Reddit is a community hardened against commercial messaging, and it’s often avoided by marketers.
There is a way to make great traffic gains with the help of Reddit, if executed in a way that is meaningful to the platform. This article will explain how to get traffic with Reddit.
How to Get Traffic From Reddit
For marketers, Reddit is probably the last social network they want to market to. Reddit can be quite intimidating, and its users harsh. It’s had its own fair share of controversies yet it is an amazing source of traffic –and not just any traffic. Redditors are some of the most engaged people on the internet with over 1,400 million unique users each month and over 1 million communities.
With that said, you should also know that Reddit is a mix of social commentary, cool links, memes, and interesting news. You’ll also find a lot of subreddits with some productive discussions going. If you know where to look, you can harness a large amount of traffic in a short amount of time that you engage in these subreddits.
Before you begin with Reddit marketing
Let’s get one thing straight: Redditors hate you. They absolutely hate marketers and anyone that does self-promotion.
Go ahead and try it, you’ll see what we’re talking about. Either your post doesn’t get traction at all or you get downvoted.
The key to Reddit Marketing is to not sound like a marketer. Redditors can smell marketers from a mile away. If they see you’re blatantly marketing , not only will your post get ignored, it will also get downvoted and banned. Worse, you get shamed and badmouthed by other users.
You don’t want to fail before you even started. You have to think like a redditor. Treat it as if it were any other social media like Facebook or Instagram that you check regularly. All you need is 30 minutes each week reading your favorite subjects and commenting on interesting posts.
Redditors are already skeptical enough. If they think they’re being sold onto something, they’ll look at your post history to confirm their suspicions. You want to have enough digital footprint on the platform to prove them wrong. Invest time on Reddit a few minutes each week, and not only will you gain credibility as a user but you’ll also learn topics your audiences are most interested in.
10 Steps to Getting Great Traffic from Reddit
Now that you’re in the mindset of a redditor, it’s time to learn the steps you should take to get great traffic from the platform.
1. Target relevant subreddits
Subreddits are an important part of Reddit that lets users view, subscribe, and comment on different topics. To reach the right audiences, you should be focusing on subreddits that are relevant to your niche. There are subreddits for every topic you can possibly think of so you are sure to find several that fit your site.
Let’s say you own a pet business and you want to reach people who are interested in dogs. By doing a quick search, you’ll come across subreddits like the following:
Reddit’s internal search engine can be quite clunky so expect to see a few irrelevant subreddits alongside relevant ones. Take note of potentially useful subreddits that have at least a few thousand subscribers. You want your post to be seen by a good number of people. It’s also not bad if you target smaller but highly relevant subreddits. It’s less intimidating and there’s a bigger chance your post gets more upvotes.
2. Engage first, promote yourself later
Your first few weeks on Reddit shouldn’t have any promotion. Redditors can be highly distrustful of new accounts. If you fit their description of a marketer, you’ll get downvoted and banned. In the beginning, you should only be engaging with other people’s posts, giving helpful advice while learning how to use the platform.
Start off by commenting on subreddit posts, getting familiar with topics users like to talk about. You could also create a highly valuable post of your own but make sure it’s not promoting any of your products or services in it. Just focus on providing pure value in the beginning.
Engaging with other users first is important in establishing your presence. People will be more receptive to your posts in the future since they recognize you from your previous helpful comments.
Each subreddit will have something like this on top of the page allowing users to sort posts by trend, controversy, newest, etc. Find the topics that performing best so you know what kind of content to post on that subreddit.
Once you have a good idea of what audiences value in each subreddit, it’s time to take action. Start off by finding existing content that already matches your audience’s interest. If there’s none, you can create new content from scratch. Make sure it answers a recurring need users have.
4. Promote yourself subtly
Now that you have spent enough time engaging with other people’s posts, it’s time to do a little bit of promotion. There are several ways that you can do this:
a. Comment on a post
Scour for questions on subreddits that you can answer yourself and link back to your site. If a post has a lot of upvotes, then a lot of people are probably very interested in it. Make sure to write a comment that is useful and actionable. All links in comments are nofollow but even if there’s no link juice, you still get traffic if people find your comment helpful.
b. Address a common concern in a post
The longer you use Reddit, the better you become at noticing recurring problems people have. Identify what those recurring problems are and create a solution. Post it on the subreddit, and be as informative and detailed as possible. You’re practically writing an informal blogpost. At the very end of your post, put the relevant link from your site, directing users to your page if they want to learn more about your solution.
