A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a nice relationship with Digg, hitting the front page (FP) with over half of my submissions (less than 1% of all submissions hit the Digg FP*). Things were going great.
Then, last week, the relationship seemed to abruptly end. My next eight submissions failed to make the FP. For a few of those, I wasn’t even close.
What was I doing wrong?
It takes significant time and commitment to have a consistent chance of hitting the Digg FP. When I first started submitting, it took six attempts before I had success. Twenty submissions later I hit the front page for the second time. In between then and now I’ve dugg thousands of submissions, to gain a sense of the type of content that resonates well and to network with the right Digg users.
Fast forward to this month: I felt that my contributions were valuable and the content was of high enough quality. It didn’t seem like my submissions were overly dependent on votes from my network or that I was shouting incessantly.
Nevertheless, I was not making headway.
Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, I took a couple days to reassess. I reviewed the material I was submitting and the categories I like to stay active in, to see what type of submissions were working for others. I talked to people in my network to get their opinions and advice.
Finally, I worked harder to find (potentially interesting) information, adding new feeds to my RSS reader and setting a schedule to recheck for RSS items on regular intervals. I also made sure to stay active, commenting and voting on the submissions made by friends in my Digg network and reaching out to new Diggers.
Bottom-line, I wasn’t going to give up or stop working on something I had success with.
Digg gave our “relationship” another chance this week and I’ve hit the Digg FP with 3 out of my last 7 submissions. However, things change and new challenges – directly and indirectly related with Digg – are certain to impact my success sooner than later.
In addition, there are certainly ways to improve and develop an even more productive strategy. As an example, I always feel like my submission titles (important to successful submissions) continue to need work. While I try not to rely on shouts, I use them. It will be interesting to see how things change once Digg takes this function away.
So What is the Point?
I use Digg as the example but any dedicated online marketing initiative will face challenges and periods with limited (or no) success. It’s pretty easy to give up when things are not working. It could also be tempting to take unnecessary risks that could potentially incur “a penalty” or damage reputation.
Successful, ongoing strategies are a lot like relationships. They require hard work, an ongoing commitment, and the understanding that sometimes one needs to try harder or get a bit more creative. Perseverance can pay off, but it takes time and energy to get there.
*Reference: Pronet Advertising
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