how to use reddit

From 2010 to 2012, I worked as a social media content promoter. I was a contractor and worked for other contractors who had business relationships with large websites. My speciality was in user curated voting websites.

When I first got into the industry, Digg was the place to be. If a piece of content hit the front page of Digg, it stood the possibility of receiving millions of views in a matter of hours. Clients loved the power of the front page of Digg and paid nicely if their content was successfully pushed or promoted there.

After Digg made some poor site changes and lost an incredible amount of its user base to reddit, clients no longer requested Digg promotion. Instead, they requested reddit services. I quickly find out that the reddit user base is very picky. It is not easy to be successful on reddit.

Based on lessons I learned the hard way, here are 3 tips for utilizing reddit:

1. The 10% Rule

"It's perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it's not okay to be a website with a reddit account." - reddit’s self promotion page

You can’t utilize reddit like some people utilize Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. You can’t just submit links solely from your website. Reddit wants you to submit links from a wide variety of sources. If they see that you have submitted more than 10% of your contributions from one source, they may ban your account. Seriously.

The kicker is, when they ban your account, you will not know that you’re using a banned account. You’ll still be able to log in. They even let you submit new links. But you will notice that now none of your links get any upvotes. You’ll wonder what is going on. Well, reddit has “shadow banned” your account. They pretend to let you submit new links, but they don’t really let you submit new links.

They take self-promotion very seriously and have many protections in place to guard against people gaming or abusing their community. They have a self-promotion wiki page that you should read before you start using reddit.

2. Be active in the community

In addition to following the 10% rule, you need to become an active part of related reddit communities. There are thousands of different “subreddits” or categories, which are communities based around different topics. Due to the popularity of reddit, there is a subreddit for just about everything.

Each subreddit has its own set of rules and guidelines. These will be posted on the right sidebar of the subreddit page:

reddit best practices

It is very important that you follow the rules at every subreddit that you frequent. Some of the subreddits don’t allow users to post image links. Other places only allow image links. If you break one of these rules, you probably will receive a warning or have your submitted link removed.

Reddit advises users to, “Give feedback to others, talk about issues that interest you, and be a good member of the community. redditors don't care that you have something to promote, they care what you think and that you have interesting things to say.”

You need to take this advice to heart. If you want success, you will need to spend time with the reddit communities that are relevant to your content.

3. Don’t promote your submitted links

When you submit a link to reddit, you must then leave it alone. Don’t ask for your Facebook followers or Twitter followers to up-vote your content on Reddit. If you do, you are breaking the rules:

“You should not ask for votes on reddit, even on your twitter or blog or forum - it will get your account banned, and in extreme cases can get your domain banned.”

Reddit means business regarding this rule. They have banned websites in the past. I’m sure they will band more websites in the future. So, resist the urge to ask people to upvote your link. The content you submit to reddit needs to stand on its own merits.