How we got +1000 upvotes on Product Hunt by curating a checklist from +50 successful launches.

Hicham Amine
Startup Grind
Published in
6 min readNov 8, 2016
About Focus, Successful Launches & the PH Kitten — Illustration By Sara Jo

On September 2016, I analyzed +50 successful launch on Product Hunt, 20 Days later I participated in getting Startup Patterns +1000 Upvotes outranking Spotify Daily & Mavic Pro. And this is what I did to get there and the patterns I found.

Whether you’re a newbie or oldie on Product Hunt, I hope this article will save you the hurdles and the time I had to invest analyzing dozens of successful Product Hunt launches, reading +50 blogposts & interviewing dozens of founders who went through our previous Hidden Founders Batches… to figure out my way to cut through the noise and smash +1000 upvotes on my first Product Hunt launch.

But before I share with you my checklist, let’s put this straight. You’ve probably heard the saying “Do things that don’t scale“ by Paul Graham. Yeah, this is the golden advice, if you’re willing to succeed on Product Hunt.

What I mean here, is that unlike other platforms where cash rules, where you A/B test, optimize and start tinkering around hacks and tactics to unlock the platform’s potential for your business once and for all, Product Hunt is different:

  • First, Because it’s a one-time shot. Don’t Blow it!
  • Second, because above all your marketing genius, Product Hunt’s lifeblood is its community. To succeed in it, you have to succeed in getting along with its community.

In other words, all the things I or any other experienced PH maker will share with you will not give outstanding results unless you go and talk to people, you go and ask people, you go and show people.

If there’s anything Product Hunt has taught me, it’s definitely the art of asking.

Once you understand this, you win on Product Hunt! If you are launching your product soon, there is no better technique that can propel you on launch day than to invest your time on continuous relationship building (and of course your product dev — make it neat — Product Hunters love innovation).

I mean you still can get a ginormous success without investing in relationships if you have a cutting-edge product or if you are a big brand. But if you don’t, and have a new fresh product like the one we launched, you better leverage the power of Product hunt’s community that will give you an edge over the steep competition and help you reach the eyeballs of the millions of PH daily visitors multiplying your chances to be on the top 5 and consequently get on the next day’s PH newsletter.

When we submitted Startup Patterns, a new app that provides bite-sized startup lessons for busy founders, it did really well in the first half of the day, but then two amazing, very competitive products came up: Spotify Daily Mix & Mavic Pro.

As much as we were excited about the launch, we were also very focused on keeping the momentum going because the other products were getting close at a higher pace.

The many of you who have been in these kind of moments, know exactly the pressure & mixture of feelings it brings. Some people just can’t handle it, and can’t do anything but keep staring in the screen, which is the biggest trap you might fall in. This is why the #1 advice we give to product people & founders is to have a prepared checklist before the launch defining what they’ll have to do on launch day, because let’s face it, once you’re on Product Hunt, half of your focus vanishes, and you’d better have a checklist to guide your and your team actions.

After participating in many product launches either by the founders & startups that were part of the Hidden Founders program in which we help non-technical founders across 3 continents to build cutting-edge products and get them successfully to market, or internally by launching Founders Test, Hillo for Trello, Startup Patterns & more as we focus on figuring out what would be the best products we can create to equip any startup founder with right tools and resources, we got to deeply understand what makes a successful Product Hunt launch and what doesn’t and therefore created our own actionable, straight-forward, zero-cheesiness checklist that gets us ahead at any launch.

This checklist helped us outrank all the other products during our launch day, get +1000 upvotes, a feature in the next day’s PH newsletter, a remarkable press coverage by media like Irish Tech News, ReadWriteWeb, Tech in Asia and more…

P.S. This checklist is a copy/paste from my personal Paper Dropbox, in case you don’t understand a specific point, you might wanna google it, or reach out to me via @ahichamin. Details about product hunt launches are everywhere, but make sure to print this checklist and put it in your meeting room, it will be your beloved friend.

There you go:

1. Pre-Launch Checklist:

2. Launch Day Checklist:

3. Post Launch Checklist:

Things to remember:

  • Launch Day date: Put it in front of you — It’s Good for Adrenaline.
  • Quality over quantity in votes.
  • Get ready to handle heavy traffic in your product landing page.
  • Upvotes do not directly equal higher rankings.
  • PH refreshes its list everyday at 12 a.m PST. Publish at that time, Wake up or stay awake!
  • You have two days to find success on PH. It’s 48 Hours game !
  • There’s a Twitter tweet & DM limit.
  • To rank on PH, it’s not only about the number of upvotes — it’s also a matter of density (How many votes in a period of time)

Resources & tools you can use:

  • PH Today — You can see how well your product is performing and get a quick glance at any new comments or votes.
  • Product Hunt Analytics.
  • Meta Hunt — See what products perform better on Product Hunt versus other websites.
  • Finding a Hunter
  • Zapier — Google Sheet + Twitter where Zapier will Tweet each row from the Google Sheet.
  • ThunderClap — We’re now featured on Product Hunt. Check us out on the home page. Can we get to the top?
  • Mention — Keep track of all the conversations buzzing around you.
  • GIF MakerPrepare images you’ll share on Twitter, Facebook and other channels

Have a good hunt, Product Hunters. Have questions about Product Hunt or Hidden Founders? Reach out to me directly via:

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