AMAs June 30, 2020

Made it to the Front Page on Hacker News. AMA.

Shiva Prabhakaran @shv_prbhkrn

Yesterday at around 18:00, I started writing a post on my new Substack newsletter around mental models & decision making. Little did I know that this post will go on to feature on the front page of Hacker News.

While it is great that I got a lot of traffic from Hacker News, I didn't get a lot of subscribers primarily because I didn't add a subscribe button on the post. I gained just 53 and I have since then added the button to the post.

I also noticed that there is a discrepancy between data from Google Analytics and Substack's native analytics. While Substack shows the traffic to be around 20k, GA on the other hand shows only 10k.

While I am happy that this went viral, there are a few things that I wish I had done.

  1. Add a subscribe button in the post.
  2. Add a sponsor/affiliate link in the post
  3. Structure the post a little better.
  4. Respond to comments on HN to drive engagement.

Here is the original post:

If you like that post, consider subscribing. I'll answer any questions you may have in the comments.

  1. 1

    Hi Shiva,

    Congratulations. I have gone through your post and really like your post design (too much neat and clean which is hard to see nowadays) and writing.

    Can you please tell me how many posts you posed before on HN and whats; avg results.

    Is timing to the post matters and how long you have been active user of HN.

    One last questions, what tool you used for email subscribe in-between content of your post


    1. 1

      Congrats Shiva, I actually have the same question. I tried posts/commenting on HN and was downvoted each time. Can you give some strategy on how to build a profile with good karma and then have posts that are upvoted