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.
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.