This is a guest post from Dan Reifenberger of Video Phone Home. He’s a good friend of mine, and because of the strategies he’s sharing today, I quadrupled my traffic last month for one of my other websites. So pay attention.
Take it away Dan!
reddit earns a hundred million unique visitors a month.
Yes, it’s always spelled with a lowercase ‘r.’
And NO, it’s not all cat pictures and inside jokes.
In fact, what if I told you a portion of those visitors are looking for a business or blog just like yours…on reddit…right now?
But how do you find the hundred thousand people looking for you in a sea of a hundred MILLION?
It’s simple, but not always easy.
You’ll need to develop a generous mindset and know the right place to post on reddit.
And I’m going to teach you how to do both in the post below. Read on!
How I went from 8 year retail employee to online marketer in 10 months
My whole life I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to do what I want, when I want, and answer to no one but myself.
But by August of 2012 I had just turned 30 and was 3 months away from hitting my 8 year anniversary in retail.
To keep my dream alive I dabbled in different types of businesses: multilevel marketing, freelancing, and a TON of online courses. All totaled, I spent close to $15,000 trying to “build” my own business.
It turned out I was far more interested in learning how to build a business than actually building a business.
That all changed at the beginning of 2013 when I decided to start building a business and learn along the way.
The next 10 months consisted of facing one fear after another as I slowly pushed myself into the world of information and online marketing.
After I developed a reputation with my clients for always getting the job done, I was asked by Andy Drish to be the part-time affiliate manager at The Foundation. I didn’t know what an affiliate manager was, but they offered to teach me, so I left my job, ramped up some other client work, and jumped in with both feet.
As the affiliate manager I was responsible for lining up all the guest posts, interviews, and other promotions they were using to build their email list for their annual launch.
I didn’t know a lot about marketing, but I knew reddit had a lot of traffic, so I recommended they post about The Foundation. They were not familiar with reddit, so they put me in charge of the post.
I wrote a post that featured one of their most successful students and set the student up to answer all of the questions in the comments section of the post.
All said and done, the post introduced 5000+ new visitors to The Foundation homepage, 1,100 new viewers to The Foundation YouTube channel, and attracted 450+ new email subscribers that resulted in close to $10,000 in sales.
And the best part is people loved the post, because it added a lot of value to the reddit community.
The Spammy Mindset Versus the Generous Mindset
Imagine moving to a beautiful little town in your home state to start a lawn care business.
Before you even finish settling in to your new home, you rush out to make sure everyone knows about your new business.
First, you tell everyone walking down the street that your new business just opening up and you’re looking for people to help paint the outside of your office.
Then, you get to papering every telephone pole and fence with promotional flyers asking people to send you their mailing address and phone number so you can follow up.
Next, you go to the local paper and offer to write them one of three front page stories about your new business.
Finally, you stop by the most successful businesses in town and ask them to add a flyer for your business to their monthly newsletter.
No handshakes, no small talk, just YOUR business.
After a few weeks of that what do you think would happen?
People would stop listening to you. Then they would avoid you on the street. And eventually you’d find yourself moving to another small town because your business folded.
Now what if you moved to the same town with a different mindset?
You helped other successful businesses repaint their building, asked everyone on the street what would make their day better, volunteered for the neighborhood watch, and sent interesting stories to you local newspaper editor.
In no time people would know who you are, hold you in high regard, and happily spend money with your business.
So what’s different between these two mindsets?
The first is a spammy and the second is generous.
Most of the marketing on the internet is created with a spammy mindset. And you’ve been bombarded with it for years, so it’s what you think you have to do when starting your first blog or business.
But it’s not your fault, how were you supposed to know there’s another way?
I’ve been there. I’ve done every spammy thing you can imagine.
And the most frustrating part is none of it works, you burn a lot of bridges, and your friends stop listening to you.
You might even give up. I did many times.
But after working with a number of successful marketers I respect, Sean being a prime example, I started to notice one key difference that sets them apart.
What Sets Great Businesses and Blogs Apart from the Rest
Just last month I was putting the finishing touches on version 1.0 of my course that teaches people how to ethically promote their business on reddit, and I hit a brick wall.
I had no idea how to set up a membership site and the launch was in 26 hours.
Then I remembered a post Sean wrote a while back that addressed my exact problem.
So, I followed Sean’s guide on How to Build a Membership Site in 48 Hours and set mine up just hours before it needed to go live.
I had a problem and Sean had the solution that work for me in the 11th hour. Now I trust everything I read on Sean’s site and recommend it to a lot of different people.
Successful bloggers and businesses actively listen to their customer’s problems and provide them with effective solutions.
So, when you write something that fulfills someone’s deep or urgent needs, you’ll get their attention and maybe, eventually, their trust.
