Friday, July 31, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Writing Your Book Today

There has been a point in almost everyone’s life where they have thought to themselves, “Hey, I should write a book about that!” Sadly, billions of these dreamers never take the first step to writing their story.

You can do something about that, right? You can start your own book right now.

1. It’s Never Been Easier to Write a Book


Let’s face it. Computers have revolutionized the process of writing a book. We no longer have to write our books out in long hand or fiddle with a click-clack typewriter. These days we can plop ourselves down in a comfy place and begin to write.

To add icing to the luscious piece of computer cake, there are also programs and apps available for writers that help use with the writing process. There is mind mapping software created to help us outline a book, speech recognition software that allows us to dictate our books, and software for creating a draft of your story.

Now, more than ever, writers have a large range of tools that makes writing easier to do and even fun to do.

2. Anyone Can Hire a Proofreader or Editor


Are you worried about being able to spell or writing grammatically correct sentences? Not sure of your word flow? Don’t be. There are people available to help you with your text and they are easy to hire online.

As an absolute beginner, it is necessary that you have someone read over and correct your work. You can start this process cheaply by hiring someone from Fiverr.com, oDesk.com, or Elance.com.

If you hire a proofreader, this person will read over the final draft of your book and correct any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. An editor will make direct changes to your work, rearrange sentence structure for better flow, and improve the overall quality of your book.

3. Now is as Good a Time as Any


There will never be a perfect moment to sit down and begin writing your book. Instead, you will have to make do with right now. Open a new page on your computer, grab a pen and a tablet of paper, or grab a chisel and stone. It does not mater how you begin writing your book, the time to start writing it is right now.

4. The Opportunity to Make Money


There is no guarantee that you will make money with your writing, but there is always a possibility. The odds are, if I were to take a gander, better than winning the lottery that you can make money from your writing. So why not take that chance and explore the possibilities that will open up to you if you begin working on your book right now?

5. It’s Never Been Easier to Publish and Sell a Book


Finding a publisher used to be a long, stressful dance with a publisher who would rather send you form rejections than acknowledge your existence. I used to joke that I was going to save all my rejection notices and use them as wallpaper in my writing room. It’s not that way anymore.

With self-publishing platforms on sites such as Amazon’s Kindle and Smashwords, you can skip the publishing houses and head straight to the public. There’s no more dancing around with queries or proposals and there are no more lengthy waits for rejection notices. You are in total control.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

5 Tips for Writing the First Draft of Your Book

1. Do Not Edit


Your first draft is just that, a first draft. To continuously stop to rewrite sentences, rearrange paragraphs, and correct typos will stop the flow of your writing. It also creates what is commonly called writer's block. You can't keep turning on and off your flow of inspiration without consequences. When you sit down to write your first draft, train yourself to turn off the analytical side of your brain and just let the writing flow. Never edit as you write.

2. Avoid Distractions


Turn off the television and throw your cell phone out the window. Distractions will only break the flow of your writing, so get rid of them as best as you can. If you live with someone who does not respect your need for distraction free time, then take your work elsewhere. Go write in the car, in a park, or wherever you feel comfortable and can be undisturbed.

3. End in the Middle of a Sentence


When your writing session is at a close, end your writing in the middle of the sentence. When you do this, it makes starting back up again easier. What I like to do is end in the middle of a sentence and the next day I sit down and reread two paragraphs back. I then pick right back up by finishing the last sentence I partially wrote. It helps. Try it next time.

4. Post a Statement of the Book's Intent


It is easy to lose sight of your book's intent or main goal. What works best for me is to write it on a sticky note and post it to the bottom of my computer screen where I can glance at it quickly when I feel myself going off course.

5. Stop and Stretch


When you reach a pause in your writing, stand up and do some simple stretches. I like to bounce on my yoga ball for the length of a high intensity song. It gets the blood flowing and it will reenergize you.

If you want to learn more about writing a first draft, I highly recommend First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner. I feel that it is the only book you need on writing a first draft.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 Things Not to Do When Writing a First Draft

1. Do Not Edit


To many of us, myself included, are tempted to go back and edit words and sentences as we are writing out the first draft of a story. This is a huge mistake because it breaks up the flow of our writing and it cuts back on the writing we do get done. A first draft is just that: a first draft. Don't worry about misspellings or sentence structure. Just concentrate on getting the story out and onto the screen. Edits come later.

2. Don't Take Time Off


When you begin your first draft, plan on working on it every single day. Taking a day off from writing can lead to taking a few days off and then a few weeks off. By the time you get back to your story, you will have lost your initial enthusiasm for it and all that hard work at the beginning will have been a waste of time.

3. Don't Worry What Other People Will Think


The biggest story killer is worrying about what other people will think of your story. Don't even think about other people. Don't write to appease your mother and don't cut out scenes because the neighbors will be offended. Write from the soul. And if you are truly worried about what other people might think, publish under a pen name.

4. Don't Write Without a General Direction


Whether you outline plots or not, you still need to know what your story is about. This can be a broad statement, such as, "This story is about a woman who fell in love with the wrong type of man." I you do outlines, create a map of the story so you know where you are heading. Know your ending. Is your character going to resign herself to a life of misery or will she strike out on her own? You don't need the finer details to begin writing a first draft, but you do need to know the general direction of your story.

5. Don't Complicate the Plot


We've all read those stories with complicated, intertwining plots. You may even want to write a book that has numerous twists and turns. That's great! But don't attempt to do it all on the first draft. You're first draft is for getting the story down. After the story has been written, you can begin to add more depth and plot twists to the mainframe of your story in the 2nd and 3rd draft. Build your story up. Don't expect it to be all there in your first draft.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

5 Sayings Writers Should Never Use

There are certain sayings that writers should never say out loud. Here are 5 of the most common ones.

1. I Don’t Get Paid Enough to Care


Excuse me? You are paid for what you write. If you feel you aren’t getting paid enough for a project, you have the option to find a higher paying project. If you don’t feel that you are being paid enough for the books you publish on Kindle, maybe you really should start caring about your writing skills.

2. I’ll Do It Tomorrow or Later


You can’t keep putting off your writing until tomorrow. Make a schedule for your writing and keep to that schedule no matter what.

3. I Can’t Do That


This saying is just as bad as the word “impossible.”

Yes, you can do that, but only if you put your mind to it and your skills to use.

4. It is what it is


No. As a writer, it is what you make it to be.

5. I Don’t Know How


Not knowing is no excuse for a writer. There are books and videos that will teach you everything you want to know.

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Keep Plants at Their Desks

More and more studies are proving the benefits of having plants in the workspace. From health issues to mental security, houseplants are proving to be an invaluable tool for writers.

