I’m on a catch up mission this week! Day 20 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge is all about Tips, Tools & Resources: All You Will Need to Build Your Online Business.

I’m planning on going ‘cloud’ for most of my apps and tools. The key business tool I’m already using is Adobe Creative Cloud which costs me $70 a month for access to all the amazing Design related apps like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign etc and ensures I’m always on the latest release, all for less per year than it would cost to purchase one app. This is my staple business tool. As is Google Drive for storing and sharing documentation and Dropbox for sharing files with collaborators and clients. Who doesn’t know about these and use them? They’re great tools and free.

However what about the rest of my business? Below are probably the top 3 online tools that will save me time and money and make my online world a whole lot more seamless.

Virtual Staff Marketplace Service

In my post The A Team I talked about how I’m going to build a virtual team to help me out. To do this I need to find a reliable virtual staff service to tap into for assistance in general admin, web design and copy writing, possibly some design too. I haven’t decided on a service yet but the good ones on offer seem to be:

ODesk is a global marketplace where you can hire and work with virtual remote staff on either a one-off project or for a longer term arrangement. You select your staff via country and rate if you have a budget to stick to.

Alternatively eLance is similar but has a network of freelancers who choose to bid or a project that you submit and you negotiate with them the rate. Higher quality and calibre of workers here, may suit certain projects.

Virtual Staff Finder specialise in Virtual Assistants (VA’s), SEO specialists, copywriters and website developers. These guys may suit my purposes better and they’re all based in the Philippines a popular outsourcing region now with excellent English and communication skills.

There is also WPCurve who specialise in WordPress code development and fixes which might be handy if I end up using these templates a lot in my work.

In any case, I’ll need to try all these out and see what fits. It’s all down to the actual person you end up working with rather than where you found them. I plan to have a few people on my team in the long run.

Email Newsletters

MailChimp is a very popular and easy to use tool that manages your Mailing List subscribers, sends out your beautiful Newsletters, autoresponders and tracks the campaigns performance. Pretty handy!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media platforms can be a nightmare to keep up with and while it’s important to be active, as mentioned in my post Engaging My Tribe you don’t want it taking up hours of your precious time.

Hootsuite is a tool that can link to all your social media accounts and provide a one view, one go-to dashboard to monitor all activity and send messages across all platforms, track them and sort your direct messages from your retweets etc. I’m new to all this but am keen to give a try as multiple platforms create too much noise.

What online tools are you using in your business that save you oodles of time and money? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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