50 Startup Companies to get inspired in 2012 – Part 3

You can read the first and second startup companies list before you read the third one. As you must have noticed by now, you don’t need an insane amount of personal capital for any startup business.

All you need is the zeal to convince investors and sooner or later, they will be flocking to invest in your business.

Anyways, let’s now see the next 10 inspirational startups to join this list.

21. Bleacher Report

CEO: Brian Grey

Business Idea: Sports news website

Estimated Value: $120 million

Our Take: Who says you cannot get free content? The Bleacher Report is one such example where Start-up Companies a website with 20 million active readers has been created solely on the unpaid contributions of its voluntary writers!

The Bleacher Report is an analytical sports editorial and is now one of the topmost web based sports journals. In August 2011, the company received $22 million in funding and this year, their valuation is $120 million.

Oak Investment Partners and Crosslink Capital are some of the investors in the Bleacher Report startup.

22. Right Scale

CEO: Michael Crandell

Business Idea: Full scale cloud management services

Estimated Value: $110 million

Our Take: Every small and big company online wants to use cloud management services for data storage and maintenance. Right Scale is one such company that provides a slew of cloud management services.

DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures are some of its investors. Since there are many other cloud management services, this company has been valued at a modest $110 million.

From our perspective, if anyone were to start a cloud management service, its best to target the local businesses before going global as it will get better exposure and brand value.

23. S.B Nation

CEO: Jim Bankoff

Business Idea: Sports directory cum local sports community

Estimated Value: $75 million

Our Take: People at SB Nation created a directory of sports blogs available in the US. They focus on both the national and the local levels; they create community based sports news across the country.

This is a new kind of initiative for sports lovers. Such kind of directories can pull in a lot of traffic, especially when sports are such a favorite topic with everyone.

In 2011, it had an estimated revenue of about $20 million and its expected that with proper guidance, the revenues will soar higher this year.

24. Better Works

CEO: Paige Craig

Business Idea: Creating work environment for businesses

Estimated Value: $100 million

Our Take: This is a new business concept; at least we haven’t heard it previously. Here, businesses can set up and create a rewarding work environment for their employees. Of course, I think the business needs to be completely online regulated to make use of this initiative.

Here, the employees are encouraged to use Better Works as a rewarding social platform because they are rewarded regularly for their collaboration. Better Works has potential this year and hopefully, in the coming years as well, because they are trying to create a congenial and stress free working environment which not every business tries to provide.

Red Point Ventures invests in Better Works.

25. Instagram.com

CEO: Kevin Systrom

Business Idea: iPhone photo sharing tool

Estimated Value: $100 million

Our Take: Investors love businesses which has a wider user base. This is the reason why industry insiders peg Instagram.com at $100 million even though it DOES NOT have any revenue model yet!

Instagram.com is a tool used by iPhone users to share images with other iPhone users mainly. In less than a year, it has managed about 9 million active users and the traffic on its site is growing very vast.

I guess they are waiting for the right time to monetize the site.

26. Rent the Runway

CEO: Jennifer Hyman

Business Idea: Renting dresses

Estimated Value: $105 million

Our Take: Rent the Runway is the ideal solution for people who cannot afford to buy expensive dresses but can surely afford to rent them. This company manages to rent selective dresses at a fraction of the cost when compared to the real value of a dress.

The renter chooses a dress, wears it and then returns it. It is perfect if you are looking for high-end dresses for special occasions. In 2011, Rent the Runway had approximately $20 million in revenues and $6 million in 2010.

With better online marketing and inclusion of more geographical areas, the business can reach a wider scale of renters and increase their revenue scales.

27. Clickable

CEO: David Kidder

Business Idea: Software for SEM

Estimated Value: $100 million

Our Take: Perhaps this could be an alternative to Google AdWords? Clickable software manages online PPC (pay per click) campaigns for small, medium and large businesses. It is easier to use and customize for advertisers and deliver on select platforms.

In the past year, its revenue has grown 200% and it has immense growth potential in 2012.

28. Break Media

CEO: Keith Richman

Business Idea: Men centered content network

Estimated Value: $120 million 

Our Take: It is a content based media company that produces both publishable and video content centered on men only. It is a humor based content network that also has gaming groups and editorial groups.

The USP behind its success is “entertainment.” They managed to earn about $60 million revenue in 2011 solely because of their humorous entertaining content. Isn’t this what all blogs seek to achieve? Well…here is your inspiration then.

29. Café Mom

CEO: Michael Sanchez

Business Idea: Social networking community for moms

Estimated Value: $130 million

Our Take: In barely a few years, Café Mom has become one of the most popular social networking sites for moms – where moms can join the community and share their experience with fellow moms.

This site has targeted a niche which is very active online and gives immense income potential. In 2011, they generated $35 million approximately in revenues.

30. Xirrus.com

CEO: Dirk Gates

Business Idea: Wi-Fi connectivity

Estimated Value: $140 million

Our Take: In a world becoming connected with the Internet exclusively, a service like that of Xirrus.com is necessary because it provides high performance Wi-Fi connectivity for individuals and businesses.

In 2011, it generated about $70 million in revenues.

In the next series, we will see another 10 inspiring startup companies. Go through these 30 startup companies again – Part 1, Part 2 – and think about your next winning business idea!

Startup Companies – Part 4

Traveling Your Way to a Better Blog

Chances are, you enjoy blogging. At least you did at the start. While some people blog as a profession, most of us start them out of passion. Why is it, then, that blogging often turns into a chore? After a while, at least for some bloggers, it feels like something we have to do, rather than something we want to do.

