15 minutes of fame

July 7, 2020

When I published the blog post about our Shopify app growth story, I expected it to reach 50 likes. Sankalp and I would quietly celebrate with a beer or something better, and call it a day.

Instead, that post blew up.

It's the first time anything I've written went viral, or was read by tens of thousands of people. And this is only a week after Sankalp's post on how we manage our AWS bills blew up to #3 on HackerNews.

72 hours later, most of the traffic has died down. I fully expected it - my 15 minutes of fame - and yet it stings a little for the big and fancy numbers to settle back.

Ah well.

Whenever I see someone's posts or Tweets go viral, I always wished I could see their numbers.

So, let's talk numbers 👇


• 203,000 total impressions
• 86,000 impressions, 13,000 engagements on the main tweet
• 1203 -> 1899 follows

Link to tweet


• #24 on the front page for 12 hours
• 139 points

My original post on HN got flagged. Someone else who liked the post ended up submitting it again. Thank you kind soul.

Link to post


• Top 3 posts on r/entrepreneur
• 509 upvotes, 95% upvoted

Reddit as a community rewards authenticity. If they get as much as a hint that you're trying to sell something, the community ignores and downvotes you out.

The authenticity of sharing our learnings and failures, combined with the significance of the milestone is why I think my post did well over there.

Link to post


• 9,600 views on the post
• 121 reactions

Link to post


•  #1 milestone for July 4 with 85 upvotes, 2700 views
•  519 views on the post

Super interesting that the milestone post did better on IndieHackers than the actual post. I thought a summary of the 11 lessons would do well. And funny enough, the post picked up more steam after 24 hours, once the milestone was no longer visible. I found it a bit odd.

Link to milestone, post

Facebook Groups

• 70 reactions on the SaaS Products & Marketing group
• 76 reactions on the Shopify App Developers community

If you're building a Shopify app, I highly recommend joining the app developers group. The community is warm and lovely, they help out each other with technical and non-technical problems. It's a gem.

Preetamnath.com blog

The traffic from various social media was driving views to my blog post.

The results?

Traffic (pageviews / users)

July 4: 3181 / 2310
July 5: 22708 / 16203
July 6: 6147 / 4257
July 7: 1230 / 807

At its peak, I saw more than 100 concurrent users on the blog. But I got busy having my mouth hanging open. So I only managed to grab a screenshot showing 91.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

I kept digging at the numbers. Here's more observations:

US: 38% of users who visited
India: 2nd best bounce rate and average session duration
Germany: Awfully impatient about leaving the site in 37 seconds
Netherlands: browsed the most with 1.59 pages/session

There's more.

• 81% of blog readers were on their phone
• 3x more Mac users than Windows
• Who is browsing on a BlackBerry or Amazon Silk?

Sunday Coffee ☕️ Newsletter

I also added 138 subscribers to my weekly newsletter Sunday Coffee ☕️.

That takes the grand total to 165 subscribers. It's 164 more than I had expected when I started.

My post went viral. Why?

1) Content

• Milestone
People love celebrating a milestone with fellow entrepreneurs. It's overwhelming, the positivity and support Red heart

• Authenticity
I bared it all in the post. It felt like reliving those 14 months. And I think people can feel that.

2) Distribution

I tailored the content for every platform

• Twitter: Broke down the journey into a Tweet thread
• Reddit: Full post with link to blog at the end
• IH: Milestone, and Post with summary of the 11 learnings
• LinkedIn: Short summary, go to the post for more

Closing words

I also got dozens of DMs and emails from fellow and aspiring entrepreneurs, and I hope to have made a few new friends :)

One word to the aspiring entrepreneurs - START

Two words to fellow entrepreneurs - KEEP HUSTLING

Want to see any other numbers or have questions? Message me on Twitter

By the way, I teach a course called Learn Programmatic SEO to help grow Google search traffic.

Programmatic SEO is a methodical and data-driven approach to finding keywords, understanding user intent and creating dozens or hundreds of pages of content.

Learn how to apply this framework to your business, whether it's ecommerce, SaaS, or even a side project. No prior SEO knowledge required.

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