About 6 months ago I set up a Wordpress blog with the idea of sharing my experiences in starting a hardware company, both on the business and the electronics side. After posting two articles that were viewed quite ok (3k views), I forgot about the blog for a while. Fast forward to two weeks ago: I posted two new posts on Arduino electronics, which yielded a total of over 50k views.
This post describes how I came to these results and how I think you can do the same.
My two posts
My goal for writing a blog is to share my experience and knowledge, so others can learn from that. I have learned so much from other blogs that I wanted to do the same for others. So let’s talk about the two posts: The first one was about building a 5$ Arduino clone (Arduino is normally around 25$), the second post was about running an Arduino board for weeks or even months on a battery (normally works only for about a day).
After each post, I submitted a link to HackerNews and Reddit (/r/electronics and /r/arduino sub-reddits) and just waited.
HN frontpage and 50k views
Both times not much happened for the first half an hour. But as time progressed, I saw some upvotes on both sites and a few hunderd views. Then both times after one to two hours, more and more upvotes came, traffic increased to above a thousand and people started sharing on Facebook and tweeting (Thanks for liking and sharing!). Once that happened, traffic started to explode: thousands of views and in excess of a hunderd tweets. Both articles got on the fron pages of HackerNews and both sub-reddits. Result (see chart above): 16k views for the first post, in excess of 25k views for the second post (thanks for all the upvotes btw!).
More than 100 Tweets and facebook Likes:
In the meantime, someone at lifehacker had found my post on a 5$ Arduino clone and had written a post about this. I never knew, only from the fact that I suddenly got a lot of traffic from lifehacker and found the post there. Result of being featured on lifehacker: About 10k views in a couple of days.
What I learned and how you can do the same
After these two posts, I wrote another that was not neraly as succesfull as the first two posts, which made me analyze the difference in succes and thus probably value to the end reader.
- First and foremost, you have to provide real, genuine value to your readers. Something that they really appreciate and that gives really good or hard to find information.
- It helps a lot to have a to-the-point, eyebrow-raising title. Something that people think: Really!?
- Mostly by coinsidence (it’s the default setting) I had share buttons, which were used really a lot by my readers.
- I added some pictures, which give the post a visual appealing.
- Share your post on social bookmarking sites like HN and Reddit, but only if you have something really worthwhile to link to!
What I didn’t do
I don’t have comments on, since I don’t want to be approving comments all the time: HN and Reddit have perfect systems for that. I don’t have a catchy domain: I use just standard, free wordpress.com, with a standard theme (if you do want to have a domain name and/or wordpress hosting: Bluehost
is pretty cheap and I heard great things about them). and finally I just produced – what I thought – was good content, NO upvoting or other manipulation: If it’s good, then they WILL come.
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