Has the passion really dissipated?

Better BlogNo, in all likelihood there are a number of factors that go into blog dissatisfaction that have nothing to do with passion…

It might be the staleness of comments discussion, or even a traffic plateau. Most commonly, though, we grow bored with our blogs because it feels as though we’re spinning our wheels.

Nothing feels fresh any more. Thankfully there are ways to combat that feeling.

A change of scenery

I’ve found that some of my freshest content ideas come immediately following a vacation or business trip. That is, those are times when the juices flow.

I can usually bank a few weeks’ worth of content on all of my blogs. The ideas sometimes come while I’m on the trip, sometimes while I’m on the airplane, and sometimes immediately afterwards. But whenever they came, they coincided with times that I’d been on the road.

Changing the scenery, apparently, did change my mind. Being away from familiar dwellings inspired something in me. That is, it seems as though my blogs had grown stale, because my environment had grown stale.

After talking to many more people, particularly work-from-home types, I found many similar stories. Getting out of our comfort zones apparently gets the creative juices flowing after they’ve gotten stagnant.

The great news is that traveling doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. Simple trips can suffice. You can also find useful purposes for travel, so you can combine your best interests. Here are the two ways I’ve traveled, much to my benefit.

To the surprise of some, none of them involve a tropical beach…

Traveling to get away

A vacation? Perish the thought. There’s too much work to be done. While many of my office dwelling friends get three, four, or even five weeks of vacation per year, I’m lucky to get but one. It’s one of the few drawbacks to working for a start-up, and working from home. With constant pressure to grow our sites, it’s tough to get away even for a week. Yet, as outlined above, getting away is still important. The best way I’ve found to reconcile these issues is to take frequent mini vacations.

The key here is to completely change your surroundings. I live in a mostly urban area, so these mini trips are to the land of small towns and trees. Lots and lots of trees.

Friends of mine who live in small towns like to take their trips to New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., or other fast-paced, populated areas.

The overall point, though, is to find stimulus that you simply cannot find at home. That will get the creative juices flowing again.

Of course, over the years it has become more difficult to create an all new environment. After a while, vacationing in small towns gets stale, too. Still, there are all sorts of adaptations of this. For instance, I’ve taken to seeking out a car rental as far in advance as possible (as to keep the cost as low as possible — you don’t want to book a rental car just a few days before you need it). You can also choose an uncommon destination. Have you ever been to a beach town in the winter?

It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Again, the overall idea is to take a day or two off work, overlap with a weekend, and completely change the scenery. The new stimulus will inspire you and get you back on track.

Traveling with a purpose

While traveling with the sole purpose of changing the scenery can be helpful, it’s even better to combine this with a professional purpose. As I noted above, it didn’t matter whether I was vacationing or traveling for business. Either way, the ideas would start flowing. So why not take the opportunity to grow professionally?

For anyone who works on the Internet, there are dozens of helpful conferences every year. Affiliate marketers have a number of conferences that have long track records and are run by successful people. There are general blogging conferences, and there are niche blogging conferences. There are also industry conferences – tech bloggers will find plenty to their liking here.

Conferences give us a chance to expand our social networks. Surrounded by people with similar interests, it’s hard to walk away without a ton of new address book entries.

Conferences also provide a great opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with people we’ve met online. Twitter can be great for conversations, but there’s so much more to a physical connection.

Additionally, conferences provide many educational opportunities. Panels and keynotes feature material from some of the most successful people in any given field. These speeches and panels can give us ideas that we can apply to our own sites. That is, conferences provide a veritable treasure trove of ideas. Those ideas spur the mind, which helps us keep things fresh.

Time was, traveling was an expensive, time-consuming process. But now, with the Internet and travel agencies, it’s quite simple. We can use cheap travel for many purposes. While going to a conference or other industry even helps reconcile our professional and personal needs, a simple trip away from home can do the same. There are plenty of opportunities to do so. When things are feeling stale and you need new stimulus, a short weekend trip can provide weeks, even months, worth of solutions.

Joe Pawlikowski edits several blogs across the web, including his latest project, A New Level, which addresses issues for at-home workers (and whatever else he’s thinking about).

50 Startup Companies to get inspired in 2012 – Part 2

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this series. Here are 10 more wonderfully inspiring startup companies for 2012.

Valuation Source: BusinessInsider.com

11. EHarmony.com

CEO: Jeremy Verba

Business Idea: Finding real / serious relationships

Estimated Value: $800 million

Our Take: The reason behind eHarmony.com success is its USP – they promote the website as a Best Startup Companies destination where members can find “serious relationships” – and in a world where love is a rare find, this USP line surely gets a lot of attention from people.

Compared to this, most of the other online dating sites are filled with people who are looking for one-night stands or just casual dating.

In 2010, the company earned about $250 million in revenues, followed by approximately $300 million in 2011.

12. Angie’s List

CEO: William S.

Business Idea: Local service reviews

Estimated Value: $700 million

Our Take: How important it is to you to know what kind of services / products a person is selling and what other people think about them before you personally use them? This personalized local review service is provided by the Angie’s List. More than five investors are stakeholders in this company.

This is a good idea to start your own local review service for your location. Angie’s List too has good future prospects because of their unique business idea.

13. One Kings Lane

CEO: Doug Mack

Business Idea: Home Décor sale site

Estimated Value: $440 million

Our Take: One Kings Lane is the place where you can buy any kind of luxury décor item for your home. It is a one-stop home décor sale site. Some people might argue that buying décor items online can be misleading because you are not really “seeing” the product before buying but one look at One Kings Lane tells us that it is a very well crafted online shopping site.

