⛰️ Get to the Top on ProductHunt

The formula to achieve a top 4 on ProductHunt, funding ideas for start-ups, how Amazon breaks the rules, questions for wannabe entrepreneurs, and much more below.

There wasn’t a dedicated space for entrepreneurial investors like us… so we created one. Join over 150 members interested in digital asset and start-up deal flow in our paid community.

Take Me There

Hi there, 👋

Our subscriber base has grown (literally) overnight.

As an existing reader, you’ll know that we recently opened up a community for entrepreneurs at investing.io and that we’ve amalgamated several of our newsletters under that brand.

If you’ve just joined us from over at FoundersGrid, then we’re happy to see you here.

🎈🎈Welcome! 🎈🎈

This newsletter might look a little different, but we promise you’ll see plenty of useful, curated articles on topics related to start-up business and entrepreneurship. You’ll also get a few new tools to play with.

We welcome your suggestions and feedback on our newsletter, and hope you enjoy what we’ve rounded up for you this week.

Thanks for being here.

P.S. We publish this letter every Wednesday.

🧰 Tools

🧪 Simple SEO Testing

If you struggle with the Google Search Console, then SEOTesting might be the answer.

Here's their promise:

Easily track the changes you make to pages and websites to see if they have an effect on Google rankings and clicks.

SEOTesting also offers a simple way to set up split tests on your site and measure differences in comparable pages.

You'll find out how to do that - and more - on their site.

They’re a paid service, but there’s a free trial for 14 days.

>> Test Your SEO

📲 Don’t Miss Out on Mobile Traffic

Mobile usage continues to rise for searches and commerce. In the US alone, 63 percent of Google’s organic search traffic originates from mobile devices.

A mobile friendly site sends positive ranking signals to Google about your business, as well as giving users a better experience with your brand.

Fortunately, Experte offer an easy way to check if your website is optimized for mobile users.

Their tool crawls all your pages (not just the homepage) so you'll learn what needs your attention.

Experte have several other tools on their site such as a web security check, page speed test, and an accessibility checker.

>> Be An Expert(e)

✍️ Create Better Content, Faster

ContentPro is a handy Chrome extension that analyzes your content while you're writing it!

If you're responsible for producing blog posts and articles for your business, then this handy tool will help. The tool uncovers related articles and lets you refine your piece before you publish.

ContentPro monitors blogs and articles from millions of company websites and shows you similar content from other companies.

It's great for saving time on research and for keeping an eye on your competition.

The free plan gives you 10 related articles per search.

>> See It Now

🐰 Use Your Ears

How many articles are sitting in your "I'll read it later" list?

If you're like us, probably 100s.

Listenlater is for all of us who enjoy listening to thoughtful and interesting articles while commuting, shopping or doing our chores.

It doesn't replace podcasts, but when you upload an article it generates a personalized podcast feed for you. 

Their free plan allows you to download up to 5 articles each month. If you'd like to download more than that, ListenLater costs $36/year to add as many articles as you want.

>> Add Your Articles

📚 Articles

🚀 Get to the Top on ProductHunt

ProductHunt is an extremely popular site, but many find it difficult to rank their new ideas here.

Vaibhav Namburi from Building Startups has had plenty of wins on ProductHunt - and a few failures too. In this post, he covers a few common myths, as well as how to launch and what works well on the platform.

There are definite patterns that determine whether you'll be last or near the top of the list.

According to Namburi, he’s identified a repeatable formula to successfully launch on ProductHunt.

>> Go Get It

🕵️‍♀️ Seeking Start-up Funding

According to Marty Zwilling from Startup Professionals, almost 60 percent of start-ups are funded with personal savings and credit, and another 25 percent get their money from friends and family.

That leaves only about fifteen percent that actually get their funding from investors, through crowdfunding, banks, angels, and venture capitalists.

We also found a bunch of more recent stats over at Fundera. Among these are that 77% of small businesses rely on personal savings for their initial funds and only 0.05% of start-ups raise venture capital.

What we like about Marty's article is that he emphasises the importance of setting your criteria before seeking funding. 

As he says:

Looking in the right place for the wrong investor won’t help you. But operating in stealth mode, or waiting for that perfect investor to find you, or feeling entitled, is even less effective. The most successful entrepreneurs know where to look and when to look for funding, and the rules are always changing.

These 6 tips for where and when to look for start-up funding are both practical and inspiring.

>> See Funding Options

🦄 SEOs with Skin in the Game

Smash Digital - a growth agency, filled to the brim with unicorn images and SEO memes.

A team of SEOs with actual skin in the game, ranking their own portfolio of profitable businesses, and offering the exact same services to clients.

An agency with so much link juice you’ll need a mop and bucket to clean it all up. Check. Them. Out.

🐝 Be Productive, Not Busy

Being busy does not mean that you're being effective.

We know there are a million articles online about how to improve productivity, (actually it's 441,000,000 today) but this one cuts to the chase.

You'll get 4 important ways to increase your productivity and take control of your day. We know. We use all of these methods and guarantee that they work.

>> Be Productive Today

🔑 4 Steps to an Actionable Persona

Customer personas allow you to take a unique look at the people who spend time on your website. If you know how to gather and understand this information, you can start creating content that resonates with your audience. 

A persona lets you use the information you gather to divide your audience by their likes and dislikes, as well as their general buying habits.

These 4 steps will help you learn more about your target audience, improve your marketing, and grow your revenue.

>> Learn How

🕴️ Questions for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Successful start-ups have one thing in common: a determined founder who just wouldn’t quit.

This article from StartupNation poses 5 questions for wannabe entrepreneurs. 

If you spend a little time answering these questions honestly, then you'll have a better idea of whether you're prepared for what lies ahead.

One of the reasons start-ups fail is that not everyone is cut out to run their own business.

Are you?

>> Ask Yourself

🥨 Startup Snacks 🥨

💠 In the Mood to Listen?

John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing recently interviewed Tate Stock.

Stock is the founder and CEO of Chirp and Ship Stud, and was just named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. He’s also fresh off an episode of Shark Tank.

In this podcast episode, Stock explains how he scaled to $4M in sales, what started ShipStud, his Shark Tank experience, and how he coped with business growth.

>> Listen Now

💠 Why You Can’t Learn From Amazon

We love to learn from the best, but this can be problematic. While it’s tempting to break the rules as an entrepreneur, there are 3 firm ones that you should probably stick to.

Amazon breaks them all.

Of course, it helps to have lady luck on your side.

>> See the Rules

💠 Improve Your Skills

If you want to browse for free online courses from top-ranked universities and leading companies, such as Stanford, Dartmouth, and Google, check out Class Central.

Whether you want to understand machine learning, master Excel or become a better public speaker, you’ll find it in this education search engine.

>> Go to Class

👋 The Awkward End Bit

How did we do this week?

With your feedback, we can improve this newsletter. Please click on a link to vote:

You can also leave a comment at the bottom of the web version of this letter.