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Reddit, as you already know, is one of the huge social bookmarking sites that join the ranks of Digg, Netscape, StumbleUpon and related heavy hitters in the bookmarking arena. Boasting an Alexa rank that usually hovers in the 1k range, getting put on the Reddit front page is quite worthwhile if you're looking for some quick, heavy traffic to your blog or website.
The best thing about Reddit is the democratic voting system that allows the average blogger or webmaster a significantly better chance of hitting the Reddit homepage as opposed to sites like Digg and others. When a link is submitted, it is simply voted “up” or “down” by the users. The more users that vote it “up”, the more points your link score receives, with an opposite reaction from getting voted “down”.
When you submit an article to Reddit, the main thing you need to worry about are headlines, headlines, headlines. Forget having to write a summary like you do with Digg and friends. The key to success for gaining votes on Reddit is having a compelling, click-through worthy headline. Be creative and analyze what works and what doesn't by checking out the Reddit “Top Links” section. With a little research, you can see which stories made it and how they did it.
Of course, there are other ways to get on the front page of Reddit and leveraging the traffic potential, so here are five techniques to get you started in the right direction (which will hopefully be, up!)
1. Use Reddit Regularly
This is one of the easiest ways and should be the beginning of being a Reddit power user. Being active in the community, submitting links, and general networking with other “redditers” is not only fun, but it can build up your karma and make you look more reputable than a “one-shot” voter (the types that only register an account to vote for a friends article).
Once you have an established voting and submission history in your profile, people will be more likely vote your links up, which if it's on your blog, means the potential of a front page hit. Make no mistake, Reddit can send massive amounts of traffic to your site if you hit the front page, especially if it's an interesting story. Reddit plays in the same group of kids as Digg, StumbleUpon, and others. They are definitely not lightweights!
2. Create Your Own Reddit Voting Club
This is an obvious, yet highly effective way to get more votes. Why not team up with like-minded friends and associates in your field or niche. By teaming up with people you regularly network with, or even direct competitors, you can form your own voting group and routinely vote each others submissions right to the front page (depending on the size of your voting party). This is a widely known and powerful technique, and you'll see this across all of the social bookmarking sites (some more controversial than others).
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Start forming your voting party by asking readers and fans of your blog or website to join up. Create a forum or a shared blog that everyone can post their links in for getting votes. This is very easy and takes minimal time. The rewards can be fantastic, as well.
3. Leverage Your Existing Blog or Website Traffic
This is another no-brainer. If you're submitting stories to Reddit, you probably already have somewhat steady traffic to your blog or website, so by placing voting buttons in easily recognizable places (at the end or beginning of an article), it allows your readers or guests (assuming they have a Reddit account) to quickly vote on your article.
The extra votes you can gain from these types of people just may be the extra votes you need to push your story to the front page. Take advantage of what you already have, and as a reminder, make sure you place voting buttons for all of the other bookmarking sites as well. The more the merrier!
4. Leveraging Subreddits
Subreddits are subcategories that talk about other topics like web 2.0, technology, and subjects like that. It's surprisingly easy to gain front page status on the subreddit pages, and by gaining front page status in these areas, you stand a good chance of gaining more votes that could ultimately push your story to the front page. A sound strategy to appearing on the front page of a subreddit is the same as it would be for the front page headline.
It's absolutely vital to pick a phenomenal headline if you want to enjoy a surge in traffic from front page status on Reddit. Although it's not recommended and doesn't quite work like this, your actual story or article could be crap, but you could at least get people to click through with an outstanding headline. (Of course, you don't want to submit crap stories, because you won't receive any votes, which in turn won't get you on the front page, which results in no traffic at all. Ah, but I digress!)
5. Create a Specific Page for Reddit
This one is great, and can work wonders for a site that normally wouldn't appeal to regular Reddit users. Let's say you run a generally boring site about stocks, or ophthalmology — you get the point. Generally speaking, these kinds of sites aren't the kind of sites that Reddit users frequent, but maybe you still want to leverage traffic from Reddit with the intent of exposing your business and name to the masses. No problem! All you need to do is create a sub-domain, or a page that carries the same tone and layout of your regular site, and use it strictly for Reddit worthy material.
If you get lucky and submit breaking news first, or an otherwise Reddit worthy story that hits the front page, you'll garner the massive amount of resulting traffic, and even though the odds of the visitors coming back is low, you at least presented them with your business name and style. Building name recognition can be a long, boring process, but doing it this way will at least put you on the right path. Who knows, one of the users may want to get into stock trading, and they just may remember your site from that funny story you submitted. It's definitely a possibility.
I hope these tips help you become a better Reddit user, and more importantly, I hope by using these tips that you hit the front page soon. The traffic, even if it's short lived, can have residual effects that can last a long time.