You don’t need to really “see” the product before buying; the images tell you all. The Wall Street Journal predicts that it will earn about $100 million in revenue this year.

14. Stella & Dot

CEO: Jessica Herrin

Business Idea: Selling jewelry at private home parties

Estimated Value: $400 million

Our Take: This is a business that deals with only elite clientele. This has growth opportunities only when you can manage a never ending list of elite clientele who organize regular parties and allows you to sell merchandise.

Stella & Dot deals with jewelries only which are sold in private parties. This is a good idea for you if you have attractive products to sell to private clients.

Sequoia Capital has valued the company at $370 million.

15. Imperva.com

CEO: Shlomo Kramer

Business Idea: Application and Database security

Estimated Value: $300 million

Our Take: With small, medium and heavy online business starting daily, it is important to protect business information with utmost privacy. Imperva.com provides cloud based security for business database and application.

Accel Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and USVP are some of the investors in this company. In 2011, they generated about $80 million in revenues, $25 million more than in 2010.

16. Brightcove.com

CEO: Jeremy Allaire

Business Idea: Cloud video hosting service

Estimated Value: $240 million

Our Take: Online businesses are increasingly taking to cloud computing services for data storage and preservation. If your business deals with lots of videos for any purpose, Brighcove.com would be a good option for video cloud content services.

Its products and services can distribute professional digital media across various platforms. Brightcove.com can be used to create media experience across tablets, PCs, Smartphone’s and connected TVs.

In the first 6 months of 2011, it had generated $28.4 million in revenues and approx of $75 million in the whole year.

17. Etsy.com

CEO: Rob Kalin

Business Idea: Selling homemade and handmade crafts

Estimated Value: $225 million

Our Take: Etsy.com is considered the eBay for arts and crafts industry. Here you can sell any arts and crafts that are homemade and handmade. It is a very good business platform for stay-at-home moms and retired people.

There is a plethora of options on Etsy.com. Just create an account, upload product images, add description, add price and go “live.”

In 2011, Etsy.com had $75 million in revenues and $50 million in 2010.

18. Sugar Inc.

CEO: Brian Sugar

Business Idea: eCommerce network for women

Estimated Value: $210 million

Our Take: Women entrepreneurs are breaking the invisible glass slowly and setting their mark on the online world of business. Catering to this growing section of entrepreneurs, Brain Sugar’s startup is an eCommerce, content and social media network for women entrepreneurs only.

In return, Sugar Inc. makes money from eCommerce sales, lead generation and in advertisement revenue. This company is a potentially beneficial platform for women looking for a startup option.

In 2011, the Sugar Inc revenue was $70 million.

19. Recycle Bank

CEO: Jonathan Hsu

Business Idea: Promoting clean technology in households

Estimated Value: $200 million

Our Take: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is popular with large corporate houses but here is a guy who has turned green and safe living into his business while convincing thousands of people on the merits of using clean and green technology.

The Recycle Bank Company works in partnership with cities, motivating households to recycle their waste, and in doing so, they earn redeemable points at Recycle Bank associated networks.

The company raised $70 million in venture capital last year.

20. Return Path

CEO: Matt Blumberg

Business Idea: E-mail marketing

Estimated Value: $200 million

Our Take: Usually we don’t see email marketing companies getting listed on popular startup lists but this one made it. The company deals with email marketing only and since any kind of business would need a way to build a consumer base, email marketing is always a success.

In 2011, they earned $45 million in revenue, a 35% revenue increase from 2010.

Read the inspirational startups in first section also. You might get some business ideas yourself.

Startup Companies – Part 3

50 Startup Companies to get inspired in 2012 – Part 1

It has been often said that starting a company online and making it a success is a herculean task. Startup Companies If you are still waiting for the million dollar idea to strike or if you are already contemplating launching an online business, take a look at these 50 startup companies who are the “shining stars” of 2012.

The list of startup companies below is not given in any particular rank nor is it in alphabetical order. Read and be inspired! Who knows…you might get an idea or two reading this.

Startup Companies to get inspired in 2012

Valuation Source: BusinessInsider.com

1. Coupons.com Inc.

CEO: Steven Boal

Business Idea: Selling coupons online

Estimated Value: $1 billion

Our Take: Selling coupons online is a wonderful idea because of two reasons: first, you get goods and services at discounted prices; second, you get to save money. So if you find a service which gives you money saving coupons, won’t you just grab it?

This is the selling idea and the reason why Coupon.com Inc is so successful. They’ve been in business since 1998 and presently, they serve about 65,000 websites on a daily basis. Their estimated revenue in 2011 was $100 million and thus, the company is valued at $1 billion for 2012, two times their 2011 revenue.

2. Gilt Groupe

CEO: Kevin Ryan

Business Idea: Private selling of fashion luxury brands – members only

Estimated Value: $1.05 billion

Our Take: The second decade of the millennia is the age of eCommerce – online shops. While many online eCommerce shops are cropping up in every country, how about an eCommerce site that gives personal attention to buyers and feeds your luxurious lifestyle by giving the best of fashion brands?

This is what the Gilt Groupe does…its USP is its members-only eCommerce platform and judging by their vast collection of luxury items, it is safely catering to the elite and higher upper middle class buyers with money to spend. They follow the word-of-mouth (WOM) strategy since purchasing from this brand is “by-invitation” only.

In case you are wondering its success ratio, look at its revenues – $270 million in 2010 and $500 million in 2011.

