Sunday, May 10, 2009

How to hit the Front Page of DZone. But why it Doesn't Matter.

I've been lucky enough to hit the front page of DZone on a number of different occasions and I believe that there are several tricks that can be employed to reach the holy grail, the front page.

Captivating or Controversial Title

DZone readers spin through hundreds of new links everyday trying to find something new or interesting to read. As a blogger or link submitter, you have a dozen words or so to captivate their attention and get their valuable click.

The title you choose should give them measurable facts, because what coder can resist indisputable fact? E.g. 6 Free Tools that every Windows Programmer should Install

Or, the title should provoke controversy, such as Should Coders be Allowed to Wear Headphones at Work? Make it a subject that most programmers have an opinion on and they'll click on the link just so that they can add their comment.

Quality Content

You can't find a post on blogging that doesn't mention quality content. So, I shall to!

Seriously though, people will only give it the DZone thumbs up if the article is well written and delivers what the title promises. Obvious really.

When to Submit

I've not yet hit the front page from a Monday submission. I think people must be just too busy on Mondays to promote links. Tuesday to Friday is best.

But why it Doesn't Matter

Chris Guillebeau over at the Art of Nonconformity argues in his excellent manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success, that you don't need to hit Digg (or indeed DZone's) front page to make a living from blogging.

He says that if you're trying to make money from Adsense - and he reckons that this is quite a difficult task - then you need that constant stream of visitors that Digg (or indeed DZone) can provide. But if you're trying to build a fan base interested in your compelling story then those sites won't help.

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