My Experiences With Being On Digg

This past weekend NevBlog.com was on the Digg.com homepage. Several of my sites have had pages posted on the Digg homepage before, but this experience was definitely the most interactive!

*Digg.com is a social bookmarking site, and articles on the front page often get server-crushing traffic thrown their way.

My most fun experiences with being on Digg were this past one a few days ago, and the time my businesses HouseOfRave.com was on Digg and I made 320 orders in a day.

I briefly posted on this blog how if you search on Google Images the word “Facebook” my full profile comes up as the #1 result. This is partly a result of me owning FacebookProfile.com (which I just sold) and posting screenshots of Facebook. I also wrote how a Lebanese newspaper used this images in their article.

Well this article on Digg brought in thousands of visitors to that Facebook screenshot which includes my full name, old address and current cell phone number. The first day it was up, NevBlog.com unique visitors went from the 2,000 to 4,000 range to about 25,000 for the day. The next day it dropped to around 9,500 uniques. The third day was nearly normal traffic. However this was a medium sized Digg, reaching a peak of 700-something Diggs.

THE PHONE CALLS:
I generally get about one call per week from people Google Imaging the term Facebook and seeing my profile with all my information, but during my stint on Digg, I got about 50 phone calls from curious Diggers seeing if that number was real, in one day! All sorts of interesting zip codes, international codes and free online calls were placed to see if my phone number was real!

DIGG USERS SURPRISINGLY NICE:
Judging by the type of articles and stupid comments you usually see on Digg, you get the impression most users are bored teenagers (which is probably accurate). But of all the calls I got, for the most part it seems Diggers were more concerned for my privacy which was unexpected. Most of the people that called did so to simply notify me I was on Digg and that my phone number was available online. I would quickly explain the situation and that I knew my phone number was there, thank them and the conversation was over.

However I also got a few prank calls. These are most likely 13 year olds with not much to do. However it sounds like something I would do also, so I can’t complain, I thought the prank calls were rather funny (although sometimes the same people kept calling back which got annoying and lead me to believe these people sadly had NOTHING else to do).

DIGG TRAFFIC:
Usually when a site of mine ranks high on Digg it isn’t much of a problem. My experience with being on the front Digg homepage is this:

1st Day – 50,000 to 70,000 extra unique visits.
2nd Day – 15,000 to 30,000 extra unique visits.
3rd Day – 1,000 extra unique visits.
4th Day – Regular traffic.

Even when I browse through Digg, I generally look at the article, read it, then exit. Most likely I’ll never see that website again. This pretty much holds true to the traffic patterns I’ve experienced.

SERVER LOAD:
Digg generally delivers a server-crushing load of traffic to some sites, which is why many sites go down soon as they get on Digg. I have my own dedicated server, so it generally handles the job, but it DOES go down several times during a large Digg. Especially when the Digg involves a large screenshot image plus many other images. NevBlog is not an efficient website to say the least, so every page load of the site is quite a bandwidth hog.

When FacebookProfile.com was on Digg, it hurt my server more than NevBlog because it’s all database driven. The amount of SQL queries racked up quickly, and would overload the services on my server causing Apache outages. This sucks because I also have about 4 websites on my server that get high traffic and use up a lot of processing time, if some of these are not up, I cannot make money. This is why I specifically wanted to host BodyMonkey.com on a separate service, to hedge my losses if something goes wrong with my server.

BEING ON DIGG MAKE YOU MONEY? IT VARIES:
FacebookProfile.com got a lot of extra hits from Digg several times, but the advertising revenue only went up slightly. Digg users are used to quickly skipping through articles, and generally never click ads. I sure don’t.

But get this…right before Halloween 2006, HouseOfRave.com was on the front page of Digg and I got 320 orders in a 24 hour period from it!! That’s two months worth of orders in ONE DAY!! That’s also thousands of dollars in profit from one big Digg.

The Digg article linked the Glowing Hair Gel product on HouseOfRave, and subsequently tons of blogs started writing about that product also. Now if you Google the term “Glowing Hair Gel” I am firmly planted as the #1 spot. Ha, even if you Google the broad term “Hair Gel” in Google I am still #3!

It was a blessing and curse at the same time to get all these orders, because while I had just made several thousand dollars in profit from that one day, I was still manually processing orders at that time. With the method I was using, it took me two solid days of the most mundane work EVER. Basically copy/pasting information from hundreds of orders…over and over and over till each one was filled.

So it seems you can make loads of cash if a PRODUCT or SERVICE gets exposure on Digg, but pay-per-click doesn’t perform as well (at least in my experience).

I’ve actually never Dugg an article myself to get exposure, it just happens organically. If you try too hard to get on Digg, you most likely won’t.

Well anyways, that’s my experience with being on Digg!

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    Blog posted on: August 13, 2007

    8 comments on “My Experiences With Being On Digg

    1. J

      It’s no wonder why people try to get on Digg all the time. You got 25K extra visits from just a “medium Digg”?

      Your site isn’t exactly setup to monetize on extra traffic, but other blogs are which do directly monetize on traffic could greatly benefit from that!

      Reply
    2. Dave

      Congrats on the Digging! So you mentioned that you used to manually process orders. How is it setup now that it is automated?

      Reply
    3. Brandon Doyle

      Strange chars. show in your post on Firefox.

      Interesting Digg info. It seems consistent with your impressive Alexa rank.

      How’s the “Nev House” coming?

      Reply
    4. fr3nch13

      Hey Neville,

      I was reading up in your blog and being 26, i can say i’ve gone through some of you’re experiences as well :-p

      I was wondering if i could get your opinion on a website i just created on my personal time.

      http://www.billbugger.com

      I created it to help keep track of my bills and decided i would upgrade it and release it for others to use as well. Some constructive criticism is always helpful since i made it for us 20-something crowd.

      From Nova, VA.
      Brian

      Reply
    5. Chris

      Are you finding new products and keeping an inventory for some items yourself (like the glowing gel), or does the company doing the drop-shipping just update available products?

      Reply

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