In the last email, I talked about why and how to build original products. Today I want to talk about how to share them.
The thing is, if you want to have fun and go above and beyond in building side-projects, you need to have users. After all, they are the ones that will thank you for your product, give you feedback, send you cash, and finally encourage you to make it even better.
How do I get users? When you are not popular on the Internet, this can be hard.
No one follows you on GitHub, Twitter, LinkedIn. So how do you get users in this case?
I like to use forums for this.
Eg - check out this forum post for one of my first projects called Clipjump.
The thread got 883 replies in 7 years. Read through this thread and you will notice that first I only got one person interested in my project. Then 2, then 3, and after some time, I had ~100k downloads.
Another thing that's worked for me is sharing my products on suitable subreddits.
Check out my goremote.in launch post for example.
It got 110 upvotes and brought 2000 visitors to my site.
How do you find a subreddit?
Search for related stuff on Reddit. In my case, my product was only for India, and since most techies hang out on Reddit, r/india was the perfect fit.
If it was a general tech project, I would have used
r/programming or some other subreddit.
Just like subreddits, to find a forum, google it. Eg - if your product is for gamers, search for "game forums" and "game discussions" and share your stuff there.
Eg - this is how I found GameBanana and shared my software there.
If your product is for anime fans, search for "anime forums". Eg - MyAnimeList. And share your thing there.
Eg - this is how I shared one of my projects series-renamer on MyAnimeList.
Another tip to follow when sharing is - be extra humble. Don't say - "Here's the greatest software on Earth I built for you peasants". That probably won't go well.
Be human and polite. Eg - here is my GoRemote post headline.
"I am working on a remote jobs list for people living in India"
Notice, I am replying to the comments politely as well. Always open to feedback, never arrogant.
"Not at the moment. Where do you generally go to look for sales jobs?"
I prefer forums over Reddit because it allows you to have long, easy to manage conversations. Reddit threads die down after few days.
Also, don't give up on your project if no one responds to your post. Maybe you picked the wrong time. Maybe the forum has fewer active users than expected.
Eg - my post on MyAnimeList got no responses. And that's fine. I guess people there were not interested in it.
I think this is enough to get you started on building your side project, getting some users, and then making it even better.