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[Side Project] How to get more users + interviews?

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Software Engineer at Taro Communitya month ago

Getting More Users

Let's say I built a web app and got a dozen friends using it (a clean simple job board that removes all frustrations I face with other job boards like LinkedIn/Glassdoor/Indeed, my friends love it). How can I scale to 10k+ users?

I saw the masterclass talk about SEO for getting more installs, but I'm unclear how to get more users for my web app -- I'm personally not interested in mobile dev and I'm more interested in backend heavy projects. I saw this question but I found the responses pretty unsatisfying - https://www.jointaro.com/question/JGzPFDHF0sDPuKUZJnqS/marketing-your-side-projects/

Getting more Interviews

I also noted that in Alex's talk he talks about how people contacted him on his google play email for interviews. For web apps, how can I get more interviews?

Is just telling it on the resume enough?

Would recruiters even see the bottom of the resume with projects? (I assume most recruiters skim the latest job experience and then titles)

Also what are the thresholds for "impressive" user counts? is it 50/100/1k/10k?

Would love to hear stories on how people got interviews from having websites with tons of users!

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Discussion

(2 comments)
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    23 days ago

    When it comes to boosting a website, there are many ways to acquire users:

    1. SEO - This is by far the most powerful, but it's really hard (and frustrating) to get going. It's inherently lagging (at least 2-3 months to see any results), and the competition is too fierce. If you can get it to work though, your website will reach 10,000+ users in no-time. The mobile equivalent is how I got 95%+ of my 5 million+ side project users.
    2. Word of mouth - This is tricky, but the most impressive and sustainable as it just means your product is insanely good. Share your website with friends and family (and the Taro community in Slack) and ask for brutally honest feedback. Tell them that any (reasonable) feature improvement they want will be implemented within 1 week. In order to build great products with strong word-of-mouth, you need to be user-obsessed, which is where I see a lot of engineers be lazy and struggle with for their side projects. Watch this talk by Brian Chesky, the CEO/Founder of Airbnb, for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W608u6sBFpo
    3. Social media - If you build that clean job board, LinkedIn in particular is such a good fit to share it. You can share regular demos of your product there and turn it into a public learning journey. This will get you users while forcing you to make regular improvements (like any good product would) and develop better writing skills. On top of that, posting to LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to get lucky by having recruiters see your posts - Maybe they'll even want to share their job postings on your website! To get better at LinkedIn posting, check this out: [Case Study] How I Get 500,000+ LinkedIn Post Views Per Week
    4. Buy ads - The classic "throw money at the problem". If you buy Google ads, you can effectively buy SEO juice. I highly recommend against this, but if you're okay potentially setting $1,000 on fire, go for it, haha.

    Also what are the thresholds for "impressive" user counts? is it 50/100/1k/10k?

    This is not scientific at all, but in this market, I personally think 10k+ is the bar for something really impressive, especially for top companies like FAANG. 1k+ is not bad though. Don't worry too much about the number and just focus on building the best product.

  • 0
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    19 days ago

    For a job board to reach many users, your best bet is web SEO. I've never done it so I can't comment on how hard it is, but here are 2 concrete things I'd do:

    • Dive deep into tools like Google keyword planner, ahrefs, or Semrush and figure out what keywords you can fight for.
    • Look at other job boards and figure out how they found traffic. The one that comes to mind for me is RemoteRocketship (linked from Taro Perks). According to SimilarWeb, they get more traffic than Taro and the majority of their traffic comes from search: https://imgur.com/a/wG9u6SX.
      • The founder is Lior Neu-ner, there's a good chance you can chat directly with him.

    The other thing I'd look at is programmatic SEO -- can you create many thousands of JobPosting structured pages? That's my guess for how to rank quickly.