The Digg Coup

It’s been said many times that Digg users don’t click on ads so webmasters shouldn’t brother trying to game the system because they’ll just end up losing money due to extra bandwidth cost. I can see why this is being said because I’ve experienced it first hand when this blog received its first few Diggs. You may recall this post:

The Tuesday Digg set a new traffic record of over 15,000 page views. That was broken with Wednesday’s Digg, where traffic hit a record 16,500 page views. What does this mean to blog income? Almost nothing! The blog served over 23,000 Google AdSense ads but received only got enough clicks to make $18.96. Now let’s see, that works out to 80 cents eCPM.

With results like that, it’s understandable that people think you can’t make money on a Digg. However, I’m here to tell you, Digg is a big money maker if done correctly. You just have to know how to optimize the advertising and target it to the Digg user. If nobody made money on a Digg, then there wouldn’t be so many sites trying to game it and for sure there wouldn’t be any paid Digg services running. Let me show you what kind of money a Digg can make if done correctly.

The Digg Coup

Two days ago, The TechZone posted a review on the Samsung SyncMaster 960BF LCD Monitor. As monitors goes, this one is quite good. Its main selling point is that it appeals to Apple users because it was all white like a Mac Mini. Normally, a simple review of a monitor won’t make the Digg front page unless you give it a twist. The twist in this case was it hits the Diggers’ love for all things Apple.


When it comes to getting a story on the front page of Digg, the title is everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s the hottest story in the world, mess up the title and you’re not going to make it. The above story was submitted at around noon and it made the front page a little over 3 hours later.

There are two ways to make money on Digg. The first is the run CPM (cost per 1000) ads that don’t require users to click. A front page Digg generates a lot of traffic but Digger don’t generally click on the ads. If you’re running all CPM ads, then you don’t need to worry about that since you get paid based on ad impressions, not ad clicks.

The second way to make money off a Digg is to present Diggers with a super targeted ad. The following is the ad Digg users saw when they clicked to read the review of the Samsung SyncMaster 960BF LCD. The ad was provided by TTZ Media Network.

Current Real Time Pricing

Samsung SyncMaster 960BF LCD

You really cannot get better targeting than an ad that shows the readers where to buy the very item that is being reviewed. Google is successful with AdSense because they are targeted to the content. However, even Google cannot offer the perfect targeting that TTZ can pulled off.

The Results

As Diggs goes, this one was about average – it sent about 10,000 Diggers to check out the review. However, those Diggers clicked the TTZ Media ad over 500 times. That’s a 5% click rate. Add in the CPM advertising and this one Digg made The TechZone an extra $450. That works out to an eCPM of $45.00! With results like that, it is any wonder so many webmasters try to get on the Digg front page? Of course, the above results are not typical of the average Digg. However, with tweaking, careful placement, and targeting, you too can pull off a Digg coup.