Inbound Marketing Does Not Require Expensive Tools

Hubspot tools are great. When you’re committed to putting in the effort to use them properly you will get results.

However they’re expensive. While they do have a $200 a month version, it allows for only 100 contacts and is therefore not practical for even the smallest of businesses. Their next tier is $800 a month for up to 1,000 contacts.

For all practical purposes, their base pricing is $800 a month.

I’ve met small business owners who simply can’t afford that and they think they must therefore be left behind.

Why is Hubspot so Expensive?

They’re accountable to their shareholders.

I could not find a list of total Angel and Venture Capital investments for Hubspot over the years, but it’s in the 10’s of millions of dollars starting when they were initially founded in 2006. Then 8 years later they completed a successful IPO in which they raised $125M and gave their investors their exits.

Now they’re beholden to the Wall St quarterly Earnings Per Share expectations.

Their high price is necessary to cover their operational overhead, and provide sufficient EPS to satisfy the investment community.

How do You do Inbound Marketing Without Expensive Tools?

Simply put, you use free or cheap ones. Successful Inbound Marketing does not require expensive tools like Hubspot.

The list is below with items marked required or optional.

Required: A domain name

You’ll need this with or without Hubspot and when you choose a domain name no one owns your cost is around $12 per year.

Required: Hosted WordPress

The hosting will vary from $55 a year when you’re first starting up to $25 a month once your website is busier and needs more server and network capacity. WordPress itself is free.

Why WordPress and not some other blogging platform? Because WordPress hides the technical details of SEO from you so you can do proper SEO without knowing all the technical details.

Optional: A Professional Theme

A professional theme does help you build a prettier website, but this is not a requirement. However for the record I use OptimizePress which initially cost $197.

Required: Various Plugins and WordPress Setups

These are free, and if you want details submit a comment below and I’ll send you the list.

Optional: Various Plugins

There are two commercial plugins I recommend:


For $80 a year I have a very easy ability backup my website to my Dropbox account. It runs automatically and send me email when it starts and when it finishes. It runs every day. Even though your hosting provider does backup your website and can restore it, if they go out of business, you’ve lost your website.

For that reason I strongly recommend BackupBuddy. I’ve tried various free backup plugins and getting them to work reliably took up too much time. BackupBuddy just works.

CommentLuv Professional

CommentLuv is a plugin that entices people to leave comments by providing a backlink to their website when they do so. I think the professional version cost me $40.

Required: Knowledge of What to Do

I will help you with this. Inbound Marketing University is a both a community and a school. All lessons are online and are short and focused.

This costs $47 a month.

A Community to Support You

The value of this community can not be over stated. One of the most interesting and frustrating aspects of being found online organically is being found helps you be found more.

This makes it advantageous to join a community of people committed to helping each other be found.

Within the context of SEO, what “being found” means is:

  • People link to pages on your website.
  • People comment upon your blog posts.
  • People share your blog posts via social media, especially GooglePlus.

By committing to this for each other, the members of the community work to increase the search rankings of each other, thereby helping each other get found faster by people outside the community.

Time to Learn More?

SEO Needs Link Building

    4 replies to "Generating Leads through Inbound Marketing without Expensive Tools (Like Hubspot)"

    • Marina

      Great article that breaks down a complex subject into do-able steps. I shared on FB.

    • Jim

      You may address this somewhere else and I’m sure that it’s already obvious to you. It’s critical that anyone seeking to be successful online figures out how to position their products or services in ways that their market responds to before seeking to automate. I’ve spend way too many years trying to automate things that had no resonance with my market and I hate seeing others make this mistake instead of figuring out what people will respond to first.

      • Kevin Carney

        True. If you’re selling something people have no interest in buying, you won’t sell much.

        The best way to find out what people want to buy is to understand what problems and issue they have, and package your products and/or services as solutions.

        I know I make it sound easy when finding the right “packaging” does take time and effort, but it’s time and effort well spent.

        If you don’t believe in the value of proper packaging, just Google for (or remember) The Pet Rock.

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