§ Marketing Week

§ 2021-11-15

It's "Marketing Week", y'all!

What that means? It means that for the whole week, I'll plan to lay down the coding utensils and work on things completely out of my comfort zone. How come?

It's because I had a minor epiphany on the weekend when reading and commenting on HN's "Ask HN" page. Someone posted, "Tips For Making a Popular Open Source Project in 2021" which led me to write the following comment:

Wow, this looks like a great resource for a difficulty I've been struggling with for myself for a long time.

For the love of it, I can't understand what makes other GitHub repositories stand out over mine.

I'm blogging about my work, I've added more information in the readme and over the course of a few years, I've also gradually shifted course to a more appropriate process. I always wanted to be the owner of a busy open source repo. I find the idea of making this experience fascinating.

But many of my repos are still stale though I think my code is good enough.

Actually, seeing that the repository probably needs a much better-designed readme makes me sad to realize that also for something so deeply rational: it's the looks that count.

On the other hand, it's true. Deeply living with a problem and solving it in code is a tough challenge and I'm not sure I'm committing enough for my work to be popular.

But I'm anyways happy to now realize that I'll have to market my repos better too.

An interesting discussion between a fellow HN user and me ensued and it kind of threw me back to when I read "Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup" by Rob Walling. In a post from July this year, titled "On The Value Of Product And Distribution" I had even written about some of those ideas. Given that our recent SEO had high efficacy, I want to double down on those efforts now.

According to Rob's book, prioritizing the "Top shelf" traffic strategies is key and I agree with is rationale in the book. He argues that the most sustainable strategies are to:

I also agree with him that "second shelf" strategies are social media and pay-to-click advertisement. They can help growth, but they aren't sustainable. Only finding and retaining a target audience can be.

So this week, I want to commit myself to do something that's VERY counterintuitive to me: I want to avoid coding and instead focus on how I can improve and scale my communication. A few preliminary goals:

I'm excited to try something else this week and I hope you can share my enthusiasm. In case you have time and want to help, hop on our Discord and reach out.

Best, Tim