Using Reddit To Boost Your Blog Traffic
For all the talk of traffic generation, paid ads, social media, and those obscure traffic bidding companies you’ve probably never heard of that the gurus recommend, probably the best resource to use still remains Reddit.
It’s free, it’s easy to sign-up to… and has literally millions of readers and hits a day.
It’s also cliquey as hell, stuffed with gatekeepers who consider it their life’s purpose to root out and remove self-promotion, and a generally very unwelcoming place to try and raise awareness of your blog or business on.
So it’s going to help if you do actually use Reddit for what it offers in itself, and not just another place to spam links to your site on.
Because that’s not gonna fly there. You’ll get your posts down-voted to oblivion, and like as not your domain name shadow banned so your posts aren’t even visible.
That kinda sucks, as once you discover Reddit’s power and reach, you’re going to want to use it as much as possible.
It is an incredible traffic boosting shot to a site. Unless you’re already on thousands of visitors a day, you can’t help but note the traffic spike in your Google Analytics that Reddit can bring.
Those spikes are addictive, too. You’ll want them every day, and another shot when the last one seems to be wearing off.
But you have to take it slow and easy with Reddit. Go too fast, and you’ll end up with nothing at all.
Even if you’re an internet neophyte, like as not if you’ve searched for info on something, you’ve stumbled into Reddit.
There is a subreddit for just about every topic, too. Some are busier and more subscribed to than others, but for just about whatever you’re into, you can find a discussion about it on Reddit.
The number of Subscribers gives a good indication for how much readership and potential engagement a post could get, but bear in mind there’s a whole swathe of folks who won’t be signed up that’ll still tune in and read the board regularly.
At first glance Reddit just looks like any other forum. Maybe a tab clunkier on the design front but the format’s familiar.
However, Reddit isn’t quite like a traditional forum. There are rules for subreddits, which can change subreddit to subreddit, and you would do well to mind them. These are usually stated in the sidebar to the right, under the ‘Join’ button.
Violate these rules and you can be sure a zealous Redditor will take great delight in reporting your post. The moderators will take as much delight, if not more, in banning you.
That’s if you can even post at all.
One of the features of Reddit is that you need to build a Karma rating, or have an account of a certain age, before you can post in a subreddit – if that’s one of the subreddit’s rules.
Sometimes these rules – how much karma and how old your account needs to be – are included in the sidebar.
Sometimes they’re not. You just have to craft a post and hit ‘Submit’ to see if it’ll pass or get a message telling you that you don’t meet the subreddit’s criteria to contribute yet.
That message can also come with the dire warning that if you enquire as to what the criteria are in terms of karma and/or age of your account, you’ll be banned.
Like I said, it can be a real friendly place.
And how do you get that karma? By getting your posts and comments up-voted. So you got to start off in reddits that will allow you to comment and post in order to build it. It can be frustrating to navigate the place at first, but things ease up in fairly short order if you interact with the site.
It does pay to cultivate Reddit, though.
I know you don’t want to hear how cultivating Reddit requires time and patience, that you just want to link the shit out of your site there and get all the benefits to be had right now, but that won’t work. You’ll be booted out and your posts and will disappear faster than you did.
This is why I say it helps if you enjoy visiting Reddit on its own merit, rather than seeing it as another chore to add to the list of trying to generate traffic to your blog.
If you’re already a casual reader of the site, signup and get yourself an account. If you’ve never heard of it, my advice is the same.
If you’re already familiar with Reddit, then join all the subreddits that you currently read – probably daily at work, in a little minimised window, and kick off the timer on your account to getting it “matured.”
Same thing if you’re new to the place. I’m assuming you’ve got some actual interests in life, so join those subreddits.
Then start up-voting or down-voting, contributions you like or dislike.
This all helps infuse your account as “real” and not another spam bot, and you as a genuine site user – not just another marketer trying to hock his links on the site.
Because they really, really hate that on Reddit.
The site tries to present the most informative post on any topic of discussion to its readers, thus the up and down-voting, which dictates the relevance of a post and its place in the hierarchy of the forum thread.
You can sort by other criteria, but this is generally the default.
If a post gets down-voted enough, it doesn’t just sink to the bottom, it gets collapsed so it’s no longer viewable without clicking to reveal it.
Redditors love to do that to folks they even suspect of trying to hock something on the site.
So if you want to try and sneak your own links in, you have to be subtle about it; don’t ruffle their feathers and do it nice and easy.
