How to Use Reddit – The Beginner’s Guide

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 In this Reddit tutorial, you’ll get an overview of what this social site is all about, how to use Reddit to promote your blog or website, and why you should use it as part of your business marketing efforts.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to using Reddit

2. Submitting Links and Reddit’s Voting System

3. Using Reddit as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

4. Reddit Glossary

1. Introduction to How to Use Reddit

1.1 What is Reddit?

Reddit is a social bookmarking website with more than 170,000,000 unique visitors each month that allows you to submit links (or text with links) pointing to various web pages and resources like images, videos, blog articles, or just ideas and thoughts. Once submitted, people can upvote or downvote your link, write comments, ask questions, and generally interact with whatever you’re trying to show them.

1.2 Reddit’s Structure – What are the subreddits?

Reddit is divided into categories called subreddits, each of which has a topic and usually its own niche community of people interested in it. For example, the second most popular subreddit is called AdviceAnimals (~4 million subscribers) and is targeted towards animal lovers. Another similar but more-targeted subreddit is the cats one (~200 000 subscribers).

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When you first enter Reddit, you are presented with a list of popular links from different subreddits that you are subscribed to by default – usually the biggest and most general ones. This is called The Front Page and is a syndication of the most upvoted and commented links.

Each subreddit is essentially a page on its own with unique content, branding, rules, and audience.

1.3 Creating an Account on Reddit

Using Reddit is all about content submission and upvoting. In order to submit a link you’ll need to create an account, but don’t worry – it takes only a minute, and an email confirmation is not required.

It’s generally a good idea to verify your account nevertheless, since if you ever forget your password there’ll be no other way to retrieve a new one.

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1.4 Subscribing to and using Sub-Reddits

Once you are logged in, the first thing you’ll see is a slightly different Front Page. On the left you see a panel with a few tabs, the “Subscribed” one highlighted by default – that’s your default front page with all the subreddits you’re subscribed to by default. In order to unsubscribe, click the EDIT link at the top right corner to see a full list with all the subreddits and your own list of subscriptions.

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1.5 Adding Friends on Reddit

Reddit is a social community so it’s pretty normal to be able to add friends to your account and actually follow their posts and comments. Adding friends is easy – just go to Preferences -> Friends, and from there you can add, delete, and view a list of all your friends.

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In order to view submissions only from your friends, just go to

Here is a related article on How to search Reddit users.

1.6 What are the MultiReddits?

In order to learn how to use reddit effectively you must understand the idea behind multireddits.

On the panel on the left of your Front Page, you’ll see a “Multireddits” sub-panel. A multireddit is a relatively new feature that basically allows you to create multiple customized front pages, basically combining subreddits. Let’s say you are on Reddit for fun so you want to be subscribed to Funny, WTF, gifs, videos, pics, and other general subreddits where you can find amusing content to share on Facebook. So you subscribe to all these subreddits to see them on your front page. But what if you have an animal or you are a veterinary and sometimes you want to easily filter that front page with only the relevant subreddit information, like links from AnimalAdvice and Veterinary?

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So instead of manually going into each subreddit, you create a multireddit and add subreddits to it. Then you can easily switch between your default front page and your multireddits, instantly changing the links feed you get on your front page.

You might be wondering why is necessary if you have only a couple of subreddits that you are interested in. If that’s the case – it’s probably not worth it. But if you are a hardcore Redditor (that’s how Reddit users are called on Reddit), you’ll probably find this handy when using Reddit. Or if you are a marketer and use Reddit because you work for several clients and projects – you want to keep them separate and easily manageable.

2.0 Submitting Links and Reddit’s Voting System

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Using Reddit is all about link submissions and voting. Let’s find out how we can submit a link and what we can do after that.

2.1 Submitting a link

So now you have an account, you have an idea about how to use Reddit’s structure and you are ready to post your first content. But how do you use Reddit’s submission system?

For each subreddit, you can submit either a URL (the Submit a new link button) or a text post (the Submit a new text post button). You can find these buttons either on your front page or on the right side of each subreddit. Once you click it, you’re presented with a simple form with a few fields where you can specify a title, URL, a subreddit (if you’ve come here through the front page), and text (if you’ve clicked the “Submit a new text post” button).

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Read more: Top 10 mistakes new Redditors make

2.2 Upvoting & Downvoting

Once submitted, your link is live and visible to everyone on the subreddit you’ve chosen to post to. Now your audience can upvote and downvote your link, comment on it, and also upvote/downvote the comments themselves. The more upvotes your link receives, the higher the subreddit list it will be, and the more exposure it’ll get for your content. This is how to get popular on Reddit. Note that the final score for your link (i.e. the total number of votes it gets) equals the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes, so if you get 50 upvotes and 51 downvotes – guess how much your score will be – zero.

