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Reddit Blog Marketing 101

This guest post is by Antriksh of Right Now In Tech.

Reddit is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. It’s hard to classify Reddit as a type of site. It could be a social news site, or a social bookmarking site, but in fact it’s just a place where people can share interesting stuff from the Web. You can post links to blog posts, news articles, videos, photos—anything you like. The content doesn’t need to be new. You can also write “self” posts, where you just talk about something or ask for opinions. So the content doesn’t necessarily have to be a link.

Reddit is made up of a number of smaller reddits. I know, it’s confusing initially. The reddits are simply different categories you can post your content to. Throughout this post, I will refer to the site with a capital ‘R’, and the word for categories with a small ‘r’. When you have an account, you can add certain reddits to your frontpage, so that fresh content and hot links from those categories appear on your Reddit homepage. The frontpage (that’s Reddit terminology for your homepage) is personalized when you are logged in: Reddit will show you content that arises from the reddits you’ave added to your frontpage.

There are all kinds of reddits for all kinds of topics on Reddit. Any link (or comment) that’s posted to Reddit can be upvoted and downvoted. This determines how popular it will become.

How effective is it?

I started blogging just this year, so my blog is still pretty new. After a lot of marketing attempts and lots of trying to improve traffic quantity and quality, I was thinking about closing down my blog and quitting blogging.

But then I found Reddit. I loved the community and the interesting stuff that always keeps on coming along there. I primarily joined Reddit to promote my content, as Darren had suggested a number of times. Twitter wasn’t (and still isn’t) working very well for me.

So Reddit started getting me getting a trickle of traffic. Slowly it increased. There were a number of reasons why people were seeing my links and clicking them (I’ll tell you why in a moment). Then I experimented with different ways of drawing traffic. I tried various link bait methods, and I started learning what does and what doesn’t get traffic from Reddit users.

Why Reddit can help you

There are a number of reasons Reddit will outperform other ways of promoting your content. Maybe it still won’t be the best means of getting traffic, but it has many advantages. Here are some of them.

The community is just awesome

The Reddit community is really great. There are all kinds of people interested in so many kinds of topics. And unlike the case with paid ads like AdWords, the Reddit audience is looking for links to click on.

There’s a place for all kinds of blogs

Reddit, being a really diverse community, has people interested in a huge range of topics. So no matter what niche your blog is in, you probably have a wide audience waiting for you.

Targeted marketing

As I mentioned in the intro above, you can add certain reddits to your frontpage. Most people add reddits of the topics they are interested in to their frontpages. Then, when you post your links in appropriate reddits, the people who are interested in that topic will see your content on their frontpage. Reddit is thus totally targeted.

Everyone likes free—and you do too

Reddit, apart from being so efficient, is completely free. So you get loads of targeted traffic, and you don’t pay a dime.

Tips for Reddit success

If you are convinced to try using Reddit for promotional purposes, and if you are ready to start posting links, then learn the following things that you must take care of before you do anything else.

Use the right title

If you haven’t already noticed, Reddit users often type in really long titles for their links, since there is no opportunity to enter a description. You can do that too, so take it as a plus. For titles, you can remember the acronym CD-R (I know that also means recordable CD—I’m a tech blogger!): Catchy, Descriptive, but Relevant. Here’s an example.

I had an article titled “Wait! Dual-core CPU required for Android Honeycomb?” This post explained that the upcoming version of the Android OS for mobile phones may require a dual-core processor to run. This could be a bad thing, as the phones could potentially become expensive. So instead of posting on Reddit something like: “Android 3.0 Honeycomb may require a dual-core CPU,” I wrote, “I want to see just where this goes for Android…” and easily attracted over five hundred views for that particular article.

Post in the relevant reddit

This point is really important. Before you post a link to Reddit, make sure that you choose the correct reddit for it. If you post it in any random category, don’t expect a traffic spike anytime soon. Make sure that you post to specific reddits. But there’s also another aspect to it.

Remember to check how many people have added the reddit to their frontpage. Just open another tab, and after the regular Reddit address, type in /r/reddit-name. For example, to see the reddit about technology, you type http://www.reddit.com/r/technology. To the right, you will see the number of people who have the reddit on their frontpage. Make you sure you choose a reddit that’s relevant to your link, and has a lot of subscribers.

If you can’t find a reddit that is relevant to your article, or if your relevant reddit has very few subscribers, use a reddit with a broader topic.

