Affiliate Marketing on Reddit And Quora: a Step-By-Step Guide

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Reddit and Quora are two excellent platforms for affiliate marketing.

But they’re also difficult to navigate compared to other social media websites like Facebook; and if not understood properly, affiliate marketing on both Reddit and Quora can lead to a ban really quickly.

So in this article, we’ll discuss how the two platforms work and how you can use them for affiliate marketing without getting banned.

Let’s get started!

Affiliate marketing on Reddit

How Reddit works

Since Reddit will look alien to you the first time you visit it, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how it works before talking about affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing on Reddit

Subreddits 

You can think of Reddit as a massive collection of forums. And each forum is focused on a topic. For example, on the r/AffiliateMarketing forum on Reddit, you’ll find posts and discussions related to affiliate marketing. 

If you’re wondering what the “r/” stands for, it basically means a subreddit, which is Reddit’s way of saying a forum.

So for example, r/gaming is a subreddit (read forum) where gaming enthusiasts discuss everything related to gaming. Similarly, r/politics is the subreddit to check out if you’re interested in politics.

And there are subreddits for almost every imaginable interest on Reddit, which is why it’s such a great platform for affiliate marketing. You’ll always find someone who’s interested in your affiliate niche on Reddit.

If you want to participate in a subreddit, you simply click the “Join” button next to its name. You can post and comment on a subreddit even without joining it but then you will not see the latest discussions and posts happening on the subreddit on your homepage news feed. 

Affiliate Marketing on Reddit And Quora

This is similar to YouTube channels. You can participate and comment on a channel’s videos without subscribing to it but you need a subscription to get the latest videos and updates on your newsfeed.

Subreddit rules

Now, once you join a subreddit, there are a few basic things to keep in mind.

First, all subreddits are moderated by “mods”. Mods make sure that the discussions in the subreddit remain civil and no one posts anything against the rules. Each subreddit has its own set of rules, which you can see on the right side of the screen if you scroll down a bit on the subreddit page.

Subreddit rules

You need to make sure that nothing you post on a subreddit goes against its rules otherwise you’ll be banned. And if you create another account to circumvent the ban, Reddit might detect it and suspend you altogether (which means you won’t be able to participate in any subreddit).

Posts, Karma, and usernames

On each subreddit, you can post: 

  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Images
  • Links to other websites (think blogs)
  • Text posts asking a question or describing your experience (or anything relevant to the subreddit)

Next to each post (and comment), you’ll see two arrows and a number. The arrow pointing upwards is basically a "like" (called upvote in Reddit lingo) while the one pointing downwards is a dislike (downvote). The number tells you the ratio between likes and dislikes. 

And depending on how many likes you get on your posts, you are assigned a number called “Karma”. Your Karma represents your standing on Reddit — the higher it is, the better. 

You should never begin affiliate marketing with 0 Karma. Comment and post on relevant subreddits to gain some Karma before you start marketing 

Posts, Karma, and usernames

It’s also important to note that Reddit is mainly an anonymous platform, which means almost every user has a weird name like u/TheBestDayofMyLife. Just like subreddits are denoted with “r/” before their name, users have “u/” before their name.

Ok — now that you understand how Reddit works, let’s see how you can use it for affiliate marketing. 

How Affiliate marketing works on Reddit

There are two things you should understand about affiliate marketing on Reddit: 

  • 1. Self-promotion is generally frowned upon by Redditors and many subreddits don’t allow it. 
  • 2. Reddit doesn’t allow direct affiliate links on any subreddit.

Once you join subreddits relevant to your affiliate niche, you have two main options for marketing on Reddit. The first is paid ads and the second is to create awesome organic posts.

Paid ads on Reddit work just like any other platform and are a quick way to drive traffic to your blog, which should have your affiliate links.

They are also a safe option because comments are not allowed on ads, so there's no risk of a backlash that you see with organic posts. But since many Redditors use ad blocking, paid ads might not be very effective. 

With that out of the way, let’s talk about organic posts. 

How to create a good organic post on Reddit and use it for marketing

Keep in mind that this method requires effort and time. 

The basic idea is this: you participate in discussions on relevant subreddits, build a reputation and gain Karma, create a following, and then direct that following to your blog, which will contain affiliate links.

Since Redditors hate being marketed to, you should NEVER try to promote your blog the day you create a Reddit account.

Instead, your goal should be to provide value to them and market to them subtly. In the beginning, you can provide this value by answering questions and sparking healthy discussions by asking interesting questions related to your niche.

After about a month of participation, you’ll have enough Karma to transition to promotional posts. But these need to be done subtly as well. For example, you can create a blog post that answers some of the most raging questions on the subreddit.

You can then post this on the subreddit as a link and Redditors will love you for that. You can add affiliate links to your blog post to achieve the ultimate goal of affiliate marketing.

The same is true for any type of content you might have — videos, podcasts, infographics, animations. If it answers important questions and provides value, feel free to post it.

While creating a post, keep in mind the following: 

  • Consider posting on smaller subreddits in the beginning for greater exposure.
  • Write awesome titles. They’re the only thing that will help your post gain traction. High post views = high blog traffic = more affiliate marketing.
  • Make sure the post is well-formatted and well-written (if it’s a long post). You want to be seen as an authority in your niche and should present yourself professionally.
  • If you’re writing something fact-based, remember to cite your sources. You do NOT want to make stuff up or post inaccurate information on Reddit if you want to establish a following.
  • Make use of post flairs so the most interested Redditors can find you quickly. Flairs are basically categories. For example, you can have a flair for “Questions” and another for “Recommendations”.
  • Sometimes, it’s okay to admit that you’re self-promoting and many Redditors will appreciate you for that. You can read previous promotional posts on a subreddit to judge the overall atmosphere of the forum.

