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Bitcoin hackers are back on their sextortion scams

They’re back! Whoever thought Bitcoin sextortion hackers were a thing of the past: Residents of Kansas are being targeted once again by these “hackers”.

The scam is quite easy. The hackers claims to have material on you, and publish it if you don’t pay up.

Bitcoin, sextortion, hack, cryptocurrency
The hacker email

Luckily, the wallet is still empty. If you receive an email like this, just ignore it.

“Buying habits need to change”: Kind Socks is here to stay.

With trends pushing towards sustainable clothing, Kind Socks is making its way into a niche that people tend to forget, but put on every morning: socks. Kind Socks is an organic sock wear brand with one aim: to develop fun and beautiful socks in sustainable materials.

Stephen Steele, founder of Kind Socks, started the company about a year ago after working for several years on digital communications. “I decided it was time to stop doing what I was doing at that moment, and start working on fulfilling my creative needs” says Stephen.

“I talked about starting a sock company several times before, but it always stayed at the idea stage, never really moving any further than that.” After Stephen and his wife moved to Stockholm (Sweden), he decided to take the jump.

Kind Socks started in summer of 2017, where Steele had the idea to create a sustainable brand and well-designed socks using sustainable materials. The simplicity of kind to your feet and kind to the planet and people that make them, was what really triggered Stephen to keep going. His “obsession with socks” didn’t hurt either. “It’s a boring, everyday essential that easily can be forgotten”, Steele says.

Taking an idea to production phase is hard. Making production sustainable is even harder, as Stephen found out: “The production process can be very complex because once you have a design to give to the manufacturer the general process to the final product would normally involve yarn preparation, knitting socks and linking and sewing and pair and labelling and that’s just for a prototype. All this needs reviewing by before I give the okay for final production.”

Kind Socks also follows (GOTs) Global Organic Textile Standards. The manufacturer has to follow high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria.

Production means costs, which can vary depending on the number of socks; designs and type materials being used i.e. bamboo, cotton, and wool. In addition as Kind Socks uses GOTS certified cotton, the prices are higher to make sure the workers are paid a fair wage. To make sure this can happen, Kind Socks is currently on Kickstarter, trying to raise a bit over $5000.

When it comes to design, it’s clear Stephens personality shows in his product. Currently, half the collection of his socks are designed by Berlin-based Illustrator Queenbe Moneyi. Keeping up with trends is something Steele is very aware of. “We survey our supporters on social media, look at the latest trends in the fashion and creative industries. These give us a clear idea what will sell and not.” In an ideal world Kind Socks would be collaborating with a broad range of designers, Steele says. “The idea is to collaborate with as many designers and brands as possible moving forward that are inline with our values of being a sustainable brand. In the future Kind Socks goal is to be a transparent company right through the supply chain to the consumer.”

When asked where the market of sustainable clothing is heading, it’s clear Stephen is a firm believer in sustainable materials, education, awareness and transparency. “Transparency is needed from companies so the consumer can know who made their clothes. Buying habits need to change. People need to think more long-term when they purchase clothes. They should be thinking could I get these jeans repaired; I am going to wear this dress more than 30 times. These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.”

You can support and buy a pair of beautiful sustainable socks from Kind Socks on Kickstarter.

Facebook suspends around 200 suspicious apps of “thousands investigated”

You might recall the Facebook hearing after the Cambridge Analytica scandal hit. In light of that, Mark Zuckerberg promised Facebook would review all existing apps with access to large amounts of data to see if there was any “suspicious activity”.

Well, Facebook just announced they have suspended over 200 apps after investigation of their usage.

In an update on the topic, VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong states “the investigation is in full swing” and that they have “large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible. To date thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data.” The thorough investigation will consist of interviews, requests for information and performing audits that may include on-site inspections. It’s clear Facebook is trying to show a zero-tolerance approach after the Cambridge Analytica breach.

Even though Facebook is trying to look transparent, it’s not clear how many apps will be investigated in what period of time. Techcrunch also reports it’s unclear what benchmark is used to define a “large amount of data”, after receiving no answer from Facebook on the question.

