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Here are some creative, incredible online deals if you’re into social media and web maintenance. I’m highlighting some great tools for web maintenance, copy writing and finding images on the cheap.

PhotoDropper

Photodropper, a relatively new image search and plugin for WordPress, has done the favor of providing a convenient search of free images which you can use, thanks to the creative sommons license. Photodropper has been around since 2008, and now offers inexpensive, premium images (only $3) which can be easily searched and used for the web. (Thank you.)

Check out the video which explains the service: http://www.photodropper.com/#

iwriter.com

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone – this is a superb deal. So cheap it seems just wrong.

iwriter.com is one of the best kept secrets on the web. Simply find an inexpensive ghost writer for your blogs, articles, and press releases for as little as $1.25 per article. Yep – that’s right!

I paid $6 for mine, because I felt too guilty to have someone write 500 words for a mere dollar and a quarter. The article was great. Plus, I was able to recycle it for a blog, press release and general copy to be used in a catalog.

I have found they do better with articles for toys  than for industrial or niche-oriented high-tech articles for which I write. I had the brilliant idea one day that I could pay $14 per article for an industrial client for whom I write blogs, as I got tan at the pool. But  no dice – I don’t recommend iwriter.com when it comes to copious research and tech writing.

I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with iwriter.com. I love the service, I hate that the writers are paid so little (only a percentage of the already-low amount). And then I love it again because it’s so affordable.

Iwriter is insanely helpful when you have a blog schedule to maintain.  Also, it’s an inexpensive way to shed new light on a tired product if you’ve been covering it for years. Don’t fire your blogging staff – perhaps you can change them to editors instead?

Fiver.com

It’s pretty hilarious to sift through the things people are willing to do for five bucks, but you can find some incredible and creative deals there. Find designers, people willing to pitch your product, act excited about your product on a video, write your logo on their legs – you name it. A friend also had his Kickstarter video created there. Seriously – for five dollars?

I had a cantankerous video created for my dad’s birthday – I still am not sure I should let  him see it, but it was hilarious and only $5.

Five bucks seems like nothing, but if these people are efficient, they’re raking in the cash as you’re getting a great deal. You can also add to your order by opting for additional services if you like.

MailChimp.com

Another great freebee for small businesses, MailChimp offers free service for up to 2,000 subscribers. You get nearly all the bells & whistles to send out smart-looking campaigns, monitor recipients and campaign successes, integrate your opt-in list with Facebook or your web site, thanks to numerous API’s. Make no mistake – you can make serious strides in your sales numbers with great email campaigns.

This free start helps you build your list the legal-eagle way: no spam, no unsolicited emails, all FCC nice-and-friendly-like. At one time ConstantContact offered this free startup service  – I wish they still did. They’d probably get many more start-ups involved. iContact also doesn’t offer freebies, even though it makes good friends with SalesForce and is a bit more intuitive to use. Besides, MailChimp emails you compliments that makes you feel like a winner every time someone signs up for your newsletter. You can’t beat that.

Your Tweeter Karma, by Dossy

This service was so awesome I sent Dossy a $5 donation for the service, with my hearty thanks. No charge for this site – only donations, but I use it all of the time.

Due to the stupidity that is Twitter, your account will be locked up after you follow 2,000 people. (I’ll rant about how lame Twitter is in a later post.)

Sure, Twitter is a superb place to network, but it can also make you look like a desperate stalker if you’re following 1800 people and only 75 are following back. Tweeter Karma by Dossy counts  who’s following and who’s not, and allows you to unfollow those who aren’t following. That brings your following count down, so your account becomes available for new following.

Your Tweeter Karma makes it easy. Allow access to your Twitter account to make it work, and (depending on how many follows/followers you have) it will take a few minutes to list each follow. Small red and green icons indicate who is following back and who isn’t. You can even sort by no-follows, so you can delete them after a period of time. Twitter can lock your account for lots of unfollows/follows and “churning” so don’t over do it. Also, allow people some time to follow you back before unfollowing them.

Here’s the link:

http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/

Phone Apps:

Piikki – Immediately scan all receipts and send them to your Google Docs or other cloud storage.

Invoice2go.com – an awesome solution for receipts, estimates, quotes, and invoices. It doesn’t play nice with QuickBooks, but then if QuickBooks made sense we wouldn’t need a phone app, for accounting would we?

Thumbs down go to:

PRweb.com

Booo. Says it’s free. It isn’t.

If you’re watching your budget, stay clear. You’ll sign up, figuring this is the free way to submit a few releases, then you’re inundated with calls from eager telemarketers. Um, and no free releases.

If you’re starting out, do it the old-fashioned way – create your press release list and send them yourself, or google “Press release list” for industries you’re in. Finding a free press release list in my industry gave me a great start on my distribution list.

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