One of my favorite ways to bring in web traffic is posting to reddit.

In this post about getting traffic from reddit, we will discuss:

  1. What reddit is and how it works.
  2. How reddit can be a tough crowd.
  3. How reddit can also be a friendly place.
  4. How to choose a subreddit to post to.
  5. Creating a good image to use as a thumbnail on reddit.
  6. Writing a headline that will get clicks and upvotes on reddit.
  7. The importance of having an active account when posting.
  8. How to get dofollow backlinks from reddit.


Reddit: what it is and how it works

Don’t be fooled by the site’s perhaps dated looking homepage design, Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet and it functions amazingly well.

Each subreddit (that’s what you call the different categories inside reddit) also has its own design and some of them look really well done, while some are a bit bland and look like the homepage.

Reddit allows users to submit content in the form of links or text discussions to sub-reddits, which are subsections of reddit that each have their own focus. Anyone can make and run a subreddit.

Some sub-reddits, or subs, are r/technology, r/gaming,  r/pics, r/askreddit, and there are a whole bunch more.

After a submission is made to a subreddit (or sub), other users browsing that sub then can upvote or downvote the submission, as well as write comments on each submission.

For the most popular subs, you could have tens of thousands of people online when a submission is made and they all have a chance to see your link and click it. Getting to the front page on big subs can mean tens of thousands of page views.

My most popular reddit link post ever got just over 5k page views in less than 48 hours. That post was simply a gallery of images of wildlife bridges, which are bridges made for wildlife (i.e. animals). That was an extremely viral type of post, and isn’t the type of content I regularly post to reddit.

Reddit can be a tough crowd

I should warn you, reddit can be a tough crowd.

Users on reddit don’t want to be sold to or to see promotional content.

They hate ads and popups. Heck, they would rather not even go to your site if they don’t have to.

You’ll often find that after you post an article, a user will copy and paste the whole thing into the comment section on reddit.

You can’t just hop on reddit and think you are going to sell to people or get tons of page views.

You have to post interesting stuff that is detailed, informative, newsworthy, or just plain awesome. Only then will it get upvotes and tons of views.

Of course, if you manage to get those thousands of pageviews from reddit, some of those people will also convert into subscribers, customers, leads, etc.

Reddit can also be really friendly

Having said all of that about reddit being a tough crowd, reddit can also be a really friendly place that is amazing for businesses and charitable organizations.

Reddit saves businesses

I’ve seen several posts through the years where small business owners are thanking reddit for saving their businesses.

Basically, what happens is a small business will maybe not be doing that well. They go to reddit and just share some information on what they do and why it is awesome. This sometimes turns into them getting tens of thousands of page views and thousands of customers.

I really have to remember to start bookmarking those types of stories so I can share them with all of you.

A few I could quickly find are:

  1. There was a woman named Sue Sullivan who made hot sauces. She gave away $8,000 in free samples on reddit, and it saved her business.
  2. The CEO of a struggling indie game development company got reddit to save his business.
  3. Another indie game developer that was saved by reddit.
  4. Here is one where reddit helped fundraise for a guy to open a video game store.
  5. And this person told reddit about their concrete products for reptile pets. Reddit of course saved them too.

Actually, those stories kind of sum up what reddit likes; food, video games, and pets.

Reddit helps charities

Reddit is also huge on charities and benefits. If you are trying to help do good in the world, tell reddit about it and they will probably help too.

Actually, charities are one of the few things where you can sometimes just straight up ask for donations and you’ll get them.

You still need to share some info, and stick around to partake in the comment sections, but asking for money to give to a worthy cause won’t usually get you downvoted into oblivion.

Choosing the right Subreddit for your post

Most of the time I submit content that is much more specific and I submit it to smaller sub-reddits that are about the specific topic I’m posting about.

For instance, r/technology would be a good place to post anything technology related. They typically have about 2-3k people online, and a post that does just okay on that sub will get around 200 views in 48 hours.

Those views will mostly be bounces, but you’ll have some people who spend quite a bit of time on your page and carefully consider your content.

There are also other technology subs that are smaller but still have decent audiences, and there are specific subs for practically every brand. For instance, there are Windows, Apple, Android, Xbox, and Playstation subs.

If you do post to the larger subs, you should expect a lot of views right away and then for your post to likely disappear. If the post does get upvoted a lot and go viral, you could get a ton of views fairly quickly. This traffic will probably be about 95+% bounces and your average time on page will be under ten seconds.

Getting targeted website visitors

When looking at those two possible ways of posting on reddit (large sub or targeted smaller sub), I think it is clear that going for the targeted, smaller audience is usually the better way to go.

Those people will consider your content a bit more and actually read it, plus they could be interested in sticking around and reading your other content, and they might just become return readers.

The large sub traffic could have its uses if you are looking to just get page views to boost Alexa rankings or Moz scores, to show off to advertisers, or you are just hoping people will click on your ads.

All traffic is good, but usually you want to aim for the people that actually will read and use your content, and might return.

Looking for ways to get traffic to your website? Please read my article A Guide To Bringing In Web Traffic In 2017.

Submitting to the appropriate subreddit (or subreddits as you can submit to more than one) is probably the most important thing when posting to reddit.

To find a good subreddit for your post, you might want to start by doing a search for your topic. The search box is located in the top right corner. In the results, the different subs will be at the top and you can subscribe right from the results page.

Many topics will have multiple subreddits in which you could post.

As I already said, I would probably try to niche down and find a laser focused niche, if possible.

Another way to find subreddits is by going to the big subs and looking in the sidebar. They often will link to other related subs that aren’t as big.

