Meta March 7, 2020

Tips for making successful posts on Indie Hackers

Courtland Allen @csallen

I've compiled a few basic tips below. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments. I'll try to keep this post updated regularly.

❶ Share something IHers want to read.

Making a successful forum post isn't any different than making a successful product. You have to give people what they want. Otherwise they have a million other things they could be doing.

Indie hackers are tech founders who come here primarily to learn, talk shop, be inspired, discover new things, and (occasionally) lend a helping hand.

Does your post help them do that?

Start interesting discussions, ask useful questions, teach people what you've learned, and share links to relevant resources.

❷ Write titles people want to click.

Nobody's going to read your post unless they first decide to click your title, so it needs to be enticing. Luckily, that's easier than it sounds. Some rules of thumb:

Make it descriptive.

People don't click links they don't understand. Describe your post in the title using something close to a full sentence. You don't have have to be clever here.

If you're asking a question, put your question in the title. If you're giving an opinion, put that in the title. If you're sharing advice, state the advice. If you're looking for feedback, say so.

👍 GOOD: "Tips for prioritizing your tasks effectively", "How can I get more views on YouTube?", "Should indie hackers care more about security?"

👎 BAD: "Hello!", "Task management app", "Promo", "My app"

Make it helpful to others.

The vast majority of people on IH are merely reading and upvoting. As I said earlier, they want to read interesting and useful things. Your title should make it clear how they'll get that:

👍 GOOD: "How I figured out direct sales"

👎 BAD: "Progress report #2933"

Even if you're asking for help, you can often ask in a way that's useful to everyone, not just you:

👍 GOOD: "What are the best tips for converting blog readers into subscribers?"

👎 BAD: "I need to get more subscribers for NameOfMySpecificBlog"

By the way, unless you have an extremely popular company with a recognizable name, it's almost never helpful to put your company's name in the title of your post.

❸ Make it readable.

Indie hackers are busy people. They have things to do, and they'll click the back button if your post is too long or rambling. If possible, keep it short.

If you're writing a long post, put the important, interesting stuff up top. Write as if nobody's going to read past the first 5 sentences, because in many cases, they won't.

You should also make long posts easy to skim. Indie Hackers supports Markdown, so you can use headings (##, ###, etc.) to break your posts into sections, as well as images and bullet lists to break up the monotony.

If you absolutely must write paragraph after paragraph, please, please, please put blank lines between them. Nobody will attempt read a bunch of paragraphs smashed together.

❹ Share your writing.

Indie Hackers rewards posts that generate the most discussion, because we want more people to see the best stuff.

One way to get more comments is to post inside the relevant group, as group members will the best posts for the day in their email digest.

Also, don't be shy about sharing posts on Twitter or with colleagues.

❺ Learn from the best.

From the forum homepage, it's easy to click to navigate to the top posts on Indie Hackers for the week, the month, and all time. Spend a few minutes browsing for inspiration if you'd like to see what other IHers find helpful.

Happy posting!

  1. 3

    Very helpful thank you.

    Last night I was looking for a group regarding newsletters , but there wasn't. Can we create one?

  2. 2

    Simple and helpful.
    Thank you!

    1. 1

      👋🏻 — hey john! good to see you here!

  3. 2

    One more on #3. Please don't double space your sentences or make a long post of mostly single-sentence "paragraphs". The reason paragraphs exist is to organize sentences into logical blocks and make reading easier!

    This post from the all-time list is a nice example of a long, readable piece.

  4. 1

    I'm trying to post something and it says "you are not allowed to post" not sure why any idea?

  5. 1

    What is the best image size(s) for the image we are allowed to add?

  6. 1

    Very beneficial post.
    Thank you.
    But I have confusion about where we find forum related questions.

  7. 1

    This is very useful. Thank you!

  8. 1

    Page Bookmarked. Thanks :)

  9. 1

    Thanks , its really useful!

  10. 1

    This is a great list. #2 about “Most people are here to read and upvote” is crucial. Use IH as a forum for feedback, sure. But if it’s an opinion piece just offer the opinion as clearly as possible and make it easy to read and upvote.

  11. 1

    This comment was deleted 4 months ago.