Free Tools for Home Business
When resources are
scarce itís important to maximize results and stretch every dollar. As
home business entrepreneurs, we donít have the ad budgets of Coca-Cola
and Disney, we canít afford to throw money away.
There are a number
of free resources that make building and promoting your website a whole
Web Site Design -
page layout (http://www.steves-templates.com)
Steve provides free web page templates which are nice looking,
professional and can be used free for personal and business websites.
Check out all the variations and pick a template for your site. Another
way to use this is as a springboard for your own creativity. Perhaps you
like an element on template 1 and the navigation of template 7. Get some
ideas for creating your own site from scratch. There are also designs
you can buy for under $100 and you gain access to a number of images,
clipart, sounds, fonts etc.
Web Site Design
- graphics (http://www.cooltext.com)
Cool Text is a
wonderful tool for creating great looking buttons and logos. Itís free
and the combinations of shape/color/texture/font are virtually endless.
You can create professional buttons and logos with just a few mouse
clicks. I use this site any time I want to "freshen up" my site or
create buttons/logos for my customers.
Performance - images (http://www.gifworks.com)
Nothing slows down
your page like heavy graphics. Did you know that you can dramatically
reduce the file size of your graphics without compromising the look and
feel of your site? Thatís where gifworks.com comes in. Run their free
ďoptimizationĒ tool on your gif images and watch as they get more and
more streamlined. Your web pages will load faster. Gifworks has a paid
service as well, allowing you to buy images, get custom work, etc.
Performance Ė code (http://validator.w3.org/)
Is your website
correctly coded? This free validator from the W3 examines your html and
reports missing tags, missing attributes and other errors that make your
code non-standard and therefore difficult for some web browsers to serve
up. With line-by-line validation, you can easily find the places in your
code that will cause errors. I love this validator, it makes sure my
pages work across all browsers and platforms. No more trying pages in
every browser/OS configuration. When it validates here, you can be sure
that itís up to W3 standards.
Promotion - blogging (http://www.blogger.com)
Blogger is Googleís
blogging tool. Itís free, easy to set up, and gets your site indexed by
search engines (all of them, not just Google) faster than you can
believe. If you want to increase your search engine positioning, forget
all that SEO stuff, start blogging today. In a world where ďContent is
King!Ē, a blog provides you a platform to provide constantly changing,
completely interesting and relevant content to your web visitors. It
gives them a reason to come back, you form a relationship with them by
providing good quality information, and you increase your conversion
rate, resulting in more subscribers and more sales.
Promotion Ė marketing (http://www.articlemarketer.com)
Iím not the first person to tell you that article marketing is the
number one method of driving targeted traffic to your website. Writing
articles for others to publish is free advertising and you should do as
much of it as you can. The problem is the dreadfully tedious process of
article submission. Article Marketer took that off my plate. Their free
service sends articles to over 2000 people to be published in ezines and
newsletters, and they have a paid version that gets to over 50,000
people. It works Ė after all, youíre reading this article, arenít you?
These tools are free
for the asking. You can't beat the price, and your results will
skyrocket as you improve the look and feel of your website and spread
the word about your business.
gives effective and easy to implement marketing strategies to small
business owners and home business entrepreneurs. His Simplified Selling
System has been a favorite of salespeople around the world. Get your
free marketing strategies at