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Reddit: Are You Willing To Take A Journey Into Uncharted Waters?

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Kinologik / Foter / CC BY

Recently I’ve been experimenting with Reddit, which I will now refer to as the site where SEO gets a dose of steroids. What is a combination of social media, and as Reddit describes themselves “The front page of the Internet”, I’m a little leery of using this site on a daily basis until I fully understand the ins and outs. However, if you’re willing to take the plunge into uncharted waters, at least prepare yourselves for what could either be the greatest thing you’ve ever done, or something you wish you never experimented with.

Reddit frowns upon self-promotion by posting content that you’re directly related to, and for good reason due to the possibility of spamming. But there is another good reason for this that may not have been the initial intent by the site’s creators. When you post your own content, you’re fully exposing yourself to the elements and the community that Reddit has. This isn’t Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, this site is everything your parents or elders told you about the real world, it can get very cold and hostile. You risk the chance of being eaten alive, and it’s not because of the content you post, but because Reddit reaches 10 million people a day, there’s the possibility that you get viewers and readers who are not part of your niche market.

As a blogger of another site, I posted a few older articles for testing purposes to see what the response would be, and whether I’d gain more traffic. I got traffic alright, a few hundred views within an hour, but unfortunately it didn’t reach the people I really wanted. When you post a link, you have to submit it to a Subreddit, which is similar to a category, Google Adword, or hashtag, but these Subreddits are communities. There’s no way around them, you have to send your content to one of them. And this is where the problem lies.

Despite what I had read before signing up, it’s not as easy to curate your content to niche markets depending on what you write. Business, marketing, and economy related content works great, however these Subreddits have strict policies on self-promotional links. Other topics such as hobbies can easily be placed in the wrong categories and Subreddits that reach people who are not in your target audience or niche market. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the Reddit community is a completely different group that can either be your best friend or worst enemy.

From a business standpoint, I’d stick with SEO and social media marketing, excluding Reddit, unless you’re going there to be part of a community. I’d be very careful as to what I’d post when it comes to your specific business. Back when MySpace first came out, parents were very concerned about kids exposing themselves to the Internet to a bunch of strangers, and while we can all laugh about it now, I as a millennial am concerned about Reddit because it’s so different from Facebook and Twitter.

I’m not writing this to completely discourage you from joining or giving you a false impression of Reddit, but there does need to be a warning label that comes with it when you’re trying to grow a following or sharing your own content. For some of you, it might be the best experience and decision you’ve ever made and some people are thriving off it, but if you’re trying to target a specific group of consumers or audience, there is nothing wrong with sticking to Facebook, Twitter, and SEO.

In conclusion, if you’re a blogger who is trying to reach a big audience, you can see exponential growth and notoriety within a day, but if you’re a niche blogger you risk having your content being read by people who you have no interest in reaching. It all depends on what your objective is when using Reddit. Personally, I will stick with more conventional forms of marketing and content sharing until I fully grasp Reddit and it’s community. Again, I’m not saying it’s bad, but just be careful if you are interested in joining. It’s powerful and I saw an increase in exposure, but not all of the results were positive.

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