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written by John Rampton on December 19, 2014

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As a small business owner, you already have a full plate. In fact, it’s not just full. It’s overflowing.

So, why not make things a bit easier and rely on tools that can handle even the most tedious of tasks – like sending out a massive newsletter?

However, money is also a concern. If we had a disposable income, shelling out the money for the numerous amount of tools available wouldn’t be an issue. But, that’s not the situation. New business owners have to tighten the belt and look for affordable options. And, it doesn’t get any more affordable than free.

To prove that free doesn’t mean cheap or junky, here are twelve essential Internet marketing tools that can use for absolutely nothing.

free-stuff

1. Evernote

Remember the days of lugging around binders full of notes? Yeah. They weren’t exactly the best of times – especially when you misplaced an important piece of paper. Thankfully, Evernote has resolved that problem.

Whether it’s writing down notes for a business presentation or collaborating with a project with team members, Evernote replaces the endless amounts of paper that used to fill up your desk. Evernote can be reached on any device so, you can work on your projects while at the airport and then finish it up when you get back home to your laptop. And, I didn’t even mention the neat dictation feature either.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox has become a favorite tools for businesses because it makes sharing documents with others extremely simple. This personalized cloud-based tool increases productivity since you can share folders in real-time, which makes collaboration among team members a breeze.

Dropbox offers a free Basic plan that features 2GB of space. If you need more space, you’ll have to bump-up either to the Pro ($9.99) or Business ($15) plans.

3. Trello

Organizing and managing a project can become an extremely stressful experience when team members are all over the place – like sending a spreadsheet back and forth. Trello is a project management tool that makes life a whole lot easier by providing members real-time updates via a board that shows the progress of a project.

You can add checklists, due dates, and upload files from your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.

4. Free Hosting with Hostt

Every website out there needs hosting and why not get it 100% free from a very reputable company.  Hostt offers 100% free virtual hosting to everyone in the world.  Really, check them out as I work with them!

They also have an amazing hosting blog where you can learn the latest tips and tricks to keep your website ahead of the game.

5. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Plus

If you sign-up for one of these services, you might as well use all three of Google’s most popular features. Through Google Drive, you can share and collaborate on documents in real time with as many team members as you want. It’s free, secure, and can be shared almost instantly.

Then there’s Gmail, which is arguably the best email provider around. Gmail allows you to create a business address and even setup tasks to keep you organized. While Google+ isn’t as popular as Facebook or Twitter, having a complete profile on Google+ can help searchers easily discover your business in search results.

6. Google Analytics

Speaking of Google, there’s also Google Analytics. This powerful tool is essential if you want to monitor and track campaign results. For example, you can receive detailed reports that show engagement and conversion rates across various channels. You can even find out where customers originally came from before they arrived on your landing page.

7. Hootsuite

It’s pretty-much a given that new business have multiple social media platforms to manage. So, why not control and manage all of your accounts under one dashboard? Hootsuite offers a free version that allows you to schedule three different social media profiles, view analytics reports, and shorten links through the Ow.ly URL shortener.

I’m also a fan of the Hootsuite Blog because it offers plenty of news, tips, and advice on how to improve your social media campaigns.

8. Marketing.ai

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a product that helped you keep track of all your content as well as your content calendar.  With Marketing.ai it’s easy and something that I use to keep track of everything. No more crappy spreadsheets and keeping a content calendar on your phone, it’s all in one easy place.

9. Aweber

Think email marketing is dead? Think again. Email marketing is still a high-ROI game, and Aweber is a favorite among business owners looking to cash in. Email subscription features include access to subscriber profiles, personalizing emails, sending out emails at the right time, and reports showing open rates and click rates.

So, not only does Aweber make email marketing easier, it also helps you be more effective – a win-win.

The first month of Aweber cost $1. While that’s not exactly free, it’s close enough. If you decide email marketing is not for you, you can cancel and get your $1 back.

10. SCORE

For 50 years, SCORE has been assisting small businesses by teaming them-up with mentors, industry experts, and providing them with the education that they need to run a business. The website publishes blog posts with advice on everything from marketing and financial concerns, along with free templates and business software.