If that doesn’t work, try to make the title fit into the reddits “TodayILearned” or “YouShouldKnow.” Both of them have a lot of subscribers (even me). TodayILearned is for links with stuff that is informative and interesting to learn. It requires that your title start with a “TIL” or “Today I Learned.” The latter reddit is for stuff that you should know (self-explanatory!). The titles of the items you post there need to begin with a “YSK” or “You Should Know.”

You can probably fit your article into either one of these if it won’t fit elsewhere. But take care: both these reddits have amazing content, so make sure you’re posting a link to an interesting article.

No shortened URLs please!

This is something I have noticed over time. When I post a shortened URL to my article (for the purpose of tracking clicks), very few people use it. When you submit the link, the main domain of the link appears beside the title. So maybe people don’t like to click on short links, as the website it redirects to could potentially be malicious.

When I post links from my domain directly, it usually goes viral.

Have fun, interact, and post other stuff as well

I have noticed that at times, people even visit other Reddit subscribers’ pages. Your page has records of your links and your comments, so you need to make sure that it doesn’t make you look like a leech. Remember to post links to other interesting content on the Web—not just your own blog posts.

Remember also to comment and upvote others’ links, too. Interact with other people in the community and help others when they post calls for suggestions, opinions, and surveys. Visit others’ links and have fun.

That last point was really important. Remember that you are joining Reddit not just for promoting yourself. You are doing so to meet new people and have fun!

Have you used Reddit? What did you think of it? Share your experiences in the comments.

Antriksh is a high school student and author of the tech blog Right Now In Tech. Visit his blog to get interesting news about the tech world, reviews, opinions and loads of computer tips, tricks and software.

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Comments

  1. Justin says:

    I am going to check out Reddit after this comment. I agree that Twitter is somewhat useless. It is good for the ego of already successful people who have a big following.

  2. Reddit is a totally different Social site. You need to submit only quality posts to get good traffic, else it’s a waste of time.

  3. I tried Reddit but unsuccessfully, i stick to Digg.com and Stumbleupon.

    Elias

    • MKR says:

      You mean “People still use that?” Digg and “The Bouncemaster” Stumbleupon? I got over 10k views in the last iteration of my blog with SU and got nothing out of it. Digg didn’t send a single hit.

      I’m not saying they’re useless, just that you need to use them differently to get results. Digg is not Stumbleupon is not Reddit. I could have extracted some value out of those SU hits, or built a better profile for Digg and gotten better results.

  4. Hi Antriksh,

    Thank you for the tips as I found that it is really helpful for me.

    To be honest, it has never cross my mind to use Reddit before to promote my site because I thought not much people hang around over there. The last time I went to Reddit is in 2008. Quite some time right?

    I never know that you can personalised the homepage. Is it by using the “create your community” button?

    Have a great day! Cheers!

    • Antriksh says:

      Actually, when you click the ‘+frontpage’ button on any subreddit, you start getting hot posts from that subreddit on your homepage when logged in. So if you add lots of subreddits that interest you, you have a personalized homepage with stuff you like, right there!

  5. Greg Rickaby says:

    Don’t forget to work the Comment Karma too ;)

  6. Redd what?

  7. Lucas says:

    Yes, Reddit is amazing, thanks for the tips!

    I recently applied the technique that another guest poster here at ProBlogger had written about: Use puzzling titles. (http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/02/15/bible-thumping-brainwashing-and-pimping%E2%80%94your-keys-to-blog-success/)

    I submitted one of my posts with the title “How to Use Procrastination to Get Things Done” to the reddit “GetMotivated”. This reddit (only) has about 7,300 readers, but my submission brought me more than 1,000 visitors in only the first 24 hours! Then, somebody submitted my link to the reddit “Today I learned” and I got even more visitors.

    So, yes, Reddit is truly powerful. And special thanks for telling us about “You Should Know” – I didn’t know that one yet.

    Thanks

    Lucas

  8. Thanks for sharing information on Reddit. It sometimes give me some issues when i use it. I guess i still prefer Digg.com and Stumbleupon.

  9. Glenn says:

    Reddit won’t do you good if you send bland stuff. By the way, its called a subreddit. You might want to edit your initial post to reduce the confusion.

  10. Pedro C. says:

    I also used to underestimate Reddit (as some of the commenters in this thread apparently still do), until recently I changed my mind, when it poured 100k visitors into one of my blogs, across 2-3 days and out of the blue… a number that rivaled even the exposure I’d previously had from a few frontpages on Digg, and that’s circa 2008 when that website was king of its hill.