3. Zulily.com

CEO: Darrell Cavens

Business Idea: Daily deals only for moms and kids

Estimated Value: $700 million

Our Take: You see hundreds of daily deal sites globally but Zulily.com is niche based. They have targeted the industry which can never go out of business – moms and kids – much like the wedding industry is never without business.

The business is dedicated to bring daily deal offers for moms and kids around the world, including accessories and clothing at discounted rates. Meritech Capital Partners, Maveron, and August Capital are the investors in this business.

4. Chegg.com

CEO: Dan Rosensweig

Business Idea: Renting textbooks to students online

Estimated Value: $600 million

Our Take: Education is not affordable anymore. Admission in a local college means heavy money; add to it the escalating costs of books. The traditional system of taking textbooks to class has changed. Now you are expected to carry Mac and Kindle. A service like Chegg.com is very beneficial as it allows you to rent textbooks and most importantly, the online textbooks are optimized for PC, Mac and iPad.

This startup has huge potential in 2012 because it is feeding an ever growing market of learners and educationists.

5. Media Bank

CEO: Bill Wise

Business Idea: Advertisement

Estimated Value: $500 million

Our Take: If you are running a business, you know the value of getting an effective medium to display your business, that is, the importance of getting the right place at the right value for business exposure. This is where Media Bank comes in.

Media Bank analyzes and offers a set of tools to help you in media buying. Typical questions like “will investing in print media be helpful or digital media?” is answered by the Media Bank team.

The service has growth potential because business owners are looking at value for money; they are no more blindly buying ad spaces. They want results. Media Bank gives results.

6. Indeed.com

CEO: Paul Forster

Business Idea: Search engine for jobs

Estimated Value: $450 million

Our Take: Talk about a business model that gets content for free, doesn’t need to spend a dime on advertisement marketing and in fact, earns through pay-per-click system and you have Indeed.com.

Indeed.com aggregates job listings from the web and builds its own directory of jobs. With thousands of employees being shown the pink slip every week, the business model of Indeed serves to connect a prospective employer and employee.

It’s pegged at $450 million in revenues for 2012, a sharp rise from $50 million in 2010 and $100 million in 2011.

7. Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia)

Executive Director: Sue Gardner

Business Idea: Online knowledge encyclopedia

Estimated Value: $4 billion

Our Take: Wikipedia is the Pandora box of knowledge, contributed by millions of Wikipedia users. As a complete non-profit organization, it runs off donations and volunteer work – on this strength solely, Wikipedia is the top 10 online resource of the world.

If it is turned to a commercial “for-profit” organization, its earning potential is huge as a content sharing / knowledge based platform. It is a valuable startup which shows you don’t need immense capital to start an online venture – the required capital can be raised for running a business and its focus on volunteer work shows the CSR side of Wikimedia Foundation.

8. Yelp

CEO: Jeremy Stoppelman

Business Idea: Local business recommendations/social business networking

Estimated Value: $800 million

Our Take: You have just moved in to London and you are looking for the local construction service provider…how do you find one? You sign up with Yelp. The Yelp business model works on creating and optimizing a local business search engine along with giving members the chance to connect with fellow people – its like knowing your neighborhood online…fascinating!

In 2012, Yelp will face stiff competition from Google Places and their recently acquired Zagat.com.

9. Flipkart.com

CEO: Sachin Bansal

Business Idea: eCommerce business

Estimated Value: $350 million

Our Take: The genesis of Flipkart.com is all about being in the right place at the right time – seizing the opportunity. Before Flipkart.com started, there were other eCommerce portals in India but this business has left behind all those and turned into the top eCommerce site in India.

The success behind Flipkart.com is its COD (Cash-on-Delivery) system. Why? Unlike the US and other western countries, Indians are not that forthcoming with giving their credit/debit card details online; hence, introducing the COD system gave the company two things every business needs – trust and goodwill.

This shows that business is not about aping others – you have to understand the particular market.

BTW, Sachin Bansal is an ex-Amazon.com employee…so you know where the inspiration is coming from!

10. Habbo.com

CEO: Timo Soininen

Business Idea: Virtual hotel

Estimated Value: $300 million

Our Take: Frankly, I don’t quite understand the idea behind opening a virtual hotel membership and interacting with it as you would do in a real hotel but seeing the kind of financial success Habbo.com has managed, it seems the virtual world is truly the “in” thing!

They have about 80 million registered users (WOW!) who just laze around in the sun, play games, dine in and do a lot of other stuff in the virtual hotel…seems the makers behind Habbo.com are giving people relaxing activities online while getting their piece of the pie. ($300 million is not a joke!)

Let’s stop here today. Stay tuned for another 40 of amazing startups.

PS: I used the word “feed” / “feeding” here more often. Did you notice that? NO…You are not ready to be an online business owner yet.

Unless you understand what the market demands and find a solution to “feed” that demand…keep thinking and researching business ideas.

Startup Companies – Part 2

80 Productivity and Marketing Tools – Part Six

Continued…Part Five

51. Name: Link Valet

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: The online Link Valet service checks the incoming and outgoing links of a blog or Productivity Marketing Toolswebsite and gives you a link analysis report. You can specify the date from which the link analysis should start and opt for either the summary report or the full report.

The report will highlight errors; server redirected links, updated links and validates the link page then and there. You can also choose to get the report emailed to multiple ids.

Use: This is a must-have tool for a webmaster to keep the site link-error free all the time.

