#1 on HN for Six Hours: Postmortem

On Saturday my post on how not to ask questions at a conference was the number one post on the site for a solid six hours, between four and ten PM. Here are some raw stats from the last day.

  • Since the post was submitted, I've gotten 31,787 pageviews to my site; 14,478 in the nine hours between post submission and midnight, and another 15k on Sunday. One post can bring in amazing amounts of traffic, and justify all of the effort you've put into creating quality blog content.

  • In just the last two days I've gotten 50% as much traffic as I did in the whole previous year.

Google Analytics Traffic
Can you tell which days I made the frontpage of Hacker News?

  • Of those pageviews, 30,807 were for the article itself. 414 people visited my homepage (1 in 72 people) and 253 people visited my about page (1 in every 130).

  • 8,142 visits (roughly 27%) came from mobile devices. I am really glad I added a mobile/responsive view for smaller screens earlier this year, as this makes the content much more consumable on a small screen.

  • 69% of mobile visits (18% of the total) came from an iOS device.

  • Roughly 10,000 clicks came from Hacker News and 8,700 came from the Programming subreddit, where my post is still on the frontpage a day and a half later. If your post is doing well on HN, it probably makes sense to submit it to Proggit as well, as there's a large contingent of people that use Proggit exclusively.

  • 1,479 people have clicked on the aggregate Bit.ly link and 97 people have Tweeted the post (roughly 1 in 300).

  • I added 18 Twitter followers (about 1 in every 1800 visitors), bumping my total to 418. I added one new Bitbucket follower and zero new newsletter subscribers.

  • 23 people left comments on the post (about 1 in every 1300). 156 people left comments on Hacker News, off about 10k clicks, and ~160 people left comments on Reddit, off of 9k clicks.

I've posted my "conversion rate" in all cases because I don't feel like it's amazingly high. This is probably the nature of this sort of traffic though; there to read an article and learn something and then move on to the next thing. I suppose if I can reach the frontpage a few times in short succession, people may start to recognize my name and there would be a snowball effect, in terms of the number of people signing up to follow me or posting comments.

I don't have the tools in place at the moment to be able to test my "conversion rates" and see whether they can be improved. All in all though, the low rates at which people are clicking through to other material on my site suggests that I should put any information you'd like readers to know about yourself on the post view page, or in the footer of the post itself.

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

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