Also, posts are not the only place to post blog links on Reddit. If you’re engaged in a discussion, you can link to your blog to support your arguments. 

Creating your own subreddit

Creating your own subreddit is another way to drive traffic to your affiliate blog and serves two important purposes. 

One, it creates a tech support platform for your affiliate product. Users can post reviews and questions about the product and get help. You can answer some of the product-related queries and direct users to a blog post on your website for more detailed explanations.

Two, it’s a great way to build backlinks to your website. Since you’ll be the mod of your subreddit, you can post links to your website and approve them every time. You can also build backlinks to your blog by posting on other subreddits but as we’ve discussed, you’ll need to remain subtle and provide value. 

Since Reddit is one of the biggest websites out there (the “front page of the internet”), links posted on different subreddits often show up on the first page of Google, which helps with traffic generation. 

Affiliate Marketing on Quora

Now let’s switch gears and discuss Quora. 

How Quora works

Quora is similar to Reddit in that it’s a huge forum. It receives a crazy amount of traffic each day, which is why it can be a very useful marketing tool. 

But unlike Reddit, Quora is focused on providing readers high-quality answers to their questions. 

This means you’ll have to focus even more on providing value when marketing on Quora compared to Reddit. You should be prepared to answer a lot of questions (and do so with the goal of helping people out).

Marketing on Quora might take more effort than Reddit but it’s also more effective because you’re directly helping people. And there’s no better way to create a following and establish yourself as an authority than answering questions. Once people start looking up to you, it’s easy to direct them to your blog.

Quora’s structure is similar to Reddit. The forum is divided into sub-forums called Spaces, which are similar to subreddits.

Each Space is focused on a topic. For example, the Weird Science space is frequented by science lovers and is full of questions related to science. Quora has introduced an option to create non-question posts recently, so you’ll also find pictures, videos, and text posts in a space.

You can comment on these posts like Reddit, which is another way to participate on Quora.

If a space is relevant to your affiliate niche, you can follow it so posts and questions on the space show up on your newsfeed. 

If your affiliate niche is super-specific, you can also create your own space for it where members can ask questions and you can post relevant content. This is similar to creating your own subreddit. 

How to set up a Quora account

Creating an account on Quora is pretty straightforward. You can sign up using Facebook, Google, or an email address.

Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to choose at least five topics of your interest. Make sure they are relevant to your affiliate niche because Quora will create your feed based on these interests.

Once you choose your interests, you’re good to go. But there are a few steps you should take to complete your profile before you begin marketing: 

  • Add a professional display picture
  • Write a good profile description. Try to keep it short but interesting.
  • Add education and employment credentials. Answers coming from qualified people are more trustworthy. It will be easier to establish yourself as an authority when people know you’re qualified.

How affiliate marketing works on Quora

Just like Reddit, Quora doesn’t allow direct affiliate links. Answers containing affiliate links get deleted and if you keep posting these links, you may get banned.

So the goal here is to link to your blog in your answers, which has your affiliate links. 

Interestingly, Quora doesn’t allow users to ask repeated questions, which creates what’s called the snowball effect. Since many people have the same question in mind, you’ll keep getting views on your answer if you’re able to ace it in the first place. 

This is useful for marketing because you're automating things in a sense. You create a high-quality answer and leave it there, and newer readers keep coming to it. But you need to know how to write a good Quora answer for that, so let’s discuss that now. 

How to write a good Quora answer 

It’s easy to simply leave a link to your blog in response to a question, but that’s going to be a low-quality answer.

To make the most out of Quora, you need to ensure your answers are high-quality. Here are a few basic things to keep in mind while answering:

1. Cite your sources.

2. Aim for at least 200 words per answer. The best answers are detailed and specific to the question. 

3. Link to other content creators too. Linking only to your own content looks spammy (and a bit narcissistic).

4. The answer should provide value on its own. You can use links to your blog as additional information or sources but not as the answer itself.

5. Write each answer anew. You can’t copy and paste answers on Quora. Even if you’re using your own blog post as a source, you’ll have to reword and tailor it exactly to the question. 

6. Focus more on unanswered questions. Trying to add more to already answered questions is not a good idea for marketing because your answer is just going to get buried under previous answers. 

7. If you’re unsure about something, don’t say it. Or research and confirm your facts before including them in an answer. Remember, you’re trying to build a following and become an industry expert on Quora. Inaccurate information won’t help you get there. 

To begin answering questions, click on the Answer button next to Quora’s logo:

How to Write a Good Quora Answer

You’ll be asked about topics you’re knowledgeable about, so make sure you choose topics relevant to your affiliate niche. This will help Quora show you the right questions. 

Quora users can also request answers from other users depending on their qualifications and interests. Keep an eye out for answer requests by checking out the notifications. 

Finally, don’t forget to link your Quora account to other social media accounts. You can then share your answers to these platforms, which helps them gain traction and visibility.

About the author 

Mihael Cacic

Mihael D. Cacic is a content marketing consultant at 21writers, and a content strategist for Voila Norbert.

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