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How I Built This Website

This is each piece of technology I use to run and market this website.

It costs me $2,784 a year, or $232 a month.

Read through the details of why I've selected every single service to be a part of my website... and why you probably shouldn't do the same thing, unless your business is JUST like ExpertSumo.

Heads up: you can see this site is ad-free. You can show your support by messaging me and saying thanks, OR buying products I talk about here and in my free guides (I get rewarded if you do) OR buying ExpertSumo products.

How to build a website just like this one.

There are 12 main pieces of technology that I use to make this website a marketing machine.

They are: Webflow (Webflow review here), Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Stripe, ActiveCampaign (ActiveCampaign review here), VideoAsk (VideoAsk review here), Integromat (Integromat review here), Bonjoro (Bonjoro review here), Notion (Notion review here), Super.so, (Super.so review here), Memberspace (Memberspace review here), and Salesmsg (Salesmsg review here)

Here is how they all work together to create a marketing powerhouse.

A video walk-through of this post is coming soon!
I record myself using every single one of these products...
it will be like a mega tutorial!
NOTIFY ME WHEN THEN VIDEO WALK-THROUGH COMES OUT

If you want to see what it looks like in final drawing form, allow me to present:

Alright, let's get started!

FIRST, Why this might be terrible advice for you

This software combo works for ME.

The goals of your website might be different than mine.

Your budget might be different than mine.

Your marketing plan might be different than mine.

That means the tech choices I make might not be for you, but don't worry because:

#1. There is still a lot to learn from looking at someone else's setup, and

#2.If you really want customized help, join my "Help Me Buy" workshop, where we: give you a full, custom breakdown on what software you should buy, keep, and avoid for your business, and sometimes even "help you buy" your software by paying for it for you .

Okay, pitch over.

Picking your software has everything to do with your GOALS.

What do you want your website to be able to do? I had several goals I wanted to accomplish:

1. Attracting an Audience

2. Getting Affiliate Commissions

3. Getting Leads

4. Making Sales

5. Creating a Private Client Area

Goal #1: Attracting an Audience

First, I know that one of my primary drivers of traffic was going to be SEO and content marketing and some social advertising, which means that I needed a website builder that made it easy to create content, and had decent on-page SEO abilities, and I needed decent analytics.

I also knew since I wanted to create a custom site that looked cool, I would need a website builder that made it easy to create custom, professional look.

So I went with Webflow.

Creating Content

Webflow has a "CMS" which is basically just a way to easily create blog content.

It has a limit of 10,000 posts, which would be bad if I was a giant news site with dozens of new posts a day, but I imagine that at the start, ExpertSumo will have a new piece of content every few weeks, and eventually 1-2 a day in the future...

It will be decades before I hit that limit, and I'll be shocked in in the year 2045 if Webflow hasn't lifted their limit yet.

SEO + Social Ads:

Webflow also is pretty speedy for SEO so that's good!

But Webflow also doesn't allow you to have blog posts on the "root" of the domain. For example, I can't do a blog post URL like this: examplesite.com/blog-post-1. Instead, I have to pick a sub-folder name to put in front of all of them, like this: examples.com/blog/blog-post-1. That's why you'll see I have posts that look like expertsumo.com/reviews/clickfunnels-review or expertsumo.com/guides/how-to-start-a-blog.

In order to track how my pages were doing, I installed  Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager, and I was able to build a Facebook advertising audience with the Facebook Pixel (by the way, if this sounds intimidating, reach out to me and I can either point you to the right guides OR my agency can do it for you.

Goal #2: Getting Affiliate Commissions

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For almost all the products I promote, I get paid when someone clicks my link to the product and then decides to purchase right after.

I want to be able to do several things:

  • Use pretty URLs for my affiliate links (something like https://expertsumo.com/go?rd=webflow instead of webflow.com/?aff_id=b23lj3lkd)
  • Be able to easily change out my affiliate links (if an affiliate link changes, make it so I only have to change the link in one place instead of change it everywhere on my site that I reference it)
  • Tell Facebook and my analytics that someone clicked my links

I can do all of this easily in Webflow with redirects, OR by creating a custom "/go" page where I can redirect visitors with custom Javascript (which is easy to add in Webflow).

For the analytics and Facebook, I can use Google Tag Manager with the Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics.

Goal #3: Getting Leads

I want to connect with every visitor who hits this site: they could be a potential customer, a potential partner, or even a potential employee or contractor, and I don't want to miss a single opportunity.

I've decided to invest heavily in video so that the people who subscribe know who I am, and so they don't feel weird when I send them a personalized video to introduce myself (which I do... prepare yourself)

To do this, I use VideoAsk as my video opt-in system, and then I use Integromat (a less expensive Zapier alternative) to send the data to ActiveCampaign where I can keep track of each person in a CRM, and then Bonjoro to send an intro message. I'll also use Salesmsg if the person prefers communicating over text instead of via email.

I also use ActiveCampaign as my site chat solution on my website.

Goal #4: Getting Sales

My audience will occasionally want to sign up for a paid workshop with me, or to become an agency client where we manage their marketing for them.

In order to let them pay for this, I use Webflow's built in eCommerce option and Stripe.

Goal #5: Private Membership Area

For clients and for Sumolings (that's what I call the subscribers on my list who get free access to all my content), I need a way to hide content from the masses.

For clients, I use a mix of NotionSuperMemberspace.

This allows me create a resource page for each of my clients on Notion, restrict access to those pages so only my clients can see it, and then easily update the resource page on Notion any time we have new resources or reports from our work together.

For Sumolings, I use Memberspace with Webflow, which allows me to restrict certain URLs from anyone who isn't a user.

Costs:

Okay, all together, these are my costs:

First, things that are free:

Google Tag Manager: Free

Google Analytics: Free

Facebook Pixel: Free

Things that are not free:

ActiveCampaign (+ Chat): $89/mo

Bonjoro: $15/mo

Integromat$9/mo

Memberspace: $25/mo

Notion$10/mo

Salesmsg: $35/mo

Super$12/mo

VideoAsk$30/mo

Webflow (CMS and eCommerce Plan): $42/mo

Total: $267/mo, or $3,204/yr.

This is what I mean by budget, and how this might not be a good match for you.

Here's why it works for me, and for people with similar business models:

I only need a few visitors to become clients in order for this to pay for itself. but if you have a website about cooking, this kind of setup could be WAY too expensive.

In fact, there is a way to do a version of this at about 90% of the cost... it isn't as effective for B2B... but you can make it work well for sites that are more "hobby" focused, or even sites that only need to do one single thing (like an eCommerce store that only sells one or two things).

So if that $3,204/yr price tag seems hefty, sign up for one of my "Help Me Buy" workshop and I'll help you pick the perfect technology stack for your business.

See the features for the software at the center of this website
Webflow
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