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Being Yourself in Blogging – An Object Lesson from Reddit

As you may have noticed, I don’t pigeonhole myself into any particular niche here on my blog. I write about the things that are relevant to me, because I know there are plenty of people like me out there. I write a lot about Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, anxiety, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and trying to get healthier… but I also write a lot about food, parenting anecdotes, social media, and even World of Warcraft.

Who knew that writing about the game I love so much could be good for business? Take a look at my traffic graph, a snapshot I took of my Site Stats within the WordPress JetPack plugin:

Blog Stats Graph

I included May 2-4 as a reference point for my average traffic levels without getting into the actual numbers. Last night – May 5 – I shared a link on Reddit to a post I wrote a few months ago about a particular assortment of World of Warcraft quests for the Darkmoon Faire, an in-game event. I had 300 pageviews for that post within the first two hours after sharing on Reddit. And it’s just been climbing since then. It’s only midday on May 6 as I type this up, and I’ve already broken my record for pageviews in a single day. Ever. In the history of my blog. Because I wrote about something I enjoy playing and shared it with other people who like playing.

If you aren’t familiar with Reddit, it’s a social bookmarking website that trades on “upvotes.” There are thousands of different niches, called subreddits, about pretty much any topic imaginable. (And many topics you’d prefer not to imagine.) Redditors are self-policing and very intolerant of self-promoters. The rule of thumb is to share only 1 personal link for every 10 links you share. But if you already enjoy talking about a certain topic and finding interesting information online, you can talk about it to your heart’s content within the appropriate subreddit.

Reddit Snapshot

Above is a tiny, barely legible snapshot of the WoW subreddit. I only have 24 upvotes as of this writing – and you can see that other posts have 67 and 423 upvotes – but the traffic I’ve received is exponentially higher than the votes would suggest. If I were to post something that ends up even more popular? The potential numbers are a bit dizzying.

All from what I considered a “throwaway post” because it was quick to write.

I’ve been a Reddit member for 5 years, but I only started actually using my account a few weeks ago. I’m talking to people about gaming, about mental illness, about CFS, and just random things – like asking for help figuring out which TV show featured a character singing “Yes, I’m Ready.”

Yes, it’s another social network, but it’s more like becoming a part of a community I’d want to be associated with even if I didn’t have my own blog posts to share. My most popular posts so far (as measured by upvotes) have been sharing other people’s content about WoW and depression. And it makes me feel good to help people out…all while not trying to fit a picture of what other people think I should be talking about.

You may see me posting more about my gaming here in the future. And generally just being myself. Because I’m actually finding ROI for being me.

Christina Gleason (832 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • TechyDad May 7, 2013, 3:17 pm

    Back in February, I wrote a post about Facebook requiring McAfee anti-virus to get back into accounts that were locked out due to “virus infection” (where many cases were provably NOT virus related). Someone posted a link to my post on Reddit and my traffic went from 50 visits the Friday before to 2,360 visits! Sadly, I didn’t notice the spike (and the cause thereof) until the next day so I’m not sure that my replies to people on Reddit were seen. It was an amazing jump in traffic, though. I got about 2.5 months’ worth of traffic in 3 days.

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