OSS by Zenika

Back to home

This cheat sheet summarizes important steps you should follow to promote your open source project in the best conditions. You can click items to expand and get more information from a topic.

List of available languages:

A language is missing? Want to improve this cheat sheet? Contributions are welcome!

1. 🎒 Preparation step

πŸ‘Œ Make sure your project is mature enough

Your project must be stable enough with minimum viables features in order to hook users.

😎 Choose a cool name for your project

Choose a name users can easily remember.

πŸ’… Make your README pretty

README is the first thing your vistors will see. Make it simple, pretty and easy to read. Here is a list of beautiful READMEs.

πŸ’ͺ Highlight strong points of your project

Identify your project strengths and make sure visitors see them first.

✨ Provide a demo of your project

Visitors will want to quickly understand the purpose of your project, how it works and how to use it. Providing a demo is the best way to satisfy users. It could be:

  • An animated GIF demonstrating how your project works
  • A link to a live demo

πŸ‘Œ Install/Usage must be super easy

You'll probably lose visitors if your project is not user-friendly.

πŸ“˜ Create a clean and well structured documentation

Creating a good documentation is probably the most important step. If you have a small documentation, you can include it within your README. Otherwise, you should probably host it in a separate website. Some open source projects like vuepress can help you creating clean documentation in a simple way.

2. πŸ“’ Spread the word about your hard works

⭐ Make your project trustable before publishing it on social networks

Most visitors will check how many stars the project has before considering using it. A minimum amount of stars makes your project more trustable than a project with zero star. This is why you should ask people you know to support your project before doing a public announcement on social media.

↗️ Share the project on social media and specialized platforms

Tell the World about your awesome work! Publish on social media and specialized platforms:

πŸ“ƒ Write articles that mention your project

Write articles about your project. Purpose can be the technical stack you used, how your project works, problems you encountered, etc. Post to publishing platforms:

🎀 Present your project at conferences/meetups

Presenting your project at conferences or meetups is a good way to improve its visibility.

πŸŽ₯ Record and publish videos presenting your project, how it works, etc

Recording a video is not an easy exercise. However it's probably the most efficient way to make your project famous.

πŸ• Choose the best time to publish on social media

Don't publish during holidays period or weekends. Usually the best time to publish on social networks is mid-week.

πŸ—‘ Don't spam platforms with your promotion

Don't publish twice on the same platform. It will be considered as spam and might cause bad publicity for your project.

3. 🀝 Keep your users

πŸ†• Try to regularly release new versions of your project

Maintain and improve your project with new releases and generate changelogs.

❗ Maintain your project, process opened issues

Do not let opened issues without response. Be nice with people that took time to open issues. πŸ˜‰

πŸ™ Invite users to contribute

A healthy project is a project with a community and contributors. Let your users know that you need help by tagging some issues with contribution welcome or good first issue labels. See github labels.

πŸ† Reward contributors

Be nice with people that helped you! Some open source projects like gatsby reward contributors with goodies. If you can't afford that, do a public post (on twitter or other platforms) about the contribution and mention the author (here is an example of public thanks). Open a Contributors section in your README to publicly thank them or showcase them on your project documentation or website. Here are some examples:

πŸ’¬ Open a community chat platform

Github issues are not always the best way to communicate with your users. If necessary, you can use chat platforms to discuss with them:

πŸ”™ Ask for feedback

User feedback is the best way to improve your project. They probably have features and ideas that could make your project better.

❀️ Open a use case gallery to show what users built with your project

Visitors will trust your project if they see concrete use cases and success stories, e.g., the vuepress gallery).

Back to home