As anyone familiar with the Internet knows, there are many ways to waste your time on it. However, only an elite few know that the best time waster is Reddit. With thousands upon millions upon billions of eyeballs glued to the constantly-crashing site, one might become curious about the value of advertising placed on this interesting things aggregator.
I never notice these ads. I’m highly trained in advertisement avoidance, for one. Also, the SEO Site Tools extension for Google Chrome causes these nofollow links to be highlighted with a red background, making it difficult to read and easy to distinguish as irrelevant. Surely, though, the ads work for some purpose, right? Otherwise, why would anyone be paying the minimum $20/day to advertise on Reddit?
I decided to give it a shot. Since I have no money-making schemes online, my options of what to advertise were quite limited. A test of some kind was needed, and a blog post I wrote about sexism and salary was selected for the honor.
In order to test Reddit targeting, meaning I’d have control over which subreddits display the ad, I’d have to commit to a $30 minimum spend. There was no chance of profiting from this endeavor, so rather than cough up the extra $10, I kept it broad.
So, for twenty bucks I ran an ad on Reddit on January 21st, 2010. Here are the results as reported by Reddit:
They also include these nifty charts!
|Unfortunately, this isn’t an Atari game. :'(|
So, at $20 I was able to get 334 clicks (or 317 unique clicks), meaning I spent roughly $.06 per click. Not bad.
But what about the quality of traffic? Considering I have no conversion goals, this is difficult to judge. However, you can see what Analytics is reporting for the page at the right. It’s interesting that there was a bit of engagement. If I were a decent writer, maybe the engagement would have been greater. I did manage to get one Twitter follower (via the Tweet Button) out of the ordeal.
And the time on page was a good solid three minutes, meaning most of those 300 visitors actually read my post. And that to me is as heart-warming as any monetary conversion goal.
Another interesting note is that the bounce rate was 93.5%. Typically when I send traffic to a blog post via Reddit, they leave after reading the post. The fact that a handful of people checked out my homepage (according to Analytics) is a nice thought. This suggests that several Redditors are interested in discovering new content providers, not just read and leave a single post.
I think a few more tests may be in order. While it’s still advertising, there’s a less slimy feeling about it when I can hope my money is going to the cause of buying new servers to make my life a little easier as I waste it on Reddit.