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Nevo David

Clickvote is going live

October 14, 2023

Nevo David

Hi everybody!

For those of you who don’t know, I am Israeli 🇮🇱

You probably know that the situation in Israel is a bit hectic at the moment.
I also know that I have followers here from both sides of the conflict.

I don’t want to get into my beliefs, but I am pretty much depressed lately and was unsure if to send this weekly email.

I decided to write something small because my life is not over yet.

I have recently released ClickVote, just a lunatic idea of running a bootstrap open-source startup for a completely new market (it’s against any belief that I have.)

Will it survive? Probably not. I made it mainly to show some growth from more beginner projects. Since Novu is 20k+ stars, it might not always reflect people with smaller libraries.

Today, I want to share three nice things.

1. Substack as a newsletter

Substack is an exciting platform. Not only it’s a newsletter, but it’s also a social media. It means that for every post you put out, you might get traffic from the platform. It’s also the type of platform that gives you the option to use a post + newsletter. It’s also free, no matter how many subscribers you have. (perfect for bootstrappers).

The catch? They don’t offer APIs, so you have to hack your way in. I used Is it safe? Probably not. Suitable for initial growth.

The second part is to scrape the substack RSS feed to have identical posts on our blog.

Another problem with Substack is that they don’t let you send canonical links, so we changed the canonical link from our blog to Substack. It’s a bit weird, but I can see the advantage of using Substack.

One nice thing I have found out lately that lets me take this call is that many Substack articles are getting accepted into Hackernews (I have bought a custom subdomain; it might have been a wrong move).

2. Dogfooding

The best way to test and show a product is by using it in live action.
On the ClickVote website, I added the like button on every page next to the logo. It was good because I have realized in many companies, people usually don’t use their products. Only create it. I have already learned new things while implementing this.

  • It didn’t work at the start (some problem with npm)

  • I don’t like the short time until it connects to Websockets to show the component.

Everybody can understand in a few seconds what we do.
We don’t need to “nail” the one-liner.

3. Free Tee

We wanted to ride the Hacktoberfest wave.
No harnessing the situation is a bad idea.
We added something simple to our README file

After doing that, almost every PR we put in got assigned in 2 minutes.

We keep on adding three tags every time: good first issue , hacktoberfest, hacktoberfest-accepted

Yes, most of the contributors are students mostly from India, but I still think it’s an amazing growth.

I have already seen Clickvote being aggregated in many websites and newsletters.

We launched clickvote one month ago, and almost at 2k stars.

Some future plans

  • Engineering as marketing - we want to add something next to the like button like “powered by Clickvote” so we will get both the branding and also backlinks to our website.

  • Finish the pricing page - since we are bootstrapping this, there is no point in running free for a long time. We will start to convert as soon as we can.

  • Do what we do best - Dev articles, bringing developers from other libraries, the same thing as usual.

No fancy titles or calls-to-action today, just pure content.

I hope next week will be better.