Stefanos Bournias – AppSumo Blog The Place for Entrepreneurs Fri, 13 Jan 2023 05:35:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Stefanos Bournias – AppSumo Blog 32 32 11 Skype Alternatives For Video Conferencing (Free and Paid) Mon, 01 Aug 2022 10:00:19 +0000 Way before the days of WhatsApp, Skype was the revolutionary tool that made communication free. Over a billion people have downloaded it, and it’s been with us for the better part of two decades.

But with all the new video conferencing tools mushrooming into existence, there are tons of (much better) options for all of us. In fact, there are so many it can be overwhelming to choose! So we’ve curated the perfect list just for you:

What does Skype offer?

overview of skype

We’ve all heard of Skype in some capacity (or even remember its iconic calling sound). But to give you a little refresher, here’s what Skype offers:

  1. One-on-one instant chat
  2. Group instant chat
  3. High-quality video and voice calls
  4. Screen sharing
  5. The ability to call phone numbers (mobile and landline)

Over 40 million people use it daily, with the number of users likely surging due to the pandemic. But Skype doesn’t fit every use case, and many people are on the hunt for alternative communication tools that work better for them. Check out 11 of the best alternatives.

The 11 best Skype alternatives

As in all categories, big players have emerged and dominated the market (like Zoom), and legacy brands are moving in for a slice of the pie as the demand for calling solutions grows.

Here are the top players we’ve identified:

1. Google Meet

Overview of Google Meet

Google Meet is Google’s direct answer to Skype, Zoom, and other online meeting solutions.

Unlike many of Google’s free tools that are left to collect digital debris before being discarded into the dustbin of history (RIP Google+), Google Meet is actually good.

It was initially only available for G Suite customers, but it’s now free for all users.

The cool part? It integrates with Gmail’s web app, allowing you to start a meeting directly from your inbox.

The even better part? It’s extremely easy to set up and run. Just create a meeting, share the link, and voila! You can even host up to 100 participants, which is likely way more than you’ll ever need.

It also has pretty neat features like background blurring, amongst the usual stuff like screen-sharing and chat.

Best suited for: Anyone who already uses Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

Top features:

  • Meeting controls for hosts, including pin, mute, and remove participants
  • Real-time closed captioning during meetings
  • Video and audio preview so you can double-check your mic “just in case” and get that green thing out of your teeth before joining the meeting
  • Default encryption in transit and anti-abuse features including anti-hijacking

Supported platforms: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Google Nest Hub Max


  • Free
  • Simple to use
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Automated recording option
  • Integration with Gmail, other popular Google apps, and even Microsoft Office


  • No ability to call phone numbers
  • Buggy in larger group chats
  • Bare features compared to Zoom

Pricing: Free forever plan. The paid plan goes for $8 per month per active user for Google Workspace Essentials, while the Enterprise plan has custom pricing.

Compared to Skype: Google Meet is a solid contender if you’re mainly in the market for a secure video chat or audio call software. Unlike Skype, Google Meet isn’t meant for instant messaging or calling local or international phone numbers.

2. Zoom

Overview of Zoom

Something that shocks no one: the pandemic has caused a massive surge in Zoom users, and Zoom has practically become synonymous with videoconferencing.

Along with WFH (work from home) and Quaranteams (online teams created during lockdown), the common verbiage of today includes terms like Zoombombing. (That’s when an uninvited attendee disrupts a Zoom call.)

In fact, Zoom came under fire as more people encountered Zoom Bombing and other security concerns at the height of the pandemic. But, Zoom has significantly improved its security over the last couple of years to prevent abuse. Overall, it’s easy, reliable, and provides everything from video meetings to webinars and chat across all devices.

Best suited for: Businesses and individuals who want a reliable video conferencing tool to host video meetings, webinars, and chat

Top features: 

  • Simultaneous screen sharing for multiple video call participants
  • Hand raising, polls, reactions, filters, and more to make group video calls more engaging and interactive
  • Appearance touch-up and advanced lighting controls

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux


  • Generous free plan and affordable pricing tier
  • No limit on the number of meetings you can host as a free user (you get most of the important features)
  • Security button to lock meetings and enable password-protected meetings
  • Scheduling, CRM, and plenty of other integrations


  • Time limit (40 minutes) for free users on group calls
  • Can be a little glitchy, especially if your internet connection isn’t at its best
  • Many users are hoping for an improved user experience (with access to advanced features) on the mobile app

Pricing: Free forever plan. Paid plans start at $15 per month per user for the Pro plan, $20 per month per user for Business, and $25 per month per user for Zoom Business Plus.

Compared to Skype: According to users, Zoom is a bit more reliable in terms of video and call quality. Plus, it has a bunch of other perks like up to 1,000 participants, breakout rooms, and whiteboards.

3. Microsoft Teams

Overview of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365 that provides teams with collaboration tools like live chat, audio & video conferencing, screen sharing & presentations, and scheduling & recording functionality.

Best suited for: Businesses (primarily SMEs) that heavily rely on the Microsoft Office ecosystem

Top features: 

  • Unlimited 1-on-1 meetings for up to 30 hours and unlimited group meetings for up to 60 minutes on the free plan
  • File storage, meeting recordings and transcripts, and chat history so you can easily look back on past convos and documents
  • Outlook calendar syncing, which is a hot topic in Microsoft Team reviews

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android


  • Connectivity and call quality are pretty reliable
  • Includes features like one-to-one chat, group chat, emojis, GIFs, file sharing, and all the usual video conferencing features, plus more
  • Several of the paid versions for business come with other Office apps and services


  • You need a Microsoft account or ID (such as
  • The user interface isn’t as intuitive as it could be according to several users
  • Video meetings are data gobblers, especially for longer conferences

Pricing: Free forever plan. Paid plan starts at $4 per month per user for the Microsoft Teams Essential plan, $6 per month per user for the 365 Business Basic plan, and $12.50 per month per user for Business Standard (billed annually).

Compared to Skype: One of the biggest pluses of Microsoft Teams is that, unlike Skype, it integrates with 250+ apps and services to make collaboration and communication easy. Plus, it has some smaller perks like a 2 GB per user limit on file attachments in contrast to Skype’s 300 MB limit.

4. GoToMeeting

Overview of GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has become one of the industry leaders in online video conferencing for companies around the world. It provides a fast, easy, and reliable online meeting solution for  one-on-ones, sharing presentations, and chatting with colleagues.

Best suited for: Businesses and individuals who regularly host video meetings and presentations

Top features: 

  • Enterprise-grade security that includes single sign-on (SSO), encrypted sessions, meeting locks, and the ability to dismiss attendees
  • Keyboard and mouse sharing—not just screen sharing—for true collaboration
  • Reporting and analytics so you can improve future video conferences

Supported platforms: Windows, iOS, and Android


  • Tons of integrations
  • No meeting time limits on paid plans
  • Excellent audio/video quality
  • Permanent meeting rooms you can use without inviting people


  • GoToWebinar is an add-on so, if you plan to host webinars, you’ll end up paying more than with a multi-purpose platform
  • Hard to monitor participants when the number is over 50
  • Annual plans only

Pricing: Free 14-day trial available. Paid plans start at $12 per month per organizer (user) for the Professional plan, $16 per month per organizer for the Business plan, and customized quotes are available for the Enterprise plan.

Compared to Skype: All in all, GoToMeeting is more progressive than Skype. It’s got new bells and whistles like Slide to PDF for creating shareable PDFs from presentation slides. Plus, Smart Assistant for auto-detection of action items, Commuter Mode for hosts, and even a Slack meeting launcher.

5. Eyeson

Overview of Eyeson

Eyeson is a cloud-based video calling and presentation solution made mainly for developers. It’s a powerful, fully integrated solution for one-on-one calls that works brilliantly for phone and video calls. Plus, it’s equipped to handle webinars and live streaming!

Best suited for: Small businesses that have remote teams or clients and want a no-hassle video solution (and have developers who can handle the setup)

Top features:

  • Integration of custom media such as data and video streams
  • Embeddable video and audio
  • An analytics dashboard detailing your daily meeting minutes for the month, meeting stats, usage by weekday, and more

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS


  • UI and UX are polished and modern with the ability to add GIFs, chat, take snapshots, react, moderate participants, and send quick join links
  • Tons of integrations (and more to come)
  • API key to natively integrate with your product
  • Use cases for financial services, customer support, coaching, recruitment, online events, and more


  • A little more technical than popular tools like Zoom that are made for the masses and more user-friendly
  • Limits on participants (100 on the mid-tier plan)
  • Only nine people are visible on screen at a time
  • Unable to mute selected people

Pricing: Free plan available for developers. Paid plans are based on the number of sessions per month, how long they’ll last, and the number of participants. For example, according to Eyeson’s price calculator, ten 30-minute meetings a month with four participants per session would cost just $6.30. There’s also custom pricing for corporate teams and pricing for Eyeson’s four support plans.

Compared to Skype: Eyeson’s biggest perk is that you can customize it to your use case. While it’s more flexible than Skype and other tools on this list, it’s also a bit more complex. So, if you’re not a dev yourself, you should have one on your team or be willing to hire one to build out your custom video solution.

6. MeetFox

Overview of MeetFox

MeetFox is a handy solution for consultants, freelancers, and creatives to manage their client meetings. It has video conferencing features, appointment scheduling, and a nifty secure payments feature for invoicing.

Best suited for: Freelance consultants who have frequent one-on-one meetings with clients

Top features: 

  • Scheduling buttons and pop-ups leading from your website. Social media or emails to your custom booking page
  • Flexible payment options (plus cancellation policies allowing you to charge for no-shows)
  • Team accounts and the option to split payments between team members, which can come in handy if you work with subcontractors, for example

Supported platforms: macOS and Windows


  • Integrations with Stripe to receive (fast) payments
  • Easy to set up and client-friendly
  • Seamless video meetings


  • No mobile app (at least not yet)
  • Some basic features like screen sharing and recording aren’t available on the free plan or are only on the Premium plan

Pricing: Free starter plan available with unlimited meetings per month. The Pro and Premium plans are $15 and $42 per user per month, respectively, for extra perks like unlimited meeting types, branding, SMS meeting reminders, and multiparty bookings. You can also grab MeetFox’s 1-year deal on AppSumo for $99.

Compared to Skype: This tool is still young, so it doesn’t have as many features as Skype. However, it has rave user reviews and is great if you have one-on-one and/or paid consultations.

7. Whereby

Overview of Whereby

Whereby is a fully web-based tool that lives in your web browser. It’s a solid video conferencing tool for companies and professionals who want to host easy and reliable video meetings. No apps or installations are necessary, and no logins are required for guests.

What’s neat is that teams have personalized meeting rooms, and you’ll get a single meeting link you can use every time. Whereby is a reliable tool that companies like Shopify and Netflix use.

Best suited for: Remote teams that want a one-click solution for secure video conferencing solution with a delightful UI

Top features: 

  • Unlimited one-on-one meetings
  • Room customization with branded names, URLs, and colors
  • Whereby Embedded for embedding video calls into any website or app

Supported platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android


  • Beautiful, intuitive, and polished UI
  • Integrations with top tools like Trello, Slack, and Miro for whiteboard collaboration
  • No app installation required, and you can use the same meeting link every time
  • Privacy-friendly with unlimited encrypted meetings


  • 100 to 200 is a minimal number of participants compared to tools like Zoom
  • Some users say the mobile app is a bit of a letdown compared to the desktop version
  • More simplistic than alternatives, including Skype

Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $6.99 per month for the Pro plan and $9.99 per host per month with a minimum of three hosts for the Business plan. Whereby Embedded, on the other hand, has a free plan, a $9.99 plan, and a custom plan with custom pricing.

Compared to Skype: If you want a more modern tool than Skype, won’t be holding massive meetings or webinars, and don’t really need features like instant messaging, Whereby will do the trick for you.

8. Jitsi

Overview of Jitsi

Jitsi is a great open-source alternative to Zoom. It provides a set of open-source projects that allows you to easily build and deploy secure video conferencing solutions.

Plus, Jitsi is secure, flexible, and completely free! You can run it entirely on your own hardware, and Jitsi won’t have access to your conversations. Of course, most people (individuals) don’t want to run their own video server, so you can use the paid cloud service within the tool.

Best suited for: People, businesses, and organizations that want secure video conferencing for business or personal use

Top features: 

  • Live stream capability if you want to go live on YouTube
  • Real-time and private chat
  • Screen sharing

Supported platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Linux


  • Open source
  • Free
  • No account needed
  • Complete end-to-end encryption for one-on-one calls
  • Paid version (videos hosted on a central server) is one of the most affordable on the market


  • Mobile app can be buggy
  • Users have reported it’s prone to freezing when there are many participants
  • No hand-raising or whiteboard features
  • Way fewer integrations than Skype and other tools

Pricing: It’s freeee! (And who doesn’t love free stuff?)

Compared to Skype: Jitsi has all the basic features you’ll need to hold small meetings or do live streams, so if you’re looking for a simple solution, it’ll work. If you’re looking for a more robust tool, Skype or one of the other alternatives we’ve mentioned would be better.

9. Business Hangouts

Overview of Business Hangouts

Business Hangouts is a bit of an underdog in the video conferencing world. Alternatives like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Skype tend to come to mind first. However, more than 2.9 million people use it for everything from instant meetings to live and pre-recorded webinars and events.

Best suited for: Businesses looking for a solution that works for internal and client meetings, as well as free or paid events

Top features: 

  • Engagement tools such as polls, chat, and even special offers
  • Attendee analytics including registration metrics, engagement, and time watched
  • Email automation tools you can use for event reminders and post-meeting surveys

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS


  • No download required
  • Easy to use and affordable
  • PayPal integration for selling event tickets
  • Fairly generous limits on attendees with the highest tier plan maxing out at 500


  • Some users have mentioned that video quality suffers when screen sharing
  • Can’t white-label or customize meeting rooms to your brand
  • No private chat

Pricing: Monthly pricing ranges from $10 to $197 across four plans. But can we let you in on a secret? If you’re quick enough, you might be able to grab the Business Hangouts lifetime deal on AppSumo. Licenses start at just $79 for Business plan features.