11. GT Metrix

The speed of your website is an extremely important factor in helping you find and keep potential customers. Through a tool like GT Metrix, you can optimize your site to make it faster and more appealing for visitors. You have access to interactive graphs that illustrate your website’s history so that you can see if traffic has been increasing or decreasing.

12. Skype

Long gone are the days of making conference calls on a landline in the confines of an office. With Skype, you can have conferences with other Skype users from almost anywhere in the world – as long as you have wifi. Besides one-on-one calls, you can group calls, video conferences and messaging.

 Just remember if you aren’t chatting with other Skype users, you’ll have to pay $2.99 per month – here, in the States at least.

Go Download John’s New eBook and Start Living The Dot Com Lifestyle!

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written by John Chow on December 19, 2014

Make $27,498 Per Month!

The Dot Com Lifestyle. Time freedom. Money freedom. Location freedom. In other words, total freedom.

Everybody wants to live the Dot Com Lifestyle. However, very few will achieve it because they fail to follow the number one rule for living it.

If you want to live the Dot Com Lifestyle, and say good bye to your old tied down to a boss job, then you must absolutely follow the rule I’m about to reveal in this Driving with John Chow episode.

Go Download John’s New eBook and Start Living The Dot Com Lifestyle!

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written by Michael Kwan on December 18, 2014

We use our smartphones and tablets for just about everything these days and continuing our careers as Internet marketing professionals is no exception. While it makes intuitive sense that the most productive place for you to get any of that work done is through a proper computer at a proper desk (and not at Starbucks), the dot com lifestyle means that you have the time freedom to work when you want and the location freedom to work where you want.

And sometimes, this means catching up on a few things using your smartphone or tablet on the go. You can still enjoy your casual game of Angry Birds Transformers or scroll through your friends’ photos on Instagram, but that Android device is also a tremendously valuable productivity tool in the right hands with the right apps. Here are a few Android apps that you might consider adding to your mobile arsenal. Yes, they are all free downloads through the Google Play Store.

WordPress

android-wordpress

It goes without saying that the preferred blogging platforms for many Internet marketers and dot com moguls is WordPress. In fact, WordPress can be used to manage a wide assortment of sites other than blogs. With the WordPress Android app, you can quickly edit your posts and pages, check stats and moderate comments on the go. The app supports multiple sites and it’s a far easier solution than trying to navigate through your WordPress dashboard in a mobile browser.

Hootsuite

The official Twitter app has improved greatly over the years, but it still pales in comparison to what you can achieve with the Hootsuite app. Synchronizing through the cloud with the browser-based version on your computer, Hootsuite for Android makes it easy to manage multiple social media accounts with ease, scheduling updates, monitoring lists, and offering full analytics on the performance of your links. It’s quite invaluable.

Google Keep

A lot of people prefer to use Evernote and that’s a great solution too. For me, I’ve turned to Google Keep, mostly because it fits all within the existing Google ecosystem. In effect, you can create and archive a series of colored notes, including bulleted lists, that are synchronized with the cloud. This is great for to-do lists and for gentle reminders of great ideas you may have.

Google AdSense

android-adsense

John has said a few times before that monetizing your blog with AdSense may not necessarily be the best idea or the most lucrative, but it can be a consistent source of income for many Internet marketers both new and veteran. The AdSense app provides a general account overview as well as more detailed reports. You can even put a resizable widget on your homescreen with account earnings as a constant source of motivation. Alternatively, you can try the unofficial AdSense Dashboard by Gregory Block.

Google Analytics

Whether you run a blog, have an online business or you dabble in affiliate marketing, site traffic can very much become the lifeblood of your online earnings. The Google Analytics app for Android is just about as robust as the full version, letting you see real-time stats about active visitors, as well as detailed reports about your audience demographics, number of monthly visits, bounce rates and more.

SEO SERP APP and WebRank SEO

If you live by the Google, you can die by the Google. But if you want to get noticed online and build up your online presence, then you should be paying attention to your search engine optimization. The SEO SERP APP by Droids on Roids and the WebRank SEO app by InkWired are two of the best for this purpose. You can create widgets for keywords, track a huge range of web statistics, and keep count of your Facebook likes and shares.

