Why did you create your open source repository? Were you looking for a practical solution for a problem? Or perhaps it was just a great idea that just popped up into your head while taking a shower. Whatever the reason, it caused a spark and drive in you to invest sweat, blood and tears to create an amazing piece of code and to share it with the world. Unfortunately, not everyone will see your contribution without a little help. That’s where marketing comes in. Knowing how to reach out to your users and a wider audience of potential new users is vital to help your project grow. Below are some tips to help spread the word about your repository:
- README.md – One of the first places to start is with your repository README.md file. Make sure your information is clear, concise and user friendly. Create an eye-catching banner and ‘brand’ your project to make it stand out. Make sure to include relevant buttons and banners near the top of the file as well. That way visitors can know if you have a package on npm, for example, or you offer paid services on xs:code.
- Blog/Personal Website – Content is king. Whether it is Medium, Dev.to or your own site built from scratch, find yourself a digital home where you can create relevant thought leadership content that provides value for other developers. Topics like how to integrate your code with a specific tool, whether dnode is good or what tools and applications you like to use, can help connect youother developers online. Most importantly, don’t forget to respond to comments and to interact with your readers!
- Online Forums – Places like Stack Overflow or reddit can be a great source to connect with the community. You can introduce your project, join a group for open source developers and find out what users are saying about your repository.
- Social Media – If you don’t have a Twitter account, you should definitely sign up for one. Many of the world’s top developers and technology leaders have Twitter accounts which you can follow and use as a resource. You can also join conversations with other developers where you can provide your own insights and experiences. Plus, you can promote your content and provide updates about anything new that you added to your repository.
- Digital Meet-ups – A great option, especially in light of Covid-19, is to reach out and connect with other developers through online events. Many cities have local meet-ups that have shifted their once face-to-face events to an online format. You can participate in discussions, share your code and get feedback from other professionals in the field.
What’s important is that you get started. Show your passion for your work and help spread the word out within the wider open source community. Your code provides value for the community and it would be a pity for people to not know about a tool that can make their lives a little easier.