Front page of Hacker News [HN]

Dec 6 2020

<p>Front page of Hacker News [HN]</p>

What did I do?

Yesterday I decided to write an actual article on a topic I was very passionate about. It was non-technical and was completely out of the target audience of hacker news.

Benefits of Walking

After checking that, as usual, the post didn't get more than 3 upvotes before it reached the second page of new, I went on with my life. I have sprinkled a lot of keywords into the text, so I was hoping that SEO would eventually help me reach a decent ranking.

I have later decided to rename it to Benefits of Walking [For Anyone] as I have read that it boosts CTR. Guess what, it most definitely does.

I was about to go to sleep. Then I decided to check my analytics tab to make sure that everything was working correctly(not sure what I was expecting to see there). I saw that instead of a 0, number of current users on the website, there were around 30.

google analytics current users

At first, I didn't know what to think. Hacker News never gives me more than 20 views per day. How are people finding my website?

I check, and there it was, only with 10 upvotes, but at the front page nonetheless(I will explain how and why it matters).

initial front page hacker news

The blog post, as you can imagine, is just about walking and what my tips and tricks to make walking into a habit. I also mentioned that running is not the best thing in the world, and that really captured peoples attention.

comments on hackernews

So what is the main reason that I got to the front page?

In retrospect, there are a couple of reasons.

  • I posted to HN at around 16:00 UTC, the best time to get the most upvotes.
  • I made the title very clickable with adding the square brackets.
  • I made the content very technical and with too much research and data to argue with.
  • I optimised and edited the content as much as I could to have it in the best format.
  • I created both visual and contextual content, such as a table with average walking speeds.

How can you repeat this and also get to the front page? Post for 2 months and get no results to get lucky on the 61st day.

Just joking... 🙃

Make sure to make the title stand out and maybe even write an article that is optimised for people to click on. As long as you get the initial upvotes, at around 4 you can already be on the front page where if people like your content it will stick.

traffic after hacker news

And finally, after the traffic has settled down:

hackernews results of traffic

When you are at your lowest, keep on struggling

If you have a system that must work, don't give up on it halfway. You will regret it for the rest of your life.

Persevere, keep on grinding for a bit longer and all of your efforts will be rewarded.

If you want to create a blog do it now! Here is why you should.

If you want to create a product, do it now!

Do you want to learn programming? Do it now.

Start now. Get perfect later.

Klim Y