Reddit was the best thing to ever happen to my blog

The number of visitors to my travel blog has remained steady for such a long time that I’d just about given up checking Google Analytics. Then, one day, out of nowhere, the most peculiar thing happened – I received more visitors in a single day than I get in a typical month.

I owe it all to reddit, the so-called front page of the internet.

Reddit was the best thing to ever happen to my blog

Normally, the best performing articles on Man vs World are my guide to Wimbledon, my article about the best place to view the Petronas Towers, and the ultimate travel showdown: Vietnam vs Laos vs Cambodia.

Now, thanks to reddit, my blog post about the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is also one of the best articles on my blog. In one day it jumped up the ranks from, say, the bottom half of the 200 or so articles I have online at Man vs World and directly into the top ten.

How did this happen? Apparently someone shared the amusing factoid that the eternal flame beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris had only been extinguished once: a drunken Mexican football fan urinated on it the night that France beat Brazil in the 1998 Football World Cup final.

I certainly hope that I pilfered that quirky little story from a reliable source…

Reddit was the best thing to ever happen to my blog
The “reddit effect” – note how it makes the rest of the traffic to my blog seem unsubstantial.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not (just) bragging about the sudden surge in traffic to my website. If I’m honest, my travel blog’s traffic has plateaued in the past year, which I put down to a combination of Google tinkering with its algorithm and the fact that I just haven’t been putting up as many posts as I used to.

I’m simply making the point that reddit is worth considering if you’re a blogger who’s always looking to get more traffic to your website. If you can somehow harness the power of reddit, your blog or website could suddenly blow up like mine did.

I just wish I’d been able to keep that sudden influx of web traffic going somehow.

What is reddit?

That’s a very good question, and I’m glad I asked it. I was only vaguely aware of its existence before it made my blog explode, and I’ll admit that I’m still not a member of reddit.

According to Wikipedia, Reddit is a social networking service and news website where community members can submit content, like my Arc de Triomphe article, sort of as a source of what’s new and interesting on the web.

Reddit was the best thing to ever happen to my blog
It’s just not a very good looking website…

The most important thing to remember is that registered reddit users then vote submissions either “up” or “down” to organise the posts and determine how prominently they appear on the site. A very popular article with a lot of “up” votes would likely feature on the front page and get a lot more traffic than one with lots of “down” votes or no votes at all.

When I last checked, reddit had a global Alexa rating of 50 (check out what I think of stupid Alexa rankings), which means it gets a butt load of traffic.

I don’t believe Man vs World featured on the front page; I can only imagine the surge in traffic if it had. If any reddit members are reading this – please feel free to share it and give it lots of up votes!

For more about my trials and tribulations as a blogger, check out:

About Simon Petersen 303 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

5 Comments

  1. Interesting to hear of your experience and how reddit had a dramatic impact.

    I think all of us bloggers have this sudden and unexpected surges which are totally out of the blue. I know I sometimes get little spikes from StumbleUpon but they are short lived.

    My most successful single day was due to an article on what word is used for getting off a plane being Stumbled by someone. I have a nice little peak in traffic that day just like your graph. It was quite odd for me since I had some posts published either side of that article which I thought had a lot more “viral” potential but they didn’t 🙁

    As you say the key is trying to capture that traffic for the long term. With StumbleUpon I think it is very difficult as people just click through pages quickly. I suspect reddit is the same.

    I did not so long ago implement one of those annoying pop ups for e-mail sign ups. I’ve made the intrusiveness minimal and it has helped increase my rate of sign ups. Not a fantastic amount but some at least which is good.

    On reading your article above you mention one of your posts about what you really think of Alexa but I couldn’t find your link to the article. Has the article been removed or you’ve just removed the link?

    Wishing you continued success in generating traffic.

    • Hey mate, you couldn’t find that link about what I think of Alexa rankings because stupid me forgot to include it! It’s up there now. Thanks for the great comment. Seems like we’re pretty much in the same boat!

  2. Wow congrats! I wish I could crack Reddit, I had tried it a few times with a couple travel bloggers to test it out and it did bring traffic but man are some of the people on Reddit mean 🙁 I guess you really have to know which subreddit to put it in and be constant on it. Hope your traffic keeps coming!

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