Publishing on ProductHunt without preparation!

Exactly 12 days ago I published my product on ProductHunt, and I didn't plan for it!

Some backstory

About a year ago I deleted all my social media accounts. I kept only the Linkedin, which is not exactly the social media where you scroll all day, and twitter where I had 15 followers who were some kind of cryptocurrency bots. Not exactly the following a person can be proud of.

When this august I decided to start my personal blog I had 0 followings on social media, I had no list of people to whom I can send the link and expect a massive amount of subscribers (as of today I have 10). So this lack of social media presence hit really hard on my blog progress.

Why is this relevant?

ProductHunt is a great place where people can discover great new products, founders get massive exposure to their potential audiences, and researchers (like me) can have a close eye on the industry trends and startup ecosystem. All that being said this platform is highly competitive, and appearing on the first page of ProductHunt is almost as exciting as being on the first page of HackerNews.

Before launch

After 2 months of blogging, I got a lot of traction for the person that has 0 online presence and doesn't use ads.

As of today (1/11/2019)

My average session duration - 2min

Bounce rate - 20%

Weekly active users - 74

One of my articles under mysterious circumstances went viral, in the sense that I got 700 unique visitors in a course of 4 days. Which increased my confidence and gave me a sign that I'm going in the right direction, and I started to think about launching on product hunt. After doing research (which I always do) I got the sense that newsletters and blogs don't generally launch. There were only a few successful newsletter launches. Other blogs or platforms were launching separate products like:

- checklists,

- reports,

- roadmaps and handbooks,

- podcast pages.

Which is an interesting strategy, that I will certainly use when I have my industry research. I decided to launch, just to see what is the experience so I can plan my future launches better. Also having an additional traffic source would be a nice thing to have.

The launch

The plan was to sit down and just do it, fast, like ripping off a band-aid (here you can totally tell that I'm not a marketing person). To launch on product hunt all you need to do is fill out a simple form about your product.

Things I learned from the launch process:

- Have ready-to-go materials - the form will ask you to fill out a description for your product, add some pictures and landing page. I wish I'd have some preparation, like beautiful pictures, explainer video or something like that and thought through description.

- Prepare a separate landing page - the page that was linked to product hunt was my homepage. Which if you look at it, is not very exciting. Having a separate landing page will help the person who followed the link in one simple place understand what is the product about. This point I regret the most, and for my future launches will consider for sure!

- You following matters - surprisingly product hunt really helps with the initial kick of the product. Once you get published a bot is sharing your launch page on twitter, and a few other bots also share it with their following. However, to have the ship on the surface of the sea of products you need to have a lot of following/subscribers that will support you. I'd even suggest starting the buzzing in your feed week or so before the launch.

- ProductHunt is great as traffic source - my average session duration before launch was around 43 seconds. After the launch, it increased up to 3min, on the best day. In my traffic graph, you can see that I got on a lot of visitors. The newcomers stuck around for and also increased my returning visitors' percentage.

traffic report from google analytics

From the launch, I got 5 upvotes, a great source of continues traffic, and referring to the launch page I got my first ghost posting offer.

Overall I think this was a great experience, will certainly not recommend to anyone if you have some new product to launch it like me :) I hope this article will help you to prepare better and know what to expect.

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