit the homepage people will start to notice your name and hopefully begin watching you.
Step #4 – Every day, after you have a few diggs under your belt, start adding a few people that have also dugg your articles to your friends list. Don’t get crazy with this step. Only add maybe one or two people a day and don’t go for the bigshots. Smaller, unknown people are more likely to befriend you at this point and for now they will do just fine. You may notice that after time they will begin digging the same articles you have more frequently and this is what you were trying to do. Make sure to digg their articles as well, you want to build an unspoken relationship or trade with these users.
Step #5 – If an article you have submitted starts gaining diggs, quickly jump in and comment on the article. Keep your comments related to the topic and informative. “Hey this is cool” is not a good comment. Continue commenting as more people do, comments on Digg tend to turn into conversations which is a good way to make friends and build your presence. Let everyone know you are serious and passionate about the topic.
Step #6 – Keep it going. Everything you have done to this point has probably begun building a good name for yourself, so keep up on it. Continue interacting with the community on a daily basis, adding friends, submitting articles and getting involved in converstion.
Eventually you will be able to get a huge amount of Diggs on practically every article you submit just from your followers. Since you are now popular and you have no affiliation with your blog you can also digg your own articles, sparingly, and send those to the homepage as well. Just don’t digg your stuff to often as people will pick up on this quickly. Enjoy!
Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing