It’s been said many times before, but the single most important thing for driving traffic to your site is content. Good, solid, unique content is what will attract visitors, invite backlinks, and help you to rank well with the search engines.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating blog posts, ebooks, reports, articles, podcasts, software or videos, your content is what will attract visitors to your site, and convert them into subscribers or customers.
Now, creating content will take a little bit of effort, but the great news is you can do all this with free software. Of course you could spend thousands of dollars on high end tools if you want to, but the free ones I recommend here will be more than enough to get you started.
Open Office for text based content
Open Office is an office suite similar to Microsoft Office. It has a word processor and spreadsheet along with several other tools such as an image editor and database. What we want it for however is for creating reports and ebooks. The reason Open Office is so powerful is that it has native ability to export any document to PDF. That means you simply type up your eBook or report and hit the export button and bam, you have a product ready to sell or give away!
Nvu for web pages
Nvu is a WYSIWYG HTML editor. It allows you to create and edit web pages without knowing any HTML code. You simply design and edit just like you would edit a word processor document, and Nvu writes all the HTML code for you). The option of getting your hands dirty with the HTML is there for those times when you need to do some tweaking, but for the most part you can get away with leaving that up to the software.
GIMP for images
GIMP is an acronym for Gnu Image Manipulation Program and essentially it’s an open source ‘Photoshop’. You’ll turn to this software when you need to edit or prepare images for your website, or create an eBook cover, or put screenshots into a report. It’s a very powerful piece of software which is capable of doing a lot more than you’ll probably ever need it to. Don’t let the complexity put you off however, just learn the basic functions you need and this will be a real workhorse application for you.
Audacity for audio
Audacity is used for recording and editing audio. Whether you’re doing an interview, product review, podcast or testimonials for your sale page, Audacity is quick to learn, easy to use and produces great results. Just plug a microphone in, hit record and you’re away.
Camstudio for screen video
Video is by far the most powerful medium to get your message across, and it’s fast becoming the most popular method of distributing content on the web. Until quite recently, producing and publishing video on the Internet meant expensive software, specialist equipment and high end hosting accounts. Not any more though… Camstudio is free, and easy to use. Just a few mouse clicks and you can record whatever you’re doing on screen along with a voiceover and let your visitors watch over your shoulder to give great tutorials and reviews. Combine this with YouTube hosting and you have a winning formula for low cost video publishing.
So there you go, 5 free tools for creating killer content for your online business.