Web Based Software Programs for Which I am Thankful

NOTE: the Link Roundup is beneath this post.

What Thanksgiving Taught Me About BusinessAside from my birthday (June 15th, send gifts), Thanksgiving is my most reflective day of the year.

  • Maybe it’s the fact that everything’s closed down for the holiday.
  • Maybe it’s the fact that I get to catch-up with my far-flung family and friends.
  • Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m stuffed with turkey, can’t move and my brain gets bored.

Whatever the reason, I was in a contemplative mood after dinner yesterday and I found my thoughts drifting to online software.

Yes, it’s true, but if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know that thinking about web based software programs is not that unusual an activity for me. That’s because I’m a huge proponent of managing and marketing a business using web based software programs.

As such, I use many of these types of programs to run my business every day. In fact, this past summer, online solutions helped me keep my business humming when I was injured in a bicycle accident!

Yes, when it comes to web based software programs, there are many for which I am thankful and I wanted to share that list with you today.

These are my anchors, the online small business software programs that I use almost every day.

These are my anchors, the online small business software programs that I use almost every day. These are the online solutions that make it easier to run my business and get my work done.

You guys make this all worthwhile! Thanks!

Enjoy the list and remember, I am deeply thankful for each and every person who reads my blog, subscribes to my newsletter or reaches out to connect with me via social media!

Web Based Software Programs for Which I am Thankful

Gmail – Gmail is far and away the best e-mail solution for someone like me. It allows me to combine 5 e-mail accounts into one mailbox and auto-labels each one for easy filtering. It has a huge storage capacity, handles SPAM well and best of all, is free!

Hootsuite – I use HootSuite for two primary business tasks:

  1. First off, it allows me to monitor all the relevant Twitter chatter and provides a handy way for me to conduct market research.
  2. Second, it allows me to schedule my twice-daily Twitter and Facebook content updates once a week. Once they get Facebook tagging working through scheduled updates, this solution will be ideal

Why HootSuite and not one of the other social media dashboards? I like the fact that it is a completely online solution so it is always waiting for me no matter what computer I happen to be using.

WordPress – though I am a highly-skilled website designer and developer, I like the fact that WordPress allows me to get a website up and running quickly while also offering the powerful features and functionality I need to deliver content and sell products and services.

Amazon S3 – essentially, this is just a huge file storage spot that I use for two reasons:

  1. With data being so important, I copy my computer and website backups here so I have a backup of my backup in case something happens to the copy I keep in my office.
  2. I store my larger videos, the ones that will not fit over at YouTube, here because, using a WordPress plugin, I am able to embed and play those videos in my site. Because they are stored and played from over at Amazon, many people can watch a video at the same time without experiencing any slowdown on the rest of my site.

AWeber – I use AWeber to send my weekly Matt About Business newsletters. I selected AWeber because of its ability to integrate with just about anything which allows me to add folks to lists not only when they sign up, but also when they do things such as buy one of my products.

Google Analytics – another free product from Goggle, Abalytics collects and reports on everything that happens on my website. Recently, Google released a new version which has made this tool even more useful by allowing it to integrate with more external data sources as well as by providing improved reporting functionality.

Connected – I use Connected’s customer relationship management (CRM) functionality to track my interactions with clients and peers.

In integrates very well with social media as well as Gmail so my contacts’ profiles are always up-to-date. Best of all, it send me a daily e-mail with my schedule as well as any opportunities for me to engage my network (e.g. birthdays, job changes, etc.).

Connected was recently purchased by LinkedIn, so I’m eager to see what they come up with when backed by some hard cash.

Crowdbooster – this tool allows me to track my social media performance in some interesting ways, even at the free level of membership. Besides handy facts such as changes in follower and fan counts and other metrics, I can learn other important things such as:

  1. The best times of day to post updates based on past engagement stats, and
  2. Influential folks in my network with whom I should connect.

Skype – I make all of my business calls using Skype simply because, for one low fee, I can call anywhere in the US without incurring any cell phone charges or minutes.

GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar – these are my two “goto” (get it? :)) solutions for online meetings and webinars. Why? Because the tools are straightforward to use and they are constantly working to improve the already solid solutions.

Evernote – I am always coming across online articles, posts and images which I want to file away. Evernote lets me capture those in one place, organize them with labels and then synch all of that across many devices so my clippings are easily available. Handy, eh?

FreshBooks – send an estimate, convert it into an invoice, send the invoice and then get paid online. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Weekly Link Roundup

Weekly Link RoundupEach week, I collect the 10 best posts that I’ve read and share them with you here.

These posts focus on web-based solutions, online resources and up-to-date news for small businesses.

Enjoy!

Are You Building Relationships With Your Influencers? (You Should Be.): Reaching out to connect with the influencers in your network can greatly expand your own influence. Learn how in this post.

5 Tips for Using the New LinkedIn Company Pages: LinkedIn recently updated their pages for your company. These profiles are separate from your own profile and can raise your visibility on this business-focused networking site.

Consumers Aren’t Looking to Friend Brands: Do consumers want to be your friend or just buy from you? An interesting take on social media expectations.

10 Dos and Don’ts of A/B Testing: A/B testing allows you to try two marketing approaches and then measure which works best. Some good testing tips and tricks in this post.t

Why That Great Post Didn’t Go Viral: You ever write a great post and then cannot figure out why your audience is not engaging by it? Here are some reasons why that might have happened.

What’s the #1 thing people are doing online?: As an online marketer, I’m always interested in what folks do online. This infographic provides some handy insights.

Social Media Analytics Starts with Google Analytics: I’m a big fan of using Google Analytics to track activity on your website. This post shows you how to use the tool to track social media activity.

A Steward of Good Resources: Some great tips on the things you should consider before making a big software purchase for your business.

5 Tips for Getting Bloggers to Attend and Write About Your Event: Engaging bloggers is a great way to spread the word about your event. This post tells you how.

Over 25 FREE Must-Have Marketing Books, Magazines, Courses, Tools and Conferences: This is a super-handy resource list for all online marketers.

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Matt About Friday: The “Web Based Software Programs for Which I am Thankful” Edition…

    I’m a huge proponent of managing & marketing a business using web based software programs. Here’s a list of online small business software that I use every day….

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