How we got to the top products of the day without a hunter

Margarita Shvetsova
30 replies
Hi Product Hunt community! We launched our product Nitro this Monday and ended up with 335 upvotes and as #4 product of the day - which is awesome! We chose not to go for a hunter - instead, I hunted Nitro. I will publish a full-fledged article with launch tips soon, but for now - the key takeaways based on my experience. [Now we have 500+ upvotes - probably because we kept hustling even after the launch:] TOP HUNTER VS. HUNTING YOUR OWN PRODUCT Yeah, we all know hunters' followers don't get emails about new products they hunted - only PH notifications which are so easy to miss. But I was concerned about getting to the main page. I've heard two versions about being hunted by a top hunter: 1) it means your product automatically gets placed to the main page; 2) top hunters have a "magic button" to place a product on the main page, but they can only use it once a day. Not sure which of the two is correct. By the way, one of "medium hunters" @alexanderisora made a great video about this topic: My decision was simple: I knew you had to book the time with a top hunter like 7-8 weeks before the launch. Well, 4 weeks prior to our launch I still hadn't received any replies from the top hunters. There was no time and no use panicking and trying to find a good hunter. Instead, I decided to use relationship building as my force. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: I believe posting in various support groups is generally less effective than reaching out to people you already know. A direct message is harder to ignore :) and if you've managed to create a meaningful connection, these people will be more interested in checking out your product. Building connections doesn't mean you tell others "hey, we're launching soon, we can support you and you support us, ok?" I'm sure many Product Hunters would simply ignore such messages. I am just a marketer, and I was reaching out to CEOs and top managers - I don't think they would be interested in messages like that. And, to be honest, I hate meaningless interactions, so I made my interactions meaningful :) How? I tried to find some common ground. Launching a product soon is a good place to start, so we talked and shared tips. Having a Ship page was an excellent topic for discussion. Participating in PH Discussions and responding to people's questions/requests for feedback worked too. I tried to share what I've learned with others, and I think it helped make our communication more "healthy", so to say. And on the launch day, it was so heart-warming to see comments coming from the people I know! It was like, "hey, I care about your launch and I know how you feel!" GETTING TO THE MAIN PAGE WITHOUT A TOP HUNTER Like I said, it was my big concern. On the launch day, not everything went as planned - for example, I didn't realize I couldn't post a product without adding my Maker's comment first. And it wasn't ready!!! I thought I'd post Nitro, have our CEO publish his maker's comment (as he is the key maker), then take my time and write my own comment. So I lost a few minutes here and there and posted our product 10 minutes after the day started at SF. We started out at #19 and were not visible on the main page. But when we started sending announcements about our launch - on our social media, to our Ship subscribers, to our clients, to people I'd connected with before - the upvotes started coming, and we jumped to #9! I felt relieved: we were visible on the main page. HIGH-QUALITY UPVOTES Have you seen products with lots of comments from users with the red ballon icon? That means they are new users who got a PH account less than a week ago. Votes from such new users have less weight. Moreover, if you get an upvote from such a user - and this user hasn't upvoted any products but yours - this upvote won't count. I've heard this from other makers, and I've seen this with Nitro: several upvotes got cut off. What I did to prevent this: I asked our team to create PH accounts 1 month in advance and to engage in some acitivities on PH (not many of my colleagues agreed actually, but I had about 15 people who created accounts and upvoted other products on PH). And when we announced our launch, I asked other colleagues NOT to create accounts now, cause it's too late and it won't count anyway. Also, comments are important, and we tried to have as much activity in the comments as we could. For example, when I posted about our launch on Reddit and Slack/FB groups, I mentioned our cool story in the video, Nitro's clean UI and some features - and asked for feedback about it. And of course we did our best to answer comments in real time. TIMING Picking the right day of the week was important. They say, "choose Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday if you want to get more eyeballs on your product, and weekend if you want less competition". Monday and Friday are kind of "in-between". I knew we probably wouldn't stand a chance on Tue/Wed/Thu, as our product is not as catchy as fun products and various no-code apps, graphic editors, etc. Weekend was not a good option either: I don't think many of my connections would be online on the weekend, so I wouldn't be able to count on their support. So I picked Monday - also hoping that we would get more votes during the week and maybe get to Products of the Week? We did get additional ~150 upvotes after the launch day, but I think one needs way more to become one of products of the week. On the busiest and most competitive days, top products get up to 1200-1500 upvotes. I suppose these are the products that end up becoming products of the week. POST-LAUNCH ACTIVITIES This may be more useful for the top products with 1000+ upvotes, but I believe everyone should try it to get more exposure for your product :) I changed the tagline in my profile so that people could see I've recently launched a product, and kept commenting on new products and discussions. Also, it's a good idea to post on Reddit and IndieHackers about your insights from the launch. All this leads to more people checking out your product - and, hopefully, signing up or at least leaving some feedback. Thanks for reading! That's it for today, but I'll be back soon with a more detailed article about launch preparations! :)


Andrii Kpyto
Thanks for sharing, Margarita!