52. Name: Pixie

[Download]

Description: Pixie is a product by Natty Ware which is a color utility tool suitable for download and use with Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7.

After you download and install the application, you need to simply hover the mouse over the color combination and it will tell you the HSV values, CMYK, HTML, RGB and the hex values.

With the values in hand, you can use the combinations to create color codes in your program.

Use: The tool is great for webmasters and designers who often have to play with colors. Webmasters can use this to experiment with website color combinations easily. Designers can use this to develop websites.

53. Name: Screen Hunter

[Download]

Description: How many times have you wanted a program that could seamlessly capture and share your desktop screenshots? After all, not many know how to take and edit screenshots in Paint or other programs.

Now you have the Screen Hunter application, a screen capture award winning solution that helps the user to capture, print and edit the screen, with additional features of auto-capture, video screen capture, webcam capture and auto-scroll web pages.

The tool is free for individual use and distribution but if you want this for business purposes, you need to buy a user license.

Use: This is good for someone who writes tutorials, reviews, and software manuals…anything that requires clear demonstration.

54. Name: Short Keys

[Download]

Description: This is not a lifetime free tool. You can download the trial version for 30 days and then buy the fully licensed version for $24.95, the current price displayed.

Anyways, what are the Short Keys? The Short Keys are a text replacement utility where you get to use custom generated short keys instead of huge blocks of text in other applications by simply using the user defined keystrokes.

Short Keys also has an intuitive feature, which is useful for people who need to type lots of documents daily. The tool saves time from repetitive typing and auto-places correct words.

Use: The tool is good for writers for reducing document errors and it is good for webmasters also to create custom generated texts through the user defined keystrokes.

55. Name: Spy Bot: Search & Destroy

[Link: Download Required after Clicking the Given Link]

Description: On the website homepage, you can see the world map and a list of languages on the right-hand sidebar. Choose your language.

The PC World and the PCMag.com finds the Spy Bot as the best privacy software available in the world. What this tool does is detect and remove spyware from your system. Spyware is a new kind of online threat whose detection and removal is not yet covered in common anti-virus detection applications.

Stealth installation of spyware is a common tactic used by unscrupulous marketers and advertisers to steal data and use them for their spurious intentions.

Use: Keeping your desktop, laptop and notebook free from spyware.

56. Name: Stock Photo Room

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: Is Google banning your website because of copied images? Or is someone suing you because you knowingly or unknowingly violated image copyrights?

Stock Photo Room is the solution as it gives you a huge selection of royalty free stock images and photography. You can use these images to add on your projects, websites and other publications.

The images are royalty free but you do have to pay as low as $1 for every photo you use. There is no criteria to buy a fixed number of photos per month; you pay as you go along using the images.

Sign up for the account free and start using them.

Use: The tool is good for content developers, editors, academic projects, and image-based websites.

57. Name: Tweet Deck

[Register and Download]

Description: If you have multiple active Twitter accounts and want to manage all of them together, use the Tweet Deck application. It has been created by Twitter; it can be used with Windows XP and its later versions as well as Mac OS X 10.6 version.

With Tweet Deck system dashboard, you can arrange the feeds, filter the useful information, schedule tweets, manage unlimited accounts and stay up to date with notification alerts for new tweets.

Use: The Tweet Deck is particularly useful for online marketers who depend on Twitter for business leads and sales.

58. Name: Twiends

[Register]

Description: Twiends is a “directory” for Twitters. After signing up, you need to link the active twitter accounts, choose the country of origin, choose your interests and you are done!

The Twiends tool is good for those who would like to increase their Twitter followers.

Use: With more than 3000 people signing up on Twiends, you can sign up too if you wish to increase your network of Twitter followers and use them to generate sales.

59. Name: Velocity Webshots

[Register: No Downloads Necessary]

Description: The Velocity Webshots tool generates real time data of any website address in the form of an image. As the overview on the site proudly claims, it “is the only web service of its kind that can handle real-time previewing.”

With this tool, you can generate a visual stimulation of your website services or products, which helps you to retain user base and generate leads. You can also use Velocity Quick Shot and Webshots API to store self created Webshots.

Use: Internet marketers, directory service providers, bloggers, news sites, programmers, product review sites, WHOIS services and many more can use the Velocity Webshots tool.

60. Name: Video LAN

[Download]

Description: The Video LAN product – VLC Media Players – is a free and powerful tool to play files, DVDs, CDs, VCD, Blu-Ray, live streams and webcams as well. Its open source cross-platform multimedia player runs most codec without any necessity for ad-on codec packs.

It does not contain any spyware and works on platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, and others. When you visit the download link, scroll to the bottom and select the VLC for a particular system.

Use: The VLC media player is for both personal and professional use.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Coming Soon…

80 Productivity and Marketing Tools – Part Five

Continued…Part Four

41. Name: SEM Rush

[Register: No Download Necessary]

Description: Forbes, Wells Fargo, Philips, PayPal and Hyatt are some of the well known clients of SEM Rush. It is not just another keyword research and analysis tool. It has quickly become THE best Marketing and Productivity Toolsresearch site for analyzing site keywords, analyzing competitor keywords, knowing what kind of Ad buyers to approach, getting estimated SE and AdWords traffic, finding hidden keywords, and many more features.

To try it out, just type in your URL or any keyword and see it work. You can create a free account also or buy the pro membership for $70 per month.

Use: SEM Rush is a must-have tool for online marketers and webmasters. Their intuitive reports help a lot to make a site better.

42. Name: RoboForm

[Download]

Description: RoboForm is a program to store and retrieve passwords to as many sites you are a member of, without worrying whether the passwords will remain safe or not.