    This close encounter with Reddit was kind of amusing actually… it was late at evening, and I was trying to get some maintenance work done on the blog’s back-end, and suddenly the website started getting inordinately sluggish. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the source of disturbance: no less than 3,500 users had just jumped on board at the snap of a finger, courtesy of an article that someone had posted on reddit and recently made popular.

    Suffice to say, I was a bit annoyed (the deluge of traffic put a heavy strain on the server and pretty much disrupted my workflow; actually, WP cache plugin is to be praised for keeping the website on-line through this ordeal), but of course it was also a very positive surprise all around… especially since I did absolutely nothing to raise all this traffic.

    The thing about Reddit (and this is why many “marketers” despise it), is how it’s very hard to game this website for self-serving purposes. If you want to get results from it, you have to be genuine and spend a good deal of time participating in the website (redditing) and interacting with the community. Which I of course will now be doing regularly!

    I’m glad to see how the strategies you outlined in this article are aligned with what I was already planning to do… makes me feel I’m right on track :-)

  11. alam says:

    I see, clear guide for Reddit. I ever get spike traffic from Reddit and get curious how it work but due to little time to dig more information I leave it as is. Thanks for comprehensive post.

  12. Manuel says:

    Thanks anthriksh,

    Thanks for the Reddit tip. I have used it recently and it’s brought me pretty good traffic.

  13. The good news is crossposting to reddit is a great way to boost traffic to your blog.

    The bad news, it’s not usually permanent traffic. In other words, your post will get a lot of eyeballs for 24-48 hours, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers or repeat visitors.

    The other bad news is that redditors are less likely to post comments directly on your blog. They’re more likely to read your article, then return to reddit and comment there. So you won’t get the comment activity a blogger needs to demonstrate reach.

    Also, and this is a BIG caveat, reddit is not a place to post crappy content. Poorly written and/or reasoned posts and blatant sales pitches will get torn apart in the comment section. Establish a track record of this type of shoddy work and you will eventually find yourself ignored but most redditors, especially in the small subreddits where it’s harder to hide.

    However, if you’re a good writer, have something worthwhile to say (rather than just a sales pitch), and have a thick skin, reddit might work for you.

    Craig
    Martial Arts Spectrum

    • redwall_hp says:

      “Establish a track record of this type of shoddy work and you will eventually find yourself ignored but most redditors, especially in the small subreddits where it’s harder to hide”

      Also, the spam filter will start flagging your submissions if you establish such a track record.

    • Antriksh says:

      But if you write lots of quality posts for a while, and crosspost several great ones to Reddit (in the appropriate subreddits), you’ll get lots of views for a long time. There are more chances of getting people who are interested in your blog and are potential subscribers.

  14. Lea Sadler says:

    Reddit is one of the several sites to which I submit content. Sometimes, it drives lots of traffic to my site — but this has only happened when my post is related to a topic currently in the news. I really haven’t done a lot of socializing there, so that might help.

  15. Himanshu says:

    its tough to submit link on reddit. don’t know how to get traffic. nice post.

  16. Ritournelle says:

    Your last point is probably the most important. I used Reddit when I started blogging last summer to advertize my blog in their fashion section. My 1st post had a small success, but the 2nd post drove tons of traffic immediately with high ratings! So I would indeed say Reddit is a very useful in terms of promotion. Since people liked my previous posts, I decided to advertize a 3rd one, but that’s when the moderators blocked my account. I should have known better that I was considered as a blog-spammer, even if my posts had good ratings.

  17. Although I’ve done very well with Reddit on occassion, I disagree about the community being very diverse. It is made up of mostly young males. I know this for a number of reasons, one of which is that my 24 year old son adores it.

    That said, if your post has the right title and is put in the right category it can do well. Most of my successful posts have been in the “lists” topic.

  18. Allen Walker says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have used Reddit and other social bookmarking platforms on and off, but never really focused on learning the ropes in too much detail…

  19. Joseph says:

    Reddit has a lot of cliques that can bury articles. I’ve looked over several topics and subreddits and I’ve noticed something very alarming: some of the Gold Members and Charter Members post insults on topics that they dislike. They also flag articles as spam. Interestingly, there are some subreddits that are operated by people of certain niches which point to websites of the organizers of those subreddits. This raises the possibility that some of the articles are buried by people (even Gold Members) who want to eliminate competition. Because Reddit is largely unmoderated there is not much to be done about unfair flags or buried articles. Fortunately it hasn’t happened to me, but I would not rely on Reddit for much traffic. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but that social media network runs the risk of becoming like digg. And that’s not good for information marketing.

