I can not believe how popular my blog is getting – and how quickly.
A few months back it had less than 2.000 visitors a month. And now? Just look at this:
The numbers boggle my mind. 110.000 people read the blog. In august alone. Wow. And Yay!
How did it happen? Well, the main reason is simple: reddit.
One night back in may I couldn’t sleep. It was the night before my birthday and I must have been too excited about my presents to sleep, so I got up to surf the net instead. On a whim i submitted a post I’d written a while back on the top 10 mistakes managers of geeks make to reddit.
For those who don’t know reddit, it’s a social bookmarking site. If you find a good article, blogpost, joke, video, whatever on the net you can submit it to reddit and other users can see it on the “New” page. People who like it vote it up, people who don’t vote it down. If it gets enough up-votes it appears on the front page and a lot of people will read it.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I submitted that link. The post quickly made the front page of reddit and somebody submitted it to digg where it also made the frontpage. After which the blog promptly died :o) I wrote about the experience here.
Since then several of my posts have made it to the front page –
five six posts in august alone. From there they sometimes make it onto digg and to del.icio.us but it always starts on reddit. You can see my most popular posts on reddit here.
If you have written something you’re proud of and want to share, I highly recommend submitting it to reddit as a way to spread the message. There’s no guarantee that it will get much attention, many of my posts get almost no votes and quickly disappear off the site, but give it a shot. The reddit community appreciates new, surprising, thought-provoking, inspiring ideas. That’s in addition to IT-related articles and sneezing pandas :o)
The best things about this surge in readership have been:
- Infecting people with the idea of happiness at work – Here’s an example that made me very proud.
- Knowing that what I write gets read – Nothing is more motivating when you write than knowing you’ll be read.
- The great comments – The blog gets a lot of great comments. While not everybody agrees with me, the comments are overwhelmingly constructive and inspiring. I have learned a lot about how happiness at work is viewed and practiced in workplaces all over the world.
- Networking – I get in touch with a lot of great people all over the world.
- Readers are sticking around – The blog is getting more and more regular readers and commenters and the number of rss subscribers is constantly climbing.
- The ego-boost – Yes, I get a kick out of writing a popular blog, dammit :o)
The only bad thing I can come up with about all of this is the occasional bout of reddit-withdrawal: The feeling you get when you’ve just had three posts in a row on the front page and now none of your posts make it there :o) You crave the high that comes from knowing that 20.000 people read your latest post.
So a great big thank you from me to everyone who reads this blog and to reddit for bringing them here. Thank you!
If you want to try using reddit to bring attention to your site, here are a few tips:
- Read reddit for a while (both the front page and the new page) to get a sense of what the community tends to vote up or down.
- Contribute actively by reading submissions and voting and commenting on them.
- Read the reddiquette for the dos and donts of reddit.
- Try submitting links from other sites to see how they do and to practise writing good titles.
- Then submit some of your own links. According to the reddiquette, it’s perfectly OK to promote your own stuff on reddit so don’t be shy.
- Remember that even if a link disappears off the new page in minutes, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad entry. Whether or not a submission gets noticed is equally a matter of timing and luck and many perfectly fine submissions sink without a trace.
- Have fun and be a part of the community.
Coming soon: My recipe for good blogposts and tips on how to make writing (for a blog, a book, a thesis or any other writing project) fun and productive. Stay tuned.
By the way: I’m currently working on version 3.0 of the blog together with blog consultant Jacob Bøtter of Connecta so if you have any ideas for how I can make this blog better, I would very much like to hear them! Write a comment or contact me.
And while I’m at it, some credits:
- WordPress rocks! And it’s free.
- For stats I use statcounter – it’s great and it’s free
- I get almost all of the images for the blog at stock.xchng. Most of the pics there are free to use.
- del.icio.us for the links, google for the ads and feedburner for rss.
Here are a few more recent popular posts on the blog:
14 thoughts on “Reddit made my blog a hit”
Give yourself some more credit! Reddit is a cool site but people only vote up interesting posts – so that’s the key to getting more traffic: write great posts.
Keep up the happiness!!
This isn’t a monday tip! :(
Thanks Stuart :o)
Is this better, Stressedmanager:
Congrats! I hadn’t really given Reddit much thought, but I’ll take a look. I’ve been able to drive traffic by submitting my original posts (as well as just news I find interesting) to Netscape and Newsvine (whose design I really love!). When I check my referrers, I’m surprised at the number of people coming from either place. My traffic is up and other users of these services are adding me as friends and voting on my submissions.
Until stuff like this happens, until you actually connect with people, blogging sounds a lot like only one hand clapping. The commenter above has a point on what gets the votes: good posts people want to share. The positive message about happiness is much needed.
Netscape and newsvine sound interesting – thanks for the tip.
And thanks for the kind words!!!
Yeah, the biggest reason I stay at this blog, is because you supply a very steady stream of quality content which inspires me and makes me happy every day. I’m already recommending it to coworkers and using del.icio.us to send them relevant posts.
You’re like the Guy Kawasaki of happiness. Keep it up!
I actually came to this page from Digg. But I guess since the story got picked up at Reddit first, I kind of came through them. I’ve stayed because I find so many of your tips so helpful, and such a refreshing change from how much of the world is. Keep up the good work!
What a great article. It’s cool how you mapped it all out and now other people can use your technique. I’m going do little Reddit research tonight and give it a try this weekend.
Very informative. I use Reddit.com regularly to drive a significant portion of my traffic. Take a look at my site for some examples of what gets on the What’s Hot section frequently.
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
Your, Raiul Baztepo
Alexander, this was really helpful! I have never used Reddit before, but after reading your post I signed up. I will learn how to use it properly and get the best out of it. Glad it really worked for you. I can see that you provide valuable content, really helpful to many people!