Muhammad Saleem wrote a post over at CopyBlogger this week by the title – ‘Is it OK to Write for Digg’ and makes some really good points on either side of the debate. Here are a few key quotes from his piece with a few of my own thoughts:
“for it to be classified as “Digg bait” it really has to appeal to the community and it has to incite a passionate response from the users, whether the response be good or bad.”
Love them or hate them – but Digg users are a passionate lot (or many of them are). There’s something about their youthful exuberance that can make them either love you or hate them in a way that can send a blogger to ‘cloud nine’ or to the depths of despair.
“But Digg tends to become like crack for many writers and after they get on Digg once, there is an intense desire to try to keep getting on Digg. It is here that writers often start disregarding their loyal readers, start pandering to Digg, and run into trouble.”
I think this (and the following comments that Muhammad makes) is key. I’ve seen numerous bloggers go to the Dark Digg Side – lured by the temptation of tens of thousands of visitors in short spaces of time and writing posts that really don’t fit with their topic or help their current readers in an attempt to make the front page. My approach is that the vast majority of your posts should be written with your current reader in mind. Look after them – provide a community for them – give them useful content. While doing this there will be opportunities to write content with a broader appeal – but even then you will need to keep it on topic and appealing to your readership.
“Writing for Digg is actually less about substance and more about how you present the content – in other words, copywriting.”
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a post with substance that is diggable – but it does mean you need to pay particular attention to the form that you write in, your title and even the layout of the post.
I think some of Muhammad’s other points about a core and peripheral audience are great – use social media sites like Digg to expand your horizons and grow your audience – but keep your core readers right in your focus.
As with any other aspect of a blog – become obsessed with Digg and you’ll get things out of balance (read more on holistic blogging).