The Definitive Guide to Getting up on Digg’s Homepage

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a pretty seething article about how Digg was beginning to come across as a “high school clique” due to the difficulty for us little guys to make it up to the homepage.  After that article made it up to the homepage, I figured that what I had done was just a fluke, and didn’t really think much of it – aside from enjoying the extra traffic.

However, since then, I have been able to get an additional seven articles up onto Digg’s homepage.  Because I don’t think this latest string of successful submissions is just dumb luck, I’ve taken a look at what I’ve been doing lately to get up on Digg’s homepage, and I’ve come up with what I think is the most thorough “guide” to helping others reap the benefits of getting on Digg’s homepage.

So, here are my step-by-step instructions that will help you get more Diggs and increase the likelihood that your submissions make it up onto the homepage:

1. Content:  Obviously, if you submit garbage you’re not going to get any Diggs, so make sure that you’re submitting articles about topics that are of interest to people.  Additionally, nobody is going to Digg your article if you’re the 15th person to submit a story about a particular subject.

However, in terms of getting Diggs, I believe that your content is the least important factor on this list.  The reason being, many people don’t Digg based on content, rather they Digg based on titles, summaries and whether or not you’re one of their friends.

And the reason I can vouch is there’s no way in the world any of my articles ever would have made Digg’s homepage based on my content/writing skills!

2. Titles:  Because this is going to be the first thing people look at when deciding whether or not to read or Digg your submission, you need to make this count.  The title you submit has to be eye catching or it’s going to get lost in the shuffle.  So before you just slap a title on your submission and be on your way, make sure that it’s witty, sharp, clever, insightful, funny, etc. 

Think of it this way, if the title you submit is so boring that it wouldn’t catch your eye, realized that it’s not going to grab anyone else either.  And if nobody’s looking at your submission, nobody’s going to Digg it.

3. Summary:  For me, this one has always been the most difficult part.  When writing your summary, you have to make sure that you don’t give away too much because you’re then taking away any reason for someone to click on your link.  That being said, you still have to give enough to pique the reader’s interest, otherwise they’re just going to skip over your submission.

What I’ve noticed a lot of people doing – and it seems to work pretty well – is copying and pasting the opening paragraph from their article and then slightly tweaking it to fit the constraints of Digg’s submission summary.  This seems to work because in your opening paragraph you tend to give away just enough to let the reader know what the article is about to rope them in to read everything else.

4. Category of Submission: When you submit your article, you’re going to want to choose the category that most closely resembles the topic of your article.  Unfortunately, this can be a lot easier said than done, especially if you’re going to submit a tech related article.

That being said, the categories that tend to appear most frequently on Digg’s homepage are: Tech Industry News, Business and Finance, Offbeat News, World News and Gaming News.  Because these categories tend to show up on the homepage more frequently, it leads me to believe that these are the categories that get the most traffic as well.

5. Time of Day:  This is another one of those tricky ones: you want to submit your articles during peak times so that a lot of people will look at your submission, but you also don’t want to submit when everyone else is because you’re article will get lost in the crowd.

What’s seemed to have worked best for me is submitting between 8:30 and 9:30 Eastern time.  I figure that’s because you’ve got a lot of people at work checking Digg (and not submitting their sites) and by the time the West Coast catches up, you should have enough Diggs to warrant their attention.

6. Friends:  This is probably the single most important and overlooked factor to consistently get your submissions up on Digg’s homepage.  Keep in mind, that while Digg isn’t a social networking site like MySpace or Facebook, it does have some social aspect to it.

That being said, you need to get a lot of people to befriend you as quickly as possible.  The reason being, when someone befriends you, they are made aware of your submission and are much more likely to Digg it.  The more people who have befriended you, the more Diggs you’re likely to get.

So, how do you get people to befriend you?  Here are some tips:

  • Add other people as your friends
  • Submit insightful and funny comments to highly Dugg articles
  • Get up on the homepage!  (sorry for the catch 22)

Anyway, it’s no coincidence that as soon as I began focusing on getting people to befriend me I started to see a dramatic increase in the number of Diggs each of my submissions received.  Unfortunately, you’re going to need to be patient while you build up your friend list – it’s not something that’s going to happen over night!

This is everything I know about getting up on Digg’s homepage.  Hopefully this will help you start to get more Diggs and help you find your way up onto the homepage.

(As always, if this was useful, please feel free to Digg!)

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