Indie Hackers

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The age of the indie founder has arrived! Today anyone can create something, reach thousands of people, and build a profitable business.

We created Indie Hackers to help founders like you.

March 13, 2020 Brought Back Support for Link Posts

Once upon a time, the Indie Hackers forum supported link posts. It was a simple way to share a link without additional commentary, with the benefit that anyone who clicks it from the forum will be taken directly to the link.

I removed this functionality during a big forum rewrite, in part to focus on discussion posts. But discussion posts are doing great, and I'd like to add some more variety to the mix by bringing link posts back.

More specifically, discussion posts can get a bit stale over time, as similar topics and questions reappear from month to month. They also tend to limit conversation a bit. If something interesting happens elsewhere on the web, link posts make it trivially easy to share and see what other indie hackers think about it.

The risk with link posts is that they're so easy to make that they risk flooding the /newest feed. And, in my opinion, they're only as valuable as the discussion they generate.

For now, link posts are open to people with 20+ points, in which case you can make them by clicking the link icon when creating a post. I might lower that later. Let's see how it goes!

January 16, 2020 Created a "Start Here" Page for New Indie Hackers

It's tough to know where to start out as an indie hacker. The good news is, you're not alone. In fact, hundreds of new indie hackers get started every day—I know because we've been counting!

Indie Hackers: Start Here

There's literally never been a better time to get started, so today we're launching a new "start" page to serve as the ultimate guide for brand new indie hackers.

Not only does it link to some of the best articles on the web, but it also showcases live discussions involving other fledgling founders who are going through the same steps. The goal of the page is to be part motivation, part education, because you need both to get started.

In just the first two weeks of 2020, over 800 indie hackers have taken action to get started on their dreams. I'm sure by the end of the year and certainly the decade, there will be many tens of thousands! 🎉

We're going to be tweaking and improving this page all year long, and watching to see how high the numbers go. Follow along, and feel free to send it to your friends or colleagues who might be curious about starting a profitable online business of their own.

November 11, 2019 Indie Hackers is hiring!

I've got a ton of plans and ideas for Indie Hackers that, quite frankly, I can't code fast enough by myself… so it's time to make our first full-time hire. 🔥

If you're a front-end (or full-stack) engineer and you're interested in joining Indie Hackers and Stripe to help me develop and implement these new ideas, I'd be happy to have you!

You can apply here: https://stripe.com/jobs/listing/frontend-eng-indie-hackers/1953430

October 22, 2019 Redesigned Podcast Page

We're changing up our email strategy, and going forward different parts of the site will have their own unique newsletters, including the podcast.

I wanted to update the podcast page to call more attention to the "sign up for the podcast newsletter" box, but I got a bit carried away and ended up redesigning the entire page.

The old version is on the left, and the new one is on the right:

Podcast Page Redesign

This definitely isn't the end for the podcast page. I have future plans to make it a bit more usable, including:

  • some filtering features
  • ability to play an episode directly from the list
  • possibly replacing the verbose descriptions with prominent quotes, so it's easier to skim the list and find appealing episodes
October 22, 2019 5 Million Podcast Downloads

Episode #128 with Tyler King broke the 5M cumulative download mark for the IH podcast today, which is fitting, because Tyler's episode was one of the best I've recorded in a while!

The IH podcast has been going strong since mid-February 2017. I never imagined it would get more than a few hundred downloads a day, and now it's averaging over 10,000:

Daily Podcast Downloads

Whenever I analyze the podcast and what makes it grow, the two things that always stand out are quality and consistency. The podcast does well when I'm regularly putting out great episodes, and it stagnates when I'm inconsistent or the episodes are mediocre.

Shocking, I know.

My plan at this point is to keep the podcast going exactly the same way it has been for the past few months, where I'm spending lots of time trying to hunt down good guests and ask them solid questions, and I'm releasing an additional "quick chat" episode every Friday.