Compared to Skype: Skype is most focused on video and audio calls. On the other hand, Business Hangouts does video conferencing well but focuses more on events. If you’re planning to host webinars, workshops, and the like, this is a good option.

10. Chanty

Overview of Chanty

Chanty is another great team collaboration tool used by more than 75,000 companies including the likes of NASA and Nike. The cool thing is that it’s not just for video and voice calls; it has built-in productivity features too.

Best suited for: Teams who want one place to discuss and keep track of tasks, whether through audio, video, or text chat

Top features: 

  • Kanban boards for your tasks
  • Teambook—a hub for organizing tasks, conversations and message history, and other content
  • Unlimited conversations on the free plan and unlimited group video calls on the Business plan

Supported platforms: Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux


  • On the more affordable end of the spectrum, especially if you have a small team
  • Integrations with tools you know and love, including Basecamp, Google Drive, Zapier, and Dropbox
  • Guest seats available, which can help with cost control


  • A 10 integration limit on the free plan
  • No other task views besides Kanban

Pricing: Free forever plan available. And Chanty’s paid option—the Business plan—only costs $4 per user per month.

Compared to Skype: Skype has some great voice and video conferencing features, as well as team chat tools. Chanty is like Slack, Trello, and a voice and video call app all in one. If you’re looking to simplify your tech stack, manage action items from meetings easily, and have a centralized hub for task discussions, try Chanty.

11. Livestorm

Overview of Livestrom

Last up is the browser-based platform Livestorm. Thousands of companies, including Airtable, Verizon, and Intercom, use it for company meetings, product demos, webinars, courses, and even employee onboarding and training. This simple tool doesn’t require a software download and is simple to use, so you can hit the ground running as soon as you sign up.

Best suited for: Large meetings and virtual events

Top features: 

  • Engagement tools including calls to action, chat, Q & A, question upvotes, media sharing, and screen sharing
  • Livestorm plugins for file sharing, meeting room design, and more to customize your live meeting experiences
  • Registration widgets and registrant moderation

Platforms supported: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android


  • Easy to use (e.g., it only takes 8 minutes to set up and publish an event page on Livestorm)
  • CRM, marketing automation, and custom enterprise integrations available
  • Event automation, email cadences and delivery status info, as well as analytics for tracking attendance and engagement


  • More expensive than most of the tools above
  • Low session length limits with a stingy 20-minute limit on the free plan and 4 hours on the Pro and Business plans

Pricing: Free plan available. The Pro plan starts at $110 per month billed monthly, and the Business and Enterprise plans require custom quotes.

Compared to Skype: Skype is definitely the cheaper option, but Livestorm may have it beat for hosting webinars and live events. That seems to be one of the most common use cases, and many users have great things to say about it.

Which Skype alternative will you go with?

There you have it—the top audio and video conferencing apps capable of giving Skype a run for its money.

Whether you’re a freelancer looking to close more clients, a small remote team that wants effortless meetings, or a larger team distributed across different time zones, this list has options that can help. Which one will you try? No matter your answer, you’re going to want to check out these cool 3D virtual backgrounds from Officina Kreativa in the AppSumo Store.

Mailchimp Review: Core Features, Pros and Cons, Pricing and More Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:00:37 +0000 What’s the first brand that springs to mind when you think of email marketing software?

For me, the answer is Mailchimp. And I’d argue that most people in the US would say the same.

When it began in 2001, Mailchimp’s smart marketing positioned it as the #1 brand in the email marketing software space.

Back in my short-lived corporate days, I used Mailchimp extensively (it was the best tool at the time). Years have passed since and I no longer use Mailchimp today. But millions of people still do, even in the current era of TikTok and plant-based meats.

Does being the most well-known brand equate to the best product? And how has Mailchimp improved over the years?

Let’s take a closer look and find out!


What is Mailchimp?

Mailchimp Landing Page

Mailchimp is a third-party email marketing software that allows you to manage your email lists, newsletters, run automated marketing campaigns, and much more.

Mailchimp caters primarily to small businesses. Its heavy users are e-commerce store owners, digital businesses, freelancers, and marketing agencies.

Most users use Mailchimp to manage their newsletters, run email marketing campaigns, and set up autoresponder sequences.

Mailchimp’s Pricing Plans

Mailchimp seems to be competitively priced compared to other email marketing tools, but the costs can increase exponentially as your email list grows.

Here are the basic pricing tiers:

Mailchimp's Pricing Plans

This is the basic pricing plan if paid yearly:

  • $0/month: Free Forever – 2,000 contacts & 1 audience
  • $9/month: Essentials – 50,000 contacts & 3 audiences
  • $14/month: Standard – 100,000 contacts & 5 audiences
  • $299/month: Premium – 200,000+ contacts & unlimited audiences

That said, there’s a caveat here. Note how the Essential and Standard pricing tiers mention “up to X contacts.”

Here’s how much extra you’ll have to pay if your email list has 10,000 subscribers on the most basic plan (Essentials):

Mailchimp Price Calculation

$78/month is a significant increase and it goes up to $270/month at 50,000 subscribers. It’s almost double that price on the Standard plan. As you can see, the prices can add up quickly.

To give you perspective, you can get lifetime access to SendFox for $49 and manage up to 5,000 subscribers for a one-time fee. (For a one-time payment of $147, you can manage up to 15,000 subscribers.)

Let’s see what Mailchimp has to offer for these price tags!

Core Features

Mailchimp has definitely continued improving their product over the years, adding some neat new features that we’ll cover here.

Before we dive into the core features, let’s explore how you can manage the audience on your email list:

Mailchimp core features - Audience Dashboard

If you already have an email list, you can import it directly into Mailchimp and start managing it. You can also set up sign-up forms, like popups that integrate with your website, to start building or growing your existing list.

The tagging feature allows you to label and filter your audience based on location, where they opted into your list from, engagement, activity, and more. By tagging your subscribers, you can segment your audience and send personalized, relevant emails to specific segments.

Mailchimp review - Create a segment

Now, this is straightforward and most email marketing platforms have this feature. Nothing too special here. However, I do think the built-in survey feature is a powerful addition that you can use to nail down segmentation.

That’s about it for managing your email list. Let’s get into the core features!

1. Creating campaigns

One of the features that was largely responsible for propelling Mailchimp into the top position in the email marketing space (aside from the fun winking mascot) was the campaigns feature.

Mailchimp was one of the first tools in the email marketing space to enable people with zero design skills to design polished emails.

Here are some of the campaign types that you can create:

Mailchimp campaign types

It’s not shown in the screenshot above, but there’s also a new feature that allows you to create and post Facebook ads.

I wanted to create a regular HTML email, so I went ahead and clicked on the email template. Here’s where Mailchimp provides you with 3 different options to create campaigns:

Mailchimp email template
You can either use the layouts (templates) that consist of pre-designed blocks, themes (similar to the layouts except they come with stock images), or code your own design.

To use the templates, all you need to do is select one and start adding content or customizing the layout. This is what the editor looks like once you select a template:

Mailchimp showcase your product

Once you’re in the editor, you’ll see the tools or blocks on the right and the preview on the left.
Of course, the UI is that beloved drag-and-drop functionality that enables you to create some neat designs with code-free block building. No code for the win!

2. Automations & Integrations

As a marketer, I’m always looking to optimize my workflows. And since I hate repetitive tasks, I automate (or outsource) what I hate doing.

That’s why I was so excited to dig into Mailchimp’s integrations and automations. What can you automate with Mailchimp?

Mailchimp offers customizable automated workflows for your audience, e-commerce, marketing, and special events.

Mailchimp customize automated workflow

I like that the platform includes templates that can get you started quickly. The autoresponder templates are solid. Plus, you can set up email sequences to recover abandoned carts, set up a welcome email series, and more in a hot second.

There are hundreds of integrations you can choose from whether you’re an e-commerce store owner, blogger, or small business owner. You can integrate with the most popular apps as well some more niche ones.

Mailchimp e-commerce
That said, the automation template library is small and you only have around 20 templates to choose from.

In any case, the most fun part is creating your own automated workflows. And Mailchimp has a pretty neat UI for this that gives you a visual representation of the sequence you’re building.

Mailchimp test customer flow

The email automation setup is quite robust and gives you the option to set up rules to send follow-up emails based on certain conditions such as opens and clicks. There are also more complicated automations you can set up depending on your goals.

The If/Else/Wait logic for mapping your contact’s journey isn’t very user-friendly, but Mailchimp offers a handy resource to help you understand the concepts and get set up. I think companies like MailerLite do a much better job here.

Overall, the automations and integrations will suffice for most beginner users. But for more advanced templates and intuitive workflows, you might want to check out Active Campaign (over 500 templates, or “recipes” as they call them) or MailerLite.

3. Reporting: Insights and Analytics

Mailchimp’s reporting features are very thorough. They contain essentially everything you need including client, geographic, and social media tracking as well as a Google Analytics integration.

Mailchimp reports

One of the neatest features here includes smart recommendations that Mailchimp provides you based on your customers’ behavior.

For example, if you’ve integrated your e-commerce store to Mailchimp, you can get granular data on how likely a customer is to make a repeat purchase (i.e. purchase likelihood).

Mailchimp's feature - predictive insights
This feature is commonly known as predictive insights and it allows you to make data-backed decisions on customer behavior. Based on this data, Mailchimp provides you personalized product recommendations for specific customers.

Mailchimp also offers other data points like customer lifetime value (LTV), which you can use to easily segment your customers and target high-value customers with personalized messaging.

Aaaand that’s a wrap on the features! We’ve gone through some of Mailchimp’s core features, and highlighted some of the latest micro-tools they’ve added to the toolkit. Now it’s time to explore some of the potential drawbacks and advantages.

Pros and Cons

As mentioned earlier, Mailchimp is the #1 brand in the email marketing space, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best in terms of features.

Like most tools, it’s not a one-size-fits-all platform and it does come with its own drawbacks and advantages.


  • Generous (but feature-limited) “free forever” plan
  • Easy-to-use editor and creating campaigns is a breeze
  • Tons of integrations, so there’s something for everyone


  • Paid plans are expensive (especially if you have a large email list and need advanced features)
  • Marketing automations are not as robust or intuitive as other tools, like Active Campaign
  • Small library of pre-built automation workflows

Final Thoughts

Mailchimp is one of those tools that has extremely lovable branding, adorable chimp and all. Plus, when it comes to functionality, it offers everything that most users will need.

That said, certain features are only available on the pricier tiers. You may find yourself paying a hefty monthly bill if you want full functionality and a quickly growing subscriber base.

So, should you get Mailchimp?

If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend taking the freemium plan for a spin until you’ve maxed out your usage. From there, you can decide if it’s worth the price for your goals.

If you’re a more advanced marketer and you’d like to set up things like automations, I’d recommend going with a competitor like Active Campaign or Mailer Lite.

Lastly, if you want an affordable deal to level up your email marketing, I’d highly recommend getting lifetime access to SendFox.

Serpstat Review: Your Affordable All-in-One SEO Tool Thu, 17 Dec 2020 06:00:38 +0000 As major SEO tools cater more and more to the enterprise with their pricing, a gap in the market has emerged for smaller competitors to fill.

Admittedly, many of these smaller companies popping up don’t deliver. But there’s a solid competitor that’s been around since 2013, and it seems to live up to its claims.

What Is Serpstat?

Serpstat is an SEO software suite that evolved from a simple keyword research tool to a powerful all-in-one SEO and “growth hacking” tool.

 Serpstat Review Cover Image

If you’ve used any of the major SEO tools, you’ll be familiar with many of Serpstat’s features and UI. If you haven’t, we’ll break down the core features and much more in this review.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Who Is it For?

While Serpstat also caters to enterprise clients, most of its user base is SMBs and individuals. Serpstat has a one-size-fits-all approach for features and pricing tiers. That means you get the full feature set with all the pricing tiers (aside from user limits and API credits).

So whether you’re a freelancer looking to find what keywords work best for your project, or a marketing agency handling multiple accounts, Serpstat is built for you.

Serpstat Pricing Plans

Pricing for Serpstat is among the most competitive in the industry. All their plans give you access to the full feature set, and you’ll pay less than many industry-standard tools with similar features.

Serpstat Pricing Plans

Here are the plans, based on annual billing (all plans are currently available at 30% off, but this is subject to change):

  • $55/month: Lite, 1 User
  • $119/month: Standard, 3 Users
  • $239/month: Advanced, 5 Users
  • $399/month: Enterprise, 7 users

Core Features

There’s a lot that’s good about Serpstat, and with over 30 tools, it would take a hot minute to explore all it can do.

Let’s focus on three core features that make it the #1 selling SEO tool on AppSumo.

1. Competitor Research: Website Analysis

Here’s where Serpstat allows you to do a deep dive into your competitor’s SEO and PPC.

Plug your competitor’s domain into the search bar, and you’ll see this overview:

Competitor Research: Website Analysis

You see your competitor’s best organic keywords (by position and search volume) and their Google Ads keywords generating the most traffic.

Competitor Research: Website Analysis

Their traffic trend with five years of historical data is displayed, too.

traffic trend

The screenshots I’ve shown are from the overview page. You can get more detailed reports by clicking sections such as Organic Keywords, Paid Keywords, and so on.

I opened up the organic keywords report to dive a little deeper into the data and wasn’t very impressed.

Organic keywords

There was inaccurate data and missing information. Specific keywords were misspelled (Vistaq as opposed to Vistag), others were flipped around (software for web development as opposed to web development software), and the total volume and traffic stats were either missing or inaccurate.

I also noticed that the keyword difficulty data was N/A for a whopping eight of the top 10 organic keywords.

