If you think you have nothing to learn from your competitors then you’re not looking hard enough. While using Ahrefs to do a competitive link analysis for one of my clients I stumbled on a link building tactic a competitor was using that really should have been more obvious to me.
The tactic I stumbled on has proven to be so impactful that I had to share it. Maybe it’s something you haven’t thought of either, or maybe you tried it before and it didn’t work so well. Either way, I’m going to explain how Reddit can be a valuable source of traffic and links.
Why didn’t I think of using Reddit to build links before? Perhaps I wrote it off in my mind because, surely, a site that essentially allows anyone to post anything is going to no-follow its links right?
Wrong. Reddit does not no-follow its outbound links. I tried to rationalize why that is, and figured that it must be due to Reddit’s ecosystem where users can upvote and downvote content. The most downvoted content doesn’t get displayed at all after a certain point, so if someone posts an obviously spammy link that gets downvoted into oblivion it’s going to get wiped off the face of Reddit anyhow.
That being said, you have to approach link building on Reddit with extreme caution. If it comes across like you’re just on Reddit to build links, you’ll get downvoted, reported, and possibly even banned. On the other hand, if you approach it tactfully you’ll get targeted free traffic and some of that fresh link juice that’s so hard to come by these days.
In this post, I’m going to explain how to build links using Reddit in a way that’s natural, tactful, and community-friendly.
The Right Way To Build Links On Reddit
The entire idea behind building links on Reddit is to share links to articles other people will find useful. When you post a link on Reddit it should be to help people with a question they have asked, or a problem they need to solve.
Ask yourself, “is this link really going to help, or am I just posting it for my own sake?” before posting anything and your Reddit posts should never come across as spammy or self-serving.
Before you go around throwing links anywhere and everywhere, first figure out which communities would most appreciate the links you have to share.
Find The Right Sub-Reddits
There are subreddits for everything, and I guarantee there’s one for your niche.
Let’s say you’re in the business of fixing or modifying cars — you can run a search for “cars” using the search bar on Reddit’s front page. Before the individual results are displayed you’ll see a list of suggested subreddits:
There’s a lot of irrelevant stuff in there, but if you look closely you’ll see /r/cars, /r/Cartalk, /r/MechanicAdvice, and /r/Autos. Those seem like potential communities for link building.
Once you have narrowed down your subreddits, make sure to visit each of them and read the guidelines on the right sidebar. There might be a time when a particular subreddit doesn’t allow links to be posted, in which case you should take that off your list of prospects.
Become Part Of The Community
Is it time to post links yet? No, not quite. Before you even think about doing that, you need to try blending in with the community first. Interact with people, comment on their posts, upvote their content and so on.
On Reddit it’s easy to see a user’s entire history. If the only thing you ever do on Reddit is to post links to your own stuff, someone is going to notice and you’ll get reported.
However, if you engage naturally with the community, and every once in a while slip in a link to something you have published, it won’t raise any red flags.
Look For People Who Need Your Help
Someone out there in Redditland needs your help, you just have to find them. Browse through the subreddits you found and look for people with questions that need answers, or problems that need solving.
For example, if I go to /r/MechanicAdvice, and sort the submissions by date, I see this question right at the top: “Just bought a new car with a manual transmission. How can I be sure to keep the clutch in good shape?”
Do you have an article on your blog about how to maintain a car with manual transmission? Perfect! Give them a hand by posting a link to your article.
This can also be a tremendous source of inspiration for blog topics. If people are asking questions you know the answer to, but don’t have an article about it, you’ll know exactly what to write about next.
Reddit can be a reliable source of links and traffic as long as it’s approached the right way. The Reddit community will weed out link spammers faster than Matt Cutts (when he’s not on leave), so you need to be careful.
If you have any questions about building links on Reddit, or any experiences of your own that you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.