Are startup directories like Product Hunt worth the effort to drive initial traffic?


There are a ton of "startup directories" like Product Hunt that list new startups and apps.

Is it worth the time to add your new startup to all these sites? Due to the large numbers of companies that launch each week, it's very hard to make your site stand apart to begin with.

Marketing Launch Startups

asked Aug 25 '14 at 14:57
Geoffrey Ford
11 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


Hacker News, reddit, Product Hunt, TechCrunch and other startup directories are not particularly useful to gain actual users. You want to make some noise where your potential users are.

A successful mention on one of these sites will bring you a spike in traffic, but it will be short-lived and you'll be disappointed by the conversion rates. Most people are curious to find out about new startups, who you are, etc. but they couldn't care less about using your product.

So yes, spend 5 minutes when you "launch" to post on those sites, but do not make that your launch strategy. Focus on finding a repeatable way to find targeted potential customers.

answered Aug 25 '14 at 15:29
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points


Your first priority should definitely be getting traffic from your target market.

That said, getting listed on Product Hunt and other directories:

  • Drives enough traffic & outside eyes that it helps you find obvious bugs / flawed premises / other wrong things you've missed in advance of actual users seeing them.
  • Gives you some link equity (boosting your search rankings) and early followers (boosting your social proof).
  • Connects you with both early adopters and early advocates. If you're an agriculture startup, it doesn't matter if only 3 of the 10,000 visitors sent from Product Hunt are people in the agriculture industry. They're 3 of the most-likely ones to be able to spread the word about you to a much more relevant, targeted audience.
  • Connects you with people who can help you or that you can learn from. Other startups, industry partners, investors, etc.

Is it worth the time to add yourself to all of these directories, or to craft a launch strategy around them? No. But it's low-hanging fruit to simply submit to the ones that are self-serve, and ask a few friends to consider up-voting (ping me, @JayNeely; I'll take a look).

If you flop, it's cost you nothing. If you get clearly accurate feedback ("she's right, that phrasing is confusing"), it's already worth the (non-)effort. If you get demands for specific features ("I'd never use this unless it had ____"), thank people for their feedback / let them know you hear it, but wait to hear it from your target audience too before spending time on it.

Let me know if you submit to Product Hunt, /r/startups, or Hacker News. I'll take a look and upvote if you look good.

answered Aug 28 '14 at 02:39
Jay Neely
6,050 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Marketing Launch Startups