So, for who knows what reason, you’re posting to Reddit. You could be showing off a picture of a cat, something “hilarious” your family did, or trying to show off anything cool you came across (or want to promote). Reddit is a great tool for getting mass exposure to an idea, but you have to play by the unwritten laws of the community. In this post, I’ll try to give you a lay of the land for your endeavors, be they personal or commercial.
1. Original Content Only
Posting original content is usually better than found content. The reason behind this is that Reddit is such a massive site that anything you’ve “found” has likely already been posted and either downvoted into the great beyond or already seen by most of the community. Also, even if you hit the front page with your content, a cadre of Internet Detectives is bound to come out shouting “Repost,” thus derailing any useful conversation about whatever it is you’ve posted.
2. Ditch the Marketing Speak
If you’re promoting a product or a service, you’re better off focusing on one cool aspect of it. If you simply post a link with the title “Wonder Widget Does Wonderful Things,” you will never get the attention that your beautiful little snowflake deserves. A greater discussion of the product or service in the comments will likely bring out all the other talking points you want to hit.
3. Title Is Everything
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. You really need to focus on getting an appropriate title to go with your post. Whether its humorous or straightforward, you need to make sure that it’s appealing enough to pique viewer’s interest and get them to click. I recommend avoiding Reddit staples such as “Nailed it” or “Check out this gem” for a few reasons. For starts, both are horrendously over used. More importantly, however, any general title like this does not offer any insight to the user as to what they can expect when they click unless it’s a literal nail in a board or an actual gem. Do not use those, they aren’t funny anyway.
Reddit is a global site. There’s always people on it upvoting, downvoting, commenting, and posting. However, you must play to your audience’s strengths. If your post appeals to Americans, make sure not to post it at 2 a.m. Pacific Standard while most of the continental United States have their pajamas on. I find it is best to post around in the mornings (I’m on the West Coast). However, I’ve also seen my posts take off when I’ve posted in the afternoon. Timing will help your post take off, but mostly it will be your content that does the shining.
5. Pick Your Subreddit
People who enjoy out of context commercials may or may not find your picture of a sleeping horse interesting. That, however, is beside the point. When you post to Reddit, you need to make sure you pick the subreddit that your post will get the most traction in. You also need to make sure that your post follows that subreddit’s rules. For instance, I created a GIF I thought was hilarious, but could not find any love for it in /r/funny. It turned out it was against the rules and was summarily downvoted into nothingness. Once I found the correct subreddit, the post did fine.
6. Even Great Stuff Dies
I’ve posted things that immediately went into the trash can. I’ve posted things that have immediately shot up into mild Internet infamy. However, the categories are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes great things don’t do well. It’s not your fault (it is a little bit your fault), so don’t feel bad about reposting things that you think actually have merit and a chance to do well. No shame in deleting and reposting content you believe in. That said, take heed if people leave comments telling you something specifically doesn’t belong or give you criticism that you can learn from.
7. Have Fun
Wow, totally innovative final point. It is true though. If you take Reddit too seriously, even if you have a motive for doing so, you’re probably not going to get very far. Have fun with it and try not to get your fragile Internet ego bruised.