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How do You Blog Effectively without Expensive Tools
The short answer is you use inexpensive tools.
HubSpot is the big name in Inbound Marketing (Business Blogging) Tools. Their tools make it easy to:
- Create great looking landing pages.
- Track people who fill out the various forms.
- Keep in touch via email.
However, those tools are not cheap.
HubSpot does have a small business starter kit for $200 a month, but it limits you to 100 contacts. Their next tier is $800 a month for a limit of 1,000 contacts.
Can business blogging be done cheaper?
Below I list what you need. In some cases
Domain and Hosted WordPress
Either with or without HubSpot, you need your website to be hosted under your domain name. A domain name is about $15 a year. Hosted WordPress starts at about $55 a year. And remember you need this either way.
Content Management System
Again, either with or without HubSpot, you need this. For a variety of reasons, stick to WordPress. The software is free. If you have the time you can build an attractive and functional website yourself. If you don’t there are a multitude of WordPress developers out there happy to build one for you.
Landing Pages and Lead Capture
Good landing pages do matter and there are many tools that make creating great landing pages quick and easy. Keep in mind the purpose of landing pages is lead capture.
Some WordPress themes have landing page tools built in. Such as OptimizePress which is the theme for this website. OptimizePress costs $197, then $42 per year for support.
Other options are:
Unbounce, which starts at $49 per month for up to 5,000 unique visitors per campaign.
Instapage, which starts at $29 per month for up to 5,000 monthly unique visitors.
Kickoff Labs, which also starts at $29 per month for unlimited monthly visitors
Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing
There are a number of alternatives to HubSpot. MailChimp, Constant Contact, MadMimi, etc. Most have free starter plans and when your email list grows above a certain threshold it costs per month. Depending on the size of your email list, expect to pay between $15 and $50 a month.
SEO & Social Media
There are a variety of WordPress plugins that make getting your on page SEO right really easy for non technical people. I recommend All in One SEO Pack as it’s very easy to use.
For social media updates, Hootsuite has a free version that lets you send regular updates to up to three social media destinations. For example, a LinkedIn account, a twitter account, and a Facebook account.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this is where HubSpot shins as their system is a fully closed and fully integrated system. They’re not pulling data for various sources. All the data is in HubSpot.
For less than $50 as month, you use alternatives to the expensive HubSpot tools. The true “cost” (if that’s even a valid word in this situation) of these tools which is they’re not integrated and setting them up and monitoring them takes more time.
However if you’re an early stage startup or a small business watching their cash flow carefully, the cash savings of $750 a month can be significant.
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