Two weeks ago, I posted the book on hacker news. There was an tremendous amount of interest on the first day (20k visits in one day!)
and plenty of good (i.e., critical) feedback. With this post, I want to take a moment and record my impressions from surfing the hacker news wave.

Conversion rates

1. Roughly 33000 people showed up on the “product” page.
2. Of these 7000 clicked on at least one of the modals (engagement).
3. About 1761 of them clicked on the “Buy Book” and went
to the print-on-demand site (
4. Of these 264 ordered the book.

The engagement rate is 7000/33000 = 21%.
The percentage of engaged visitors who clicked “Buy Book” is 25% (=1761/7000).
The final step conversion rate is 15% (=264/1761).
Overall we have 0.21*0.25*0.15 = 0.78% conversion from visitor to client.
Is this good or bad?

Perhaps the more interesting metric is the conversion rate
of engaged visitors (clicked at least on one modal) to client,
which is 3.75%.

A back-of-the envelope calculation tells me that my expected earning
per engaged visitor is about 50 cents. I feel confident that I will be
able to find buy some education keywords for

TODO: try mixpanel (GA is a PITA: full path of the referral url plz!), invest and test adwords.

Book product

The book — as a product — works. Even if there are

TODO: fix typos, add math exercises, add physics exercises.

PDF product

Some of the engaged visitors are also going to the PDF: 19% (= 847/4500).
Then there is another factor of 15% = (50+37+19+7+7+3+3)/847 = one week of PDF sales / one week of clicks to gumroad.
Thus 2.8% of engaged visitors went on to buy the PDF.

Overall this means that 6.55% = 3.75% + 2.8% of my engaged visitors go on to become clients.
Now that is cool!

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One thought on “Hacker news launch

  1. Techzing interview – Minireference blog

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