Are you happy with your writing income? If not, I strongly urge you to start promoting your work on reddit.com, a media-sharing/social-media site where members swap links to interesting articles, pics, videos and more.
I’ve been a member of reddit for 11 months and regularly post links to my Associated Content articles there. As a result, my AC income has risen significantly, from around a few bucks a piece to more than $10, in some cases.
Articles that had stopped making money suddenly began generating revenue again. Several articles made twice, three times, even four times more than they had in the past.
One piece, “How to Wipe Your Hard Drive Clean,” went from about 1,000 page views to over 10,000.
But this is only a small taste of what is achievable. I promoted a friend’s piece yesterday on reddit and it earned more than $6 overnight.
Another friend was able to generate $1246 in a single day from his article Credt cards: Dirty little secrets. (For more on this particular example, see my interview and his tell-all article about his success.)
So how does one go about successfully promoting content on reddit? Here are a few tips:
Study the Site
Spend a few days just browsing reddit. See which articles are popular and try to figure out why. Pay particular attention to how titles to these popular links are written. Check out the different categories.
During the course of your day, try and look for and think of things that you could post links to on reddit. If you read something in the news you think redditers would like, post a link to it on the site. I often hear news items on the radio I think redditers would be interested in, then rush to my computer, find a similar news story online and quickly post a link to it.
You’ll discover that not all news items will be appreciated. Sometimes it’s because it has already been posted, sometimes because your title just doesn’t grab them.
Write a Catchy Title
When you’re ready to post links to your own Helium articles, note that the descriptor is key. Don’t use normal titles. They tend to be boring, and redditers are well-read people who want their attention grabbed.
Often the best approach is to lift a full sentence or two from the piece. But make sure the sentences are controversial, interesting, or leave the reader wanting to know more.
For example, I wrote a review of one of my favorite science fiction novels and the AC title was: “Book reviews: Ilium, by Dan Simmons.”
My post didn’t get noticed with that heading, but it got 96 up-votes and 52 comments when I used the first sentence of my article instead: “If you’re a fan of hard science fiction, Greek mythology, or just love to sit down with an absorbing book that will capture your imagination, then this novel is for you.”
You’ll notice that the title is quite long. Reddit allows fairly long descriptors (much longer than Digg, for example), and you should take full advantage of them.
You may also have noticed that I posted the same link twice. Actually, what I did was delete my first link and resubmit it under the new title. This is allowed on Reddit, but not on any other media-sharing/social-media site I know of.
Choose the Right Category
File your link under the appropriate category. Redditers nail people who don’t do this, giving you a zero faster than you can say “miscategorized.”
My book-review link didn’t do well under the general “reddit” category, for example, but got an enthusiastic following under “sci fi.” You’ll find a list of reddit categories in a banner across the top of the site. Click “more” for the complete set.
Submit When Traffic is Heaviest
Post your link when the highest number of redditors are online. From my experience, around 6 p.m. on Sundays is the best time.
If your article is time-sensitive, like a breaking news piece, then don’t hesitate to submit it right away, at any time of day or night. If it’s interesting, with a good descriptor, it’ll get noticed and up-voted quickly.
If your piece is timeless, or can wait, then other favorable times are right before 9 a.m. on weekdays (when people surf the Net before starting work), noon (for lunch-break surfers) and weekday evenings.
Because of Reddit’s generous policy of allowing link deletion and resubmission and the posting of the same link to multiple categories, you may be tempted to submit your article in several places, or to simply delete and resubmit whenever your link gets a zero.
Don’t do this.
It’s considered spamming and you’ll get penalized. Redditers will leave comments cursing you as a spammer and you may get tagged as a serial offender, putting all your submissions at risk. (Angry Redditers may go through all your submissions and down-vote each one.)
Please keep reddit spam-free. I say this as a member who loves the site. If you’ve made a few attempts and your article isn’t being up-voted, move on and promote another piece. Don’t try and force-feed redditers something they’ve already indicated they don’t like.