My Reddit Journey with Advice Animals

Reddit is known as The Front Page of the Internet. It is a place where people can post interesting links and start interesting conversations. Reddit has its own unique culture and community. It is different than Facebook, Twitter and other social networks in that content can be upvoted and downvoted by members of the community. Based on your upvotes and downvotes you get points known as karma. The content that gets the most upvotes will end up on the front page of the sub-reddit it was submitted to. The video below does a great job of breaking it down, even further.

One of my favorite sub-reddits is r/AdviceAnimals. Advice Animals are a type of internet meme (also called image macros) that have taken off in recent years. It’s basically a picture with text on the top and the bottom of the image that helps people make funny observations about our culture. About a year ago, after seeing hundreds of Advice Animal posts, I set a goal for myself of getting to the front page of Advice Animals. Seemed easy enough.

Bad-Luck-Brian

I submitted my first Advice Animal, featuring Bad Luck Brian, around March 2013, with the utmost confidence. I was sure that everyone would love it. The post got 4 upvotes and 9 downvotes.  That’s -5 votes! Everyone that thinks that Facebook should have a dislike button should join the Reddit community. Reddit has the downvote button and it is not fun. My first attempt at getting some “Reddit karma” on Advice Animals was disappointing to say this least.

FRY

I did not post my next Advice Animal, until December 2013. I didn’t have a new idea and to tell you the truth, I was still recovering from the initial blow from my Bad Luck Brian fail. I decided to give my take on  Futurama Fry. It got 4 downvotes but 6 upvotes! That’s 2 points total.  At least it wasn’t negative!

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 12.10.53 PM

Next, I submitted this,  Super Cool Ski Instructor Advice Animal in February 2014. I based this Advice Animal on the play “Waiting For Godot” by Samuel Beckett. I thought it was funny, but Reddit not so much. It received 5 downvotes with 9 upvotes. Net 4 points total.

At this point, I started to try and analyze why my posts had not taken off. I thought this would be a lot easier and realized that my next post had to be super relatable and something that people could get behind. I wasn’t getting my hopes up but had a good feeling about this That Would Be Great Advice Animal.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 7.30.25 PM

It totally took off. In a few hours, it had several hundred upvotes and they continued to grow. I’ve never refreshed my browser so many times in one day. I excitedly shared the link with my brother, a fellow Redditor. He wrote back, “You made that? It’s on the front page of Advice Animals!” I clicked on Advice Animals and sure enough, there it was. Number 24. I was completely floored. The post peaked at position 22 out of 25 on the front page of Advice Animals with 1,722 points. To date, it has 2,730 points, with  3,288 downvotes… but 6,018 upvotes!

Front page of Advice Animals … Achievement unlocked!

After my 15 seconds of Reddit fame had ended, I started to think, “Why did my last post get so much traction?” And “What makes a good Advice Animal popular?” Here are some of my thoughts, and some questions you can ask yourself when creating an Advice Animal.

– Is the subject or situation relevant, current or topical?
– Is it something that can resonate with people/is it relatable?
– Is there any kind of emotional connection? Sad or funny? Humorous memes tend to work better?
– Is it opinion based?
– Can it be controversial?
– Can a wide audience appreciate it?
– Is it specific?
– Are you using the meme correctly? Go to Knowyourmeme.com to make sure.

Reddit can be intimidating at first, but stick with it and you might get yourself some upvote love.

To explore which reddit community is right for you there’s even sub-reddit about sub-reddits.   Check it out!  http://www.reddit.com/reddits/

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