To be fair, no SEO tool is 100% accurate. They are all estimates at best, and the most accurate data will come from your site’s analytics software and the information from the webmaster tools the search engines provide. Since your competitors won’t give you that information, third-party SEO tools can often help you here.

I ran the same test on SEMrush and Ahrefs and found the data to be more comprehensive. But this isn’t a comparison post, so let’s keep moving.

If you scroll through the overview page, you’ll see more competitive insights, including your competitor’s top pages, ranked by the estimated monthly traffic they generate:

Organic keywords search result -

The backlink analysis at the bottom of the overview page includes the Domain Ranking (DR), and data on unique referring domains, total backlinks, and distribution of follow to nofollow links.

Backlinks overview

I opened up the backlink analysis to get a more detailed report and was quite impressed with the data.

Note: Serpstat mentions that they use an “accelerated calculation algorithm,” so the data may differ slightly compared to the detailed reports you can get in Serpstat.

New and lost backlinks

I was impressed with the data you can pull here. But again, when I dug into the report, I found some of the data to be less comprehensive compared to Ahrefs. That said, a large part of Ahrefs’ focus is on backlinks, so it isn’t fair to compare the two, but I find it necessary to note as other users have reported similar experiences.

Nonetheless, let’s dive into one of the most used features for SEOs and Content Marketers.

2. Keyword Research

As we mentioned, Serpstat was originally a keyword research tool. Content Marketers and SEOs use keyword research to plan content topics and get visibility in search engines around terms that people are searching for.

Naturally, I had high expectations for the core product and wanted to see if it lived up to its humble beginnings.

I entered “Chihuahua” and got this list of the top 10 related keywords.

Keyword Research - Chihuahua


Again, the KW difficulty was N/A for all the keywords. I reached out to the Serpstat team to see why this feature wasn’t working and was informed they are currently fixing it.

For total search volume, CPC, and competition density, I found the data to be much more accurate.

 Serpstat Review-Total search volume, CPC, and competition density

I also thought the related keywords tool was useful and particularly liked the quick access feature that lets you access other reports for a specific keyword.

Serpstat Review- Keyword Research "Chihuahua"

There’s quite a lot you can do with keyword research here for organic and paid keywords. Aside from the KW difficulty, everything seems to be working well, and you can get a lot of data fast.

3. Site Audit

When you plug your domain in Serpstat, it crawls your website and detects all the SEO-related issues your site has, including meta tags, headlines, indexation, and more.

In the summary of your audit, Serpstat shows you your ‘SDO’ score and a prioritized list,  breaking down specific issues and recommendations for fixes.

Audit test

“What’s an SDO score?”

Here’s how Serpstat defines it:

Serpstat Domain Optimization Score (SDO)

You can think about it as your website’s overall health. I particularly like how the data is structured from high to low priority as you can do some quick fixes to keep your site nice and healthy.

At the bottom of the site audit report, you get a comprehensive list of all the issues Serpstat identified and recommendations for fixing them.

All issues and recommendations

And all the suggestions come in more detailed reports as well. Just click on the categories to open them up.

Pretty neat!

Overall, I think the site audit tool is great. Just look at what this Sumo-ling has to say about it:

Serpstat review - Sumo-ling review

Even though that testimonial is over two years old (and Serpstat has made many improvements since), it perfectly sums up how I feel about Serpstat so far.

Note: there’s definitely still plenty to explore and much more you can do with Serpstat; we chose to cover the basics of the core features for this post.

Serpstat Review: Pros and Cons

No tool is perfect. And that includes Serpstat.

Here are some of the main drawbacks and advantages I found in my review.


  • KW difficulty data not available. All my searches turned up with N/A. (There may have been a bug during my test, however.)
  • Some competitor research data seems to be inaccurate. I found some of the data for organic keywords to be inaccurate compared to other tools; some other users have shared similar experiences. Note that my expectations aren’t 100% accurate.


  • Great cost to feature ratio: If you’re looking for an all-in-one SEO tool, Serpstat is a great value. I think it’s underpriced — you won’t find any other tool priced more competitively.
  • Responsive customer support: If you need help, you won’t be disappointed. You can contact customer support via chat and get a response within a couple of minutes. In fact, when I asked about the KW difficulty feature, I was informed that I would be notified once the dev team was done working on it.
  • Extensive supporting documentation: Serpstat provides one-on-one video training, a knowledge base with use cases, user guides, and an informative YouTube channel. They also have a free learning center called the Serpstat Academy, which provides courses for beginners and advanced users.
  • Site Audit: The site audit tool is extremely useful.

Should You Get Serpstat?

I think Serpstat lives up to its claims. It’s well-rounded and an excellent value for the price. Aside from the few drawbacks, I was quite impressed.

That said, I’m a long-time user of Ahrefs and don’t think I’ll switch anytime soon.

If you’re looking for an SEO tool that can compete with the major players for a price that won’t break the bank, I’d say you should absolutely get Serpstat.

Even if you’re using Ahrefs or SEMrush, take Serpstat for a spin. You may find it can do exactly what you need for a fraction of the price!

What Do You Think?

Have you tried Serpstat? Do you have experience with any of the competing tools mentioned in this article?

If you have, let us know what your favorite features are and how you use them to grow your business.

If you haven’t, give it a shot!

Viral Loops Review: How to Use it for Infectious Word-of-Mouth Marketing Sun, 22 Nov 2020 06:00:27 +0000 What’s a “viral loop”?

Think of the mechanics of a viral loop as the steps a user takes between entering your site and inviting the next set of users who continue the loop.

Simple enough? Great!

The next thing you need to know is this: because this core loop is repeated over and over again, getting it right is crucial.

Enter Viral Loops, an app so aptly named you’ll never doubt its effectiveness.

Read on for our fully comprehensive Viral Loops tutorial and review!

Black Friday Special: Get lifetime access to Viral Loops at $59 on AppSumo today.

What’s Viral Loops

Viral Loops landing page

Viral Loops is an all-in-one referral marketing platform to create viral word-of-mouth campaigns.

Using it is straightforward: choose which type of referral system you want to create, and then use the platform to design a matching campaign.

Viral Loops can help you launch a product, grow your email list, decrease customer acquisition costs, and retain your customers by turning them into brand ambassadors.

Who Is it For?

Viral Loops runs on most websites or CMSs, including WordPress, Shopify, and Facebook Messenger.

Whether you’re a marketer, entrepreneur, or solopreneur looking to promote a product launch, find new customers, and nurture existing ones, Viral Loops is built for you.

Viral Loops Pricing

Pricing for Viral Loops is structured simply. If you pay on a monthly basis, Viral Loops can cost you over $1,000 extra per year at the highest tier.

Viral Loops pricing plans

Here is the basic pricing if paid yearly:

  • $34/month – Startup – 1,000 participants
  • $69/month – Growing – up to 20,000 participants
  • $208/month – Power – up to 25,000 participants

Or you can grab the Viral Loops Black Friday deal at $59 on AppSumo.

Core Features

Viral Loops is an all-in-one referral marketing platform, so it’s got everything you need to run a viral referral campaign. Here are some of the core features:

1. Easily Customizable Campaign Templates

Viral Loops - Easily Customizable Campaign Templates

One of Viral Loops’ major highlights is found in its customizable templates. These templates make creating and publishing your campaign incredibly easy. There are ten main campaign templates to choose from. Among them are:

  • Refer a Friend
  • Viral Loops for Shopify
  • The Startup Pre-launch

2. No-Hassle Landing Page Builder

Viral Loops - No-Hassle Landing Page Builder

Don’t have a knack for design or web building or haven’t yet launched your website?

Use the Viral Loops Landing Page Builder to create a custom landing page to host your campaign instead. The building tool is made for beginners, so the page can be customized—start to finish—without using a single code.

3. Real-Time Dashboard for Performance Tracking

Viral Loops - Real-Time Dashboard for Performance Tracking

As your campaign runs, being able to track how it’s doing heavily influences its success. You can head to the “My Campaigns section” of your account and click “Edit” to quickly and easily observe important metrics. You can also make adjustments to your campaign after it’s launched.

4. Over a Dozen Integratable Apps

Viral Loops - Over a Dozen Integratable Apps

Being able to connect your other tools and social media apps is essential to a smooth campaign that integrates with your existing workflow. You can connect up to 14 apps to your Viral Loops account.

If you don’t see the app you need, use Webhooks to facilitate a third-party API or integrate an unsupported app.

Viral Loops Review: Pros and Cons

As in life, every app has its upsides and downsides. Here’s what I found great (and not so great):


  • No advanced tech knowledge is needed. You don’t need any web design or coding knowledge to use this tool, which makes it excellent for newbies and non-technical teams.
  • Monitoring and editing a campaign requires little effort. Reviewing and adjusting the metrics for each campaign is incredibly simple and requires just a few quick clicks for changes.
  • Campaign templates make for no-stress launches. Since you don’t have to start each campaign from scratch, it can take just a few minutes to get up and running. You can quickly get a campaign ready for launch and promotion.
  • Excellent and responsive customer support. If there’s ever an issue that requires customer support’s involvement, you’ll be met with efficient, knowledgeable employees to work on a resolution.


  • No anti-fraud algorithm. Other referral tools have an anti-fraud algorithm that scans participant information for fraudulent activity, which helps maintain truer “real numbers” regarding campaign growth.
  • No free version outside of free trial. Once your free trial is up, so is your only free-use option for Viral Loops. If you’d like to use this tool, even at its most basic features, you’ll need to have a paid subscription. Luckily, for a limited time, you can get lifetime access to Viral Loops at only $59.

How to Set Up Viral Loops to Amplify Word-of-Mouth Sales

Viral Loops has a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily set up a campaign and get going. Here are the fundamentals to get set up:

Setting Up an Account

Usually, you’ll head to the Viral Loops homepage to sign up for a monthly subscription plan OR a free trial. But for a limited time, you can get lifetime access to Viral Loops on AppSumo.

Viral Loops Deal

After you purchase the Viral Loops deal, follow the instructions to redeem your purchase and set up your Viral Loops account.

Select a Template

To create your first campaign, hover over the template of your choice and click “Select this template.”

Viral Loops - Select a Template

This will open up a review page that displays more information about the uses for the campaign and a short explanatory video, along with templates for Facebook Messenger and Shopify.

The process to set up these campaigns is slightly different and only requires three or four steps for completion.

Edit Your Campaign

You’ll need to come up with a campaign name for the next step. If you’re launching a new product, then something like “Pre-launch campaign” may work for you.

Viral Loops - Edit Your Campaign

Editing the pop-up widget comes next.

This widget is what your customers will use to join your campaign and share it with others. Change the background color, typography, text, sharing settings, and more to align them with your branding.

Viral Loops - Widget

Once you’re done here, click “Next” to move on.

You then have the options to enable or disable features like:

  • Double opt-in. Get participants to verify their email addresses before they can be fully entered into the campaign
  • Welcome email. Send a welcome email to confirm your participants’ entries and engage with your potential customers
  • Integrations. Connect Viral-loops with tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot, Slack, Google Analytics, and more.

Publish Your Campaign

Ready to launch? You can choose whether you’d like to install Viral Loops to your page manually or use a platform landing page. Click “Finish” once you’ve made the decision to finalize your campaign set-up process.

Viral Loops - Installation

Click “I’ll use Viral Loops Pages” to edit the URL of the campaign page and pull the Campaign ID and Secret API Token, if needed.

If you decide to host the campaign on your own page, click “I’ll do it myself” to get instructions for embedding the code on various platforms, like WordPress and Squarespace, or a custom built domain.

Promote Away!

From here, simply add the link to various social media and marketing platforms, newsletters, online stores, and wherever else it may catch your customers’ eye.

As the campaign begins to build traffic, don’t forget to regularly check the dashboard section to monitor its progress.

Use this promotion time to dually gather feedback from customers on how they view the campaign and any missing links you may be able to add for better efficiency.

Did This Viral Loops Tutorial and Review Help?

Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are some of the most powerful marketing and sales tools on earth.

If you want to create a buzz and get customers talking about your business with giveaways, referrals, and prizes look no further than the seamless marketing platform that is Viral Loops.

The best part? For a limited time, you can get lifetime access to Viral Loops at only $59.

Let’s go viral now!

How to Start Freelance Writing: The Beginner-Friendly Guide Mon, 20 Jul 2020 06:00:08 +0000 BONUS MATERIAL: MILLION DOLLAR EMAIL TEMPLATES
30 email scripts used and curated by Sumo and AppSumo to help develop business and client relationships. Download Now

Content marketing is booming.

And you’re wondering how you can tap into the opportunity.

In this post, you’ll learn how to start getting paid as a freelance writer. I’ll show you a roadmap from A to Z — everything you need to start a freelance writing career.

Let’s go!

  1. Ruthlessly Niche Down
  2. Work for Free to Build Your Writing Portfolio
  3. Set Up Your Writing Portfolio Page
  4. Get Your First Client
  5. Scale Your Freelance Writing Using Freelance Tools

1. Ruthlessly Niche Down

The most common mistake freelance writers make when starting out is trying to serve an overly broad niche or, even worse, trying to serve multiple niches.

I get why. You want to increase your chances. It makes perfect sense. But here’s why it’s the wrong approach. When you’re just starting out, you have no reputation. Zero credibility.

Are you really good at writing long-form articles for B2B tech startups, advertorials for wellness brands, OR investigative pieces on global affairs?

So how do you carve out the niche you want to serve?

Think about it like this: the right niche lays in the crossroads between your interests, knowledge, and experience.

how to start freelance writing niche down

Here’s a simple 3-step process to finding your niche:

List All Your Interests

Open your notes app and start listing all the things you really enjoy learning/reading about. Ask yourself, “if money were no object, would I continue being interested in these topics?”

If you don’t have anything super specific you can think of, that’s even better. Keep the topics rather broad as you list them.

List Your Experience and Expertise

The second step is all about listing what you know and have experience with. Ask yourself the questions below and list your answers. You should be looking for an overlap between your interests and your knowledge and experience.

