What I learned from going viral on Reddit multiple times

Engaging with online communities can significantly enhance your content’s reach and impact. This step-by-step guide provides valuable tips on finding the right communities, meaningfully engaging with them, and driving traffic to your content or product.
Written by
Published on
May 14, 2024

Reddit—the infamous gathering spot for keyboard warriors. Many folks prefer the anonymity it offers, which sometimes leads to a rather negative and passive-aggressive community. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship for me.

I steered clear of Reddit for a long time due to its reputation. However, in the past four to five months, I've ventured onto the platform more frequently. This shift was partly influenced by marketers who've shared stories of their success on Reddit. Plus, as the bootstrapped founder of emailemu.com, I'm always on the lookout for cost-effective ways to attract the right customers without splurging on expensive ad campaigns.

However, navigating Reddit successfully requires a specific approach. If not done right, you risk having your posts removed, facing bans, or encountering negative or no engagement at all—and I've experienced all of these.

Here are some strategies that have helped me succeed on Reddit:

Find the Right Communities

Not every community will suit every type of content, so identify the ones where your target market is likely to hang out. Before you start posting, join some communities, observe, and see what kind of content and people are active there. Pay attention to what content performs well and what doesn’t. For example, I noticed that sometimes people mention their expertise, like “marketer of 10 years here,” before providing comments.

A few of my favorite communities are:

  1. SaaS
  2. Side Projects
  3. Entrepreneurs

Spend Time Engaging in the Communities

Many communities require a specific amount of Karma points to post, which you can earn by engaging with the community, upvoting content, and having people vote on your comments and content. I spent time writing meaningful comments on posts that I found valuable, which helped me gain Karma points and establish my presence.

Don’t Make Your Product the Primary Focus

I experimented with various approaches: directly advertising my product (emailemu.com), including it in lists of favorite tools, or embedding it within longer-form content. I found that writing long-form, story-style, or educational content with my product linked throughout yielded the best results. This approach drove the most traffic to my site and resulted in the highest engagement levels. The key is to provide genuine value to the readers.

Read the Rules

Adhering to community rules is crucial to avoid getting banned or having your posts removed. Each community has its own rules, so take the time to understand them and observe how others post content that fits within these guidelines.

Don’t Respond to All Comments Immediately

Unlike other social platforms, it’s beneficial to give the community time to discuss among themselves before you respond. This strategy can lead to more organic engagement. After about 12 hours, I start responding to the constructive comments and often ignore the negative ones. Sometimes, agreeing with a negative comment can defuse the situation and leave them with nothing else to say.

Post Later in the Evenings

Based on my experience, posting content around 8-9 pm works well. I often find a good amount of comments when I check back in the morning. This timing might vary depending on the specific communities you are targeting.

Incorporate Questions in Your Writing

Including questions in your content can stimulate conversation and engagement. I usually end my posts with a question to encourage feedback. Be prepared for blunt feedback, but remember to take it with a grain of salt. Your intuition can help you distinguish between valid criticism and unhelpful comments.

Vary Your Titles to Fit the Communities

Repurpose your content by tailoring your titles to fit the specific community. For instance, a title that works for a SaaS community might not work for an email marketing community. Sometimes, you may need to tweak the beginning of your post or adjust your hook at the end to better align with the community's interests.

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