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Nevo David

Hacktoberfest Unlocked

August 26, 2023

Nevo David

Like it or not, Hacktoberspam is coming, and you can choose how you want to handle it - but what I know is that some libraries become super popular during Hacktoberfest and keep the trend on later.

A bit of background, and then I will talk about tactics to use in Hacktoberfest to take your open-source repository to the next level, and a bonus.

So here is the thing: Digital Ocean created a movement called Hacktoberfest. They send contributors to other repositories to contribute code. They get swag if they make X amount of PR to different libraries. I think last year, around 150k developers participated.

That means tons of developers (mainly students) want to contribute code to different libraries to get swag - and, you guessed it, primarily spam.

It’s a little weird to get a PR from somebody in India who contributes a Swedish translation.

Developers will hate you, the marketing team will love you, and here is why:


  • When many people go to your GitHub to contribute code - you guessed it, you will be trending on GitHub.

  • People tweet about you on Social Media.

  • You get a lot more stars, contributors, and pull requests.


  • Need to deal with a lot of Spammy PR.

  • Some go on holiday then, leaving other engineers with much more work.

  • They will hate your company for allowing such a thing (that’s natural for senior engineers).

Okay, if you have read thus far and decided that you are at +1 for marketing, keep reading, and I will tell you Novu's plan for Hacktoberfest. While I tell you my plan, you will get a bunch of ideas for tactics you can use 😎


Last year, we created our Hacktoberfest page. If you contribute three merged PRs, you get swag from us. We promoted it in various channels, got tons of contributions, and spam - got trending on GitHub.

We have made many DEV posts with a CTA to our Hacktoberfest.

Life was good.

My two cents for that is you will get a lot of contributions (like it or not), and to leverage that month, try to create many issues before (50+).
That way, you will get more valuable contributions than shitty ones.


I helped with Hacktoberfest but was not in charge of it.
Instead, I was in the order of HackSquad.

We created a competition (at the same time as Hacktoberfest) where people contribute code - as a team.

It’s a whole system with hourly counting, a leaderboard, etc.

We asked our friends to sponsor the event and participate ($3000 per sponsor) to create the swag - it was pretty easy, I must admit.

Each sponsor promoted the event and also created some webinars for the community.

Here is the secret sauce - we tried to send contributors during the events to our sponsors and Novu (and it worked). Needless to say, we had almost 5,000 participants during the event - and this year, I am aiming for 15,000 participants.

Obviously, the event is a movement that will grab more and more attention over the years - but we also had a short-term goal. We gave bonuses to contributors for liking our content, tweeting our content, and so on.

This year, we plan to do a Product Hunt launch during mid-October, and we will offer swag for people to solve our riddle on PH (since we can’t offer swag for upvotes). Can you imagine 15k hungry for swag contributors swarming our Product Hunt? (Kitty Award, here we come 😛)

I have completed my new Lead Magnet 🧲

I have created a website that converts a blog list into a listicle.

Once you have done that, you will be registered to my newsletter - I aim to target Twitter (X) influencers that do a lot of listicles. It might help them to create more content and register them for my newsletter.

Here is an example:

Original blog - link

Thread - link

So, I released it on HackerNews, and they didn’t let me in 🥲

I went to sleep, woke up in the morning, and WAT?? 🤯 6 subscribers (sounds like this rich people's story that they woke up in the morning with multiple subscriptions in their SaaS). So apparently, Google decided to rank me #1st on “Convert Blog to Listicle.” Over the day, I got almost 20 subscribers, and I am thinking of shutting the website down - why, you ask?

It feels like it's very far from my audience. I wanted to promote it differently 🥲

But I can definitely say that there are a lot of places for ChatGPT wizards that people are looking for online (SEO), and the competition is easy.

Lead Magnet?

Bonus time

I have often been asked to make a video of how I create covers.

This video contains Midjourney, Photoshop, and GEN2, but if you follow all my steps, you can do what I do.

You can check it out here:

Can we trade?

I usually don't ask much 😇

I am trying to promote the keyword “How to get GitHub stars” on Google SERP.

If you have ever written an article about how you got X amount of stars and can link to, I will feature you here in the following newsletter 🚀

And I will be forever in your debt 💰

Open-source stories

Do you have a GitHub library with more than 1k stars?

Can I interview and feature you in the following newsletter?

Please reply to this email, and let’s schedule a call!

Do you need help?

Do you want to brainstorm about marketing or Product Hunt? Click here (it’s free). I might give you some “aha!” moments. Who knows 🙇🏻‍♂️

If you love this newsletter, please help me out - send it to a friend and convince them to register - it helps me to create more content ❤️

See you next week!

Some thank yous!