There are many software programs available today that help make your life easier and these can save you a huge amount of both time & money.
Some of the software will cost you money and some of them are free or have free trials.
Open Office: Open Office is a complete office package that is Free to download. When I first started working online I started using Open Office and have stuck with it ever since. I only use the writer program, but I use that for all of my blog posts, pages and eBooks. It has a built in PDF converter, which makes creating eBooks very easy.
Office 2010: Is the complete Office Package from Microsoft. It also has a built in PDF converter for creating your eBooks as well as a bank of images that are yours to use as you wish. This really is a must if you’re serious about working online, the tools at your disposal are first rate.
Dragon Naturally Speaking: Is a fantastic piece of software that allows you to Talk to your PC and it will type for you. It does take a little time to master but the software learns from you as you use it. The more you use it the quicker it learns and saves you time. By following the link supplied you’ll land on Amazon, where you hopefully find the package within your price range.
HTML Editing Programs
Microsoft Expression Web 4 (Free Version): Expression Web is a full-featured professional tool for designing, developing, and publishing compelling, feature-rich websites that conform to web standards. Microsoft have now created a new program and are offering this one free of charge as they are no longer offering support for it… Barry uses the full version and thinks it’s fantastic… Some may find this a little difficult to use but with practice it becomes easier.
KompoZer: Easy Web Authoring! KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. The program is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.
For Mac users
Taco HTML Edit for Mac: Taco HTML Edit is a Mac-only HTML and PHP editor, a good compromise between free editors and more-powerful (and expensive) Web development apps. There’s a free 30 day trial and then you need to purchase it at $24.99. I’m a PC user and have never used any Mac software so can’t give any pointers, sorry.
Please Note: FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is how we upload our websites and add files and folders to them.
FileZilla: FileZilla is the free FTP solution. Both a client and a server are available. FileZilla is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It’s used by most of the marketers I know and is really simple to use. They have versions for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems as well as a forum for support, should you need it.
Audacity: Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to: Record live audio, Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, Edit sound files, Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together. I know many successful marketers that use Audacity for creating interviews with other marketers, which they then turn into products.
Pamela For Skype: What is Pamela for Skype? Free, reliable and easy to use Skype audio and video recording software. Features include: Free Skype Call Recording, Free Skype Video Recording, Skype Chat Recording, Skype Call Transfer, Skype Call Scheduler, Record calls automatically, Mono/Stereo recording option, Skype Conference Call manager, Answering Machine, Play sounds during calls, Auto Chat Reply, Birthday Reminders, Email Forwarding and much more. I use this myself and it’s a fantastic. I’ve held interviews with other bloggers and created products from them. There are different levels of the software starting with Basic through to Professional and Business and they alter the price accordingly. If you’re going to be using Skype on a regular basis I highly recommend this program.
Picture Editing Programs
GIMP: GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X so it can be used on all operating systems. I haven’t used this program myself but I know plenty of marketers that use it on a regular basis.
Snagit: Snagit gives you all the tools you need to create eye-catching images and videos for easy sharing. Customize Snagit to meet your specific needs or the needs of your entire organization. Grab and keep your audience’s attention. Snagit gives you all the tools to create engaging images and videos for presentations, feedback, tutorials, training documents, and more. I use Snagit myself for my images and it’s fantastic for adding to, creating and resizing your images. This is not a free program but there is a free 30 day trial period and when purchased with Camtasia (mentioned above) there is a discount for buying both programs.
Please Note: When using images of any kind on your websites and pages you need to compress them for optimum loading time. The larger the image the longer it takes to load and if your sites are to slow loading then people will leave your site.
Microsoft Office 2010 contains Picture Manager, which has a built in compression tool. I use this myself and have found it extremely useful for compressing images to use on my own blog.
PunyPNG: Image compressor for designers and developers. This is an online service that is great for compressing your PNG, JPEG and GIF Images. It’s free to use although you can upgrade to Pro and compress your images a little more. You simply visit the site, locate your image, compress it and download the new compressed image.
If, like me, you have trouble with colours this tools is fantastic.
Color Detector: Freeware program to detect the colour of any pixel on the screen. Simply run the program, point the mouse cursor anywhere on the screen, and the colour detector window will display the RGB values, HTML hex code, and the name of the colour of the pixel pointed to by the mouse cursor.
Please Note: As you start working online and joining new sites you will be required to create accounts and enter log in details. It is all to easy to use the same password over and again just because it’s easy to remember. This is a huge security risk and should be avoided at all costs, there are unscrupulous people out there just waiting to steal your information. It is up to you to make it as hard as possible for others to log in to your accounts.
RoboForm: Password Manager, Mobile Password Management, Automatic Form Filler, Unlimited passwords and simple to use. I use this myself and have just one Master Password to remember and one click log in or form filling there after. This software allows me to create random, secure, passwords with ease. For example: I simply replace weak passwords like “password123” with strong ones like “#R5u)[}9″Q1” and the software automatically asks me whether replace the existing password with the new one, as well as saving any new log in details as and when we create them. There are various options for the software, I use RoboForm Everywhere and it enables me to log in to my accounts from any PC anywhere in the world. You can also install an app for your iPhone and iPad and log in from your mobile devices as well. This is not free but there is a 30 day trial and then it costs $9.95 for the 1st year and $19.95 every year after that.
File Compression and Extraction
Please Note: When it comes to working online and distributing files and folders we need to compress them into one folder, normally referred to as a Zip File, for ease of reaching our customers and clients with ease. There are a few programs that will do this but the most popular two are:
WinZip: WinZip is the world’s #1 choice when working with large files – zip, unzip, email, password-protect and more. This is not a free program but there is a free trial available. Please Note: The trial version is for personal use only and will not allow customers to unzip files created with it… As I learned when trying to do so myself.
WinRAR: WinRAR is a lightweight, flexible, and easy-to-use archiving utility that can unpack most archive formats, as well as compress to both RAR and ZIP. Free to try for 40 days then $29 for single license.