How to make it to the front page of reddit
First i should mention the odds are against you. Reddit works by users upvoting and downvoting content. This is used in an algorithm that determines where you stand. Basically the more upvotes you get in the shortest amount of time can propel you to the front.
The reason the odds are against you is there are only 25 posts on the front page and there are thousands of posts to compete with.
Please note, the majority of people who make the front page don't expect to. Furthermore, you should join reddit with dreams of karma and the front page. If you do, you're missing the point of Reddit. It's a massive information center for people from all over the world to share ideas, news, information, and creative content.
The least desperate way to get to the front page is to just be yourself and provide original entertaining or thought provoking content. Just post what you're into and in time it may come. There are plenty of subreddits to suit your interest. Like taking pictures of your new puppy, try r/aww. If taking pictures of landscape is your thing, look into r/earthporn or r/pics.
A few tips for the journey:
-There is nothing wrong with posting to smaller subreddits. They're usually more specific than the ones that receive heavy traffic. If you do this and hope to hit the front page, you probably should crosspost. This is submitting to two separate subreddits. An example would be taking a beautiful landscape picture and putting it in r/earthporn and r/pics. Just be sure to mention it's a crosspost by including (xpost r/earthporn) in the title.
-Play to your talent but also your audience. Reddit is a group of millions of free thinkers but the site does have some topics trend for a couple days, if not more. Creating content that is in line with the topic on the front page can help you get there.
-Only post during peak hours. In order for your post to reach the front page, it needs upvotes. This means your content needs to be visible for as many people as possible. Look to post during afternoon and early evenings.
-Don't be discouraged. Even if you get downvoted into oblivion, keep at it. A variety of factors could have caused your lack of success but the same post could do better tomorrow than it did today.
-If I haven't mentioned it, be creative. Unique ideas do get to the front page.
-Finally, OP must deliver. Put verification on your post if possible or if you say you're going to do something, like open that safe, then do it.
You're second option is looked down upon on reddit, reposting. This is stealing content that is already on the site or repeatedly on the site. It doesn't have to be stealine a meme or picture exactly, posting extremely simular content in memes can often be called a repost.
If you really wish to sink this low, search the bowels of reddit for old posts that had thousands of upvotes and resubmit it as your own.
Another option is to fix posts that have already been submitted. This is slightly more acceptable as some of the content is original.
Another type of repost is nastalgia posts. These often have the title "the pic that brought me to reddit" or "this always makes me laugh". Again this is more acceptable to do than outright steal content. If possible, include the user that originally submitted it, at least they'll get the creddit they deserve.
What's your favorite Large subreddit?
Much of reddit is sharing what is going on around the world. Staying up with current events and posting links to media sources as the story breaks can get you to the top quickly. You won't see much of CNN or Fox news, so try media outlets like the Huffington Post.
Another way to do this is provide news from your local community that wouldn't normally get national attention. It's sad that these are often stories about corrupt cops and discrimination but putting out news stories for people to read that would otherwise get ignored by mass media is important to the site.
If something's going on in your area, try to be apart of it, and report from the front lines (if it's safe). As an example, I found out more about the Boston Bombing and the aftermath, on reddit than I did mainstream media.
This is a quick way to get noticed on reddit but sometimes not the best option for your quest to the front page. NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work.
NSFW tags get a lot of attention on reddit because they stand out and they usually designate a post of a more adult nature. This can be nudity, foul language, gore, or anything else you wouldn't want your boss catching you looking at.
I'm not about to list out a bunch of dirty subreddits, you can search for those, but I will give you a few warnings about not safe for work.
-If it MIGHT be NSFW, label it as. This is to protect people's jobs, not to tell people they might get to see nudity. If you think it may be questionable, then tag it.
-If posting nudity, make sure it's in compliance with pornography laws, mainly child porn laws.
-If you post a picture of someone in your private life, like your GF/BF/Ex then get their consent first. It's their body, their choice.
-If you post yourself, it's all up to you, but provide verification (such as holding up a sign in your picture that says your reddit login/date) but try to keep other identifying features under cover. There's a lot of questionable people out there, keep yourself safe and use photo editing software to blur any personally identifiable information, tattoos, or your face.
-As for gore and other adult material, ensure it is placed in the correct subreddit. follow the mods rules or you're not going anywhere.
Other than that, it's all up to you. As long as you protect yourself, obey the law, and obey the rules of reddit and the subreddits, you can post just about anything you want on there. You don't need to be tasteful but it's in your best interest.
Finally, just have fun and enjoy reddit. It's not there for karma, gold, or the prestige of getting to the front page, it's a grand forum for the world to use to share information, art, and individual passions. Don't let the grandeur of other things that some on the site get obsessed with, distract you from using it the way you want to use it.
Be sure to give me feedback and tell me what you think. This isn't an all knowing guide, so be gentle.
TL;DR- Original content, reposts, current events, NSFW