Ignore the thousand articles you read before this one about using Digg.com to promote your website. They’re all wrong.
For those who aren’t familiar with Digg, here is a snippet from the about page:
Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. You won’t find editors at Digg.
That requires some translation. Here’s what it really means:
Digg is a place for 18-24 year old males to read about internet gossip. From the smallest local news rags to the wittiest satire websites, Digg surfaces the stuff most entertaining to our users as determined by our staff of editors.
I’m not trying to be a negative nancy — Digg can be entertaining and informative — but it has little to no value for directing attention to websites of substance, whether you’re a marketer or not.
I’m operating under a couple key assumptions. First, your website is not about liberal politics, internet piracy, or conspiracy theories. Second, you care about your website.
Here are 3 reasons to stay away from Digg:
1) Digg is not meant for websites of substance
Digg doesn’t try to deliver worthwhile content, just entertaining content. Think of it like the National Inquirer, not the New York Times. Don’t try to swim against the current just to get traffic from Digg, because chances are it will be unqualified.
More importantly, don’t dumb down your website; that’s a terrible strategy for anybody.
2) Digg users are in browse mode
Digg’s purpose is to be distracting. Digg users are in a state-of-mind that bounces them from page to page in search of a momentary sanctuary from whatever was previously occupying their attention. Unless your website’s purpose is “distract yourself here,” the value you provide will not be aligned with a Digg visitor’s expectations, and they will leave.
Again, visitors referred by Digg are highly unqualified because they’re not interesting in doing anything. It’d be like corralling a horde of anti-war protesters into an Army recruitment office; it doesn’t matter how many you can get, they’re not going to join.
3) Your time is better spent elsewhere
It’s not that you’re never going to get someone from Digg to take whatever action your website encourages, but the conversions are so low you should concentrate your efforts elsewhere. You’ll also save yourself the hassle of being outed as a marketing hack trying to pollute an extreme anti-commercialism social site.
Ah right, there is that.
Look, there are no shortcuts in promoting your website. Find the people who matter on forums and, you know, talk to them. Or take a step back and actually create a considered marketing strategy, including advertisements to the people actively searching for the product or service you provide.
And stay away from Digg.