What Is a Subreddit?

Back in 2005, two students from the University of Virginia, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, came up with the concept of Reddit. Reddit is a discussion, news, and social networking website that has effectively blown up in popularity both because it has a unique rating system and because it’s packed with subreddits.

But what is a subreddit? And what makes it so powerful? That’s the topic of today’s article, so keep on reading. 

What is a Reddit subreddit?

A subreddit can basically be defined as a niche within the Reddit community. The category is important, and the conversation must be kept relevant — otherwise, the comments will be removed by a moderator.

You can find anything from a personal finance subreddit or a math subreddit to a machine learning subreddit. The topics can be broad or specific, and you are also allowed to create a subreddit by yourself, so long as it’s not a duplicate of another. 

Every subreddit maintains its focus as it continues to exist, and that’s thanks to rules that are put in place, a number of moderators, as well as a voting system. The part where the subreddit drama comes in is where you leave a comment that’s partially related to a topic, but that would rather fit somewhere else. Once it gets deleted, there’s no way of getting it back. 

Subreddits are considered active if they still get a minimum of 5 comments on a daily basis. There are over one hundred thousand active subreddits right now, but the number fluctuates from one day to the next. 

How to create a subreddit

If you’re wondering how to make a subreddit, you’ll be glad to know that anyone can do it, with as little effort as possible, and it’s also completely free. However, one can’t just go and make a subreddit randomly because every community has specific rules. 

Find any random subreddit and try posting unrelated comments and you’ll quickly learn that it has a moderator or several, depending on how popular it is. You can send emails to moderators if you notice any weird comments or submissions that have to be removed to keep the rest of the community safe.

Every subreddit moderator is a volunteer, meaning that they do not get any money for the work they do. However, if a subreddit begins to become more and more popular, moderators will at one point have to delegate some of their responsibilities to trusted members of the community. 

Before creating a new one, we suggest you find a subreddit by using the search box at the top and just to make sure that no one has asked the same question or started a discussion on the same topic. 

Choose a specific title for the subreddit. For example, if you want to create a subreddit about the best locations for camping, it could look something like this: reddit.com/r/bestplacesforcamping. The name can’t be changed once you’ve picked one. 

You’ll also have to provide a description for the subreddit list and it needs to be on point for SEO purposes. It will basically rank on Google and social media, too. Subreddit descriptions can be up to 500 characters. A subreddit sidebar can have up to 10240 characters and allows you to go into more detail. This one appears on the front page of the subreddit and should contain relevant information about the topic. 

When you create a subreddit, you can also select whether all types of content are allowed, if people can link to external sites, or if the subreddit should only be made of text posts. 

How to report a subreddit

Now that we discussed how you could create a subreddit let’s see how you can report one if you come across a duplicate or one that goes against that community’s standards. 

In general, all subreddits can be reported if they contain:

  • Threats, harassment
  • Involuntary pornography
  • Violence (inciting or encouraging it)
  • Explicit content 
  • Spam 
  • Someone’s personal info

To report a subreddit, all you have to do is go and find it in the list and click the ‘Report’ button beneath it. A message with ‘How can we help?’ will show up, and there you’ll be able to choose the reason you’re reporting the subreddit in the first place. 

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You might be asked for additional information, depending on what you select. At the end of the process, simply click the ‘Submit’ button and the Reddit staff will get your report. 

How to delete a subreddit

Unfortunately, deleting a community is impossible once it has been created. It will keep existing even if you decide that you don’t want to be a part of it anymore. On top of that, your username will forever be listed as the creator of the subreddit unless you specifically delete your account.

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If you don’t want to moderate your community, you can always leave as a moderator through 4 methods:

  • Being removed by another moderator
  • Self-removal
  • Being removed because of you breaking the site or moderator guidelines
  • Being removed due to not being active any longer

But in a nutshell, there is no way of deleting a subreddit once it has been created. 

How to search a subreddit

To find a subreddit, all you have to do is to use the search bar at the top of the Reddit.com website. It might take a while for you to browse through the ones that already exist until you find a community that deals with your specific topic.

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Try to use keywords that are as exact as possible so as to find the right niche forum fast and easily. Otherwise, you might think that it doesn’t exist and you might want to recreate it. 

Using subreddits for your business

Reddit is a pretty complicated place to go to if you want to market your business in an unconventional way, and that’s because subreddits containing links and not offering any value to users don’t really have a chance.

It’s true, though, that given the number of users that Reddit has every month, it has enormous branding potential. If you want to create a subreddit for this purpose, you have to make sure that it is aligned with the rules, the theme, and the top submissions, but also what you are looking to achieve business-wise. 

In general, aim at less popular subreddits as they have better content, are easily moderated, and your replies aren’t just going to get lost in everything else.

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There are specific communities on anything you might be looking for, from link building to affiliate marketing. Each of them has the number of members listed in the right part of the screen, along with the number of people who are online at that specific time. 

The fewer the members, the better. Basically, all you have to do is keep being active and participate in several conversations so that you establish yourself as an authority on a topic. 


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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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