  • What did you study in college?
  • What jobs have you held? What did you learn and what can you teach someone else?
  • What is your primary skillset?

Market Research

Your research should be focused on validating your interest (or passion) with an actual need people are willing to pay for in the market.

The easiest way is by searching for other writers in the same niche. If you can’t find one, it’s likely that there’s little to no demand for that particular niche.

Here’s an example of a search in my niche (Software-as-a-Service). There are a ton of results. Ka-ching!

how to start freelance writing search in your niche

Now that you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to start writing so you have a writing portfolio.

2. Work for Free to Build Your Writing Portfolio

Let’s be honest — if you don’t have any work to show for it, your chances of landing a decently paid gig are pretty slim. Imagine an ideal world where people approach you and say:

“Hello there. I heard you were thinking of writing something, someday and I’d love to pay you to see where that could lead.” 

That’s the mindset many people who want to write for a living are stuck in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come close to reality.

The best way to build your writing portfolio and get exposure for yourself at the same time is through guest posting. I’d argue guest posting is the most important thing that helped boost my freelance writing career.

Here’s how to get started.

Build Your Dream 100 List

The dream 100 is a simple concept. All it involves is listing the top 100 people or companies you want to guest post on and want to work with.

The template is divided into two sheets:

  1. Your dream 50 guest posting opportunities;
  2. And your dream 50 clients.

The same exact concept applies to both. There will also potentially be some overlap between the two lists.

Create a spreadsheet with the following columns:

how to start freelance writing spreadsheet dream 100

  • Name of site.
  • Blog URL.
  • Guidelines (The publishing or guest posting guidelines of your targeted sites)
  • Name of contact. (Name of the site editor or blog manager)
  • Email of the contact

Find Sites to Submit Your Guest Posts

The easiest and fastest way to find guest posting opportunities is to use advanced Google search queries. Here is a list of search queries you can use:

  • keyword + “add guest post”
  • keyword + “become a contributor”
  • keyword + “become a guest blogger”
  • keyword + “become a guest writer”
  • keyword + “become an author”
  • keyword + “contribute to our site”
  • keyword + “guest post by”
  • keyword + “guest post guidelines”
  • keyword + “now accepting guest posts”
  • keyword + “submission guidelines”
  • keyword + “this guest post is from”
  • keyword + “this guest post was written”
  • keyword + “this is a guest article”
  • keyword + “this is a guest post by”
  • keyword + “want to write for”
  • keyword + “write for us”
  • keyword + inurl:guest-posts
  • keyword + inurl:write-for-us

All you need to do is to copy the search query and replace the “keyword” into your targeted keywords.

In my case, my keyword would be a variation of “Software,” something like “B2B tech,” or “Marketing tech,” and so on. This will ensure that the guest posting opportunities you find will be consistent by the niche you chose.

Here’s an example of one of the search queries in action:

how to start freelance writing example search

I recommend getting at least 25 sites on your list, but you should aim at getting the full 50.

Find the Email Addresses of the Person In Charge

To do this, you’ll need to use two tools: LinkedIn and Find That Lead (available as an AppSumo lifetime deal at $49).

how to start freelance writing findthatlead

Source: FindThatLead

Let’s take an example from my Dream 50 using the first site listed — ConvertKit.

Go on LinkedIn and search for the company. Click on the company to go to their page. You’ll see this:

how to start freelance writing linkedin find company profile

Then, click on People and search for the person in charge of content (content manager, editor, content specialist, etc).

how to start freelance writing linkedin find company content employees

If you can’t find a content manager, you can also use other search queries like “editor” or just “content” to keep it broad. Here are the targets from my search:

how to start freelance writing linkedin find linkedin company employee profiles

Two relevant results. Not too shabby. Now let’s use FindThatLead to find their email addresses.

Log into FindThatLead and copy-paste the contact person into the NAME text box. Type the company name or their URL into DOMAIN OR COMPANY NAME field and hit search.

how to start freelance writing linkedin to findthatlead

Voila. You now have their email address.

Do this for all the sites on your list using FindThatLead and fill in the Dream 50. Once you have your list ready, you can start pitching. Before we get into how to craft your pitch, let’s briefly talk about cold outreach.

Pitch Your Guest Posts

Here’s an example of a pitch I received that shows you exactly how you shouldn’t go about your pitch.

how to start freelance writing pitch guest posts

The pitch itself isn’t terrible. It’s short and to the point and he’s asking for permission to connect. But he hasn’t done his research. I don’t even have a blog, so I know he hasn’t done any homework on me or what I do.

I can safely assume that he’s spamming everyone with this message — the good ol’ spray and pray strategy.

Which brings us to the #1 rule before you even reach out to an editor: Do Your Research.

Not sure how to craft your pitch for cold outreach? Go to AppSumo and download our Million Dollar Email Templates PDF for free.

how to start freelance writing million dollar email templates

Source: AppSumo

The PDF comes with three email templates that help you to nail a guest post opportunity and many more that you’ll be using on your freelance writing journey.

3. Set Up Your Writing Portfolio Page

The job of your portfolio is to tell potential customers, “Here’s who I am, what I can do, and how I can help you with your business.”

And the golden rule for freelance writers is “show, don’t tell.”

I use Contently to create my writing portfolio for free, and I’ll show you how to do that below.

how to start freelance writing contently portfolio

Note: If you already have one, feel free to jump to the next steps. Otherwise, let’s start from scratch.

Make a List of Your Past Work 

Before you can build your writing portfolio, you want to make a list of all the content you’ve ever written. Ideally, it should be content related to the niche you selected.

For every guest post you’ve published using the previous step, copy and paste the URL to a spreadsheet. We’ll come back to this later.

Next, go on to Contently and click on “Freelance with Contently” and follow the instructions to set up your account.

how to start freelance writing freelance with contently

Now that you’ve created your account, you need to set up your writing profile.

Set up your writing profile

I showed my writer’s profile on Contently earlier, but I’ll pull it up again so we can break it down.

how to start freelance writing setting up contently

Adding images, a link to your website (it’s okay if you don’t have one), and social profiles are all straightforward. What I want to really emphasize here is your title and description. Think of these as your primary value proposition. You really want to nail them.

  • For your title, simply explain: 1) what you do and 2) for whom.
  • For your description, you want to add a succinct sentence for clarification. Think of it as an extension of your title.

There’s no need to overcomplicate this. The only thing I added that makes it more powerful is the outcome — “increasing awareness, traffic, and qualified leads.” Ultimately, that’s what content marketing is all about.

The reason someone is paying you is they’re expecting some form of outcome. The clearer you can be on that outcome, the better.

Add Your Work to Your Portfolio

Remember the spreadsheet with a list of work you’ve published? Now that you have your writer’s profile set up, you want to start adding work to it.

To do so, go on your Contently portfolio and click on “Edit or add projects.”

how to start freelance writing contently edit or add projects

Then, click on the + on the right-hand side and click on “Import from a single URL.”

how to start freelance writing contently import

Paste the link in the text box and Contently will find the article and automatically pull all the information.

You might be wondering, “How many pieces should I have in my portfolio before pitching the Dream 50 client list?”

There’s no definitive answer here. But you’re definitely more prepared to succeed than most with only a handful of few pieces in your portfolio. In fact, I only had 3 articles under my name when I got my first client.

Onwards to getting your first client!

4. Get Your First Client

Now that you’ve done all the preparation and have a concrete plan for client acquisition in the form of your Dream 100 list, you’re all set for the fun part!

Let’s get into pitching your list to land your first client!

Reach Out to the Remaining Companies on Your Dream 100 List

Reaching out to your Dream 100 list for clients is pretty much the same as reaching out to secure guest posting opportunities.

The key difference is that you need to land a call with your potential client.

It should be clear by now that your pitch is all about positioning your services as a way to help your potential customer with a specific outcome.

Think of it like this: instead of selling yourself or your services right off the bat, all you want to do is open the doors for a conversation to start building a relationship.

Your only goal is to get a response so you can arrange a call. That’s it. (Note: I don’t recommend arranging a call as the primary CTA in your first email. Keep it less intrusive with something like “Could we connect?”)

Here’s an example of a pitch that gets me a ton of responses and (some) calls:

how to start freelance writing example of pitch

Of course, you can steal the entire pitch (or parts of it like I did), but make sure you inject a bit of your own personality into it.

If you choose to craft your own pitch, make sure to put time into making it as valuable and relevant as possible.

Here’s a response I received from this pitch before getting on a call:

how to start freelance writing email before call

Which brings us to the next most important point about closing your first client: your rate.

One of the most common things that freelancers struggle with is pricing their services. This is especially the case when you’re just starting out and insecure about your work.

So what is a good hourly rate for a freelance writer?

The hard truth is that most freelance writers make around $50-100 per 1,000-word pieces while others make $1,000 per 1,000 words. You’ll definitely start off on the lower end.

I started off making $250 per 1000 words. Depending on the topic and the amount of research I have to do, it usually takes me about 5 hours. That’s $50/hour, which is a pretty good starting point.

Based on my own experience, I’d recommend charging around $200 per 1,000 words when you first started, assuming you have some experience in the industry and some guest posts on authority sites in your niche. As you continue on your freelancing path, take a look at the financial metrics you should be tracking along with how to eventually raise your rates.

Get the Work Done

Here’s the hard part: delivering the work and making sure your client is happy with it.

Delivering the work simply means writing the article and doing your best! There isn’t much else to it. You either have the goods or you don’t.

But getting paid consistently means you need to develop long-term working relationships with clients that want to give you consistent work.

That requires client management skills. And that’s a skill that you’ll develop with experience.

That said, let’s not overcomplicate it. All you need to do to keep your client happy is:

  • Be proactive and work closely with the team. The minimal amount you can do here is to be responsive and fast with your communication. If you really want to go the extra mile, take the initiative to suggest content ideas, share relevant stuff you come across that could improve your work/the team, and make it a point to over-communicate and ask your client what you can do to improve.
  • Never miss a deadline. Always deliver your work on time. If you feel like you’re not able to deliver to your standards of quality on the set deadline, ask for an extension.
  • Help to promote the content. This is a minimum requirement in being proactive but super important to show that you care about your work and getting results for your client. Do it. Even if you have like 3 followers.

5. Scale Your Freelance Writing Using Freelance Tools

Once you have a handful of clients, it’ll become increasingly difficult to stay on top of everything while delivering quality work.

You might be tempted to hire an assistant (which you should definitely do at some point). But before you do that, you want to use freelance tools to streamline your processes and scale your business.

Here are three tools that you can use to make your sales, project management, and accounting processes simpler:


With the number of proposals you’ll be sending to new business prospects, you’ll need a tool like Quoters to help you create proposals in no time.

how to start freelance writing quoters

Source: Quoters

Not only will Quoters help you save time so you can be more productive, but it’ll also help you create proposals that look more polished and professional. Get the lifetime Quoters deal on AppSumo for $49 available for a limited time.


With all the different hats you’ll be wearing to run your freelance writing business, you’ll want to use a tool to help you manage different projects and areas of your business.

Trello is one of the simplest and easy to use project management tools on the market. You can use it for planning a specific article, managing your daily to-do lists, or even planning an entire content calendar.

how to start freelance writing trello

Source: Trello

There are a ton of project management tools out there, so be sure to check out all these Trello alternatives if you’d like to explore more options.


As a freelancer, managing your books and paying taxes is probably the least fun part. I’ll take getting rejected on a cold-call with a prospect over managing my books any day!

But managing your finances is key to your business’s growth. And a tool like Bonsai will alleviate a ton of the pain.

how to start freelance writing bonsai

Source: Bonsai

Make sure you check Bonsai out and see if their all-in-one product suite suits your needs and read this post for a full guide on bookkeeping for beginners.

Start Making Money as a Freelance Writer

This guide walked you through the entire process to get started as a freelance writer.

If you implement each of the steps and persevere for at least a year, I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the progress and results you’ll reap.

While you’re here, check out our software deals that have helped ten of thousands of freelancers just like you in growing their businesses.

19 Best Time Management Tools in 2023 (We Tested All of Them!) Thu, 25 Jun 2020 06:00:01 +0000


Find the best productivity strategy for you with a side-by-side comparison of top productivity frameworks. Download Now

Want to become “indistractable” and get more sh*t done?

As a former chronic procrastinator who’s currently at peak productivity, you can trust that my knowledge comes fully from firsthand experience.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried and used various time management tools but never managed to stick with one and use it on a consistent basis. Been there.

That’s why I dug deep to bring you this massive list of the top time management tools available today.

So put your phone on airplane mode (or far enough that you won’t mindlessly pick it up) and read on to find a tool that’ll sharpen your focus like it’s a Santoku knife.

Time Tracking Tools

Out of all types of time management tools, time tracking apps have helped me most. Here are a few that I highly recommend you to check out.

1. Agiled

Agiled timetracking

Agiled an Appsumo partners is one of the best project management and time tracking tool. It is effortless to get started in Agiled because of intuitive UI/UX. You can easily create projects, tasks, and timesheets in Agiled.

Since Agiled is an all in one business management software, you can create timesheet invoices right inside Agiled too.

Other than time tracking and project management. Agiled comes with a lot of features that are great for freelancers like proposals, contracts, e-signatures, forms, invoicing, estimates, and CRM.

You can easily integrate Agiled with other apps you use as it comes with many native integrations as well as Zapier, Integromat, and Pabbly Connect integration. Agiled also has Public API and custom webhooks, so the possibilities are endless.


  • Intuitive UI
  • Feature Packed
  • White Labeling
  • Affordable all in one business and work management for freelancers


  • Advanced reporting is lacking

Pricing: Free trial available. Starter plan starts at $15/month. You can get Agiled Annual Premium Plan on Appsumo for $249.

Best For: Small businesses, teams, agencies, and freelancers who need to manage all of their business in one place.

