Columbine Student’s Father 12 Years Later

Since the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT, I felt this post speaks volumes and will give you something to ponder as we try to come to grips with everything that happened.

Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott, Columbine High School victim, sums it up brilliantly on what he feels is happening in our schools. I totally agree with him. See if you agree. It is definitely worth reading.

Here we go:

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal.

There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript: “Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,

Your words are empty air. You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question “Why?” You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!” –Darrell Scott

————–

My prayers continue to go out to all those affected by that tragedy in Newtown, CT. How has it impacted your life? Do you check with your kids at school more frequently? Do you simply thank God for protecting them? Has it changed the way you do things? Please let us know.

The Ten Best Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site

The number one goal of website owners is a heavy traffic flow. Trying to accomplish that on your own can be difficult. You can spend the majority of your time trying to optimize your site for search engines or spending hard-earned money on marketing techniques, like pay-per-click. Luckily, there are easier ways to attract more visitors to your website in less time, and for free!

Some of the best ways to generate a higher, steadier flow of traffic to your site are as simple as leveraging another website’s traffic and resources. Here are ten of the best ways you can get other people to direct traffic to your site.

Become a Guest Blogger

A lot of popular bloggers will solicit submissions from guest writers to post to their site. Even some bloggers who don’t advertise a desire to have a guest blogger on their site may be open to the idea of accepting guest posts, so long as you give them reasons for using your post.

For example, you can offer to:

Trade article space with the blogger, letting them post to your site as well

Include their affiliate links in your article so that they will still be able to make money when a reader buys their product

Give them some free advertising by writing a glowing review of them in your newsletter or on your site

Recruit People to Your Affiliate Program

One of the best ways to sell more products through other peoples’ traffic is by asking them to take part in your affiliate program.

For example, if you are selling digital products, offering a 50% commission to your affiliates could be very enticing. Offer a higher rate for those who send a lot of site traffic your way. Consider offering additional perks too, like bonuses or discounts to their customers.

An easy way to set up your own affiliate program for digital merchandise is through Clickbank.com. It also works as a payment processor.

Swap Blog Links

Blogrolling is a fantastic way to trade blog links with your fellow bloggers who focus on your niche. This has the long-term benefit of being listed permanently on the front page of another person’s blog. Also, if the blog has a high Google Page Rank, you’ll benefit from the search engine optimization that comes with trading blog links with that blogger. Include keywords in your anchor text for your link, too.

Swap Newsletter Articles

If the idea of trading content seems great, think about the possibility of trading newsletters with other people who focus on the same topics as you. When you’re visiting other blogs, find out if they post their newsletter issues to their blogs. Then you’ll also have the added benefit of a backlink and continuous traffic.

Team Up to Promote

If you offer a similar product or service offered by another marketer, consider swapping product links with them on your download or thank you pages. You could also see if the marketer would be interested in using their affiliate link to direct traffic to your product sales page.

This is a great way to draw responsive traffic. When people have already made a purchase of one product, they could still be in the mood to buy more.

Trade Links on Your Confirmation Pages

Subscription confirmation pages are another great place to trade links. You may also consider trading endorsements in the welcome emails you send to new subscribers.

Consider Joint Mailings

If you sell physical merchandise, look for other marketers who sell related physical goods as well. Request that they include a flyer advertising your products with any shipment they send out, and offer to do the same for them.

You can find marketers that sell large quantities of products similar or related to your own on sites like EBay.

Offer to Interview Marketers

Some of the larger marketers in your niche may not agree to some of the other suggestions we’ve gone over, especially if you are still an unknown in the blogosphere and have a small amount of traffic.

They may be open to the idea of being interviewed, though, maybe via teleseminar. If they’re keen on the idea, they may help with advertising your interview, which means more free traffic for you!

Don’t forget to mention your website during the interview, ensuring additional traffic long after the interview has been recorded.

Co-Author Articles

Another option to consider is writing an article with another marketer. You can write an article together about tips that focus on your niche. You’ll both benefit from the additional traffic when they post it to their blog and mention it to followers.

Make Rebrandable Reports

With tools like ViralPDF.com, you can get traffic sent to you when you create rebrandable reports. This means allowing others to change the affiliate links in a report you create. Then, anyone distributing that report will have the chance to make money on the backend.

By implementing some, or all, of these simple techniques, you’ll see a greater boost in your Internet traffic and in less time. This will save you plenty of time and money, just by using the traffic generated by another person’s website.

Mind Clearing Techniques That Improve Efficiency

Focus on Exactly What Needs Your Attention

 

Being overwhelmed and having a mental overload is plain crappy. This overload of thoughts produces symptoms that enable you to enjoy your work and sometimes, can even be a lack of motivation to get all the things you need done completed.

 

Learning how to clear your mind is a technique that will increase your focus on precisely what needs your attention at the moment, not only in your work, but also in your life. Simple questions like, “what do I need to get done today?” to the more broad question of  “what is my true calling?” can all be pondered on better when you have a clear mind.

 

It’s typical for people, on a daily basis, to have an endless to-do list, a lot of business on their plate and be left with the feeling of being overloaded.

