Why One Converted 20x higher: Front Page of Hacker News

Of the two blog posts that made the front page of Hacker News one converted 20x more users to sign-up for MeetingBurner’s Free Online Meeting & Webinar service. And in all fairness to MeetingBurner, this blog post is hacked from the source during the week of the book launch for The Webinar Way because there is a chapter in the book entitled “HOT OPTION” all about MeetingBurner.

The two articles in question (direct from MeetingBurner) are:

  • Why we’re building a boring business (and you should too) . . .
  • I hired my friends and family, and I’d do it again . . .

And here’s how each performed:

  Friends &
family post
Boring business post
Unique Visitors 11,215 14,217
New Signups 30 772
Conversion Rate .27% 5.4%


So why did one preform 20x better than the other?

First – Tell visitors exactly who you are, and ask them to sign-up in your first paragraph . . .

More of your visitors will read your first paragraph than any other part of your posts – so make sure to tell them what you do and hit them with a call to action!

  • In our “I hired my friends & family” post we make no mention of what MeetingBurner is.
  • In our “boring business” post we have a link to the MeetingBurner signup page, and then use a quote to illustrate that we’re working in the online meeting space [webinars].
  • And in THIS post I’ve tried to apply this lesson by hitting you over the head in the first sentence with this line “signup for MeetingBurner’s Free Online Meeting & Webinar service”!

So don’t miss that opportunity to center the visitor and give them a call to action.

Second – Link like crazy and weave in your CALL TO ACTION . . .

The more links you put in your story, the more people will click them – simple right?

Third – Keep it short and sweet . . .

My favorite quote is attributed to Mark Twain (and others) – “If I’d had more time I would have written a shorter letter”. High quality content in a distilled format wins.

  • In our “I hired my friends & family” post we ran 1,359 words.
  • In our “boring business” post there are 560 words.
  • And in THIS post there are 614 words.
Fourth – Include a P.S. (that has a call to action in it!) . . .

As copywriter Michael Fortin says using a PS is “like the second headline” – meaning this is your second opportunity to make your case and provide users with a call to action – especially page scanners that

  • In our “I hired my friends & family” post we did not use a PS or a call to action to close the article.
  • In our “boring business” we ended with a P.S. and a strong call to action.
  • And in this post. . . get ready for it.

P.S. – We’re building MeetingBurner to be the best online meeting & webinar platform in the world – get your free account right now and give us a try!    Discover more about MeetingBurner in the book, The Webinar Way, now on Amazon!

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