7 Lessons Reddit Taught Me the Hard Way

My Week as a Reddit Spammer Cover

I had so much fun writing about my Pinterest struggle in 6 Ways Pinterest Gives me the Best Ideas and the Worst Anxiety that I’ve decided to keep the ball rolling and document all my attempts to broadcast on social media. Next up is Reddit, the self-crowned “front page of the internet”.

1. I am Social Media Inept

Turns out joining Reddit is like navigating a foreign country. If you don’t spend a few minutes learning the local dialect and familiarizing yourself with the culture you could offend someone, sustain an injury or receive a flat-out ban like the one Norway gave Snoop Dogg.

It took a series of blunders for me to assimilate myself into Reddit. Now, in the interest of good Karma (Reddit’s term for “meaningless internet points”), I am going to share the few tidbits I picked up along the way.

2. Reddit WILL drive traffic to your blog

In order to post something on Reddit you have to select a “Subreddit” or a community centered around a specific topic. Right away I set my sights on a handful of subreddits that were relevant to my crafty target reader, like r/SomethingIMade, r/HowTo and r/Crafts. Each subreddit has a complex set of rules which need to be carefully reviewed by a team of legal experts from a firm with at least four names before you actually contribute anything. I am not one for reading directions so I went all-in and randomly selected three DIY-related posts and stuck one on each subreddit.

IT WORKED! Reddit is nothing if not a willing and interactive audience. Redditers are genuinely eager to share thoughts and ideas and discover new things. If you post something on Reddit, people from all over the world will actually check it out. For a couple days I basked in a massive spike in unique visitors to

3. Reddit is the Soup Nazi of Social Media platforms

No Soup for You

Apparently you’re really not supposed to use Reddit to drive traffic to your blog. A couple days later I got an ominous message from the moderators of r/HowTo:

My R/HowTo Ban Notice

In other words, no soup for you! At this point I realized it was probably time to go back and decipher the requirements of each subreddit I followed.

4. The fact that Reddit Karma is useless does not make me want it any less

Crude Creativity Reddit Karma

There’s something in human nature that makes accumulating points desirable. Whether it’s credit card rewards points, unused vacation days, gold stars dished out liberally to kindergartners or Reddit Karma – it is really fun and sickeningly addicting to watch your stockpile grow. 

On Reddit, “Karma” is obtained by achieving more upvotes than downvotes. In other words, if more of the people who react to a post or comment on Reddit liked it than disliked it, the Redditer who posted it receives Karma.

Karma on Reddit is worth $0.00. Furthermore. having a lot of it does not give you any advantage over other site users. In spite of that, I can’t help but get excited when my Karma starts to climb.

5. Redditers are like a big family

And by family I mean a group of bored strangers willing to say anything to each other with no fear of repercussions. For example, if you inquire whether a pair of pants make you look fat you might get the following responses:

  • Friend: “no, not at all! You look great. You should consider buying them in another color.”
  • Family member: “you look fine but I think the skirt you had on earlier might be more flattering”
  • Redditer: “IMHO you look super fat. I’m not convinced it’s the pants tho. You might just be fat.”

6. Brace yourself for some light Cyberbullying

I decided to share a photo of the Peppermint Coasters I made last week on the Subreddit r/SomethingIMade. Below is my post which I was very proud of at the time.

Reddit Post - Peppermint Coasters

I went about my day and checked back ten minutes later. I was thrilled to see that two people had already commented! That is, until I actually read their comments . . .

Reddit Peppermint Coasters - First Two Comments

As someone who is new to putting myself out there on the internet, these comments from complete strangers packed a punch. At this point I had a choice – I could delete the post, follow through on my gut reaction to respond with something crazy and expletive-laced or actually engage with these clowns. Against my better judgement I went with the third option . . .

Reddit Peppermint Coasters - Initial Follow Up

As you can see from the thread, Woxihuan was NOT A FAN of my peppermint coasters.

7. Don’t get discouraged, internet trolls are people too

At this point I was pretty mortified but I tried to keep it positive. Pretty soon my upbeat tone caught on. Take note of all the numbers in red – those are random onlookers reading this thread and “upvoting”.

Reddit Peppermint Coaster Battle - Conclusion

After that, hundreds of upvotes followed, With them came dozens of comments containing kindly-worded encouragement and well-thought out questions.

Final thoughts

As a brand new blogger I think Reddit is a great way to work on thickening my skin. It is also an awesome community of people willing to answer questions and provide honest feedback. I’m taking a week or two off to recover from the trauma of my first Reddit experiences; however, I will be back to fight another day.

That’s all for now. I’d turn around and share this on Reddit but I’m worried I’d end up in some dark internet holding cell alongside Jake the Jailbird.

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