Recently, while working on a tech project, I realized how dependent we are on free libraries, code snippets, and tutorials written by others. Most of the time, people look for freely available resources first before moving on to paid ones.
Then came the thought, " how the hell did these libraries get so much traction?" because I wrote a few open-source projects myself, but without much success. I had to toil really hard to implement some features in my projects. So, I thought, "Why not write a few open-source libraries which could help other people in the future?". Bam! So I did. But wait, to my utter surprise, the growth was very slow.
- Finding the right developer community to put forward your idea is hard.
- There are few readers of my content.
I believe many smaller projects might be facing the same problem, however good their projects may be.
Then came the idea💡 "Why not create a platform where such project owners can post their projects and reach out to the right adopters?". I immediately googled for such projects and found a few. But, I felt they lacked a few key points which would enable them to be a good platform for the projects.
In the last week of May 2022, I decided to begin coding techpro.club and put it up to its current basic form around the middle of June 2022.
To recap, techpro.club is an open-source platform to help open-source projects get more contributors and adopters. It's in beta form and will remain so till all the features mentioned here are completed
For the project, I zeroed in on a programming language, and a database and had a proper roadmap. It looked all good except I always had this thought, "how was I going to put it out to the needful?"
A project without adopters is just a project. It becomes a product when it's used by people.
So, the first thing that came to my mind was "how am I going to promote my project?". Of course, the logical way to start was to write an introductory blog. But where? As I mentioned earlier, none of the blogs seemed good to me. Googling for the first few links on the best blogging platform for developers led me to Hashnode . I thought "What the heck? Let's explore". I registered in the 1st week of June and received a very warm welcome email from Sandeep, the co-founder of Hashnode (I know it's an auto mailer, but it's cool).
Features I liked most 🤘🤘
✅ Free custom domain mapping for your blog
✅ Free SSL for the blogs
✅ Option to keep promotional blogs hidden from the Hashnode community.
✅ Clutter-free interface to write (with markdown) and read
✅ An avid community of tech writers and readers
✅ Discord server to interact with people
✅ Integration of Sponsors (which I am yet to do as I don't have enough readership 😇. If you follow my blog, I promise to keep writing my experiences. )
Bingo! Time to test. I mapped my subdomain (blogs.techpro.club) and decided to write a small blog to check how things actually work. I published my first one on 6th June, Reading environment variables from Github Secrects. With Hashnode Analytics, I could see people reading my article almost immediately. So that's when I decided, I would switch over to Hashnode.
Back to how I got user traction⚡⚡
Remember, I started to code for techpro.club in the last week of May 2022. While I was still writing my code, I received another e-mail from Sandeep regarding the Linode Hackathon on Hashnode. My project matched all the criteria for the event and I decided to participate in my first ever Hackathon👍. I hosted my first version of the project on a Linode Ubuntu server and wrote a blog introducing Techpro.club. I kept getting daily traffic and voila, a few new registrations.
Writing the blog
Yes, for the ongoing Linode Hackathon, you need to write a blog about your project, describing the idea behind it. That was one of the main ways I got the user registrations on my platform initially. A few thumbs-up, a few reads. Slowly and steadily, users started coming in. Here are my numbers.
It may still not be much compared to what others probably get. But, it did get me a few user registrations, and it's one of my best-performing blogs (I've written only 4-5 earlier). I mentioned earlier in the possible problems that maybe I needed to change my writing style. I am still learning from others.
Interacting with other bloggers
I did email a few bloggers and other participants for their feedback and suggestions. Some of them have replied back with their advice and a few of them have registered. Importantly, I have found a fellow blogger who is helping me with my layouts now. 🚀 I will definitely keep on writing to people. It's one of the best ways to interact with people.
Hashnode features a lot of interesting blogs and even if you miss them, you get email newsletters for the latest trending blogs (I have subscribed to them). I keep reading all the interesting content whenever possible. One of the blogs that I stumbled upon was Lou's blog on developer visibility. It did open my eyes to the possibilities with Twitter.
I have been a Twitter user since 2009 and I am mostly dormant (almost on all social media) with a paltry follower number of less than 100. But, yes, I started tweeting and within 2 days, I had 10 new followers 🐦. Again, I found 2 more contributors and user registrations 🚀. Also, joining the Tech Twitter community was awesome. People there talk nicely and listen to you (I know from my Twitter statistics).
I will definitely try Linkedin as well sometime.
It's been less than 15 days since I joined Discord and I am already loving it. I joined the Hashnod Discord server after reading about the Linode hackathon and yes, now I often interact with the people there, helping some and sharing ideas. They respond to you and give you feedback. From there, I had a few more registrations.
Woah! it's such a wonderful feeling to stumble upon a platform giving me so many means for my newfound project, without having to spend a penny on marketing. Currently, as of writing, techpro.club has 50+ registrations on it within 10 days of launching the project. Not bad, eh?
Just yesterday, I onboarded 2 of my contributors whom I found on Twitter and gave them a project installation guide on Discord (yes, I have launched my own Discord server to talk to the team 😇). A techie friend of mine joined the project to help as well.
I am planning to start the mailers and project feeds very soon. Also, hoping to see rapid growth in the features list and people.
Lastly, I am moving all my other blogs to Hashnode. Thank you for your help!! 💖💖
- Project: https://techpro.club
- Github project: https://github.com/ClubTechPro/techpro.club
- Project Twitter: @TechProcub
- Blog: blogs.techpro.club