RoboForm syncs all the login information safely so you can quickly access bookmarked or favorite sites. Moreover, you can save lots of time in typing basic information like name, number and addresses when you register on a new site. The RoboForm Password Manager stores the personal information seamlessly and saves YOUR time.

The RoboForm program is accessible from a laptop, notebook, desktop and mobile devices. It is suitable for IE, Firefox, Mac and Chrome browsers. In mobile, RoboForm works with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian.

Use: Anyone who uses a lot of Internet daily will find this tool very useful. It takes away the headache to remember each and every password.

43. Name: PHP Resource Index

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: If you wish to add any kind of PHP scripts on your site, the PHP Resource Index is the best place to be. It also offers web hosting for the PHP programs created by you.

You can access more than 4000 complete PHP scripts, more than 300 functions and classes codes and use their community board to fund jobs and developer sites. They also have a resource of more than 400 informative books and complete tutorials about PHP programming.

Use: PHP Developers or people who want to learn the PHP system will find this resource very useful.

44. Name: PHP

[Download]

Description: Similar to the PHP Resource Index mentioned above, the PHP site is another wonderful resource of PHP program guides and tutorials. The PHP is suitable for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

The site also gives updated information about upcoming conferences on PHP and paper presentations.

Use: The resource is useful for both new and experienced PHP enthusiasts.

45. Name: PDF to Word Converter

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: The PDF to Word converter is Nitro’s leading technology to get editable MS Word documents from PDF files. As they mention, the files should not be illegal to use.

Either you can just upload and convert a PDF file online or you can sign up for their PRO account which gives you a 14-day trial. With a membership account, you can convert bulk files easily and protect private information. The conversion file will be same as the PDF one, retaining all kinds of formatting and content used.

Use: Anyone who deals with lots of documents. For editors, this is good as they can edit easily on Word rather than PDF files.

46. Name: PDF995

[Download]

Description: PDF995 offers a complete set of tools that caters to document publishing needs. You can create professional quality PDF documents with its easy-to-use interface by clicking on the “print” command from any application which supports PDF viewer.

You can also have shared printing, network file saving, custom page size selection, large format printing, and terminal server facility on your account.

The free version will display a sponsor page every time the program is run. If you want to avoid the sponsor page, you can buy a license for $9.95.

Use: Marketers, editors, writers can use this amazing tool to create online publishable documents. This is also good for small organizations also where there is a large pool of writers and editors who need to access the same documents at the same time.

47. Name: Free Mind

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: It is a free mind mapping software that creates a flow chart of how you conceptualize things. It uses a Java applet with around 700 KB memory. It is a productive tool for analyzing stages or phases of a project or laying out a project plan.

Use: If you are a student, project manager, running a small business or any other work that requires accurate planning, the Free Mind tool is for you.

48. Name: FileZilla Project

[Download]

Description: FileZilla is your free FTP solution where both client and server are available. The FileZilla is an open source software which is distributed free of charge under the GNU General Public License terms.

Use: Anyone who deals with website development and programming has use with the FileZilla project.

49. Name: Cam Studio

[Download]

Description: It is free video streaming software that records audio and screen activity happening on your PC to give you professionally created AVI files. Its built-in SWF software will turn the AVI recordings into Streaming Flash Videos that do not consume much bandwidth.

The Cam Studio can be downloaded and installed easily. Use is to create software tutorials, FAQ, instruction manuals or study materials.

There are a lot of other features like controlling voice quality, high resolution images of small files, ability to choose custom cursors, and able to burn it in CD or DVD.

Use: If you run a website/blog, use the Cam Studio tool to create tutorials. If you are a trainer, use it to give online training classes. If you are a project manager/associate, use the tool to develop and share information.

50. Name: CGI Resource Index

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: In the CGI Resource Index, you can find web hosting for your CGI programs. If you have created a CGI program, you can host it remotely. For learners, there are more than 100 resource guides, tutorials and documentation available on CGI programming.

You can also find CGI jobs or hire freelance CGI programmers to solve your issues.

Use: The resource is useful for both new and experienced CGI enthusiasts. 

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Coming Soon…

Are You Feeling The Love?

Happy Valentines Day to all!

With all that is going haywire in our world today; protesting – violence – drug abuse etc., why don’t we take some time and love one another for a change…

Feeling The LoveLove is the strongest emotion of them all when released. It’s also the greatest commandment. Love does conquers all.

Unconditional love is even better. Take animals for instance. You can reprimand, yell, forget to feed or even hit a dog or a cat and ten seconds later…they are on you licking your face and desperately wanting to please you as if nothing ever happened. No matter what you seem to do to them, they always love you.

So if humans are of a higher intelligence than animals, what does they say about us?

Are we self-centered? Are we loving the wrong things like money – power – drugs – alcohol instead of each other?

Love was the driving force of why God created the heavens, earth and everything in it.

We all were created to have different opinions, morals, values and ethics. However, all of these virtues seem to have been slowly dividing us and making us angry at each other instead of coming together, loving one another.

The older I get, the less and less it seems love is NOT front and center anymore. And it’s weird because we all want it – we all need it and we all would die for it.

So hows come many of us aren’t feeling it?

Today being Valentines Day, let someone feel your love whether a child, a parent, a spouse or even a neighbor. If each one of us would release it, wow…we’d all be feeling it now wouldn’t we?