Archibong does state that “there is a lot more work to be done” and that Facebook will keep you updated on any progress. There’s that.

How To Start A Podcast And Develop An Audio-Content Strategy

With podcasts on the rise and Google investing in doubling the amount of listeners worldwide, it’s a pretty great time to invest in starting a podcast. But, how to start a podcast? It comes in handy when you have something to say about your niche, but that’s something you have to figure out for yourself.

Starting a podcast is actually quite simple. Costs are relatively low – so low anyone could start recording podcasts at home – but doing it the right way might take some time to find out. We have gathered the best tools to start your own podcast and develop an audio-content strategy that will keep your audience coming back for more.

TL;DR:

  • Podcasts are on the rise, and it’s the best moment to start creating one
  • You don’t need much to start, try Anchor to get set up quickly
  • We’ve created a free podcast content doc for you to get you started
  • Make sure your podcasts can be found by Google by implementing Google’s Podcast requirements

First things first: what is a podcast exactly?

The word ‘podcast’ was first mentioned in an article on the Guardian about online radio, where the combination of iPods, cheap audio software and weblogs (it’s from 2004) were said to be responsible for an audio revolution. “But what to call it? Audioblogging? Podcasting? GuerillaMedia?”, questioned the author back then. Now, 14 years later, it’s clear that podcast is the term that stuck around. Podcast being pod from iPod’s and cast from broadcasting. Not all that complicated, luckily. But what are they exactly?
Podcasts can be many things. Some would define it as ‘on demand radio’, whereas Wikipedia defines podcasts as “podcast, or generically netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to. It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.” This definition shows some important characteristic of podcasts:

  • Podcasts are episodes
  • You can download and listen to them (or stream, which makes more sense nowadays)
  • It’s often subscription based

To me, this is what makes a podcast a podcast; I would consider it an audio-Netflix show with different season that users can subscribe to. Without the fiction though, that’d be audiobooks.

Curious to listen to some successful podcasts? Check out an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience or the Crypto Street Podcast on YouTube.

Nowadays, you can find podcasts pretty much anywhere, but the mostly on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music. You can even find them on YouTube. But, dedicated podcasting apps like Overcast are on the rise, making it extremely simple to listen to podcasts and even speed up podcasts so you can listen to them faster. Really.

Why start a podcast?

The numbers don’t lie. According to Nielsen, over 44% of US households have listened to a podcast – half of them at home and 22% while driving. Podcast listeners are very loyal, 80% listens to the whole episode and listen to more than 5 podcasts a week. Podcast listeners are educated, interested and will listen to the advice they hear in a podcast.

It’s an extremely effective channel that does not require visual attention. Therefore, travel and work become places where you can reach people who you normally can’t reach at that time.

If you’re not convinced by these numbers, read the piece Pacific Content did on Google’s mission to make everyone an ‘audio citizen’. By integrating podcasts into their products, podcast discovery will be much more widespread and effective than it is now.

And that’s noticable too by interest in “how to start a podcast”, if you look at the Google Trends interest over the past five years:

how to start a podcast trend
Source: Google Trends

Before you get started: Time and perseverance

Now it’s clear what defines a podcast, it’s essential to understand that starting one is easy, but getting an audience is hard. Even with Google making it much easier to discover podcasts.

As with anything that involves creating content, time and perseverance are of the utmost importance. Creating takes time, and results are never instant. You might publish, and publish, and publish and publish until you finally get some listeners. It’s like any form of content marketing, you invest time and energy to create something others would enjoy ‘consuming’. In blogging, for example, this is where most people fail: regularity. Once you feel like your content is not getting the traction you think it deserves, it’s likely you stop producing. But where 99% stops, 1% keeps going and growing.

If you’re dedicated to starting a podcast and really put time in, you’ll see the results when they’re there. Luckily, if you plan ahead and keep in mind that podcasts are episodes, you’re more likely to continue producing and less likely to quit.

Things you’ll need to start a podcast

As you can imagine, you’ll need a couple of things to get started.