Here’s the thing. Redditors will find any excuse to downvote or report you. You don’t want that for your post so be sure to showcase value first before putting in the link. You might even be rewarded as Reddit automatically turns a no-follow link (to prevent spam) into a dofollow once it gets a certain number of upvotes. The number of upvotes you need depends on the subreddit and the number of subscribers/commenters.
5. Share your Reddit posts with friends
Give your post the momentum it needs by asking friends who use Reddit to check out your post. If they like it, they’ll upvote it. High upvotes in a short span of time stay longer on the subreddit’s homepage which means more opportunities of being seen by other members. If you get enough likes, it might just go up to the most popular list and will stay there for days, maybe even weeks.
6. Comment and reply to everyone on your post
To keep the ball rolling, make sure you reply to everyone who commented on your post. More redditors will click on your post if they find there’s a lot of discussion going on in it. You can even write the first comment yourself further explaining the content and getting the conversation started.
Avoid getting into pointless arguments. If you get constructive criticism, that’s fine. Listen to your audience’s feedback and find ways to provide better value next time. People on Reddit are less harsh and more willing to help if they see you’re able to take criticism humbly.
7. Only post highly relevant content
Think about your audience before posting anything on a subreddit. There’s no getting away with using just one post template and then putting it on five different subreddits. You can’t be too broad otherwise, you risk appearing spammy and losing the interest of your audience. If you consistently share interesting stuff to other users, you’ll receive good karma which are like trust points in the Reddit world.
8. Space it out each posting
Avoid posting your link twice in the same subreddit. It’s best to wait for at least two weeks before posting another link. That way, you don’t appear spammy to other users. This is why it’s good to be a part of several subreddits. You’ll have enough places to post links to while waiting for your other subreddit to refresh and you can post again.
9. Schedule your posts at optimal times
Find out the times your sub members are the most active and schedule your posts around those times. According to Kissmetrics, posts before 5pm EST are likely to get the most likes than any other part of the day. This won’t necessarily apply to all as different subreddits have different optimal posting times.
Now you can’t just go on spamming a subreddit in the hopes of finding out when everyone is online. There is a freemium tool called Later for reddit which will help you determine the best times to post. You just need to enter the subreddit name and ideal votes you want and it will show you the best times to post on that subreddit.
10. Get a sponsored headline
If promoting something while not sounding too salesy is too much work for you, consider getting a sponsored headline instead. For as low as $5, you can reach thousands of communities with the same interests and ideas as you.
Tips for Reddit Marketing
1. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is one of the keys to succeeding on Reddit. If you know how members of a subreddit think, it’ll be easier for you to relate with them. Learn what they like and it’ll be easier for you to fit in. Pay attention to the types posts that get the most upvotes as well as those that get the most downvotes.
2. Optimize your headlines
When writing your post headlines, make sure they are short and catchy enough. You want yours to stand out amongst all other posts in that subreddit. Think like an editor and experiment with a few catchy headlines. Also, make sure your post is capitalized properly. You can even add a tag at the beginning to let users know what the post contains. This is how tags on Reddit look like:
3. Follow the rules
Every subreddit has its own unique set of rules. Read them carefully and make sure to follow each one. If you need more specific guidelines for marketing on Reddit, go ahead and read their self-promotion guidelines. Here’s the core of it: “It’s perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a reddit account.” As long as you use this guiding principle on Reddit, you are safe.
4. Submit links properly
Just because the first button above exists, it doesn’t mean you should start putting your own links. Reddit will mark you as a spammer if you submit links only to your website and not from a variety of sources.
If you have to put your own link, you should choose the “Submit a new text post” button as this option gives you the opportunity to provide value first.
Pro Tip: Use Backly with a CTA while sharing niche-specific content from other websites.
5. Don’t abuse the platform
Reddit can be an amazing source of traffic but only if you use it properly and not abuse it. We already mentioned earlier that you should space out posts/comments (with your links) to at least two weeks before you can post it again. You also have to include a highly valuable post or response to justify the link placement.
Reddit moderators will see your activity on the site and if they catch you spamming too often, you’ll get blacklisted. This is worse than getting banned from a subreddit. If you get blacklisted, any link from your domain, even if it’s posted by someone else won’t show up to all users. Even if you create a brand new account and continue posting, it won’t show up to anyone else.
Follow the steps above and you should be on your way to becoming an expert Redditor, who happens to have a website. It’s good that you leverage this form of marketing because it forces you to focus on providing value first before promoting yourself. Ranking is determined by real people and not algorithms, so if you consistently engage and deliver quality content, you’ll be rewarded with valuable traffic.