10,000 people in 10h
Traffic peaks are addictive! You post something to Hacker News and 10,000+ people will see it in the next 10h.
Traffic peaks are great! But also scary. You create something with your own hands and then suddenly 10,000 people see it. And also leave comments about it.
But it's not easy to get your post "go viral" on high-traffic websites like Hacker News or Reddit.
Here are 4 things I've learned during the last 3 years.
Needs to resonate with the audience
Try to see through the eyes of the community you're posting to. The topic needs to resonate with the audience to have a chance of getting upvoted.
There are no guarantees
Even if you're an active community member and you more or less know what the audience is interested in, you can't know for sure that your writing gets upvoted.
This can make it hard to even start – what if I spend all this time on it and no-one reads it? But you have to take the chance.
Can be hard to read the comments
Sometimes – mostly when you write about yourself – it can be hard to read the comments. I've learned that almost always there are at least a few comments that are negative.
But after a while, it doesn't touch you the same as it did in the beginning. It's fine, it's their point of view and maybe I have something to learn from it.
What has also been helpful is not reading the comments in real-time. Submit the blog post and come back to it in a few hours.
Goes up quickly, and comes down quickly
Yes, it's almost instant traffic you get, but also, it's gone almost instantly. This is why you should try to capture the audience so you could later reach the people who were interested in your product.
But also, you keep the post on your site which gets indexed by Google and will maybe bring you useful traffic for the next several years.