Creative Designs Guru

How to get 2000+ stars on GitHub with 11 places to promote your project

July 21, 2022

My React Boilerplate with Next.js has recently reached 2000+ stars on GitHub. In the last months, I've continuously been working on improving the project and adding new features. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to get the project noticed by the community. I've also spent my time promoting the project on many platforms and in this article, I'll share with you my 11 places to promote an open source project.

Next.js Boilerplate Github Stars

Preparation for a successful promotion

Before promoting your project, you need to make sure other developers will be interested in it. In my case, as an indie maker, I constantly build new products. So, I was losing my time installing and configuring new React projects again and again. For example, I was spending my time configuring TypeScript, ESLint, Prettier, Jest, Cypress and other JavaScript-related tools.

With this frustration, I've decided to create a React boilerplate that you can use to start quickly a new project. I thought other people would have the same pain. So, I made the project open source and accessible to everyone.

You also need to make sure your project is easy to use. Any documentation, tutorials or README you provide will help other developers to get started. Especially if you have a good-looking README file, it'll definitively increase your chances of getting a good first impression and a star on your GitHub project.

Next.js Boilerplate README example

After making sure that everything is in place, we can start promoting in these 11 places.

1. Google with SEO

For my React Boilerplate, the project is currently ranked number 1 on Google for the keyword Next.js Boilerplate. It brings a lot of traffic to the repository and increases the number of stars on GitHub. Actually, the project got the most traffic from Google: Google brings more traffic than GitHub itself. That's why it's extremely important to write the README file for Google to index.

Next.js Boilerplate Google ranking

The good thing about SEO is that you only need to set it up once. Then, your project automatically gets some traffic from Google. It's fully passive. But, SEO is hard and complex, especially if you target a highly competitive keyword. There are a lot of factors that can influence your Google ranking. It requires you to invest your time to learn about the SEO strategy and how to implement it.

2. Twitter

As you already know, Twitter has a large number of developers that can be interested in your project. If you have a large based of followers, you shouldn't have any issues getting noticed when you start promoting your project.

But, when you don't have a lot of followers like me, you need to make sure you have a good chance to get noticed. You should add some hashtags to your tweet, it'll help you to increase your reach. For example, you can add some hashtags like the technology stack you use to build your open source project like #react, #reactjs, #javaScript, #webdev, #nextjs, etc.

Here is one example of my tweet where I got 40 likes and 21 retweets (by having only 100 followers):

Next.js Boilerplate twitter

3. Reddit

Reddit has also a large community of programmers who can support you by giving you a star on your project. There are communities for almost every technology stack. For example, there is a subreddit for React named /r/reactjs. And, there is also a subreddit for Node.js, JavaScript, TypeScript, AWS, etc. You won't have difficulty finding a community where it makes sense to promote your project.

For your information, each subreddits has different rules and guidelines. Some subreddits are more strict than others. I suggest you take some time to read them and make sure you follow them.

For one of my posts on Reddit, I got 271 upvotes which translates to a lot of stars on GitHub (I don't remember the exact number):

Next.js Boilerplate Reddit

4. Awesome lists

On GitHub, there are community-curated lists named Awesome Lists where you can find all interesting links related to one technology or one field in software engineering. There is almost one list for all major subjects in software, so it shouldn't be hard to find a list that fits your project. For Next.js Boilerplate, I've posted into these lists:

5. Publish aggregator websites

There are several websites that list projects using a specific technology stack. For example, BestOfJs is a website that aggregates open source projects built with JavaScript. You can find a similar website for React, Vue, Tailwind CSS, and more.

Next.js best of js

6. Indie Hacker

Not everybody on Indie Hacker is a developer. So, not everybody will be interested in your open-source project. But, one of the largest groups on Indie Hacker are developers. People on indie hackers are building a startup or bootstrap company. So if your project can help them in their business, you should promote it on Indie Hacker.

My React Boilerplate Template helps developers to start a new project. So, indie makers can use it to start their new productl, whether for a landing page, a SaaS, a blog, etc. That's why I've done some promotions on Indie Hacker.

7. Write a blog post

You can write a blog post about your project on your blog if you have one. So, you can share your vision and your idea. It's the perfect solution to promote your project. Or, you can also write a tutorial on how to use your project.

You can also post on Dev.to, Hashnode, Medium, or any other platform as an alternative. Or, you can republish your blog post from your personal blog into these platforms.

8. Discord

Today, most open source project has a discord channel where they can discuss with other developers. A great way to get help from other developers and you can connect with others who use the same technology. For example, there is a discord channel for React developers named Reactiflux. If your project uses React, it makes sense to join the server and promote your project.

Discord react reactiflux

9. Newsletter

You can find a lot of newsletters for developers. For example, you can find a newsletter for JavaScript developers called JavaScript Weekly. You can definitively try to contact them to see if they are interested in featuring your project in their newsletter. Like on Reddit, you can definitely find a newsletter where your project can be promoted. There is almost a newsletter for each technology stack and each field in software engineering.

10. GitHub Trends

Your project can be featured on GitHub Trends if it has received a large number of stars in a short period. After appearing in GitHub Trends, my React Boilerplate has received more than 150 stars in one day. So, this is super effective to get stars on your project.

GitHub Trends React

11. Github Explore

GitHub Explore is a great way to find open source projects. It automatically suggests open-source projects hosted on GitHub to users based on their interests. So, it's important to fill your project details by adding description and tags.

Your project will show up on the right side of their dashboard:

Nextjs-github-explore

It will also show up in their explore page:

Next-js-github-explore-page

I myself love this feature and use it to discover projects that I can use.

Conclusion

These are the 11 places I've posted about my Next.js Boilerplate Template. The project on GitHub has now 2000+ stars on GitHub. It was a long journey, it took me almost 2 years to reach this number. Hope this article can help you and shorten your journey to get stars on your project.

After working on this boilerplate for almost two years, I noticed it's possible to go further by creating a SaaS boilerplate. It's exactly the same idea but applies to a SaaS product. So, I build a React SaaS Boilerplate, a boilerplate you can get everything you need to create your SaaS and earn your 1st MRR.

It'll take care of all the features needed to make SaaS products: authentication, payment, team support, dashboard, landing page, etc. So, you focus on what makes your project unique and quickly launch your SaaS.

React SaaS Template Starter