You must understand that staying higher on the list of links on any subreddit is crucial to using Reddit effectively and is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to the total score of your submission. Reddit’s algorithm measures all the activity around your link, including the number of upvotes, the number of downvotes, the number of comments, the upvotes/downvotes on each comment, the speed of upvoting/downvoting, the speed of commenting, the number of views and clicks your link gets, the karma of the people that upvote, your own karma, et cetera. (we talk about karma below)

I’ll say it again – learning how to get on the front page of Reddit is absolutely crucial for your marketing efforts. How to use Reddit should be a synonym of how to get and stay on the front page.

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2.3 Commenting

Commenting while using Reddit is crucial. That is how you get popular on Reddit. Each link can be commented on and each comment can have sub-comments, upvotes, and downvotes on itself. The more upvotes your comment has, the higher in the comments list it’ll get.

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Top comments usually spawn discussions, get shared, and rank higher in search engines. At the same time, the links inside the comments are do-follow so this is one of the ways to use Reddit’s comments to drive traffic and promote your blog or website.

2.4 Formatting Your Comments

Commenting is crucial, but adding formatting to your comments is also quite important. This will make them visually more appealing and therefore increase their engagement rate. A good place to start with when learning how to format your comments is Reddit’s Comments FAQ, which is very easy to read so I suggest you read it now, it takes only a minute. For a more elaborate Reddit guide on formatting, have a look at this Reddit Formatting Tutorial.

2.5 Linking to Comments

As a final note on commenting, linking to a comment can be quite useful. Under the comment itself, there is a “Permalink” text. When you click it, you’ll be redirected to a page designated to that particular comment. In order to share the comment, just copy the URL of that page.

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2.6 Account Karma

There’s the concept of Karma on Reddit – that’s the number displayed just next to your account, which is usually 1 for new accounts. And getting account karma while you use Reddit is generally a good idea.

Karma is one of the gamification techniques used to engage Redditors (that’s how Reddit’s users are usually called throughout the site). You get karma when your submissions, both links, and comments, get upvotes. And you lose karma when people downvote you.

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2.7 Benefits of Having High Karma

Karma is not something you can redeem or otherwise benefit from in a tangible manner. It’s pretty similar to credits on Quora, but there you can actually ask more questions and promote more content. In Reddit all you get is prestige, some Redditors take pride in their karma. You basically earn social recognition in the community by providing help and valuable information for free.

Or at least that’s the idea.

For a marketer, however, Reddit is not a game, therefore we are more interested in how to use Reddit’s karma to get exposure for our blog, website, and business in general. There is one major benefit you get from having high karma which relates to marketers, but we’ll talk more about that below.

2.8 What is Reddit’s Reddiquette ?

Rediquette is basically the “etiquette” that every “Redditor” is supposed to follow in order to not be kicked out either manually from a moderator or automatically by the filter. Reddit’s filter is a major element of the whole ecosystem and you have to understand its role and the way it’s supposed to work in order to take the maximum out of Reddit’s traffic using it. Needless to say, you need to at least skim through the rediquette before you post anything. You can’t use Reddit if you’re banned.

2.9 Reddit’s Moderators

No tutorial on how to use Reddit can go without this. Each subreddit has a moderator or moderators who look after all the submissions, and most of the comments and are generally trying to make people respect Reddit’s etiquette. Most of the moderators take this quite seriously so you probably want to adhere to the rules of the specific subreddit. Note that these rules are different from the general Reddit rules and are unique per subreddit, you can usually find them on the right side of the page or somewhere around the post submission form.

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3.0 How to Use Reddit as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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Now that you have a general idea about Reddit’s structure and general usage, let’s talk a little bit about why you would want to use Reddit as part of your marketing strategy and what to expect.

3.1 Types of People Who Use Reddit

There are two types of people on Reddit – consumers and marketers.

The consumers are the majority of users who use Reddit to read the news, articles of interest related to their work and hobbies, or just to have fun watching and sharing entertaining videos and images on social networks, participating in communities, and commenting on relevant for them topics.

The marketers are all the people who actually use Reddit to sell something in a non-direct, non-obtrusive way also known as inbound marketing – by creating a sales funnel around interesting content that is relevant to their target audience. You can recognize the role of the subreddit here as a place where your target market gathers. So in addition to learning how to Reddit in general, you must master the subreddits where your prospects hang out.

