Want to capture hearts and minds? Inflame the creative impulse? Here are a few pointers to get you going.
Ride the Wave
The five coolest topics in DIY hardware are:
- Wearable tech
- Quadcopters / drones
- Home automation
- Animal-related hacks
- General robots
Make some projects in these domains, and you'll show how your product can be used for what customers want to build.
Need more ideas? Build a weird musical instrument or a photography hack.
Mix It Up
I've listed the ten most frequent hacks we see, at hackathons and as "starter projects" when people try new platforms.
If you build some of those as reference designs, you'll help makers who want to build something that they will use.
Some designs should be easy. Make beginners feel like they'll have somewhere to start. (Answer the eternal question: "I just got this on Kickstarter... but what do I do with it?")
Do a blinky light – the Hello World! of hardware. Do a timed pet feeder. Do a weather station.
Make people go: "Oh, so that's how you read sensors with this platform."
But mix it up with some crazy, weird projects as well! You'll grab attention with something novel.
Include some designs that are sophisticated and complex, to demonstrate the power, versatility, and maturity of your product.
Show off its best features: You've optimized for some applications. What are they?
"Limitless" possibility can cause Maker Paralysis. Give them a jumping-off point, and a way to distinguish your product from its competitors.
Play Well With Others
How does your product interact with platforms that are already popular? Can you use your board or software with the Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, or Particle Photon? Can you program it with the Arduino IDE, or with something similar? Post some projects that relate to platforms that people may already know and use.
Plus, if you post a project that uses your product with one of those platforms, it appears on both hubs! This boosts your discoverability.
Try to have your projects come from multiple authors: get community buy-in by running a challenge or giveaway, or pick a few people from your team to build things in their own style.
Make It Gorgeous
Whatever you build, your initial projects should include a full bill of materials, schematics, code files or a GitHub repo, CAD designs, and so on. Give full descriptions for assembly, programming, and use – linking to external tutorials where useful.
Be sure to proofread! If your project is imported from somewhere else, at least give it a once-over to make sure the title is appropriate, the description isn't cut off, and the images (if any) have come through. Remove irrelevant material like sharing links (Hackster's UI includes them anyway). You'll save yourself time and work: if it isn't clean, it won't get approved anyway.
No matter what they are, by seeding your page with ten well-documented projects, you set the standard for community members who will use your product and share their work. Set it high!
Save the Blog Posts for Elsewhere
This is not the place for testimonials, sales pitches, advertisements, announcements, or anything else that isn't hardware-related. No matter what type of content you publish, make sure it relates to a specific hardware project or technique! Don't dilute your page with irrelevant material.