1. Relieves Stress


Studies on the affects of plants in the work environment have shown that plants help reduce stress and tension. You don’t need a lot of plants to help you de-stress in your workspace. Just one healthy plant will suffice to provide you with a calmer environment.

2. Improves Air Quality


Not only do houseplants produce oxygen, they also help clean pollution out of the air. In other words, houseplants help make you healthier.

3. Inspires Creativity


Plants, like paintings, create a mood that can increase your creativity and influence your writing. Choose a hanging plant for a more romantic setting or a group of cacti if you prefer a more rugged setting. Ivy has a sense of mystery to it. Choose your plants carefully and create a personal indoor environment.

4. Increases Productivity


Studies have shown that people who work in offices that have plants are 12 percent more productive than people who have no plants in their office.

5. Adds Comfort


Above all else, houseplants make an area more comfortable. Comfort is a necessary feature to every writer’s work area because of the amount of time we spend working at our desk. Add as many plants as you can care for, then sit back, relax, and start typing.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Mistakes Many Kindle Book Writers Make

1. Expect Instant Success


Yes, there have been some wonderful cases of amazing instant success on Kindle, but it is not the norm. Most writers have to publish 10 or more Kindle books before they start to earn a decent amount of money.

2. Treat Writing as a Hobby


Writing kindle books is not a hobby. It can be a part time job, a full time job, or a way to build up a passive income for retirement. Treat writing as a job and it will earn you an income just like any other job.

3. Failure to Set Work Hours


Create work hours. Schedule time to write and schedule in 15 to 30 minutes each day to check on your sales and, if they are important to you, the reviews for your books.

4. Failure to Set Income Goals


How much do you want to earn each month from the sales of your Kindle books? Write that amount down and post it somewhere you can see it. Work towards that income goal with the knowledge that sales will fluctuate depending on the seasons, holidays, and what is trending.

5. Don’t Track Expenses


There are expenses related to writing, from purchasing a Kindle book cover to the electricity you are using to write your book. Keep track of all of your expenses for tax deductions. Talk to a tax preparer to find out all the deductions you can make.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

5 Mind Tricks Writers Can Use to Increase Their Productivity

When you spend day after day living inside your head, you begin to create ways to trick your brain into being more productive. Here are 5 tricks all writers can use to increase their daily productivity levels.

1. Put No More Than 10 Items on Your Daily To-do List


Don’t fill your daily to-do list with a week’s worth of work. Instead, choose up to ten things that must be done the next day and write them on your daily to-do list. Keep a separate list of things you would like to get done and only work on these items after you have completed your daily must-do list.

For each item on your daily to-do list, give yourself a realistic time limit. For example, on my to-do list right now, I have “blog post - 1 hour”. I know I can write a blog post in well under 1 hour, but I have a 2-year-old to care for so I plan on there being at least one potty break for her, getting her snacks, and other interruptions. If I still manage to get the blog post done in under an hour, fantastic! I can move on to the next task on my list and, at the end of the day, maybe there will be time to do an item or two on my would-like-to-do list.

2. Keep Daily Tasks Simple


Simplify your daily tasks as much as possible. By doing this, the tasks become easier to finish. Example: For today I plan on writing 3 blog posts, doing 1 rewrite, and work 2 hours finishing up my book. On my to-do list, this is written as:


  • 1 hr. blog post
  • 1 hr. blog post
  • 1 hr. blog post
  • 1 hr. rewrite
  • 2 hr. book


I singled out each blog post so that, instead of having to tackle 3 blog posts, I am only tackling one blog post at a time. It is easier for my brain to handle one simple task than to try and tackle three tasks at once.

3. Do What Must Be Done Right Away


Keep your to-do list by your bed and read through it first thing in the morning. The first few items on the list should be the most important things to get done that day. Begin your day by tackling what must be done first. If you dread the task, don’t spend the rest of the day dragging your feet in despair. Instead, do it immediately and get it out of the way.

4. Most Tasks are Time Wasters


One of the biggest complaints writers have is that there isn’t enough time to write. Fact is, most of what we do each day wastes our time.

Do the coupons really need to be organized? Is Facebook and Twitter time that essential to your success? How about all that time you spend worrying or having negative thoughts about yourself or others? All of these things are time wasters.

Reevaluate how you spend your time. Make a checklist of things you need to do each day and give yourself a time limit to do them. Download a free timer. For my Mac, I use Apimac Timer and I track my working time.

5. System of Rewards


Set up a system of rewards for yourself. For example, I do not watch any television during the day, but if I finish all the items on my to-do list, namely my writing work load, I allow myself to settle down at night and watch an episode of one of my favorite shows before going to bed. It is something I look forward to and I will force myself to get the day’s work done just for those 50 minutes of relaxation and enjoyment.

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Benefits of Publishing on Kindle

I am coming up on my 2nd year of writing Kindle books, and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take on this venture. Since I began, I have reaped a tremendous number of benefits that every online writer should experience.

1. You Choose What to Write About


Unlike writing for content mills, when you write and publish your books on Kindle, you get to choose what you write about. You can write just about anything (that is legal) on any topic. You can choose between fiction and nonfiction. Heck, you can even publish essays and your break out that old box full of sappy, teenage poetry that you wrote after a horrific breakup in high school.

2. Word Count


The only word count rule to publishing on Kindle is that your book must be at least 2,500 words. That’s it - just one long article. Granted, people appreciate books that have a higher word count, from 6,000 words on up, but if you are writing about something that you have an inside scoop on, a 3,000 word booklet will work just fine.

3. Residual “Passive” Income


Instead of getting paid an outright amount your your writing, by publishing a Kindle book, you create a passive income. I used to call this residual income, but the key phrase these days is passive income.

The beauty of creating a passive income on Kindle is that by publishing books, you continue to build and grow your monthly passive income. Set a realistic goal - say $100 a month - and work towards those earnings. When you reach one goal, set a higher, realistic goal. Keep on going until you reach a comfort point and then work on exceeding it.

When it comes to Kindle earnings, you’ve got a lot of control and no limits to the amount you can earn each month.

4. You Are in Charge of Editing


There are some fabulous editors out there, and then there are editors that will make the most seasoned writer cringe. When you are in charge of your book, you are also in charge of your editing. Some writers will edit their own books and others will hire editors. When you hire your own editor, it is your responsibility to make certain that you and the editor are compatible. You are also at liberty to agree or disagree with the changes an editor makes or suggests.

5. Self Promotion


By publishing your books on Kindle, you are promoting your skills and knowledge. This is especially useful if you have a day job or want a day job that uses the skills and knowledge you have. For example, you can publish a series of Photoshop design books and cite them in your resume for a graphic design position.

Limitless Opportunities


There are many other opportunities available to those who publish their books on Kindle. Free products may become available to you if you give the items promotion in your books. You get bragging rights as a published author. You are in full control of your cover design. You will also be able to meet other interesting people in your line of work. You may never have to work outside your home again. You might become a millionaire.

