July 7, 2019

Product Hunt results, my thoughts, and advice

Dianna Allen @diannamallen

To start, I'm happy to say that BMP landed at #1 Product of the Day, but not only that, consistently stayed #1 from the minute it launched.

I tracked a few metrics during the day: Product Hunt (obvs), website stats, and my initial tweet announcing my launch.

Product Hunt:
I'm sure we all know this but, I made sure to schedule my product to launch at midnight UTC-7. Because of this, you're allowing your product to be shown for the entirety of 24 hours.

BMP ended the day with 477 upvotes, and the 2nd place product had about 460. The engagement within the discussion of the product was incredible. I was able to gather a few ideas for future plans to improve BMP.

Never have I launched on PH before, so I didn't really know how to go about it other than write a nice intro comment, add a few appealing graphics, and promote the launch.

What I will say is that I didn't plan this launch at all... I set it all up Friday night to be launched Saturday morning. No one even knew I was launching.

As far as website stats go, this is by far the largest day I've had yet. It broke my previous record of 1.2k users in one day - the day my website actually went live. Here are yesterday's stats:

Unique Users: 2,342
Pageviews: 8,899
Subscribers: 130 gained

My website isn't fully monetized at the moment, but it gained a little bit in support donations. About $40. I launched purely for exposure, not to 'get rich' - so the fact there's even $1 is great.

But let's talk about Twitter... I honestly owe the success of my Product Hunt launch to Twitter.

This tweet did everything: https://twitter.com/diannamallen/status/1147399959114911749

By the end of the day, it gained:
120,000 impressions
352 likes
56 retweets

(Mind you, my following isn't as enormous as others, when I started the day I had about 890 followers)

So why did that tweet stand out so much? Well, here's my breakdown of it:
Communities - I'm involved in a few, Indie Hackers (ofc), Makerlog, and Women Make. I will say that I am not the most active in these, but people are probably familiar with my name - at the least.

Because of these communities, I had support from the beginning. I would say a true 10 people or so who gladly RT-ed me for me. And once those RTs get going, other people start RT-ing, and that explains that snowball.

Engagement - I was on a mission to keep engagement high the entire day of the PH launch. So, instead of just doing the typical "hey I launched on PH, please check it out", I added on to my initial tweet.

I wanted to educate people about WHY my product works and WHAT it can solve. So, if you reference that tweet I linked above, go ahead and scroll down and you can see the type of content I shared.

I don't have proof that is a reason why my tweet spread so much, but it certainly helped to keep eyes on BMP throughout the day without boring people.

And do you want to know something I didn't do? I have a mailing list of over 1,000 subscribers for my project. My real ideal audience... I did NOT send an email blast to them about this launch.

Why? Because that's not what my project is about. I don't utilize my list to share each and every aspect of the project, I use my list to give my audience what they want. Some may disagree with doing this, but I didn't lose any subscribers yesterday :) Who are the backbone of my project.

So, that's my two cents. All I could think to share. Hope it helps someone somewhere, and you should know this won't work for everyone. But I think if you're really in tune with your project, your audience, and you believe in it, you'll know exactly how to go about getting eyes on your launch.

  1. 2

    Thanks for the detailed write up! Really like the concept so I hope it continues to grow! (especially with more vegetarian vegan meals:)

    1. 1

      Thank you, and yes, I have lots of plans to expand on the content niches!

  2. 2

    Nice product and launch, saw it happen live on twitter :)

    Will be doing a launch this week for a side project, will use some of the lessons you mentioned above.

    1. 1

      Would love to hear how this goes, if you feel inclined to share with us, @volkandkaya. Best of luck.

      1. 2

        Of course, will most likely make two posts here. The launch and then the results. I love seeing them from others. Aka visitors, email subs and hopefully some will buy the product i'm building.

        1. 1

          Cool, I'll keep an eye out for them!

          PS. Nice product. I'm in London too :)

    2. 1

      I'll be interested to hear how it goes for ya!

  3. 1

    I just posted my PH. I have no experience on PH. Do you think I should be involved in PH or should I foducs on Twitter?

  4. 1

    I know this is an older post but thank you for sharing! I plan to do my VERY FIRST PH launch this week too and i'm very nervous. Glad to hear what worked for you. It's awesome that you didn't blast your email list and still reached 1st place in PH.

  5. 1

    This is so cool to read about Dianna. Thanks, again, for sharing so openly.

