How to create your own subreddit

Reddit can be an amazing social media platform for those who want to dive deeper into interesting topics, explore niche hobbies, and interact with various communities online. Reddit is available on all devices, whether it’s an Android phone, a laptop, a desktop, or an inexpensive Chromebook.

On Reddit, you join communities called subreddits that that focus on any topic imaginable from Android to birdwatching.

Planning your subreddit

The process of making your own Reddit community is straightforward. First, you’ll decide what your community’s focus will be. Will it be about a brand like r/Samsung or r/GooglePixel, a TV show like r/ForAllMankindTV or r/WarriorTV, or a hobby like r/Gunpla or r/lego?

Pick a name that’s short but describes the topic

After deciding on the topic, you’ll come up with a name for your subreddit. There are a few caveats to consider when choosing a name for your new Reddit community:

  • The name can’t be taken by anyone else. To verify the uniqueness, type followed by the new subreddit name.
  • You can never change the subreddit’s name. After you make it, that’s the name forever.
  • The name must be between three and 21 characters in length.
  • The only special character allowed is the underscore.

After deciding on a name, it’s time to choose whether your subreddit will be public, restricted, or private. Which of these you choose is based on how you plan to moderate your community.

  • Public subreddits are open to everyone. Anyone can join, post, and see the content.
  • Restricted subreddits regulate who can post content.
  • Private subreddits are closed to the broader Reddit community and require permission to join.

Finally, if your community will be centered around posting adult content, indicate it by marking the NSFW (not safe for work) checkbox. What is adult content? It’s a gray area, but in general, nudity, profanity, violence, anything sexual, or anything you wouldn’t want to be seen looking at while you’re at work or in the library is “adult” content.

Some Reddit users choose not to have adult content visible for their Reddit experience. If you don’t mark your subreddit NSFW and then post adult content, Reddit can and will change it for you. Subreddits with this age restriction are only accessible to users aged 18 and above.

Create your subreddit two ways: desktop or via the app

Now that you’ve planned your subreddit, you’re ready to set it up. Here’s how to get it done.

Create your subreddit on a desktop browser

  1. Click on the drop-down menu under Home or under your profile name.
  2. Select Create Community or Create a Community.
  3. On the menu that appears, enter your subreddit name in the text input box.
  4. Select the radio button that corresponds to the level of privacy you want for your community.
  5. If your subreddit falls under NSFW per Reddit’s content policy, toggle the checkbox under Adult Content.
  6. Double-check that your subreddit name is spelled and capitalized how you want. You can’t change it later.
  7. Click Create Community in the lower-right corner.
    Screenshot of the Create community page on Reddit

Create a subreddit on the mobile app

You can create a subreddit on the Reddit app for Android and iOS. Although we’ve used an Android phone for this tutorial, iPhone users will be able to follow the same process.

  1. Select the overflow menu in the upper-left corner or the profile menu in the upper-right corner.
  2. Tap Create a community.
  3. On the menu that appears, enter your subreddit name in the text input box.
  4. Select your subreddit privacy settings from the drop-down menu.
  5. Adjust the toggle at the bottom if you are making an NSFW subreddit.
  6. Double-check that your subreddit name is spelled and capitalized how you want. You can’t change it later.
  7. Click Create Community.

Congratulations, you just made a subreddit!

Growing your subreddit

Now that you have a shiny new subreddit, what do you do with it? The first thing Reddit asks you to do is make a post to get your community started. However, you’ll want to do more than that to grow your new community and make it welcoming.

Screenshot showing how to create a post on Reddit

To start, go to your Mod Tools, which are on the right of your screen on desktop and mobile. This is where you control all the minutiae of your subreddit, like minimum karma to post and community rules. Take some time to explore the options available to you. Still, setting up your Community settings first is a good idea.

  1. From your subreddit landing page, click Mod Tools.
    Screenshot highlighting Mod Tool on Reddit

  2. Scroll down and select Community settings under the Other section.
    Screenshot highlighting Community Settings on Reddit

  3. Change your community name if you want it to be different from the subreddit name.
  4. Fill in the Description field so that it summarizes the purpose of your subreddit.
  5. When you’re happy with your changes, click Save changes in the upper-right corner.
    Screenshot of community settings page on Reddit

These two changes are reflected on the landing page. Your community name and description help new visitors understand what your subreddit is about and, hopefully, get them to join. There are other important features on this page that you should investigate, but they’re mostly to help Reddit share your new community with the right audience.

Brand your subreddit with a description and a custom appearance

You can’t change the community name on mobile, but you can change the description.

  1. From your subreddit landing page, tap Mod Tools.
  2. Select Description from the menu.
  3. After entering your subreddit description, tap Save in the upper-right corner of the screen.

You’ll also want to look at the Community appearance options so that you’re not using the default skin.

  1. From the Mod Tools menu, select Community appearance.
    Screenshot highlighting 'Community settings' on Reddit

  2. If you’re using dark mode, turn it off to use these features. Select Continue.
    Screenshot of 'Turning off dark mode' on reddit

From here, you can adjust the color theme of your subreddit, change its icon or banner, and fine-tune the granular appearance of your page. However, most of these options aren’t available from the mobile app.

Screenshot showing how to customize the appearance of a subreddit

Find new members for your subreddit

You could design the most beautiful and welcoming subreddit known to humanity, but it won’t grow if nobody knows about it. In the early days, the most important thing to do is spread the word. Add a link to your subreddit in communities like r/newreddits or r/promoteareddit to increase engagement.

You don’t need to spend money buying ads on Reddit, but you should find other subreddits that cover topics adjacent to the topics you want users to talk about on your subreddit. For instance, if you have a subreddit about your favorite sci-fi TV show, casually mention it in other sci-fi TV show subreddits or bring it up when you see someone mention the show. Reddit users aren’t usually looking for new subs to join, so go ahead and let them know.

It’s also important to post quality content to your subreddit. This ensures there are captivating posts for visitors to engage with when they drop by. It’s not enough that there are a few good posts on your subreddit, so make sure that you make new posts frequently. Users need to see regular content updates if they’re going to join. Finally, cross-post. If you create a good post, share it with other Reddit communities that might be interested to get the name of your subreddit in front of more eyes. If people like what you share, they’ll visit your community to see what else you have and possibly join.

When you have members and people post regular content, be an active member of your community. Early members of your subreddit should feel acknowledged when they take the time to post something. Comment on every post and make yourself known to your early users. And remember to upvote. They may be meaningless internet points, but they still feel good.

As a final note, don’t forget to be a good mod. Yes, you have the last word on everything that happens on your subreddit, but don’t treat it like your personal fiefdom. Your job as the mod is to make sure users don’t violate the terms of service and that things are mostly on topic. Being too authoritarian with users can drive them away, so they’ll never see the awesome content you make. Worse, people will stop contributing content, and that will be the end of your Reddit ambitions.

Creating your own subreddit is straightforward, but running it can be a lot of work. Members are the most important part of a subreddit, so take time to grow your community. However, there’s a chance that your subreddit may not take off despite your best efforts. Don’t worry. You can explore plenty of other options online. For instance, you can create your own Discord server to hang out with like-minded people online.