The most important thing is: you are in complete control of your writing destiny.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

4 Ways to Train Your Brain to Write More

It is so easy for the new writer to become overwhelmed by writing, just as it is for the more experienced writer to become bored with writing. To overcome these and other troublesome writer conflicts, I am going to tell you what has worked best for me and what has increased my writing output.

1. Creative Visualization


There are numerous people who have credited their success to using creative visualization: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey, and more. So, if they used creative visualization to create their success, why can’t you?

There are many books available on creative visualization, including the classic Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain. By the way, I have two copies of this book - one in my bedroom and one in my workspace. If you don’t have a copy, get one and read it.

Learning how to visualize yourself as a prolific writer is the best way to train your brain to write more. What you see inside your mind resonates outwards and affects your daily life.

2. Read Books on Writing


Another way to train your brain to write more is to read more about writing. Spend about an hour each day reading books on writing - any kind of books on writing. I’ve taken dives into books on writing different styles of poetry, books on writing different types of fiction and nonfiction, and I always read a book or two on grammar or English composition every year. This not only puts you in the mood to write, but it can inspire you to write.

3. Be On the Lookout


Whether I am working on blog posts or a Kindle book, I am always on the lookout for more ideas. This means, when I am reading through the news or looking through other websites, I am always on the lookout for inspiration. I read through titles and ask myself how I can create a similar title based on whatever topic I am interested in writing about. For example, I found an article article on how to train your mind to increase your memory. Well, I thought, I trained my mind to be a writer, so I will write an article about what I do.

4. Live It, Don’t Dream It


Visualization and daydreaming can only take you so far. The next steps involve creating an atmosphere you can write in and get to work.

First, you need an area dedicated to writing. In my early years (nearly 2 decades ago), my writing space was on my bed. I had books stacked beside my bed and a pen and notebook. I did all my initial writing by hand and then typed it all in to my computer. I had no space designated to writing and, in truth, this did hinder me. These days, nearly all my work is done in my personal writing space. I get more work done this way.

While I am writing about work space, let me stress how important it is to keep it organized. I am naturally a cluttered person. I scatter my books everywhere and keep snips of notes here and there. When it comes to work and my research, I find that my brain is about as scattered as my workspace.

Keep your area clean. Put away the books you don’t need immediately. Get a bin or reserve a desk drawer for all your papers. Only have out what you need for the project you are working on.

Finally, just do it. Nothing makes you a better, more prolific writer than just writing. Whenever you don’t feel like writing, force yourself to do it anyway. The quickest way around writer’s anxiety, writer’s block, or lack of creativity is to just work through it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Getting Blog Ideas from Books

Low on ideas to blog about? It’s time to break out the books.

Hitting the Library


It doesn’t matter what you are blogging about, you can always find inspiration at the library. For example, let’s say you are blogging for cat lovers. You’ve run out of ideas to share with your readers so you stop in your local library. While there you find a craft book for crafts that cost under $10 to make. You look through the book but there are o cat related crafts. However, you realize that many of these crafts can be changed and geared towards cat lovers. That teddy bear pattern can be made into a catnip stuffed kitty toy. And what about that gardening book? How about gardening for your cats?

Visiting Used Book Stores


I regularly visit the used book shops to pick up books that just might inspire new ideas for my blogs. I tend to gravitate towards books published before the 80s because a lot of the older books have long forgotten ideas in them that haven’t travelled the internet thousands of times already.

Not Directly Related


One trick I learned while searching for new ideas was to get books not related to my subject. For example, if you had a blog on writing children’s books and you were looking for new post idea, you could take out a book on investments. Learning about investments could inspire you to write a series of posts on ways writers can invest their money, how they can build a portfolio from their passive incomes from publishing on Kindle, and do forth. Almost any subject can be made to fit another subject.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 Mind-Boggling Controversies and Rumors About Lee Harvey Oswald

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the activities of Jack Ruby has left this part of American history wide open for speculation, rumors, and conspiracy theories. While many of the most common conspiracy theories center around the assassination and how it was done, there is an undercurrent of mystery about the man who was accused of murdering J.F.K.

Lee Harvey Oswald is often portrayed as a solitary man, a loner, and a misfit, but researchers tell us a different story about a man who joined the marines and who was married with two daughters. [SOURCE] And the rumors? There is distinct possibility that at least some of the rumors may contain some truths, even though we will never know for certain what actually happened and why.

1. Meetings With Jack Ruby


Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald two days after Kennedy’s assassination, owned a striptease club in Dallas. Some of his employees claimed they had seen Oswald in the club’s crowd. Bill Demar, a magician and ventriloquist, said that Oswald had taken part as a volunteer in his memory act. A customer that day, Harvey Wade, confirmed the sighting. Another employee, comedian Wally Weston, also said that he saw Oswald at the club at least two times before the assassination.

A Dallas lawyer, Carroll Jarnigan, took things even further by telling the FBI that he had seen both Oswald and Ruby together at the club. He claimed to have overheard them talking about assassinating the Governor, John Connally. [SOURCE] Governor Connally was in the motorcade with Kennedy on the day of the assassination and was wounded by gunfire. [SOURCE]

Two of Jack Ruby’s strippers also talked about seeing Oswald and Ruby together. Janet “Jada” Conforto had told reporters that Ruby introduced Lee to her at the club and Karen “Little Lynn” Carlin told a Secret Service agent that she believed Ruby, Oswald, and some other men were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. [SOURCE]


2. Undercover FBI or CIA Agent


More and more evidence is being released that Oswald may very well have worked for the CIA, FBI, and Naval Intelligence. Oswald was probably recruited by the CIA during his time in the marines, at least that’s the word in a book published by French intelligence in 1968. [SOURCE]

In 1959, Oswald defected to the Soviet Union [SOURCE] where many believe he acted as a double agent. Sources say that the Soviets did not trust Oswald and he was returned to the United States in 1961. By 1963, there are reports that Oswald, along with two FBI agents, attempted to charter a plane to Cuba for November 22, 1963, the day of Kennedy’s assassination.

During the Warren Commission, allegations were made that the FBI was making monthly $200 payments to Oswald. The Commission took this matter up behind closed doors and the subject was dropped from the investigation into Oswald. [SOURCE]

3. Doppelgänger


It may seem incredible, but reports about Oswald having at least one doppelgänger have merit. On June 3, 1960, three years before Kennedy was assassinated, J. Edgar Hoover warned the State Department that the Oswald in the Soviet Union may be an impostor. That Lee Harvey Oswald was on the intelligence community’s radar is further proof that he probably did some work for the FBI and CIA.

