Hi everyone

I have started up several ventures at my website. I have a strong publishing background, but I am getting gradually more and more bored of being an editor on magazines, because I have met most of the challenges in this field, and the entrepreneurial bug has bitten. Since I'm strongest in the field of publishing and media, and I moved to the Middle East three years ago, I have identified a few areas where I can make an impact with an online business in the region, before perhaps progressing onto other pastures that would compliment my online presence.

First and foremost, I have a site at the base URL where I publish press releases for PR companies. I'm using this component of this site to drive as much traffic to the site, to push me up the Google rankings. With time, however, as my resources (and hopefully finances) grow, we will become a news site for the Middle East that covers issues across a broad range of topics, and we will move away from posting press releases to actually generating the news stories ourselves.

The areas, however, that I want to market and focus on more intently at the moment to get the dollars ticking in are an online stock photography site. The goal of this site it to sell high resolution images to publishing houses, advertising agencies and media companies. There is a good market for this in the Middle East, and I have been hard at work to sign on with good photographers from around the world. This site is set to take off, and I just need to find a means of finding clients to purchase images. Getting access to databases with email addresses has been tough, and it's been incredibly time consuming to sift through websites, looking for email addresses, and to only find that 40-60% of them are no longer active - any suggestions and help on this one would be greatly appreciated.

My other component is in essence, a yellow pages system for business listings in the Middle East, focusing on publishing and media, but there are also listings for other business segments and services. I'm particularly excited about this, because there are a handful of sites that actually do this in the region, and the listings are usually extremely poor or the coverage of topics is not very good. The biggest problem in the Middle East is getting telephone numbers and email addresses to companies outside the UAE, and this site could become an extremely valuable resource for companies in Europe or the US wishing to conduct business in the region. Once again, getting access to email databases has not been easy, and I'm not sure how to go about get leads to actually populate the site with content. I could hire a person to do sales and gather information, but that costs money, and getting this off the ground is proving to be quite a challenge. To be honest, getting the leads in Dubai will be easy, but the real challenge lies in the surrounding countries. Any good ideas on getting the word out on the site, bearing in mind that I have zero budget to play with, would once again be greatly appreciated.

Other than marketing ideas, I would like to find out if there are any potential investors that would like to invest in a promising venture in the Middle East. I have many ideas on how to expand this business, to get a big foothold in the market, but many of my ideas all cost money. Being an editor for the better part of my professional life has been fulfilling, but it's not a profession that provides you with a lot of zeros in the bank. I have a wealth of experience, and my local knowledge is extremely good. I know what the market requires, and I need to find someone to partner up with that can take advantage of my enthusiasm and abilities. I have ideas and the skills and abilities to create a wide range of products that spin off these cyber projects, but I fear that I will not be able to become the BIG fish without the backing of a solid financial partner.

Many thanks in advance for any replies or messages.

[Edited: Reason for edit - removal of direct links to commercial sites]