eCommerce Insiders

34 Free or Cheap Marketing Resources for Ecommerce Business Owners

Looking for a way to make life easier, save time, and still maximize your marketing spend?

In this article, I’ll walk you through the best tools available for businesses of all sizes.

The best part is that most of them are free, and those that aren’t free are cheap.

Even if you are planning to hire a marketing team, as an ecommerce business owner, you should know what they’re doing, as well as the how, and why.

You like knowing where your money is going, right? The marketing resources for ecommerce business owners listed in this post help you perform some core marketing tasks without fuss, and without spending a fortune.

First, we’ll tackle some of the top blogs to watch, and some of the best (free) apps available. Then we’ll explore marketing training materials, webinars, and courses. After that, we’re heading deep into SEO/SEM, but I promise it won’t be a firehose of info – just the tools you need to get the job done without making a career of it.

Blogs to Read

Good reading material is the first place you should start when looking for free marketing resources for ecommerce business owners. I loathe buying most marketing books – by the time they’re published, many of them are already outdated.

There are a few notable exceptions, but in general, I advocate that all ecommerce business owners read blogs by industry experts to familiarize themselves with the jargon used in the field, the techniques that work (and those that don’t, or could even result in penalties by the Google gods), and identify influencers who can help their  business to excel.

KISSmetrics Blog

An unbeatable, informative blog that’s famous for offering spot-on advice and the equivalent of a digital marketing MBA course in nearly every post.

Copyblogger

Find out how to dominate content marketing and copywriting without hassle, and enjoy the quick to read and easy–to-digest blog entries on this site.

Buffer Blog

A relative newcomer to the blogosphere, this blog is a reliable source of info for ecommerce business owners, content marketers, digital marketers, and copywriters of all stripes.

Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch pulls together an amazing amount of information in every entry, helping you stay up to speed on changes and trends in digital marketing. He also writes a great newsletter.

Marketing Sherpa

Ready for no-nonsense marketing advice? Marketing Sherpa has been in business for a while and writes on topics as diverse as giving public presentations and maintaining a consistent ecommerce brand image globally.

Social Media Examiner

The world of social media can be a bit mindboggling, even for experienced marketers. Get the most up-to-date information on mastering this medium for ecommerce by reading the articles on this blog.

Intertwine Marketing Blog

Published at irregular intervals, but with strikingly detailed, actionable content, this is one of my favorite blogs on the web. Although Darren only has a handful of published entries to date, each one is packed with informative images and can make a huge impact on your bottom line – if you pay attention.

Ecommerce Insiders

You’re here already, aren’t you?  That tells me you’ve already discovered the value offered by this site’s content. If you haven’t, keep reading.

Apps and Tools that Make Life Easier

For the first few weeks, months, or even years of your business’s existence, you’re probably going to handle quite a few marketing tasks yourself. Even when you hire a pro, it’s a good idea to keep these tools and apps in use.

From tracking the competition to giving you a chance to advertise for free, produce infographics on the cheap, and know what users think of the site, they’re a great way to stay ahead of the game – even when your budget is tight.

Sniply

Adds a frame at the bottom of outbound pages you share with space for a photo or logo and a customizable message. Did I mention that it includes a link? Hello, free advertising.

Buffer, Klout, and/or HootSuite

Use these services to schedule your social media posts well in advance. Klout offers perks to users, including free business cards from MOO, air travel benefits, you name it – the more Klout you have, the better the perks you get. Buffer gives great content suggestions, and easy to use analytics. HootSuite is another favorite among marketers.

Animoto ($249/year, ideal for creating video content)

Looking for video content that doesn’t cost a fortune? Turn to Animoto. Low-cost animated videos that you can customize for your brand and purpose are just a click away.

Sidekick by Hubspot

GREAT service. Find out key contacts at potential partner businesses, see who opens your email and when, and schedule emails in advance, among other cool features. Be careful – it’s addictive.

BuzzSumo

See how your content is performing, identify top influencers on specific topics, share posts, and set alerts for content by your competitors, along with a host of other incredible features. This is, officially, my favorite app on the web.

Hello Bar

Put a Hello Bar at the top of your site to quickly gather emails and grow your mailing list. Customize the color and message with ease, too.

Canva

Need an infographic, but can’t afford a designer? Canva is here to help. Quickly and easily create the graphics you need for blogs, social media, and a host of other items, including presentations, business cards, and even book covers for free or pay a small fee for the full version.

Peek by UserTesting

Find out how people view your company’s website. It’s free, you get a 5 minute video, and useful information on your site’s feel, navigation, errors, and the public’s reaction to it.

Marketing Grader by Hubspot

Find out how your website measures up for marketing purposes in just a few seconds. Marketing Grader also points out what you can do to improve your website, and how.