Hundreds of people have come forward and claimed to have seen Oswald in the days leading up to Kennedy’s assassination. Attempts to trace one man’s steps have led some researchers to believe there was more than one Oswald in Dallas at that time and numerous conspiracy theories were born out of the discrepancies. [SOURCE]


4. The Real Oswald Died in 1959


This rumor ties in closely with the doppelgänger rumor. In August of 1981, Weekly World News, a tabloid newspaper, published a story claiming that the real Oswald was killed shortly after he entered the Soviet Union in 1959. The real Oswald was replaced with a Russian look-alike. [SOURCE]

It’s believed that Oswald was chosen by the Office of Naval Intelligence to take part in a program to get U.S. spies into the Soviet Union. The men they chose were young and were to appear disenchanted with the American way of life. It’s said that some of these men were picked up right away by the KGB, doubled (replaced with a look-alike), and returned to the U.S. to spy for the Russians. [SOURCE]

Further fueling the belief that the real Oswald died in the Soviet Union is the autopsy report from November 24, 1963. Previous to entering the Soviet Union, it was noted in Oswald’s marine records that he had a two-inch mastoidectomy scar behind his left ear. The autopsy report failed to mention the scar and further examination of the photos of Oswald after he was arrested did not show this previously noticeable scar. Other scars noted in his Marine records were different from the ones recorded in the autopsy report and Oswald’s vaccination scar was not recorded. The man on the slab was two-inches shorter than the Oswald that attended the Marines. [SOURCE]

5. He Was Brainwashed


Going back to when Oswald went to the Soviet Union, there are some conspiracy theorists who believe that Oswald was brainwashed by the KGB and programmed to assassinate President Kennedy. [SOURCE]

This idea isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. The Warren Commission was also interested in this possibility and General Counsel Rankin had asked the CIA Director for more information about the techniques Soviets used for “mind-conditioning.” [SOURCE]

New reports are being released about the Soviet Union’s mind control research, a part of their psychotronic research, that began back in 1917 and recently ended in 2003. Their experiments enabled them to alter brain functions and manipulate people’s thoughts. [SOURCE] Whether or not Oswald was placed into this KGB program is unknown, and will likely remain that way.

6. Gunpowder Residue


Roughly eight hours after Kennedy was assassinated, Oswald was given a paraffin test. For this test, Oswald’s hands and cheek were coated in paraffin wax. After the wax dried, it was removed and tested for the presence of nitrates. The nitrates would prove if Oswald handled or fired a gun.

Nitrates are said to have been found on Oswald’s hand casts but not on the cheek cast. [SOURCE] During the time of Oswald’s arrest, he did have a .38 caliber revolver on him [SOURCE] and the paraffin test proved that he, at the very least, handled this revolver. The evidence did not support that Oswald had fired a rifle.

By 1963, the paraffin wax test was falling out of use because it was considered unreliable and could produce false positives. The test was also supposed to be performed within five to six hours after a gun related crime was committed, not eight hours as is the case with Oswald. [SOURCE]

Other evidence claims that the paraffin test administered to Oswald was negative for nitrates and proved that Oswald never fired a gun. Some believe the Warren Commission withheld this information and the police who held Oswald gave reporters false information to convince the American public that Oswald was the murderer.

7. The Rifle


In the official reports, Oswald shot President Kennedy from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building [SOURCE] with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle. [SOURCE] With this cheap, $11 gun, [SOURCE] Oswald was supposedly able to load and fire off 3 shots in 8.3 seconds. In 2007, the Italian army supervised a test to see how fast this same model of rifle could fire off three shots. The team was not able to load and fire the gun in less than 19 seconds.

Another problem with the rifle is that the police on the scene identified the rifle as a 7.5 mm German Mauser, not a Carcano, Furthermore, photographs taken during different times of the investigation are said to show different component parts on the rifle. A committee was formed to investigate the allegations and, after viewing different photographs, they determined that it was the same gun throughout the entire investigation.


8. Lovelady


Seconds after shots were fired at President Kennedy, an Associated Press photographer snapped a photo of the President’s car and the door to the Texas School Book Depository Building. Standing in the doorway is a man that closely resembles Oswald. [SOURCE] How could Oswald be standing in the doorway if he had just shot the President from the sixth floor window?

The Warren Commission examined the photograph and had a panel compare photographs of Oswald and another Texas School Book Depository employee, Billy Lovelady, with the doorway photograph. While both men were very similar in appearance, the committee concluded that the photograph was of Lovelady.

The photographs the FBI took of Lovelady are believed to show tampering to Lovelady’s hairline. His face also appears to be “softened” with shadow, giving his face a longer appearance that would more resemble that of Oswald. Further examination into the photo and film taken during that time appears to some to have been tampered with to prove the Warren Commission’s findings: Oswald was not standing in the doorway at the time of the shooting. [SOURCE]

9. The Killing of the King


One of the most bizarre beliefs about the Kennedy assassination is that it was an occult ritual sacrifice called The Killing of the King. Tied in with mass mind control and secret societies, the Kennedy assassination was a psychological assault on the American people and was meant to create mass trauma. [SOURCE]

Believers in the Illuminati, an unknown group of people who are believed to control the fate of the world, [SOURCE] have found hidden occult symbols in the assassination of J.F.K., from triangles to the number 11. They also tie the assassination to Nazis working within the CIA at that time. [SOURCE]

How does this all tie in to the actions of Oswald? Within the Warren Commission, Masonic and occult associations were made to the symbolic nature of Kennedy’s assassination. [SOURCE] Lee Harvey Oswald, who was born and had lived in New Orleans, may have had an early interest in the occult [SOURCE] and it’s been reported that he had attended “black magic” rituals held at different homes within the area. [SOURCE]

If there is any truth to The Killing of the King ritual, Oswald would have been the sacrificial lamb or, as Oswald told a reporter after being asked if he shot the President, “I’m just a patsy.” [SOURCE]

10. Jack Ruby’s Lover


Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Oswald, was a bachelor and lived with another man, George Senator. Conspiracy theorists often pinpoint Ruby as being gay, but is there any truth to the subject?

