Why many Product Hunt Launches Fail, Free Tips
So why do so many launches fail to meet founder’s expectations? This is not an article about “how to prepare for a Product hunt (PH) launch” — I can give you some decent articles on that subject, but to save you time, I will direct you to the best article I have read on how to best prepare for a PH launch.
This 👉🏽 https://typestudio.co/blog/product-hunt-learnings/ is by far the best 5000 words I have read on PH launch. Back to the topic at hand.
I recently came across this 👉🏽 https://www.reddit.com/r/SaaS/comments/qqbl02/sharing_the_result_of_our_product_hunt_launch_few/ post from reddit. Which has some real valid points from actual statistics, BUT — why did the author get so little traffic from PH, and not feature on the first page?
Is Product Hunt over-rated?
That seemed to be the conclusion of his post and so many other comments that followed. I beg to differ, and I will answer with one link 👉🏽 https://www.similarweb.com/website/producthunt.com/
According to this, PH gets more than 3 million visitors, 48% of which is direct traffic. In addition, their Domain Authority — sits at 89 😳 that is the opposite of over-rated.
With that said, a website with traffic of 3 million, and a bounce rate of 58%, all you have to do is convince 300 people, to upvote your product so you appear on the first page to reap the benefits.
So let me answer the question why so many people fail at a PH launch.
- Community building
- No karma 😟
There is no other reason, other than these two. I have seen amazing products on the last page of PH, so don’t let anyone tell you “all you need is an amazing product”
Not to say, that you should not build an amazing product, of course you must — but that will not get you on the first page. You should already be on the first page, so people can see your product to decide if it is amazing or not. If you never get to the first page, no one gets to see your product.
Think of it like a google search, you got to be on the first page of a google search or you do not exist.
Therefore, If you do not have a community and karma points, you will likely not end up on the first page. And if you are not of the first page, you will leave PH thinking, it is an over-rated platform because you got zero website visits.
Lets talk PH Karma
I am not referring to the point system alone, I mean karma in general which will include points, because if you do good, good will come back to you. I see people create an account today, launch a product same day and ….. nothing happens. Never do that, that is the number one reason why most people fail at their product hunt launch.
Build Positive Karma
You have to build positive karma and I would say, start at least 6 months before your intended launch date. At minimum a month, not everyone has the time — I know. But you only get this chance once, you might as well do it right.
Like other people’s products
You want your products to be liked, start by liking other’s products. Give yourself a couple of minutes a day and go through the entire product list and just like everything. An upvote goes a long way, you might just get a follow back 😉 or two.
View other people’s products, give feedback
This is probably the most important thing you can do on PH, click on the link — go to the product page, try it out and come back with feedback for the makers. Tell them how you found the product and be nice, congratulate them and offer constructive feedback 😉 you will definitely get an upvote and upvote == points.
Do these two things, everyday for a month and you will see your points slowly creep up— tried and tested. The more points you get, the more likely people will follow you too and that is what you want on PH — followers.
Because when you finally launch your product, all your followers will be notified and you can get a set of upvotes from your followers.
Let us talk Community Building
Community building can never be over stated. You should build or join a community of people who are already on PH. On launch day — you want the majority of your upvotes to be from long standing members of PH, YES not all PH votes are equal, some are more equal than others.
A vote from a long time member with 1000 points means much more than a vote from someone who just signed up that day. So don’t even over-share your link on launch day with people who are not already on PH, in fact if you get too many votes from people who just created their accounts that day — you will get penalised.
Join existing communities and support groups like Indie Hackers and other Reddit Groups so you can get people to support you on launch day. All you need is enough people to give you such a boost that you end of on the first page early on — so the 3M PH visitors can see your amazing product ☺️
Remember, don’t ask for upvotes — very important.
You should also work towards building your own communities around your product, your community will be your biggest supporters.
So there are many levels of communities here, there are communities that support you as a founder, that you join and communities you create for your product and objectives. You need both, and they need to be strong before you go for your launch — well at least strong enough to give you decent support off the floor to a reasonable rank.
Product hunt is one of the most respected platforms for founders and start ups in the world. The members are other founders, CEOs, CTOs, investors, journalists etc. People who might not be the final users of your product, but people whose endorsement can help place your product in front of the right users.
Because it is a free platform, you have to expect fierce competition. Everyone is trying to get to the front page and top 5, so prepare well and build your karma, you will be successful. I will end with a quote from Sun Tzu:
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win