Which is too bad because each entry had at least one or two interesting, simple ideas Digg should put into practice now.
Probably it’s our fault for not highlighting them. So that’s what we’ll do now.
Here are steps Digg could take by next week to put it on the path toward profitability. Some of them we came up with, some of them readers suggested:
- Start an opt-in newsletter with the day or week’s top headlines, customised by user preferences. Because advertisers know its opt-in, they’ll pay very high CPMs. Daily Candy and Thrillist make seriously decent profits doing it.
- Digg users ignore banner ads, so Digg should sell sponsored posts on the front page and in the RSS feeds. If they get buried, they get buried and advertisers should write better copy next time.
- Sell pre-rolls on embedded videos, but only on ones that make it to the front page.
- Host the first two paragraphs of any news story embedded on the site. When these stories make the front page, have their headlines link to their Digg page, not the publisher’s page.
- Readers can buy t-shirts with any Fark.com and CNN.com headline on them. Digg headlines are often the most memorable on the Internet, and Digg should let its users pay $15 to wear them around. Remember: the Connected Ventures site that brings the most value to IAC isn’t College humour or Vimeo, but Busted Tees.
- Digg should stop pretending professional users of its site do not exist and start charging them. Limit the amount of stories one IP address can submit from a single site — Gizmodo, Engadget, Alley Insider — to 30 or 40 a month. Sell $100 per year pro accounts that remove the limit. These users really are site owners and content creators — professionals — who would pay to use the site as efficiently as possible. They should also be able to see how close any of their submitted stories are to hitting the front page.