More Pics From Blogworld Expo

John Hong from Zappos, as a local, was great at showing us around Vegas. I was crushed that we didn’t have time to go to the Double Down, home of the Bacon Martini, which is the url that John asked me to credit for the photos. Well he wanted me to credit another one, but in the interest of decency I’m going with baconmartini.

Anyhoo, Double Down specializes in Punk music, and as I’m a fan of that sort of music (see my last.fm) I would have enjoyed it immensely, likely as would Jeremy as he actually knew who Henry Rollins was, but it was just the past adults bedtime by the time we got around to it.

John took some great shots of us Friday night, and video of Liz acting silly. She’s lucky he only sent me the pics. 😛

Maria and I at the Blog Movie Car

Me and Maria Palma

Robyn Tippins and Jeremy Pepper at Shadows in Vegas

Me and Jeremy Pepper

Robyn Tippins

Me making fun of Jeremy’s choice in clothing

I’m getting ready to go to Webcom-Montreal now. If any of you are in Montreal, call me at 408-718-0886 so we meetup (more details on MyBlogLog blog)!

Welcome To Digg School – 4 Tips To Digg Success

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Over the past few years, I’ve written a number of posts that caught the attention of Digg users. Many were surprises, but a dozen or so were written specifically for Digg, mostly for clients. These successful Dugg stories or videos, etc. are what I want to discuss with you today. Were it not for Liz Strauss, I would not have had the inspiration to write this (she’s a real expert on this topic), so thanks to Liz for spurring me on here.

Now, I’m not going to tell you how to trick Digg users into digging your crappy content. If your content is crappy you stand little chance of getting dugg, I mean unless you have some hot pics of a geek girls in various stages of undress, lying in front of an extreme network connection or other appropriately IT-geek-fantasy pics. It’s either quality content or nudy pics… There is no way to win at Digg without either.

Must Have Great Content

This goes along with the ‘don’t have crappy content’ point, but it’s even more important. Don’t market ANYTHING EVER that isn’t absolutely fabulous. First, it’s a waste of time. Second, and more important, it can ruin your name. And, I don’t just mean your brand, which is extremely important, but even worse it can ruin the chances that anyone is ever again willing to look at your site, even after your content improves. What I mean by this is that if I see a link to your site and click it, if it’s bad, I note this fact. Now, if I later see your link, no matter what others are saying about how awesome it is, I remember that I’ve already seen it and it is not worthy of my time, so I’m not going to click through. Don’t ruin your chances of world domination by marketing unworthy content.

Now, what do I mean by ‘Great Content’? Well, here are some examples.

Note with each of these examples, you have something that is must see. In the case of the articles (not the video), you have something that’s so long and so useful that it’s too much to take in at one sitting. You are compelled to bookmark it, because it’s that good (and that long). Just reading some of these is a chore, because they take so much scholarly attention, but the content is so valuable to Digg readers, that they’ll bookmark it and Digg it. In the case of the video, it’s so good you want to pass it along to others. Viral marketing at it’s finest, for 20/20 at least…
Who Are You Looking To Impress?

Note that I specifically said ‘valuable to Digg readers’. Knowing your audience is vital here. Now’s the time to do some research. Not only are you specifically studying Digg readers overall, but you need to take time to study the Top Diggers. This used to be easier when there was a leaderboard, but a quick/easy way to find theme now is to study the homepage for a few days. Click on each homepage submitter’s name and check out their percentage of successful digs that made it Home.

A Top Digg User's Profile

Take a look at this guy’s stats. He was a random click for me on the homepage. However, note how high his submit percentage is (45%). That’s sizeable. That means that roughly out of every 2 stories he submits, almost 1 makes it to the homepage.

Do your research. Make impressing these guys your aim. If these guys submit you, then you have a great chance of success. Your goal should be to get these guys to find your article, and it should be specifically to tailor it to what they are already submitting.

A Little Friendly Stalking Never Hurt Anybody

There are a few ways to go about this, but the easiest is to stalk these guys. Yes, I know that sounds horrible, but if it didn’t work, Netscape wouldn’t have offered to pay them to do what they do so well (which is, of course, the reason there is no longer a Top 100 list, but that’s another story altogether).

I’ve been on Digg for a relatively long time in web years (since early 2005) so I have built up relationships with some people that are helpful in this way. Please note that this is an example of how organic community involvement is vital to your success online, and by doing it the way I have done it (ie by actually taking part in the community) you gain validity. Doing it this way is better, as you will garner more success and still be able to sleep at night.

Off my soapbox and back to stalking school… For the stalking though, I’m not talking about creepy ‘I’m a crazy person’ stalking, but really just attempting to form a relationship with them.

First, it’s research time. Take a look at their last 20 Diggs. What are they submitting? Who are they normally reading? Do you see any patterns you can exploit?

Now, for the next action: Take part in those communities (blogs, forums, etc.) and identify who they are and make an honest attempt to gain credibility in that community. Later, take a second to reach out to them asking for nothing. That relationship just may turn into their becoming a reader of your site.

Shoot for making relationships with at least 10 or so top Diggers. I don’t consider this gaming the system, because you are just trying to get them to notice you, you aren’t at all spamming them or annoying them.

