Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Writing titles for Digg

Nice experiment about the power of Digg

I made a nice looking blog with a list with twelve (or eleven) points about Digg and a couple of strange and even more irrelevant pictures on it. I wrote a Digg entry about it, and put it on the Digg website.

Of course, no-one is going to Digg this blog, especially because I called it Twelve Reasons not to Digg this, which is in itself already pretty lame I think. So in a matter of minutes, the Digg entry was pushed from the first page with the upcoming stories, and probably no-one will ever see it again. But in these first 15 minutes or so, I attracted about 25 unique visitors, and one even left a comment on the Digg site about the blog.

Now, I do not want to claim that 25 visitors is a lot, but it shows that people are really watching these upcoming stories, and they check out interesting or weird sounding links.

I am very convinced that giving a good and attractive name to your Digg entry heightens the chance that people will click on it and come to your site.

The other side of this, is that you also have to offer something attractive before people actually Digg your page or website, and that is where I went wrong (obviously). The blog I made does not attract anyone on its own, it is rather stupid actually, but that is not the point.

The point is that writing good Digg titles is half the work.
This, by the way, also goes for all the other social website collections and news aggregators. After doing some research on high-rating postings on such sites, I came to the conclusion that users of such services like fast titles and numbered lists. You do not need to describe your whole story or article on Digg, you just need to trigger curiosity, and traffic will come to your website or blog.

If you want them to stay longer than 5 seconds, and actually Digg the article so more people will come to it, you have to offer a bit more than that, for example good content. Visitors like to read about how things work, about how to do things, or about news scoops.

Also, a very strong design helps a lot, especially if you are targeting StubleUpon visitors, which just have a short glance at your page to decide if they like it.

Conclusion: as you already knew, Content is King. But a good title for your Bait is at least a good Crown-Prince.

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