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One Year, $500 Monthly Start-Up Marketing Budget: How Would You Spend It?

Post by
Sonu Kalwar
One Year, $500 Monthly Start-Up Marketing Budget: How Would You Spend It?

Starting a company is hard. Financial resources are often in short supply, which is why we have written so much about how to run a lean startup and bootstrap your way to success. With a budget of $500 per month, you can't do everything at once. You need to focus on a few things that will give you the best bang for your buck.

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve with your budget. If you only have $500, don't expect to create an ad campaign that doubles your sales overnight. Instead, focus on building up a bit of momentum with one or two channels and then expand from there as more money becomes available.
  • Think about how much time it takes to execute each aspect of the plan so that there are no surprises later down the line (and no missed deadlines). For example, if writing blog posts takes three hours per article and publishing them takes another hour each time, then blogging is not going to be something that happens overnight—but spending less than 10 hours over several weeks will help keep things manageable!
  • Make sure everyone involved in executing parts of the strategy understands what is expected from them so there aren't any unexpected delays or setbacks later on down this road either!

Get an all-in-one marketing tool like Digital First AI

If your startup’s marketing budget is $500 or less, I recommend that you spend some of it on marketing tools such as Digital First AI. Why? Because it is the most intuitive, user-friendly AI platform on the market. It's got everything you need in one dashboard: AI-based marketing strategies recommendations, AI copywriting, a graphic generator, team collaborations and more.

It is used by over 5,000 entrepreneurs, marketers, and businesses of all sizes around the world. It is a platform that uses artificial intelligence to automate marketing tasks for you so you can focus on what matters most: making money!

Top Features

  • Create a marketing funnel in seconds and not a week or month.
  • Manage all your marketing campaigns from a single tool
  • Growth tactics that have generated over $325,000 in sales
  • AI copywriting for websites, social media, e-books, etc with one click
  • Generate graphics in multiple sizes in just one click
  • Team collaboration

Total Monthly Cost

The basic plan starts at $59/month and allows you to manage up to 5 funnels management each month—400 AI credits. 

Join communities of people who care about what you're selling

One of the best ways to get feedback on your product or service is from communities of people who care about what you're selling. These communities can help you validate your idea, find bugs and glitches (or even give constructive criticism) in your product, and maybe even find customers for it!

There are many online communities devoted to startups, and some are more focused than others. The more niche a community is, the better it's likely to be at helping you out with your startup because they'll have fewer competitors so they'll be more likely to help if they like what you're doing.

If there aren't any relevant communities near where I live (or online), then I would start looking at sites like Reddit or Quora (which cover pretty much every topic imaginable). There are also local meetups that bring together people who share common interests such as tech startups—check Meetup for groups near where you live!

Total monthly cost

Free to join communities. You just have to spend some time and engage with your target audience. Here's a list of startups communities by Ortto.

Getting press

  • Write your own press releases. If you’re strapped for cash but still want to get media attention, this is one option worth considering; it takes more work than using a professional service but will undoubtedly save some money in the long run (as well as give you an opportunity to practice writing).
  • Write a guest post on another blogger’s blog such as Forbes or Entrepreneur Magazines and make sure that it mentions who runs your company in case they want to interview them later on down the road."
  • Use a press release service. If you have the money to spare, hiring a PR firm can be an excellent investment. They know how to pitch your story and will even format the press release for you—a huge time-saver.

Total monthly cost

$150 - $200 per release.

Don’t know where to start with press releases? use Digital First AI

Head over to our platform > tactics > and search for “press”. We have a step-by-step guide on how to create a press ad copy.

Use our AI copywriting tool to write a press copy. To do this, you need to add the tactic to the funnel on the top. Once you add it, head over to the content generator and start creating copies.

Write on social platforms

If your startup’s marketing budget is small, it’s a good idea to use social media and write on relevant platforms. These days, people are using Quora questions as an opportunity to learn something new. They love to learn from experts and share their own experiences with other users. You can also start posting content on Reddit as well. 

It’s important that you write about something you are passionate about, so your posts will be more engaging for readers. Make sure the content is valuable for the audience so that they know what they are getting into when clicking through it!

Quora tactics

It's so easy to get started with Quora or Reddit, and it's a great way to get your name out there. You can just sign up, answer 100 questions, and leave your website link. Here’s how you can do it;

Go to Google and search for site:// “keyword”. For e.g,  site:// startups marketing ideas. Find relevant questions to your industry and provide value through your answers. 

