Reddit Explained

For Beginners and Waders

The death of StumbleUpon was a difficult dilemma for me. I received most of my reads from this site, so what to do, what to do? I turned to my nemesis, Reddit. I don't say this lightly - Reddit can be a bear. Readers complain about everything from your grammar to your content, even when you are posting an article written by someone else. I submitted an article on some ancient bones discovered in Israel, and they literally lowered a boom on my head because the title of the article claimed those bones would rewrite the timeline of evolution. My bad. Over time, I have become a Reddit whiz kid, and I would like to share my insights in the hope that you will become Reddit submitters. There is currently no better place to submitt your endeavors. I have tried all forms of social media from Flipboard to Twitter, and nothing comes close to the killing you can make on Reddit. I write narratives mostly in the sciences, so my audience is small. One post to Reddit got me 800 reads in one day.


Pictured above is the submission form for the old Reddit. They have recently changed this slightly. To use old Reddit, go to your profile icon, and on the drop list, you'll see "visit old Reddit." I find the old easier than the new to use. The biggest problem is finding the right subreddit for your piece. Not an easy task, because some subreddits use ridiculous names that you would never dream apply to your genre. So here is a published list of 5,000 subreddits. It is not complete, but it is searchable. You can, of course, search on Reddit for subreddits, but you have to know what you are looking for. An example of this is the now defunct Red Pill subreddit which was basically a woman-bashing, testosterone-fueled dating advice horror show. If you had something to say on the topic, would you know to look for Red Pill? Well, that's why the published list of subreddits is so handy. Peruse it. This list also gives the number of people subscribed, and although this is out of date now as well, you can get a guesstimate. A word to the wise, though. Just because a subreddit has few subscribers doesn't mean you won't make personal history numbers on reads. I submitted an article on Long Island to the subreddit of that name, which only has a readership of a couple of thousand, but more than half read my article. If you want to have a subreddit analyzed for the best time to submit an article, go here. I found this after I spent the better part of a month doing a spreadsheet for this very purpose, and the site only tells me what I wasted my time on!

It is incredibly easy to get banned from Reddit. You must submit 10 articles for every one of yours. The Redditor gods know. I got a warning from them for self-promotion, and I tread very carefully now. You need to sign on to newsletters and article sites that email directly to you, and post, post, post! I get articles emailed on everything from stupid news to the latest in science. You have to post the articles as soon as you get them, because someone else may beat you to it, and then your article is rejected, and you have to find another. Some subreddits have flairs. After you submit an article or story, the main page of the subreddit shows up, asking you to "flair" your submission. This simply requires opening the list of categories you can choose from, and selecting the one that applies. Do not forget to hit "save," or it won't go through. Here is the list of flairs for Every Thing Science: Medicine, Physics, Computer Sci, Astronomy, Space, Mathematics, Chemistry, Nanoscience, Biology, Environment, Animal Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, Cancer, Social Sciences, Anthropology, Geology, Paleontology, Engineering, Interdisciplinary, Law, Policy. Every subreddit has its own rules. READ THEM. It might save you from suspension or humiliation - probably both. Reddiquette, which is Reddit etiquette, must be adhered to at all times. 

Karma

Reddit Karma is extremely important to some, but it worthless for the most part. If someone looks at your profile, they'll see your Karma points, and it does lend weight to your assertions. You get Karma every time you submit an article, poem or story. One point - that's it. You get most of your Karma by the number of comments on your piece. You also get Karma by commenting on the work of others, and re-commenting to those who have written to you. Always respond to every comment with a "thank you," at the least, and a robust, but polite defense at most. This builds Karma quickly. You can also do what I call "cat fishing." This is not a practice I condone, but many do it. You simply find any submissions where no one has commented yet, and say something like, "Oh, your cat is adorable." You get the most Karma points for being the first to do so. I have seen as many as 13 Karma points assigned to a first commenter. Such is life at Reddit.

Upvotes are tricky. They are actually separate from Karma, but the logarithm is a well-kept secret known only to moderators. Every item submitted can be upvoted or downvoted by readers, using the little arrows on the left side of a post. Upvotes show you whether or not people like your post. Downvotes steal your Karma points. You can buy upvotes, believe it or not. Some places are expensive and some are less so. You can buy 100 upvotes for about $10.00 here. You can also improve your Reddit experience by downloading the Reddit Enhancement App. A full list of what this can do for you is located here. Apparently works best if you are using the new Reddit. If you are posting an image on Reddit, you can't do it directly. You have to post it on a site like Imgur and then post a link on Reddit. 

So why go through this ego-smashing hard work?

  1. 82 billion views each year on Reddit - some can be yours
  2. It is the 8th most popular site in the world and 4th in the USA.
  3. The average reader spends a minimum of 15 mins on site.

These are just a few further hints:

  1. NEVER use your real name on Reddit! Everyone can view your profile.
  2. If you publish movie reviews, gaming reviews or any "of the moment events," it has to be posted faster than light speed if you want it read. Reddit wants it before the event is done.
  3. Posts in the form of a question get those comments you want and titles in the form of a question get more views - I can't tell you where I found this out, but I read it somewhere, and it makes sense.
  4. 40% of site views are on a mobile app, so preparing your pics and structure for that format is imperative.

I wish you lots of Karma and upvotes in your endeavors.

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