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Tips to promote side projects?

joeattardi profile image Joe Attardi ・1 min read

I have a side project that I think is pretty cool. Trouble is, pretty much no one knows about or uses it!

For those who have had successful side projects, do you have any tips for better publicizing projects without being spammy?

Discussion (7)

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster • Edited
  • Write detailed and "nerdy" introduction. Post it to all social platforms. This intro gave me 1500 stars on the Github in a week (posted to HackerNews).
  • Write very niche library, that no one else provides. provides prerendering for CRA (very popular project) without ejecting. There was project before, but it is not supported, so react-snap is de facto choice.
  • Get a bunch of followers. If somebody, for example, with 10k+ followers on twitter posts something, it gets 100-1000 stars on the github on the day of the post
  • Give a talk about your project. People treat tech speakers as thought leaders
  • Create community around your project. For example, create "good first issue" and offer mentoring. Add CoC, contributing guide, good DX, clear readme, good documentation

Not universal recipes, just some empirical observations.

UPD I understood side project, as open source project, but maybe you meant some product that you want to sell. Oh well...

joeattardi profile image
Joe Attardi Author

Thanks for the reply!

Yes, it is an open source project. You mention a good point about creating a niche library. My project is a notification library for React, which it seems are a dime a dozen. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t caught on - maybe I just need a more unique idea!

Not trying to make any money on it, I just want to get my name and work out there more.

Thanks again!

hussein_cheayto profile image
hussein cheayto • Edited

Stereobooster said it all πŸ™‚
It's all about connections and marketing. The more connections on social media you have, the less money you'll spend on marketing.

Try to join discord servers or forums related to your project. Make some friends (ask about there projects, download and share their projects, and they will do that too πŸ˜‰)

I can post your project on my website if you'd like to. It's free 😁

dzhavat profile image
Dzhavat Ushev

I have side projects (not successful, though :)) but a tip that immediately comes to minds is to share a link to the project when you ask for tips on how to promote it πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‚

Another tip is to find communities with a similar interest and just tell them about your project.

joeattardi profile image
Joe Attardi Author

I debated sharing a link but didn’t want to come across as spammy or self promoting 😁 This post is purely for advice, not for viral marketing πŸ˜‚

dzhavat profile image
Dzhavat Ushev

It depends, of course, on how one phrases it. If the focus is too much on the link and making sure everyone notices it, then it will probably come across as spammy. But if it's more like "I have this side project which I think will benefit many people but doesn't get much attention. How can I promote it to the right people. Oh, and here's a link to the project" kind of thing, I don't think will sound too demanding.

Another tip I can think of is to write a post about how your side project came to be. Something like "I had this problem and couldn't find a solutions. So I decided to build this thing which makes my work much easier...". If the problem is common enough, people will probably relate to it and want to try your solution.

elizabethschafer profile image
Elizabeth Schafer

Like others mentioned it'd be helpful if you wrote about it to explain the thought process behind it. I'd also see if there are any newsletters that might be interested in including your project - there's usually a way to submit suggestions.