Product Hunt #5 vs. Hubspot Blog Post

On Daily Page we see random spikes in traffic and user sign ups due to different blog posts around the web.

We launched Daily Page over 1 year ago (November 2014) and basically just told our friends about it. Now we have over 25,000 users, we’ve sent over 1 million emails and over 10,000 users have written almost 9 million words on our little application that started as an email list.

Here’s the story of how we acquired this organic growth. The sign up numbers are for a single day:

  • January 4, 2015 (174 sign ups) Post on Reddit r/DecidingToBeBetter/ from one of our users. This was a HUGE day for us. I had never built a side project that got this kind of organic traction. We were thrilled.
  • January 6, 2015 (382 sign ups) I posted it to Product Hunt. This was another trilling day. We stayed around #5 for the day and we were generally well-received.
  • January 14, 2015 (397 sign ups) We got posted on the front page of this Taiwanese website. This was completely out of the blue. Were were now getting big in Taiwan!!
  • June 4, 2015 (325 sign ups) Mentioned in this Mashable article. Sweet! This was a nice little bump.
  • Nov 18, 2015: (693 sign ups!!!) #1 on this Hubspot blog post. Holy shit! This is by far our biggest single day ever of sign ups. This was great. Who knew one blog post on Hubspot would drive almost twice as many sign ups as the Product Hunt home page.

We’ve been mentioned in over a dozen other small blog posts and articles that didn’t have as significant of an impact as these mentions. None of the mentions were solicited or gone after by us. Aside from me posting it to Product Hunt, everything else happened naturally and we weren’t even aware that Daily Page was mentioned until we started seeing traffic spike up.

It’s pretty fun and cool to grow a product organically. I’m pretty sure we owe all of the publicity we got to Product Hunt. It seems like it was only after the Product Hunt exposure that we got picked up by all the other blogs and publications that eventually led to more and more sign ups.

Update June 2016

These traffic spikes happened when Daily Page was a free product. The growth was unsustainable and the cost of running the project and sending all the emails (> 400,000 per month) started to be too much. Early on, we introduced a collection of writing courses as a way to monetize. That gave us a significant bump, but not enough recurring revenue to cover the costs. Now we charge $5 per month for it, and although we don’t see the big spikes in sign ups that we used to, the project is now sustainable and we’re able to pay the bills and we’re slowing paying ourselves back for what we invested into the project for the whole time it was free.