    Here are the main takeaways I've gotten:

    1. Being a helpful member of a community(-ies) pays in the longer run. I'm sure those handful of RTs from community members helped get the momentum going (amazing that you achieved these results without sharing with your list - though I'd imagine a handful of your list/Redditers may be following on Twitter, too. Really cool)

    2. Tweet 'threads' - especially ones of value and interactive (with images, graphics, etc) are so engaging. I feel lots of people are missing a trick here. If you have something useful to say, threads can be amazing.

    3. I am amazed that you didn't share this with your email list. Every bone in my body would have included a note to my existing subscribers about this, and utilise the 'power of the crowd' to it's maximum effect. Huge kudos to you for not being compelled to ask them to do you a favour.

    1. 2

      You've got it! Those are the factors to what made my launch successful. I don't think it'll work for everyone, but for the niche my product is, it worked.
      For example, if my product was SaaS then I would absolutely utilize my email list and send out a blast letting them know what's up. Because chances are my audience are familiar with tech and probably even Product Hunt.
      But I can guarantee that the list I have currently, maybe 90% of people on it have no idea what Product Hunt is. I did not want to bother them, they just want food content :)

      1. 1

        Ah, I gotcha. That makes total sense. Feels like it would have been a waste of a email/'ask'. :)

  6. 1

    Thanks for sharing! Pretty cool to see the power of sharing and having a community who cares on twitter!

  7. 1

    What was the process to get listed in ProductHunt? (How do you get accepted?)

    1. 2

      You actually can just post your own product and it'll show up immediately (or the day you schedule it for). There's rules, but for the most part you can launch anything tech related.

  8. 1

    Congratulations, Diana! I think a lot of credit can go to the fact that this is a great idea and an excellent execution. Well-done!

  9. 1

    Congrats Dianna! I love how community focused you're being. Don't lose that when you become famous!

    1. 1

      Never <3 My community is what made any of this happen, could never turn my back to them :D

  10. 1

    Congrats on your PH launch, sounds like a great success.
    Great engagement on Twitter too. And your site looks beautiful.

    It would be great if you made more money from it :-)

    Since the product is content, why not add some ad units and validate the monetization this way? You would know your CPM or RPV (revenue per visit) rate and can predict revenue based on traffic to the site. AdSense is easy to setup and start with. I would suggest responsive ad units and start with horizontal leaderboards in the site footer and maybe 1 inline square ad inside article pages. If you see any ads you don't like, just block the URL in AdSense manager.

    Also, you are giving away a lot of free value. If you didn't want to monetize with ads you could add a "regi" wall before a pay wall - allow for free content to be accessed by members as a way to collect more email addresses and build your email list, which you could eventually monetize when it gets big enough with sponsorships or even promote other complimentary products to (like the eBook you mentioned). This would need to be implemented in a way that you don't get penalized by search engines - the regi wall should never show up when referrer isn't your own site so first view is always free, but people are prompted to become members to see more.

    Lastly, I would suggest to move the email collection module to appear higher on the page, instead of the footer to push email collection. You could experiment with email module using a tool like Sumo which allows you to drop the site wide code once and specify where to show a module (% of page scroll) or type of module (popup, slide, docked, etc) and run AB tests on variations.

    Good luck with your project! Please post updates :-)

    1. 1

      This is AMAZING feedback. I do want to stray away from ads, unless it's with a brand specifically. However, I'm really interested to try out the regi wall strategy... I know for sure I want to offer premium content, so this sounds like a great way to convert people.

      I did make some minor edits with the mailing list today, now the first CTA on the home page links to a 'join' page whose purpose it to only collect emails. I noticed a lot of people were trying to join my mailing list through my contact form!

      There's a lot of things I wish I could edit when it came to design and flow, but right now it's built on Wix - so I'm doing what I can :) Part of me regrets not building it myself with code, but then I'd be sitting here still coding it lol that'll be a project for the future, thankfully Wix offers membership tiers and blocked content still.

      1. 1

        An alternative to ads from ad networks is affiliate ads - you might not make as much money, but you can control creative that goes onto your site since you will be hand picking the ads to show. Besides the obvious Amazon (books on cooking or frugal living, kitchen gadgets?) the biggest affiliate networks are CommissionJunction and ShareAsale - pick ads/brands that are complimentary to your content, not exact same (budget meals or cooking simple). Don't be shy and add sponsored ads into your emails as well - you can even pitch some brands directly to sponsor your newsletters! Even $50-100/email would be better than $0 and something you can re-invest into your site/biz.

        I would suggest Amazon ads/links to be inline, like mention a simple specific gadget you like using - herb scissors, garlic press, affordable blender (like those small "bullet" type) - something that you think will resonate with your audience.