Concept/theme and episode(s)

This is a major key, if the most important one: You’ll need to think of a topic for your podcast. Let’s take NicheHunt as an example:

Creating a theme and episodes within the theme really help you to organize stuff, and result in a better outcome due to preparation. Plus, it makes you think of some basics: Do I want a weekly podcast? Of monthly? And do I want guests or just talk to myself? It’s the basics of how to start a podcast. We have made the outline as pictured above available on Google Sheets (for free).

Microphones

Even though your standard Apple earbuds will do fine to record your voice. We would suggest you start by using what you already have laying around, like the standard microphone on your laptop or your earphones. If you enjoy what you’re doing and looking for more professional podcasting setup, you might want to invest in better audio.
And that’s relatively cheap as well. The Neewer NW-800 is a microphone under $20 bucks that does great noise-free recording, as does the Fifine USB microphone that’s only $21,99 – our favorite. If you’re a bit more serious, the Audio Technica AT2020 is an absolute steal at $108 dollar. The Amazon bestseller list is a good reference:

Bestseller No. 1
Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition
  • Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.Frequency Response- 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid - Black
  • Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
  • Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
  • Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 -18 kHz
  • Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
  • Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification).Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit
  • NOTE: Refer the User Manual before use.
SaleBestseller No. 3
ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Bundle, BM-800 Mic Kit with Adjustable Mic Suspension Scissor Arm, Shock Mount and Double-layer Pop Filter for Studio Recording & Brocasting (BM-800 Microphone Bundle)
  • Professional Recording Studio Equipment: Equipped with Zingyou BM-800 microphone, Shock mount, Pop filter, Mic adjustable suspension scissor arm stand, Anti-wind foam Cap, Power cable, Sound card
  • Sensitive Capture: The Zingyou BM-800 features thin material diaphragm or "capsule" which vibrates and sends a signal to the output when engaged and is hit by sound waves, it provides an extremely...
  • Great in both Vocal and Instruments: Wide frequency response makes it an ideal mic to capture vocals, acoustic guitars, acoustic pianos and even strings as the condenser is able to take an accurate...
  • Low Noise: It features high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that means less distortion to be caused on the process of recording, Unique 3-layer protection system prevents unwanted pop noises-providing...
  • With detailed assemble video and Instruction document, 7 days no reason to refund, 30-day replacement service, 1 year warranty

Software

Anchor
Anchor is a New York based company that launched a platform to enable people to podcast in the easiest way possible. And it works really well. Within Anchor you have the possibility to easily start you own podcast by either uploading your existing audio or recording and editing new audio:

Anchor has an app available making it possible to easily record on your phone instead of your laptop.

Besides publishing your podcast content on Anchor, the tool automatically makes the connection for you to publish content on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Overcast and Pocket Casts.

Not interested in an all-in-one solution? Check out some other tools:

Audacity
Audacity is probably the best and free audio recording + editing tool out there. It’s easily usable and available for Windows and Mac

Garageband
Garageband is free Mac software, and really works well to record and edit audio quickly. Garageband is not available for Windows.

Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is ideal if you have an Adobe Cloud subscription. Similar to Garageband, but also available for Windows.

Distributing your podcast

There are a couple of different ways to distribute your podcasts:

If you’re just starting out, start with iTunes or Anchor – you can focus on other platforms later or use Anchor to reach them all.

Podcasting as part of your content marketing strategy

Now you’re all ready to start a podcast, how does it fit into you content marketing strategy? To some, podcasting may sound like something people could only do from a personal branding point of view. But, with Google integrating podcasts into their search results and Google assistant, think of the possibilities companies have to create good podcasts.

My approach on fitting podcasts into your content marketing strategy would be: What are people looking for and can I create a valuable answer to their question? Approach it as you would any form of content marketing. Now the format of your answer can always be different, being blog posts, video or – yes – a podcast.

You could even try using other popular podcasts to advertise your own product or service. From this angle you can approach other podcasters and try to have them talking about you.

And, as with any form of content, try filling out our podcast calendar overview to see if podcasting really works for you or your brand. It’s an easy start.