Digital and Content Marketing Training Materials, Webinars, and Courses

Even if you plan on outsourcing everything, you need to know what works and what doesn’t in marketing. Many small and medium ecommerce business owners end up taking on at least a few digital marketing tasks, and knowing how to produce content is never a bad thing. Being able to share a personal message with your audience in a way that hits home is a skill all ecommerce business owners should possess – even if you need an editor to clean it up before you publish.

The following courses, training materials, and webinars are marketing resources for ecommerce business owners that will help you get a decent idea of what needs to be done, how, by who, and why.

Spark Your Profits

Operated by a former Fortune 500 marketer, this series of 30 minute webinars is free, informative, and features some of the best voices in marketing, advertising, and public relations. You’ve got to subscribe to receive it, and I strongly advise that you do so.

Content Marketing Institute

This website is heaven for content marketers, but a great resource for ecommerce business owners, too. If you can’t afford a full in-house marketing team, you can still build a solid strategy and put it to work using the info you find here.

Salesforce Webinars

This series of free webinars is enough to get any business off the ground and raking in the profits, as long as you apply the information they offer.

Google’s Analytics Academy

Free, but offered only periodically, this course will help you maximize your use of the oodles of data provided by Google Analytics. Don’t miss it. Occasionally, a few other course are also offered. Since the Google gods are behind these, you can be the tips will help you stay on Google’s good side, too.

ROI Revolution Webinar Library

Speaking of the Google gods, ROI Revolution’s library of on-demand search engine marketing webinars on core PPC topics and strategies, specifically for ecommerce retailers.

Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Fridays

A legend unto himself, Rand Fishkin is arguably the most recognized and respected figure in digital marketing today. His Whiteboard Fridays are free, information packed, and a must-see for marketers and business owners alike.

Perry Marshall’s 5 Days to Success with Google AdWords

The success of Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Marketing is undeniable, and his use of AdWords is partially responsible. He knows how to get the most bang for your buck using these PPC ad campaigns, and details every step clearly for ecommerce business owners.

Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs-Journey.com Email Courses

Like it or not, the instant you open an ecommerce business, you become an entrepreneur. Yaro Starak’s course, delivered by email and completely free, is a great place to start your journey towards profitability.

Chris Drucker’s New Business Bootcamp

Another great option for new business owners is Chris Drucker’s boot camp. This 7-day course has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, and numerous other sources – because it’s THAT good. Free and delivered via email, it’s also very convenient.

SEO/SEM Research Tools

Every ecommerce business owner should be at least slightly familiar with SEO and the constant changes taking place in its function and role in digital marketing. Far from being made useless, SEO is adapting to Google and other search engines’ algorithms and continues to make a significant impact on your page’s search rank position.

In the list that follows, you’ll find some basic tools that make life as a non-SEO expert ecommerce business owner much easier. From helping you identify the keywords you need to checking your current SEO practices and providing a list of actionable steps you can take to improve your search ranking, you’ll find everything you need to get your search optimization strategy rolling productively.

Google Trends

Quickly identifies rising search terms, helps you pick keywords that are moving up and avoid those that are dropping in popularity.

Keywordtool.io

Suggests hundreds of keywords based on a simple search term. Only problem? Most are two words in length, and longtail (3 words or more) tends to perform better. Still a great place to get started, though.

SERPS.com

Offers a wide variety of free SEO tools and educational materials.

UberSuggest

Suggests keywords, and is the go-to service for many digital marketers. Has a problem with longtails, though.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

Self-explanatory. Google is your friend. Seriously….even if they are out to take over the world.

SerpStat

Keywords suggestion scraper that pulls from common search terms and a keyword suggestion made by you. Free, powerful, and fast.

SEO Review Tools

Get a free education in SEO/SEM, check out the tools on the site, and make the most out of your own pages. Easy-peasy, with a very friendly UX.

SEMrush

The gold standard in SEO/SEM marketing, this service helps you track competitors as well as your own performance, and to identify key areas for improvement. Not to mention keyword research, advertising research, organic research…you get the picture.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think and which of these tools you like best. And if you found this post even remotely useful, do share it like mad.

Christina Boyes

I’m a fan of honest words, clarity, and impact. A copywriter, editor, and translator, I spend my days guzzling coffee like a champ. Once in a while, I do some writing and revising, too. I’m co-owner and copywriting head at Rusmexus Writers, and the brains behind the email and web copy at a handful of eCommerce brands.  Intellectual challenges and chocolate are my fuel. If you know what a seismometer does, care about healthy diets and lifestyle, or are a fan of travel, we should talk.

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7 thoughts on “34 Free or Cheap Marketing Resources for Ecommerce Business Owners

  1. Darren DeMatas

    Christina,

    What an honor to be on this list of awesome resources! I second SEM Rush and Buzzsumo!

    I don’t hit publish too often, and Ive been told to break up my 4K word posts into 3 or 4 posts, just not my style! I’m working on getting a podcast going and publishing some more ecommerce resources!

    Thanks for thinking of me!!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Ep #1: Why I Started A Podcast Called The Pursuit Of Relevance | selfstartr

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