If you’ve done much writing online, you’ll know how much bloggers and website owners get worked up about Digg, StumbleUpon and other sites where readers share links. They’re a big deal — after all, making it to the front page of such a site can literally bring you so much traffic that you can’t handle it.
A purist of the writing profession may not care about such sites, of course; a writer should put together a high-quality article and external metrics shouldn’t really matter. But I believe that knowing at least a little about these sites and how they operate can get you an increase in your income.
Pitching Your Work
If you’re querying online markets or trying to pick up a blogging gig, an article that hit the front page of Digg is an ace in your pocket. Depending on your niche, a post that is linked to by sites like Slashdot, the Wall Street Journal Online and other such sites are equally useful as credentials. That’s right, I said credentials: if you want to get an editor’s attention, tell him about the time you brought down an entire site with a Slashdot effect.
You have to be a little cautious when you brag about your social media prowess, of course. Not all editors care that much about the sort of traffic these sites offer, because there are some drawbacks. But a judicious mention may help your query.
Writing for Ad Revenues
I’m a big believer in avoiding writing ‘opportunities’ that require you to market your own work in order to make a decent wage. However, I know that some people do wind up taking on such projects. Writing for sites like Digg, if you’re any good, can drive those ad revenues and traffic bonuses through the roof. Even an article that doesn’t make it to the front page can make a major difference.