How to have your podcasts indexed in Google

If you want to make your podcast appear in the Google Search results, you can. It works on the Google Search app for now, or on Google home, but Chrome and Android will follow soon.

To get these results, you’ll have to:

  • Expose a valid RSS feed describing the podcast
  • The feed must contain at least one episode
  • The podcast must have a dedicated homepage
  • The homepage, the RSS feed, and any non-blocked audio files must be crawlable by a Googlebot

Read the full source on how to have your podcasts indexed in Google in the Google Podcast Guidelines.

The future is podcasting?

You can take our word for it: Podcasting will be bigger than ever in the years to come. Look at all the signs: Anchor apps, Google investing in podcasts, assistance-devices that need to understand language.

Starting a podcast now is an ideal moment, you’ll be right before the hype.

Why You Should Care About Podcasts

Podcasts are back, and they’re big business. As interest in audio-content keeps growing, Google opened up about investing heavily in podcasts and integrating them into their services in an interview with Pacific Content. The goal? To double the amount of podcast listening in the world over the next couple of years (and have A.I. learn from actual language). And they’re not taking half measures.

According to Pacific Content, a Google team lead by Zack Reneau-Wedeen is currently working on getting the amount of podcasts listeners worldwide doubled by doing some interesting stuff. The biggest growth opportunity will be on the Android-side, which is an untapped market due to availability of apps. Therefore, better integration with Android is seems like a logical step. But Zack’s team is not just working on a dedicated Google podcast app, they’re integrating it into Google’s services. That means Google Search and Google Assistant will be optimized for podcasts. And that’s a major one: Podcasts will show up in search results, which could have a huge effect on the amount of people trying a podcast for the first time. There’s no need for users to download, no need to subscribe, no need to search for a particular podcast-show, once podcasts are fully embedded in Google’s search results. As Zack states in the interview, Google wants to be there with audio where you are: “You might be researching Watergate for a school paper and stumble on Slow Burn, or maybe you’re toying with starting a company and you discover Sara Blakely’s amazing story of Spanx. This understanding of content, plus connecting people to it at the right moment, is where our team thinks we could go from helping double the industry to potentially helping multiply it by three or four or ten times.” A huge opportunity for marketers who aren’t doing anything with podcasts yet, as an audio-content strategy makes much more sense now than it ever did.

Don’t think all this development will take years to finally be shown to end users: Google is already showing podcasts result in Google, as can be seen in this screenshot for a “hackable podcast” search on Android:

If you want to know how to get search results like that, you can use Google’s guidelines for Podcast to find out how.

Interesting times for podcasts and audio-content, we’re already planning on focussing on audio-content. Will you? We’ve written a guide on how to start a podcast.

Instagram adds native payment options to app (for some users)

Exciting news: Instagram just added native payment features for some users, making it possible to make payments for services on Instagram without leaving the app.

The feature isn’t available for all users (yet). According to Techcrunch, Instagram is allowing some UK and US business accounts to test the feature by accepting payments for booking restaurant tables and salon bookings:

For now, only a small group of people can use the functionality, and it’s not known when Instagram will roll out the functionality to a broader group of users.

In the future, Instagram expects to provide direct payments for other products like movie tickets and tickets for events. Even though the company has never spoken about direct e-commerce shopping on the platform, one can imagine combining the current ‘shoppable’-tags and direct payments.

Having the option to buy products directly from Instagram would bring the social networking app into a whole new spectrum of shopping online, something e-commerce players should really be ready for. There’s no excuse for not building a proper Instagram base if you have something to sell.

Snapchat’s Redesign Causes Stock To Drop

Snapchat users aren’t happy. And it shows. Shares in Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, hit a record low after revealing its results for the first quarter of 2018, warning investors of “substantial decelerating growth” in Q2. After releasing the numbers for the first quarter, Snap’s share price fell as low as $11.50, trading about 17% below its IPO price of $17.