How To Post On Reddit
You can create multiple accounts for Reddit easily enough, but I tend to just work off the one. I do that as it’s easier and less work to cultivate one account in terms of its activity history, than juggle with multiple accounts trying to do that.
That activity history is open to all to explore by clicking on your profile, and it’ll let other Redditors see what you’ve posted on. You can expect folks to go rooting through your post history too if you ever get into a disagreement or suspected of being a marketer. So don’t give yourself away.
I like to play off my links to my sites in the third party, like here’s a site of interest germane to the topic I found folks. Sometimes I’ll throw in another link to another site too. Just to keep it all looking above board and free of the accusation of self-promoting.
In between, I am actually reading and commenting on other stuff, because as I say, it’ll help a great deal if you do actually enjoy partaking of Reddit and generally joining in and adding your $0.02 to the fray.
I’ve read some blogs advising on owning up to being the author, and adding what reads like a grovelling apology, along with the link you’re sharing of yours, that is actually relevant to the discussion.
An internet marketer posting on Reddit yesterday
That can still get you down-voted to invisibility because they’re herd animals on Reddit: once a post starts to attract down votes folks keep adding to them – whether they’ve read the “offending” post or not. “Monkey see, monkey do.” So I don’t play it that way.
There are certain forums you can self-promote in without fear of penalty, but as everyone’s at it, no one reads anything as it tends to just be marketers posting and they aren’t interested in what other marketers are posting, so aren’t going to click on your blog links.
One area that you can self-promote a little freer and easier in, is with links to adult material i.e. movie clips.
I did that with my adult site, and you can get away with linking to yourself/the same site more often, but you still have to be careful as the preference is for the bigger established tube sites, and as that’s where you’re sourcing your clips from too, you’ll frequently get an overzealous Redditor linking to the original (along with some “choice” criticism for your site) and then find your linking post down voted and vanish.
It used to be easier to mask what site you were linking to in your movie player but that’s all changed within the last year. So much so, I’m not sure if the tube site model is even worth it now. At least the version of it where you link to offsite vids, rather than host them.
But anyway, even then you still had to be canny and not post too much and still throw in links to other sites.
One other thing about posting links to adult material, I use the same account for everything, I don’t care who looks at my post history, but I get why some folks might want a different account for that. Me, I thought what the hell, if anyone wants to bring that shit up on another subreddit, I don’t care: they’ll probably be my adult site’s biggest fan while pretending to clutch their pearls about it.
Lot of folks on Blackhat World advise just going ape shit on Reddit and posting as much as you want when it comes to adult links, then signing up again once you inevitably get banned and keep rinsing & repeating…. but they say a lot of things on Blackhat World, most of it you can safely ignore.
Spam Reddit like the above, and you can keep signing up all you like but your domain name will already have been shadow banned and no one will ever see the posts you make. Plus you’ll get booted in even shorter order, spamming links to a domain that’s already black listed.
Why Reddit Is Worth The Hassle
When you get a hit on Reddit, and your contribution and link get up-voted, you will see a massive influx of traffic to your site, and almost immediately. It really is quite riveting to watch your Real Time Google Analytics when that happens.
That can last anything from a few hours to a couple of days.
The downside is that your bounce rate may suddenly increase too, as Redditors have an annoying lack of curiosity once they do land on an outside site, and don’t tend to go exploring to see what else you have to offer. At least not then. Some will come back, but for many it’s a one hit visit. They take a look at the link, then bounce.
Also if you’re selling something or got affiliate links bound up in your site, you should know Redditors are notoriously tight, and are not a good source of income generation. They pride themselves on that too. So you won’t be getting much in the way of clicks to any advertising you’ve got going on.
What then is the benefit of Reddit, if they don’t buy bugger all and increase your bounce percentage.
Well, that traffic spike will get noticed by Google. Manage the Reddit trick enough times and Google will bump your link, and maybe whole site, up the search results. If a site link is getting a lot of direct hits then that indicates it must have merit, so it’ll get a higher placement in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
If your post link gets enough up-votes it gets a backlink off Reddit. That’s pretty valuable from such an “authority” site and will help your site’s internet profile in Google’s eyes.
Or at least that’s the theory, because these days more than ever, no one knows what in hell is going on with Google (least of all Neil Patel).
But that said, it’s still worth it to cultivate Reddit, as it gets your blog in front of the biggest audience on the internet, and a hit will draw you more free traffic and potential new followers than anywhere else.
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