This is just a small sample of the types of Android apps that Internet marketers may find useful. Do you have any particular favorites that you’d like share?

Don’t Just Look Rich. Get John’s New eBook and Learn How To Be Rich!

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written by John Chow on December 18, 2014

Did you know that the majority of people take advice from people who are not quality to give it?

You want to become a millionaire. Instead of asking a millionaire on how to become a millionaire, most often than not, you’ll ask someone who has less net worth than you. I’ve seen this happen a thousand time. And people wonder why they’re not getting ahead in the world.

The following Driving with John Chow video shows you how to avoid getting bad advice. The major takeaway is this: make sure you get advice from people who are qualified to give it.

Don’t Just Look Rich. Get John’s New eBook and Learn How To Be Rich!

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written by John Rampton on December 17, 2014

One of the biggest markets in business is B2B, or business who create products and services for other businesses. After all, working where there is definitely money to be spent is one of the safest ways to work, and you cannot blame many smart entrepreneurs for going the tech route. These businesses aim to help other business owners increase their success through tech based solutions, and succeed at doing so time and time again.

Tech Startups to Help your Business Grow

Even problems other companies have solved can always be innovated on, especially given the abundance of new technology. These seven startups are really working to help businesses grow, and will be integral in the future for many to continue to succeed.

squarespace

  1. SquarespacePublishing web content and operating online is a necessity in today’s business world. However, managing an online presence is not easy, and many business owners cannot afford to hire out. That is where Squarespace comes in, having just announced the newest version of their full suite program, Squarespace 7. The user friendly design makes giving annotations, changing content, and managing your business online easy and quick, saving you time when time is money.
  2. DelightedIf you have ever wondered what your customers really think about your business (which you should have!), then Delighted is a startup you need to take notice of. By collecting and analyzing in depth feedback from customers, Delighted provides better quality reviews than many other platforms, giving business owners a clearer picture of their standing with customers and a clear route ahead on where to improve. Even if a customer chooses not to leave in depth feedback, the easy to create customer surveys will provide you with exactly what you want to know for less hassle.
  3. FroontHave you ever had the perfect idea for a website design, but not the means to create it? Of course you have. Froont is a business that provides an easy to use platform to design websites sans writing code, and the best part is is that you can easily share them with employees and partners. The designs that can be created on the platform are sleek and professional, and best of all, they are open source. It is perfect for those who want to get feedback on their website, or would like to clone a site from a pre-existing site designed on Froont, and in an increasingly sharing emphasized world, this is simply indispensable for business owners.
  4. Hostt.comHosting can be one of the biggest pains in the butts in the world.  Hostt is a Silicon Valley startup that makes hosting your website very easy at a cost that’s affordable to everyone… Free.  They make it very easy to signup and have 24/7 support.  They are currently expanding outside the US to everywhere around the world.
  5. AppSeeAnalytics services are absolutely necessary to monitor how people are interacting with your business online. However, AppSee takes it one step further and is able to give business owners in detail analytics about how customers are behaving on their app and how they are using it. In addition to affording you the opportunity to optimize your app for your customer’s behavior trends, it also allows you the opportunity to better your sales potential with them by the same token. AppSee is currently only available for iOS, but an Android version is coming in the future.
  6. NimblFor businesses that have physical locations and deal in cash, running out of change in the middle of the day can be a death sentence to making sales. This is especially true when your business is still small and you cannot afford to spare someone to run out and grab more money – however, with Nimbl, you do not have to. You can order a cash delivery to your business’s door and someone will be there shortly, taking that burden off of your mind. In addition to this, if your business operates in cash only, you could refer your customers to use Nimbl instead of going out to find an ATM where you might possibly lose them to a competitor. Convenience is truly where success lies for many businesses, and Nimbl personifies that.
  7. AppboyHaving automated marketing takes a lot of the pressure off of your shoulders. However, having good automated marketing is another thing entirely, but that is what Appboy delivers. With tools that monitor user engagement with mobile apps, Appboy is able to take the guesswork and trial out of your hands and give you the best results possible. With a 210% growth rate for the businesses, it is easy to see that Appboy delivers, and is definitely a good tool for business owners.

Don’t Just Look Rich. Get John’s New eBook and Learn How To Be Rich!

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