5 Reddit Mistakes & How to Fix ThemThe last 2 months I’ve been successfully driving traffic from Reddit.

This wasn’t always the case, though. For 2 years, I struggled to attract any positive attention to my content.

Reddit receives 169 million unique visits each month. As a content marketer, it was a platform I had to crack.A couple of months ago I posted a job on Elance:

Reddit Job Posting

I ended up hiring a 17-year-old after seeing his analytics from previous Reddit work.

I had him critique my accounts and promotion strategy to determine where I was going wrong. And within just a few hours I was getting traction on my links.

Reddit referral traffic
My Reddit referral traffic for the last 2 months.

His consulting boiled down to 5 main pieces of advice. In this post, I’m going to recount each of them.

1. “You’re Not Posting Quality Content”

I’m not talking about Redditors’ sensitivity to spam and self-promotion. If you’ve ever posted anything to Reddit, you already know that users will report spammy content.

I’m referring to the content after the click – the landing page you’re driving people to.

When I first got started on Reddit I was posting weak content, with titles like:

  • “3 Reasons to Hire an SEO Agency”
  • “5 Ways to Tell if Your SEO is Working”
  • “9 Things to Ask an SEO Agency”

The web is filled with this type of weak content – Redditors are very aware of this and won’t hesitate to call you out on it.

Remember, anyone can click through to your profile and see what you’ve been posting. If you have a history of posting spam or uninteresting content, you’ll never get any traction.

If you don’t have any useful content of your own to post, post someone else’s content that you find useful. Being genuine and not focusing on sharing only your own work goes a long way on Reddit.

2. “You’re Not Writing Good Titles”

Reddit is flooded with posts, so having a good piece of content isn’t enough – you’ve got to grab the attention of Redditors.

Reddit posts

Honestly, it’s near impossible to grab attention here.

The best way to do that is with a well-written title.

Writing great copy on Reddit really comes with practice, but here are a few points to get you started:

  1. Be honest. If your title doesn’t align with your content, you’ll get “downvoted” and banished for good. If you’ve got a great piece of content, the title should speak for itself.
  2. Be specific. You’ve only got so much space to work with, so make sure you’re capturing the main essence of your content. If you can, try and add some controversy to your copy (but stay away from being offensive!).
  3. Follow the guidelines. Each Subreddit will have different guidelines – make sure to read them before posting! I can’t stress this enough. I’ve been banned from dozens of Subreddits for posting content, titles and links outside of their rules. Learn from my mistakes – pay attention!
Example of a great Reddit title.
Example of a great Reddit title.

3. “You’re Not Building Authority” (Karma)

On Reddit, authority = karma.

Karma comes from getting your links and comments upvoted by other Redditors. The more karma you have, the more trust and authority you have with other Redditors.

Reddit link karma

I have a number of Reddit accounts with the following karma:

  1. 10,546
  2. 5,477
  3. 4

I’ve run a number of tests where I post the same content, in the same Subreddits, with similar headlines, from each of my accounts. The result is always the same:

The links posted from the high karma accounts do better (much better, actually).

I believe this is for 2 main reasons:

  1. Redditors are inquisitive. When they see someone post a link, they click through to their profile. The more karma an account has, the more trust your link gets.
  2. Reddit’s algorithm favors accounts with high karma, giving them a boost in visibility.

If you’re struggling on Reddit, I’m willing to bet your account has little to no karma. You’re probably thinking:

How can I build karma if karma comes from posting links?!

It’s actually pretty easy. I use 2 methods:

  1. Don’t post links to your site; post ones from well-known sites in the niche. For example, I post the latest breaking news from Search Engine Land at least twice a week in marketing threads.
  2. Post funny pictures in Subreddits like /r/funny. If you can get one to go viral, you can score thousands of karma with one post.
  3. Forget your business / website – what are you interested in? I’m a sneakerhead, so I build a ton of karma by posting pictures of newly released sneakers that I simply repost from my Instagram feed. It takes me 2 minutes a day, and it’s built thousands of link karma for my accounts.

Posting to Reddit

Building karma takes time, but it’s an important process that you can’t skip. One post a day is all it takes!

4. “You’re Not Using the Right Subreddits”

This was the biggest mistake I was making. I’d submit a link and pick the Subreddit from the drop down box. Huge mistake.

Let’s look at an example. Not too long ago I wrote a killer post about blog SEO and I wanted to promote it through Reddit.

I logged into my account and clicked “Submit a new link”.

Submit a new link to Reddit

I wrote out a perfect title, added my link, and searched for a Subreddit related to “blog.” I selected “bloggers” and submitted my link.

Finding a Reddit Subreddit

That post drove a whopping 0 visits. Why? Glad you asked.

The Subreddit I submitted to, r/bloggers/, has a total of 125 readers. My post never stood a chance.

Bloggers Subreddit

You need to research Subreddits before you post. Instead of going straight to “Submit a new link,” click “edit” in the top right corner of your home screen.

From there, you can type in keywords and click through to various Subreddits.

Researching Reddit Subreddits

Look for Subreddits that have a large number of active subscribers. In addition, look at the content being posted there – does it align with yours? If it doesn’t, move on and find another. There are plenty!

5. “You’re Not Posting at the Right Times”

I used to post at times that were convenient to my schedule.

Not good enough. In order to maximize your content’s reach, you have to make sure your target audience is online to see it.

Each Subreddit will tell you how many users are online at any given time:

Subreddit active users

To get eyeballs on your links, you need to figure out the best times to post.

I wish there was a guideline I could give you for the best times to post. Truth is, it varies from one Subreddit to another. Subreddits are vast – there’s one for every topic imaginable.

Below is a chart I put together based on 3 Subreddits I frequent:

As you can see, there’s a clear pattern for when my target users are online. I keep this data in a spreadsheet for all of my target Subreddits.

By doing so, I know the best times to post. Now I’m able to maximize interaction with each link I post.


Look, I’m not going to lie to you, Reddit is a lot of work – there are no shortcuts.

Building authority, finding Subreddits, and determining optimal post times require significant legwork up front.

However, if you’re willing to put in some time, even 10 minutes a day, you’ll have free reign on an incredibly powerful platform for your content.

I had him critique my accounts and promotion strategy to determine where I was going wrong. And within just a few hours I was getting traction on my links.