How to find your customers on reddit
The reason reddit is called the “Frontpage of The Internet” is because it’s built on a democratic system of upvotes and downvotes.
If you start spamming your blog or business on reddit the community will downvote your posts until they’re removed.
Post something that adds value to the reddit community and it will be upvoted to the top of the page for more users to see.
But trying to get on the front page of reddit is impossible for you and me, because our blogs and businesses don’t interest enough reddit users to earn the thousands of upvotes required to hit the front page.
Also, there’s a lot of competition on the front page of reddit, so even if you did make it there, your post wouldn’t last very long.
So what’s the point of even trying?
Ah the beauty of subreddits.
Subreddits are subdivisions of reddit that focus on different topics of interest; they range from entrepreneurship to cat pictures, and everything in between.
So if you’d like to find your ideal customers you can start by finding what subreddits they’re interested in.
- First visit reddit.com
- Search for a keyword in the upper right hand corner
- Press Enter
- Under the search box will be a list of subreddits starting with “/r/”
- Open each one of these subreddits in a new tab
- Skim through each one and close the ones you don’t think are a good match
- Repeat step 1 through 6 until you have around 5-10 subreddits
- Bookmark these subreddits
- I used the above steps and found these subreddits about entrepreneurship:
This took me about a minute and shouldn’t take you more than 5.
Remember you’re looking for subreddits that your customers would find interesting, not just you.
So if you’re a copywriter for real estate agents don’t hang out in /r/copywriting, instead go find the subreddits your customers would be interested in like /r/realestate.
Ok. Now that you’ve got your list you’re going to need to do some research on each subreddit individually, because no two are alike.
The most effective research method I’ve found is to figure out what elements make up a successful post.
I like to look for these “success” elements in 3 places:
What you’re looking for are pains, questions, and needs you see going unfilled within each subreddit.
For me I keep a Google Doc open to paste headlines, content, and comments that I find interesting or could add value to.
I found this at the top of /r/entrepreneur yesterday and it’s a perfect example of what to look for:
These are the types of posts you’re looking for when researching on reddit
Enough people had upvoted the post in the previous 3 hours to let me know it’s a pain point for the subreddit. I know this because I compared the number of upvotes to other popular posts in /r/entrepreneur.
So, how would you solve this for /r/entrepreneur?
Personally I would start a new post explaining exactly what my business is, be extremely specific about everything, and share my future plans.
Speaking of which, I just checked /r/entrepreneur this morning and found the top post is from a smart blogger doing exactly what I recommended above.
12 hours after the first post, someone addressed the problem and got highly targeted traffic to their blog
How this gets you traffic
Well I’m sharing every aspect of my business, so I would have to include a link to my site as proof. And if I’m being completely honest with the /r/entrepreneur community, I would be talking about my products and the pains they solve for entrepreneurs.
The post would directly solve the pain AND introduce my blog or business to the 73,000+ people subscribed to /r/entrepreneur. You can see the subscription number on the right hand side of any subreddit.
If I deliver and people find it interesting they will upvote the post and comment, which pushes the post higher and higher on that particular subreddit. The longer your post is at the top of any subreddit, the more people will check it out and participate.
And to make sure I give maximum value to the subreddit, I’d reply to EVERY SINGLE comment, even if they show up days later. A high comment count also tends to attract more readers.
I would also recommend commenting and upvoting on other posts in your individual subreddits. It helps you find a ton of new ideas and pain points for you to solve with your blog or business.
Doing all this proves you’re generous with your time and gives you a chance to talk directly with your ideal customers. It also builds your reddit history, which will show you’re an active participant in the community when users look at your post history.
So, will everything you post on reddit snowball out of control and get you massive amounts of traffic?
No. Of course not.
Just like building a blog you’re not going knock it out of the part every time you post on reddit. It also depends on the size of your niche.
But the more you try the better you’ll get at serving your potential customers on reddit.
The last piece of advice I can give you about gaining trust on reddit is getting your reddit account setup ASAP, because users can see your signup date (or what reddit calls your “cake day”). If you make your account the same day you’re promoting your blog or business, you’ll not look very credible.
Practice what you preach
To add as much value as I can to the Location180 community I’m going to be checking in on this post for the next 7 days and reply to every single comment.
Want to know more about reddit? Put your toughest reddit questions in the comments below and I’ll answer every single one.
Want the link to The Foundation post I did? Ask and you shall receive in the comments below.
And if my first two offers don’t interest you, please post a short comment on what you thought of this post and receive a free internet high-five from me!
Daniel Reifenberger is currently launching videophonehome.com where he teaches entrepreneurs how to produce their own high quality video content for their business.
If you would like a step-by-step guide, with TONS of screenshots, on how to setup your account and build instant credibility on reddit, even if you don’t have anything to post. Check out Daniel’s extended guide called, “How to EARN super targeted traffic from reddit in 3 easy steps.”