Factors that Can Give Brand Posts an Edge to be a Top Story — A HackerNoon Editor’s Perspectiveby@drone

Factors that Can Give Brand Posts an Edge to be a Top Story — A HackerNoon Editor’s Perspective

by Dr. OneApril 22nd, 2024
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Hi folks,

Brands publish on HackerNoon via our Brand-as-author programs to provide our readers transparency and context, while also getting exclusive benefits such as logo, company bio, brand name as a handle, about page, and that precious Call-to-Action (or, as SEO spammers like to call it, “backlink”) button.

Today, we’re going to be discussing something the editorial team gets asked all the time by content marketers of various brands: How to get our story on the front page of HackerNoon as a top story!?

But, first things first, the best way for brands to write on HackerNoon is to not immediately toot their own horn, so to speak. You need to first give readers some valueby writing about your brand’s field of expertise.

Oh no! “How will we promote our brand, then?” You might ask…Well, hold your horses, we’re getting to that bit.

The point is to first give readers value by writing about your expertise using thought leadership and then sprinkle in a bit of promotion. As a brand, we understand that you want, and obviously, need to promote your products or services, but **that promotion should not be the main focus of the articles you are writing on HackerNoon but rather the cherry on top that readers should get after gaining some insight and value from your article.


So, it is extremely important that you consider ways to offer unique value while still promoting your brand.

“What about that top story spot?” I hear you screaming…

Well, our editors consider a variety of factors before deeming a story worthy of that prestigious place atop the HackerNoon front page and every editor has their own editorial discretion as well but here are a few pointers to guide you in the right direction.

Generally, an article may be categorized as a top story as a brandif it has some of the following elements:

  1. The article is well written (duh), free of grammatical and factual errors, and has accurate sourcing/citation for information, like this one.

  2. If it is a unique story that has not been brought to the public eye elsewhere, like this one

  3. A distinctive or new spin on news/events trending in the tech world that differentiates it from other stories in the ether - here’s an example.

  4. Includes original reporting or investigational work relating to a matter - here’s an example.

  5. Relevance to a majority of HackerNoon's audience - like this example.

  6. A catchy/edgy headline to garner clicks and views on social media, see this.

  7. A story that might help in spreading awareness on important issues among the masses and doing so in a respectable, well-informed manner, here’s an example.

  8. Has a conversational, fun, engaging tone that entices the reader to continue till the end, like this.

  9. Breaks down a complex process/concept into easily understandable language for the layman, for reference, check this story out.

  10. Includes personal experience or personal touch or a valuable thought process - here’s a nice examplefor your reference.

  11. Is properly researched, has good examples and includes actionable insights. Here’s a great example, check it out.

  12. Most importantly, provides value to the reader - gets them to think, laugh, cry, be concerned, or actually feel something after reading the story. See this heartwarming startup of the year interview as an example.

You can head over here to see some writing prompts that might help you make your next top story! Or maybe you can give us an interview about your company, tell us about your startup's funding or answer these questions for startup founders.

Those of you consistently publishing on HackerNoon as brands are probably now familiar with our Brand-as-Author (BAA) Program, but for those who are not, this is the ideal time to check out the program to see what it can do for your brand akin to what it has done for countless others.

In an effort to up our game and provide our brand partners with even more value, brands that publish on HackerNoon now receive $100 worth of social media promotion for every $500 they spend! Head here to learn more.

….and that’s all folks!

Hope you found this post helpful and gained some insight from it.

Looking forward to putting some more brand stories on the top!


Please do keep in mind that there are general guidelines and suggestions and not a guarantee that a story will be granted a top spot or accepted. Submitted stories also still have to adhere to other rules regarding plagiarism, link promotion and adequate formatting. For example: If a story hits all 12 of the above points but turns out to be plagiarized, it will not be accepted.

. . . comments & more!

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Dr. One@drone
As HN's Communications Officer, you'll see Dr. One publishing about our newest products, contests, and other news.