You’ve probably heard about reddit (and yes, it’s always written with a lowercase ‘r’), and you’ve probably also heard how hard it can be to market your website there.
After all, reddit’s not just another social media site. Its users are tech savvy, intelligent, and very anti-advertising, so it can be a hard place get new visitors to your site.
So why bother?
Because when it works, it really works.
How well does it work? To show you the potential of reddit let’s look at the time I took a brand new, 1-hour old website from zero to over 19,000 visitors in under 24 hours.
Yes, you read that right. Over 19000 visitors in one day.
Here’s a screenshot…
Actually, that’s not completely true. The views came so fast they crashed my web server multiple times. Once I got Cloudflare up and running to help manage my traffic they were hosting about 90% of the visitors.
I’m guessing it actually got closer to 200,000 users, but I can’t prove that, so we’ll stick with the 19,000 I can prove from Google Analytics.
Here’s how I did it, step-by-step.
Step 1: Create Your Reddit Account
This step is pretty easy, since reddit doesn’t even require an email address (but I do suggest you give them one, just in case you forget your password).
The only trick here is to pick a good username.
Remember that the majority of reddit users hate self-promotion and advertising. Unlike Twitter and other social media sites, you don’t want your reddit username to be the same as your website.
Make it something completely different and informal. All the naming rules are flipped upside down here. Funny names, numbers, profanity, offensive content, underscores etc. are fine for reddit marketing.
If your site is LearnToCook.com, then your username should NOT have anything to do with cooking. Not even a little bit.
Good usernames for marketing a cooking site on reddit would be missblue92, IFartInJars, Noob_82 or i_love_elephants.
Bad names would be cookingfreak, recipe_master, foodlover29, etc.
You might want to browse around for a few minutes before you sign up and look at other people’s names.
Once you’ve picked out a name just go to reddit.com, click “sign up” in the upper right corner, and follow the instructions. It’s really easy so there’s no need for me to walk you through it.
Step 2: Use Your Reddit Account For Anything Other Than Marketing Your Site
Here’s the hard part. I want you to use reddit every day, for at least 30 minutes per day, for over 30 days before you even start marketing your site.
Why? Because you don’t want to look like a spammer that’s just there to post their own links, and because you must become a redditor in order to market to redditors.
Reddit has a unique culture, and you need to be a part of it, but don’t worry! It’s going to be easy and fun, because of a thing called “subreddits.”
What Are “Subreddits?”
A subreddit is similar to a forum, and they each cover one topic. There are subreddits for politics, cooking, sports and just about any topic you can think of (and a lot that you can’t).
You can get to the different subreddits by going to reddit.com/r/<nameofthesubreddit>
Subreddits get really specific. Not only is there /r/cooking, there’s also…
- And literally thousands more!
There are probably hundred of subreddits about any particular topic.
The Default Subreddits
Right now your reddit homepage probably has a bunch of crap you don’t care about at all. That’s because you are subscribed to the default subreddits.
Let’s unsubscribe from the one’s you aren’t interested in.
In the upper-left corner of the page click “My Subreddits,” then at the bottom click “Edit Subreddits.”
Now you can scroll through all the most popular subreddits. Unsubscribe from the default ones you don’t care about, and subscribe to the ones that interest you.
Remember, this isn’t about your website or your business right now. We’ll get to that later. Just subscribe to things you are genuinely interested in.
Now go back to the reddit home page. It should look a little more interesting to you now. The topics you don’t care about are gone, and you should be left with interesting content that’s actually relevant to you.
Find Subreddits Relevant To Your Niche
Now we need to find the subreddits we’ll be marketing to.
Type your niche into the search bar in the upper-right corner and click “search.”
For our example site, LearnToCook.com, we’re going to search for the word “cooking.”
When you search on reddit you get two types of results, subreddits and posts. We’re only interested in subreddits right now, so click the “view more” link under subreddits.
That gives us a HUGE list of subreddits on cooking topics.
There are dozens of them, but look for the most relevant to your niche with the largest number of subscribers.
As you can see below, 2 of the first 3 of the subreddits returned by the search have thousands of subscribers, but there’s one, /r/Solar_Cooking, with only 150. Unless I have some really good content on my site targeting that exact micro niche I think I’ll skip that subreddit.
Overall, I’ll subscribe to about 10 different cooking subreddits.
Now when I go to reddit.com all I see are topics I care about, both personally and for my website. Now we can actually start “redditing.”
Have some fun!
Start browsing around! When you see something that looks interesting, click it.
I’m going to start here, with a post titled “Is Raisin Bran Healthy?”, since I believe I can probably add something useful to the conversation.
Here’s the question…
I’ll type my response in the reply box and submit it.
That’s it, I’ve made my first comment on reddit.
Now for the hard part… Doing it a couple hundred times over the next month or so.
Just be friendly, help people out, and every once in a while share some cool things you find out on the web. But never, EVER, share your own stuff until you’ve built up your reputation, which is known as “karma” on reddit.
Once you’ve used the site for a while, and have become a real redditor, we can move on to the next phase.
Step 3: Start Marketing Your Site
So it’s been over 30 days… You’ve made a couple hundred comments in various subreddits, maybe posted a link or two, and you’ve had some interesting conversations.
Now it’s time to start linking to your site… But not just your site.
My rule is that for every link I post to my site, I post 9 links to other sites.
That keeps my reddit account looking natural, so I don’t get labeled a spammer or self-promoter.
My other rule is to only link to my site when I have an article that directly answers a question someone asks.
For example, I would never post a recipe from my LearnToCook.com site directly to the /r/cooking subreddit. But if someone asked how long they should smoke pork ribs, and I had content that answered that question, I would post a link in the comments to that page on my site.
I’ve also, on occasion, created an article just to answer a question I saw on reddit, just so I could then answer using a link to my site.
Just don’t forget the two rules and you’ll be safe…
- For every link you post to your site, post 9 links to other sites.
- Never post your links directly to reddit, only use them in the comments to answer questions.
Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.