Reddit is very powerful at generating traffic for articles that its users find interesting and intriguing. Creating one of those articles is the tricky part. The first step to doing so is the Reddit article’s title. I recently created one that was marginally successfully (in the grand scheme of Reddit). It got more than the average number of clicks (over two hundred) because of its title and the intriguing content it possibly heralded. Below you will find out how I did it and how you can replicate that success as well if you use or have thought of using Reddit.
What is Reddit?
Reddit/ˈrɛdɪt/, stylized as reddit, is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of either a link or a text (“self”) post. Other users then vote the submission “up” or “down”, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”.
Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. It was acquired by Condé Nast Publications in October 2006. In September 2011, Reddit was split from Condé Nast as a subsidiary of Condé Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications. In 2012, Reddit was spun off and re-incorporated and now operates as an independent entity. Reddit is based in San Francisco, California.
True Blood and The Gif
I saw a particularly funny scene during last season on HBO’s True Blood:
It was so funny in fact that I knew someone would make a gif or gifs of it on Tumblr. Sure enough when I logged in to our Tumblr account for our movie website and searched under “True Blood” a few hours later, there it was. I immediately pressed the “Reblog” button, placed in a few of our links and tags, and then pressed the “Reblog Post” button.
The post immediately started getting liked and reblogged by others (it currently has 716 Notes).
After a few days, it came to me that the Tumblr post was funny enough for Reddit and that I should post it there. I found the True Blood subreddit, pressed the “Submit Link” button then stopped.
I needed an interesting title or nothing would happen. I had already thought of a partially funny title because of the “Harlem Shake” craze that happened during the summer of 2013. Since the gifs involved French Fries and a Frier, I just combined everything into “The French Fries Fry Shake.” Reddit will suggest a title for you from the URL you place into the “Submit Link” form but I decided to go with my own creation.
I submitted it.
Within half a day the subreddit post was getting voted up and commented on. People were clicking the link because of its intriguing title and coming to our Tumblr page. When the up voting stopped and the comments ceased, that little Reddit story had been voted up 256 times (down 37 times) and had accrued 15 comments. Like I said previously, modest numbers but with the preponderance of links submitted to Reddit daily, that was pretty good.
Our Reddit account’s “Link Karma” jumped up by over 200 points and our “Comment Karma” jumped up by 15 points.
The best effect was that the link drove people to our Tumblr page.
If I had it to do over again, I would have placed the gifs on a page on our movie website instead of on our Tumblr page (lesson learned). It is so much easier though to publish on Tumblr as you do not have to worry about search engine optimization and other considerations. This is one of the reasons why Tumblr is so popular.
Lessons from this Example
1. Write creative titles for your Reddit posts. If you want them to stand out, write a title that is catchy and/or intriguing, something to make a person click on it to find out what you are alluding to.
2. Submit to a closely related subreddit. One of the reasons my post got the response it did was because I posted it in a subreddit focused on True Blood. If I submitted on the front page of Reddit, it would have been lost in the shuffle.
3. Link to the interesting. Make sure you link to something interesting or you will get no comments on your post.
4. Look at the other titles used in a subreddit or on Reddit to get an idea of the type of titles and stories that get hits and comments. Immolate that with your own spin.
Reddit is a great social and news story network. Learning how to use it will make it a great tool for your website and its content.