For the past seven years, DigitalOcean, Intel, and DEV team up for Hacktoberfest. Hacktoberfest is a month long event that aims to celebrate the open source software that powers our modern web. This blog is an example of that, powered by Ghost. This goal is to recognize open source software by contributing to these projects. If a participant makes four valid contributions in October then they can receive a prize. This prize is either a t-shirt or a tree planted in your name.
Based on Twitter this contest has always resulted in low-effort spam contributions. An example:
I noticed that the hashtag #spamtoberfest was starting to trend in developer circles. I decided to try to monetize the trend and settled on making a t-shirt design and pop-up store on Teespring. It took a few hours to create the parody logo and my store was live. If you want to cop this for yourself its available here.
The first few days resulted in 300 views but no purchases. By mid week I got a notification. SOMEONE HAD PURCHASED A SHIRT netting me $11.19. Since then traffic has died off to 20-40 views daily none of which have resulted in any sales.
I'm actually very happy with the results. I was able to take a small trend and make money from it. Of course I was secretly hoping to sell one-hundred shirts and walk away with $1,000. The only way I was able to get this result was due to Twitter. I tweeted out the logo I made and the link to the store which was liked and retweeted several times. I do not think this will be the last time I try to work with Teespring.
Here's the Twitter analytics that drove that traffic. Overall it was a terrible conversion rate.
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