It’s only recently that I’ve discovered the wealth of articles and discussions on Hacker News, the social news forum of the Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator.</p><p>So when I posted my “100 mile bike courier” story to the site back in November, I didn’t give it much thought. </p><p>Looking at the stats again now, I’m so glad that I took the decision to upgrade my hosting from Dreamhost (cheap, slow, slightly ropey) to WP-Engine (moderately priced, fast, reliable), whose managed Wordpress hosting performed flawlessly.</p><p>Granted — 7,000 uniques in a day isn’t a huge number for an established site, but for CycleLove it represented a quantum leap in traffic — of almost 7,000%.</p>

So, if you're serious about blogging, I'd strongly recommend you spend some time on Hacker News.

To begin with, simply lurk on the site. Read the trending articles. Try too get a feel for which stories are popular... and then try submitting your own.

This seems to be something of a black art — this tool might help you work out the best time to make your post — which, as with most things online, requires you to work with the flow of US internet usage and time zones.

Also see: Lessons learned from a Hacker News spike


On a slight tangent  I also wanted to share a couple of tweets with you from 'power' users on Twitter, each with a following equivalent to a large city. 

Erik Spikermann is a renowned typographer/designer (and cyclist) with around 244K followers. I'm not sure how he heard about CycleLove, but nevertheless he did, even posting a photo of bis Berlin bike collection to the site.

High-street fashion retailers Topshop have a staggering 492K followers on Twitter, and posted this tweet about the Christmas Style Selection which blogger Lady Velo compiled for CycleLove

It's harder to asses the impact of these tweets as they happened right after the relaunch of the CycleLove site, but I can tell you that Erik's tweet in particular resulted in an instantaneous burst of sales on the CycleLove shop.

PS. Wondering how I got Topshop to tweet about CycleLove? I built their blog for them, a job which involved migrating 1,200 posts from TypePad to Wordpress. Not something I'd like to do again in a hurry (the migration process, that is).


Posted to meta, writing in 2013.

Join 2,286 readers receiving my thoughts on life, design and making stuff happen each Sunday