In my previous article, How to post on Reddit, we’ve scratched the surface on what Reddit Karma is.
This guide takes a closer look and provides you with all you need to know about Karma and ways to effectively earn it.
What is Reddit Karma?
Karma is Reddit’s scoreboard for each account where it uses upvotes or downvotes as its point system.
You gain points when your posts or comments are upvoted and you equally lose points when they are downvoted.
You can see your total Karma under your name once you are logged in. (It works when your screen is maximized.)
2 Types of Karma
If you created an external link or text-only post and received upvotes, it counts towards your Post Karma.
If you simply wrote a comment on an existing post which received upvotes, it counts towards your Comment Karma.
To view a user’s Post and Comment Karma, follow these steps:
Go to reddit.com and add /u/username to search for a user’s profile. See example below.
Doing a user search will take you straight to their overview page.
On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see his profile showing the total karma, date of account creation, and awards.
Hover your mouse pointer over the total Karma score.
What can you do with Karma?
The value of Karma is somewhat obscure. Some users don’t even bother building up their Karma score since they view it as “make-believe” internet points. I can’t say they are wrong since Karma actually has no value outside of Reddit.
On the other hand, some use Karma to determine a user’s value as part of the community. If someone has a lot of Karma, it means they posted popular content. Do note that popular content doesn’t necessarily indicate quality content. It simply implies that users concur with your post.
Some communities also have a minimum Karma requirement before users are allowed to post content. E.g /r/video requires 10 post & comment Karma. It’s not really difficult to achieve and is a good way to counter spam.
If you wish to promote products or content, a high Karma account has higher chances of pulling it off compared to accounts with low or zero Karma. Don’t have enough time to grow a high Karma account? You can buy one instead. Be mindful of Reddit’s rules though since even high Karma and aged accounts can still get suspended.
How to gain Karma effectively
- Visit or subscribe to subreddits that have more than 1 million subscribers or more than 10,000 online members at a time such as r/AskReddit, r/funny, r/gaming, r/pics, r/worldnews, r/todayilearned, etc. Check the Reddit list for statistics on the most active/visited communities.
- Try to post witty lines or something clever. Chances are your post will get upvotes along with some interaction. This is a good way of establishing your presence as part of the community and in building your Karma score. Don’t expect to earn tons Karma instantly though.
- Post only well-researched content. This does not directly translate into scoring votes, but it will give you more credibility. As you continue to contribute legitimate content, users will know that whatever you post is worth reading.
- Reply to those who comment on your posts. Whether you agree or disagree, be sure to stay respectful and present your point in a refined manner. On the other hand, it’s best to ignore those who are “too negative” or are merely there to annoy.
- Look for prospective top comments within minutes of being posted and try to say something good in response. If it receives massive upvotes, yours will likely get some too just for being near it. This is called a “Karma bomb” which you should use as leverage whenever possible. Do note that this technique could occasionally backfire especially for controversial topics.
- When posting a link, take some time to think of a good title. Funny and clever ones are usually quite effective.
- Lastly, it’s best to avoid posting negative remarks for obvious reasons. If earning tons of Karma is your goal, try to stick with positive things and stay away from arguments.
Karma may not have real value outside of Reddit, some users may call it “imaginary” points, but it is still pretty useful in my opinion.
It helps prevent spam and gauges a user’s value in the community at a glance. Not only that, but it also helps enforce Reddiquette by reminding users that for every action, there is always an equal reaction.
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