Growth July 10, 2020

How it feels to be on HackerNews first page

Jamal Mashal @jamalx31

Yesterday I was "lucky" enough to experience how it feels to be on HN first page. And TBH I had no idea what to expect since I'm not active there and I don't know what kind of community is it.

So what happened? I'm working on my book and as part of my strategy to do it in public, I share part of it as blog posts. I created one yesterday and decided to check my chances with HN. Since I posted a couple of times there before with no success, I didn't expect much this time. But after just one hour I checked HN again and was surprised 🤯 to see my post on the first page at #13.

The excitement didn't last long as the first comments start coming in. "Jeez, what did I get myself into!". I never had this experience online where people just hurl their opinions and judgment at me like that. Comments like

This seems to me the idea(s) of a young person who's working (no pun intended) on the small picture, but missing the big one. In short, somebody who doesn't know yet what to do in life

(By pizza234, very interesting name)

The worst part is I can't tell who is this person judging me and my post, it could be a venture capitalist or a random internet troll living in his parents' basement.

But since I posted there to get feedback in the first place, I took it as is. Even if it's not the type I expected, it is still feedback.

The funny thing is that at some point people just decided to switch and discuss digital nomads lifestyle (which I mentioned in my post) and totally forgot about the main subject 🤦🏻‍♂️

⚖️ The full half of the cup

My post was on the first page for around 7h. In this time my blog got 3.1k unique visitors, 18 people subscribed to my newsletter (%50 increase), and 4 people pre-ordered my book!
This is a huge deal for me because I just started my newsletter and blog 2 weeks ago. So I happy with the outcomes and will take it as a win 😁

💬 Takeaways

  1. Keep sharing your content, not everyone will like and you shouldn't care.
  2. Hacker News is great for driving traffic but get ready to handle criticism.

Finally, if you're bored and would like to read what ppl commended on HN you can check out it here. Link to my blog post here. And please feel free to share your honest thoughts with me, It can't be worse than HN 😜. If you'd like to connect on twitter I'm @jamalx31

  1. 4

    Congratulations on making it to the first page :) The subscribers and book pre-orders are also an awesome outcome.

    I agree Hacker News is brutal. I've also had an article do very well on there and honestly I just didn't read the comments because I knew they would probably be mean 🙄

    1. 2

      Thanks Monica,
      If I make it again to the first page I will probably do the same hehe

  2. 2

    It sounds like it was a huge gain, even with the negativity. It's expected with the internet being the way it is, but it still sucks to read.

    Maybe this is why I don't share my content outside Twitter.. 🤔

    1. 2

      I know it's hard to deal with harsh comments. (I was taking deep breaths before I open HN to read the comments). But it's also important to hear what others have to say even if it's bad, it's your job to filter what is worth listening to and what to just ignore

  3. 1

    Hey, well done. That's a nice bit of success. Think of it as 'trial by fire' - criticism makes you & your ideas stronger. A necessary pain :-)

    1. 1

      yes!

  4. 1

    Congrats. Question for you: Does it make a difference to you if you knew the criticism comes from a "venture capitalist or a random internet troll living in his parents' basement"?

    1. 1

      I think so yes.
      I will give more weight to the VC comment. ofc I will not take things personally and also they could be wrong but relatively speaking they have more experience either in business or life

  5. 1

    I use hacker news and always look at the comments section. I’ve noticed people to be much nicer when the author / creator of the story participates in the discussion. Like adding an AMA as a first comment to let people know you care.

    1. 2

      ah, that's a good tip!
      Thanks for sharing, I will try it next time :)