2. Ora

Time management tools - Ora

Source: Ora

Ora offers Kanban-style project management as well as various different approaches to project management and time-tracking.

Fun fact: “Ora” actually means time in Greek (with a name like Stefanos, I’d know). With that in mind, this built-in time-tracking had better deliver!

My absurd sense of humor aside, let’s dive into the core areas of this comparison.

Ora’s interface is incredibly similar to Trello. The 3 most concise words I would use to describe the interface are simple, intuitive, and clean.

Time management tools - Ora's interface

Ora offers task cards, a to-do list style agenda, and a timeline view that gives you an overview of project deadlines and where they stand. It also supports other project management approaches like Scrum and Sprints.

Aside from project management features, Ora also offers reports and team chat.

If you’re a small startup team or agency that pays extra attention to design and UX, I’d definitely give Ora a spin to see if it’s right for you.


  • Simple start/stop time tracking with detailed reports
  • Intuitive interface and awesome UX
  • Feature-rich, while still easy to adopt like Trello


  • Mobile app in beta
  • Lack of a knowledge hub
  • Sprints are different in Ora than other Scrum software and the learning curve is steeper

Pricing: Ora has a basic, free plan for 1 user. It also offers a startup plan at $6/seat (user) and a professional plan at $8/seat.

Best for: Small teams, startups, software teams, and agencies – especially great for time-tracking and working with clients.

3. Toggl

Time management tools - Toggl

Source: Toggl

Toggl is one of the leading time tracking tools in the market because it’s incredibly easy to use.

You can use it online and offline. Although it’s primarily web-based, it has apps available for desktop, iOS, and Android that sync together in real-time. There’s also a neat little Chrome extension available.

Toggl’s interface is clean, intuitive, and beautiful. There’s essentially no learning curve, so you’ll be able to intuitively figure out how it works instantly.

In terms of features, Toggl is a simple time tracking app, so it’s pretty bare. That said, Toggl does have a separate project management tool called Toggl Plan.

Time management tools - Toggl's plan

Source: Toggl Plan

When it comes to time tracking features, Toggl pretty much provides an all-in-one-solution. It’s great to use as a standalone time tracking app for yourself or your team. Here are some of the features I love:

  • You can configure Toggl to detect inactivity and automatically notify you if you’ve been idle for more than x minutes. It also has a feature called ‘Pomodoro mode’ which allows you to work in 25-minute intervals with short and longer breaks.
  • AutoTracker and Timeline features! The AutoTracker reminds you to track time when you’re working on an important task, while timeline records your online and offline time to give you an overview of your day.
  • Toggl records every app you’ve been on for more than 10 seconds, which is great for figuring out the ‘fringe’ time gaps that are sucking your time.
  • You can create beautiful, rich reports within Toggl. There are summary reports, detailed reports, and weekly reports. You can also filter data in the reports by date, tags, employee, client, and billable/non-billable hours.

Time management tools - Toggl's summary report

Source: Toggl

A neat new feature on Toggl is “Insights,” which allows you to learn which projects or employees are bringing in the most revenue. (You might not want to tell your boss about Toggl…)

Lastly, there are integrations for pretty much all the popular project management apps, so you can easily get Trello, Asana, and Slack integrations going.


  • Super easy to set up and use
  • Chrome extension allows you to integrate with apps like Trello and plenty of third-party integrations
  • Great data structuring and reports to help you manage your workload
  • Helpful customer support


  • No innate project management features
  • No invoicing tool
  • Mobile app not as functional as desktop

Pricing: Toggl has a free-forever plan that small teams (up to 5) can use. Paid plans include a Starter plan that will set you back $10/user, a Premium plan at $20/user and a custom enterprise plan with pricing based on your needs.

Best for: Freelancers who need to track time to complete tasks; startups; and small companies that need a better handle of time allocation for projects and customers at an affordable price.

4. ZoomShift

Time management tools - Zoomshift
ZoomShift is an employee scheduling software that offers a unique time tracking feature. It allows for better time management so that milestones can be easily viewed and client expectations can be better managed. ZoomShift is designed to help your business make work schedules faster, save money on payroll, and let your employees clock-in and view their hours with ease.


  • Customisable time clock software and app.
  • Geofencing Time Clock to track time from anywhere
  • Create weekly hours and customize the hourly rate.
  • Use predefined templates to schedule in minutes.


  • Limited shift history data
  • No phone support


  • 14 day free trial
  • Starter – $2 per active team member/month
  • Premium – $4 per active team member/month
  • Enterprise – Custom per active team member/month
Best for: Small and medium Businesses with hourly workers because the app helps monitor overtime, break durations, real-time staff locations through GPS, and the exact number of hours spent on duty.

5. Timing

Time management tools - Timing

Source: Timing

Timing is an automatic time tracker for Mac. Unfortunately, it’s not readily available as a web-based app. Luckily, there’s an iOS app available, so that you can sync it and keep track of your time on your phone.

Timing has an extremely intuitive interface. You don’t really need to do much as it starts tracking your time automatically. All your activity over one minute is tracked and all entries shorter than one minute get grouped together.

Timing comes with predefined categories that get tracked, but you can easily add and rearrange them. Just drag-and-drop or add new categories/tasks.

I love the UX of this tool, the simplicity, and the fact that you can just set it and forget it.


  • Automatic time tracking
  • Offline time tracking
  • Calendar integration, Web API and Zapier integrations (only on Expert plan)


  • Only available for Mac
  • No billing/invoicing feature
  • Not available on mobile
  • No free plans

Pricing: There are no free plans available on Timing, but you can get the Productivity plan for as little as $4/month.  The Professional plan is $6/month and the Expert plan is $9/month. The Professional plan and up will also let you use the web-based app.

Best for: Freelancers, small agencies, anyone who wants to bill/track their time, and people who frequently forget to start/stop timers.

6. Timely

Time management tools - Timely

Source: Timely

Timely offers some great features that makes time tracking easy. Plus, it works on every device you use.

Surprise, surprise… Timely is really similar to Timing. One of the major differences is that it’s not exclusive to Mac/iOS.

One of Timely’s most magical features is called Memory Tracker (installation required). It’s essentially the same as Timing in that it tracks all your activity. You can use it to create billable time even if you forget to start the timer when you’re working for a client.

Similarly to Timing, Timely generates reports that you can use to share with clients and identifies opportunities to increase productivity.

You can also set it to show you the estimated time versus actual time spent to complete the task/project. Great for workload planning and making adjustments to stay on schedule!


  • Simple set and forget time-tracking
  • Neat, simple UI
  • Extensive training including webinars, documentation


  • No offline time tracking
  • No billing & invoicing feature
  • No freemium

Pricing: Timely doesn’t offer a free version, although they do have an extensive free trial. Pricing starts at $25/user.

Best for: Freelancers, small companies, and anyone who needs to track how much time they spend on tasks and how much time they lose to distractions.

7. HourStack

Time management tools - HourStack

Source: HourStack

HourStack is a calendar-based scheduling and time tracking tool. HourStack takes your existing task list and lets you plan out your tasks in blocks with time tracking. It’s available as a web-based service, on iOS, and Android.

HourStack’s interface is simple and clean, but it looks a little outdated compared to the beautiful SaaS UIs you see these days. That said, I really like the fact that you can actually track time in a calendar view.

Let’s see if the features make up for the lack of beauty. After all, at the end of the day, I’m all about substance over aesthetics.

HourStack has a pretty rich set of features considering how bare the interface is. It supports:

  • Campaign management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Employee scheduling
  • Project management
  • Resource scheduling
  • Schedule distribution
  • Task management

To describe what those features mean in one sentence: you can basically track time, schedule, and report on your projects as an individual or a team.

HourStack also has some built-in integrations that you can use to integrate your tech stack.

Time management tools - HourStack intergrations


  • Time tracking in a calendar view
  • Scheduling features


  • No Freemium
  • No automated scheduling

Pricing: HourStack has a free trial, but no freemium product available. Pricing starts at $7/month for the basic plan. Professional plans start at $15/month per user, with custom pricing based on your needs for teams of 200+.

Best for: Small to medium-sized companies, agencies, or anyone who needs to track their time and have transparency in their weekly schedule.

8. RescueTime

Time management tools - RescueTime

Source: RescueTime

RescueTime is a straightforward and easy-to-use time-tracking tool. It’s available as an app on Windows, Mac, and Linux on iOS and Android as well as a Chrome extension.

If you’re on Mac, RescueTime tracks how you spend your time in the background.

Time management tools - RescueTime tracker

Here’s what the dashboard looks like. Apparently, I spend a whopping 22% of my half-workday on entertainment. Yikes!

(Before you judge, I forgot to turn the timer on, so it only recorded about half my workday. And the “Entertainment” is Spotify in the background, ok?!)

Time management tools - RescueTime tracker result

When you hover over the bar in each category, you can click on “See details” for a breakdown of each app/website you spent time on.

Google Docs and Notes were the primary chunks of “Design & Composition.” Although RescueTime does cover quite a lot of categories, there’s an option to set your own categories and label them as productive or non-productive.

Time management tools - RescueTime's category

This is definitely helpful, but I imagine it’s quite timeconsuming to get fully set up.

In terms of features, it pretty much offers what all the other time-tracking apps offer: time tracking and rich reports.

Two things that stand out from the other apps are:

  1. You can give RescueTime permission to block certain apps that are draining your time.
  2. You can set goals and keep track of them in RescueTime.


  • Can automatically track time
  • Lives in your main menu and operates silently in the background
  • Advanced features, like app blocking and goal tracking
  • Free plan available


  • Slightly annoying and timeconsuming to customize and set up
  • Design of website/apps is outdated and UI could use some improvements
  • No offline time tracking
  • No billing & invoicing feature

Pricing: Free plan available. Pricing starts at $9/month.

Best for: Companies of all sizes looking to increase employee productivity, and anyone looking to silently track and manage their time.

9. Marinara

Time management tools - Marinara

Source: Marinara

Marinara is the simplest time management tool – in fact, the word “simple” doesn’t even do it justice. It’s fully centered on tracking your time using the Pomodoro Technique, which we’ve mentioned above.

Still not sure what that is?

It’s a time management technique where you work in fully focused intervals of 20-25 minutes (the equivalent of 1 Pomodoro) and then alternate between short (5-minute) and longer (10 minute) break cycles.

Fun fact: The Pomodoro Technique was invented by Francesco Cirillo, who named it after a tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student.

Marinara embodies simplicity like no other tool. You set up the duration of your focus and break intervals and simply start the timer in Chrome’s toolbar.

The traditional Pomodoro technique sets the timer to 25-minute focus intervals and 5-minute breaks. I find that this works perfectly for me, as I like to work in short bursts of hyper-focus. Of course, you can configure the duration to match your personal style.


  • Ultimate simplicity
  • Toolbar icon with a countdown timer
  • Focus/break intervals are configurable
  • Track history & stats
  • Open-source


  • Only supports Pomodoro-style time tracking
  • I often find myself forgetting to start the timer when I begin a task

Pricing: Free forever.

Best for: Anyone who wants to sharpen their focus and likes to work in intervals with break cycles.

Task Management Tools

Time tracking tools are vital for managing your time for tasks. But using a time tracking tool in conjunction with a task management tool is what will really unleash the Hulk (of productivity!) within.

10. Google Tasks

Time management tools - Google Tasks

Source: Google Tasks

Google has taken a go at creating a standalone task management tool with Google Tasks. It has its own mobile apps available on iOS and Android.

The best way I can describe it is a digital to-do list. You add items and then check them off as you complete them.

While the UI is clean and simple, the features are pretty basic. One good thing about it is the Gmail integration – you can access Tasks from the apps in Gmail and do pretty neat stuff like drag-and-drop emails to turn them into to-do list items.

It also has all the basic features that you would expect from a to-do list app like:

  • Creating multiple lists
  • Assigning dates to tasks
  • Adding additional notes to tasks
  • Creating subtasks below a parent task

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all you get.


  • Simple, clean UI
  • Gmail integration


  • Limited features

Pricing: Free

Best for: Anyone who wants a digitized to-do list that can integrate with Gmail.

11. Yanado

Time management tools - Yanado

Source: Yanado

Yanado is an AppSumo partner that offers a web-based task management app that lives in your Gmail and essentially transforms your inbox into a task management tool.

I like to spend as little time as possible in Gmail, so I’m generally quite wary of apps that live in my Gmail.

Yanado promises to make your inbox more productive. One of the main task management features in Yanado is known as a “list.”

Once you create a list, you’ll be prompted to select a calendar (you can use Google Calendar) as well as pre-defined templates for a variety of different uses (sales, customer support, marketing, and development). I chose to go with the Marketing template, which I’ve shown below. If none of the templates work for you, you can also create a custom template.

Time management tools - Yanado custom template

In the bottom right-hand corner, you can click on the orange + button to add team members, users, or tasks.

From the drop-down menu in Yanado, you can create a task from any email. Two of the main areas Yanado highlights these features for include customer support and managing a sales pipeline.

You can find a short video that demonstrates Yanado being used for sales pipeline management here.

Personally, I feel like there’s too much manual data entry required to use it for pipeline management. Plus, there aren’t any deep insight features related to pipeline management (e.g. pipeline MRR or recurring revenue).

I’d go with a tool like Salesflare (also an AppSumo partner) for pipeline management/a CRM.

That said, Yanado does offer recurring task management. Some other neat features that Yanado offers include:

  • Time-tracking
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Taskboard and to-do list views


  • Project management that integrates and lives in Gmail
  • G Drive, Slack, Zapier integrations
  • Templates for various use-cases
  • Doesn’t break the bank


  • UI is more functional than aesthetic
  • Adds an unnecessary layer of clutter to my inbox (personal opinion)

Pricing: Free version available. Pricing starts at $6/month.

Best for: Businesses of all sizes that require task management and especially email to task conversion.

