The best thing about
Indie Hackers is the community, bar none! I mean, that's why we're all here, right?!
The second best thing (and there are quite a few!) is flexibility of what you can choose to do with the site and platform; there aren't really many ways to use it "wrongly" so there's a good deal of creative freedom!
One of the more obvious opportunities is to use
IH as a comprehensive product / project blogging platform! It has most of what you already need and none of the feature bloat that may confuse or delay the most important thing:
Shipping your project "in the open" and building a community that you can be proud of!
Consequently, I spent this weekend moving an entire
WordPress blog that had ~40+ posts into its own small product page:
There are a few top-level reasons I decided to do this, despite my own ability to run and operate a performant self-hosted blog:
Running a blog is hard work and the more
time you spend on the administrative and operations side of it is wasted time, especially in the beginning of a new project's lifecycle.
In other words, you want to give most of your time (if not all of your limited time) to building community and building your project — not spending time messing with the backend of a blog with confusing configurations and "optimizations"!
Hell, you also will save money (💰) since blogging here is entirely free! Operational savings + a simplified workflow + saving money? Are you fucking kidding me?!
Seriously! Instead of all that nonsense you can, easily and quickly, create a profile on Indie Hackers, boot up a new
product, and then start writing! The time delay will be on your end, not IH's!
Oh: The interface is simple, straight-forward, and completely decluttered—a rare treat in a platform-bloated world! The
character count minimum keeps the quality and bar reasonably high and the lack of advanced
text ornamentation is actually a welcome feature, not bug.
I've felt more free to publish here than I have in a long, long time.
One of the most depressing and demotivating things for any public writer is the thought that no one will read the stuff that you've written! Even after writing publicly for 19+ years, I still have anxiety when it comes to hitting that
Publish button (or
Submit Post here on IH)!
Thankfully, you don't have to worry about that as much here on IH because the moment you gather the courage to share your thoughts there are literally thousands of creators, builders, and other entrepreneurs just like you on the other side of the screen!
All you have to do is commit to sharing your thoughts, transparently, and you'll get a handful of
views, at the very least and most topics get a handful of comments within the first few hours!
ratio here on IH is very, very high — trust me on this as I've known many blogs that died due to lack of
community oxygen, not interest.
If you're worried about eyeballs (i.e. people showing up and reading your content) then it's vastly better to start here, gather some liquid courage and experience, and then move to your own when you're ready!
In short, Indie Hackers can wonderfully serve as a simple blog or "progress / project log" for projects big and small! Here are some examples that I'm actively updating...
First, I'm using it for a venture-funded project where I provide weekly updates on our technical progress as well as our financial. I probably write 2-5 times a week here and the cadence is becoming easier every single week.
In fact, it's almost entirely replaced our more "official" WordPress-powered blog that you can find here. I have no desire to move everything over to IH, at least for now, but I'm (re)posting content when I have time.
I don't think IH will ever fully-replace our "corp" blog, but, the posts here get a ton more engagement and views than they do there. 🤷🏻♂️
Secondly, as I mentioned above, I'm using IH as a community-lead blog where folks can submit their designs via email (via the sidebar):
I don't feel the need for any newsletter software or "Contact Us" forms that overly-complicate things right now! If one of our community members want to contribute another version of the
Yenicorn, our official mascot, then, great! They can send me an email directly and we're good.
In fact, we're better than that. We're 🦄.
Thirdly, I'm using it as a small blog or product "
changelog" for two personal side projects that I've been working on, the first is a weekly email newsletter and the second is a small
iOS app that I'm putting together with a friend called twin.camera — I'm just getting things put together on this and I'm dedicating about 4-5 hours a month on it.
Yes, that's not much time but that's all I can give it at this point and my friend is just as busy with his full-time work at a YCombinator-backed startup!
(To be completely honest, my prime motivation on this small technical project is to simply work with my friend—the software is almost a byproduct.)
So, there you have it! 3 very different-yet-effective ways to use Indie Hackers as a project / product blog for side hustles and ventures of all sizes!
There's almost no way that you could possibly get this wrong... unless you decide to build in secret and by yourself... which, is boring and lonely.
So, don't do that! Let's get writing (and building)!