Hacker News is a link aggregation website where anyone can submit their link.
The majority of their readers are in the technology arena.
But as stated on their submission guideline, they welcome any submissions as long as it’s something that “gratifies one’s intellectual curiosity”.
Hacker News monthly traffic is now hovering between 10 -15 million visits per month.
That’s a lot of traffic…
Getting on the Hacker News front page can bring an influx of visits to any website within a very short period of time;
So I decided to run an experiment to see if I could capture a portion of that traffic by submitting my content to it.
I submitted this blog post to Hacker News.
The post received 4 upvotes organically from Hacker News members and got pushed up to the main page for a short period of time.
And the post alone resulted in 765 sessions on my blog in 24 hours.
Not bad for free traffic.
Moreover, it took less than 5 minutes to sign up for a free account on Hacker News and submit my post.
Submitting to Hacker News is pretty straightforward.
You just open a free account with them then submit your blog or website title and URL, hit the submit button and you’re done.
Immediately when you have submitted, you will stay on their “NEWEST page“.
If your submission receives a couple upvotes while it’s on the NEWEST page, you will get to the front page. That’s where we want it be.
If you have great content, and Hacker News readers like it, more upvotes will push you to the top of the front page.
That’s when the magic happens.
I’ve seen a blogger with 30,000+ visits just because his content stayed in the top positions of the front page for 2 days.
The key to getting in front of Hacker News is the initial push.
When submitting your content, you need a couple of upvotes to get there.
But you only get 1 upvote per IP address, so asking everyone in your office to upvote your post doesn’t work.
Upvotes must come from different locations.
How to hack your way to the Hacker News front page
Alex Taub has written an article on how to hack your way to the front page of Hacker News.
Here is how it works:
1. Write something interesting
First and foremost, it’s your content.
You need to write something interesting.
Also, remember to craft a great title for your article.
Link-bait titles work, but remember your title should match the article.
Hacker News readers are smart.
They usually don’t upvote an article until they’ve read it, unlike Facebook, where a lot of users simply hit like on what they see on Facebook without even bothering to read the content it links to.
2. The initial push
According to Alex, if you have a great content, it takes 5-6 upvotes for you to get to the main page.
My submission received 4 upvotes, I guess 4 is the minimum you need, though 5-6 might land you higher on the front page.
If your submission does not get those upvotes before it rolls off the new page, it will not make it to the front page; it’s lost and you’ll need to submit a new article.
3. One upvote per IP address
You can get a small gang of buddies to upvote for you immediately after you’ve submitted your link.
As I explained earlier, you only get 1 upvote per IP address, so asking everyone in your office to upvote your post won’t achieve the results you’re looking for.
Here is what you can do: don’t send your gang a direct link to your submission.
As soon as you post, you will be on the NEWEST page as I explained above.
Send the NEWEST page link to your friends located in separate geographical areas.
Tell them to find your submission on the NEWEST page and upvote your post from there.
4. Get to the top of the front page
Once you hit 5-6 upvotes, your post should reach the Hacker News front page.
If you can gather more people to upvote for you, you can now send them the link to Hack News front page to find and upvote your post. This is the link: https://news.ycombinator.com/news.
At this point, if your content is interesting, you will start to get natural upvotes from Hacker News readers that will float your link to the top of the front page.
Here is one last tip:
When it comes to submitting to Hacker News, timing is crucial.
The best time to post is between 6:30-8:30 am US Eastern Standard Time.
My Analytics show me that 6:30 AM EST is when the spike of traffic hit my site the last time I submitted my article.
I’d have to guess that at that time, the majority of the submitters are sleeping, yet people on both sides of the Atlantic are scanning Hacker News, so that’s when you stand the best chance of being noticed.
Hacker News is definitely a great source for driving traffic to a brand new blog.
Hopefully, what I’ve shared helps you get your blog post in front of enough people that you see a significant number of high conversion visits to your site.
Want to know how I made it happen? I’ll show you what I did. Click here to get instant access.
13 thoughts on “How I Made It to the Hacker News Front Page and Landed 765 Visits to My Blog Within 24 Hours”
Great quick read, Verena. I’ll put your findings to the test. Thank you for sharing your experience.
That’s wonderful, Raul! Please keep me posted.
Verena, very interesting info on hacking in to the front page of Hacker News. I’m looking forward to further traffic report findings.
Sure, Henry. If you’re on my list, you’ll have my next traffic report as soon as it’s released.
Verena, thanks for really interesting article never heard of hacker new before.
Yeah, Hacker News is run by Paul Graham’s investment fund and startup incubator, Y Combinator, and targets the technology niche. I found it while doing research, and I’m sure glad I did.
Hi Verena. Thanks for sharing. Worth trying, for sure. Did you get any conversions / make money from the traffic (765 visits)?
I didn’t set any link tags (UTM parameters in Analytics) to track it, so can’t really confirm how many subscribed were added to my list. But I believe I did get subscribers from the submission as I noticed some spikes in my Aweber optin. My blog doesn’t carry any products for sale.
Thanks for sharing a great article. It was really hard to find something relevant to driving traffic from Hacker News, and how it actually works.
You’re welcome, Klaudia.
Hacker news is news to me!
I must say, this is one of the finest blogs that I have recently read. It’s not just this article, the blog is super amazing. Count me as your regular reader now!
Interesting to read.