Ruby owned a striptease club in Dallas, Texas. According to one of this lovers, a woman named Alice Reaves Nichols, the reason why she didn’t marry Ruby was because of his gambling habit and his affairs with numerous women. [SOURCE] In spite of this, claims were made that Ruby and Oswald hung out together at “gay hangouts” [SOURCE] and were seen together in New Orleans. [SOURCE]

Oswald was also reported to possibly be gay. Dean Andrews, a New Orleans attorney, told the Warren Commission that Oswald was in his office when a group of “gay kids” were brought in that year in 1963. Some of kids were “wearing clothes of the opposite sex…”. When Andrews was asked if Oswald appeared gay to him, he answered, “You can’t tell. I couldn’t say. He swang with the kids. He didn’t swish, but birds of a feather flock together….” [SOURCE]

The Warren Commission investigated the rumor about Ruby being a homosexual and found no evidence to support the claim. They went on to state that, “All the allegations were based on hearsay or derive from Ruby's lisp or a ‘feeling’ that Ruby was a ‘sissy,’ seemed ‘weird,’ acted effeminately, and sometimes spoke in a high-pitched voice when angry.” [SOURCE]

No evidence has ever proved that Ruby and Oswald were gay or lovers. [SOURCE]

Monday, July 20, 2015

How Many Images to Use in a Blog Post

When you first start out blogging or when you first decide to take your blogging seriously and begin treating it like a business, you start to research the best methods for blogging, from word count to using images. Not surprisingly, not everyone agrees on what makes a great post, but there are a few general rules to follow (and sometimes break).

1 Image Per 200 Words


Some people fill their blog posts with photographs and graphic images. Others use none. The general consensus is to use 1 image per 200 words. To be honest, I don't always follow the general consensus. For example, when I post a facts only tutorial that does not require illustrations or screenshots to explain the subject, I keep the post bare of images. There's no fluff and strictly fact and how to. As a researcher, I personally like these posts because they are quicker to pull up on screen and I can easily forward the page to my email account to read over later without having to draw in all the extra images.

I also like to change things up a bit. Instead of posting two images for a 400 word article, I might post one image and then link to a YouTube video to count as my second image.

Optimizing Your Images


When you add images to your blog, you have the option to fill out the name, description, caption, and alternative text for each image. This is another way to optimize your blog, so use it. I know from working as a writer on About.com that all the images I keyword optimized show up in Google image searches. This, in turn, brings more people to my little corner on About.com.

The Curse of Too Many Images


I remember the days when people were creating monstrous websites on Tripod and Geocities. These websites were so loaded with photographs, animated gifs, and twinkling backgrounds that it felt like it would take all day to load over a single page. These was also the days of dial-up internet, so pages would literally take a good 10 to 15 minutes to load up if they were littered with crap. While dial-up is mostly dead these days, it is still best to think of your readers first. Some of them may be stuck on a crappy satellite internet provider that chokes every time there are images to load over.

Keep your images to no more than 1 per 200 words and resize your images so that they are easier to load over.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

How to Blog About Your Personal Life

Many of the older, more established blogs began with posts about the blogger's personal life. This is great if you are famous or live a very unusual life. But what about the rest of us?

Personal Life Niche


In today's blogging world, you will need to focus on a specific aspect of your personal life. Examples of this would be a blog about how you are getting out of debt, losing weight, or raising kids in a one income family. In other words, you have to pick the interesting part of your life to focus on in a blog.

What Not to Post


When you post about your personal lifestyle, everyone can read about it, but there are certain things you need to avoid posting.

Don't post about not being home. Thanks to the Internet, anyone with enough skill can find out who you are and where you live. So, if you post about going on vacation for the next few days, your house is at risk of being burglarized. Never give details about not being home. Talk about your wonderful vacation after you get home.

Don't post flame bait. Again, people can find out where you live and, if you tick off the wrong sort of person, you may get an unwanted visitor.

Never post details about your child's schedule. There are too many bad things that can happen.

What to Post


Let's say you have decided to start a personal blog on a favorite hobby of yours, such as quilting. Quilting blogs are very popular among other quilters. You would make posts about your latest projects and take photographs to share with your readers. You would also share block patterns, quilting techniques, tips you have learned, and tricks of the trade.

If your blog is about getting out of debt, you could make posts about your goals, how you plan on reaching those goals, and how you negotiate with debt collectors.

Monetization


Personal blogs are just as good, if not better, than niche blogs. Readers get to know you, empathize and sympathize with you, and they will even share their own stories with you. As you build your audience, you will be able to monetize your blog by writing reviews on books and products you have read or tried out and then linking to those items on affiliate websites, such as Amazon.com.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How to Write a Long Detailed Blog Post

Writing a long blog post is the same as writing an article. It takes an idea, planning, and time. The best blog posts (and articles) are the ones that are pre-planned and contain a lot of details. They are concise and lack the fluff found in many personal blog posts.

Search engines love long and detailed blog posts. Posts that are over 1,000 words will get a lot of attention in Google. If you can create a quality post that is over 2,000 words, all the better.

I am going to show you my method for writing long blog posts. It is very similar to how I write my non-fiction Kindle books.

Choosing a Topic to Write About


You first begin with an idea about what you want to write. If you are stuck for ideas, do an internet search on your niche and read through other people's articles. You can also go to Google's Adwords or UberSuggest.org and type in your niche or a keyword to find ideas.

Choosing a Title


When you have your idea, it is time to spin it into a title. Some bloggers like to post their titles as a question, such as "How Do I Write a Long Blog Post." You can also use one or a set of popular words used by internet searchers, such as how to, step by step, instructions, guide, best, and tutorial.

Outline Key Headings


When you plan out a non-fiction book, you begin by writing out key headings, or chapters, that you want to cover in your book. You do the same thing with a large blog post.

The key headings, or the key topics, you want to cover can be written as a simple list. For example, my key heading list for this post was:

Intro - state purpose to writing a long post
Choosing a Topic to Write About
Choosing a Title
Outline Key Headings
Research and Fill Out Outline
Write Blog Post
Edit
Adding Images and Video to Your Post
Posting Your Blog Post
Posting the Link to Your Blog Post

Your key heading outline can be changed and rearranged as you begin writing your post. It is not set in stone and if you find that you need to remove or add another key heading, do so.

Research and Fill Out Your Outline


Now that you know what you are going to be writing about, it is time to begin filling out your outline with main points. You may find that you need to do some research at this point or you may already know the subject by heart. Either way, you want to jot down simple words and phrases under each heading so that you don't forget any of the main points you want to cover and so that you have a map to follow when you are writing your blog post.

A Quick Note About Outlines


I hated outlines back in my school days. Teachers complicated the process with Roman numerals and indentions. As a writer, I love outlines. I don't know when this happened, exactly, but I do know that just by writing out my key headings and jotting down my thoughts and research under each, my writing goes much faster and smoother than if I would just write from my head.

Don't bother with any fancy outlining techniques. My outlines look like the following:

Key heading
--point 1
--point 2
----don't forget this
--point 3
Key heading
--point 1
--point 2
----mention this
----mention that

I use dashes to break my outlines down. It's fast, to the point, and easy to scan through.

Write Your Blog Post


When your outline is finished, it is time to begin writing your article. I usually open up another page in TextEdit and, with my outline in sight, I begin writing. I move from point to point. My key headers are like chapters in my post. Under each key header, I write one or more paragraphs covering my key points.

Edit


After writing your post, it is time to give it a read through. You do this to catch spelling errors, typos, and to make sure that the post reads smoothly.