Reddit tactics

1) Engage in the subreddit before sharing your startup. Find out what other people are talking about, and add value to conversations. This will help build trust and show Reddit users that you're not just there to sell something.

2) Post only in relevant subreddits—don't just post on any subreddit that has the word "startup" in its name! Make sure that the content of your post is actually relevant to the topic of conversation going on in that subreddit, or else people will get annoyed and start downvoting your posts quickly (which means they won't show up on page one when someone searches for that topic).

3) Be upfront about who you are and where you are in your journey. This will help build trust and make people more likely to click through.

Total monthly cost

Free. You just have to spend time on writing good posts that resonates your audience.

Don’t know how to start? use Digital First AI

Guest Posts on Relevant Websites

If you want to reach an entirely new audience, guest posting is a great way to do it. Guest posts are a form of content marketing that allows you to get in front of a new audience by publishing your content on someone else’s website. Remember that guest posts are typically unpaid, but if you can get published on relevant blogs and industry-leading websites, then it's worth the time and effort put into it.

It also doesn’t hurt to have these guest posts published on your own website as well! This can help build trust with visitors because they’ll know who's behind the site they're visiting (you).

Total monthly cost

Content writer - minimum of $60 - $100 per blog

Guest post outreach tool - Buzzstream - $24/user

Note: You can save $100 if you use Digital First AI to write guest posts. 

PPC Advertising

PPC advertising is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy—and a great place to start if you want to get in front of your target audience.

Setting up a PPC campaign is simple: You choose an ad network (say, Google Ads), set up your account and budget, select the keywords that best describe your product or service, and then sit back while the search engines do all the work. Once they find people who are looking for what you sell, they serve them ads that prompt them to click on your website. That’s it!

A good strategy isn’t just about buying traffic; it’s also about ensuring that those clicks lead somewhere useful once they arrive at your site. That means optimizing every aspect of your landing page experience so users can quickly find what they came for and take action as soon as possible. At the same time, though, it’s important not only to think about how visitors will interact with something like their shopping cart but also how those interactions may affect their view of the brand overall—for example: Is this experience consistent with what others have said about dealing with my company?

Total monthly cost

$100 on Facebook ads, you might be wondering what you can do with a mere $100. The truth is that if you plan and optimize your campaign well, $100 can take you pretty far.

Here's a great article from Hootsuite on what they would do if they only had $100 to spend on Facebook Ads.

Don’t know how to set up a PPC ad on Facebook? use Digital First AI

Working with influencers

Influencers, who have a following of people in your target audience and can help you reach them, are often the most effective way to build brand awareness. However, they can be expensive. If you're working on a shoestring budget, here are some tips for finding and working with influencers:

  • Search for relevant accounts on Instagram or Twitter (or both) and look at their bios to see if they have any information about their rates or what kind of content they offer. If not, ask them! You may get lucky and find one who's willing to work with you for less than-average rates because she sees the value in spreading awareness about your brand through her social platforms.
  • To get started quickly and cheaply, consider reaching out via email rather than direct message (DM). This will allow you to ask questions without being intrusive—and it also allows an influencer time before making an investment decision about whether or not he/she wants to work with you in the future.
Total monthly budget

Offer discounts & coupons. Work with micro-influencers, or those with anywhere between 2,000-10,000 followers. Learn how to setup an influencer marketing funnel here.

Don’t Know How to Start with Influencer Marketing? Use Digital First AI

Hiring a freelance writer for blog posts

This is a great option if you need blog posts on a regular basis and have an idea of what you want to say. The best part? You can work with someone who knows the industry inside-out, so they’ll be able to write engaging content that will help attract your target audience.

  • Hire someone who knows the industry well
  • Hire someone who can write well (or at least has an editor) and has experience writing for blogs
  • Hire a freelancer who is willing to take on as many projects as possible—but also make sure they won’t disappear or drop off in quality halfway through the project
  • Hire a freelancer who communicates clearly, both in terms of deadlines and expectations

Total Monthly Budget

Content writer - minimum of $60 - $100 per blog.

Note: You can save your writer budget by using Digital First AI.

With Digital First AI, you can create an entire blog articles, E-books and social media posts using our AI copywriting feature. 


You can market your business effectively with $500 per month If you know what you're doing and have clear goals of what you need. If you're still unsure where to start, try Digital First AI for 3 days and see what it can do for you!

I hope this post has given you some insight into how to market your startup. If you’re looking for more resources on all things marketing, check out our other blog posts and follow us on social media!


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