Don’t get me wrong, I am still terrified to market on reddit but now I know what it feels like — and it feels as good as you imagine.
What it took me to become a 72-hour reddit celebrity, from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon, is not a secret at all:
- Commit to becoming a part of one or more reddit communities
- Choose communities you vibe with and are passionate about
- Put the time in to mostly read and comment to other people’s posts
- Take your lumps gladly* when you break each subreddit’s unique and arbitrary rules and terms
- Take your lumps gladly* when you step in it and lose the support of your other members
- Take your lumps gladly* when you float something and nobody cares
- Take your lumps gladly* when you get piled on by other redditors who don’t agree with you or your way of thinking
- Finally spend a couple hours to read both the sub’s FAQ and sidebar Rules (where you’ll discover that those rules aren’t arbitrary at all)
- Realize that reddit isn’t federated and that each subreddit is its own universe and that what you learn in IAmA is unique and has nothing to do with what the Moderators over at /r/running/, /r/C25K/, or /r/Fitness/
- Get over it!
- Give it a go — say something or share something
- If it doesn’t work, GOTO 4-7 (take your lumps gladly)
And if it works, you’re golden, but it probably won’t. And the more you take your lumps sadly, the less you will be accepted or respected on reddit. What’s more, if you have contempt for reddit and all the people who make up this most vibrant of online communities, then you’re sunk. Have you ever:
- Physcially rolled your eyes whenever anyone mentions something they read on reddit?
- Preferred primary source news over secondary conversations
- Actually still subscribe to the WSJ, the Post, the Times
- Have a hateful place for Millennials and Generation Z
- Don’t have the skin to survive from a mild hazing to a severe beating
Maybe you should find someone else in your community, company, or in the want ads (does anyone use want ads anymore).
Mind you, I’m cheating: once I started working out again, I quickly joined up with /r/Fitness, /r/diet, /r/Rowing, /r/crossfit, /r/Spinning, /r/C25K, /r/weightlifting, /r/kettlebell, /r/dieting, /r/loseit, /r/trailrunning, /r/powerlifting, /r/Kickboxing, /r/fasting, /r/HIIT, /r/amateur_boxing, /r/b210k, /r/bodyweightfitness, /r/ultrarunning, /r/Raceit, /r/runmeals, /r/runningroutes, /r/runninglifestyle, /r/IndianClubs, /r/trx. /r/Goruck, /r/9round, /r/mastersrunning, /r/firstmarathon, and /r/GripTraining — so, I spend at least an hour every day looking through other people’s posts. Sometimes I just upvote, other times I comment, mostly I follow the links or read the race reports.
So, you can do it to. You can. But you need to do what you need to do in any community, virtual or online: you need to listen more than you talk, you need to read more than you write, and you need to speak from the heart way more than you need to bullshit.
Folks on reddit have been hurt before. It’s a place where a whole heap of hazing makes sense because one needs to be tested for one’s resilience in order to make the cut. Every club tests its prospects’ characters, be it actual testing or hazing or simply tests of persistence and even likability. Jerks need not apply.
But I also cheated because the blog post I submitted to both the C25K and Running subreddit was heartfelt, personal, vulnerable, and an actual race report. The blog wasn’t monetized at all and it’s currently totally about my personal struggle to get back in shape.
I did take one chance: many reddit subreddits look down their nose on posting links to your own blogs, articles, or sites. I’m really lucky that the post I shared hit a nerve.
That the struggle I had actually getting off my couch and not only getting onto the road but also into a race — and being dead last for both my age and my gender.
I almost forget: my server crashed once, so be sure to monitor your assets while you’re being reddited/slashdottet by your newfound stardom.
Also, if you’ll notice, once I posted the link to my blog, I spent the next 72-hours commenting on any and all questions, comments, or kudos. In fact, that might well be the most important part. I made friends with several people and even Peter Shankman discovered me via my post on reddit. There were over a hundred combined comments on both of my shares, and I made sure I was on top of all of them. I wonder if my reddit share would have had remotely the same effect if I were not an integral and timely part of the entire share and experience.
Now it’s your turn! Go for it! You can do it, just be smart, careful, but also be bold and brave. Reddit’s looking to cull the sick and the weak.
Go git ’em, Tiger!