With over 500 million monthly visitors, Reddit is the 6th largest website in the world (as of May 2018) according to Alexa.com. 54% of users come from the United States and there are subreddits covering just about any subject that you can think of.
This makes Reddit a tool with a huge untapped potential for marketers, however it is largely neglected because many people don’t know how to go about it properly.
Redditors don’t like marketing or self-promotion, so in order to be have success on the platform marketers need to take time to fully understand it.
The best thing about Reddit is that it lets you interact with your target audience directly. There is a subreddit for everything, and you will be able to target people who are interested in what you have to offer, whatever niche you are in.
Understanding How Reddit Works
Reddit is an anonymous social network where people discuss a very wide range of topics, and to fully understand how it works you need to become familiar with the following terms.
Karma is the system that Reddit uses to decide which posts go to the top of a page, and because posts at the top get the most views, it’s important to try and get as much karma as possible.
When someone likes a post, they can give it an upvote and increase it’s karma by one. Oppositely, if someone does not like a post they can downvote it and decrease it’s karma by one.
The karma of a post is the difference between the upvotes and downvotes.
The pages within Reddit which are dedicated to certain subjects are called subreddits. The number of people who subscribe to each subreddit varies dramatically, and anyone can create a new.
In order to get the most traffic to your sites, you need to choose subreddits that, have active discussions and have followers who are interested in what you are saying.
Moderators are in charge of each individual subreddit. They set the rules and make sure that discussion in their subreddits adheres to those rules. They also have the power to remove your posts, ban you from their subreddits and report you to the admins.
The Reddit admins are the people who run the site as a whole, and they don’t often get involved with individual users. However, if a moderator reports you to them they have the power to completely ban you from the site. Common reasons why you might find yourself being reported typically include bad language or insulting behavior.
Self Posts & Links
On Reddit you can either make a text post which contains HTML or you can make a link post which links out to an external site.
You will find that some subreddits have additional rules for each of these kinds of posts, so make sure you pay attention to them.
Once you understand the basics about how Reddit works, you can begin building up your presence. If you apply the following steps, you will be able to start developing content and promote on Reddit to get targeted traffic to your websites.
Be an Active Redditor
Before you start posting links to your own content on Reddit, it is essential to interact with other Redditors and build up a reputation.
This is true for all social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but especially so for Reddit. If you do not build up karma first, you posts will not be seen by anybody.
Reddit’s posting guidelines say that “It’s perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a Reddit account.”
The guidelines also say that if more than 10% of the content that you post is self-promotional, it’s likely that you are a spammer, so try to keep this figure in mind and regularly post links to content that is not your own.
Out-and-out self-promotion will result in your posts being downvoted, ignored or reported to the moderators. So rather than posting a link directly to one of your sales pages, it is a better idea to create some valuable content around a subject connected to your niche, and link to any products you are promoting from there instead.
If you maintain an active presence and make appropriate comments on other people’s posts, it will help you to avoid being reported for self-promotion.
Choosing Your Subreddits
Choosing the right Subreddit is very important if you want to maximize traffic. You need to select ones that have active discussions and accept your style of content.
Spamming links or starting a discussion in a subreddit with a lot of heavy discussion is not a good idea, as your post will no doubt get lost in all of the noise.
Try searching for keywords connected with your particular niche and find the top 5 subreddits to post in. Make sure that you pick the ones with the highest number of followers. Then spend a few weeks building up your account by posting useful and interesting content and making valuable comments.
Reddit is different from many other sites and because it is an anonymous platform you will find a lot of strange styles of writing and in-jokes inside each individual subreddit.
It is worth taking the time to learn the way that each subreddit works so that you can tailor your posts to appeal directly to the people who hang out there.
Ask your self the following questions:
- What motivates the people in this subreddit?
- What are their goals?
- What type of language do they use?
- What do they need help with?
- What is the tone of the Subreddit? Is it serious or lighthearted?
Posting Your Content
Before you start posting content you need to create it. If you already have a blog with interesting articles that relate to your niche then you are off to a good start, but if not you will need to produce something worth linking to.
Linking directly to a sales page or offer will not get you anywhere on Reddit, so you need to be a bit more creative.
Videos and images are always popular, especially if they are funny, shocking or highly informative. Make sure that your content is of a very high quality, as this is will help it to survive on Reddit.
Redditors are very well informed, and you will not be able to pass off low quality content and generate traffic from it.
Choosing a Subreddit
When it comes to posting, you need to start by choosing a subreddit and reading their specific rules.
On a whole, Reddit allows two different kinds of posts: links to content outside of Reddit, and text posts which are hosted on the site itself. Text posts can also contain links to external sites in most subreddits.
However, each individual subreddit has it’s own riles and some such as /r/fitness, do not allow links on the main page. If this is the case, you can work around it by making a text post and linking to your content from there. Make sure that you read the rules for each subreddit carefully to avoid being banned.
If you have to submit a text post, make sure that you give a thorough description of the content. Also, summarize the major points and include images or graphics wherever possible.
With text posts, Reddit want to discourage users from leaving the site to get content wherever it is possible. Try to include some valuable information and highlights of your articles to encourage people to seek out the rest of it.
Headlines on Reddit are a bit different from other types of headlines because people don’t want them to be sensationalized or editorialized.
Redditors also don’t like listicles, which are just lists of things disguised as articles, so don’t include them in your in your titles.
Avoid using title such as:
“20 Ways To Improve Your SEO”, and
“5 Wedding Gifts That Are Hot This Season”,
and instead use a title such as:
“One of the best articles I’ve read on SEO lately”, and
“Wedding gifts you might not have considered”.
In general, try using a personal approach and avoid things that can be seen as click bait, as this is frowned upon.
Pick a Good Time To Post
The bigger subreddits get more traffic, but there are also more posts and more competition. Pick the time of your post carefully make sure that you stand out from all of the noise
Be More Specific
Although smaller subreddits might not have as many members, the more specific it is to your niche, the higher the quality of traffic will be.
Post In Multiple Subreddits
Reddit allow you to post the same thing across different subreddits and this is called a crosspost or x-post. If you do this make sure that you put “x post” in the title, and be careful not to submit the exact same link and headline.
It is worth customizing your title for each subreddit that you cross post to.
Promoting Your Content
Karma increases your post’s visibility but you can’t, just create a few different accounts and upvote your own posts, or you will get banned. Reddit have a way of knowing when you do this and fake upvotes are automatically balanced with a downvote.
Asking for upvotes is something that can also get you banned, so make sure that you don’t do this in a public forum.
However there is a sneaky trick that you can do if you want to create multiple accounts and not get banned, and I will cover this in the next chapter.
Here are some promotional methods which will naturally drive traffic to your posts and not get you into Reddit’s bad books.
Ask Your Friends
There is nothing to stop you asking your friends in private to create Reddit accounts and upvote your posts.
Ask Redditors For Feedback
Messaging fellow influential redditors asking if they are willing to look at a draft of your text post and provide feedback is a good way to get people interested in it before it’s even posted.
This also means that your content can be improved before it goes live.
Then when you do make the post you can message them again to thank them and tell them you have posted it, and there is a very good chance that they will upvote it and comment on it.
Reply To Comments
When you post does start to get attention, it’s important to make sure that you reply to any comments. By doing this you are continuing to add value for your readers and in a lot of