Make sure your post clearly starts with a good image, as that will be your thumbnail on reddit

This is pretty standard stuff, but amazingly a lot of people have trouble with it. When posting to reddit, the first image on the page inside the post will be used as the featured image or thumbnail, provided this is a link post and not a text post.

If that first image is of the author, that will be the image used and it could turn away users as they want to see an image related to the content, not some random person that they don’t know who it is.

If the first post is small and poor quality, it could turn away a lot of people.

You really want to use an image that is high quality and relates to your post topic or subject. You should also choose something that will resize will into a reddit sized thumbnail. Images with words on them aren’t good. Either are large images where the focus is a small object in the image.

If your post is about a new cell phone, the image should be a high quality, large image of that cell phone. It shouldn’t be a different phone, or the author’s image, or some random logo.  Also, having no image is really unhelpful.

Write a great headline

Reddit typically doesn’t like overly click-bait type or misleading headlines.

Click-bait would be something like; “Mother loses newborn infant, what happens next will shock you.”

A misleading headline would be like; “London Research Center finds cure for cancer” but then the article is about how the firm may have made a small break through in cancer research and they didn’t cure cancer at all.

Instead of doing a click-bait or misleading headline, you should write something that tells what your post is about, but that also make people intrigued enough to click your link and actually read the post.

There really is a fine line there, as you want people to click and you also don’t want people to not click because they already know what the post is going to be about.  You need to be descriptive and give the subject of your post, but leave enough out so that the post is still interesting and worth reading.

Have an active account and participate in the community

If your account on reddit is brand new and all you do is submit posts from your own blog, you will eventually get shadowbanned (which means your account will still be able to post, but no one will see those posts except for you) or you will get your domain name banned and never be able to post your links again.

It also looks bad to users if they see that you only submit your blog posts and aren’t an active user of reddit.

If you want to end up getting traffic from reddit, you need to be an active user of the site.

To be an active user, you should follow some subreddits, upvote and downvote stuff, and comment on posts.

It would especially be good to participate in subs where you will be posting your content or that are related to your site. You can even occasionally post your links in comments, if it is helpful to others or related to the topic at hand.

So there is this thing called Karma

As you participate more on reddit, you gain karma which then allows you to quickly submit more stuff and participate even more.

At first, you can only make a comment every 5 minutes or something like that, and you can only post every 10 minutes. Once you gain a lot of karma, it seems that you can post rapidly.

I have over 1,000 karma both in links and comments, and it seems like I never am NOT allowed to post rapidly.

Making friends

By participating on reddit, you can also make friends with other users. You do this just by clicking the add friend option by a person. You can also send PM and just reply to that person’s comments to interact with them.

When you submit content, you then can message your friend(s) about it and perhaps they will view and upvote your content. Reddit doesn’t make it easy to message your friends; you have to keep a list of their usernames handy yourself.

You then can send private messages to all your friends, by putting their username in the message box.

It seems that a lot of successful redditors do that now, and having friends upvote your content shortly after you post it really helps it to gain momentum and get more views. You also can pay people on Fiverr to do that.

That is partly because Reddit uses an equation to determine a post or links rating, and time is a factor in that. 100 upvotes in an hour is better than 1000 upvotes in a week. Comments on posts also boost the ranking.

There also is a group think factor in the promotion of posts. If someone sees a post is new and no one has commented or voted on it, they might just skip it. If another post is brand new and has 10 upvotes already and 10 comments, that same person might want to know what everyone is excited about and click to see.

Honestly, this whole friends thing has gotten a bit out of control on Reddit, and there are now whole subreddits of curated content from other subreddits, as people feel that the original subreddits are influenced by friends too much.

If you post to a big subreddit, you’ll sometimes get automatic reposts into other subreddits by bots or manually by other users that think your content is good, but that it might not get the recognition it deserves because of the way the original sub operates.

Still, if you want to end up getting traffic from reddit, you might want to consider making some friends and getting them to help promote your content.

Getting Do Follow Backlinks

On Reddit, you can get do follow backlinks in two ways.

The first is if you’re submitted link gets to a certain threshold of upvotes. That threshold is typically around 4-5 upvotes, but for some reason it only is counting real accounts that are actually active and that return.

So you might have a link that gets 10 upvotes, but only 3 of them stick as they are from real, aged accounts.

The second way to get do follow backlinks is to do a text post which reaches that same threshold of upvotes. In the text post, you should add your link.

If you want to be tricky, you can actually just not put a link in at first and then go back and edit your post a few days later and add the link in.

Reddit lets you edit your posts for a long time after they go up, so by the time you edit your post it might be done getting views and no one will notice you added a link that has a lot of value to you.

I think adding the link later rather than right away might be better as Redditors hate blog spam and being marketed to.


Hopefully this post has shown you that getting traffic from reddit isn’t all that difficult and it can be great for your website.

If you’re brand new to reddit, I would suggest first just creating an account and finding some subreddits to follow and take part in.

Once you figure the site out, then start marketing to them. Just remember, you don’t want them to know you are marketing to them. It should appear to be you sharing awesome stuff.

You can get a lot of page views from reddit and possibly even go viral. There also is an opportunity to really target your desired audience on reddit.

If you are a big brand, you might want to consider doing giveaways or even having your own subreddit to both promote your brand awareness and help users stay informed about your brand’s latest news.

For small brands or websites, reddit is invaluable in getting traffic and quality do follow backlinks.

Reddit also is a great place to get your new website found.

Good luck getting traffic from Reddit!

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