Losing that Link Building Creative Spark? Digg Up New Ideas

I've already shared once how to use being pet friendly to build links. the moral was that by just visiting a client's office and seeing their dogs, exposed an opportunity to build QUALITY links to their site.

I'd like to give some pointers on how to put yourself in a position where content that becomes popular can come to you. Link ideas are all around you the question is how to do set yourself up to get those ideas coming to you on a regular basis? I think most of us aren't being exposed to enough stimulus to get that creative spark.

Now that Digg has much better filtering / search capabilities you can get more topical link building sparks several times in a week. For instance let's say I have a client in the beer goods industry, and I want to put myself in the position to use social votes to help filter to me content that is really worth looking at.

Go to Digg Search for your keyword (in this case microbrew)

Looking left (below) you'll see that in all of Digg there's only been 3 articles dugg with the word microbrew in the last 7 days and only 8 in the last 30, well let me go click on the 8 to see if I can find something good.

Wow, 8 articles with only 1 digg each. Nothing too great has caught on.

Am I at a dead end? NO.

I left this example here to actually show how sometimes going too niche with any strategy will lead to you not getting a good result set, but don't give up.

Lets start wider with the keyword "Beer" this time

In the last 7 days there have been 264 articles dugg containing beer and for the last 30 days there have been 1039 articles dugg containing beer, I can start playing with this result set, gotta be something good in here.

Do I have time to quickly look through 363 titles every month to develop a link building idea? I think so, but if even that's too much for you how about filtering your search to articles with 1000 or more diggs, that now takes me to about 134, much more digestible for you lazy people, keep in mind though the ones with the fewer diggs are often good but just not promoted well, which gives you an opportunity to tweak a bit and submit your own flavor of it.

So here's the ideas I came up with:

#1 Best beer themed Halloween costumes? With a step by step guide on how to make them yourself.

#2 A microbrewery could aggregate the funniest beer stories of the month and post to their blog or heck to a video blog with commentary about it, a la diggnation or two guys on beer.

#3 The beer map found here (link no longer active) definitely got me thinking of new ideas for map / state information and what other types of clients this would work for, maybe a wine client, or an organic foods client, sure they may not be as funny as beer, but could hit their niche hard.

Don't forget to search Ning and Yahoo Groups for micro social sites to promote your content. Here are cigar groups on both Ning (no longer active) and Yahoo Groups.

Tip: You can pull a Ning's groups updates via RSS into your feed reader, thus pushing that content to you, automatically and making it easier to be exposed to more ideas.

#4 I was reminded of some of the best condom ads post and thought, hmmm has someone done this for beer, or heck even a certain type of beer like Pabst?

#5 These two found on Digg got me thinking one is on Beer Robots, the other is how to make an office friendly beer fridge hmmm, a simple aggregation of the sneaky ways to have beer in the office or the best use of engineering to promote beer drinking could be interesting, I'm not saying they would get a ton of diggs but they will at least spark ideas to write on.

As I think about it, our client in the HR software business, could do a guest post / write up on an industry blog about the issues with having beer in the office and what companies should do to keep things safe if they have alcohol in the office.

Heck if a B2B toilet company can come up with this...

Lets evaluate the potential downside of spending 30 minutes on this.

Could these be crappy ideas that would never take off? Sure, but how long did it take for me to develop the ideas? Only 30 minutes. Is it worth bringing up a couple of these to our team to banter and improve on (this is why I like having our SEO team in one place). Why not.

Also if you go through your feed reader before you jump in the shower or drive to work you can use that time which is pretty unproductive to think of ideas, yes I am obsessive like that.

Sometimes you'll uncover great ideas that have already been done, don't be dismayed, the web is full of publishers doing the 09 version of someone's great post in 07, or taking a successful post about skiing and going at it with a snowboarding or surfing twist.

Now you have to scale this, how do you do it? SIMPLE, you click on subscribe to these results, via RSS.

In that way and you'll be alerted every time, something with BEER / snowboarding / Halloween / etc hits over 1,000 diggs – thats how you put yourself in the position to consistently think up blog content that people may find value in.

Tip: This strategy works great for other niche social media sites as well. (no longer active)

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Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds
CEO & Vice President