Imgur Gave Me 140,000 Views in 1 week
Why I’m NOT Using it as a Growth Channel and How YOU CAN
Originally published June 2017.
So I decided to give Imgur a go a while back, and had some awesome success:
I had a post with 82,000 views and another with 60,000.
Those were 2 out of perhaps 8 or 9 posts that I tried.
Imgur has an awesome “Submit to Community” discovery mechanic where your post gets sent out to all of the “Imgurians” and if it’s upvoted, more people see it.
If you find a good piece of content, it get get tens of thousands (or even millions of views in a few hours).
Imgur is a platform that no one seems to be effectively marketing on, but that has a massive potential upside for those that can figure it out.
So, I’ve got your interest, let me explain Imgur a little.
Imgur is like Reddit for images — in fact that’s why it was created, to share images to Reddit easily.
It has an upvote and downvote system.
Good quality is rewarded more selectively than on a platform like Instagram, where you could just post anything controversial that gets a lot of comments, good or bad, and Instagram will promote it regardless of sentiment.
Imgur has Imgurians — a crowd of primarily millennial males, ready to relate any post to sex, and to rabidly tear to pieces ANYTHING they suspect is promotional.
They’re fucking savages
Which I’ll admit, does also make them quite a funny bunch.
So, how did my little foray into Imgur go?
I create an account, post a transformation picture that I know has done really well on my Instagram account and submit it to the community.
It get to about 1,500 views before fizzling out. Not bad I think.
So the next day, I try another.
~300 views and -15 in downvotes (at which point you basically drop out of their public content feed).
The next day I try another successful transformation post.
~100 views and -15 in downvotes, again
Fourth times the charm? I go to post again and..
2 views, no downvotes.
So I take a at look at my personal messages section and instead of the one or two “Is that photo you” and “hey, you’re cute” messages I have received on the other posts, I have an admin message saying my account is blocked..
I look back at the comments on my previous posts and see comments saying “OP is a spambot”.
It looks like the community is willing to assume that my first post is a personal transformation picture (despite me crediting the original owner and having permission to promote their images), but posting 3 transformation pictures puts me firmly in the spamming for promotion space.
Which bring me to the number one rule of Imgur:
These guys do NOT like you promoting things.
This is likely not helped by my username being @transformfitspo, and me having a link in my bio to our landing page, which is for a paid fitness program.
With that rule burned onto my brain, I do everything I could to prevent the negative comments that can cause a spiral of downvotes.
I change my account name to a personal one, change up my bio and removed the link, with the hopes of building some reputation before introducing it again, and delete my older posts.
I messaged Imgur support, pleaded ignorance and get my account de-limited.
I repost a post that had recently done well on my Instagram — Make sure to set the precedent that I’m just reposting things that I find inspiring and,
50k views of the post in 7–8 hours. 1.3k Internet reputation points. Imgur suddenly seems MUCH more interesting.
Slight aside to set the tone for the people of Imugr.. the top upvoted comment on the picture references a popular porn series 😑
So now I’ve built up a good amount of reputation points, I figure I’m safe to keep posting, as posts don’t really get more than about 20 downvotes (negative reputation points) before they drop from the discovery feed, but they can get an unlimited amount of positive rep points and continue to be seen.
My post the next day?
The next day?
The neeeext day?
Gold again, 80k views!
Perhaps this is just how Imgur works, people always hate it, you just have to hope that just enough people don’t hate it for long enough for it to take off!
I try again a few times for the next few days, but after another 4–5 failed posts I decided to call it a day on Imgur.
Looking through the comments on all of the posts, most of the negative remarks related to:
- Spaming for Interent points
- Them being sick of people reposting content
There is a very strong group mentality on Imgur (and Reddit). If you piss them off, they’re the kind of people to build a vendetta mob to downvote everything you try to post for months.
But what about all of the success I had?
Well, it is very promising, but I think that Imgur just isn’t developed enough in the fitness space for me to make it work without a load of headache.
I’ve got limited time, I prefer to put it in areas that I know I will pay off.
Some promising points for me — I have a lot of reputation built up there, that will still be there if I return.
Due to some big recent success with Pinterest, which really needs to send traffic to blog posts, I’m building up a funnel to move people from blog viewers to paying customers.
So, do I think Imgur is something you should write off?
Have you seen those view numbers? That’s nuts. I got that in a week, with no profile building.
You can go from zero to ballin on Imgur, you just need to find a good fit.
If you can do promo through memes, humor, cosplay, or I’m sure a number of other niches, I really think you can do well with Imgur.
I broke one of my own rules with Imgur, which is make sure you fit into an existing powerful niche on the platform. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel by carving out a new niche on a platform (just because some people have, and have had crazy success, doesn’t mean you should waste time trying, you’ve got limited hours, put them in areas more conducive to your success)!
If my business could related to one of the big niches on Imgur, I would be straight back over there.
You need to be able to promote your business to them at some point, you need a way to pull the traffic from Imgur. You may want to do like I’d planned, and build a reputation before promotion — but my suspicion would be that if you can’t make it work whilst promoting something from day 1, you’re likely doing to struggle down the line.
You could try a link which looks very innocuous and safe, that can generate you money in a funnel down the line, like a blog, that could be okay.
You need a way of either putting out fresh content daily, or reposting content that people won’t turn on.
I think memes and jokes fit this really well, but most other posts it seems hard to make a system out of them. Yeah you could get a few one hit wonders, but if everyone turns on you as soon as you try to do that each day, you need another plan.
Basically, you can’t come across spammy or promotional in any way or they’ll gut you, then string you up by said guts.
But, again, give it a go!
Imgur clearly has loads of potential for massive, quick, business success.
Will you be the one to crack it?
Let me know if you’ve tried Imgur marketing?
How did it go?
What was the most amusing comment you got about your efforts?
Yo, I’m Connor!
I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.