3.2 Reddit’s Purpose from a Business Perspective

Aside from the standard “community”, “cultural” and “helping and sharing with others” mentality discussed in both Reddiquette and various articles on the internet, Reddit’s purpose is making money. The website is venture-backed and a significant amount of money has already been put in there. You don’t think the founders have created it for the sake of just helping others with no intention of monetization, don’t you?

3.3 The Battle for Upvotes

Having said that, it’s pretty obvious that everyone fights for upvotes. And “upvote” here is just a synonym for “exposure”, and most of the marketers who use Reddit are very much aware of that. reddit upvotes battle 1 300x200 - How to Use Reddit – The Beginner’s Guide

Without getting into much detail, Reddit is nothing more than a giant marketing machine with a ton of marketers, PRs, small business owners, and growth hackers who are trying to penetrate Reddit’s defenses (which we’ll discuss below and in general throughout Reddit Secrets) at any given time. That’s what this Reddit tutorial is about.

Because the more upvotes you get, the more traffic you get, the more people you attract to your marketing funnel, and the more conversions and profit your business generates.

And by “penetrating Reddit’s defenses” I mean manipulating your submission’s score. That’s why there are manual and automatic protection mechanisms in place. How to use Reddit to promote your blog if you can’t even submit your link?

3.4 Reddit’s Filter – The Algorithm You Want to Know About

There are two types of spam protection on Reddit – Manual and Automatic.

The manual line of defense is the moderators who watch for any non-trustworthy submissions like people trying to directly advertise their product or blog there. Do you want to advertise? Buy an ad from them. 🙂 That’s probably the dumbest way to use Reddit to drive traffic though, unless you have substantial funding backing you. A better way would be to buy Reddit upvotes, for example. Or even buy Reddit accounts?

Reddit’s Filter is the automatic protection system that determines whether your submission will be accepted or not. And it’s brutal. If your submission gets caught by the spam filter, you won’t even see that. After you click submit, you’ll see your post “Live” but in fact, it wouldn’t be live until approved by the system. The only way to see if your link is actually there is to log out and search for your submission in the subreddit’s list. If it’s not – you are screwed.

This, of course, is exactly due to the tremendous amount of people trying to cheat the system, just like any other social website like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don’t believe me? Type “Buy Facebook Followers” on Google and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Reddit is no exception.

3.5 Reasons to Get Caught by the Filter

When you post a link and it doesn’t show up after a couple of minutes two things might have happened. First – your link is caught by the filter. And second – your account has been banned. Or rather “shadowbanned”, more on that here.

The different subreddits have different filter rules and there are different factors that increase the chance of getting caught in the filter, including lack of action diversity and low account karma.

And here’s where the karma comes in place – every marketer wants to be able to post as many links as he wants and upvote as much as necessary while using Reddit. If not careful though, his journey will be short.

3.6 How to Use Reddit Without Getting Caught by the Filter?

Here’s where it gets complex. And a beginner’s tutorial on Reddit is definitely not the place to write on that topic, so let’s keep that for later articles.

I hope you enjoyed this small reddit guide! I’ll finish this with a brief glossary of terms commonly used by Redditors.

Keep reading Reddit Secrets to find more tips about how to get on the front page of Reddit!

4.0 Reddit Glossary

What is AMA?

Ask Me Anything, commonly used in or the original

What is a MEME?

An idea, concept, or a catchphrase that spreads on the internet very fast.

What is NSFW?

Not Safe For Work. Don’t open these while you use Reddit!

What is SFW?

Safe For Work 🙂

What is Reddit Gold?

Another tier of currency, basically pre-paid points that unlock features and donate Reddit. You can also gift Reddit Gold to another member.

What is TIL?

Today I Learned – there’s an actual subreddit dedicated to that.

What is TL; DR?

Too Long, Didn’t Read

What is OP in Reddit?

This stands for Original Poster. Often used in comments to refer to the person who posted the link.

What is MIC?

More In Comments

What is IIRC?

If I Recall Correctly

What’s an upvote on Reddit?

Something you want while using Reddit. The more upvotes your link/comment gets, the higher in the subreddit rankings it’ll get.

What’s a downvote in Reddit?

The opposite of an upvote – something you don’t want for your submission. 🙂

What’s Reddiquette?

The general Reddit guide on how to behave while using it, guidelines, and rules. Can be found here.

What’s Karma in Reddit?

Account’s score – upvotes on your links/comments increase your karma, and downvotes decrease it. Having higher karma decreases the chances of your submission being caught by Reddit’s filter.