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!
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!
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.
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
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:
This definitely isn't the end for the podcast page. I have future plans to make it a bit more usable, including:
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:
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. ✌️
You may have noticed a few improvements to IH recently:
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:
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! 😅
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!
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.
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.
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.