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Turning Diggs Into an Audience

In How to Build a ‘Digg Culture’ on your Blog, ProBlogger Darren Rowse may sound like he’s offering another article on “how to get dugg by Digg”, but it is much more important than that game.

I’ve talked repeatedly about how important it is to provide your visitors with a reason to return, thus building a audience and relationship with that audience. You want them to come back for more. It creates a fan club mentality. It encourages people to consider you “the source”. It motivates other bloggers to link to you and your articles as the expert.

And the best point of all? All this fuss attracts new readers, thus more opportunities to create more fans and return customers.

Rowse explains how to take advantage of those “Diggs” to turn visitors into readers.

Once this ‘digg culture’ kicks in a site can experience a series of ‘diggings’ which on each occasion will see the site receive a sudden and short burst of traffic followed by a return to lower traffic that is actually higher than pre-digg levels.

The actual traffic from digg is a nice (but short lived) thing – but the real benefit of being dugg regularly is the increase in traffic from loyal readers (RSS, bookmarks and newsletters) as well as the SEO benefits of new incoming links.

I consider Digg traffic and other such social bookmarking momentary boons to be similar to traffic in a store after a huge marketing campaign or grand opening.

When I was living in the Middle East, the “grand opening” of any store, shop, restaurant, or coffee house was a huge event. People would travel from all over the country just for the opening weekend. When the first Ikea opened, all previous opening weekend traffic numbers from all over the world were blown totally out of the water. People stood in lines for hours to get into the store.

Some of my friends were in those lines, but I waited several weeks. Even then, I still had to wait for 20 minutes to get in. A year later, there was no wait, but the store was still doing great as they offered a useful and affordable product line that people wanted, especially as the economy continued downhill with the growing unrest in the Middle East.

The burst of first blush had slowly turned into steady traffic. Now, when someone mentioned they needed to get a new bed, couch, or bookshelf, everyone would chime in with “Ikea” as the shopping solution. Ikea had earned a reputation and a reason for shoppers to return.

When Starbucks arrived, it got the same flood of folks from all over the country to stand in line for hours for their first taste of American’s version of coffee. However, in less than a year, they closed up shop and left. Traffic fell off within a short three months and didn’t return. Coffee in the Middle East is a serious affair and many said they didn’t like the Starbucks options. According to one newspaper review, the customer service was “too nice”, signifying it didn’t agree with local culture. Two of the reasons Starbucks didn’t get return customers because they failed to give customers a reason to return by ignoring their customer’s need and cultural preferences.

Does your blog give people a reason to return? Does it give people what they want? Does it have enough related post links, specific categories, and information on each page to help visitors arriving on that page know that you have much more to offer than this one special “dugg” post?

Does your blog encourage folks to click and check you out? Is it easy to search for more information with a clearly identifiable search box and/or site search tags? Does it encourage people to subscribe to your feeds? Does it motivate people to write “hey, check this article out!” on their blogs, giving you incoming links?

Getting dugg by Digg and other similar services is great, but what are you doing to hang on to those fresh new visitors, and encourage more?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted January 2, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I dare say you are right, though Digg is something I have only heard vaguely about until now, and never in a positive way. In fact I have just made my first trip there. I will have to do a bit of exploration and try to form my own opinion of them.

  2. Posted January 3, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Truthfully, I have no idea what it takes to keep new people let alone readers I could form more personal relationships with.If I did, I would use it.

    The question I still have to answer is, if I knew how to why would I use it?

  3. Posted January 4, 2007 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Wow. That’s quite the question combination. I’ll let others stew on that profundity of that. Good questions.

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