I’ve written several articles about writing the book you’ve been called to write, following your dreams, and not letting your stories die inside of you. Recently I had the opportunity to make someone else’s dream come true. I first met Karl in fall of 2013. I’d JUST realized that Assisted Self-Publishing was really what I wanted to do and Karl was sent to me by a friend because he had a book he wanted to publish.
For Karl, the fees for my work weren’t an issue. It was that he wanted the whole thing done in a week AND to make matters worse, the manuscript had been typed on a typewriter; I’d have to re-type the whole thing. I felt I couldn’t compress my timeline of 4-5 weeks for publishing.
Months passed. We’d run into each other at the grocery store or post office. I’d always ask how his project was going. He had a friend who was turning his typed manuscript into a .csv file. Why, I’ll never know; the publisher needs a .pdf that’s laid out to their specifications.
In May, just after I stopped working at the tax office full-time, Karl stopped by there, looking for me. I hopped in the truck to go see him and see how I could help him out. See, something had changed for Karl and it became critical he see his book published.
Karl is dying. In May, he said his doctor was giving him four to six months; heart problems and nothing can be done for him. He wanted to see his book published before he died. Hold it in his hand and know that it was real. Because of his medical bills, the money to pay my fees had been spent on his care.
This week, I’m attending Maribel Jimenez’s EXCELLENT event so I asked my dear friend and client, Camden Hoch, to share some yoga moves that are perfect for those of us who spend a ton of time at our desks. I don’t know about you, but after a day sitting at my computer, my shoulders are tight and my lower back aches.
Camden has fixes for both!
0:38 Meet Ms. Jackson the Wisdom Kitty
1:07 Why you should do this: The 7th Inning Stretch
1:43 Breath work
3:07 Maintain breath-work for oxygen circulation for mental clarity
3:32 Yoga poses to open shoulders and release tension: moving shoulders
4:52 Yoga poses to open chest to loosen upper back: breath work and stretches
6:29 Yoga poses to continue to release and relax back: Cow & Cat
7:51 Feel the energy circulation, vibrance, and radiance
8:07 Camden’s suggestions to open your hips as you work
8:49 Yoga pose to open hips: Chair pose
9:44 Yoga pose to continue to open hips: chair pose with twist
10:48 Bonus tip!
11:10 Sign off from Ms. Jackson
Camden Hoch is the Founder of Radiance Enterprises and creator of the Radiant Life and Biz Coaching Program. She is recognized as one of today’s leading experts in teaching methods to embrace life daily with attention and intention to balance. Her teaching style encourages connection through honest and rich relationships uplifting global value and connection. She has mentored and empowered hundreds of clients in choosing to power up their lives and businesses from the inside out!
Find her at CamdenHoch.com
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For the past few weeks I’ve been hard at work on a new gift to give to people when they opt-in to my newsletter list. I’d say 90% of my subscribers join my list BECAUSE they wanted the gift; the *ahem* great content in the weekly newsletter is a bonus. The other 10% find my blog, read a great article and decide they want more articles delivered to their inbox every Tuesday. So an opt-in gift is CLEARLY a really important thing to create and create well!
When I first started with email marketing, back in 2003, it wasn’t really much of a requirement to offer a free gift to encourage people to sign up. Emailed newsletters were still a novelty. (And in some industries they still are!)
When I sat down to create my new gift, here’s the thought process I went through:
1. Who do I want to attract to my list?
My original opt-in gift was targeted to ANYONE who was interested in self-publishing. But over the course of a year since that gift was new, my target subscriber has been refined to be a coach, speaker, or author.
So when I created a NEW gift, I targeted it directly to who I wanted on my list.
Last week I participated in a comment exchange party – each participant posted a link to a blog post that she wanted additional comments on and then OTHERS in the party would leave comments on the post.
Makes total sense, right? You get more traffic on a blog post, they get more links to their website, you get to read new articles, your name is seen by more people… It’s a win-win, right?
Well, maybe. There are a LOT of factors involved when it comes to commenting on other people’s blogs.
- MOST blogs have a nofollow policy which means that the link to YOUR website is listed as nofollow. Now, I’m not an SEO expert but I think this boils down to the link isn’t as valuable as an incoming link with a nofollow tag as it is without.
- People don’t always reciprocate. In an event like this, it’s completely possible I would comment on more blogs than would comment on mine.
- Time. Even if you skim the articles, it still takes time to read them. But the biggest time-overhead is the commenting itself. And sometimes it’s tough to even figure out HOW to comment!
- Finding something to say. There have been times I’ve been involved in comment-swaps like this and I knew NOTHING about the blog’s topic and had zero interest. Makes it hard to say anything that “Thanks! Great post!”
- Not all blogs delete spam comments, moderate snarky or mean commenters, or engage with their readers. Personally, I reserve the right to delete ANY comment on my blog.
So how DO you write a good comment on somebody’s blog?
Decide WHY you’re doing it. I’m usually looking to get my name out there and expand my visibility in the blog-o-world. And with most blogs not offering a ‘follow’ link back to MY site, SEO reasons aren’t my main consideration.
*** This is my 100th post! Wanted to celebrate with you! ***
Ah, to be BORN a good writer. No matter how much raw talent you have, nobody is BORN a good writer. Writing is like anything else all the raw talent in the world doesn’t do any good if you don’t invest the time to learn what to do with it.
Trust me, I’ve had plenty of writing training:
- Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing from University of Arizona
- Attended writer’s conferences all over the world
- I have SHELF of “How To Write ____” books
There is value in all this knowledge. But at the end of the day, do taking classes make you a writer?
Does buying paint and an easel and canvas make you a painter? Hmm…
Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you invest in any writing class:
1. Will this class teach me something I don’t already know?
This is my Number One filter I use before I invest in another class (or book). There’s no right or wrong answer here! But I do apply this additional knowledge as well:
If yes: take the class.
If no: Is it because I am already familiar with the material or is it arrogance on my part?
2. Does this class advance my career?
Sometimes you need to take a class because while the material is familiar to you, the credential you get from completing the class is something that is really valuable.
Other times, the class itself has the knowledge you need.
Here’s an example from my experience: taking a class on how to create an index for a book. Did you know that you can get a certification as an indexer? I had no idea until I was researching how to create an index for my cookbook! So then the question was: Would this class (certification) set me apart from my book-publishing-competition in the markets that I work in?