No one, not even the best of writers, can skip this step. If you need help, hire someone to proofread your work. You can also have your computer read the article back to you. On a Mac, simply highlight your article and hit Option and Esc. I use this method to catch many of my mistakes.

Adding Images and Video to Your Post


The general consensus is to add one image for every 200 words. I honestly don't always add that many photos, although it is sometimes nice to break up a long post with both images and a link to a video or two.

The choice is yours, but try to keep your readers in mind when adding images and video. Some people are stuck with satellite internet and, having endured the terrible service of one for almost a full year, I can tell you that most images and videos did not come through.

Don't hog up your reader's bandwidth.

Posting and Linking to Your Blog Post


After you have completed your gorgeous blog post, it is time to click Post and start sharing it with the world. Post your link to Twitter and Google+. Schedule the link to go live at the best, optimal time on your Facebook Page.

Sit back, chug an ice cold lemonade, and begin the process all over again.

Friday, July 17, 2015

3 Horrifying Rumors About Marilyn Monroe’s Death

NOTE: This is an article I started writing for another website, but then changed the entire focus. Here is the first draft of the original article that is unfinished.

On August 5, 1962, an American icon was found dead inside her new home in Los Angeles. [SOURCE] Millions mourned the death of Marilyn Monroe and wondered why such an amazing woman would kill herself. Still others began to study the facts leading up to her death, the autopsy report, and the rumors that began to spread like wild fire. Did Marilyn Monroe really kill herself or was she murdered? Who would want her dead and how was she really killed? These and other questions have led to some surprising and sometimes awful conclusions.


1. Passed Secrets to Fidel Castro


The most recent rumor about Marilyn Monroe’s death came out on March 25th, 2015. The World News Daily Report published an article about a former CIA agent admitting he had killed Ms. Monroe. Supposedly, this 78-year-old man is on his death bed and he wanted to come clean about the murder.  He was ordered by his superior to suicide Ms. Monroe because she was sleeping with President Kennedy and Fidel Castro. She was passing on information to Castro and she presented a threat to America’s security. [SOURCE]

With over 40 thousand Facebook shares, this rumor spread through the internet faster than it could be disproven. Thankfully, Snopes.com was able to clear up this rumor. The “former CIA agent” shown in the article was a photograph taken from a Guardian article about chaining prisoners in the hospital. The website it was published on, World News Daily Report, has a disclaimer stating that, “All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people –  are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.” [SOURCE] In spite of the disclaimer, many websites picked up that fake news and reported the information as factual.

2. Mafia Did It


According to rumors, Ms. Monroe had many ties to the Mafia. One of her bed partners was Mafia boss Sam Giancana. He, as well as Jimmy Hoffa and J. Edgar Hoover, wiretapped her house, and the night of her death is said to have been caught on these tapes. What these tape caught, though, remains unproven.

In an effort to try and run the Kennedy’s out of the White House, the Mafia visited Ms. Monroe on the night of August 4, 1962, after Bobby Kennedy left her home. Ms. Monroe had already been given a sedative, Nembutal, by her doctor and, to finish the job, the Mafia gave her a chloral hydrate enema.

Chloral hydrate enemas was one method used by the Mafia to suicide a victim. [SOURCE] The possibility of a chloral hydrate enema is made more believable by the fact that no pills or pill residues were found in the autopsy of Ms. Monroe. Damage to the colon was spotted, but it was also believed that Ms. Monroe was a fan of enemas and the discovery of colon damage wasn’t further pursued. [SOURCE]

3. Spilling the Beans on UFOs


Did President Kennedy leak information about a crashed UFO to Ms. Monroe? Among ufologists, there is a strong possibility that J.F.K. told Ms. Monroe about the alien crash and the discussion was picked up by either the wiretap or the phone tap.

In an alleged CIA document leaked in 1992, Ms. Monroe was upset that the Kennedy brothers were ignoring her and she told the Attorney General that she would hold a press conference and go public with her information on UFOs. This was one day before she died. Marilyn did not have the opportunity to share what she knew with the public. [SOURCE]

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Write Review Posts

There is no doubt that product reviews help you monetize your blog. Back in the early days of building websites, I had a website with well over 100 reviews for books and tarot cards. These simple reviews brought me a very good income from Amazon, and I was able to build up trust with my readers and make profitable connections with publishers and public relation teams.

What to Review


Your blog niche will determine what you will be reviewing. For example, if your niche is making watercolor paintings, you will be able to review books on how to make water color paintings, water color kits, different paints, and brushes. All of these items can be found on Amazon, a site trusted by millions of buyers.

Books are the easiest thing to review for blogs, in my opinion. However, if I was running a blog on big screen televisions, I would be concentrating on reviewing the latest big screen televisions and related products. A blog on grilling could concentrate on recipe books, grilling products, and grills. A food survivalist blog would concentrate on food storage books and food products that have a long shelf life. There are products to review for every blogging niche you can think of.

Basic Review Template


I keep my review template very basic:


  • Name of Product or Book
  • Author or Company
  • Summary of Product
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Personal Thoughts


You can also expand upon this basic review product by adding a section for specifications and features, or whatever other section you feel is necessary.

Honest Reviews


I am fed up with the dishonest reviews found on some blogs and on Amazon. The entire purpose to writing a review is to give readers an honest overview of a product. For every review I write, my general rule that is that I must include at least one con, or negative, remark. There is no such thing as a perfect product, and if you don't include at least one con, I, as a consumer, am going to assume that you are writing the review to make a sale instead of giving me an honest, informed opinion.

Include "Review" in Your Title


Many people search the internet for product reviews. When they do their search, they usually include the word "review" and the name of the product. For example, "iPad 3 reviews". For each of your product reviews, include the word "review" in your title so that the search engines and users know that your are reviewing a product.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Basic Beef and Bacon Chili

Basic Beef and Bacon Chili

Makes 4 servings.


  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 strip bacon, chopped
  • 1 can (1 lb.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (1 lb.) kidney beans
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


In a large frying pan, sauté the soup mix, green pepper, garlic, and salt in the canola oil. Add ground beef and bacon and cook, stirring frequently. Add crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder, and brown sugar. Bring to a bowl and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bacon Avocado Dip

This delicious avocado dip, flavored with chopped bacon, is so easy to make and can be made the day before the party. Serve it with potato chips, corn chips, or carrot sticks.


  • 2 ripe avocados (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 slices cooked, crisp bacon, chopped



  1. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits and skin. Put the avocado into a small bowl and mash it with a fork or a potato masher until either chunky or smooth, depending on your preference.

  2. Add the onion salt, garlic salt, lemon juice, and chopped bacon. Mix.

  3. Cover dip and refrigerate until ready to use.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pow Wow Beef and Bacon Sandwiches

Pow Wow Beef and Bacon Sandwiches


Makes 6 sandwiches.