In tribute to one of the greatest performers in my life time, please listen to the song, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. Share it with someone you love today…



80 Productivity and Marketing Tools – Part Four

Continued…Part Three

 

31. Name: Open Source Web Design

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: At the time of writing this, the OSWD platform has 2080 free web designs templates that Marketing Tools you can use either by downloading them online or by logging into your account.

If you are bored with WordPress and Blogger templates, its time to check OSWD; you can find templates for both personal and commercial use. Also, there are premium templates too for purchase.

Use: If you want to build your blog or a commercial website, take a look at these templates. Or, you can choose few of them and hand it over to the web designer to build the blog/website on them.

 

32. Name: GIMP

[Download]

Description: If you needed a software for image authoring, image composition, photo retouching and others, the GNU Image Manipulation Program is the best suited.

This free licensing program is the alternative to Photoshop. You can use it as a simple paint program, for online batch processing system, mass image production, as an image format converter and other tasks.

You can add extensions and plug-ins to enhance its performance. You can run GIMP on Mac OS X and MS Windows.

Use: For webmasters, website developers, graphic designers, this tool will be very handy.

 

33. Name: Niche Bots Classic

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: This is your alternative to Google Keyword Research tool. With the Niche Bots free account, you can do 20 keyword searches daily. With the paid account of $1, the keyword research is unlimited.

I think this tool is good for comparative purposes. We know that Google can also be wrong sometimes. So select any keyword, look it up on both Niche Bots and the Google Keyword Tool, and optimize your site accordingly.

Use: Its good for bloggers, webmasters, and marketers who need a handy keyword research tool to write their content and do online targeted marketing.

 

34. Name: Marketing Mentors Workshops

[Register: No Download Necessary]

Description: If you are in need of really ‘sound’ marketing advice and solutions, I need you to register for this workshop with your full name and email id.

Every Tuesday, the webinar organizer holds a marketing workshop with an industry expert and it is great to experience it live. In case you have to miss it, you can download the entire webinar from the same link given above.

Use: This live marketing workshop is must for every online and offline marketer.

 

35. Name: Libre Office – The Document Foundation

[Download]

Description: It’s the alternative to Open Office. It’s a free tool where you can do everything you are doing on Microsoft Office. It works with GNU/Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. It’s an open source platform so if you are a developer, feel free to join the existing community of developers.

With Libre Office, you can create documents (Writer tool), do numerical analysis (Calc tool), create multimedia presentations (Impress tool), create images (Draw tool), database integration (Base tool) and do mathematical calculations. (Math tool)

These 6 tools make up Libre Office.

Use: Any Internet user can use this for personal, professional and business reasons.

 

36. Name: Text Pad

[Download]

Description: The Text Pad software is the product of Helios Software Solutions. It is a powerful replacement to Notepad. You can use it to edit HTML files and satisfy the most demanding text editing requirements.

The software works with Windows 7, XP, 2000,Vista, Server 2003 and 2008. The software can be used by both new and experienced users. Apart from the usual cut and paste capability, you can correct typo errors, change commands, transpose words, use commands to split/join lines and various other functions.

You can also place visual bookmarks!

Use: Anyone who needs a hassle free hype-less text processor, Text Pad is for you.

 

37. Name: Thumb Shots

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: Use the Thumb Shots application to turn your website / blog into thumbnails. The feedback on the site shows that this way you can increase traffic and its conversion rate of the site.

There will be better search accuracy and better average time spent on the site. You don’t need to install any hardware or software on the system. Just sign up and submit your site.

This strategy depends on the image appeal of a site and as we know, humans are more captivated by images.

Use: Anyone with a website or blog can use this service.

 

38. Name: Tin Eye

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: Tin Eye is an image reverse lookup directory. In this free tool, you can either upload an image file or the URL of the page you want to check reverse image, and the tool will show you the list of those websites/blogs where the same images have been published.

This is a great too to check copyright violations. If you have created an image for non commercial or restricted use, you can use this tool to check if anyone has used it for commercial purpose or not.

You can download the results; otherwise the result will expire in 72 hours.

Use: You can use Tin Eye tool for protecting copyrights.

 

39. Name: Virus Total

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: If your PC or laptop does not have a security system or if you want to check viruses and malware of any given link, use the Virus Total software.

In this, you can upload a file for checking or you can copy paste the URL. The report will display Trojan, malware, viruses and other components.

If you want to download files from the net, this tool is useful to protect your system. Similarly, if you want to upload files online, use this tool again.

Use: Anyone who uploads and downloads files on and from the Internet needs to use this tool.

 

30. Name: Soovle

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: This is a search engine that shows results only from 7 websites – Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube and Answers.com. It’s like getting customized search results.

Use: Online search.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Coming Soon…

3 Ways to Set Realistic Professional Goals

Coming up with big ideas and setting goals to put those big ideas into motion is easy. Unfortunately, oftentimes we don’t reach the goals we’ve hastily set.

Professional GoalsThe reason we don’t reach those goals is because they’re unrealistic, even though they may seem realistic. You might argue that it’s totally plausible to make a million dollars in two months simply because other people are able to do so.

If this is the way you set goals, you’re missing an important detail. You’re forgetting that what’s realistic for another person may be unrealistic for you, depending on your situation.

For instance, if you’re just starting out as an ecommerce merchant, you’re going to have to spend some time building your online marketing skills and reputation before you’ll be able to attract hordes of customers to your online store.

Many people set lofty goals, fail to reach those goals, and then give up. If you want to avoid falling into this trap, you’re going to have to know how to set goals you can achieve.

