Social media is a big deal these days. As a creative professional, networking is a big part of getting your work out there for others to see. Twitter, Behance, Facebook, 500px, Dribbble and others are all valuable tools that we can use to showcase our work and make contacts. However, when you think of social media, Reddit is not often the first site that comes to mind. In this article we’ll talk about how to pull in the reigns on this enormous site, and use it as a source of inspiration, resources, and information. If you’ve heard a little about Reddit but aren’t sure how to go about using it, this will be a helpful guide.
When you first visit the site, it can be a lot to take in. The design is strictly barebones, with hardly anything but links to different content from all over the internet. Understanding the structure of the site and why you’re seeing what you’re seeing is the key to using the site effectively. Let’s break it down a little bit.
The Front Page
The first thing you see when you visit the site is referred to as the Front Page. It’s Reddit’s version of a homepage, and contains links that are aggregated from every subreddit that you’re subscribed to. If you aren’t a registered user on the site, then the front page that you see will be comprised of links from the default subreddits that everyone sees. These subreddits are determined by the site’s Admins, but can be filtered out once you register for an account.
What is a Subreddit?
Subreddits are the meat of what we’ll be talking about in this article. They are communities that are focused on a specific topic, and contain links related to that topic. Within the Reddit community, subreddits are just referred to as “subs” so that’s what we’ll be calling them from now on. You can visit a sub by amending it’s name onto the end of the Reddit URL, with the addition of an “/r/” in between. For instance, the Reddit Front Page is at www.reddit.com, but if you wanted to visit the sub for typography, you would type:
You can enter almost anything into the URL as a sub name, and it will probably exist. Anyone can create a new sub at any time, and become it’s moderator. Every sub you visit is managed by a user just like you. As a registered user, you can subscribe and unsubscribe from as many subs as you want to. Doing this is the key to pruning the Front Page, and tailoring it’s content to things you’re interested in. It’s recommended that you unsubscribe from many of the default subs if you want your time on Reddit to be productive.
When you visit a sub, on the righthand side you’ll see the sidebar for that sub. This is where you can subscribe or unsubscribe from that particular sub, as well as post new content. Submitting a new link is for taking the user to an external website, such as a useful article on Medium ;). Submitting a text post will allow you to ask a question or start a discussion without leaving the site. The sidebar of a sub will often contain rules for posting content, which must be adhered to. If your post violates a rule of that sub, it could be removed by a moderator. Content that is posted can be voted up or down by any registered user that sees it. The more upvoted the content, the higher it will appear in the list of links. If users like a link, it will be more visible and will stay at the top for a longer time. The overall score of a link can be seen to the very left of that link. The net number of upvotes that a user receives on a post is added to that users Karma. Karma has no purpose on the site other than to provide a representation of your overall posting success. Even so, many users take it very seriously.
Posting Your Work
Posting your own work to related subs can be a great way to jumpstart your exposure. We’ll use typography as an example again. If you have a Behance project for a typeface you’ve created, you can submit a link to that project in /r/typography. Because it’s a subreddit that is focused on that topic, the audience that will see your work is much more likely to appreciate what you’ve made, and you can receive great feedback in the comment section.
When linking to your own work, be sure to look at the rules of the sub that you’re in, as posting your own work too often can lead to being downvoted or having your posts removed. As long as you stay within the guidelines of the sub, you can reap great rewards as a result of a successful post. The view count of your work can be increased exponentially, with the important thing being that the views are coming from people who care.
Things to Remember
Your username sticks with you. When you register for an account, try to choose a professional username if you intend to use the site for professional networking. If someone likes what you’ve posted, it can make it easier for you to be found if your username is similar to your other social profiles. Knowing what I know now, if I could go back in time to change my username I would.
Unsubscribe from defaults to limit distractions. You won’t be very productive if your Front Page is filled with memes, funny videos, and random discussion threads. Find the useful subs and stick to them.
Find the best sub for your content. It may seem tempting to post your work to the largest subs you can find, but it’s often better to post to a more focused sub where the users are interested in a specific subject. Look around and find the sub in which your work will be appreciated most.
Follow the rules. Getting banned from a sub is not the way you want to start your Reddit experience. Check the sidebar in a sub for tips and guidelines on what not to post.
Don’t be discouraged by a failed post. If you submit content that doesn’t do so well, that’s ok. Was your title descriptive? Did you choose the best sub? Figure out what the problem was and try again in a few days. You’ll improve as you get used to the Reddit culture.
Check the FAQ. If you’re unsure about a particular facet of the site, the official FAQ is a great place to start looking for answers.
Useful Subs for Creative Folks
Here’s a short list of some subs to get you started if you’re going to dive into Reddit as a designer or other creative professional.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you feel more equipped to utilize Reddit as a social tool.