  • 6 hamburger buns, lightly buttered
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried beef, shredded
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place one slice of cheese in each bun. In a medium bowl, mix together the bacon, dried beef, chili sauce, and relish. Fill the buns with the meat mixture. Individually wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil and heat for 20 minutes in the oven.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bacon Club Sandwich

Bacon Club Sandwich

Makes one sandwich.


  • 3 slices white bread, lightly toasted if desired
  • Chicken, turkey, or ham sandwich meat
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato slice
  • Crisp bacon


To make the ever popular club sandwich, set down the first slice of bread on a plate. Cover with sandwich meat of choice, lettuce, and mayonnaise. Place the second slice of bread on top and cover with tomato and bacon. Top with the final slice of bread and cut the sandwich into triangles that are held together with toothpicks.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Eggs in Bacon

Eggs in Bacon


Makes 4 servings.


  • 4 strips bacon, half cooked
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, as desired


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 4 muffin cups with bacon grease. Set each bacon strip in a circle along the insides of each muffin cup. Break each egg into each cup. Put 1 tablespoon of cream over each egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are set firm. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chili Meatballs

Chili Meatballs

Makes about 40 meatballs.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lb. ground beef



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg and water. Stir in the cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and chili powder. Add ground beef and mix with hands until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls and place them in a shallow pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked through. Serve hot.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seasoned Meatloaf

Seasoned Meatloaf

Makes 8 servings.


  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a shallow baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onions, cornflakes, tomato paste, eggs, oregano, salt, garlic salt, and Tabasco sauce. Shape mixture into a loaf on the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes. Carefully remove from oven, top with cheese slices, and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mac and Cheese Bake

Mac and Cheese Bake



  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 2 cans (10.75 oz size cans) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 12 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat canned soup and milk. Stir in cooked noodles. Butter a 9x12-inch baking dish. Spread noodle mixture evenly in the dish. Spread one layer of cheese overtop. Spread a layer of sliced tomatoes. Spread a final layer of sliced cheese on the top and bake for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Baked Stuffed Potatoes

Baked Stuffed Potatoes


Make these stuffed potatoes ahead of time and either freeze them for later or refrigerate them for up to one day to heat up for dinner.

Makes 24 halves.


  • 12 large Idaho potatoes, baked
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Carefully cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the potato white and put it into a large bowl. Be careful to leave the shells intact. With an electric mixer, mash the potatoes. Slowly add the milk, butter, onion, salt, and pepper. Add the egg. Mix until fluffy. Fold in cheese.
Fill the potato shells with the stuffing using either spoons or a pastry tube. Wrap each stuffed potato in aluminum foil and freeze. To reheat from frozen, place the foil wrapped potatoes in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. To heat while not frozen, bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Potato Cheddar Round Loaf

Potato Cheddar Round Loaf


Makes 1 round loaf.


  • 1/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 2-1/4 tsp (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup mashed potatoes (can be made from instant)
  • 1/3 cup butter, soft
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups bread flour, about



  1. In a large bowl, add water and yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and let sit for about 2 minutes. Mix in the milk, eggs, mashed potatoes, butter, sugar, salt, and cheese. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Slowly add in the remaining cup of flour until the dough is too thick to mix with a spoon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead it. Add more flour, if necessary, until the dough is soft and not sticky.
  2. Grease a large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl and roll it so that the top of the dough is also lightly greased. Cover bowl with wax paper or a clean dish cloth and let sit in a draft free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough inside the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes until all the bubbles are pushed out. Shape the dough into a round loaf. Grease a baking sheet and place the round loaf onto it. Cover and let the bread rise a second time for about 45 minutes or until doubled. If desired, brush egg white over the top of the loaf to produce a shiny crust. Bake the bread at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Allow the loaf to cool on a bread rack.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Taking Photos for Blogs

I am a huge advocate of taking original photographs and using them on blogs and in articles. With the prevalence of digital cameras and camera phones, there is no excuse for not taking your own photographs to use on your blog.

Avoid Using Copyrighted Material


One of the biggest advantages to using your own photographs is that you do not have to worry about whether the photograph is copyrighted or not and you don't have to seek out the owner of the photograph to request permission to use it. As the person who took the photograph, you own the rights to it.

Getting People to Pose for You


Two of the most common ways to get posed photographs is for either the blogger to make the pose (such as sitting at an office desk) and having someone take the photograph or having a family member or significant other make the pose.

Hiring someone to make poses for you requires a contract the specifically states that the photographs you are taking will be used for such and such, that you have the rights to use these photographs, and that you are paying the model X amount of dollars to pose for these photographs. You can find samples of modeling contracts online.

Nature Photographs


I take a lot of nature photographs because there is not contract involved in taking them and no people. I can tie in just about any outdoor photograph into my blog post. I also take a lot of pictures of steps to represent "the steps to" something or other.

Take a lot of scenery photographs. Views of mountains, the ocean, and the dessert can easily be tied in to any subject you are writing about.

Old Vacation Photos


Put those old vacation photos to use! I've scanned in oodles of old vacation photos from my childhood (I was taking photographs back then, too) and old vacation photos from my relatives. I've created an immense back stock of family vacation photos that I have been using in my articles whenever I can tie one in.

Take Your Camera Everywhere


I have a back log of thousands of photographs because I take my digital camera with me everywhere I go. What I do is keep my backlog of photographs in subject organized files and about once a month I will go into them, select 200 photographs to resize for the internet, and place these resized photos in my "use online" file. I use each photograph about 2 times, in different blogs and articles on different domains. The photographs that are exceptionally good get burned onto a disc in case I ever want to use it again. Generally, though, I have far too many photos to hang onto them all. I use each twice and then delete.

Protecting Your Copyrighted Photos


Sadly, it is nearly impossible to prevent your photographs from being used by others. The truth is, most people who grab photographs from a Google search don't understand copyrights. They aren't doing it maliciously, but out of ignorance of the law. Instead of fighting the copyright battle on a daily basis (and wasting a lot of your time), add your domain name onto the picture. Most people will not bother to edit the photo and use it with your domain name on it. This gives you free advertising. On the other hand, if some bozo takes your photographs, removes your stamp on them and then uses them on his own site, you can bet your bottom dollar that he has a basic knowledge of copyright laws and he being a douche. Contact him about the copyright violation. If he doesn't agree to your terms (either remove the photograph or use it in its original form with your url), you can contact his hosting provider about the copyright violation.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Treat Your Blogging Career Like a Business

Some people start blogging for pleasure. The rest of us, however, start blogging with the dream of creating an authority site that makes money. To do this, however, we need to treat our blogging like a business.

