To Generate Startup Launch Traffic, Get on Product Hunt or Hacker News

December 29, 2014

11:00 am

For many startups, the launch of a product or company may be the determining factor in whether their company survives in the long run. How people respond to your product or your idea upon its launch can affect the way their respective networks view your product or company, thereby greatly influencing the next steps your company can and should make. For instance, a terrible product launch can have a negative impact on potential investors – if you’re not generating enough buzz or online traffic to your site at launch, then there’s a possibility that your company can lose out on investors from the get-go, setting you on the path to failure. And, I mean, starting off on a positive note also sets a great environment and starting morale for your company. In a blog post written by Batch founder Simon Dawlat evaluating the site’s traffic upon launching its Batch Insights product, it seems that the best ways to generate startup launch traffic is to get your company or product featured on Product Hunt or Hacker News.

While Product Hunt and Hacker News generated the most traffic to Batch for its then-recently launched Batch Insights, Tech Crunch and Beta List resulted higher turnover and sign-ups (via Batch).

In the post, Dawlat explores the most popular channels through which the company acquired the most traffic, pointing out four: TechCrunch, Product Hunt, Hacker News, and BetaList. Looking at the data for both traffic and actual sign-ups for its service, Dawlat goes through the pros and cons resulting from each of the four channels. For instance, while TechCrunch generated the lowest traffic compared to the rest (372 visits in the first 24 hours), traffic from the site resulted in much higher sign-up rates (17.2 percent). Alternatively, while Hacker News provided the highest traffic on a relative scale (2027 visits in a mere 3 hours), the site also generated the lowest sign-up rate (3.01 percent).

When it comes down to it, the most important takeaway is: what do you want to focus on – traffic or actual users? While a high level of traffic has its benefits, they ultimately amount to naught if you can’t turn those viewers into actual consumers of your product or service. Indeed, what lies at the foundation of a startup is this necessity to attract consumers to your product – without users or consumers, there’s no way to sustain your business; hence, the whole notion of starting a company becomes null.

No matter which medium you feel is most beneficial to your startup launch, Dawlat goes into the specifics as to how to be featured on things like Hacker News or Product Hunt. He even provides best practices on each channel, as well as some tips on how to get spotlighted for such placements. Read more about it in his post “Start-up Launch Power: Product Hunt Vs. Hacker News Vs. TechCrunch”.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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