12. MeisterTask

Time management tools - MeisterTask

Source: MeisterTask

MeisterTask is a task management tool that accommodates various different workflows like Kanban, software sprints, and static project boards for teams to collaborate. It’s available as a download for Mac and Windows, as a web-based service and on iOS and Android.

MeisterTask has a beautiful, visual, and intuitive UI. The first time I started using it was when I started writing for Sumo and I absolutely love it.

To give you an idea of how easy MeisterTask is to use, it only took me a few minutes to understand the workflow for the content team. Previously, I’d only ever used Trello and Asana.

Here’s what the workflow for Sumo’s content team looks like:

Time management tools - MeisterTask workflow

As mentioned earlier, MeisterTask supports various different approaches to project management. At Sumo, we have a custom kanban workflow to manage the entire content operation.

Each task has notes, a checklist, an assignee, followers, attachments comments, and due dates.

Here’s what it looks like when you click on a card or task:

Time management tools - MeisterTask task : Lead Capture

MeisterTask has quite a few neat features, including a time-tracker which lets you record the time spent on each task.

Task Relationships lets you see dependency between tasks (i.e. which task has to be completed before another can be started). Automations lets you create rules, so that an action automatically triggers another.

Lastly, MeisterTask also has reports, which it calls statistics. The reports are clear and easy to understand, but they don’t give you rich information. They show you how many tasks were created and completed by the team, a calendar of due dates, and so on.


  • Visual, intuitive UI
  • Easy to use and customize


  • No internal calendar

Pricing: MeisterTask offers a free version. Pricing starts at $8.25/month per user.

Best for: Agile project teams, marketing teams, and developers that want to use intuitive, flexible project boards.

13. Todoist

Time management tools - Todoist

Source: Todoist

Todoist is a wildly popular to-do list and time management tool with 5M+ users. It’s available on macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android; as well as on your wearables; as a browser extension; and as an email integration on Gmail or Outlook. Impressive!

When you first view the main interface of Todoist, the set-up seems really simple. And it is. It can be used for everything like making shopping lists to more advanced task management for projects. The community of users is extremely diverse.

One of the common praises for Todoist is a general design and UI that’s minimalist, clean, and easy to follow.

The main menu on the left-hand side is super straightforward and easy to follow. On the right-hand side, you have the settings. Configure these to personalize the design of the platform, find templates for specific projects, and more.

Time management tools - Todoist's theme setup

The themes, icons, and fonts on Todoist are all aesthetically pleasing. What stands out especially is that both the design and functionality stay consistent across all the devices you use, and you can easily sync between devices. This is important considering how many devices/platforms it’s available on.

What are the main task-management related features that Todoist offers?

Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary – you’ve got all the essentials you need:

  • Parent tasks with sub-tasks and sub-projects
  • Task priorities
  • Recurring due dates
  • Pin favorite projects, labels, filters

The awesome thing is that none of these basic features are missing on the free version. That said, some features like reminders, comments, and advanced filters are only available on the paid version.


  • Available on 10+ platforms with seamless syncing
  • Major features available on the free version so you can get started
  • Great design and clean, light UI/UX


  • No different views, so you have a very static list experience
  • Lack of feature development over the past few years
  • No timers (e.g. a Pomodoro timer)
  • No calendar

Pricing: Todoist has a free version available. Todoist Premium is available for only $3/month and only $5/month for the Business plan.

Best for: Here’s what the founder, Amir, has to say about its users: “The Todoist user doesn’t fit into one mold. They’re world-class designers, business consultants, small business owners, students, parents, and retired grandmothers.”

14. Remember The Milk (RTM)

Time management tools - (RTM) Remember The Milk

Source: Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk is one of the oldest to-do list apps out there. Of course, it’s been updated over the years, but the design/UI definitely harkens back to the simpler times of the Internet. It’s available as a web-based service as well as on mobile.

Personally, I feel like the design doesn’t live up to the quirky branding. But the interface is simple and easy enough.

In terms of features, RTM is a to-do list and time management app. It has everything you’d expect:

  • Organize tasks into different lists
  • Create sub-tasks
  • Notifications: daily digest feature reminds you of tasks due for the day
  • Recurring tasks

One of the features that makes RTM unique is Smart Lists, which you can use to create lists based on specific criteria. The lists are automatically updated as your tasks change. It’s essentially a filtering system.

You can also add tasks by sending an email and using what they term Smart Add Syntax in the subject header. If you use Gmail, you can add tasks directly to RTM without leaving your inbox, which means you don’t have to input data/open a new tab. Pretty neat little function.


  • Easy to use
  • Gmail integration
  • Works offline
  • Free version has most of what you need


  • Sorting/filtering function is rather weak
  • Manual data input load relatively high
  • No monthly payments and yearly price for Pro is slightly expensive

Pricing: Remember The Milk has a free version. Pro version starts at $39.99/year.

Best for: Anyone who needs a smart to-do list app with extra features to boost productivity.

All-in-one Project and Team Management Tools

What’s better than using time tracking and task management tools? Using an all-in-one solution to manage everything on a single platform.

15. Plutio

Time management tools - Plutio

Source: Plutio

Plutio is a project management tool that’s been dubbed “one of the top ten tools for freelancers” by Forbes.

As freelancers, we’ve got tons of stuff to track and stay on top of. The last thing we need is a tool with a steep learning curve. Thankfully, Plutio has a super simple UX that makes it extremely easy to get the hang of. The UI is pretty nice, too.

Inside Plutio’s clean dashboard, you can easily create, edit, and see all your projects and tasks.

Here’s a view of the dashboard:

Time management tools - Plutio's dashboard

Plutio has all the features you need to customize workflows, set dates, and communicate with everyone involved.

One thing Plutio offers that is absolutely great for freelancers is the built-in proposals, time tracking, and invoicing features. You’ll be able to create proposals with the simple drag-and-drop editor and just have clients sign them digitally. Plus, you can receive payments via Stripe, Paypal, or directly to your bank account.

Thanks to the inbox and live chat feature, you can keep track of all your communication with your team in real-time.

Lastly, there’s a built-in CRM that lets you keep track of your pipeline and a client portal. That way, clients can participate and monitor the project status.


  • Intuitive UX
  • Highly customizable
  • Affordable all-in-one solution for freelancers


  • Inability to change workflow view
  • Currently no option to set up recurring invoices

Pricing: No freemium available. Pricing starts at $15/month for the Solo plan and up to $30/month for the Team plan. Get the 1-year Plutio deal for $199 for a limited time in the AppSumo store.

Best for: Freelancers and small businesses that need project management, time tracking, and invoicing in one platform.


Time management tools -


Monday is an online collaboration/project management tool formerly known as Dapulse. It’s currently available on pretty much every platform.

I know I’ve mentioned this multiple times throughout this post, but Monday has a modern, beautiful UI. I mean, just look at it:

Time management tools - Content Calendar

It kind of feels like a Airtable/Asana hybrid. It’s pretty intuitive and the onboarding process is solid, so you should be able to get a hang of it relatively quickly. (“Quickly” is relative, of course – it may take longer than the 14-day free trial to get the full hang of it.)

Monday has a lot of power when it comes to features. I’ll highlight the ones that make it an all-in-one solution.

When it comes to project management, Monday supports various different approaches, including Agile methodologies, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and more.

Monday also has polished project templates that are pretty much ready to use without much customization needed. That said, it is highly customizable if you do need it.

It also has a timeline, extensive automation, and other features to help with productivity, such as time tracking. Lastly, it offers a client portal so you can onboard clients and keep all communication within Monday. Say goodbye to back-and-forth emails.


  • Modern, beautiful UI
  • Feature-rich
  • Highly customizable
  • In-app automations
  • Polished templates


  • Users have complained about speed as boards become larger
  • Powerful software sometimes translates to complexity, which is exactly the case with Monday
  • Pricing rubric is unnecessarily complicated

Pricing: There is a free trial available but no freemium version. I will mention it’s quite expensive, but you can check the full pricing chart here.

Best for: Both large & small, cross-disciplinary teams across pretty much all industries.

17. Jumppl

Time management tools - Jumppl

Source: Jumppl

Jumppl is a project and team management tool that combines everything into one single platform.

Like Monday, Jumppl has a pretty neat, modern UI. Here’s a view:

Time management tools - Jumppl's dashboard

That said, I imagine the interface can get quite overloaded if you’re using all the features at maximum functionality.

So what features does it have?

The core functionality of Jumppl is collaborative project management and team communication, so it has extensive features in those areas. Things like:

  • Creating task structures
  • Calendar
  • Document management
  • Reports
  • Chat

You can use the Task feature to stay ahead of your to-dos and manage your team’s progress.

You can also set up Team structures to enable responsibilities and permissions. Team leads can also use reports to monitor project status and member performance.

Plus, there’s a client portal where you can give clients the access they need and share tasks, documents, and communicate with clients.

Lastly, Jumppl offers both 1-on-1 as well as group chat functions, along with in-app messaging when and where you need it.


  • Beautiful UI
  • All-in-one solution


  • Can become overwhelming when using all features
  • Storage space can be an issue with larger teams

Pricing: 14-day trial available. Pricing starts at $10/10 users/month.

Best for: Small and medium-sized businesses looking to take their team collaboration to the next level and consolidate everything in a single platform.


Time management tools -

Source: is a former AppSumo partner and a project management tool that your clients will love.

It’s simple, clean, and easy to navigate. Just after signing up, I was guided through the platform through a personalized onboarding session. I selected my team size and input “Marketing” for my industry.

Project automatically provided me with some template projects to get started. I literally figured out how to open it with 1-click.

Here’s what it looks like when you open up a project:

Time management tools - Project.cp's dashboard

All in all, really solid features – you have a discussion function for communication, tasks to keep track of the project and team responsibilities, project members, notes, document storage for file sharing, payments and more.

I came into the Tasks feature with low expectations, but boy was I wrong. It has everything you need, including list view, kanban view, calendar view, and scheduler.

Time management tools -'s blog post list/scheduler

Aside from those features, there’s a client portal which you can use to give access to projects and accept payments.


  • Extremely easy to use
  • Multiple approaches to project management
  • Offers exactly what’s to manage team/client projects in one place
  • Onboarding templates
  • Very affordable with generous user limits


  • Not many integrations available yet (Zapier integration being developed)
  • No options to set rules when adding clients to projects

Pricing: has a free plan that you can use with up to 5 users on 5 projects. Pricing starts at $7/month for up to 100 users. Enterprise plan is $12/month for up to 200 users.

Best for: Agencies, freelancers, and B2B service-based companies that want smooth, efficient collaboration between teams and clients.

19. Notion

Time management tools - Notion

Source: Notion

Notion is a nifty little tool that you can use for a whole range of different project management workflows, task management, and note-taking.

It’s a rapidly growing app in the productivity category and has been dubbed “the only app you need for work-life productivity” according to the WSJ.[*]

You can use Notion to keep track of work, along with pretty much everything in your life on the personal plan (I see myself spending way too much time choosing cover photos and emojis). But you can also create or join a workspace for team project management. Here’s a view from the fictional workspace I created for a marketing agency:

Time management tools - Notion content calender

At first glance, Notion has a really simple design and aesthetic that I find really appealing.

But what’s particularly great about the app are the robust built-in features. Instead of having to pick the kind of page you want from the get-go, you can create and turn any page into a to-do list or outline. Or just use the plain text editor. You can also mix-and-match all the elements within one page and create a very complex set of instructions for any project/task.

One of my favorite SaaS businesses (Lemlist) uses Notion to keep track of all their high-level goals and processes.

Here’s a view from their Notion page:

Time management tools - Notion page from Lemlist

Source: Medium


  • Appealing, minimalist aesthetic
  • Robust and highly customizable to your needs
  • Easy data importing from other apps


  • Endless possibilities are confusing when just getting started
  • Time-consuming to set up
  • You may find yourself spending too much time on design, formatting, setting up templates, etc.
  • Seems slightly disorganized/overwhelming for a productivity app

Pricing: Notion has a free plan with limited permissions for external collaborators and content blocks. The Personal plan starts at $5/month for one person. The Team plan costs $10/month.

Best for: Personal work-life productivity management, as well as teams that want a better way to manage processes, knowledge, projects, documents, and collaboration.

Pick Your Favorite Time Management Tools

Whether you’re a freelancer, agency, or startup looking to take your time or project management to the next level, the extensive list of tools covered in this post should have something for you.

All you have to do is pick your favorite one.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out all the AppSumo deals we have in store for you.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Comprehensive Comparison in 2023 Mon, 01 Jun 2020 06:00:38 +0000 Squarespace and are both among the most reliable and professional website builders in the market.

So which one is right for you?

As a former blogger and eCommerce store owner now running a marketing agency, I’ve built quite a few websites with different website builders.

So I’ve done the homework for you.

I went ahead and compared Squarespace vs WordPress side-by-side. I looked at five main areas with specific use-cases in mind to give you the latest information and help you make the choice for yourself.

YouTube video

Read on, and by the end, you’ll know exactly which one to pick.

Note: Looking for affordable, high-quality WordPress themes and plugins? Check out AppSumo’s latest lifetime deals for WordPress tools here.


Squarespace WordPress
Maximum ease of use, no coding skills required, drag-and-drop interface, beginner-friendly. No drag-and-drop interface, steeper learning curve, coding required for full customization.
All templates and plugins are free. Third-party themes can be purchased. Themes and plugins are free on Paid themes and plugins are available on both WP and third-party vendors.
Limited customization of design and functionality due to a rigid block interface. Fully customizable design & functionality with the use of code.
Basic SEO features built-in. No SEO plugins available. Several built-in SEO tools. Powerful SEO plugins available.
Squarespace is a hosted CMS website builder. You have access to the CMS from any web browser. WordPress IS a CMS that has more in-depth functions than a website builder.
In-house eCommerce tools. Ecommerce tools available with plugins like WooCommerce.
Free templates for bloggers and basic blogging tools built-in. Free templates for bloggers and blogging tools like commenting. Large collection of plugins for bloggers available.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for security included SSL must be installed/purchased from a web host.
Dedicated support team on live chat. Massive community and extensive resources for support.

