“The day I woke up and Reddit was working on its own was just the most incredible feeling.”
– Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit
If you have an Internet connection, you probably know what Reddit is.
For those who don’t know much about this edgy community, Reddit is a multilingual social news and entertainment platform that calls itself “the front page of the Internet.”
Reddit is the eighth most popular website in the world, according to Alexa, drives roughly 1.5 billion unique visits a month, and houses more than 250 million active members.
When leveraged correctly, Reddit can be an incredibly powerful source for driving massive amounts of traffic to your website. For instance, Eddy Arza was able to increase his site’s daily visitors from 41 to 4,266 literally overnight. Similarly, Ryan Stewart was able to grow his traffic by 33 percent by learning the ins and outs of the platform.
It is extremely necessary to become familiar with how Reddit works before you start trying to plug your brand because the community’s members (called Redditors) are sometimes known for ruthless behavior; particularly toward outsiders.
Part of why Reddit is such an effective tool for increasing blog readership, sales, and overall traffic, however, is that the site is essentially one massive aggregator.
For the most part, Redditors submit outbound links to various niche communities called subreddits. There are a seemingly infinite number of subreddits, so I’ll cover this more in a bit.
Before we dive into how to drive traffic from Reddit to your site, a quick public service announcement:
You Must Participate Before Plugging!
The first step to leveraging Reddit is the most vital and the most time-consuming: You must participate within communities – a lot – before posting anything about your brand or website.
Truthfully, Reddit hates marketing.
If you just create a new account and try to promote your site, prepare to be eaten alive. Redditors are notoriously suspicious of new accounts and they can sniff out an advertisement like digital bloodhounds.
To gain the trust of Redditors, you need to start off by posting relevant (non-promotional) materials and engaging in various discussions.
Here are three ways to leverage Reddit to drive tons of traffic to your website.
1. Engage the Right Subreddits
As stated earlier, Reddit has tons of niche communities called subreddits.
While not all will be relevant to your cause, you are likely to find dozens that are. Before you start targeting specific communities, however, ask yourself:
- What is my target audience interested in?
- What is my expertise?
- What value can I provide potential followers?
The answers to these questions will help you develop a blueprint in selecting which communities to join. If you fail to conduct this short exercise, you’re more likely to join subreddits that don’t provide you much value to you, and vice versa.
While this may seem to conflict with the above paragraph, you may also want to consider some smaller, more overlooked communities as these folks tend to be highly engaged. This is the exact strategy that Gfycat used to build its audience and become the largest user-generated GIF platform in the world in a mere two years.
To find subreddits that will be valuable for your brand, search relevant keywords that your audience would use to find information about product or service like yours. For instance, if you run a gaming blog, you might join the r/Games subreddit whose goal is to, “. . . provide a place for informative and interesting gaming content and discussions.”
Depending on what your brand does, you might want to join subreddits that are a little more marketing-friendly such as r/deals where you can post discounts, coupon codes, and all sorts of other offerings for savvy consumers.
2. Use Reddit As a Source for Content Creation
Content is one of the top Google ranking factors. While creating a wealth of great content is necessary, it certainly isn’t easy.
Reddit provides content marketers with an endless pool of inspiration for great content. By engaging in conversations and mining comment threads for hot topics, pain points, curiosities, etc., business owners can gain an abundance of quality topics to write about and then post back to those same communities, effectively driving traffic to their site.
Additionally, there are often individuals within subreddits who share interesting insights or perspectives on certain topics. Depending on how informative the individual seems, you might want to consider reaching out to them for a podcast or interview that you later craft into a blog post.
Alternately, businesses can uncover some common themes of what users desire and run content within a subreddit, driving traffic to a dedicated landing page on their site. Prizes should be relevant to the community’s wants and needs. You could offer products or services from your business, Reddit Gold, or various other payoffs.
Before utilizing this tactic, however, be sure to reach out to the subreddit’s moderators and gain their approval. Otherwise, you could be banned from the community.
3. Host an AMA Session
This strategy should be saved for after you have developed something of a name for yourself within the subreddits you subscribe to so that users know who you are and that you have value to offer.
AMA stands for Ask Me Anything. AMA’s are essentially interviews where the whole of the reddit community can ask you, well, anything.
These are often a prime opportunity to share information about your business without coming off too promotional.
The key to these group conversations is to provide the community with lots of in-depth, valuable knowledge. Think about things like behind-the-scenes stories, struggles and solutions that most would never consider and other intimate details that only an industry insider would know.
For an Ask Me Anything session, you can target the dedicated AMA subreddit, or you can simply conduct it within one of the subreddits you subscribe to — most will allow for these types of conversations.
Holding the talk within a subreddit that is relevant to your audience might be the best option. This increases the likelihood that you’ll have an interested and engaged audience.
Reddit is a goldmine for generating awareness and traffic for your website. Familiarize yourself with the platform, its lingo, and interact with the right groups before promoting your brand. If you do this prior to leveraging the tactics listed above, you stand a far greater chance of achieving the outcome you desire.