The more powerful the user is that submits your story to Digg – the better chance it has of making the homepage. Despite the fact that Digg removed Top User rankings last month your place in the line is as important as ever. Why?
- Friends – the more friends you have, the more diggs you will get. Many people digg all of their friend’s submissions – the more popular you are the more friends you will have.
- Trust – for the most part the top users are looked at as more trustworthy and for good reason – they have earned it.
The more stories of yours that hit the homepage and become popular – the easier it becomes for subsequent stories to become popular. The more powerful your account is – the easier it will be to get your stories to the Digg homepage (resulting in increased traffic, brand awareness and most importantly – links).
Here are some ways to make this happen:
Make your profile standout. If you are just starting with Digg and setting up an account I would recommend starting your username with a number or a letter high in the alphabet. The reason for this is that when people look at other user’s friends – your username will be at the top of the list. Let’s take a look at Digg’s top user DigitalGopher’s friend listing:
As you can see the user-names that are at the top of his listing start either with a number (3monkeys) or the letter “A” (Aidenag). Why would you want to be at the top of people’s friends lists? Because many people add friends based on other users and being at the top of the list will increase your chances of being added.
If you already have an account setup then be sure that you have a cool and unique picture in your profile. Your picture becomes synonymous with your user-name. When someone sees your picture you want them to automatically know your user-name. By default, your picture is just a silhouette of a face/neck/shoulders:
Look at how it looks when you are in a line with others:
You all look the same. Differentiate yourself. Find an icon that will standout. Here are some Flickr Creative Commons searches you might want to try: Wild | Colorful | Scary. Here are a few examples of ones that really stand out:
Add Friends: And not just any friends. You want friends that are active and influential. You can start with the Top User’s list (it still exists – just not on Digg’s site). Look for people who Digg (a lot).
Out of these five – Digg user mrbabyman would be the best one to target as a friend due to the fact that he diggs the most and is still very active on the site.
Get really good with breaking news: One of the best ways to get homepage stories before you have a strong profile setup is to be the first to submit breaking news stories. Diggers are really, really fast at breaking news so you have to be armed with your own weapons. Two cool free tools are:
- Rasasa: This program integrates with your online messenger (Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, Google Talk) and it delivers you news from your RSS feeds as an IM message.
- KnowNow’s elerts: You add RSS feeds to this and a background service hosted by KnowNow starts monitoring your selected channels. As soon as new information is added to these channels an eLert is displayed on your toolbar or deskbar (update – KnowNow no longer seems to offer this, an alternative is FeedMyInbox).
These two tools will give you a bit of an edge over a traditional RSS reader’s lag time. All major news organizations have RSS feeds and most make them very easy to grab. Here are two other really good ones that aren’t so easy:
Use RSS for other mainstays: There are certain websites/blogs that I consider Digg mainstays – I would recommend adding these to your RSS reader and submitting good content from them whenever you see it. Examples of these sites would be Engadget, Lifehacker, Space.com, TheAppleBlog and The Consumerist.
Find unique sources: One of the keys is submitting content that noone else is. Study what people like and then find sites that fit into this mold. Sorry – I can’t list any of these here ;)
Know what Diggers like: Some things that are very popular on Digg:
- Apple’s iPhone
- Linux (especially Ubuntu)
- TV shows: Heroes, 24, Battlestar Gallatica
- Barak Obama & Ron Paul
- Nintendo Wii
- Digg (especially Kevin Rose)
Know what Diggers DON’T like: Some things that aren’t popular (often hated):
- George Bush (and Dick Cheney)
- Fox News (especially Bill O’Reilly)
- Hillary Clinton (she seems to be gaining hate steam)
It’s good to know what people like and what they don’t because you will have a much better chance of getting a story to the homepage that way. One word of advice – don’t submit any stories from foxnews.com, they won’t stand a chance.
Add Comments: In order to make yourself more known to people – start adding comments. I suggest focusing on comments in the Upcoming Most section. The stories in this section have the best chance of making the homepage and you will have a better shot at being one of the first commente
rs. If you leave the first or second comment on a story that becomes very popular, more and more people will see your username and check out your profile and are more likely to add you.
Use Bookmarks: Set up bookmarks for the submit URL, your friends submitted stories URL (that URL would be: digg.com/users/yourusername/friends/news/submitted) and your own submitted stories so you can track (that URL would be: digg.com/users/yourusername/news/submitted). This will allow you to access these quickly and easily whenever you need them.
Stay Active: In order to make yourself known you will have to stay active and give back. If you can go through and digg your friend’s stories (that you like) a few times throughout the day (especially on the days when you are going to be submitting something important to you). I have seen it many times where people take breaks from Digg and their account loses a lot of power.
Use a High Speed Connection: Digg is a very heavily traficked site and Digg does move slow. If you are still on a dial-up add a bunch of extra time to everything above :)