FREE Stuff That Makes Snappy Sites and Happy Visitors

I'm all earsA site that contains a lot of text, statistics, and boring information won’t catch the attention of your busy visitors who are seeking value in the blink of an eye.

Just as the snap of fingers catches attention, so do sites that invite the visitor to interact, be entertained, and build relationships. Your website is a tool – and an extension of you.

Whether a novice or a person who has enjoyed an online presence for years, it’s time to upgrade your approach if you haven’t already. The tools I’m going to share are just a small handful of tools that are available for free and which are easy to get started with.

FREE = Free is awesome, but there’s always a price, so expect win/win situations when it comes to partaking of the hard labors of designers and programmers worldwide. FREE usually means that your tool will carry some branding of the creator of the tool, and may or may not have additional advertisements to navigate around.

Some are free to use, but if you are selling products, or making money from them, there’s usually an associated fee that will be taken in order to pay for the service you are using.

Many free tools are still worth using – especially when you are just getting started. You can always upgrade later.

UPGRADING = When you upgrade, expect either a one-time fee, a yearly membership or even monthly memberships. To know whether or not this is justified, think in terms of any investment, which is asking yourself the question, “What is the return on my investment?”

If you are paying a $20 monthly fee, for one thing, a $39 monthly fee for another, and four other services that require percentages or additional fees – are you making more than that in sales per month to justify this cost? If not, don’t despair, because you can still use the services and tools for free.

Sometimes these services are the bare minimum or have a limitation on usage per month. That may serve your purposes just fine. If not, then make sure that whatever service you upgrade – will pay off in the long run. (Check out if there are any free trials that you can utilize too)

Here are some of my favorite “handy” tools. Some you already know, others you may not ..

  1. PAYPAL = If you don’t have a way of collecting payments by check or credit card online, PayPal is a good start. There are small fees taken off of transactions and a percentage of sales.
  2. JOT FORM = Jot form is super easy and intuitive to set up and use. The free version limits you to a small number of respondents. Upgrade for a small fee for unlimited submissions. Vital for Book Launch days!
  3. SLIDESHARE = Do you have a PowerPoint that you’d like to share online? Upload it to Slideshare and embed the resulting “SlideShare” into your blog or website pages.
  4.  ANIMOTO = A similar service to SlideShare, Animoto creates a short video from your photos that you can share online with music or audio.

Have fun exploring these few services and feel free to share with me, in the comment form below, any other services you have found that you find extremely helpful. Happy Snapping!

Why WordPress?

Quickly passing are the days of tedious website creation and upkeep. The frustration that so many of my new clients experienced from poor web design when they came to me, or missing webmasters is now a thing of the pass with the creation of web building systems such as WordPress.

The beauty of WordPress is that not only is it easier and more effective for search engines to find you, it puts control of your website back in your own hands.

YouTube has tons of tutorials on WordPress in general and on specific themes, as well as all the bells and whistles that you can get to make your site amazing. ¬†Here is a great video that I think you will enjoy …

If you don’t have time to watch all of the tutorials and you need a WordPress site, call me so that we can get you up and running in short time. I’ll be more than happy to share with you the best tutorials I’ve found on YouTube that are helpful for your continuing education if you so desire.

You can blog easily. You can update your own pages. You can change the look in very short order without having to rebuild from scratch … or you can do nothing and let your site be your online brochure for your business, book, and/or services and products.