Again, you get one shot here, so don’t overstep and NEVER ask for them to Digg you. If your stuff is good enough, they’ll notice you. If not, then go back to the content-creating drawing board.

If it didn’t work ask yourself, “Is your content relevant to Digg readers”? Remember, they tend to like extreme science breakthroughs (medical, astronomy, physics, etc.), technology related content, Digg related content and sexy stuff. If your blog is not related to those topics at all, I wouldn’t waste my time and energy with Digg. It’s not worth the effort. Try broader sites like Netscape, or niche oriented ones like Lipstick. A quick Google Yahoo! search will garner you more social bookmarking sites than you can shake a stick at.

Monetize – What have you done for me lately?

You are probably thinking, ‘this is a lot of work’. Yes, it is a lot of work, but for some things it is worth the effort. You’ll need to calculate the ROI of each marketing campaign you run, and yes, this is just another marketing campaign. Your results, whether your aim is immediate money or long-term branding, are definitely measurable. If they are branding, it’s a bit harder, but just capturing the mentions, the comments, etc. in a spreadsheet will help you understand quickly if it was worth the effort.

Monetization tracking is even easier. I’ve never depended on Adsense on my sites for monetization, my money-maker has always been through direct consulting jobs. For my clients, however, the large majority have not been about ad clicks nor sales, but branding. They’d want a particular product to gain attention, a contest to gain traction or a specific area of their site to gain memberships and authoritative backlinks. Because we were careful to define exactly what we wanted, tracking the campaign was easy via tracking traffic, WOM buzz, sign-ups, sales, etc.

I promise not to bore you further with all this marketing talk, but I wanted to point out that the most important thing to remember when determining if all this is worth the effort is in defining exactly what you want to do from the beginning. With clear cut goals (ie I want to gain 5K views, 50 subscribers and earn $25 in advertising sales and I am willing to spend 4 hours on this effort), you can easily track your efforts and determine if this should get another try next month.

The Bottom Line

  • Determine your goals
  • Write or build to your audience
  • Make it damn good
  • Schmooze with the best

Odds are, you will not make hundreds of dollars on a Digg story, unless you know some hoodoo-voodoo that I don’t know (and some of you probably do). PPC monetization is rarely effective on Dugg stories. Digg is much more effective at making sure your content, product, video, etc. get attention, at Digg and around the blogosphere.

Good luck, and as always, I’m Duzins on Digg. Let’s be friends 🙂

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BlogWorld Expo Highlights

I just got back from BlogWorld Expo and am still decompressing. I’m not going to try to list everyone here, but suffice it to say I met loads of cool people, Liz being my usual partner in crime, as always, Wendy and Christina joining in when possible.

I was planning on vandalizing the BlogCatalog booth, but instead I just waited until they left and made myself at home in their booth. I went and talked to them as we were leaving the show one night and they were really cool. I really was overwhelmed at how really nice they were. Here’s the picture of my misdeed. When I told them about it they thought it was hilarious. I love people with a good sense of humor!

Community Manager For MyBlogLog Hangs Out At BlogCatalog Booth

I got to meet some heros of mine, including Matt Mullenweg, Jeremy Pepper and more. Coolest was that I got to give the Weblog Award to Leo Laporte for best podcast (thanks Kevin!). While on stage he actually said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were with MyBlogLog. I’m a big fan of MyBlogLog”. I think I should have stopped the show there and got him to say that in the mic. 😉

Leo Laporte, Robyn Tippins

Tris was nice enough to introduce me to Leo before the ceremony. He seems like such a cool guy. Leo, I mean. I already knew Tris was the coolest person evah.

Anyhoo, I’m back in the saddle again and I can’t wait to get back to work. Yeah, I’m serious, but then I’m really, really weird.

All Photos By Tris Hussey

Quechup Invites Are Still Bombarding Me

I’m still surprised at the number of Quechup invites I’m getting from friends, business acquaintances and mailing lists. I thought that when Quechup saw the enormous flack they were taking for spamming their users’ address books, they’d fix this obviously broken invite system. However, I got another 5 invites today. At least it seems to be slowing down as more and more users are deciding to steer clear of the new social network. I suppose 30 email invites, plus at least 20 apology emails with an angry report of what had been done to them by Quechup, is a small price to pay for being well warned not to come anywhere near the site. But, the lack of response from the site’s owners is deafening.

I’m at more than 30 invites so far, most from people I have only exchanged one email with the in the past. What about you? How many spam Quechup invites have you gotten? Were you a victim of the site’s spam-friend invite?

Zazzle Is Searching For A Community Manager

I met with Josh Elman last week and this guy really ‘gets’ community. If I weren’t so darn happy here at MyBlogLog I would have jumped at the chance to work with this team, and Zazzle. Zazzle is really, really cool.

However, I wouldn’t be doing Josh and the team at Zazzle justice if I didn’t let you guys know that they were looking for a cracker jack community manager. They are looking for someone on site (Redwood City, CA), that wants to help them grow and nurture their community (which is really thriving already). So, if you have experience in Community and want to work with a great bunch of people, shoot me an email at robyn at sleepyblogger.com and I’ll pass your resume on to Josh. Good luck!