While WordPress emerged as a website builder catering to bloggers, Squarespace started as a competitor focusing on visual creatives. Both website builders have since expanded to facilitate fully functional professional websites in multiple industries.

Let’s get into the use-cases.

Squarespace Use Cases

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Use Cases

Source: Squarespace

From established businesses like Wired, to small medium-sized agencies, to freelancers, Squarespace powers over 1.8 million websites.[*]

Here’s an example of a simple, professional freelancer site built with Squarespace.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Beta Takaki

Source: Beta Tataki

Of course, Squarespace has something for everyone, but it’s best for visual creatives.

  • Are you looking to display an elegant portfolio with your work as a freelancer?
  • Do you have a service business like an agency?
  • Not tech-savvy when it comes to the technical side of building a website?

If so, Squarespace might be for you. It offers maximum ease of use with a drag-and-drop builder to create your professional-looking website.

There are 110+ gorgeous templates to choose from, you can use them for your business or organization website, art portfolio, store, and blog. And with the frequent addition of new features, your website will always look up to date.

With few designs and themes, Squarespace works just fine for blog posts. But it isn’t a blog expert. Why?

Because it’s less flexible and doesn’t offer much blogging functionality. Mainly, Squarespace’s blogging tools are a good match with a niche website that has a blog.

For example, if you’re a freelance photographer showcasing your portfolio on Squarespace, you’re good to add a basic blog, too.

You can use PayPal and Stripe services with the Basic and Advanced subscription plans so you can sell digital products and services. This makes Squarespace a reliable option for freelancers, small businesses/agencies, and ecommerce store owners.

The best part – you don’t need to pay before use. Try it free for two weeks and see if it suits you. You just need to sign up to start.

Most suitable for: Freelancer bloggers, photographers, artists, musicians, small medium-sized agencies, ecommerce store owners, and restaurant owners.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace

Source: Squarespace

WordPress Use Cases

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress use cases


WordPress powers 30% of all websites on the internet. It’s the OG website builder that started off as a builder for bloggers. So it’s no surprise that the Content Management System (CMS) is brilliant.[*]

Although WordPress is harder to get the hang of for beginners, publishing content on your WordPress blog is a breeze and doesn’t require any technical skills.

You can easily write and publish your posts, upload videos, images, and maintain an image library. That said, you will need to become familiar with some WordPress jargon.

For example, the difference between “posts” and “pages.”

Squarespace vs WordPress- WorkPress Dashboard

But WordPress isn’t just for bloggers. It’s one of the most powerful website builders on the market.

Want a customized, fully controllable, and professional website? WordPress will give you just that – if you don’t mind investing the time to learn how to use it.

With a huge collection of themes and plugins, you can literally build any website you envision. You’ll be able to make your website your own and get to use the endless resources and power of the builder.

Just look at this beautiful agency website built on WordPress:

Squarespace vs WordPress - Ruya

Source: Ruya

Most suitable for: Bloggers, agencies, freelancers, ecommerce store owners (plugin required) and essentially every business that needs a website (if you have development skills or can hire someone who does).

Ease of Use

Both WordPress and Squarespace builders have their pros and cons when it comes to ease of use. So which is easier to use for beginners?

Let’s dive deep into how Squarespace and WordPress stack up in terms of user-friendliness.

Squarespace Website Builder

While Squarespace does have a little learning curve, it’s not nearly as complex as WordPress. Squarespace doesn’t have too many options, which makes it easy for beginners.

With a sizable collection of templates, font colors, and sizes, you can easily change and edit your content. The drag-and-drop editor helps:

  • Outline your content
  • Move texts and image blocks, and even
  • Drop content from other parts of your site into it: like gallery images and summaries of blogs.

The block editor makes it easier to add images, videos, and audio. You’ll also find lots of content blocks and layout controls.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Website Builder

Squarespace requires no code to customize design elements on your template. You can also include certain functionalities by adding snippets of code, which we’ll get into later.

That said, the ease of use does come with a tradeoff in customization. You’re restricted to a certain degree by the templates you choose.

WordPress CMS

WordPress is definitely not for beginners when it comes to the backend. While it began as a blogging platform, its user interface has grown into a full-fledged CMS platform.

For better control over website design and functionality, WordPress sacrificed a bit of beginner-friendliness. It’s fully customizable, but with a steeper learning curve compared to Squarespace. You’ll need to spend some time getting the hang of it to reap all the benefits.

WordPress lets you customize, create, and edit your website layout according your needs. Now, there are both codeless and coded builders available. But you’ll need a basic knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS to create or customize your website.

Luckily, there are many drag-and-drop website builder plugins available (Beaver Builder, Elementor, etc.).  If you’re not into programming, the drag-and-drop builder plugins will do the work for you.

Content blocks are very appealing nowadays. The default content editor has customized blocks for you to add content elements, helping you build a media-rich layout for your website.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress CMS

Source: Smashing Magazine

With the new Gutenberg editor, you can easily insert, rearrange, and style content with little to no technical knowledge. The editor helps add images, paragraphs, or quotes using blocks instead of writing complicated codes or plugins.

Having strong coding knowledge is a major advantage when it comes to changing and editing your website to make it your own.  Plus, you can always code your website from scratch. For the coding newbies out there, you’ll be pleased to learn it’s not a must. The right themes and plugins can help you build a website drag-and-drop style. (But if budget allows, consider hiring a developer to save yourself some time and energy.)

Templates and Themes

WordPress has the biggest collection of themes compared to any website builder (literally, thousands), while Squarespace has over 110 templates in 14 different categories.

But is more always better? Let’s find out.

Squarespace Templates

Squarespace’s templates are categorized according to use-case. There are templates for blogs, travel, tourism, portfolio, photography, business, online stores, and so on.

Squarespace covers a lot, but there aren’t too many templates per category.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Templates

Source: Squarespace Templates

When creating a blog on Squarespace, the platform offers a couple of template recommendations.

Here’s a preview of a blogging template called Stanton:

Squarespace vs WordPress - Stanton

Source: Stanton

Most of the design elements, such as your blog’s fonts, colors, sizes, and content, are customizable. If you can’t find a template you like from the options, there are third-party templates available as well.

Are you a freelance writer, artist, or photographer looking for professional templates to give your website an identity at first glance? If so, Squarespace is the right track for you, offering freelancers polished templates that stand out.

Here’s a preview of my favorite template for freelancers:

Squarespace vs WordPress - Mark Novo

Source: Mark Novo

And here’s a preview of an elegant template for marketing agencies called Nolan & Co:

Squarespace vs WordPress - Nolan & Co

Source: Nolan & Co

All the Squarespace templates are mobile-responsive, meaning you don’t need to do any extra work for mobile and desktop users.

That said, they’re based on rigid grids. So you won’t be able to make your website completely your own.

WordPress Themes

Although WordPress offers a lot more themes, not all of them are as polished, since WordPress is open-source and anyone can create WP themes.

It’s also not as easy to switch themes on WordPress as it is on Squarespace, so take your time to choose the right theme for you. The reason it’s hard to switch themes is because specific plugins and the functionality of your website might not work for every theme. If you’ve added custom code to your theme, you’ll also have to re-insert the code snippets into your new theme.

Looking for templates for your blog?

There are thousands of free options to choose from on

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Theme

Source: WordPress Themes

You can also find thousands of paid WordPress themes on vendors like Theme Forest.

The themes are organized by the categories shown below. There are themes suited for agency owners and creative freelancers under the creative category, for bloggers and for eCommerce store owners amongst others.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Theme Forest

Source: ThemeForest

That said, not all WordPress designs are mobile-responsive. You might have to do extra work to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile and desktop users by picking the right theme.


Both website builders offer a ton of quality features. I’ll focus on the features that matter most for freelancers, agency owners, and eCommerce store owners:

  • Built-in SEO
  • CMS
  • Ecommerce
  • Customer Support
  • Website Performance (Uptime, Pagespeed, Security)

Squarespace vs WordPress: Built-in SEO Features

What does Squarespace do for you in terms of SEO?

Every Squarespace website has basic SEO built-in, meaning they’re automatically SEO-friendly. Your data is automatically structured, your sitemap is automatically generated and linked, and metatags are automatically generated.

Other aspects of SEO, like SSL certificates, are included and connected. If you don’t know what any of this means, you can read more here.

Squarespace also has SEO tools like Search Keywords which connects to Google.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Google Search Keywords

WordPress also provides SEO-friendly themes.

But the real power of SEO on WordPress comes from the plugins.

The first company I worked at had an extremely complex and expensive website custom coded on WordPress. At the time, I didn’t know anything about SEO, but a little tool called Yoast saved me.

Basically, just install Yoast or any of the other SEO plugins. It’ll tell you exactly what you need to optimize in terms of title tags, metadata and descriptions.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Content Management System (CMS)

What is a CMS?

A CMS is simply an application that allows you to manage the creation of digital content.

Squarespace is a hosted CMS drag-and-drop website builder. That means it has a CMS that you can use on any web browser.

For a beginner building a website, Squarespace’s CMS offers enough for you to create and publish content. You have complete control over your headlines, images, texts, links, videos, and other content on your website.

On the other hand, WordPress is a CMS. That means you can build a fully customized website with complex functionality using the WordPress CMS.

The WordPress CMS has depth. But to unlock it, you need to pass a pretty steep learning curve. For the average beginner building a website, WordPress has solid CMS features to publish content, including:

  • Post scheduling
  • Editing
  • Managing comments
  • Multi-author advantage & multilingual settings

Here’s a view from my post editor:

Squarespace vs WordPress- WordPress CMS

With these standard built-in features, WordPress can be a great blogging companion to make publishing a breeze. WordPress also has built-in RSS feeds as well, so your visitors can subscribe to your content and receive updates.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Ecommerce Compatibility

Now, the obvious choice for eCommerce store owners to build their store in the past few years has undoubtedly been Shopify.

But both Squarespace and WordPress are fully eCommerce-compatible and offer cheaper options.

Squarespace offers an all-in-one solution for eCommerce from the Business Plan and up. For serious selling, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a specific eCommerce plan.

Squarespace provides polished eCommerce templates and built-in eCommerce tools, shown on the left-hand side menu below:

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Ecommerce Compatibility

It’s essentially everything you need to manage your eCommerce store. But keep in mind that Squarespace is only compatible with Stripe and PayPal for payment processing.

On WordPress, you’ll need a plugin like WooCommerce to transform your website into an eCommerce shop.

WooCommerce has you covered. It’s got every tool you need to get started right out of the box and it’s fully customizable. Of course, there are other plugins that you can use for extra features.

WordPress is also more flexible with payment processing and is compatible with Stripe, PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Payoneer, and Bitcoin.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Customer Support

Squarespace offers help guides, videos, webinars, a forum, and email/live chat support.

The knowledge base on Squarespace is straightforward and easy to navigate and use, so you’ll be able to solve a lot on your own.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Help

Source: Squarespace Help

In instances where you’re stuck, the customer support is open 24/7 over email and Twitter. However, when you need someone to help you in real-time, the Squarespace live chat is only active from 4am to 8pm Eastern Time, from Monday to Friday.

While testing Squarespace, I reached out to support for help. Live Chat wasn’t available, so I sent an email and received a response within 48 hours. Despite the slight delay, I was generally satisfied with the clear communication and helpful response from the agent.

WordPress has a variety of resources for support. Most notably, the forum offers a huge knowledgebase built by users in the WordPress community. You can also find guides in the support section.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Forums

Source: WordPress Forums

Since WordPress is an open-source platform, it doesn’t actually offer a support service via live chat or email. Only offers this kind of support, and you’ll need to have an account.

That said, a lot of the paid themes and plugins have customer support. For example, ZenDesk has live support. You can also get help from a specialized web host to help you with anything you need.

Extensions and Plugins

There are over 55,000 plugins for WordPress, while Squarespace didn’t even have an app store up until recently. They’ve since launched “Squarespace Extensions” which has third-party apps.

Squarespace Extensions

Squarespace offers very few extensions, or third-party apps, and they’re mainly for eCommerce store owners.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Extensions

Source: Squarespace Extensions

For example, AfterShip and Easyship help you manage your fulfillment and shipments.

 Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Extensions AfterShip and Easyship

Source: Squarespace Extensions

Also worth noting: almost all the themes have built-in apps for blogs, analytics, and portfolios. Since these apps are developed in-house, they’re seamless and trusted.

You can also add plugins to your Squarespace website by pasting code snippets into the CSS. For example, if you have a Sumo account, you can easily paste the code to install it on your Squarespace website, enabling features like pop-ups.

Squarespace vs WordPress - ecommerce templates and built-in ecommerce tools

WordPress Plugins

WordPress functions without plugins. But you’ll definitely need them to unleash the builder’s full power. With over 55,000 plugins to choose from, you’ll be scrolling for a long time!

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Plugins

Source: WordPress Plugins

There are definitely a few plugins that stand out for me as I literally wouldn’t have been able to do much on my website without them.

The first that comes to mind is Elementor, which is one of the most popular drag-and-drop page builders available. You can essentially build your entire website with it. We even ran a deal for Elementor plug-ins.

Another one is Yoast SEO, which I mentioned helped me learn the basics of SEO and essentially saved me during my first job.

There’s a ton more that you’ll definitely want to check out for your website’s security, design, marketing and SEO, eCommerce, and content management. To make your life easier, check out our post of the best WordPress plugins. All you need to do is install them and take ’em for a spin.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, click here to browse the latest lifetime deals for WordPress tools we have available on AppSumo.


We’re all budget-savvy and looking to save where we can. Now that we’ve gone through what each website builder offers, it’s time to find out which builder offers more bang for your buck.

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace offers both annual and monthly plans.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Pricing

Source: Squarespace Pricing

The four premium plans of Squarespace range from $12 – $40 per month. If you choose to pay annually, you can save around 13% to 30%, depending on the plan.

