Expert expo: How to tap into Reddit's huge audience

Let’s welcome to our next Expert Expo Adam Cecil who knows about content marketing tricks  – and he knows his stuff about Reddit so over to Adam…
It’s an understatement to say that Reddit is huge. It calls itself “the front page of the internet,” and it’s not lying. With a global Alexa ranking of 27 and a US ranking of 9, Reddit is clearly in the big leagues. (There’s no clear statistic for how much traffic Reddit gets, but this post gives you an overview of traffic to the most popular subreddits.)
Even if you’ve never been to Reddit, you’ve probably seen content from Reddit. Half of the articles on Buzzfeed and Mashable are based on Reddit posts. This article from Buzzfeed doesn’t even attempt to hide it – they literally just photoshopped screenshots of Reddit comments onto stock photos of kids.
Reddit can also be a huge traffic driver to your blog or website. At PolicyGenius, one of our most popular posts got the majority of its traffic from Reddit. More so than Twitter and Facebook, Reddit can drive a large amount of people to your site in a short amount of time, as well as sustaining long-tail traffic and bringing your site to the attention of other content curators. But Reddit can be fickle, and a wrong move can send your site into Reddit oblivion.
If you don’t know anything about Reddit or how to use it, watch this video from CGP Grey for a quick primer.
3 Tips to avoid Reddit’s wrath
Pushing your content onto Reddit seems like a natural extension of what you’re already doing on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But unlike those social media sites, the Reddit community isn’t huge on self-promotion. A lot of smaller subreddits are discussion only (meaning no links to your blog), and even if they do accept links, moderators will often have a strict “no blogspam rule.” Anything they deem as a content marketing will be deleted from the subreddit.
So, how do you traverse these dangerous waters?
1. Find small, focused communities
While you may think that aiming broadly and trying to get in on the largest subreddits is the best strategy for getting a lot of views, it’s actually the opposite. Unless you’re already a pretty big site and have an amazing sense of timing, it’s unlikely that your post will get to the front page of large, broad subreddits. Smaller communities have larger numbers of people who engage with every new submission, not just the top two or three.
2. Don’t spam
If a subreddit says “no blogspam,” stay on the safe side. Even if you don’t see your blog as spammy or useless, Reddit’s communities are much, much harsher. Even subreddits without specific blogspam rules are likely to be harsh if they see you as self-promoting. When you craft your Reddit headlines, focus on what you hope the community will get out of the article. Don’t worry about SEO, keywords, or anything like that. Instead, imagine you’re writing a one-sentence recommendation of the article for a friend.
3. Be a real user
Don’t just post your own content. Don’t just submit links. Engage in discussions. You don’t have to be super personal. You can think of it like LinkedIn groups and comment only on articles related to your industry. Regardless of the path you choose, the idea is to populate your profile with something other than self-promotion. Engaging in the community will also help you understand the questions people have and the topics they’re interested in, possibly helping you come up with great, targeted content ideas.
You should also post articles that aren’t written by you or related to your site, but are still in the same general content category. This will build your community authority on Reddit, and when you post links from your own site, it will look less like self-promotion and more like organic posting.
Go forth and Reddit
Reddit doesn’t have to be hard. Engaging in a few discussions every day, finding new communities, and submitting excellent content (both your own and others) can be something you make part of your daily routine. After you get your first big hit on Reddit, you’ll be glad you made the plunge into the community.

This guest post was written by Adam Cecil, marketing and content genius at PolicyGenius, the easiest way to buy insurance online.

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