        Hope you crush it!

        P.S. Don't forget to put a disclaimer into site footer about site pages occasionally having affiliate links. FTC requirement. Typical stuff though.

        1. 1

          Just had an idea :-) You can add a standard module into your newsletter/emails "Featured Gadget" or "Kitchen Tool You Will Love" (ok, copywriting isn't my strength) and place a product from Amazon into it with a little review from you. Some brands might reach out to you to get their products reviewed either for pay or to send you free products to try.

          1. 1

            Oh! I really, really like this suggestion. Your ideas are great - things I never would have thought of.
            I will try to implement some of these tactics soon! I have 1 Amazon affiliate link on my entire website, I clearly have opportunities to add more. I really like the idea of pitching to brands also about sponsoring the newsletter. Because you're right, anything is better than $0.

  11. 1

    Congratulations! How do you plan to monetize the project? Adding premium content?

    1. 1

      Exactly.
      It'll feel like a step back for my audience, because I'm going to put almost the entire website behind a paywall. I'll monetize by offering a membership. A minimal amount per month, maybe $5 or so since my audience clearly is looking for budget-friendly solutions.
      With that, you'll be able to access everything on the website. I'm also considering offering yearly and lifetime tiers for that.
      I'll create more ebooks along the way, which I may throw into the memberships so it's more of a benefit to join.
      This is a plan for a few months from now, once a lot of content is established.

      1. 2

        Mmm... if I were you I would consider a freemium model instead of putting everything behind a paywall.

        The reason is that in the long run you are going to need free content to keep a steady flow of visitors coming to your website.

        1. 1

          This is true. I think about this every so often, and I always have a hard time figuring out where limitations start and end when it comes to what should be freely available vs premium content. Any advice for that?

          1. 2

            The million dollar question 😀

            I can tell you my opinion.

            Free content: content that has the potential to drive traffic to your website (rank on Google, being shared on social, etc.). Will be 90% of the content you create.

            Paid content: content that address the main pain point of your audience (BTW it's way easier to start with a course than a membership).

            Real example: Backlinko (disclaimer: I haven't bought his course but a friend of mine has).

            He writes blog posts that drive a lot of traffic to his website. Then he sells to his list a course that's called "SEO That Works" that basically teaches everything you need to know about SEO.

            Does the course overlap with the blog posts? Yes and no. It's basically a convenient summary of the most important things he shared in his blog posts but there are also many things exclusive to the course. And based on my experience this is how works for a lot of infoproduct businesses.

            1. 1

              Ah... I definitely can understand how this method will work.
              Fantastic advice, I like your explanation of the free content - as I had no idea what it would include for me. But, now I can get some ideas flowing.
              Thank you very much!

              1. 2

                😀

                BTW If you need more help with getting Google traffic just let me know. I'm writing an SEO crash course and would love to have some feedback before launching it (for free of course!).

                1. 1

                  hey @andreabosoni - I'd love to take a look at this course.

                  I've been teaching myself through a (free) section on Moz's site, and a course of Matt Giovanisci's that was on Fizzle, but has since been taken off before I had a chance to complete it :( lol

                  1. 1

                    Sure! Send me a DM on Twitter 😉

                2. 1

                  Absolutely! I'd be very interested! I'm decently familiar with SEO myself, but I'm definitely a sponge when it comes to learning more. Feel free to DM me on Twitter about it when you need feedback, @diannamallen

  12. 1

    Nice product, congratulations Dianna!
    How long did you spend building it?

    1. 2

      Well, it initially began as a weekly newsletter back in April. So that was no time at all, just a few hours 1 day per week to write some recipes.
      When the demand grew to have a real website, I chose to build with Wix just to get it out there in as little time as possible. I need a lot of future-proof features that Wix is able to provide. If I were to learn how to code those features, well... this website would be in the making forever lol. So with Wix, it only took like 4 hours.
      Now, I spend probably a couple hours every 2 days or so creating new content.

      1. 1

        That's great, thank you for sharing, Dianna.
        Wish you all the best!

  13. 1

    Good read. Thanks for sharing

  14. 1

    congrats, great signs!

  15. 1

    Incredibly proud of you Dianna! Glad to see your side project smash it out the water, and place number one as a solo project. Keep doing what you're doing 👊🏽

    1. 1

      You're the best, Jess :)

  16. 1

    Thanks for sharing Dianna!

  17. 1

    Great story and lessons. Thank you for sharing!

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