Even though Snap made a huge leap last year by adding over 8 million new users, it’s continually struggling with its competition copying key-features. But that’s not the reason for the bad results in the first quarter of 2018. The problem causing the bad results can be led back to Snapchat’s redesign, which was rolled out in January. The redesign made headlines, and not because users were a big fan. The update caused controversy with people claiming the app wasn’t usable anymore due to bad design.

Snapchat also had some backslash from inappropriate ads, which caused big celebrities like Rihanna and Chrissy Teigen to publicly announce to stop using the platform. That’s a possible $100 million hit.

Not the best quarter, and it shows in Snaps revenue. Analysts forecasted a revenue of $244.5 million, but Snap reported a “mere” $230.7 million. The same goes for daily active users, reported 191 million, which is lower than the expected 194.14 million user. This might not seem like a huge gap, but makes all the difference for advertisers and Snaps shares.

Evan Spiegel, founder of Snapchat, claims the redesign “created some headwinds in our revenue this quarter … and creating some apprehension among our advertising partners”.

It’s still unclear wheter Snap will listen to their user base and revert the redesign. An online petition to undo the redesign was signed over a million times, showing it might not be a bad idea for Snapchat to change the design and generate some goodwill amongst its (ex)users.

CoinMarketCap rebrands & launches mobile app to track crypto prices

It’s celebration day at CoinMarketCap. Founded in 2013, they are celebrating their 5th anniversary with new features and insights in their platform. A platform that shows perfect example of being the best in your niche.

The growth of CoinMarketCap is symbolic for the growth of cryptocurrencies over the last years. In a press release, CoinMarketCap states the earliest version of the platform tracked seven cryptocurrencies with a total market capitalization of $1.6 billion dollar. Now, the platform is tracking over 1600 currencies and 200 crypto-exchanges totaling a market capitalization of over $400 billion dollar. And that shows in popularity too: CoinMarketCap is currently the 174th most visited website according to Alexa.

Now that is exponential growth, and being the best in your niche.

With their 5th birthday anniversary, CoinMarketCap has rebranded and freshened up their design, but more importantly, finally launched their iOS app. The app can be used to create watchlists and stay up to date with prices on the go. It’s a pretty straight forward app, but reviews show users were long awaiting it due to a lack of useful apps.

CoinMarketCap has finally released their official application. I’m so happy to be using their official one and no longer some fake that is pretending to be them!
lukejames1

The app can be downloaded from the App Store.

Crypto Exchange Binance Is Moving From China To Cyprus

Binance is moving to Cyprus, and that’s big news for the Honk Konk-based company. Recently Binance pulled staff from its Japanese office due to regulatory changes. The same seems to be happening in China. With China breaking down on crypto-related activities, Binance is seeking shelter elsewhere. Malta may just be the perfect match, as Binance is opening an office on the island, according to Bloomberg.

Malta is a soon be crypto-paradise, whereas countries worldwide are trying to figure out how to regulate cryptocurrencies. They’ve has spoken out to become “.. the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies”. PM Joseph Muscat Tweeted:

According to Bloomberg, Binance is planning to open an office in Cyprus to start a “fiat-to-crypto” (cash-to-coins) exchange. A deal with local banks to provide actual access to deposits and withdrawals is on its way, according to Binance.

Bitfinex

Binance is not the only exchange to look outside of Asia. Hong Kong based major exchange Bitfinex is also thinking of moving away towards Switzerland, as reported by CNN. With Bitfinex and Binance moving, Honk Kong would lose two major crypto-exchanges in a short period of time due to regulations.

The Best Online Marketing Tools For Digital Marketers In 2018

As a digital marketer or growth hacker you will need to stay up to speed with pretty much everything online marketing related. As much as reading will develop certain knowledge, getting hands on with tooling always feels better than just reading about. It does not hurt either that tooling is becoming more and more important, and having access to certain tooling can be a huge advantage to your career or your business.

Determining what the best online marketing tools are can be tricky in a world that is loaded with startups focussing on solving marketers problems. Therefore, we have tried to make a summary of tools we love to use to get the best online marketing results. These are hands-on tools that are quite easy to use and accessible. Extensive enterprise software such as SalesForce and Googles Doubleclick require a deepdive and specialisation on their own, and are not mentioned in the article.

