Reddit: Proving content is KING

by treysmith on January 5, 2012

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’ve been a bit addicted to this little site called the last few months.

If you’ve never heard of Reddit, it’s really simple.  If you find something cool online you can link to it.  That’s neat and all but it’s been done a million times.  Where reddit is different is they build small COMMUNITIES around it.

See, let’s say you are into skateboarding and you live in a small town in Wisconsin.

Chances are there is not a skate park near by or a thriving “skate scene”.  If this is the case you might look online to meet with other skate enthusiast and talk shop.

Reddit is PERFECT for small niche stuff like this.  Here you can talk with over 5,000 other people DAILY who are interested in Skatebaording.  There are over one hundred thousand thriving communities on there.  You can think of about ANYTHING and there are people talking about it.  I check stuff like funny pictures, video games, music, marketing and more.

What’s also amazing is the fact all these subcommunities form a large active community that actually has PUBLIC MEETUPS in every major city.  Colleges throw “reddit parties” and more.

What fascinates me is the site is not very pretty.  From a design perspective it’s extremely simple.  Also, besides that ad on the bottom-right, they do hardly any other advertising:

Crazy stuff, but the stats they just released are even more amazing.

First off they got over 2 BILLION page views last month. That’s a lot of damn people.  It ranks them in the top 55 traffic sites in the US.

Not only that, the average viewer stays on the site for 16 minutes.  That is insane.  In the  mobile game world it’s a STRUGGLE to keep people on more than 3 minutes if you don’t have a social game.

So if it’s not the design of the site that attracts people, then maybe they are brilliant marketers?

Nope… in this same article they mention the following:

  1. We don’t get traffic through ads.
  2. We don’t participate in any traffic trading.
  3. We don’t email our users (unless they choose to enter an email and then forget their password).
  4. We don’t harass users to sign up.
  5. We don’t harass users to invite their friends.
  6. We don’t pester you to download our app.
  7. We don’t use slideshows and other pageview gimmicks.
  8. We don’t know anything about SEO.
  9. We don’t integrate with Facebook.
  10. We don’t even link to our Facebook or twitter accounts.

So where in the world do they get traffic?!

Simple.  It’s 100% VIRAL.   Maybe it’s a friend telling a friend, someone finding a link online while searching on a forum board or someone mentions it on the news…. who knows, but it’s done with no advertising budget and WITHOUT doing the typical marketing tricks.

After getting into creating mobile games, I started studying viralility a good bit.  I have no clue if viralility is a real word, but let’s pretend it is 😉

There is ONE THING that is common with ALL THINGS that go viral.  It’s KILLER CONTENT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

That’s reddit’s secret.  The content is TOP NOTCH.  People only see what the community UPVOTES to the top.  Since it’s community driven rarely does something rise to the top that is not interesting.

It doesn’t matter if it’s angry birds, the keyboard cat or a site like reddit, it doesn’t grow naturally unless it’s great.

Regardless if you’re an internet marketer or getting into the app busienss, don’t forget to focus on creating something really great.  All the marketing in the world won’t help you grow a real business full of duds.

Talk soon,

Trey Smith


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Trey Smith develops iPhone Apps (including the Top 25 game, Jump Pack) and has a couple internet marketing companies. He's been a full time internet marketer for 6 years and currently lives in San Diego.

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