It seems that not a week goes by where some news story goes viral, propelling a small-town waitress, teacher, or aspiring artist to the front pages of online newspapers, and almost every time it is thanks to a ‘Redditor’. As a result, any number sites see a huge spike in traffic, and that spells revenue. With traffic being central to the success of any site, and most methods costing money, being able to use Reddit to drive traffic to your site can an excellent way to drive traffic to your site, and best of all, it’s free. Reddit, though, has some guidelines and community practices known as ‘reddiquette’, and in order to maximize your results on Reddit, there are a few things you need to know.
For those who do not know what Reddit is, it is essentially a collection of community forums called subreddits where people share links to stories they find interesting, and share their thoughts on the links in the comments section. Redditors can up-vote or down-vote links and comments. If people in a community give a link enough up-votes, the article reaches the front page of Reddit and the traffic floodgates open. This does not happen overnight, but even if you only get a few up-votes, simply having your link shared in a subreddit related to your website’s content can give you access to thousands of readers. To find success, it is important to follow the guidelines of the site and participate in the same manner that other members of the community do.
Firstly, it is key to avoid being tagged as ‘spam’. Reddit allows users to share links from their own sites, but this should not exceed more than 10-15% of the items you share. In order to do this, simply be sure to share links to stories you find interesting outside of your own website. When you join, you will automatically be subscribed to a number of subreddits, which you can unsubscribe to if you wish. Be sure to browse and subscribe to subreddits that interest you, but most especially subscribe to subreddits related to your niche. Throughout the week, visit the site daily, share links on different subreddits, and up-vote and leave comments on links that you like. Leave kind, flattering comments under links you like as they are a sure way to get ‘comment karma’ and build a positive rapport with people in the Reddit community. Once or twice a week, slip links into your site in, and when people leave comments, be sure to give the Redditors up-votes for their comments and thank them. For every link you share from your own site, share 5-10 links from other sites so that you won’t be deemed as spam, and try to find posts that are interesting because this will increase your up-votes and send more Redditors browsing through your past posts.
Depending on the numbers of people who subscribe to a subreddit, you could see a significant spike in traffic for about three days after you post a link. If after three days, you notice that traffic at your site levels off, go back to your Reddit account and delete the posts to your site, but leave the links you shared to other site. This way, when people look at your history it will not look like you are spamming the community as the links to your site will be deleted. You will often see a spike the first day or two. Be patient, because varying time zones means people interested in your niche may not see your post until a day later. Folks in Australia, or Britain, for instance, will not see what an American posted until 8-12 hours after it was posted. After you have deleted a link in one subreddit, try re-posting it in another subreddit that is related to your niche and repeat the process, this way your material gets exposed to different Redditors in different communities. Also, consider sharing links to your sites in the comments to related posts that have reached the front page. This is a great way to piggyback on the interest generated by other sites.
One of the entrepreneurs that I coach has seen a significant increase in traffic due to Reddit, and he has never even reached the front page, so you do not have to get thousands of up-votes to drive traffic to your site. I have helped this entrepreneur take full advantage of all social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and have helped him increase his page rankings with my SEO techniques, but even so, he sees almost 35% of his referral traffic come from Reddit because it can be that effective. And aside from being free, the traffic is targeted. Reddit creates places where people who are interested in a specific subject or niche congregate at the same place, which makes it easy for you to access your target audience. Because these people subscribe to subreddits related to your niche, if they visit your site and like the content, they may be more likely to visit the site again in their future and become a regular visitor. If the content is compelling and interesting, Redditors may also share it on their Facebook accounts, further increasing your traffic, and since birds of a feather flock together, the people in their social networking sites will likely share an interest in similar subjects.
Before the advent of the internet, businesses would try and find a location that brought traffic to them, be it a sporting goods store opening up near and arena, restaurants opening up near movie theatres, or retail stores opening up in business districts and shopping malls. When you are online, however, internet users will not pass your website on their way to a related site as they would in the physical world, so you must be innovative and forward thinking when it comes to generating traffic. For people who don’t have a lot of money to invest in generating traffic, and even for people that do, Reddit is an exceptional option. Reddit is to websites what malls are to retailers. It allows you to get exposure to targeted traffic. As Redditors scroll down a page, they actually do pass by your website, getting you free exposure. To get the most out of Reddit, though, don’t just post links to your site there, become part of the community, because that is the best way to organically generate interest in your website.