In his book Clear Blogging, Bob Walsh recommends making it easy for your blog readers to add your posts to social bookmarking sites like Digg. Why wouldn’t a blog have “Digg This” buttons? Here’s seven possible reasons along with recommendations to get past these objections and try it out.
1. I don’t even know what “Digg” is or why I’d want to participate.
Digg is a “user driven social content website”. This means that users determine what gets popular and what gets buried. Authors of content that other Digg users find interesting are rewarded with increased visibility to even more Digg users and search engines. Users submit stories. Users promote and bury stories. Digg is a way for quality content to get promoted and shared and useless content to get ignored.
A “Digg This” button on your blog gives Digg users a place to click to recommend an article you’ve written. If other users agree with the recommendation, your writing could get more exposure.
2. I don’t want to be conceited and presume my writing is worthy of a “Digg”
The beauty of Digg and other social bookmarking sites is that the users get to decide. By offering a “Digg This” button, all you are doing is giving readers a choice.
If no one recommends your writing, it means your content is not striking a particularly strong or unique chord with your readers or your readers are not Digg users. See #3 and #5.
3. I don’t want my readers to feel like I am begging them for praise.
People love to share things they find interesting and useful. People love to say, “Hey – look what I’ve found.” People love to share good things with their community. Don’t think of the “Digg This” button as a request for praise. Instead, think of it as a service to your readers. Digg users don’t recommend stories for the benefit of the author; they do it to be active members of the Digg community.
4. I don’t want my website cluttered with unnecessary buttons, banners, or other flashy stuff.
Digg buttons and other social bookmarking links can be very unobtrusive. See the small, compact links on this site.
5. Sounds OK so far, but I don’t care a bit about being popular, I just want to write.
Most blogs are written for an audience and most writers hope to appeal to their audience. Don’t think of Digg as a popularity contest. Think of it as a feedback mechanism for your readers. If you want to know what your readers like and don’t like, Digg is one way to find out. Google analytics can show you which articles people read, but will not show you if readers find it interesting. Results from Digg will help you focus in on what content and writing style most strikes a chord with your readers.
6. I heard the whole thing is rigged anyway.
There have been stories of writers working the system to get Digg votes. Maybe people get an extensive network of friends to recommend their content even if the content is not that great. Maybe some power-bloggers have control and can steer contributors’ Digg destiny. I don’t know. Regardless, this is one of those situations in which the “it can’t hurt” approach comes into play. Even if there is a game at play here, it can’t hurt to be recommended in Digg or other social bookmarking sites. There is no downside.
7. I don’t know how to add a “Digg This ” button.
This is probably a legit reason many bloggers don’t have Digg buttons. Digg makes it as easy as possible. Add this one line to your blog.
Where to add this line differs depending on what blog engine you are using. If you are using the Rails powered Typo blog engine, you can find specific directions here.
See Digg’s integration page here for more details and other options to make the button look like almost anything you want.
Are there other reasons you have not added “Digg-This” buttons to your blog? Am I missing anything from this list?