Friday, May 1, 2009

10 Essential Tools for your Online Business

In this day and age as the owner of a small to medium business it is getting harder and harder to keep up with everything.

What is going on with the online world?

What is going on in the offline world?

It makes it crucial that you are able to work smarter so that you can get more done in less time.

Here are 10 tools that I use everyday to manage my activities so that I can at least try to keep up with everything.

1. Google Analytics

It is vital that you can see exactly what is going on with your website very quickly. There are some paid packages out there that do offer more than Google Analytics, but this is FREE and it tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

2. Google Webmaster Tools

OK. I am not on the Google payroll for pushing their applications but they do have some good stuff. Want to know what search terms you rank for, how many links your website has, how often the Googlebots crawl your site, do you have any errors that need attention. Again this tells you pretty much everything you need to know about your website.

3. Social Twist

Tell-a-friend by Social Twist lets you share you and your customers/readers share your content in the social media world quickly and easily with only 1 button. I must say that I love this widget and the traffic to a couple of my sites has gone up 1000% since I started using it. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon - they are all there and more. If you want more referrals to your website from social media you have to be using this.

4. Blogger

5. Wordpress

I have said it before, and I will say it again. You must have a blog for your business.

If you are going to use an offiste blog then use Blogger. If you want your blog onsite then I would use Wordpress. Not sure if you want your blog onsite or offsite then check out my post about onsite blogs vs offsite blogs.

6. Evernote

If you are like me you probably get 1000's of ideas every day. And it is hard to keep track of them all. Using Evernote is a great way to keep track of those ideas. Jot them down, attach a couple of relevant tags and you can easily go back and find them when you want them.

Saves you racking your brain trying to remember that great idea you had yesterday but can't remember now. Happens to me all the time.

7. Deskaway

Have you got a bunch of projects that you are working on. Maybe you are part of a team working on projects. Deskaway is a great way to manage your tasks and projects so that you can keep track of what needs to be done when and by whom.

I use it because it helps to keep me focussed on what I am supposed to be doing at the moment, and it gives me a clear picture of exactly what I have on my plate at the moment.

If you ever find that you spend a lot of time thinking about how much you have to do and not so much time actually doing it, then Deskaway is a great way to get focussed on doing what needs to be done.

8. FeedDemon

Keep track of what is going on in your niche or industry quickly and easily by using FeedDemon. This allows you to monitor the relevant blogs in your industry from 1 platform. I use to set up the RSS feeds from the blogs I liked to look at straight on my iGoogle home page. But then I found there was too many. So, I started to use FeedDemon. You can see which blogs you look at the most and which you don't look at so much.

Part of being a business leader in your industry is staying tuned to what is going on in your industry. Keeping up to date with the latest trends is a big part of your success and this is a quick and easy way to do that.

9. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is another way that I monitor the web to find out what is going on in my industry. You can set up alerts for specific keywords and phrases and then Google will monitor the internet and send you an email when something new that relates to your keywords is published on the web. I get about 4 or 5 alerts daily and I can then click on the links and see quickly what is being published.

10. Firefox

Part of being efficient on the internet is having a great browser. I use Firefox because I find it has less quirky bits than Internet Explorer and there are a whole bunch of great add-ons that you can use with it to further enhance your browsing. Stay tuned for a post next week about Firefox add-ons for your business that you should be using.

I know when you get used to something it can be hard to change but if you have not tried browsing with Firefox I would definitely go check it out.

OK, so you probably already knew about most of these tools. My question for you is - How many of them are you actually using?

Knowledge without Action is just a waste of knowledge. Take your knowledge and put it into action to enhance the success of your online business and your lifestyle.

Have you got online tools for your business that you use everyday that you think are vital to your success? Would you like to share them?
10 Essential Tools for your Online BusinessSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

1 comment:

  1. Nice list! Check out ProjectSpaces - - as another online project management tool similar to DeskAway.