That’s right marketers, I went with a cliche af SEO title and bestowed upon you all the glory of the list blog.
Congrats on your first lesson of bootstrapped marketing: people love their damn lists.
Okay, but on a real note, here are 10 tools that I believe every bootstrapped marketer needs.
Why? Everything on this list is powerful for an incredibly cheap / doesn’t cost anything at all price.
If you’re a startup marketer and have indie side hustles like me, these tools will definitely come in handy.
Alright, class is in session….
10 Tools Every Bootstrapped Marketer Needs
- Buffer ($FREE)
Use Case: Social Media post scheduling
Why: Buffer is an incredible tool for scheduling social media posts. Go write out all of your tweets, Reels, or whatever you use and schedule them for the month then don’t think about it again until next month. Saves a hell of a lot of time. I even use this for personal posts so I can hopefully avoid getting sucked into a doom scrolling habit.
- Canva ($FREE)
Use Case: Graphic Design
Why: Design matters. If you’re like me, you suck at photoshop, adobe illustrator, and graphic design. Canva makes it simple for me to make professional looking graphics without having to have that learning curve other tools require. I’m in, out, on the web, and making growth happen – all with Canva for free.
- Website Grader ($FREE)
Use Case: Website Improvement
Why: Get actionable insights on your website for speed, security, and SEO.
- Ubersuggest ($290 for Lifetime Use)
Use Case: SEO
Why: See how you rank in Google and stack up against your competitors. Then, see what opportunities there are to really crush your SEO game and reach that almighty number 1 sport in the SERP.
No, this tool isn’t as fancy as Ahrefs or SEMRush, but it’s cheap and gets the job done until you’re ready to graduate to that next level.
- SimilarWeb ($FREE)
Use Case: Competitive Website Traffic Data
Why: Download the free Google Chrome extension and see great traffic data on your competitors. Data such as bounce rate, time of page, traffic source, traffic location, google ranking, and more!
- AnswerThePublic ($FREE)
Use Case: Blog Opportunities
Why: Are you looking for powerful blog ideas? Well this is where you start. Find out what keywords are being searched for that is relevant to the content your posting so you can ride the coattails for what is already happening on good ‘ol Google.
- ConvertKit ($FREE)
Use Case: Email Marketing
Why: CK is my favorite email marketing tool. Not only is it great for newsletters, but where it really takes things to the next level for me is setting up lead capture forms, launching email sequences / drip campaigns, and tagging leads for killer segmentation with email marketing.
Don’t sleep on CK.
- Basecamp ($FREE)
Use Case: Project Management
Why: Staying organized and creating systems is absolutely key to success in business/freelancing/indie hacking/whatever the fuck you do.
No need to get all fancy with bells and whistles that other project management platforms offer. Keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it powerful and effective! Use Basecamp ya goon.
- WordPress ($FREE)
Use Case: Website Design
Why: There are many reasons why I love using WordPress – most of them have to do with the open-source community though. Which I’m sure isn’t on the top of everyone else’s radar. So instead of talking about that, here are the reasons that you probably will care about most:
– WordPress powers 43% of ALL websites (source)
– Extremely SEO friendly and optimized
– Optimized for Mobile and Desktop responsiveness
– Core code is continually improving
– The White House even uses WordPress! (see here)
If you want to talk more about my love for WordPress and why you should use it too, I’m more than happy to jam about it!
- Hemingway App ($FREE)
Use Case: Spelling and Grammar
Why: No one likes a super intense written paper that makes no sense and is full of spelling mistakes. Hemingway App helps let you know what reading level your paper is written at, as well as give you suggestions on how to fix your sentences to dumb things down a bit.
You might be asking why I wrote this article. It’s because I’m tired of all of these “gurus” telling you these expensive and unnecessary tools you need to get the job done. Sure, there are paid options that are absolutely killer, and all of the products mentioned above have a paid version as well for more robust offerings. But you don’t need that shit to start. You need simple, free, test, experiment, grow, and upgrade when it hurts.
Alright my fellow growth marketers – go out there and do big things.