Frustration! There is so much out there on the internet that can help with online marketing (and offline marketing), but which ones are right for a writer who doesn't want to spend hours learning or pots of cash buying subscriptions? Frustrate not! I've done the hard work for you. These are my favourite services, most of which can be used for free.
I don't give options. I give you one type of each. Many services are pretty similar, so why waste your time comparing when I've done it for you?!
I get no secret commission from any of them.
Click on the image or the link to go to their websites.
Create great graphics
Canva is fantastic. An account is free, many of the elements are free, uploading your own images is free. The only cost is if you use one of the images they've put a price on And that price? $1 each! Save more by spending $10 up front and get 11 images. Oh! And it's VERY easy to use. And a cheap place to find a quick pic ... just $1!
Reliable and trustworthy.
Easy Twitter manager
Hootsuite is a simple way to schedule tweets. Especially if you're posting the same tweet more than once. Set up streams and track who is saying what, where. Really easy to track schedule tweets, sent tweets, RTs, DMs, as well as other people's activities. Free plan for up to 3 social profiles. Easy link shrinker. Fantastic time saver!
Reliable and trustworthy.
Seriously cool printed stuff
Moo is one deeply, deeply cool place to buy business cards, flyers, postcards, stickers ... and much more. Easy to use, not super cheap but you get what you pay for, and their delivery is completely reliable (in my experience). You wanna stand out? Go to Moo.
MailChimp is my BFF. It can take a bit of puzzling to set up but then it's unbelievably easy and gives you fantastic info about who is opening your emails, best time to send, etc. Pretty simple to link to your website and people will automatically be loaded to the list. Free to use up to 2,000 contacts per account. Reliable and trustworthy.
Easy domain manager
GoDaddy isn't expensive, they do the job and I'm generally not dealing with a call centre in Manila. But sometimes I am. Bought my domain through them, they host the site, even though it's on weebly. Everyone eventually falls out with their domain registrar and web host but one is as reliable and trustworthy as any of them. Start here if you have no other ideas!
Must have giveaway bling
Etsy is my first port of call for giveaway stuff. Stickers, temporary tattoos, giveaways suitable for crime, romance, sci fi, childrens or YA. And all from small suppliers so you can feel virtuous about supporting fellow artisans! Warning: it's a huge time suck ... many gorgeous things.
Best for surveys
SurveyMonkey is my total fave place for online surveys. Simple to use, simple to invite participants to, simple to review the results. Triple win . There is a free version, but it only takes 100 responses. I have the Select package at AU$228 pa. There is a monthly plan option at AU$24 per month and whilst you sign up forever you can cancel whenever, though I haven't done it. Love my Survey Monkey.
Easy website builder
If like me you have no experience with web development or coding then Weebly is your saviour. It's not super easy. It's waaaay easier that WordPress for DIY-ers. Buy your domain name through them/host with them, or buy separately and host elsewhere. Stats are basic, but adequate. Go for the Starter deal at US$5 a month.
Reliable and trustworthy.
Best web data manager
Yes, it's a bit complicated. Yes you have to put some code into your website to be able to use it but Google Analytics is the mother of all website analytics. Utterly reliable and trustworthy. It will give you fabulous information to help you grow your website audience and sell more books. And if pitching with Google Analytics data no one will argue with you. Free.
The best design worm hole ever
Creative Market is the place for ready to use design 'assets' like images, illustrations, fonts, WordPress themes, design templates at really excellent prices. With some freebies on Mondays if you sign up for their email. Stunning stuff. Warning: you can disappear in here forever.
Magic free photos
There are many free photo sites out there, but generally they suck at something: hard to search, pics are a bit B grade, limited options. Stocksnap beats them hands down. The photos here are just magic. The search is pretty good. Lots of great options. And free! No idea how that can be when it's so good, but just be thankful and enjoy! You can also sign up for them to deliver pics to you under "send me photos".
Omissions: you may have noticed some omissions. I don't recommend places like fiverr, O Desk or E-lance. I don't not recommend them but neither do I recommend them. If I want a product or service then I prefer to pay in a commercial and professional (and old fashioned) way. For me, fivrr feels like exploitation. I know it isn't always, but it feels too much like it to make me comfortable. If you want the work, respect the creator and pay them accordingly! And I have heard too many disaster stories about O Desk and E-lance. People who promised they could do that particular job, but instead destroyed the website or created an unusable e-newsletter. Life's too short to risk it.