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Side Project Checklist Marketing

Setup Work

  • Make a list of competitive/alternative services: See file

  • Set up Google News alerts for "side project marketing" and "startup marketing".

  • Make list of blogs, subscribe to RSS feeds in Feedbin:

    • Startup marketing blogs
    • Side project blogs
    • Small business marketing blogs
    • Chicago small business/startup bloggers
  • Come up with a name and domain name

  • Write a site tagline and elevator pitch: Side Project Marketing, A checklist of tactics for marketing your side projects.

  • Create a logo.

  • Set up email and form on Mailchimp:

  • Create email alias in Gmail for to

  • Set up a website/blog using GHPages/jekyll. Key elements:

    • Intro/about this list
    • Email Sign up for updates
    • Banner image
    • Side project marketing blog
    • Links to watch/star, make update on Github:
    • Contact email:
    • How to use this checkist and example blog post
    • Update the readme to refer to site pages
    • Add email signup form or link to all blog posts.
  • Set up custom domain:

  • Add favicon/logo to site and readme

  • Create a standard email template for your brand.

  • Create welcome email for when user signs up: direct them to blog, suggest improvements.

  • Create custom landing page after signup, track on analytics

  • Set up Google analytics to learn about who signs up, bounces, etc.

  • Set up weekly feedbin email for marketing blogs

  • Set up webmaster tools to track SEO, keywords

  • Create anchor pages for keywords you'd like to rank for.

  • Research keywords that you'd like your site/blog to rank for.

  • Write blog post for personal blog.

  • Write blog post for Linkedin.

  • Write blog post for Medium.

  • Have a blog post brainstorming session:

    Blog post ideas
    • Little known features of your product.
    • Highlight use cases for your product.
    • Highlight customers who are using your product.
    • Interview industry specialists.
    • List of popular sites in your industry (be sure to notify them after you publish it!)
    • See these lists of ideas from Buffer and Hubspot.
  • Build/update publishing calendar for your blog.

  • Meet another entrepreneur who has a similar or competitive product.

  • Turn checklist into an eBook with nice looking checklist pdf, exchange it for email signup.

  • Add to personal social media post cycle.

  • Set up referral program:

    • Each subscriber gets a query string code
    • When query string is used, it gets put into mailchimp form
    • Query string code gets added to mailchimp users
    • 5 referrals and you get a free gift?

Weekly Recurring

Monthly Recurring

  • Blog post.
  • Look for Facebook and Linkedin groups where your product might be beneficial, ask to join
  • Send link to LinkedIn/Facebook Group owners, ask to share.
  • Join Twitter chats related to your industry/product.
  • Reach out to marketing bloggers/twitter people. Inform and ask for contributions.
  • Find similar checklists, ask to be added as a reference or leave a comment about your product.
  • Leave comments on relevant Slideshare presentations.
  • Review industry-related books on Amazon, Goodreads.


  • Better analytics tracking with email signups as goal.

  • Ask subscribers for feedback directly (individual outreach).

  • Request to guest post on other blogs.

  • Run a customer poll (can also generate content for your blog or social media channels).

  • A/B test your landing/payment pages (check out Optimizely).

  • A/B test email newsletters and promotions.

  • Implement Twitter cards on your blog posts.

  • Implement rich snippets in Google search results.

  • Collect and show testimonials from your happy users.

  • Analyze user signup flow (check out the teardowns here).

  • Test your website on multiple platforms, make sure speed is good.

  • Use Website Grader to pinpoint website improvements.

  • Create and track weekly traffic and growth goals.

  • Time social media posts and email newsletters to when your audience is most likely to respond.

  • Make sure each page on your site has a clear call-to-action.

  • Implement live chat to capture leads and allow them to ask questions (Intercom seems to be the most popular).

  • Segment traffic by source and audit conversion rates.

  • Set up automatic analytics reports to be emailed to you each week.

  • Experiment with various signup form locations, colors, and sizes.

  • Add "Exit Intent" popup to your blog/site.

  • Create an FAQs page.

  • Build a "best of" page with your best blog posts that you wrote or contributed to other sites (ProBlogger calls this a "Sneeze Page").

  • Write how-to guides/videos related to your product/industry:

    How-to sites
  • Repurpose existing blog posts:

    Repurposing blog posts
    • Record/post video of you reading the post on YouTube.
    • Turn posts into a podcast.
    • Create an infographic based on the post.
    • Create a Slideshare or Prezi of your post.

* Chicago Tech Slack/side projects * /r/IndieBiz - * /r/SideProject - * Show HN - * /r/ShamelessPlug - * /r/OpenSource - * Product Hunt - -

- How to use the side project marketing checklist - Why I created the side project marketing checklist

  • Making a contribution to the side project marketing checklist
  • How to learn about and keep up your side project's competition
  • Finding meetups where your customers might be
  • Creating a media kit for your side project
  • Tools for creating a landing page for your side project
  • Creating a great About page for your side project
  • Creating a pricing page for your side project
  • Setting up Google Analytics for your side project
  • Setting up an email account for your side project
  • Creating an email template for your side project
  • Creating a welcome email for your side project's mailing list
  • Blogging platforms for your side project
  • Researching keywords for your side project
  • How to brainstorm topics for your side project's blog
  • Adding an email signup form to your side project's site
  • Choosing social media accounts to focus on for your side project
  • Setting up recurring payments and coupon codes with Moonclerk
  • Finding and connecting with potential customers on Linkedin
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