  20. Sarah says:

    I am totally new to blogging both reading and creating. I can’t thank each and everyone of you enough. All of this information is so interesting and helpful. I think I will give Reddit a shot. It sounds like a great place to learn more about this world that seems totally over my head at the moment.

    • Antriksh says:

      ProBlogger is totally awesome. That’s why I guest posted here. I’m a huge fan.

      Oh, and remember: Guest posting drives traffic too.

      • Sarah says:

        Just wanted to let you know, I followed your advice and started using Reddit. I launched my blog 1 week ago and got 1,000 pageviews. If I am reading these results correctly, it looks like 218 readers came from Reddit, 191 came from Facebook and then a few came from other blogs like Problogger and a few emails. Considering my blog doesn’t really do anything other than attempt to entertain through humor, I think 1K hits the first week is pretty good. At least I am pretty excited. Thanks so much for the great ideas!

  21. Mahei says:

    Thanks for this great post!

    Having experienced Reddit first hand, it’s definitely a website that if and when you hit the sweet spot, do expect your website stats to get a pummeling.

    Enjoy this tips!!

    Extra Tip: test the times when you post your Reddit links as certain times of the day has more people online than others.

    All the best!

  22. hawk says:

    Reddit is absolutely different site if u do not have good and unique content u can not get traffic from it.

  23. Thanks so much for this. I’ve posted something on Reddit.com to see if anything can happen – I’m expecting absolutely nothing, but I’ve been told if you don’t ask you don’t get ;-)

    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/g31mn/three_questions_that_will_help_you_realise_your/

    ta!

  24. Tilen says:

    Thank you for the tips. I really need to do something with Reddit. I published more than 20 links there but no traffic from Reddit yet. I hope these tips will help :)

  25. Mario says:

    I’ve heard of reddit but never looked at it. After reading your article I decided to give it a try.
    So I browsed through my content and the subreddits to see if I really have something useful to share with this communities over there. After I found something I posted it and the result somewhat amazes me.

    This was one of the moments where I thought: Why did I always ignore this?

    I’m glad that you wrote this article and will add reddit to the mix. I think it’s important to come over the marketing thought. Rather see it as sharing some valuable information and you will automatically resist the temptation to make sales pitches nobody wants to read.

    Again, thank you very much for this 101, Antriksh!

  26. Seriously, to those who think only well-written content has the potential to become popular on Digg or Reddit just take a look at the front page of either of those sites. Maybe your experience is different but a lot of what I see is either degenerative towards women, anything gaming or sc-fi related or a distasteful photo that the poster has ripped from somewhere else after it’s already been posted several times across the web – which fits in with the predominately immature male audience that seems to exist on these sites (which could even be extended to YouTube – I mean, does it annoy anyone else to see every top-rated comment resembling “the woman in the video is hot” or “I’d love to do ___ to her”?).

    Maybe I’m too opinionated but that is what bloggers should be right? It’s true there can be benefits in terms of pure traffic, but when you take the above into account is it really the sort of traffic you want? These personally aren’t the sort of friends I’d want in real life, so nothing really persuades me to want to get to know them online either. I’m well aware that there are wonderful users, such as the people who’ve already commented, within these communities so please don’t take offense as I know you don’t fit the above stereotype – but in my experience it really feels like you’re in the minority.

    I think all of you that I know here write great content, and unfortunately that’s not the sort of thing that dominates the front pages of Reddit or Digg – it’s sort of hidden out back somewhere where the more intellectually capable can find it. Personally I think StumbleUpon is a much better option – the traffic is a lot more targeted, it’s easier to connect with people and it just feels a lot friendlier. I don’t like the thought of posting a comment and then having ten people jump on, down-vote me and sling cyber insults simply because I offered an alternative perspective – which 90% of the time is what seems to happen on Digg and Reddit in my experience.

  27. i have not used Reddit but now after reading your article i am going am start using it,thanks for your information sharing

    • Last night I registered for a reddit account and so this morning I was very interested when I read your reddit post. I have just checked my stats on my blog… and to my THRILL the visits to my blog overnight have increased SUBSTANTIALLY. The source of the traffic I am happy to report is reddit. It is so rewarding when you try a new marketing approach and it works. Thanks reddit!

