Social news website Reddit has become one of the most popular places on the web. Its success is in large part due to its bustling user-driven communities known as subreddits, which allow almost any Reddit user to create a community around a particular topic or interest. And these communities allow for conversations between users about their passions, as well as fun, random discoveries about the world at large.
This is also what makes Reddit so addictive, with its seemingly never-ending supply of new subreddits to explore and participate in. But your role on the site doesn’t have to remain passive: Becoming a moderator of your own subreddit is easier than you think. Here’s everything you need to know about creating your own subreddit.
Step 1: Log in and click on Create Community
To create a subreddit, you’ll need an account. But not just any account will do. According to Reddit’s help section for Mods (subreddit moderators), you’ll need a Reddit account that has existed for at least 30 days and “a minimum amount of positive ‘karma.’” (Reddit members earn “karma” points when they post popular links or comments.) The minimum amount of karma points required to be allowed to create a subreddit is kept secret from the public (to prevent spam), but according to Reddit, the number isn’t “prohibitively high.” Somewhere around 50 should do, though we can’t say for sure.
You can create a Reddit account by clicking the blue Sign Up button on reddit.com. Then once your account is at least 30 days old and you feel like you’ve racked up a lot of karma points, you can try to create a subreddit. To do this: Log in to your Reddit account and scroll down your front page until you see the Create Community button on the right-hand side of the screen. If you’re able to click on it, great! That means your account is eligible to create a subreddit. If not, your account either needs to wait a little longer or you need to earn more karma points.
Step 2: Come up with a unique name for your subreddit
Coming up with a good subreddit name can actually be pretty difficult. It has to be memorable and short (20 characters or less, to be exact). And according to Reddit, as of December 2019, there are over 130,000 active communities on Reddit, which means your chosen name could have already been taken. If it has, you’ll need to come up with another one.
To check if your subreddit name idea is available, click here to search all subreddits. If no other subreddits with the same name come up under the name you searched, you can move on to step 3.
Step 3: Fill out the form and click Create Community
Once you’ve picked a name, you’ll need to actually create the subreddit. It doesn’t take much more than filling out a number of fields in a web form and ticking a few boxes. (And the form itself has been streamlined quite a bit in the last few years, so it’s even easier to fill out.) Here’s what you need to know.
Name: This is the name of your subreddit, and it’s the one that shows up in the URL for your subreddit. So no pressure, right? Remember: It has to be 20 characters or less. More importantly, whatever name you type in that text box is whatever name your subreddit is stuck with forever. You won’t be able to change it or even be allowed to fix the capitalization of it later, so make sure that the way it looks in this box is the way you want it to look forever.
Topics: In this section, choose the topics that your community will cover. You can also add a Primary Topic for your subreddit by clicking on the Add a Primary Topic drop-down menu.
Description: Use this section to write a description of your subreddit to help explain its purpose to new members.
Community type: Choose from three options to set your subreddit’s privacy level: Public, Restricted, and Private. Public means your subreddit allows anyone to post, view, or comment on it. Restricted means that while your subreddit is viewable by anyone, only approved users are allowed to post in it. And finally, Private subreddits are communities in which the content is only viewable by approved users and posts can only be submitted by approved users.
Adult content: In this section, you can choose to place an age restriction on your subreddit by marking it as NSFW (not safe for work). This means that only Reddit users 18 years or older can access your subreddit. If you want this age restriction for your subreddit, simply tick the box next to the phrase NSFW 18+ year old community.
Once you’re done setting your preferences on this page and your subreddit name is exactly the way you want it, click on the Create Community button at the bottom of the web form to submit it.
Step 4: Promote your new subreddit
Once you’ve created your subreddit, it’s time to let other redditors know it exists. One way is to submit a link to your subreddit to the /r/newreddits community (New Reddits). Another way is to post links in other subreddits related to your subreddit’s topic. Chances are, the users of related subreddits might be interested in what your subreddit has to offer.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re going to share links to your subreddit on other subreddits, you need to make sure that your promotion posts follow the rules of a given subreddit. For example, /r/newreddits only allows one announcement post for a new subreddit. So don’t announce your new subreddit repeatedly. Otherwise, you can get banned. Be respectful and follow the rules.
Don’t forget your Modmail
Now that you’ve created a subreddit, your role on Reddit has changed as well. Now you’re a moderator (also known as a mod). Within the purview of your subreddit, as a moderator, there are certain things you can do, such as: Remove items, lock threads so they stop getting comments, or even mark something as NSFW.
You’ll also have access to a feature known as Modmail. Modmail is like a message inbox for mods in which you can either send and receive messages from other mods or field requests from other users. You can access Modmail by either clicking on the shield icon located in the top-right corner of reddit.com or via this URL: mod.reddit.com.