Professional Goals

Here are three goal setting tips to help you:

1. Assess what you know you can achieve now

Maybe you already know how to build a website or launch an email marketing campaign. The skills you already possess can be the basis of realistic goals you set.

Remember that you have unique talents that will help you succeed. If you’re just in the beginning stages of a new professional venture, focus on setting goals that will allow you to use your natural talents. These goals will be easily achieved.

2. Build your skills

It’s generally a good idea to set some goals that require you to build your skills. You might want to learn how to use Photoshop or write SEO content.

You’re probably not going to be able to make millions of dollars if you’re lacking skills that are crucial to your industry.

For instance, you have to learn basic HTML and how to use WordPress before you launch the blog of your dreams that makes two million dollars every year. Set simple, straightforward goals to build your skills, and hit the books. Just remember not to try to learn too many things at once.

3. Focus on what you can control

If you weren’t able to get that freelance gig or attract a thousand people to your blog last month, assess what you can do differently and how you can change your goals.

Maybe you could set a goal to apply to ten freelance opportunities every day or you could set a goal to work on the SEO component of your blog content for five hours every week.

You should always try to set goals that are dependent on what you can achieve, not what the universe may or may not deliver to you.

An unrealistic goal is to see your company’s name on the Fortune 500 list in six months. A realistic goal is to have a hundred products for sale on your ecommerce store in six months because you personally have the power to achieve that goal.

Carolyn is a guest writer on the topics of the ecommerce industry, success, and the perks of Big Commerce.

80 Productivity and Marketing Tools – Part Three

Continued…Part Two

21. Name: Giveaway of the Day

[Link: Selective Download Required]

Productivity ToolsDescription: For over 5 years, the people behind Giveaway of the Day have been providing free license software for which we would have to shell out money otherwise. The link above points to the site; check out their free giveaway everyday and download them.

As I went through the site, there is a huge reservoir of products that cannot be defined by any specific category. There is something for everyone. Check it out.

Use: Free software for every purpose. You save money.

22. Name: Launchy

[Download]

Description: It is an open source keystroke launcher available for Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac OS and Linux to give you a cross-platform utility service which will arrange the desktop icons and start menu to give the user an easy accessibility service.

Use: For ultra busy people who want everything at the tip of their fingers.

23. Name: Live Marketing Chat

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: Besides Warrior Forum, Live Marketing Chat is the best possible place to be for answering and discussing business related issues. If you are an entrepreneur, marketer or anyone who wants to see their business succeed, visit this place.

The Live chat is open 24x7x365 days a year. Take a look at their live chat schedule and join them anytime.

Use: To get real world business experience and issues sorted out anytime.

24. Name: Name Boy

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: Name Boy is a free tool to search and register domain names. One of the best features of this tool is to generate hyphenated domain names and rhymed domain names.

You are asked to insert two words comprising the domain name; one is primary and the other optional. Based on the query, the free tool generates a huge list of names for you.

Use: Hyphenated and rhymed domain name generator.

25. Name: PIWIK

[Download]

Description: This is a free PHP MySQL software program that claims to be the alternative to Google Analytics. After you download and install it on your system, the software will generate website data showing the accurate number of website visitors, keywords used for search, popular pages, user language and much more.

The software tracks this data through a JavaScript given to the installer after installation. You just have to copy and paste the script on the website you wish to track.

You can take an online demo before using it.

Use: Website/blog analysis – an alternative to Google Analytics

26. Name: Resell Rights Weekly Forum

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: This is an active forum about anything related to resell rights and marketing. You need to sign up first before viewing and answering forum posts. You can learn about PLR products, how to make money from them and other things.

Use: Active resources for those interested in resell rights.

27. Name: Quantcast

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: If you want in-depth details about your competitors, track what they are doing and strategize what you can do about it, Quantcast is your tool.

When I searched for rottentomatoes.com, it gave me details about its network, user demographics, monthly visitors, global visitors, people reached, total page views, people per month, US traffic frequency, global traffic frequency, sites similar to rottentomatoes.com, US traffic source and local traffic sources.

With this vast resource, it’s easy to track competitor reach.

But, its essential to get the site quantified first. Like if you search for IncomeInsiders.com on Quantcast, you won’t see any data because it’s not quantified yet. Quantification is nothing but giving Quantcast the permission to track the website.

Use: Analyzing competition

28. Name: Mobi Ready

[Link: No Download Necessary]

Description: This tool checks URL, analyzes it and shows you if the website/blog is mobile ready. Even if you have a mobile site up and functioning, you can still use this to see if it needs any improvement.

The tool will score the URL on its mobile friendliness; give you visuals of how the URL will look on different mobile handsets, perform a compliance test, and also check the MIME types, character encoding, alt texts, page title, image maps, nested tables, default input mode, access keys, caching, Google sitemap and other things.

Use: Anyone who has a blog/website should use this too.

29. Name: Skype

[Download]

Description: Skype has changed the way we communicate today. Whether you are scheduled for a live conference or you just want a video chat with a long distant friend, Skype is the best.

PC to PC calls are free and the PC to phone calls is very reasonably priced. You need to get Skype credits first before PC to phone calling. You can send instant messages, group people for a conference and create company accounts.

Use: It’s for personal and professional use; it is a MUST for those running an online business.

30. Name: Malware Bytes

[Download]

Description: The free anti-malware software rids your PC of viruses, spyware, malware, Trojans, root kits and adware. Install it on your system and scan it.

It also offers a paid corporate licensing for businesses, enterprises and organizations.

Use: It is for anyone with a computer and access to the Internet.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Coming Soon…