  28. Tim says:

    Reddit is the best! My blog is very new, and with the right tittle you can generate a lot of page views very quickly.

  29. My Give Jon a Dollar site doesn’t get a lot of hits as I have mostly just done blog and forum commenting thus far. However, after reading this article, and placing some articles in the right places on reddit category wise, I have had my best hits day so far.

    Thanks a lot for this!

  30. darkduck says:

    Reddit is just a waste of time and efforts. Public is very broad there, not possible to take niche clients. And then, everyone out-of-nich are very aggressive.
    Do not recommend Reddit at all!

    • Mario says:

      Yes, my positive reaction was probably a little too fast. Just found out that this community is quite hostile for no reason and I don’t want to provide anything to such an environment. Going back to the ignore mode again when it comes to this site.

  31. Reddit doesn’t always work. Sometimes you’ll post something and it won’t even show up in the list.

  32. Great Post. I’m going to look into using reddit for traffic. Thank you Antriksh for the tip.

  33. Simon says:

    I have nothing positive to say about reddit….I have persevered with it for about 3 months. I got one day where I had a traffic spike of 100+ views but it resulted in a massive increase in my bounce rate and a lot of extremely insulting comments on reddit itself.

    I appreciate that my blog, being a Bible teaching site, does not truly lend itself to everyone being supportive or interested but having said that I interact with a lot of non-religious, non-Christian sites and find bloggers, in the main, to be a decent bunch of people with good manners.

    People on reddit had no such manners.

    I am not surprised to read Joseph’s comment about it being controlled by a few people who eliminate competition etc. and Jennifer highlighting the demographics of the users of the site.

    When something works for you that’s great…when it doesn’t either change your approach or channel your energies elsewhere.

    For me the best way to get traffic is by interacting with other bloggers. They bring good traffic that improves my bounce rate.

    This was a useful post thought because it does highlight that some folk do get good use out of reddit.

    • I’ve noticed that even the Christian-themed subreddits seem to be dominated by angry atheists who don’t seem to understand that Christians might want to explore some topic other than ‘explain why you are irrational enough to believe in god’ from time to time.

      Being a part of the Reddit community, even if I ONLY use the Christianity or Catholicism subreddits, is a very draining experience due to all the insults one has to endure.

  34. Vivian says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I have always wondered how Reddit works. I’ll sign up and give it a try.

  35. webwizard says:

    started using digg and stumble upon just a few days back…. trying to concentrate to get followers to my profiles.

  36. Thanks Antriksh,

    Reddit was one of those sites that was somewhere at the back of my mind but I hadn’t looked into.

    I opened an account at the beginning of the week after reading your post and I’ve linked to a couple of posts and commented on other people’s Reddits. And so far I’ve received 18 visits from Reddit.

    I’m not at all disappointed with that. Your advice about finding the correct reddit to post in was important and those articles were in a small reddit. I even got a ‘thanks’ for posting one of them.

    The other important thing, I think, is to start slowly and get a feel for what people react to, and how they react. So I’m currently trying to answer questions as much as posting links.

    Hopefully that way I’ll sneak in under people’s radar and slowly build up some momentum.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out :)

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  37. Inlightz PR says:

    Hey thanks for sharing about Reddit. I needed to find places online to increase readers to visit my blog. I have created http://lightzpr.blogspot.com. Inlightz PR utilizes the leverage in social media marketing to achieve traffic in a companies website and products. We bring social media, products, companies and bloggers together.

    I really appreciate the time you took in giving useful information. That can benefit my blog. Later in time I will change it from blogspot to .com

    Francisca

  38. Sasha says:

    thanks for this post, I kinda gave up on raddit a year ago (couldn’t figure it out) after reading your post got a pretty clear idea on how to use it. Posted a link to my blog post about 3 hours ago it brought about 250 unique visitors to the site…. nice …

  39. Niki Payne says:

    I’m sorry but I kind of think reddit sucks. After reading this blog post, I started building it into my blog promotion strategy for some of the clients I work with and every time I try to log in, some kind of error occurs. I tried on PCs and Apples on multiple web browser. What good is the site if you can’t even login to share a link half of the time? Has anyone else been having these kind of issues?

  40. Thanks for the advice. I just started using Reddit and noticed a quick surge in visitors. We’ll see how long it lasts. :P

  41. Rob says:

    Wow! That’s really encouraging article. I saw reddit N number of times but never thought of as huge traffic provider.

    Let me try my hands into it. BTW, thanks for the details.