In my never-ending battle to drive more traffic to my blog, I recently came across a powerful although often undervalued social media platform called Reddit.
If you know what Reddit is, you are miles ahead of where I was just a few months ago. And it is now one of my best traffic-generating sources.
Reddit is an online community of users – or Redditors as they prefer to be called – who share links to pictures and articles categorized by various topics. As Redditors discover shared links they find useful or helpful, they can apply a single upvote or downvote to them. Links with the highest numbers of upvotes rise to the top of their respective category. In other words, Reddit is a user-regulated online community in which valuable content rises to the top very quickly while content that users find less valuable fades into anonymity almost instantly.
As a new user, I began sharing links to various posts on my blog with no rhyme or reason. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was being a terrible Redditor and as a result was failing to capitalize on much traffic.
Without further delay, I present to you Five Ways to Fail Using Reddit, as I so clearly did at first.
1. Posting under incorrect subreddits.
A subreddit – or category – is a method of grouping links. There are thousands of subreddits to choose from when you post a new link, but you need to read the instructions carefully in the right sidebar.
For example, I once posted a link to an article on job interviewing tips under the /r/interview subreddit. Had I taken the time to read the instructions first, I would have realized that /r/interview was intended for interviews with people, such as celebrities or politicians. Needless to say, I did not get many upvotes (Redditors did not find my content useful) nor did I make friends with the moderators.
2. Posting links to weak content.
In order for a link posted on Reddit to get some traction with upvotes, it needs to offer exceptionally good content. I used to post a link to any and every post I created, but in my particular niche, it has to be something that offers stellar value to job-seekers get an upvote.
This was the first link I posted on Reddit to generate any real traffic for me, or get any noticeable number of upvotes:
List of Job Websites …more than 800 to choose from!
This one link on Reddit got me 800+ unique visits to my blog and 60+ upvotes in a single day!
Before you post something, stop to think about how much actual value you are offering to Redditors, versus how much you are simply trying to get traffic for yourself!
3. Posting with an inappropriate title.
Inappropriate titles can include misleading your audience, or something just plain boring. Try phrasing your link title with a question that would pique curiosity in your target audience. (Remember – if they don’t click your link, they have no basis on which to assign you an upvote)
Here are some other titles that have generated particular interest for me in terms of both driving traffic and getting upvotes:
- Ever wondered what recruiters do behind the scenes?
- How do I get a job if I have no experience?
- How often do people change jobs?
- Free Resignation Letter Template (and “How-To” on Quitting Your Job Professionally)
- Learn the answers to three of the most difficult interview questions…!
You don’t necessarily need to duplicate the title of the article you are posting – just remember to use a title that is both accurate and attention-grabbing.
4. Posting too often.
Once you begin to drill down into a specific subreddit, you typically will find that you have a smaller, more targeted audience. And that audience is generally quite engaged. They - including the moderators – begin to notice who posts what and how often. If you begin to spam your particular subreddit with your own blog links all day, you could get:
- banned from posting in that particular subreddit.
- your links totally ignored or automatically downvoted.
- your account deleted.
As a guideline, I recommend posting a new link every day couple of days. And be sure to post useful links other than your own. It is also a good idea to build a reputation for yourself in your particular subreddit. Comment on other links. Upvote and downvote, as well. Build a few relationships along the way!
5. Posting links to squeeze, landing or sales pages.
This goes back to the second point about posting exceptional content. You may be offering a free giveaway on your squeeze page that you consider highly valuable, but Redditors do not want to feel sold to. If you post links to your squeeze page, your landing page – or even worse – a sales page, you risk a fate as outlined in the three bullets in the fourth point above.
If you want to capture some leads from Reddit visitors, I recommend installing an opt-in form on your blog, or using some type of lightbox popup with a mailing list opt-in form.
By posting a link to a sales page or a squeeze page, you are essentially conceding that your mission is to sell Redditors for your own selfish gain rather than contributing quality content to the Reddit community.
Reddit can be a very powerful tool for generating large amounts of targeted traffic to your blog, but ensure that you are respectful of the Reddit community.
- Post quality content.
- Post intermittently.
- Use accurate, attention-grabbing link titles.
- Only post under correct subreddits.
- Do not post sale or free giveaway offers.
If you follow these five points, you will not fall victim to the opposite – five ways to fail using Reddit!