BuzzSumo (content marketing)

Find the content that’s working in your niche.

BuzzSumo, founded by MOZ SEO all-star Rand Fishkin, is an amazing tool to discover popular content. If you are looking for content-ideas in your niche, look no further (no, we’re not being sponsored to write this).

Within BuzzSumo, you can analyze websites and find their best working content-pieces. “Best working” is based on engagement ratings: shares, backlinks and “evergreen score” – meaning lifetime value of a content piece. Another interesting addition BuzzSumo uses to calculate the value of a piece is Reddit engagement, which is often an underestimated community in my opinion.

If you look at NicheHunt, you can see following articles that did quite well:

Besides working targeting your competition directly to find out what they’re doing, you can also submit a generic topic and see what the most popular pieces are.

If you or your team is looking for content-inspiration and need to see what works, BuzzSumo really can give great and quick insights. In addition to finding the best content pieces, there are many more functions BuzzSumo offers like finding influencers and analyzing your own content, but we have not been able to test that properly.

Pricing is ok, there is a “freelancer”-subscription that goes for $29.99 if you work alone.

Visit BuzzSumo.com

Answer The Public (content marketing)

Find out real questions people are asking Google.

This is a real hidden gem, and one of our personal favorites. Answer The Public is not only a visual fest, it really gives great insights in what people look for when it comes to a specific subject.

Unlike Googles Keyword Planner, Answer The Public does not show any keyword-volume, but all questions people asked Google surrounding a subject of choice. Real questions, as Answer The Public scrapes the suggestions boxes of Google.

Why is this so helpful? First of all, if you are doing a presentation and you want to show why it is important to invest in content-production, Answer The Public does a great visualisation of search-behaviour. Secondly, it gives you direct input on how to become an authority on a specific subject by answering the questions shown.

And it is free.

Visit Answerthepublic.com

Taboola Trends (content marketing / native advertising)

Get free insights in what’s trending at Taboola.

Having a hard time finding the right image and title for your blogpost you just worked on all day? Taboola might be able to help. Taboola is a native-advertiser, but also collects data from their advertisers to see what type of content generates the most clicks. This means you can get free insights in their best performing image-trends and keyword-trends.

Taboola Trends is free.

Visit trends.taboola.com

Advault (content marketing / native advertising)

Spy on your competitions advertising efforts.

Advault goes a big step beyond what Taboola Trends does. It’s a tool that collects data on native ads, or as they call it “native ads spy tool”. Using Advault, you can find top advertisements, keywords and advertisers so you can get inspired by what works in native advertising. If you rely on arbitrage, this tool is the one for you.

Advault pricing starts at $179 a month, but you can try it for three days at $1.

Visit Advault.io

Buffer (social media management)

Social media management, scheduling and analytics.

Looking for an easier way to manage your social media marketing? Buffer makes it simple to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage all your accounts in one place. Buffer is not only able to manage your social media accounts, it also analyses and optimizes your content-sharing. Hootsuite is an alternative to buffer, but we prefer Buffer. By the way: Read this if you’re looking for influencer marketing tools.

Buffer has a limited free version, paid plans start at $15.

Visit Buffer.com

Screaming Frog (SEO)

Crawl your website like Google.

Always wanted to know how Google crawls your website? Or lost sight of how many pages, blogs and products there are on your platform? Screaming Frog does it.
Now this a tool any respectable SEO probably already knows, but can be great for any digital marketeer as well. Screaming Frog is “.. a desktop website auditor for PC, Mac or Linux which crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps like a search engine to evaluate onsite SEO”. In other words: Screaming Frog imitates a bot that crawls a website, and this can generate very useful insights.

Screaming Frog can be easily used to find duplicate content, analyse and provide an overview of currently used meta-data and generate sitemaps. If you’re having redirect problems, Screaming Frog will find them. If you’re having indexation problems, Screaming Frog will probably show you what’s going on. Besides all this, Screaming Frog can also be used in more advanced matter as a web scraper, extracting custom data-points – a feature we love Screaming Frog for.