Create a Blogging Schedule


The best professional blogs have at least one new post each day. If you run more than one blog, you will have to create a blogging schedule that will allow you to have one new blog post each day for each blog. For example, if you run three blogs, you will need to commit yourself to writing three or more blogs each day. You can also create a schedule where, at the end of each month, you spend at least two days for each blog creating enough blog posts for the upcoming month. That means, writing 15 blogs per day for two days. That equals 30 blog posts for the upcoming month.

Choosing Your Hours


If you want a full-time salary, then expect to work full-time hours, at least within the first year of your blogs. If you can dedicate 8 hours a day to blogging, you can easily write 8 or more blog posts a day. Let's say you can only write 5 blog posts in a day on a single blog. That would mean you would have roughly 150 blog posts a month. In a year of hard work, that would equal 1800 posts. That is a lot of content for one blog, but the more informational and quality posts you have on your blog, the more visitors you will get and the higher your monetization rate.

Put Your Best Foot Forward


You don't want to look like a jerk in front of thousands, even millions, of people. It is the quickest way to lose readers. Put your best foot forward when creating blog posts. Avoid negative posts (we have enough negativity in our lives and don't need it online, as well) and avoid acting out in anger.

Serve Your Readers


Successful businesses put their customers first. Successful bloggers put their readers first. Create content that benefits your readers. Avoid sales pitches - people hate being sold to, especially online. If you make product recommendations, make them honestly and without hype.

Readers are what makes a blog successful. Treat them with respect.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Where to Get Free and Cheap Books to Review on Your Blog

Reviewing books is a fun way to build content on your blog. It also gives you the opportunity to make money by linking the reviewed book to Amazon.com. But how to you get free and cheap books to start reviewing?

Library


Libraries are a great source for finding free books to review. There are libraries with great budgets and donors, so they are always getting in new releases. There are also smaller libraries that get few new acquisitions, but they often have a good back stock of older books that you may still be able to review on your blog.

If you live near a college or a university, stop in and find out about getting a library card from them. I did this years ago at Kutztown University and I borrow hundreds of books from them every year.

Free Kindle Books


When writers publish their books on Kindle, they have the option to join the KDP program and set free days for their books. These free books can be found by going to the Kindle Books section, clicking on Best Sellers, and then clicking on Top 100 Free. You can check out the Top 100 Free for each section.

Used Book Stores


I stop at my local Goodwill shop about once a week. They have a large area for books, priced at 25 cents each. I have found some wonderful gems, including brand new books. The one time I went there, they had over 20 new books about writing, so I bought them all for around $6.

Used book stores carry a lot of new books and they cost very little to buy. Older books are also a great source of inspiration and I use these books for research and for generating new articles and blogs.

Build Up a Stock of Published Reviews Before Contacting Publishers


I began reviewing books professionally for publishers and publicity groups over a decade ago. I didn't just jump into this opportunity. In fact, it found me when a publicist contacted me about reviewing a book on my website. I had already had a large amount of book reviews on my site. After I reviewed the book, I created a book review request letter to send out to publishers and publicists. The letter provided links to the books I had already reviewed on my site and stated the theme / niche of my website.

Breaking into professional book reviewing is fun work, especially if you love, love, love books.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Building a Passive Income Takes Work

You will see many advertisements for information products that make building a passive income look easy. The fact is, there is work involved, at least in the beginning, when creating a passive income. It does not happen overnight and you should be prepared to spend at least a year working on building multiple streams of passive income.

Blogging


Blogging is a common method for creating a passive income. The dream is that if you build the blog, people will come and buy. When you decide to pursue this type of passive income, you need to understand that it may take you a year, sometimes even two years, to create a good passive income from a blog. The first year is filled with creating quality posts for your blog, including writing review posts for products and creating popular how to posts. You can hire someone else to create your content for you, but you will save more money in the long run by creating the content by yourself.

You may also want to do what some other successful bloggers do and start 3 blogs on 3 different niches at once. Create daily content for each blog and see which niches monetize best after 6 month's time.

If you are already working a full time job, you will want to set a goal to create one new post for each blog you run on a daily basis. That means you will give one hour of your time for each blog every day so that you can create 365 posts in one year.

The ultimate goal should be creating 1,000 blog posts in one year. If you are like me, one blog post can take up to one hour to write and post, unless it is a short 500 word post. To write 1,000 blog posts in the first year, you will need to create a schedule that gives you 1,000 hours to work on each blog.

Book Publishing


My favorite form of passive income comes from writing and publishing books on Amazon's Kindle, and this is why I created a blog on Kindle book publishing. This brings in the most money for me, but, like blogging, it takes work.

To build a good passive income from books, you will first need to devote the time necessary to write the books. You will also need to publish more than one book each year. If you can devote the time to writing, such as giving yourself 40 hours a week to devote to writing, you can write and  publish, at the very least, 1 book a month. In one year, you can be pulling a good income from at least 12 books.

Online Courses


The desire to take online courses remains strong among adults, and with the popularity of online publish schools for school age kids, the online adult education market is going to continue to grow. Now is the time to break into developing web courses.

Creating an online course takes planning and time to create content. You may also need equipment and software to create the videos for your course. However, like books, once you have created the course, there is very little work left to day aside from maintenance.

YouTube Video Channel


Creating a residual income from videos takes a lot of time, just as blogging does. You may need equipment and software to start up. You will also need to create more than one and more than just a few videos. You will need to start a channel on YouTube and build up a following by creating good, original content that viewers find useful or entertaining. You will then go on to make money by joining the Adsense program or by becoming joining YouTube's affiliate program.

After the Work is Done


It is after you have done the work that you can begin to collect a passive or residual income. After the books are written and you are bringing in a good amount of money from book sales, you can slow down or stop writing books for awhile until you see a dip in income. With blogging, after you start to bring in a good income, you can slow your posts down to once a week or have guest bloggers or buy articles for your blog. Online courses will need occasional maintenance and updates. YouTube video series, after they are completed, will still need a bit of marketing to bring in new viewers.

When the work is done, the best thing you can do is go back to work and build up another passive income empire. Use multiple programs to earn money. If you already have a blog set up with Adsense and Amazon, set up another blog that is monetized with ClickBank. Create an income stream publishing Kindle books. Create a series of Udemy courses to create yet another stream of income. The trick is to work hard, build up multiple streams of income, and then kick back until you want to do more work again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Easy Bacon Barbecue Topping for Hotdogs

Easy Bacon Barbecue Topping for Hotdogs


The next time you make hotdogs, make this delicious barbecue sauce as a topping.

Serves 10.


  • 10 hotdogs, cooked, and rolls
  • 1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup India relish
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 strips crisp bacon, chopped
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Mix condensed tomato soup, relish, onion, bacon, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a quick boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes. Serve hot overtop of hotdogs.