I Launched my new website https://youtubetopodcast.com only using Reddit. I did not use the normal routes of Product hunt, hacker news and all that jazz. I did not think this product was "worthy" of those platforms. In fact calling it a product is wrong, it's more of a tool. Not designed to make money (besides donations ;)) and more to actually be something that is occasionally useful to people.
But anyway, onto the results of my very small launch.
If you just want to know the outcome of the launch here are the stats
- 👁 1300 People viewed my website
- 📈 50 people, or 3.8% of people registered with my website
Those stats might not seem very impressive, but to me, with the very small amount of launching I did, I think that they are pretty good.
Read on to find out what I learnt from this launch, how you can do it and what I would do differently.
You can't just post onto Reddit, you have to post into a sub community, a Subreddit
Picking the correct ones is very important.
I launched on Subreddits to do with the technology I was using and the Subreddits where I thought people would get the most use out of the "tool".
I wanted to launch on more Subreddits. However Subreddit rules can be very strict around self promotion. Most of Reddit is against self promotion unless that's the main purpose of the Subreddit.
The technology for my website is Django, so I launched on 2 subs that I frequent often:
I recommend launching on Subreddits that are related to your technology, especially if you can help people in the comments. I know I appreciate it when someone builds something using a technology that I use. It almost motivates people on those Subreddits and shows what they can build. These Subreddits are also relatively small so I can easily reply to every comment and my site would hopefully not get "hugged to death".
I did not launch on the r/python and r/learnpython. I felt like it would not be relevant to most people making python programs. Although in retrospect I would probably do this.
Takeaway here is to launch on Subreddits relating to the technology that you used to make the product. People on those Subreddits are interested in what they can make with the tech!
Subreddits relating to the use of the tool
I also launched on Subreddits for people who I think would most want to use the tool. The users of this tool are people who already listen to podcasts and watch Youtube videos. This is probably most people on Reddit. So I narrowed it down further to; "what I specifically will use it for". This helped, I use it to download lectures so I can listen to them offline. So educational Subreddits and studying Subreddits. I posted on the following Subreddits:
The only Subreddit that garnered a response was r/productivity, in fact that seems to be where I got the most response, turns out if you have a tool that can improve productivity people on a productivity Subreddit will like it! I also custom tailored my headline for this post:
I made a website that lets you convert Youtube videos into podcasts, I use it to listen to lectures in the car so I can at least feel like I am being productive when driving!
That's a useful and truthful statement, no lies or clickbait titles. It's what people want to see and click on.
Be helpful, find a way to describe how your application is useful to the people who will see your post. This is why I think posting on the general Subreddits failed, what I said was not specific enough. I basically said what the tool did and not a use case. I also used the term "completely free" for example on r/studytips I posted:
I made a completely free website that lets you convert youtube videos to podcasts. I find it useful to listen to lectures offline or when I am not at my computer :)
I feel like the words "completely free" put people off, in retrospect it sounds a bit clickbaity and also shady in a way, like I am going to steal your data or the website is going to be plastered with ads kind of shady. I would not want to click on that!
The r/productivity post was very successful, almost too successful. The r/productivity Subreddit actually has a rule against promoting things as people where being to spammy however I, and the productivity Subreddit community seemed to agree that my post was relevant. I got a huge response from it before it was removed. I never did get told why it was removed but I assume some moderator thought that even though my website was very useful in boosting productivity it was against the rules. Which I can't really argue with (as it was (I should have checked before posting)).
Here is a screenshot of the post.
60 comments, 22 of those are by me. Thanking people, answering questions and fixing bugs. It's very important to do this, go the extra mile for people using your website, they are more likely to stick around.
In heindsight I should have posted to more educational Subreddits, perhaps I will at a later date once some my site is a bit more up to date with features and feedback. It is also useful to do a small product launch to see how your product works with actual people using it.
To discover Subreddits, go to a Subreddit where you know it's audience will like what you post - even if you are not "allowed" to post there. Reddit has a "related subreddits" option that might give you a place where you can actually post your product. Have a look at there sidebars, often there is a helpful list of other Subreddits that are related to the sub you are currently on.
For example, r/studying led me to r/studytips and all the other study related ones. This would be useful in my quest to find educational Subreddits, r/history is likely to have a "learn history" Subreddit linked in the side bar. This is the place where my tool would be useful.
Make sure to only post on Subreddits where you think your tool could truly be helpful to people. Go in with the best intentions for the people, not as a marketing person. Be honest and true, don't lie or write clikbait titles. Post something that you would click on.
I did not apply this to all my posts, I learnt from this. You don't want to be internet spam, that's pretty low and will likely tarnish your reputation (or, well Reddit account)
So, how successful was this launch?
A week after posting, just over 1300 people have viewed my website.
Of those 1300, 50 people signed up to my website. Keep in mind that you don't have to sign up to use the application1. 50 people is not much, but for a very small product launch it was more then I was expecting. If I had launched on more Subreddits this number would be significantly higher.
I am not sure if this is a good value, 3.8% of people who visited my website signed up. To me that seems good! So, I guess that means it's good!
Some other stats that might be interesting:
- ~90 people viewed my personal website
- ~49 people viewed the donate page
- No one donated, at the time there was no incentive for people to donate (although there is now ;)
70% of viewers were mobile based, Thankfully https://youtubetopodcast.com looks ok on mobile; well it also looks ok on desktop, not great, not terrible.
I started to get spam emails from companies trying to sell me massive datasets of peoples data. I have not received this kind of spam before so I guess I did something right to even get on the radar of these companies.
The website got featured on a polish podcast I don't understand polish but at 24mins in they say "youtubetopodcast.com" which was kinda surreal to hear someone actually talking about something I made. Even if I did not understand it.
"https://youtubetopodcast.com is on page 2 of google when you search "convert youtube videos to podcasts" ideally I would like it to be number 1, but I have not done any SEO at all.
Patch things fast! Listen and reply to everyone, especially if you are just doing a small launch like I did. You can reply to everyone and if people see you fixing bugs for people in the comments you will get a lot of respect.
I did not have a link for people to sign up to my mailing list to get updates from me. I reckon a fair amount of people would have done that.
My blog did not have much content on it, the home page especially was pretty boring. I should have had more content so those people who did visit my blog actually got some benefit out of it.
I was worried that the server I was going to use was not going to be powerful enough, in fact it was! Although it was limited by CPU cores. If you wanted to know the server is a cheap VPS from OVH, nothing fancy. You don't need anything fancy if you are just doing a small launch.
I Should have put my twitter link on https://youtubetopodcast.com especially because I was posting some updates about the application on there.
Next time I do something like this I will also post on more Subreddits. Although maybe limiting this as a "test" launch is a good idea?
Post on relevant Subreddits
- Find relevant Subreddits by looking at the sidebar of bigger Subbreddits
Don't post spammy, clickbaity or anything that might come of as "shady"
Make sure you have links to your personal website and your socials and give insensitive for people to click on them - "follow me on twitter for updates"
Give people an incentive to give you money. However I don't think launching necessarily needs to be monetised, I feel like if I had spent a couple hours writing some basic premium features some people might have paid for them.
I will relaunch my website on Reddit again, this time I will be better and follow the advice that I have layed out in this post. At the time I did not know this stuff but now I do (hopefully you have learnt something as well).
Admittedly I did get quite lucky with the r/productivity response and this is not the norm. However I think that if you can build something and then research around to find the best Subreddits then you can also get similar results.
I'll create a new post with the results of my relaunch. I feel like I can get just as good a response by searching for the right Subreddits.