There’s a free version of Screaming Frog available that is limited to 500 pages to crawl, and a yearly license goes for $179.

Visit Screamingfrog.co.uk

MailChimp (email marketing)

Email marketing made simple.

The absolute king of email-marketing. MailChimp is a name any digital marketer encountered at least once in their career. MailChimp makes building email lists easy and offers many third party integrations. Besides building and creating email campaigns, MailChimp also offers the option to segment your lists and build different funnels for these segments with their marketing automation tooling.

MailChimp has a free product available, and depending on the growth of your list and activities pricing starts at $10 a month.

Visit MailChimp.com

Vero (email marketing)


Event-based email marketing.

Even though Vero offers similar features as MailChimp, this tool is mainly focused on event-based triggers to send out emails. Let’s say you have an e-com shop and someone abandons your cart – Vero can be set up to automatically send out an email to the person who abandoned the cart. This is a very basic example of email automation implementation, but nonetheless a very useful one.

Vero pricing starts at $100 a month.

Visit Getvero.com

Optimizely (testing)

No-nonsense A/B-testing.

Optimizely makes A/B-testing really easy. There are many alternatives to the tool like Visual Website Optimizer and Google Optimize, but we are quite fond of Optimizely.

Within Optimizely, you can make front-end variants of your current pages without changing any code. This makes it extremely easy to work with.

There is a 30-day free trial available, and plans start at $17 a month. Google Optimize is free to use and offers similar functionality – we’d suggest to try them both out and see what fits best for your needs.

Visit Optimizely.com

Slack (team communication)

Talk to your team without hassle.

Remember IRC? With those crappy chat-clients that let you choose your own text as you entered a chatroom? Well, that’s Slack 0.1.

Slack is a free tool to stay connected to your team or other people, let’s you exchange files and notes and set up different #topics within your channel.

Visit Slack.com

Consumer Barometer (consumer behaviour)

Gain insights in how people use the internet.

Consumer Barometer is a Google product and gives great insights into user behaviour. Or, as Google states: “The Consumer Barometer is a tool to help you understand how people use the Internet across the world.”

If you want to know how people in the US make their decision before buying something online, the Consumer Barometer can help you out. It’s a very well designed and working tool that can really help you setting up sales funnels or detecting problems with your current funnel setup. It’s not a tool to monitor current events, you can use Google Trends if you need to find out what trending topics are around the world.

Consumer Barometer is a free tool.

Visit Consumerbarometer.com

Hotjar (analytics)

Visualise your visitors movements.

Hotjar makes heatmaps. It’s simple as that. Want to know how users behave once they land on your website? Hotjar shows you. And from those data insights, you can start optimizing. With Hotjar you can understand what users want and do on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behavior, which are the strongest indicators of visitor motivation and desire, says Hotjar. CrazyEgg is a similar product with a 30-day free trial, if you want to test out what fits best for you.

There’s a free version available that is limited to 2,000 pageviews a day. Other packages start at $29 a month.

Visit Hotjar.com 

HubSpot (marketing automation)

The best inbound marketing tool available.

HubSpot is an inbound marketing tool that connects throughout the whole funnel. This means you can manage all your marketing activities at HubSpot. From analytics, landing pages, automated email marketing and so on. What we really love about HubSpot is the amount of information it provides on various topics, making it easy to become an expert.

HubSpot plans are quite pricey, but there is a free version available for you to try. The Marketing Hub-plan starts at $200. It’s not cheap, but offers a full package solution.

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IFTTT (marketing automation)

If this then that automates workflows.

Another personal favorite: IFTTT is able to let tools communicate with each other. It is a way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other. If you ever looked at any programming language, “if this then that” makes sense right away. If you have not: Let’s say you want all beautiful produced videos you post on Instagram automatically shared on all your other different social channels; IFTTT can automatically do this by setting it up one time. And it looks pretty good too.

IFTTT is free.

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