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My Part-Time Solo Creator Tool Stack For 2023

8 types of tools for online creators


Hi, my name is Burk, and I am a toolaholic.

I create accounts everywhere. I can’t stop.

Luckily for me, I am a part-time online solo creator, creating written content, digital products, videos, animations, and graphs.

I need many of those tools.

Hence, being a toolaholic isn’t a huge problem. One of my favorite activities is comparing and sharing great tools with you.

So, let’s go over my solo creator tool stack for 2023.

You will find a few affiliate links in this post. I have marked them with a *. Be assured, though, that I use these tools and vow for their performance and power.


#1 Blogging

Nothing new here. I write on Medium*.

Medium will always be my first choice for blogging, and it’s the top choice I recommend to people looking for a blogging platform.

Sure, you can go with WordPress (for free) or use Ghost (paid), but for beginners without an audience, the chances of getting views and reads are uniquely high on Medium. If I were to start over, I’d be using Medium again, no doubt.


#2 Newsletter

A close second to Medium, both in terms of my favorites and as a blogging platform is Substack.

For newsletters, it’s a no-brainer. For blogging, it’s perfect too. Easy to use, free, comes with email and website functionality.

If only Substack were offering email automation. That would make it that much more valuable.

Still, if you want to write a newsletter, this is the place to be.


#3 Digital products

Into the nitty-gritty.

I use Gumroad. Despite their fee increase to 10% + payment provider fees, I haven’t completely switched away for three reasons:

  1. I love the interface, design, and ease of use
  2. I have many product ratings there. I’d lose those by switching
  3. Simple email automation for unlimited subscribers for free is a huge deal, even if it’s limited in capability compared to true email automation platforms like ConvertKit or MailChimp

That being said, I have been trying and comparing Payhip to Gumroad over the past 7 months. Payhip is a great competitor as an online store platform for digital products. It doesn’t compare in terms of email capability to Gumroad though. That’s problematic to me.

Another competitor is Lemon Squeezy. This platform offers both online store functionality with numerous features and email automation. It’s free for up to 500 subscribers, it costs afterward. I’ve been trying them for a while and so far, it’s looking great.


#4 Social

My social network of choice is Twitter. Growing there is doable. It allows for different content formats, and the community is awesome.

Combined with Hypefury* — a Twitter scheduling and automation tool — it’s the perfect place for content creators & writers.


#5 Project Management

No surprise, Notion is the backbone of my solo creator business.

It’s my project management tool, my writing app, my content planner, my calendar, to-do list, notes app, and reminder tool.

There’s very little I can’t do with Notion. With its hundreds of integrations and tools built on top of Notion, you’ll find whatever you need. Most likely.

You’ll find my free & paid Notion templates here.


#6 Website

I’m back and forth on having a websiteIn a sense, it’s not necessary at all. I blog on Medium, collect emails on Substack, chat on Twitter, sell on Gumroad, and back everything up in Notion. No need for a websiteBut a landing page for everything is still a good idea.

Now, you don’t need a custom domain & website for this. You can just use one of the thousand great landing page builders, like Carrd*Zaap*, Bio LinkLinktreeBento, etc.

I use Carrd (and Bento). It’s a complex landing page builder with a feature-rich free plan and extremely affordable pro plans. You can’t do much better than this.

I just created a new landing page with Carrd* in a couple of hours. Super easy. I recommend this tool to everyone searching for a one-page or landing page builder.


#7 Analytics

Confession: I hate Google Analytics.

The tool is bloated, overcomplicated, ugly, and collects way too much data. It’s hardly legal in the EU with GDPR laws in place. I live in Germany, and it’s a pain to get Google Analytics compliant with the laws.

So, I stumbled upon a crazy-good alternative that’s free for up to 100K monthly views which is a lot. And from then on it does cost, but very reasonable.

The tool is called Beam Analytics* and it’s made by the same guy who runs Flurly, a nice Gumroad alternative.

Beam is in its early stages, but already functional, feature-rich, and stable. It’s got everything I need to analyze web traffic to my website or other sites I connect it to.

And it’s GDPR-compliant out of the box. No unnecessary data collection.

Try it!


#8 Design tools

Everybody’s using Canva. I am not. Well, not completely true. I have used it a few times. It’s not a bad tool at all.

But most of my design work is done in Apple Keynote. This free Mac app is not a design tool per se, it’s Apple’s competitor to PowerPoint. Nevertheless, you can design a lot of things in Keynote, including advanced animations (which I used all the time for YouTube videos back in the day).

Nowadays, I create most of my product covers and thumbnails in Keynote.

To turn those designs into cool-looking mockups (of an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or something else), I use a website called shots.so. This free site makes it easy to create device mockups and download them in high quality.


The bottom line

Those are my main tools for 2023. I do use others as well. YouTube and Instagram, for example, but I’ve been neglecting these platforms for some time.

I also use EmailOctopus* for some email automation capabilities.

From time to time, I use Canva as mentioned above, I used a tool called Flourish to create graphs and animated charts for videos and stories in the past. It’s also free and pretty powerful.

That’s it. My tech stack 2023.

I am a tool guy. I love sharing and comparing tools. So, that’s what I do. If you like that, you might enjoy my newsletteras well.

Now, tell me about your tool stack! What can’t you live without?

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