Free Resources for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Free Resources for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Today’s marketplace is cluttered and crowded; and this is not exactly good news for entrepreneurs and start-up owners. Fortunately, there are different tools that you can use in order to make your brand stand out. Here are the categories of the must-have tools that you should immediately secure for your business.

A. Business Tools for Success

Since we are in a fairly modern market place, you need to utilize different tools that will empower you to use the Internet as a means to drive and influence business processes. Make sure that you sign up for these tools that will help you get your brand online.

1.   For you to be able to mount a website for free, use the following business tools:

·         Bootstrap Zero – A collection of templates that is wonderfully open-sources

·         WordPress.org or WordPress.com – Allows users to create a website for absolutely no cost

·         Layers – A website builder that you can use with WordPress for absolutely nothing

2.   To create or improve your professional branding, use the following:

·         Logaster

·         Squarespace Free Logo

3.   To generate and track your invoices for free, you can use the following business options:

·         Invoice to Me

·         Wave

·         Free Invoice Generator

4.   To better manage ideas from different parties, these tools will be of so much help:

·         Experiment Board

·         Skitch

·         Germ.io

B. Marketing Resources for Better Market Visibility

For your business to become a running success, you need to use the proper marketing techniques that will promote your business, along with your products and services. If you need help in this front, then you should check out the following tools.

1.   To improve the way that you produce content for your website and your blogs, check out the following:

·         Grammarly

·         ZenPen

·         Story Wars

·         Egg Timer

·         Wattpad

·         Editorial Calendar

2.   To ensure that your SEO process is clean and to analyze the running statistics of your website, you may use the following:

·         Google Analytics

·         Copyscape

·         Quick Sprout

·         SEO Site Checkup

3.   To ensure that you maintain proper market relationship and perception via social media, get your hands on the following marketing resources:

·         Latergram

·         WriteRack

·         SocialRank

C. Design & Code Resources for a Nice Visual Experience

In a marketplace where most business dealings, transactions, and marketing is done online, you cannot and should not underestimate the value of a good design. If you do not have an in-house designer, then you can take care of your basic design needs using the right resources.

1.   For overall resources that you need to strike up inspiration or to work on crafting your vision, you may use the following:

·         Premium Pixels

·         Graphic Burger

·         365 PSD

·         UI Space

2.   If you need a boost in finding your creative design juices, then get inspired with the following resources:

·         MaterialUP

·         UI Cloud

·         Ocean

·         Behance

·         Awwwards

3.   If you want your online copy to jump out of the page using the right typography, use these tools:

·         Typekit

·         Adobe Edge Fonts

·         FontFace Ninja

4.   For other useful tools that will improve the overall visual experience of your platform, check out the following:

·         Sonics

·         Copy Paste Character

·         UI Names

D. Productivity for Profit

Working in an out of office environment can be quite tricky, which is why you need to get your hands on the right tools that will keep you focused. Here are resources that you may use to set the right environment for productivity-driven profit.

1.   To set the right tone – and tune – for working, you can play background sounds using the following tools:

·         Noisli

·         Defonic

·         Octave

·         Free Sound

2.   To keep you focused and to help you avoid environmental distractions, you can improve your attention prowess using the following:

·         Cold Turkey

·         Self Control

3.   If you prefer tending to processes digitally and if remote work is your thing, then you may use these tools to keep ticking your to-do boxes:

·         Nomad Jobs

·         Lastroom

·         Workfrom

·         Founded x Startup Stats

4.   To make it easier to organize files and to collaborate with other workers, use these tools:

·         Pocket

·         Slack

·         Trello

E. Learn with these Resources and Climb your Way to the Top

Being an entrepreneur and managing a successful start-up will entail continuous learning and re-learning. To keep your mind sharp, there are learning tools that you may use at your free time.

1.   To build the foundations of your company with people who are not geographically present, you may use:

·         Founder2be

·         Assembly

·         CoFoundersLab

2.    To access learning resources and curriculum that will add to your business knowledge and gear you with the right business philosophies, check out:

·         Coursera

·         Skillshare

·         The How

·         The Lean LaunchPad

·         Launch This Year

3.   To curate the right tools that will help you on the way to the top, you may use:

·         Product Hunt

·         Startups List

·         Erli Bird

4.   To access newsletters that will deliver relevant information straight to your inbox, use these resources:

·         Email1K

·         Charge What You’re Worth

·         Startup Digest

Staying Focused

StayFocusd increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. It is a free app but works on Chrome Only.

An overlooked aspect of self-publishing is dedication. In order to accomplish your self-publishing goals, you need to put in a set amount of time at your work space every day. It’s best to be consistent, to have routines, and to expect results from your writing and working sessions. Inspiration and vision are important, but so are focus and reliability.

The key to working longer and more effectively is to spend quality time at your desk. When you make your work area distraction free, you can easily form habits that allow you to work longer hours and complete the projects you start.

In order to form habits that you can stick with, make sure:

  • you intend to work for a set amount of time when you sit down at your desk
  • keep your desk and your working area clean, but not sterile
  • you reward yourself (but only when you complete projects and milestones!)
Software for Writers. Storybase is intended to inspire your thought about the people and situations of your story

The following tools and resources can help you become more productive in your work area. You’ll start to maximize the time you spend writing and minimize the time you waste on distractions.

