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Tripled my subscribers with a front page post on Hacker News -> How to write a good HN headline ✅

I tripled the subscriptions for Slidegame.io with a single post on Hacker News that got to number 20 on the main page.

Here's what I learned about how to write a good headline:

Do...

  1. Start the Headline with 'Show HN:' if you're linking to your new site or app. This will get you onto the Show page and the main page

  2. Provide a clear benefit for clicking on the link - what will the audience receive in return for their attention

  3. Give your site / app credibility - this may be because of who the author is, how many subscriptions / users you have so far, ratings etc

  4. Give an early reason to sign up / subscribe / buy your product. This will warm the audience up to signing up once they hit your landing page

Don't...

  1. Include the name of your site - it's already in the link and doesn't make the user want to click

  2. Be generic - instead be very specific about what the person is clicking on and why they should

  1. 3

    Is HN a good place to share stuff if you're not familiar with it? I'm always nervous about doing that kind of thing.

  2. 2

    So you submitted the site 4 times (see here : https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=UC_Consultant) but the one from the screenshot seems to only have gotten 5 points?

    Although another submission with a different title (“SlideGame – Free, editable slide templates”) got 28 points and 7 comments.

    Or am I missing something here?

    1. 1

      Hey, yeah I’ve experimented with a few different posts, the first few didn’t get much traction at all.
      It’s odd, I used the title in the bottom half of my post to begin with - you can see from the screenshot in my picture. Highest I saw the post was at no. 20.

      Then I went back on to check the next day and the title had changed - possibly because I used the same link as an earlier post?
      I have no idea the exact reason. Have you ever come across this before?

      1. 3

        Reposting the same link is against HN policies and gets flagged off [Dupe].
        Luckily, your post wasn't flagged. :-)

        When you need to repost, ideally, change the URL as well.

        Additionally, Show HN is not to be used for content - only applications.

        Check out the Guidelines here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

        1. 1

          Ah, makes sense - thanks :)

      2. 1

        So you're saying the title that got you upvotes was "Show HN: Free, editable slides by big 4 consultant - new set every week" when you first posted?

        But has since been changed by the moderators to: "SlideGame – Free, editable slide templates"?

        1. 1

          I don’t know if it was moderators. All
          I know is my clicks declined after it changed

  3. 2

    How many subscribers do you have after tripling your subscriber base?

    1. 2

      Hi, I had around 100, now up to 340

  4. 1

    Good stuff! And how do you do this when you want to show a blog post? (in that case, Show HN isn't the right way to submit an article as I understand).

    I'm asking because I've added several articles on HN over the years, and while they consistently bring some traffic, I get barely any upvotes or comments.

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