Using Digg and building readers

Day 4:

I have been posting some more comments around the blog world in related fields. I will be posting the analytics on that process later this week. Today, however I wanted to look at some of the data and see if we can begin to capitalize on it immediately. Specifically, the digg effects.

One of the things that I have seen already is the use of digg. While the traffic to this blog is still a joke, it has started to grow without any offline or friends etc learning about it. I submit my posts to digg immediately after posting to the site. This provides a couple nice advantages for me. First I am in the search engines surprisingly fast. Google has been showing up in a manner of hours after a post. This gives me quick access to new organic readership. But the shocking thing to me was the fact that I actually received diggs on articles, and a small influx of traffic and even a comment.

As I started to research this, it seems there are really two camps about digg and blogs. The first camp is pessimistic and really quick to discard a socially powerful tool. They basically harp on the fact that digg traffic is really fleeting and that it is nearly a complete waste of resources since they never come back to the site.

The other camp brings up the fact that these users tend to be RSS and tech active, tend to be active in digg and its “blog it” area, and tend to be looking at material in a specific area of interest

Personally, I love digg. I think it is a great way to see new features and sites online while it has been vetted through a community. I am always interested in new widgets, new coding developments, and news on the current crisis facing the world. I have created a nice clean account for this site on digg so that I wouldn’t accidentally effect my traffic stats from my friends.

Basically anyone who diggs me will get a friend request. The reason is simple, I want to build up my diggs coming from the site and try to use my updates to digg as a simple way of maintaining existing traffic. They will receive a simple notification, if they are my friend, and it will notify them of my new posts. With any luck, a percentage come back to the site on a regular basis and as my articles appeal to them, they should digg it and my presence on the site should grow and continue.

There is an annoying fact about digg. If you write for digg, you do very well. So the fact that this post is related to digg and finding stable traffic through it, means that there is a good chance I will actually get some greater traction. The danger is writing for the quick buzz over writing for the actual audience. My audience is clearly other bloggers looking to build up the traffic. So I have to make sure my posts are geared towards satisfying that need.

Specific stats from digg so far are small. 8 page views, 3 diggs and 1 comment. But given that from comments I have only seen 3 page views and 1 comment (though very involved in the discussion), it seems it may be a good way to build starter traffic. It also gives me some motivation to start adding reddit and some of the digg clones to the site to see if the same principle can be scaled across the genre of sites and made into a solid traffic building process.

A word of caution about digg. First there are very non-specific categories within digg. So it may be a good idea to actually go through and see what categories work for your individual audience. Also see what categories lead to long term readership over short term traffic spurts.

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