Tsz Hoi Lee
Thanks a lot for sharing! It's truly insightful also makes me nervous/excited about launching!!
Margarita Shvetsova
@tszhoi_19 Glad if you found it helpful! Oh yeah, launching a product is definitely a mix of excitement and being nervous!
Thanks for sharing - this post has now been bookmarked in my launch tips for when we get going! Curious about your thoughts on products you think might do well at the weekend - what audience do you think is on here then?
Margarita Shvetsova
@maxwellcdavis Thanks Maxwell, I'm glad if it helps you with your launch :) First I can say it's not B2B products like ours (that could do well on the weekend)! Otherwise I think it depends on whether your have a certain support crowd or not - weekend or not, you'll still need some boost (at least at the beginning of the day) to enter the top 10 products and become 'visible'. Having some support and a B2C product with good visuals should be good enough... As for the audience - well, it's probably about the same audience as on workdays but it's just not as busy as during weekdays. (I didn't even open PH on weekends until it was close to our launch day - as I originally came here for work :) and I try not to work on the weekends :D the same thing with Linkedin - I hardly ever open it on the weekends).
Pradeep Kumar M
Thanks for sharing this, and I too had kind of experience when we launched our product
Margarita Shvetsova
@pradeep_kumar_m Did you also launch on Monday? :D I see we have amost the same number of upvotes and the same #4 Product of the day ;)
Kiran Kanakadandi (
So thorough and honest. Thank you Margarita. Bookmarked in my notes for my own launch. I don't really know any top hunters and will likely follow your path. Question -- did your own high points help? What's your views on that? And maybe listing your team members as makers would add up as well, ya?
Margarita Shvetsova
@kirank5a Thanks for reading, Kiran :) Glad you found it helpful. Regarding your question - do you mean if these insights helped with the launch? Well, I'm absolutely sure building relationships and getting high-quality upvotes helped getting noticed and eventually getting to the top :) timing was very important for that too - I don't think we would be able to get to top 5 if we launched on Tuesday, Wedsneday or Thursday. Listing your team members as makers is a must, yes :)
Kiran Kanakadandi (
@margarita_s88 -- got it. The insights are golden and I'm sure they helped -- my question was the #points you and your team had at the time of launch -- you've answered that question as well. Thanks much Margarita!
Margarita Shvetsova
@kirank5a Hi Kiran! You were interested in my Product Hunt launch insights, so I thought you'd probably like to check out the full version of it which I just posted:
Kiran Kanakadandi (
@margarita_s88 -- thank you Margarita! Read and bookmarked :) So thorough and practical! (Incidentally, I just started writing on Medium -- I'm writing primarily on tech careers interesting; if interested, check out:
Tamas Zelczer
This was immensely useful, thanks for sharing it. If this was only the summary of what you're about to write then you made me very curious about what else you're going to share.
Margarita Shvetsova
@tamas_ hi Tamas, thanks for taking your time to read my post - glad you liked it! I love collecting information, structuring it and sharing the details - so yeah, I have more tips to share ;) I will try to remember to drop the link here so that you don't miss it.
Margarita Shvetsova
@tamas_ Hi Tamas, my in-depth article about Product Hunt launch tips is finally ready :) I remember you wanted to read it, so here it is:
Martina Hackbartt
Thanks a lot for sharing, Margarita! This is a very complete and useful guide :)
Anna Mandziuk πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦
Margarita, thank you so much for sharing this incredible advice with the community! Your story will come in handy when we launch our eBook soon😍 I also want to wish you belated congratulations on your launch! Upvoted NitroπŸ‘
Margarita Shvetsova
@anna_mandziuk thanks very much, Anna! :) Glad you and others found this info useful! I plan to publish an in-depth article with launch tips very soon (hopefully this week)!
Atul Ghorpade
There are lot of things going on before product launch. Great strategies you whole implemented. Totally worth reading. Article would be great for learning some things about PH.
Vian Trinh
Super helpful! I'm about to launch a product too and your post will go as my Bible :) Thank you, Margarita <3
Margarita Shvetsova
@vianingrowth Yay, so glad it was helpful! When is your launch? :)
Margarita Shvetsova
@vianingrowth hi Vian, my article with launch tips is finally ready, hope it will be useful for your launch:
Brennen Barney πŸš€
This is very helpful! Thanks for posting