Blog Posts

  • Tracking Keywords and Topics with F5Bot

    Imagine this: your side project is gaining traction; however, you’ve found your time—your most valuable resource—has become extremely limited. You look for ways to optimize how you promote your project and find conversations online relevant to it. And then you find F5Bot. At first glance, you realize this might be the perfect solution!

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  • My Social Media & Email Marketing Automation Strategy

    A couple days ago, I Tweeted a diagram of my social media and email automation strategy for Portable CTO/Side Project Checklist asking if anyone would like a writeup about how I do it. After a couple years playing around with different social media automation tools and about a year of running a pretty successful email list, I’ve come up with a workflow that works for me and I think is worth sharing. While the comprehensive diagram may look intimidating, don’t worry; I’ll walk you through each piece as well as the reasons I chose the tools I did, and some of the goals of my setup. Let’s get to it!

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  • Using The Side Project Marketing Checklist: What Worked and What Didn't

    I started the Side Project Marketing Checklist over six months ago, and ever since the beginning, I’ve used that checklist to market the project itself. The whole idea of the checklist is that it gives you lots of ideas, but you have to try things out and by process of elimination, come up with a formula for marketing your project that works.

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  • Finding and Connecting with Customers on Linkedin

    Linkedin gained users at a rate of 2 per second in 2017, and it has pretty much dominated the professional social profile space in most industries. That said, I think it’s quite underutilized for finding early customers to your product. If like most side project owners, you are looking for your first few customers, Linkedin might be a perfect outlet. Here’s how I’ve seen it used for early customer acquisition.

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  • Online Advertising Platforms for Your Side Project

    While free and low-cost marketing tactics might be able to take you pretty far, some industries with more established markets are best broached with advertising. The great thing about online advertising is that you can get really granular with your targeting and avoid spending money on users who aren’t converting well.

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  • What is A/B testing?

    An invaluable component in any website owner’s quiver is the A/B test – an experiment in which the current website is compared with an alternate in order to guage the effectiveness of the site with respect to experiment objectives. This post will examine one common A/B testing pattern and its potential effectiveness for a side project owner’s purposes.

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  • Free Stock Images for Your Side Project

    It’s really hard to justify paying for stock images when your side project is just getting off the ground. While large companies may grow to require custom photography or very specific high quality photos from paid sites, you can probably make it a lot futher than you think with one of the free options for stock photos listed below.

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  • Logo Creation Tools

    I’m not a designer, and I’ve never been great at coming up with branding or logos. That said, side projects with distinct and creative logos always look more reputable than those without.

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  • Best Customer Relationship Management Software for Side Projects

    Customer Relationship Management (or CRM for short) software can help you manage customers, make more money, and keep up with leads, but it can also get expensive and cumbersome pretty quickly. While many side projects may not need a CRM tool (spreadheets often work when you have few customers), there are some good ones here that won’t set you back too much.

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  • Press Release Creation and Distribution Tools

    I’m a big fan of contacting bloggers and journalists directly, but it’s incredibly time consuming to do so. Sometimes, a low-cost or free press release is well worth it, so if you’re considering investing in one for your side project, look no further.

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