Hacker news is an influential link aggregation website.
The largest crowd there?
People in the technology industry and startup companies.
If you have a good product appealing to these people, Hacker News is a great place to get your story and product spread and then generate sales by doing it.
On this post, I want to show you how Josh Pigford, the Founder of Baremetrics, submitted one of his blog posts to the Hacker News website and made $1200 monthly recurring revenue in 2 days.
Later, I’ll show you how you can take Josh’s experience, tweak it a bit and replicate Josh’s success’
… even if you don’t own a software company… heck, you don’t even need to own a product.
Awesome, let’s jump in.
How Josh got on Hacker News front page and made $1500 monthly recurring revenue
First, meet Josh Pigford:
Josh is the founder of Baremetrics.
Baremetrics is a subscription analytics software for businesses offering subscription products.
The software shows all subscription related metrics such as Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), Churn Rate, etc. which are useful for subscription businesses.
Josh published a blog post on Baremetrics blog.
In the post, he shared how he used Facebook retargeting ads to make $650 for each $5 he spent on ads.
Right after he published the post, Josh submitted the link to Hacker News.
Anyone can submit their link to the Hacker News website.
It’s so easy, just register for a free account, and then submit the title of your blog post + URL, hit the submit button and you’re done.
Once your story gets some early traction, your link will be pushed to the front page and enjoy the influx of traffic to your website from a portion of the gigantic 15 million visitors that hit the website every month.
Now, let’s get back to Josh’s submission…
15 minutes after he submitted his link to Hacker News, the article was upvoted by readers and hit the first page on Hacker News.
In 2 days, the post generated $1200 in new recurring revenue for Baremetrics.
Over the next couple of weeks, the post brought in another $300 worth of sign-ups.
When the dust had settled, that one post generated $1500 in monthly recurring revenue for Josh.
Pretty cool for less than 1 minute spent posting a link to Hacker News huhn? 😉
Now, how can we replicate Josh’s success?
Hacker News isn’t new to me; I have been able to hack my way to the front page of Hacker News and land 765 visits to Growthtext within 24 hours.
Getting the traffic from Hacker News isn’t hard. You just need an interesting story and to submit your link at the right time; that’s about it.
The harder part is getting the traffic to convert into sales.
After spending some serious time analyzing Josh’s blog post, I believe I have cracked the code for how his article “unintentionally’’ converted the traffic for him.
And this is an interesting find.
Please read on…
Why Josh’s post converts Hacker News traffic
2 reasons why the post converts:
#1 He has a great title to pull eye balls to his content.
#2 He un-intentionally setup big images right in the middle in the content to “sell” Baremetrics.
First, let’s take a look at the blog post title…
The title tells people the content is going to be some really useful information
The title carries a strong promise…
Turn $6 to $650.
That’s more than 100x ROI.
Hardly anyone can ignore that kind of promise.
But when I look at the content, to be honest, I don’t see that it was well-received by readers.
At the time I am writing this, the social button numbers don’t indicate the article was shared by too many people.
Also, at this point only 1 person cared to leave a comment on the post. Not very engaging.
Quality of content is subjective, but the social button and comment count tell me it’s a poorly engaging piece of content.
Yes, the content is semi-good, but it’s not earth shattering at all. I have read, like, more than 10 articles on Facebook retargeting that are way better than this. (Sorry, Josh)
The title hooked people’s attention, they clicked, and they landed on the article. If it’s not the content that converted, then it must be something else…
It’s the images.
I truly believe those huge banner ad images Josh (unintentionally) placed on the article that made the magic.
If you scroll down the article, you will see Josh showed the different size of banner ads he used for his retargeting ads.
I believe those weren’t placed there intentionally to sell his products. Those images merely related to his content as examples; so, there they are.
The images are just too obvious to get ignore.
The cool thing about these banners is that they tell people what Baremetrics does in simple and straightforward words: Analytics for Stripe.
Stripe is a tool that allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet.
Everyone in the startup and technology knows Stripe. In fact, a lot of his readers may already use Stripe for their businesses.
When Stripe users see the banners, they definitely check what Baremetrics is all about (an analytics for Stripe?).
That’s how Josh’s article converts:
A great title + big images that sell Baremetrics.
How to get on the Hacker News front page and make recurring income (just like Josh did)
Unlike Josh, most of us don’t own a software company.
So, how do we make recurring revenue by submitting article to Hacker News just like Josh did?
Do what Josh did, and you don’t need to own a software company at all. Just go find great software that pays recurring commissions and replicate the formula I just showed you…
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Find tools that pay recurring commissions
Google a key phase like “must have startup tools” or “top startup tools”.
Go through what you find, list all tools that pay recurring commissions.
Join their affiliate programs.
Step 2: Run through the online tool companies’ blogs
See if they have published any case studies of users using their tool and look at the results.
We want case studies that share specific achievements using these tools.
Results can be something like “How [tool name] got [user] [specific results], here is the case study…”.
Step 3: Write a report about what you have read
Basically, it’s a matter of rewriting what you read (just remember to give credit to the original content).
And here is the important part:
Insert a huge clickable picture within your content that explains what the tool does. Embed the image with your affiliate link so that you get paid.
You want to scatter your affiliate links within the text, but the picture is the most important.
Most people don’t read an article word by word, they scan through it. That’s why you want to use a big image to grab attention.
A good vendor provides a selection of banners in a lot of shapes and sizes for a variety of positions a variety of media.
Josh made a collage of the banners his company uses.
Choose the biggest one that suits your purpose or follow Josh’s example: make a montage the available vendor banners that best illustrates the product you are promoting and what it does.
Step 4: Craft a click-attractive title for your article
Craft a click-attractive title- it can be a rewrite of the original title with more punch; publish it on your blog.
Step 5: Submit your link to Hacker News
When it comes to submitting to Hacker News, timing is crucial.
Want to know the best time to submit your link? Read this post.
Apply the 5 steps above, and you will be able to make recurring income monetizing Hacker News traffic… regardless if it’s your own a product or not.
If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments below.