Blog Posts

  • Using Intercom for Customer Support

    The customer is the lifeblood of any business. Happy customers will allow your side project to grow; however, unhappy customers would quickly destroy it. This is why impeccable customer service is crucial to your short and long-term success.

    Read on →

  • Creating a Simple Landing Page with Squarespace

    Conversion metrics are a concrete way to tell if your startup is on track for success. If you’re getting email list subscribers, social media shares, and, most importantly, sales, you know that your strategies are working. If you aren’t obtaining conversions, you’ll want to try some new tactics. Squarespace—a website builder and hosting service—features numerous tools you can use to increase your conversions.

    Read on →

  • Using Google Trends for Market Research

    How successful will your side project be? Ultimately, the buck stops with you; however, there are a number of tools—many of which you’ll find in our weekly newsletter — at your disposal to help you in your marketing efforts. Google Trends is one of those tools.

    Read on →

  • Why Your Blog Needs a Sneeze Page and How to Build One

    Your blog is a marketing tool used to promote your side project. Each time you publish an article you can share it through various social media channels. The goal here is to attract current and new website visitors. Over time, you’re going to know which blog posts are the most popular. Don’t let them eventually disappear in your old archives! Instead, add them to your Sneeze Page.

    Read on →

  • 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!

    Read on →

  • 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!

    Read on →

  • 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.

    Read on →

  • 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.

    Read on →

  • 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.

    Read on →

  • 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.

    Read on →