Running an effective business blog requires a steady stream of unique content that your audience finds intriguing. Coming up with fresh ideas for blog posts that your audience wants to read can become tiring unless you have reliable places to extract inspiration.
We’ve written in the past about a number of ways you can come up with post ideas and keep your blog relevant and interesting to your audience. Using unique content types, or enhancing your keyword research, can all help in that process. Today, we want to focus on a source that even advanced marketers often don’t think to tap into, Reddit.
A Quick Reddit Primer
Naturally, any marketer looking to use Reddit to their advantage needs to have an understanding of the medium. This primer will help you get started before delving into its advantages.
What is Reddit?
Reddit describes itself as a ‘bridge for communities. The self-proclaimed front page of the internet offers its almost 250 million unique monthly users the opportunity to share anything from thoughts to trends, which other members of the community can vote up or down for increased exposure. As the infamous YouTuber CPG Grey says in my favorite explanation of Reddit, “If Google is where you go to search for things, Reddit is where you go to see what other people have found.”
The website itself breaks up into countless ‘subreddits’, or groups, typically organized by topic. Almost 1 million subreddits exist on the platform, ranging in popularity from just a handful to more than 6 million members. Each of these groups comes with their own rules, tone, and topic.
The Demographics of Reddit
In terms of demographics, Reddit’s user base occupies an interesting niche. The Pew Research Center found last year that the network’s users tend to be educated, young males, skewing more tech-savvy than the average US population. Especially if your brand is looking to target this often elusive demographic, Reddit can act as a perfect catalyst to learn about their preferences and interests.
Best Marketing Practices
Reddit is not Facebook. Simply running an advertising campaign or trying to establish your own presence will not likely lead to success. Instead, you need to understand the network deeply in order to succeed in using it as a marketing tool.
Social Media Today has outlined a few no-nos and best practices to get you started. Don’t, for example, duplicate your content or engage in excessive blog promotions. Instead of focusing on promotional content, listen to the audience and build your strategy with their preferences in mind.
How to Immerse Yourself Into Reddit
Your first step on Reddit is obvious: create your account to get started. Begin by simply navigating around the platform, familiarizing yourself with its layout, search function, and post types.
You may even want to consider creating a separate account and engaging in a few subreddits that pique your personal interest. Only proceed once you’re acclimated with the interface and structure of the platform.
(Via Imgur, found on Reddit’s /r/aww)
Anatomy of a Reddit Post
In the course of your initial research, you will find individual posts to be the number one piece of media you need to understand and analyze. Here’s what you need to know:
- Once you’ve created an account, you can see the subreddits you’ve joined across the top of your screen. Click on one to see individual posts.
- The most important part of a post is the title. This is what stands out in the subreddit overview as well as any home pages to which popular posts get promoted.
- Author name and link domain are both shown next to the title, giving you a quick overview and prediction of what the post might actually be about.
- Clicking on the title expands the actual post content.
- Each post includes ‘up’ and ‘down’ vote buttons on which users can show their preference to the type, helping that post climb the ranks in the subreddits.
- Comments are arranged in threads, allowing users to comment on the post itself or keep a conversation going with other commenters.
Mining Reddit to Unearth New Blog Post Ideas
Once you’ve gained an in-depth understanding of Reddit, it’s time to use it as a blog post ideation tool. Two general strategies can help you get started.
1. Scour Subreddits
Naturally, your first stop should be the subreddits that your audience actually reads and participates in. Some examples include:
In scouring these subreddits, you’re looking for timely discussions of industry topics, frequently asked questions, and answers to questions you could potentially address better. Keep a running list of the subreddits and users that you feel can bring you blog ideas reliably and consistently.
Of course, you’re not restricted to your individual industry. If you are looking to think outside the box, and address your audience’s need for emotion in addition to rationality, try one of the countless fun subreddits on the platform. Examples include
Given the sheer plethora of subreddits available both in your industry and for general topics, you won’t run out of supply for blog ideas. When the well dries up in one group, simply move onto the next for a continued flow of content ideas.
2. Participate in Industry AMAs
AMA on Reddit is short for Ask Me Anything, a crowdsourced Q&A in which experts on the topic answer questions from anyone in the subreddit. Everyone from Barack Obama and Bill Gates have answered an AMA. As I type this post the leading AMA is “I plugged a USB in on the first try, AMA“.
(Via Imgur, found on Reddit’s /r/gifs)
For your brand, that means finding the Q&As most relevant to your brand. Follow thought leaders in your industry, along with the relevant subreddits, and watch the AMA as it occurs. The questions asked can be a great resource for ideas on content that your audience actually cares about.
If you feel comfortable enough on the network, and have already or aim to establish yourself as a thought leader, you can even host your own AMA. This guide can help you get started in the process.
Bonus Tools to Optimize Your Reddit Efforts
Finally, it’s important to note that using Reddit for blog post ideas does not have to be a randomized process. In fact, a number of tools can help you more strategically find content that could help you optimize your blogging presence.
- TrackReddit allows you to streamline your social listening efforts on the platform. Track your keywords of choice, and receive either an automatic notification or daily summary once they are included in a new post. A free version allows you to track 3 keywords at a time, while paid alternatives expand the range.
- Reddit Keyword Monitor Pro is an app that integrates into your Hootsuite dashboard. Track keywords, refine your search by limiting it to posts or comments, and get a comprehensive analytical overview of recurrence to gauge audience interest.
- Google Keyword Planner. If you use Google AdWords as part of your content marketing efforts, this tool can be particularly helpful for reverse-engineering the above social listening efforts. Find a topic on your subreddit of choice, and plug the URL to the comment section into the Keyword Planner. Google will now spit out both the most common keywords appearing in the thread, and their viability (in PPC terms, of course) for further marketing efforts.
(Via Imgur, found on Reddit’s /r/gifs)
Once you’ve truly immersed yourself into the medium, you’ll be surprised just how many post ideas you can dig out of it. And of course, once you have the content, you need to know how to fit it into your blogging strategy!
Download Verblio’s (formerly BlogMutt) editorial calendar below to plan out your month of blog posts and strategically implement the ideas you’ve mined from Reddit.