Did you know that 95% of all blogs attract less than 10 visitors per week.
OK, so I made that shocking statistic up, but it’s probably not too far from the truth. After all
“In May 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 71 million blogs.”
So who is reading all of these blogs and how do you ensure your blog is in the 5% getting all the traffic?
It’s no mean feat but there are some great tips for getting your blog out there. One of those is to use Reddit.
So what’s reddit I hear you say?
Reddit is a social bookmarking site similar to Digg, Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, Blogg-Buzz and many many more. The idea is simple: when you find quality content on the Internet, you highlight it for others to enjoy using Reddit (or any of the other bookmarking sites of course). Each site has its own method of flagging and presenting this content and you’ll probably want to try a few of these sites out before selecting a favourite. But for my money, Reddit seems to be one of the better options.
How is reddit different?
reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web — personalized for you. Your votes train a filter, so let reddit know what you liked and disliked, because of this you’ll begin to be recommended links filtered to your tastes. All of the content on reddit is submitted and voted on by users like you.
So basically the more you use Reddit to bookmark content and sites you enjoy reading, the more closely targeted it’s recommended articles page will become for you. So what does this mean? Two things:
1. the content it recommends will be more targeted to your niche interests, and
2. therefore you are more likely to click on and read the articles.
Both of those sound pretty good to me, especially with the abundance of content available on the web – remember the 71 millions blogs. But as a blogger or internet marketer this has an even more significant meaning. If it’s your content that features in the recommended page then it’s more likely you are reaching your target audience.
So what are the downsides?
For a start your content can be voted down as well as voted up, so don’t be too surprised if when you submit a poorly written post and it gets destroyed by the redit community. The only other downside is that once you start using Reddit, like most things online, it can become quite addictive.
With those words of warning out of the way, lets look at the other reasons for using reddit and actually how to use it to promote your blog.
Why should you know about reddit?
As a blogger, using Reddit will help you to engage with the blogosphere and a wider audience of web browsers – especially those who might otherwise not have found your blog. You’ll also be able to find new topics of interest to write about, or other interlated blogs to start conversations with.
Perhaps most importantly you should be able to use Reddit as a method for driving traffic to your blog at very little cost. This is not a new tactic for bloggers and internet marketers, in fact many people have made a lot of money through social bookmarking sites. But you should consider it an element of your overall blog promotion campaign, alongside other traffic generation tactics like article submissions, payperclick etc.
There have been many cases where a blog post has found it’s way onto the front page of reddit, or others, which has generated a huge volume of traffic sending the blog offline. However your content would have to be pretty special or thought provoking to make that sort of impact though.
But how do you go about using reddit?
Before you start trying to promote your blog posts I recommend using the site for a while to get used to how it works and to build up some Karma (more about that later). To do this head to the home page and start browsing through the stories posted in either the hot or new categories.
When you see a headline you like, click on the link and you’ll be taken to the article. If you like the story, hit back in your browser and then vote either up or down by clicking on the arrow next to the headline. If you vote an article down it’s good reddit etiquette to add a comment and let the author know why – this will help you to gain Karma (again more about this later).
You will of course have to register to cast your vote, but this is a simple process and involves adding a username and email address only.
What about promoting your blog?
Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s really quite simple to add your own stories and obviously posts from your blog. Word of warning though, if you add all of your blog’s posts at the same time you will get voted down by the often very critical reddit community. As a rule of thumb only submit those posts you’ve put some research into and you feel are quality – let’s face it as bloggers not every post is of exceptional quality. Better to not submit your post than to submit and receive a host of down votes. Experience also shows that posts that benefit readers invariably do quite well, so consider ‘how to’ guides or top 10 lists.
To submit simply click on the submit button at the top right of the page.
Enter the URL and most importantly a title that will draw attention to your post. Make the headline catchy and if possible add a targeted keyword. If you don’t add a headline, reddit will automatically create one, which is OK to start with, but for the best results you should write your own. Incidentally the URL you submit should be your permalink and not your home page.
Once you’ve submitted your post it will appear in the new submissions page for all to view and share. Top tip here, to get the votes started, you could ask a handful of your friends to visit the post and vote it up. This will help to get you onto the hot pages where you need to be to get the most traffic. Based on todays submissions you need around 14 votes to get on the front page and a minimum of 10 for the second page, but other experiences show you need a high volume of positive votes in a short timeframe.
OK, so you’re now submitting posts, voting on other posts, adding comments and generally building up Karma. That’s right Karma. You can build up reddit Karma by submitting quality posts that get voted up, by commenting and generally adding value to the reddit community. You can see your Karma score next to your username once you’re logged in. A good Karma score will attract other redditors to add you as a friend and track your submissions – which of course will every now and again include your own blog posts.
So what next?
Once you’ve created an account, started voting, added a few submissions and comments and made a handful of friends, you should be getting a steady trickle of traffic to your blog. But what else can you do?
Add some reddit submission buttons
Add some reddit buttons to your blog to make it easy for people to vote on your posts directly from your blog – this is fairly straight forward to achieve, either by adding some code or you’re a WordPress blogger you can use the socialize plugins (which by the way will allow you to link to all the major social bookmarking sites).
Add reddit headlines
You can also add a reddit headlines widget to your blog’s sidebar if you want to display the latest submissions, but this isn’t something I strongly recommend. Why create a good reason for readers to leave your blog?
Submit to subreddits
When you submit a post you can also flag it up for the more niche subreddits, such as science, features, web2 etc. These are less competitive and you should therefore have more chance of hitting the front page.
Make some new reddit friends
Try building up a list of friends with a bit of networking. It’s easy to send messages using reddit’s email system which you’ll find next to your username. If you find a list of carefully taregeted redditors who submit on similar topics you may be able to promote your latest posts and build traffic that way.
I’ve mentioned this a few times but you should read the guide here if you’re serious about building good karma and basically being a good reddit citizen.
All that is left to do really is to get started. To get real results from reddit or any social bookmarking site takes time, but as a blogger you already know you need to work hard to be successful, right? And don’t forget, good content is key.