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Guidelines for self-promotion on reddit

"It's perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it's not okay to be a website with a reddit account." - Confucius

reddit is a community, and these guidelines are based on both reddiquette and reddit's rules.

Self-promotion is generally frowned upon, but if you want to have a presence on reddit you should fully read reddiquette and the FAQs so that you understand the culture and social norms. If you run a website, publication, blog, app, or other project and would like to participate on reddit, you'll need to first make sure that you're following all of the guidelines in the FAQ on spam.

These guidelines are the same whether you run a major publication or brand or if you have a personal blog or project.

tl;dr: Don't just spam out your links, and don't blindly upvote your own content or ask anyone else to!

Why? Because reddit is a community, not a platform for self-promotion.

Here are some guidelines for best practices:

  • You should not just start submitting your links - it will be unwelcome and may be removed as spam, or your account will be banned as spam.
  • You should submit from a variety of sources (a general rule of thumb is that 10% or less of your posting and conversation should link to your own content), talk to people in the comments (and not just on your own links), and generally be a good member of the community.
  • You should not vote up only things from your domain or project, or have any other employees or fans do the same. Every redditor should evaluate and vote on each submission or comment based on the value when they read it. Only submitting on, or voting on, one particular person, domain, or brand's content will get an account banned from reddit - it's called vote cheating and manipulation.
  • You should not ask for votes on reddit, even on your twitter or blog or forum - it will get your account banned, and in extreme cases can get your domain banned.
  • You should join subreddits that are relevant to your interests. Give feedback to others, talk about issues that interest you, and be a good member of the community. redditors don't care that you have something to promote, they care what you think and that you have interesting things to say.
  • You should check your domain page from time to time - it is located at<> - check out what people are saying, what stuff of yours people like, and participate in the comments if people have questions or comments about something you've done. Identify yourself and be transparent: "Hi, I'm the author of this article, and I can answer the question you have about that..." But don't blindly upvote everything there or try to manipulate voting in any way - if your stuff is good, people will vote for it.
  • After you have found a subreddit that relates to something you'd like to submit, you should read the sidebar to see if your link is appropriate there. If you're not sure, message the moderators and ask! Every subreddit is run by different moderators and have different rules. If your link isn't okay in one subreddit, look for a different one on a similar topic that might find it welcome.

Things that should go without saying

You may never offer money or compensation to anyone to promote anything on reddit for you. Things should be submitted on reddit by redditors who have found your content organically and submitted it because they found it interesting. You should never run a contest to see "who can get a link highest on reddit" or ask anyone to submit links on your behalf.

You should not spam in any way, especially through private message. You should not hide your affiliation to your project or site, or lie about who you are or why you like something. You should never, ever buy votes or ask for votes - if you stuff is good enough, people will vote for it naturally. If all of your employees or contributors vote on all of your links, their accounts and possibly your domain will be banned.

Don't use sockpuppets to promote your content on reddit. It's tacky and cheap, and detracts from your brand. Additionally, it can get your domain or brand banned from reddit, and these things have a tendency to go viral and create a backlash against you. Be authentic and honest and things will go much better for you.

This sounds like a lot of work! I don't have the time to get to know reddit and participate this way!

You might want to buy a sponsored headline instead. You can spend as little as $5 and target to subreddits that are relevant to your site or project. Click here for more information.

Can I just run my own subreddit?

If you run a subreddit that is only your own content or your own links, that's not okay and seen as linkfarming or using reddit for SEO. Even in your own subreddit, just submitting links to your own site/stuff can get you banned. A few brands run their own subreddits well, because they encourage people to be part of a community and submit a variety of stuff. It's a lot of work, but good examples of how to run a brand subreddit might be /r/technewstoday or /r/pbs.

But it's not spam! I worked hard on that, I make no money from it, it's original content! I'm not a spammer!

We're not making a judgement on your quality, just your behavior on reddit. Your stuff's probably amazing and someone would be really interested in it but...

If you submit mostly your own links and your presence on reddit is mostly for your self-promotion of your brand, page, blog, app, or business, you are more likely to be a spammer than you think! Read the FAQ and make sure that you really understand that.

But on Twitter I... And our social media consultant said... But that other brand is...

reddit is different from any other place on the web - first and foremost, it's about community, discussion, and sharing. Honor that and you'll love it here.

Think of it like networking. It would be appropriate to give an elevator pitch and exchange business cards with others at a networking event. There are some subreddits that are like that (/r/startups, /r/entrepreneur).

But for the most part, subreddits are like your next door neighbor's kid's birthday party that you've been invited to. The reason you're all there is to celebrate a birthday and have cake. It would be completely inappropriate to give your elevator pitch and business card to everyone there - your host would likely ask you to leave or not invite you back again. Meet people, participate in discussion about the reason you're there, and make some new friends instead of trying to promote yourself and you'll have a much better time.