Reddit is one of the world’s largest social bookmarking websites with millions of pageviews per day. The whole concept of Reddit allows users to share links and content within the community while receiving “upvotes” based on how good the content is. Each section is organized into Sub-reddits based on topics like NBA, Video Games and Movies. If your content receives a lot of upvotes, your content reaches the homepage and goes viral across Reddit.
The reason why Reddit is so successful is because they built a tight knit community that sticks together. If you really want to create a website like Reddit, then you must focus on building a large user base and encouraging lots of activity on your website. In the next few sections, I will show you how to make a website like Reddit and turn it into a successful social bookmarking community.
1. Get Your Domain Name
You will need to acquire a short yet brandable domain name for your new website. Brainstorm a bunch of domains then create a list of 5 potential domain names. If you need domain ideas, use Namestation to generate some domain ideas.
I use Godaddy for all my domain needs. They offer an easy to use dashboard and provide 24/7 phone support.
I recommend following these general domain guidelines:
Short (8 characters or less)
Easy to Remember
Avoids any trademarks
.COM extension (or a country level domain if you want to target a certain country)
The best domain for your social bookmarking website is short with a web 2.0 element. Try to keep it under 8 characters if you can. Notice how all the successful social networks like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit are less than 8 characters.
2. Get Business Hosting
Once you have found a good domain, you need to sign up for affordable web hosting.
HostGator is my recommended shared web hosting company. They are a 12 year old company based out of Houston, TX USA and provide world class hosting at a bargain price.
Hostgator’s Business plan is perfect for your room booking startup. It comes with:
Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth
Private SSL certificate to accept credit cards securely
Free Toll Free Number
24/7 Phone Support
Hostgator takes care of everything so you don’t need a degree in Computer Science to get started. Don’t worry about server administration because they have 24/7 phone customer support and will even help you install your website script on your server.
Once you choose a good domain name and hosting, you can decide between PHP custom scripts or WordPress for your script needs. Here’s the actual Reddit source code if you are a developer.
Large social bookmarking sites are best for PHP scripts because WordPress was never designed to store millions of MySQL database entries in an efficient manner. Of course, there are WordPress themes available if you prefer WordPress.
In the beginning, nobody will use your website. That’s normal. Your job is to fill your website with fake accounts and make it look as active as possible. The creators of Reddit used tons of fake accounts to make Reddit popular in the beginning.
Don’t except other people to add content in the beginning. You add all the content. I recommend adding at least 100 users and 1,000 links/postings before you think about driving traffic to your website. This is the #1 mistake I see people making over and over again. People hate boring, empty websites. Every successful website starts out empty but the owners create all the fake accounts and make it look busy.
Experiment with different types of content such as:
You won’t know what works unless you try them all. Don’t stop until you post at least 1,000 content pieces. Once you finish, then let’s get traffic to your website.
4. Attracting Users
If you choose a good domain and have plenty of content, then it’s time to start driving traffic to your website.
Firstly, make sure you perform basic SEO. I wrote previous articles on increasing search engine traffic, how to build backlinks, and ranking for long tail keywords. Change your page URLs to SEO friendly ones that include the title of the post in the URL. Avoid dynamic urls that include “?” in them. Put a lot of content on your homepage because most search engines place most of the link juice towards the homepage. I collection a long list of SEO resources to help you optimize your website for Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
It’s sounds funny to use social media to drive traffic to your social bookmarking website, doesn’t it? In fact, I recommend this strategy to be your focus after you setup good SEO. Facebook is the most important tool because it’s the largest social network by far and the majority of your target market will have an account.
Setup a Facebook page for your website then link to it from your website. Your goal is to get people to “Like” your website because each like gets added to the person’s feed where all of their friends see the activity. If you have a budget, use Facebook ads to increase your page likes.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the cheapest traffic method, but it’s also the most powerful. Tell everyone in your network about your website and encourage them to tell other people. A good way to generate Word of mouth traffic is to host a giveaway. You don’t have to giveaway something expensive. Give away something that your website users will value. If the prize is good enough, then people will tell their friends to visit your website to enter. Make them create an account then randomly award the prize when the giveaway ends.
6. Make Money
Reddit generates revenue through advertising, sponsored links (which are also a kind of advertising), and through the sale of Reddit Gold accounts, which now provide additional features. If you use a mix of income sources, then you are never depend on one source of income plus you grow your revenue faster. Sponsored links are a great way to provide value for your advertisers by blending the links within existing content. Gold Memberships give your users a sense of belonging to the community. If they love your website, then they feel obligated to donate money anyway. Asking for donations is ok, but give them something of value in return to increase their motivation to send you money.
That’s it. You know how to create a website like Reddit and make it a huge success. If you still need help, drop me a note in the comments.
If you need professional website services, then check out my website services section for more information.
Tarik is a 10 year internet marketing and website creation expert. I am available to answer your questions and help you build a better website. Learn more about me or contact me. I am available for hire. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org