It's been super fun to invite guests on who've been posting top milestones, and I'm looking forward to the day where I can find 100% of my podcast guests from the Indie Hackers community itself. ✌️

October 6, 2019 Shipped Lots of Improvements to IH

You may have noticed a few improvements to IH recently:

  • The loading quote is gone from the homepage. Instead, the content appears instantly. Still got a few glitches to fix here.
  • You can add h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 headings within your posts using Markdown by beginning a line with ##, ###, ####, etc.
  • You can also add inline images to your posts using Markdown's image syntax.
  • You can also add inline images to your comments.
  • Everyone can add header images to posts now, not just people who have a sufficient number of points.
  • You can finally delete your product pages.
  • Forum posts have gotten a big aesthetic upgrade and look better than ever. I've been trying to find a design that works well for both short discussion posts and long-form blog-like posts, and I think I've gotten pretty close.
  • This is a bit invisible, but I did a bunch of technical SEO stuff and plan to keep working on it. Google should start picking up more of your posts sooner or later.
  • If you make a post, people who follow you will now see that post in their daily community digest. I haven't enabled the community digest for everyone, but when I do it should be meaningful. Many of you have hundreds or thousands of followers.
  • Posts have their Open Graph / Twitter Card images again, so they look great when shared on social media. Hopefully I'll have time to add some more random images.
  • The homepage now more clearly divides milestones/products vs forum posts. Still lots of work to go here. I want to properly unify milestones and products into one cohesive feature. There's a lot of valuable information being shared via milestones that would be great to be able to sort, search, filter, etc.
  • I replaced infinite scroll with pagination on most pages, so you can actually scroll to see the footer now.
  • Comment text and upvotes buttons are a bit bigger now on mobile, which should make them easier to click.
  • Lots more stuff I've forgotten that I've done.

Of course, there are still a couple dozen things you've all been asking for over and over again that I'm going to get to eventually:

  • changing your username
  • changing your email address
  • changing your product pages' names/URL
  • saving drafts of posts
  • bookmarking posts
  • subscribing to posts
  • RSS feeds
  • an API
  • better meetup features, etc.
  • better search (almost done with this)
  • various performance fixes

And then there are a few things I'm building that nobody's asking for, but that I think everyone would benefit from regardless.

Suggestions are appreciated, as always! Although I'm going on a much-needed vacation next week, so I might be slow to respond.

I'm going to add an open role for a front-end engineer to Stripe's Job Openings page in another couple weeks. Would be great to have some help! 😅

August 15, 2019 Indie Hackers Got Nominated for The Noonies Awards

Hackernoon are hosting their first annual Noonies Awards. They call it The Tech Industry's Greenest Awards.

We're under the category of 'Best Dev Community', go on over and see if we deserve a vote!

https://noonies.hackernoon.com/award/cjxr8yn9weqhp0b129w4ygn5h

August 5, 2019 Replaced Hashtags with Groups

The hashtags on the homepage are officially gone, and I've replaced them with an inaugural set of groups:

Still lots of work to go here and many very basic features left to build, but hopefully the groups will build up steam over time.

If you have any additional group ideas, I remain open to suggestions! We'll definitely be adding more groups in the coming weeks.

July 27, 2019 Launched Our First Group!

I've been working on a groups feature for Indie Hackers for a couple of weeks, and today I'm inviting a handful of people to the very first group.

I'm super excited about groups, in part because they provide a more intimate setting for meeting people you can connect with on repeatable basis. The forum, on the other hand, is so big that it's much harder to run into the same people repeatedly and develop any sort of connection.

The other great thing about groups is that they're specific. You can get right down into the nitty gritty of what you're working on and discuss those details with other people who actually understand them. For example, if you're a podcaster, you'll be able to talk shop with other podcasters. This has always been tough to do on the IH forum, because it's usually too big and broad to allow for such specific conversations.

One challenge with groups is that they're basically distinct communities. The fact that IH as a whole is thriving doesn't mean that any particular group will thrive. So my approach is to take it one group at a time for a while, "doing things that don't scale" to build them up to the point of self-sustainability, and meanwhile building out the missing feature that people request the most.

Eventually I'll open up groups so anyone can create and grow their own group.

June 20, 2019 Passed 3,000 Instagram Followers

We've been sharing deeply personal indie hacker stories on our Instagram account all year, and growth has been pretty steady.

(You can check out a chart here.)

We bootstrapped the first 1,000 followers from the IH mailing list. We've continued to send out new posts in our mailing list every week, and we've also experimented hashtags, with different story types and lengths, with IG's "stories" feature, and a few other things.

But nothing has moved the needle like influencer marketing. We've done two or three stories with IG influencers who also happen to run businesses, and their shares have given us a noticeable bump in follower accounts every time.

Still a lot to learn here, as IG doesn't seem quite as easy to grow as Twitter etc, in part because there aren't as many indie hackers there, and in part because there aren't any native retweet/mass sharing features.

The age of the indie founder has arrived! Today anyone can create something, reach thousands of people, and build a profitable business.

We created Indie Hackers to help founders like you.