I get many requests about the systems I use in running my own eBay and internet business.
To give you the answer in one place, here is the software which I use daily in my own business.
I should point out that much of my own activity is now to do with selling digital information via eBay and from websites i.e. ebooks and software, which is why some of the software programs I use are concerned with this activity.
This is lovely utility which saves me hours of time each week. It is perfect for those occasions when you are required to key in information to websites. For example, how often do you key in your name and address, or a username and password, or an email address?
With Shortkeys, you associate 3 or 4 unique keystrokes with a string of frequently used information. Let's suppose I want to have a shortkey for my email address, and I set this as ##z1 in Shortkeys. Whenever I am required to key in my email address, in Outlook, on web forms, in Word documents etc, I just type in ##z1 and Shortkeys instantly replaces that with my email address.
There is an uncharged version called Shortkeys Lite which has a limit of 30 items. The full version of Shortkeys allows you an unlimited number of items.
You can get it here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlrshortkeys.htm
If you regularly download ebooks or software, and it seems to take forever, you will find Download Accelerator is a useful addition to your portfolio. Download Accelerator increases download speeds by up to 300%, regardless of the speed of your internet connection. I don't know how it does it, but I guess 89 million users can't be wrong!
You can get Download Accelerator on 14 day test here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlraccelerator.htm
I create all my ebooks in pdf format as this file can be read by anyone with Acrobat Reader, and this includes Mac users too. The way I create an ebook is to write it in Microsoft Word first. Once I'm happy that the Word version is exactly how I want it, I use an integrated converter which takes the Word file and converts it automatically into a pdf file. This conversion preserves everything which appeared in the Word document, including headers/footers, page numbers and web links.
You can read all about Adobe Acrobat here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlracrobat.htm
If you are considering developing your own ebooks using Acrobat, the most cost effective way of purchasing it is to buy online from Adobe's US site, and select the download option. To buy the download version this is the place to start: http://www.workwinners.com/nlracrobat_dl.htm
At 167 Mb, Acrobat is quite a large software product. If you would therefore prefer to buy the boxed CD version, the cheapest way in the UK is to get it from Amazon. http://www.workwinners.com/nlramacrobat.htm
It is a fact that showing your ebook in 3D form so it looks like a book really helps to boost sales. Compact Draw is the software I use to create my ebook covers. You can try it for 30 days here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlrcompact.htm
Website creation and maintenance
I use Macromedia's Dreamweaver to design websites, and indeed to create eBay auction description pages. Dreamweaver is a premium web design product, and unless you're going to do serious website design I wouldn't advise you to acquire it.
It comes in boxed form, and Macromedia will channel any UK purchasers to a UK based reseller. The cheapest way in the UK is to get it from Amazon. http://www.workwinners.com/nlramdream.htm
Image Manipulation & Optimising
I use Paint Shop Pro for picture manipulation and for optimising. This is important for auction pictures, as eBay have a size limit of 50KB on any pictures which you want to upload to their Picture Service.
The authors, JASC, have just released Version 9 of this software. I find Version 8 is perfectly acceptable for everything I want to do, and it's cheaper than Version 9.
You can't now buy Version 8 from the author's USA site, which is unfortunate as this was the cheapest way of buying the product before Version 9 came out.
The good news is that Version 8 is currently half price at the author's UK site, as you can see here: http://www.workwinners.com/nlrpsp.htm
It's available for trial at the UK site, and I recommend you test it to see if you can work with it.
Cute FTP is probably the best known FTP software. I have used it for several years and have been very satisfied with the software. http://www.workwinners.com/nlrcute.htm
ProWebSpace are excellent and reasonable web hosts which I have now been using for over a year. I transferred to them from another host with whom I was having lots of problems. Now, I have a better service, and it's at one third the price! Of course, you can get web space for nothing from a variety of ISPs. Take a look at http://www.freeisp.com
You only need companies like ProWebSpace if you intend to "go commercial" in your internet activities. If you do, it's important to have a paid service as this gives you the right to kick b**t if ever you experience hosting problems. If you would like to know the hosting company who I moved from, email me. If you think you need professional hosting, this is definitely where I would start. http://www.workwinners.com/nlrpws.htm
Newsletter and other Mailings
As my newsletter has grown, I've tried various ways of managing my mailing lists. I currently use Press-Manager, and have found their service to be very easy to set-up and to use. It's a web based service, and all mailings are performed from their site. This means there's no software to be installed, I can manage my mailings from any PC and my ISP no longer bears the mailing load. http://www.workwinners.com/nlrpm.htm
You may know that the use of autoresponders is one of the keys to marketing on the internet. I use Promasoft, and have found it can easily handle everything I want. http://www.workwinners.com/nlrpsoft.htm
I hope this glimpse into the systems and services I use has been helpful.
Good luck in your own internet business developments and in your eBay selling.
About the author:
Brian McGregor specializes in showing website owners how to make more money from their sites by applying inventive and original use of eBay. For a free copy of ?The eBay Traffic Funnel? which shows you how to use the power of eBay to make more money with your website, visit http://www.more-auction-sales.com/websites/
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