Tool of the week
You may have heard me touting the benefits of running static sites via services like Netlify, and using a code generator like Jekyll. My team runs both the StartupResources.io site and the CrankWheel site this way. The disadvantage used to be that you’d need someone with a little bit of coding skills to update the site, write the blog posts in Markdown format, and so on. No longer — Forestry does a fantastic job of taking a well-structured Jekyll or Hugo site and letting you fully manage your blog posts and pages without ever doing anything more difficult than if you were using WordPress. Highly recommended. Very nice freemium plan.
Tools discovered recently
This is a neat little Chrome extension that saves me time once in a while. Previously, I would capture a screenshot and then open up GIMP just to figure out a color of something found on a webpage, now I can do the same in a couple of seconds. Also has a gradient generator and other nice stuff. Free.
Namelix generates short, catchy names from keywords you enter, and makes up quick logo sketches as well. It doesn’t check whether the domains are available, but makes it very easy to click through to check and purchase. Works pretty well, makes up some interesting free-association combos from the keywords you enter. Free.
Lighthouse comes from Google and is an open-source, automated tool for improving the performance, quality, and correctness of your web apps. Just visit your web page and then click the lighthouse icon to have it run analysis. The performance suggestions are especially useful. Free.
Podcast of the week
Interesting story of how Mike Carson managed to build a SaaS startup with about $1M/year in revenue, where he is still the only employee.
Articles for this week
Huge guide with lots of details and case studies on how to get folks to pre-pay for your product before you build it. Good stuff as always from Abdo.
If you’re using Google Analytics, there are some steps you should take to make sure the way you use them is GDPR compliant. This is a good article outlining them. Once you start implementing the steps, you may need details on how to strip PII before it gets collected by Google Analytics, and I found this article to help you with that.
Another massive guide from Backlinko, this one claims to be “the most comprehensive guide to backlinks on the planet” which may just be true. Check it.
Nice guide to churning out quality content yourself, for your blog. In a nutshell, write what you know and share as much valuable stuff as you can — but read the full thing for actionable advice on getting a blog post out in an hour.
That’s it for this issue
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P.S. This newsletter is made possible in part by my main project CrankWheel, which is a screen sharing solution for inside sales and telesales teams. We have a free-for-life plan that you can use solo or in a team, check it out and tell your friends!