  1. Stay Focused and Freedom 

StayFocusd is a free Chrome browser extension that keeps you on task. From their website:

You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, blown through 200 pages of Reddit, read every article in your Twitter feed, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia…

What you haven’t done is WORK.                                                                                  StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

If this sounds familiar, you might want to give StayFocusd a try.

Freedom is a similar app for phones, tablets, and computers with more browser support that costs $2.50 per month after a free trial.

  1. An ergonomic workstation and a footrest 

There are many websites and guides to help you adjust your monitor, chair, and desk height. Sitting up straight at a good angle allows you to work longer without pain or frustration. This website provides a good, comprehensive overview of how to adjust your workspace. Most writers completely overlook the importance of sitting up straight and using a desk correctly. The difference it can make is enormous.

WriteItNow is the ideal writing software for NOVICE AND EXPERIENCED WRITERS of fiction and non-fiction.

It may sound strange if you’ve never used one, but a footrest can make the time you spend at your desk much more comfortable. There are many different types of footrests: heated, cooled, adjustable, and so forth.Focus Writer

3. FocusWriter

FocusWriter goes a step further than StayFocusd. Designed for writers, it includes tools like an alarm clock, a goal tracker, custom background images, mouse gestures, and more. This software blocks out distractions. One of the nicest things about FocusWriter is its ability to let you focus on a single paragraph. The feature goes above and beyond in helping you stay hyper-focused on the task you have at hand, making it easy for you to work through distractions and keep yourself on task. FocusWriter is a free download.

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10 Reasons Why You Want Videos on Your Listicle

First of all, if you think what in the world is a listicle? Well, a listicle is a way to get information out there in several different forms. In journalism, a listicle is a short-form of writing that uses lists as its structure and will have a number in its title telling you that there will be a list. In media, a listicle can be done using YouTube clips and helps get information out more quickly than reporting it because they are just short clips. So, why do you want to use videos on your listicle? I am going to give you 10 reasons why you should use videos on your listicle in this article.

Drive Traffic                                                                                                            It is no secret that it is way easier for the human brain to read lists thanany other type of short-form writing style. With social media such as Facebook and Twitter taking over the internet mainly short videos have become the thing to do over lunch break. You see something on Facebook that you think might be funny or of interest to you and you click on the video and possibly even share it with your co-workers and have a laugh or a discussion with others all because of this 1-minute video. Videos are the perfect way to get traffic to your articles or your site.

Drive Traffic

Build Engagement                                                                                                 As I just said, with social media always increasing, short videos are becoming more and more popular. It helps engage others in conversation and as a result, the video then gets shared and before you know it you have thousands maybe even millions of people watching your video clip and coming to your article to read what you have to say. So, what better way to increase your SEO than to build engagement?

Easily Shareable                                                                                                  Again, I cannot stress enough how much social media will help get people to view your content. A video is easily shareable and because of this people will see it more quickly than if it is just an article written. People want to see videos, and they love sharing them with their friend’s on Facebook and Twitter. So, because of this, it will help drive traffic to your listicle. Make that video of interest, and your video will be shared across the country.

Saves Reader Time                                                                                            Okay so no matter how you look at it, a listicle is going to save the reader time. However, a short video clip will save users time. A list is perfect for readers, and it helps them retain what they are reading but a video that is short can easily be watched in 30 seconds and the reader will still keep the information and will be able to look at it faster than they would be able to read a short article. 

Saves Reader Time

Enjoyable                                                                                                         People do not want to waste time reading an article when they can watch a short video and get the laugh they are looking for, the information they are looking for, or the entertainment they are looking for. People love and find enjoyment in watching those short little videos. These short little videos that bring happiness to everybody or mostly everybody will be shared to allow enjoyment for others.

Reader’s Know What They are Getting Into                                                    By reader’s being able to watch a video clip of what they are getting ready to read they will already know if they want to read it or if they want to skip reading it just by watching that 30-second video clip. I mean you would not buy a television without looking into the pros and cons of it so why should you read an article before getting a glimpse of what it is going to be about?

Readers Often Know What They are       Getting Into

Contains a Number                                                                                               By the title having a number in it, the reader or viewer already knows approximately how much time they are going to have to put into reviewing your work. You want people to view your video, so you want to keep it simple and use a number like 5 reasons to… or 10 reasons to… However many points you are going to make that is the number that should be in the title and in the short video clip.

Optimize Search Engine                                                                                      So, a video will not necessarily increase your SEO but a combined number of things will. As your post gets more likes, shares, clicks, and views from social media, your SEO will start to increase. With the added video and proper name to the title, it will quickly enhance your SEO. Add the video and watch your SEO soar to high numbers.

Search Engine Optimization

 

Increase Ad Revenue                                                                                      Videos generate 5-10 times more video ads than articles do. It also is better than the pop-up ads that drive viewers insane. I mean when I want to view an article I do not want to see hundreds of pop-ups I just want to be able to read the article. By having a video ad, it is short, and people do not mind waiting the 5 seconds it takes for the ad to roll. Do this and watch your videos become prime real estate.

Power of Click Bait                                                                                            Click bait is the best way to get people interested in your article or listicle. Click bait is where you have a catchy title like 10 Ways Your Mind Will Be Blown. A title such as this will automatically catch the eye of readers and entice them to click on it making your views increase. Make that catchy title, and people will naturally be so curious about what you are writing about that they will have no other choice but to click on your link and watch your short video for your listicle. It truly is that simple to get people to watch your videos. Just have a catchy title.

The Psychology of Listicles

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