7 Tips for getting started with Reddit
I have a confession. I had no idea what in the heck reddit is or why people spend so much of their free time on the site. I am what some people might call an advanced internet user. I know how to use several social networks, and I can even write and publish a blog post on a blog about making money on the internet. However, I have / had no idea how or why I would want to visit reddit. Reddit refers to itself as the front page of the internet, so it must be pretty popular. I am a curious guy and I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out) about all things internet so I decided to jump on into the reddit pool. Here are 7 tips for getting started with Reddit that I have picked up in my short time as a redditor.
1. Jump in and get started
Reddit is all about community. It is a place where like minded people can agree and most often disagree on all kinds of different topics. My first tip for getting started with reddit is creating an account. This might sound like a silly as a first step as there is so much content that you can read on reddit. The magic of reddit is the interaction and community feedback.
Read the rules and policies. Reddit users are serious about adhering to the rules and keeping the place as high quality as possible.
Once you have briefed yourself on the rules and have created a user account head back to the home page at www.reddit.com and start browsing around to see if anything interests you.
On the homepage you are presented with a list of articles. These are the most popular articles on the internet at any given time, based upon reddit algorithms and user voting / sharing.
Further dissecting the homepage and navigation. Let’s look at one reddit item. To the far left you can see the vote count and the up vote / down vote links. To the right of that you will see a thumbnail of the image if one is included. Then there is the title of the article, image or comment that also serves as a link to the content. Under the content of the item you will see the comment count and link view the comments and links to share, save, hide and report the item.
Navigation throughout reddit is consistent so getting familiar with the way things work. Do not head over to reddit quite yet, I don’t want to lose you forever. Finish reading through the 7 tips to getting started with reddit before you start down the rabbit hole.
2. Join a few subreddits and personalize the experience
Reddit is actually composed of subreddits. All of the posts you see on the homepage are actually submitted to a subreddit. Subreddits are smaller communities that are focused on a single subject matter. For example there is a funny subreddit, which is focused on, you guessed it, humor. Subreddits are notated like this /r/funny. So if you were to type in www.reddit.com/r/funny you would be taken to the funny subreddit.
A lot of reddit’s popularity stems from the personalization. You can cater your reddit experience to your preferences. If you are a big anime fan, there is a reddit for that, r/anime, and that is actually only one of the many anime subreddits on the site.
By default you are added to a few of the most popular and general interest reddits on the site. The real magic of reddit starts happening when you join subreddits that interest you.
There are a few ways to find and subscribe to subreddits that interest you. The first and more passive method for subscribing to new subreddits is noticing where the articles you find interesting on the homepage were submitted. The illustration below indicates the subreddit this was posted to.
The second method for joining a subreddit is actively seeking them out. Reddit’s search feature is a great way to find new subreddits. When you are on the search screen enter terms that best describe your interests. For example, if you are interested in entrepreneurship or small business, type small business into the search bar.
Reddit will return results based upon your query, but it will also recommend subreddits that match your search terms.
Click through into a subreddit that interests you. On the sidebar, the right of the page, all of the rules of the subreddit are available. If you feel the subreddit is a good match, click on the subscribe link near the top of the sidebar.
When first starting out with reddit, you want to add a few subreddits right away to start catering the site to your interests. The first few times I checked out reddit I was completely lost. I am one of the few internet users on the planet that doesn’t enjoy silly cat gif’s. I know I am a monster. But seriously, the default reddit homepage is full of gifs and funny pictures, which just don’t do it for me. Once I added a few subreddits the reddit homepage was full of content that I was interested in.
3. Upvote comments and posts that interest you or that you like.
If you have been following along in the 7 tips to getting started with reddit, you should have created an account and joined a few subreddits by now. If you have not, please go back up to the top of the article and get started!
Reddit is all about the community. There are always more vocal members in any community. To get the most out of your reddit experience you will want to contribute as well. Jumping right in and commenting or posting is not the move.
When you are first starting out, you actually won’t have enough karma to post an article in any subreddits. You read the rules and regulations right? You understand what I am saying about having enough karma?
While you can’t post an article or maybe even comment, you can upvote any items that interest you. You can also downvote any items that do not interest you. If you come across an item that you like, upvote it. The upvote will do a few things for you. It will help reddit get a better understanding of your likes and dislikes. Your voting will also help reddit move items up and down for other reddit users. Again, this is a community, you are helping other users like you find great cat gifs or interesting articles.
You can vote on almost all content on reddit. If you like or dislike a comment you can vote on it. Same for a reply to a comment, etc.
4. Comment on some of the posts within your favorite subreddits
In step 3 you worked on loosening up your contribution muscles. You have upvoted or downvoted a few articles and comments. You are ready to really jump into the reddit community. You are ready to write your first comment.
While in one of your subreddits you should notice there are a few reddits structured as questions. When I am in the /r/entrepreneur subreddit I always see questions that I know the answer to or that I have had experience with.
First I will scan through the existing comments to see if there are any comments similar to my point of view. If there are similar comments I will typically just up vote and maybe reply to one of the existing comments with my slight variation or refinement. If there are no existing comments similar to what I wanted to write I will enter my own comment. Depending upon how much time I have and how interested I am in the topic, I might write a few sentences or few hundred words.
Adding my input is pretty easy as these are typically topics I am passionate about and that I have a good amount of experience in subject matter.
After entering comments make sure to keep track of your inbox. In the event someone replies to your comment you will want to reply back. Reddit is about community. If someone is trying to engage in conversation keep the conversation going.
5. Keep it positive
Trolls give the internet and reddit a bad name. With anonymity comes great power! If you have browsed through some comments on popular items within subreddits you have probably noticed some pretty nasty comments. The moderators and community do their best to keep them out, but some will sneak through.
Even when you disagree with an item or comment. There are ways to do it that add value to the conversation. If you disagree with a comment, write the reason why you disagree. Make a valid point about the item, not the person making the comment. You can also downvote content you don’t agree with.
I know I have said it a few times, but reddit is truly all about the community. Positive contributions only increase the value of reddit to each one of its community members. Negative contributions have the opposite effect.
6. For the love of god do not self promote
If you have made it this far in the article I am going to level with you. Most people first visit reddit to use it for their own benefit. I know, it is disgusting. Yours truly is no exception. The first time I went to reddit I wanted to post an article and watch the traffic flow into my site.
That is not how reddit works. Even if I was able to sneak a link to my site somewhere on reddit, the community would have rejected it. They would have seen right through my attempt to harness the power of reddit for my own personal benefit. Not cool.
Reddit is a great place to share your work with the community, but with one major caveat. You should only share your work when it fits and is appropriate. If it is not overly apparent to you that it is the right time to share some of your work then it probably isn’t
Redditors do not take kindly to outsiders coming in and spamming their community. You don’t like spam either. If your self promotion doesn’t fit within a subreddit then it might not be the right place for you to share it.
7. Limit your time on the site.
Congratulations. You have made it to the final tip out of 7 tips to getting started with reddit. If you have followed all of the steps you are on your way to having a full fledged reddit addiction. Trust me, it’s a thing. Do yourself a favor and limit your time on the site. There are so many users and so much content that a simple refresh at any time will provide you with all new content.
I like to jump in first thing in the morning and write a few comments. Getting into the comments and writing on a topic that I am passionate about has been a great way for me to work on my writing muscles without focusing on writing.
I will head back over to the site during my lunch break and read some of the more interesting articles on the site.
Best of luck on reddit, please let me know if you have any other tips in the comments.
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