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The Birth of a Successful Internet Business - Essential Software
By Shelley Lowery

An essential part of running a successful Internet business is quality software. Software will play a major role in your success. You must be willing to invest in the software you'll need to assist you in running your business.

Email Program

The first and most important software you'll need is a quality email program. Although most Internet Service Providers include email accounts for their customers, these accounts aren't adequate for an Internet business -- especially if you get a large amount of email. Not only do the email addresses contain your ISP's name, but they are also very limited on features and options.

There are many email programs available on the Internet. However, the best program I've found is Eudora. Eudora is a standalone email program that works with any ISP. It will enable you to easily organize your email by filtering your messages into specific mailboxes. This feature alone can save you a great deal of time. What's more, your email address will be your own domain -- not someone else's.


Mailing List Software

Collecting your visitors' email address is one of the most important parts of developing a successful Internet business. You must develop a database of potential customers if you truly want to succeed. Publishing an ezine is a great way to accomplish this. In order to do so, you must have a good mailing list program that will enable you to send your potential customers personalized messages.

Mailing List Software:


Group Mail 

If you're using a software program that resides on your computer, you'll also need a good form processing script to enable your visitors to subscribe:

Master Form 

If you're an American Online customer, you won't be able to use a software program that runs on your computer. You'll need to use a program that runs with your web browser.

OptIn Lightning 

@News Wizard 

HTML Editor

Your website is the storefront of your business and is one of the most important factors in determining your success. In order to design your website, you'll need to get a good HTML editor.

Coffee Cup




Microsoft Frontpage 

Before you begin the actual design process, I highly recommend that you download and install two web browsers -- Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. These are the two most widely used browsers on the Internet. However, they are not created equally. Your page might look great when viewed through Internet Explorer, but may not display well when viewed through Navigator. It is very important that you view your website through both browsers, and design your pages accordingly.

Internet Explorer

Netscape Navigator

Graphics Editor

Graphic design is an intimidating subject for many Internet entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design techniques in order to avoid the high costs of hiring a professional designer.

In order to create or edit your graphics, you'll need to invest in a good graphics program. The most popular program used by Internet marketers is Paint Shop Pro. This powerful program is the only program you'll need to design professional looking graphics.

Paint Shop Pro 

Zip/Unzip Program

Zip files are used to compress and transport file archives over the Internet. It is the preferred method used for electronic file distribution, as rather than downloading several different files, you can simply download one Zip file. In addition, the download time will be minimized, as the files within the Zip archive are compressed.

Once a Zip file is downloaded, it can be easily opened and extracted (unzipped) with a Zip/Unzip software program.

Although there are many Zip software programs available on the Internet, WinZip is the most popular. WinZip makes working with file archives simple.


FTP Program

File Transfer Protocol, better known as FTP, is a procedure used to upload and download files to and from your web server.

In order to use FTP, you'll need to download and install a software program on your computer. The most widely used FTP program is WS FTP Pro.


Text Editor

Text editors have a variety of uses such as writing HTML, editing scripts, and writing ezine articles -- just to name a few. NotePad is an excellent text editor and is most likely already installed on your computer. However, it can't handle large files and is better suited for smaller files. You may find that you'd like an editor that is a little more powerful. I use a great program called NoteTab Pro. This powerful editor will enable you to edit large files, format your text, convert your text to HTML, and even includes a spellchecker and thesaurus.

NoteTab Pro 

Ad Tracking

Testing and tracking your marketing strategies is an essential part of your success. I recommend using a great script called LnkinLite. It's simple to use and will assist you in tracking all of your strategies.


Financial Management

In order to keep track of your business financial matters, you'll need to invest in a good financial management software. The best program I've found is Quicken.


Tax Program

Filing your taxes and keeping up with the ever-changing tax laws can be very intimidating. However, if you keep good records and use a good tax program, you can file your taxes with ease. I highly recommend using Turbo Tax. This great program will make the process a lot easier and even enable you to file your taxes electronically. What's more, it will even allow you to import your Quicken files.

Turbo Tax 

Although this list of software is far from complete, it will provide you with a basic guideline to get you started.

If you're serious about your business and you really want to succeed, purchasing software is an absolute must. Do your homework and select software that best suits your needs. It will be well worth the investment.

Copyright Shelley Lowery 2002.

Shelley Lowery is the author of the highly acclaimed ebook series, Web Design Mastery -- an in-depth guide to professional web design that is rapidly becoming known as the "Bible" for professional web design. http://www.webdesignmastery.com/

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