These plans come with unlimited storage and a free domain for the first year.

Squarespace monthly plans cost:

  • Business $18/month
  • Basic $26/month (includes Business plan features and advanced e-commerce tools)
  • Advanced $40/month

You can try Squarespace free for 14 days before buying any plans.

WordPress Pricing

While WordPress is free, you still need to pay for hosting, themes, eCommerce integrations, plugins, and developer costs. Here are the estimated costs based on my past projects:

  • Domain: $10-$12 per year
  • Hosting: $10 – $12 per month (higher as your traffic grows)
  • Theme: $30-$80 on average
  • Plugin:  $5-$50 per plugin on average

The starting investment for a WordPress website will run you around $139-$200.

Generally, your recurring costs with WordPress wouldn’t be as high. Most plugins and themes come with a little annual cost, or a one-time fee. The biggest chunk of your expenses will come from domain and hosting, costing between $110 to $156 annually.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Who Wins in This Matchup?

Squarespace is simple, comfortable, and beginner-friendly. It’s a pretty solid choice if you want to get your website online quickly and have the budget for it.

If you have some patience and are in it for the long-term, WordPress will eventually unleash its full potential for you to create any design and functionality you want. You’ll never be trapped in a rigid theme and you’ll learn a lot along the way.

The winner in this matchup is WordPress, but I might be biased. Choose for yourself based on your own needs, budget, and use cases. Once you’re done, you also might want to compare image compression tools for your website, which we’ve done for you here.

Happy choosing!

If you use WordPress or plan to start using it, check out our latest lifetime deals on WordPress tools to save your time searching and get the most out of your budget.

13+ Brilliant Patreon Alternatives to Monetize Your Audience Mon, 18 May 2020 06:00:45 +0000 With the demand for Patreon alternatives rising, new platforms are popping up every other day. Lucky us. Now, the marketplace for platforms to build up and monetize your subscriber base has something for everyone.

We’ve done the work for you in this article to help you make the right choice. This post compiles a curated list of the 13+ best Patreon alternatives available today, comparing use cases, features, and pricing.

So sit back, get cozy, and read on to find the best Patreon alternative platform for your business.

What’s Patreon? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Patreon landing page

Source: Patreon

Patreon is the OG platform for creators to monetize their subscriber base. But increasing prices have sent some users running for the hills.

Meanwhile, due to claims of censorship, Patreon has felt the heat from high-profile Patreon creators like Jordan Peterson making their losses public and Sam Harris closing his account.

Best For: The majority of creators on Patreon are artists, vloggers, musicians, and podcasters. Because Patreon is one of the oldest platforms, the creator base has grown very diverse. It’s basically made for creatives of all kinds.


  • Works well for established niche creators that have passionate fans
  • Built-in email and patron-only posts to communicate directly with the audience
  • Flexible funding goals
  • Consistent and reliable payments


  • No promotional tools and limited user support
  • It’s difficult to build your community on the platform and the discoverability of creative projects is low
  • Creators of political content and certain content genres have experienced crackdowns in 2019 due to new and fuzzy content restriction policies


Patreon is free to get started, but they take a flat 5% fee once you start earning (along with the industry-standard rate for processing payments).

They’ve recently launched three different pricing tiers: Lite, Pro, Premium. These tiers have 5%, 8%, and 12% flat fees respectively.

The processing payment rates apply to all tiers and are as follows: 2.9% + $0.30 per successful payment over $3 and 5% + $0.10 per successful payment of $3 or less.

The 13 Best Patreon Alternatives in 2023

Without further ado, here’s our curated list of the best Patreon alternatives:


Patreon alternative

This bio link builder plus membership platform is a surprisingly strong contender to Patreon as it has the ability to create and manage exclusive content as a social media bio link.

The idea is to use the bio link to not only have one place with all your most important links but also on that same page sell digital products, exclusive content, collect donations, fan requests and manage your membership subscriptions.

It’s the perfect marriage between Linktree & Patreon.

⭐ ALERT – is also listed as a lifetime deal on Appsumo, check it out!

Best for: Influencers and individuals looking to create a seamless membership experience between social media and their gated content.


  • Generous free plan
  • Multiple projects (accounts) per subscription (can build multiple membership sites)
  • High-level customization
  • Built-in link bio features
  • Own your customers and their data
  • No commissions/fees on your revenue
  • Easy membership and content management in one place


  • No API yet (developers say it’s coming soon)

Pricing: is a strong contender with one of the most generous free plans and no % taken on your revenue or profits. The paid plans start at $19/m and the highest plan $39/m, these options add extra projects and features. For a limited time, you can get lifetime deal starting at $39 on AppSumo.

2. Heights Platform

Patreon alternatives - Heights Platform

Source: Heights Platform

Heights Platform is geared towards helping you create and sell online courses using your own branded platform and a custom domain. It’s one of the best customizable e-learning platforms.

Best for: Solopreneurs, coaches, and consultants who want to sell their expertise through online courses.


  • You set your own course fees
  • Built-in payment processing, content management and analytics
  • Unlimited courses, content, and students
  • Supercharged student engagement with points, badges, projects and forums
  • White-labelling to customize with your own branding


  • No built-in email marketing. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you already prefer working from your email provider
  • It’s missing a few features that other bigger players have (e.g. test/quiz creation)


Standard subscription plans start from $39, $79, or $399 per month. But you set your own course fees, and get to keep it all. Standard-industry transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 apply per payment.

3. Tribe

Patreon alternatives - Tribe

Source: Tribe

Tribe is a cloud-based community platform that lets you engage and connect with your followers.

It’s awesome for harnessing the power of social connection to better understand your customer base, acquire and retain customers, and boost conversions.

Best for: Marketers and agencies who want to build a community along with WordPress users that want simplified Google Analytics inside WordPress.


  • Cloud-based and fully customizable
  • Includes simplified Google Analytics
  • Automatically email analytic reports to your clients
  • See your highest performing marketing campaigns & pages
  • Build a thriving community and grow your customer base


  • Users have reported minor bugs
  • No mobile app


Paid plans start from $85 and $249 per month or more for large enterprises or those in regulated industries. Tribe also offers a free plan for individuals or smaller businesses.

4. Podia

Patreon alternatives - Podia

Source: Podia

Podia is an affordable, all-in-one marketing platform that helps you sell digital products, online courses, and memberships.

Best for: Start-ups, solopreneurs, and anyone on a tight budget selling memberships, downloadable digital content, and online courses. Similar to Zipsell.


  • Affordable pricing
  • Affiliate program
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Embedded checkout
  • Video hosting support
  • 0% transaction fee on sales


  • Email builder lacks customizable fields
  • Membership feature only comes with higher-priced plans


Monthly plans start at $39 and $79. Payment processors also charge a 2.9% + $0.30 fee, which may vary based on your location.

5. Buy Me a Coffee

Patreon alternatives - Buy me a coffee

Source: Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is a donation-based membership platform that accepts one-off and monthly support from your fans.

Best for: Artists, creators, and anyone with an audience to get tips.


  • Allows one-off donations
  • Ability to sell digital downloads and share exclusive content
  • Payments are transferred automatically to your account


  • Not suitable for larger businesses or anyone looking to scale up


There are no monthly fees or paywall features. The platform charges a 5% transaction fee and standard PayPal and Stripe payment processing fees.

6. Memberful

Patreon alternatives - Memberful

Source: Memberful

Memberful is a membership plugin for WordPress. It lets site owners sell memberships and customize the customer experience. Plus, it integrates with Stripe, WordPress, and Mailchimp.

Best for: Media companies and larger enterprises, as it can accommodate scaling fast. Similar tools include Restrict Content Pro and MemberMouse.


  • Custom branding
  • Email newsletters
  • Coupons, free trials, and gifts
  • Intuitive membership management
  • Members-only content and forums
  • Analytics and conversion tracking


  • Not as many features as most other platforms


Starts free with a 10% transaction fee. Paid plans start from $25 monthly with 4.9% transaction fees.

7. Ko-fi 

Patreon alternatives - Ko-fi

Source: Ko-Fi

At Ko-fi, you can share your work, and fans can support you for the price of a cup of coffee — or more. You can set up donations and commissions on a one-time basis or monthly.

Best for: Jar-tipping for artists, writers, cosplayers, podcasters, etc. Similar tools include Flattr.


  • Easy, fuss-free user experience
  • No supporter sign-up required
  • Ability to offer memberships, paywall content, and personalized commissions


  • Minimum donation of $3
  • No built-in marketing tools


Other than the standard payment processing fees, Ko-fi takes 0% of your donations. Paid premium features come with the Gold plan at $6 per month.

8. Liberapay

Patreon alternatives - Liberapay

Source: Liberapay

Liberapay is a platform for recurring donations. Donations are capped at €100.00 a week per donor to prevent outside influence.

Best for: Creators who produce continuous work – content or software – and maintain the upkeep. Similar to Open Collective.


  • No platform fees
  • Teams feature
  • No obligation to give rewards
  • Supports multiple languages and currencies
  • You can integrate your accounts on Twitter, GitHub, Mastodon, and nine other platforms


  • Hard to make long-term projections
  • A small and relatively new company, so you may not get enough exposure


Liberapay charges 0% platform fees. You’re subject to standard transaction fees from your payment processor.

9. SubscribeStar

Patreon alternatives - Subscribestar

Source: SubscribeStar

SubscribeStar is an independent membership platform catering to educators, musicians, and visual artists.

Best for: Celebrities, vloggers, entertainers, coaches, teachers, radio hosts, gamers with streaming experience, individual preachers, event organizers, and clerical organizations.


  • Liberal content policies — any legal content is allowed
  • Built-in stats and analytics tools
  • Post editor
  • Anti-scraping and anti-skimming content protection
  • Advanced integration options to third-party suppliers


  • No PayPal or Stripe
  • Restrictions on payment withdrawal
  • Freedom with content policies means the platform has some association with more extremist ideologies


Charges a 5% flat service fee on every pledge, and a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee on successful payments. If you request a payout, you’ll be charged a payout fee (minimum $3) that varies based on the payout frequency and amount.

10. Kickstarter

Patreon alternatives - Kickstarte

Source: Kickstarter

Kickstarter helps breathe life into projects. It’s ideal for films, music, arts, theaters, games, comics, designs, photography, and so on.

Best for: Developers, designers, support specialists, writers, musicians, painters, poets, gamers, robot-builders, and many more


  • Suitable for one-time projects
  • All projects are carefully vetted before publication


  • Not all projects succeed
  • Not suitable for crowdfunding for charity as well as personal use
  • You only receive the funding if you meet your fundraising target
  • No monthly recurring subscription model
  • In case your project is successful, you’ll have to give physical rewards to your backers


If your project doesn’t meet its goal, you pay nothing. But if it succeeds, you’ll be charged a 5% fee, separate 3% to 5% payment processing fees, and $0.05 to $0.20 per pledge.

11. Indiegogo

Patreon alternatives - Indiegogo

Source: Indiegogo

Indiegogo supports entrepreneurs working to bring their dreams to life. It offers crowdfunding for both creative and charitable projects in tech and design before they go mainstream.

Best for: Charitable crowdfunding for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business ideas


  • No fees for charity campaigns
  • You can opt for either all-or-nothing or keep-it-all funding
  • Campaigns are not pre-screened, so you’ll have better prospects of success without an approval process
  • Allows for both rewards and equity crowdfunding


  • Less traffic and visibility than Kickstarter
  • No options for a monthly recurring subscription
  • Communication between campaigners and their backers is limited


No monthly costs except for a 5% to 8% platform fee across all crowdfunding campaigns, and a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee

12. Gumroad

Patreon alternatives - Gumroad

Source: Gumroad

Gumroad is an e-commerce tool for content creators selling books, courses, music, and film.

Best for: Individual artists and content creators


  • Simple to use
  • Free starter plan
  • Membership platform
  • Works well for both digital and physical products
  • You can embed Gumroad on your website


  • No A/B split testing
  • Does not support ApplePay
  • Email support only
  • Limited help center


Free starter plan and a paid creator plan for $10 monthly. Standard transaction fees of 3.5% or 5% + $0.30 per charge apply.

13. Anchor Listener Support

Patreon alternatives - Anchor Listener Support

Source: Anchor

Anchor, the super simple mobile podcast production and distribution app, has a Patreon-style subscription service called Listener Support. Anchor creators can activate Listener Support to receive recurring donations from fans.

Best for: Podcasters who use Anchor.


  • Cash out whenever you want – Anchor sends out money right away
  • Low fees
  • Supports Apple Pay & Google Pay
  • Clear community guidelines


  • Only available for Anchor users
  • Not available globally (only available for US Anchor creators)
  • Low discoverability on platform


Free to use. Anchor takes a flat 4.5% fee (waived for 6 months from April 1st), alongside Stripe’s standard 5% +$0.10 processing fee.

Sticking with Big Tech: Facebook & YouTube

Big players like Facebook and YouTube have launched their own monthly subscription plans.


Patreon alternatives - Facebook

Facebook lets audiences support pages with recurring monthly donations in exchange for badges, exclusive content, and personal interactions. But sadly, only pages that have been invited can use fan subscriptions. You can learn more about the service here.


Patreon alternatives - Youtube

Once you hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, you can apply to the YouTube Partner Program. For more information, see here.

How To Pick The Best Platform For Yourself

What is the best Patreon alternative for you or your business?

Clearly, there’s no one-size-fits-all platform. The better question to ask is, what works best for your use case?

  • If you’re looking to sell an online course, go with a platform like Heights Platform or Podia. Both have the community aspect as well as features built around online education.
  • If you’re a marketer or solopreneur looking to build your community, you might opt for a platform like Tribe.
  • If you just want to fund your side-hustles or passions, look into Buy Me A Coffee or Ko-fi.

You have the vision. Check out what works best for you and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

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