Using Reddit to Build an Army of Niche Writers
Everybody wants ground breaking content these days, whether it’s for your own site or for posting elsewhere (yes, dirty guest posting), but few are willing to put their money where their mouth is. No, I’m not talking about choosing ‘5 Star Quality’ on Textbroker; believe it or not you might have to stretch a bit further than 5 pence per word if you want your content to succeed.
However, there are exceptions; not everyone has a bottomless budget they can throw at their content team, especially if you’re trying to get a new site or business off the ground. Sites like oDesk and Elance can serve a purpose if you’re after safe, middle of the road content, but if you are looking to put together a comprehensive guide or resource around a certain niche, you’re going to want to hunt down an expert.
That’s where Reddit comes in.
Once you make it past the constant stream of cat pictures and memes and drill down into one of the many thousands of subreddits, you’ll find pockets of passionate communities ranging from a few hundred to a few million subscribers.
While it can be tricky (but not impossible) to gain value from the large subreddits, the smaller, tightly knit communities are great for finding people who love sharing, writing about or discussing their interests.
Whiskey On The Rocks
As an example, I wanted an informative and in depth article on whiskey for my blog on men’s interests, more specifically an introduction to whiskey for beginners. Whilst I do enjoy the occasional whiskey, I’m definitely not an expert on the subject and wouldn’t want to push out a mediocre post that has the potential to anger the (drunken?) whiskey community.
The first step is to find the most relevant subreddit, which took all of 5 seconds. /r/whiskey boasts an impressive amount of subscribers, just over 16,000 ‘sippers’, with fresh posts coming in regularly and lots of healthy discussion.
It’s immediately clear that people know their stuff around here, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for.
Don’t Anger The Mods
If a subreddit has a significant amount of subscribers it’s usually very well moderated, and annoying these people is something you want to avoid. Start off by thoroughly reading the rules, often found in the right sidebar. If all seems well, the next step is message the moderators.
It’s really important to message the moderators before submitting a post! Some subreddits may not take too kindly to someone rocking up and waving cash around for a good writer, so play it safe and run it past a mod first.
It’s best to be straight up about what you’re looking to do.
Short and sweet, but I now have the goahead to make a post!
Straight Forward And To The Point
Ignoring the typos (this is why I’m outsourcing!), again it’s pretty straight forward and to the point. A great tip is to get potential writers to start messages with a random word, in this example ‘saturn’. It shows that they have thoroughly read your post and not just copy and pasting a canned response to you (Not that you get that kind of thing on Reddit).
There were a handful of comments which were mostly people pointing me in the right direction:
The responses from people interested in taking you up on your offer will mostly come in the form of a private message. Below are some of the responses I received:
You simply don’t get this type of response from sites like oDesk or Textbroker. Glossing over the fact that the word ‘Saturn’ wasn’t included, this person is clearly clued up and passionate about Whiskey.
The word Saturn was included which is a great start, though the words ‘SEO article writer’ are slightly worrying.
Again ‘Saturn’ was missing, but the included samples were pretty great, and the video was surprisingly amusing!
I actually ended up going for this writer for another piece of content because the samples were great.
An Army of Writers
All in all I received around 17 responses, some better than others and with varying rates. As I’ve used this method a few times now, I’ve put together a simple spreadsheet which is slowly growing with quality writers from a wide variety of niches:
Reddit is a goldmine if you’re looking to build relationships with talented, affordable writers as opposed to a faceless individual. It does take more effort to establish these relationships and whittle the list down to a select few, but it’s definitely worth it.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t go off on a subreddit spamming rampage looking for writers, as this will most likely result in you annoying lots of moderators. Respect the communities and always seek permission before posting.