How I got 70 signups from a single HN _comment_ (not even a main post!)

I was positively shocked this week at how strong a response I got from writing a single comment on Hacker News (Hacker News).

Basically I was taking a breather from coding and saw someone had just posted a question Ask HN: How do you learn to build substantial, real world apps?.

Considering this is my business, I simply chimed in the following comment, basically saying "THIS IS WHAT I DO" and expecting MAX 2-3 signups:

This is exactly what I'm covering with my Semicolon&Sons screencasts.
Basically I've run a profitable production web app for 10 years (~14k LOC, 200k monthlies, revenue higher than any day-job I could get) as well as a few Android/IOS apps.
Now I'm creating videos where I show various real-world aspects of writing software in the context of my own production code - e.g.
rapid response systems to production errors
dependency choices
data integrity guarantees
integration testing systems
softer stuff, like optimizing for SEO and on-page conversion.
There's not enough non-beginner material out there and I hope to help fill that gap in resources.
They're all available on my website (same as my username)

The comment got upvoted 20 times on HN and I netted about 70 signups.

This makes me think that monitoring HN/reddit/Twitter for ideal opportunities to chime in a very valuable marketing tool.

  1. 2

    What is LOC in "~14k LOC"?

    1. 2

      LOC = lines of code

  2. 2

    I found your site precisely based on your comment that I stumbled upon on HN. Great resource.

  3. 2

    I agree that monitoring HN/reddit/Twitter is very important. I do this for indiehackers, starting to watching twitter.

    But how to manage all that, like, every day you have to check HN, reddit, twitter, indie hackers, facebook etc.

    I guess there are some marketing tools for this, or maybe some super big control panel for monitoring everything? Or you just manually made a habit of checking these sites every day?

    1. 1

      Subscribe to HN via RSS in an RSS reader, it makes it much easier to scan and also reduces the bias to only look at the top posts.

    2. 1

      To reply with another great resource, you can check out https://mention.com/. It's actually pretty powerful, having used it myself for previous projects.

    3. 1

      I agree completely that even though you may get some very strong traction in certain social threads, it takes a lot of time to sift through them.

    4. 1

      It's something I'm gonna look into. Maybe some sort of alerts on keywords.

      I'm scared of browsing the sites manually cause I tend to spend way too long reading random content.

        1. 4

          I wonder if the founders of Syften were notified about this thread 🤔

        2. 1

          Thank you so much. This looks very helpful.

      1. 1

        Indeed, and even if you don't read a lot (like wasting your time), you still have to read a lot in order to find relevant topics =(

        If you find something drop me a line :) Drop everyone here a line :D

        1. 1

          I use this for mentions, is not a big thing but it helps.

          I have done this for around a year or so if I see a chance to let them know that colorsandfonts.com could help them, I just drop it.

          Sometimes, when the site is dropped somewhere, I get a big influx of subscribers,...and traffic grows a lot, mostly on Twitter and Facebook.

          This has made me grow the subscribers' list pretty much, by now is 1020

  4. 1

    Fortunately, HN allows everybody to promote their business!

  5. 1

    woo, nice. Do u think everyone who tries this will get a positive result as u did?

    1. 1

      Depends on the match between your business and the thread. Other times I've commented, I got nada.

      1. 2

        And a lot of people browse through the comments in a thread only once, so you have to get there early.

        1. 1

          I see. Good tip man!

      2. 1

        I don’t quite understand it. How should I match it then?

        1. 1

          A better word than match might be "relevance" - i.e. are the people who would pay attention to that thread ALSO the people in your target market. If yes, there's a match and you win.

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