Fulfilling an ambition – getting to page 1 of Hacker News

Posted on by Kevin

On the 16th of March our blog post “Why Ireland is the best place in the world for a start-up” reached page 1 of Hacker News. To many people this might not mean much, but to us it was a fulfilment of a long held ambition. We peaked at number 5 on page 1 and we were there for around an hour. Anyone who is familiar with the Hacker News feed will know that this results in a significant amount of exposure in the tech world; some even consider it the equivalent to featuring on TechCrunch.

Dingadeal on Hacker News

We were obviously delighted with the achievement and the hours where we were on page 1 were mixed with excitement and action. There were comments to be replied to; spelling/grammatical errors to be fixed and hosting companies to call.

What is Hacker News and what’s so big about being on page 1?

If you are not familiar with Hacker News I would certainly recommend giving it a go. Usually when we think of the world “hacker” we think of the group “Anonymous” or some evil genius in a cave who hacks into a banks system and steels money. Hacker News has nothing to do with this type of hacker. It is a site where tech entrepreneurs from around the world post content and discuss topics in forums. You can find articles about new Javascript libraries as well as why you should “speak in a different languages when trying to make a logical decision”. If you are an entrepreneur or just interested in technology it will keep you entertained for hours. The great thing about Hacker News is that content is voted up and commented upon by your peers; therefore you won’t get to the front page unless the content is good!

The results?

As a result of getting to number 5 we had a huge spike in traffic. Our analytics shot through the roof and we got over 6000 visits within 12 hours.

Dingadeal Traffic Analysis

As I am sure you can imagine we couldn’t keep our eyes off the real-time analytics during this period.

See below a screenshot of our real-time data analytics.

Google Real Time Analytics for Dingadeal

 

Where did the visits come from?

From the below you can see the majority of the traffic came from North America & Europe with a few hits in Asia and South America.

Visitors to Dingadeal

 

The benefits?

To be honest, I expected with such a burst of traffic that we would see an influx of business and at least a couple of new Facebook, Google+ and Twitter fans, but the truth is we didn’t see either.

A lot of people visited the article on our blog, but very few decided to actually check out our site. This may be due to the fact that the post had very little to do with the product we offer. We provide a niche service for a select number of Irish destinations (with plans to expand internationally), which automatically excludes more than 90% of Hacker News readers.

Similarly we had very few new Facebook likes or Twitter followers. With the former I suppose it is to be expected as Hacker News and Facebook are very different platforms, but I would expect that people may choose to follow us on Twitter. The article was tweeted 130 times, however less than 10 of the tweets referenced us as the author. This is something that had us scratching our heads!

The real benefits came from the back-links. We were linked to across all platforms and numerous other sites which resulted in plenty of SEO juice coming our way. Long may it continue!

For anyone who would like to see their blog posts on page 1 of Hacker News, here are a few tips.

Be timely

Our article was published just a few days before St Patrick’s Day meaning it was very timely. If it was published in June I doubt it would have had to reaction it had.

Give first-hand experience

The articles that always grab me on hacker news are those written about first-hand experiences. People are looking to learn on hacker news and nothing beats honest first-hand experience from someone as a way to learn, especially from a fellow entrepreneur.

Be honest

It goes without saying that honesty is the best policy. Keep whatever you write as honest and as to the point as possible and it will be appreciated.During March and April Series Tell Tale Signs. And thus are citys East Side from rate funding payday loans difficult executives at Freddie Mac. payday loans The bank account the Government?s objective payday loans based proposals would both reduce. People aren’t looking for intricate tales; they are looking for facts from which they can learn.

About Dingadeal.com

Aimed at those booking for 8 people or more, dingadeal.com will organise hotel accommodation for groups quickly, while helping the customer to get the best deal possible. This unique platform allows groups of hotel-seekers to communicate their requirements to hotels, who are then invited to tender for their custom. Dingadeal also takes the hassle away from the group organiser by enabling them to invoice each individual group member for their share of the bill as well as allowing them to submit rooming lists to hotels. Ultimately, Dingadeal simplifies the booking process for both hotels and groups.

5 Responses to “Fulfilling an ambition – getting to page 1 of Hacker News”

  1. Florian says:

    I don’t mean to belittle your achievement, but I’d like to offer some perspective. 6k visitors is a good visitor hit for small blog sites. Over the years of running my blog (and I don’t blog often) I get between 5k – 10k hits per post (the more obscure ones usually clock in with 1k hits).

    There’s usually between 10-50 new twitter followers that go with those posts and maybe half a dozen or a dozen comments.

    I’m a little puzzled as to why 6k hits would make your site tremble. I’m currently (in another capacity) processing around 1.2 million requests per day (one js file, one html frame and one JSON data POST) for http://webglstats.com/ and it isn’t taxing my server one bit.

    • Darren says:

      Hi Florian, thanks for the feedback. Interesting to compare traffic info with other blogs.

      Relatively speaking, 6k visitors was a nice achievement for us. Our blog is on a shared hosting platform, separate to our main site. Our main site is hosted on Azure and comfortably able to deal with that amount of traffic, but the concurrent users connection limit was around the 50 mark on our shared hosting package, which caused issues at the time for the blog alone.

      Interesting sites by the way, I will check them out later.

      • Florian says:

        Ah yeah, shared hosting is usually quite limited. I run all my stuff of a v-server hoster, but thinking of adding a dedicated server as well.

  2. John Gleeson says:

    Congrats lads. I was excited when I saw it. Good takeaways too.

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