 

How do you clear your mind so that your brain isn’t cluttered? Here are 5 steps to get you started on clearing your mind so you can focus on the things that need attention the most.

 

1. What do you want to accomplish?

The first step in completing any task or goal is to define exactly what it is you need to get out of it, whether it’s your freelance business, daily tasks, or a grocery store visit. You need to sit down and ask yourself “what do I need or want to accomplish?” and write the details down.

 

It doesn’t matter what the motivation behind it is, whether it’s to feel accomplished, earn money, or if it’s your life goal. Basically, you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing to ever get to where you want to go. By explaining to yourself why or where you want to be, will give you the clarity you need to get there.

 

2. Make a list

The second step, after deciding what your goal is, is to write a list of ways to accomplish this goal. One helpful tip is to use the 80-20 Rule: You basically write down 20% of your tasks that will help you to achieve 80% of your goals. This method has been proven to be very effective.

 

Try and maintain this list to be as specific as you can possibly make it. The clearer you are, the more your mind will feel at ease. Overall, this is a way to get the thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, so your mind doesn’t have to keep wondering about it.

 

Here are a few brief examples:

 

  • Don’t: get more clients, make more income

 

Do: gain two new clients per month, increase my freelance income by $1,000

 

  • Don’t: get better at designing

 

Do: learn a specific design technique to better my designs

 

  • Don’t: increase my website’s traffic

 

Do: Perform tasks 1 and 2, every other day, every week for x amount of hours

 

3. Write down a list of things that you’ve been doing that are unnecessary

Step three can be daunting since most of us think that the things we do are all necessary. However, if you can sit down and really put some thought into your daily routine, and find areas that are necessary, it can help you tremendously. Tasks that can be labeled as unnecessary are those that seem to be important but actually hold little to no importance when trying to get the things done that you need to do.

 

It’s important, when developing this list, to be completely brutally honest with yourself. If you’re not honest, these simple things can hold you back greatly. A major aspect to clearing your mind is to be effective, not only productive. If you have trouble making this list, take the 80-20 Rule to help you, write down 80% of tasks that are not necessary and that only help with 20% of your desired accomplishments.

 

The main goal of this step is to see where you can give yourself more leeway to do other goal-oriented tasks all the while, clearing up more of your mind. Sometimes these tasks are quite small and go unnoticed until you write them down.

 

4. Perform the essentials

Now is the time to really put the 80-20 Rule into your plan. Taking your list from step 2, complete each of those tasks and stop! These are the tasks that will help you accomplish your clearly stated goal from step 1. This is also where you STOP doing the things you listed from Step 3.

 

It may be hard to completely quit the things you listed from step 3, but you have to try, and even if you stop doing one-to-two things at a time, it will help. Face it, we’re all human and life is a total learning experience. The best way to do anything, I have learned, is step-by-step. Start with the smaller things and work your way up, I know it will help you and it will give you encouragement to keep going.

 

5. Now your mind is clearer, better enjoy it!

If you’re using step 4 (which is implementing steps 1-3) you’re on your way to doing less in a day but seeing the same or more results, which therefore, will help you to clear your mind and be able to focus on the things that really need attention.

 

You are now being not only productive but effective.

 

Since you’ve made these lists, defined your goals and are doing away with the unnecessary, you’ll have more time to focus on what needs to be focused on and you’ll be able to enjoy it. When your mind is clear and you’re able to provide attention, other areas of interest will start to be important such as:

 

  • Finding ways to do more of the work you love
  • Improve and expand your business
  • More time for your ideas that have been put on the back burner
  • Learning how to live out the lifestyle you really want
  • And other things you feel are important

 

Clearing the Mind in 5 Steps

 

Much of this technique will be better maximized through trial and error. You must consistently stick with it. To wrap it up, here’s how to clear your mind:

 

1. Define precisely what you want to accomplish

2. Write down the tasks that will help you to succeed your goal

3. Write down everything you’re doing that is unnecessary

4. Begin by performing only the essentials

5. Enjoy a free and clear mind!

 

Have you ever been one to have trouble in clearing your own mind? Do you have any techniques, helpful tips or tools that help to do so? Please share!

Things You May Not Know About Ghostwriters

For many Ghostwriters and writers in general, there are many methods of getting published in existence today. However, some writers feel they lack certain traits or components to consistently produce engaging, solid and fresh content.

So, what happens when writers struggle with publishing or content creation? They hire a Ghostwriter! It happens a lot more than you would ever imagine.

Generally, Ghostwriters handle a number of assignments and a heavy work-load. They are well-versed and experienced in handling many tasks such as single article writing, web content creation, proofing, editing, and blogging, just to mention a few, all the way up to helping with a full-length novel. The term “Ghostwriter” simply means they do not receive any credit for the writing they do for their clients, and their clients can publish the work as if it were their own, with no repercussions.

Ghostwriters specialize in many areas and can write a number of different things.

Due to the vast subjects across the web, Ghostwriters are very flexible and can fit in just about anywhere in a wide variety of genre’s and niches.  They may be summoned to create content for websites, online businesses, brick and mortar businesses and even other writers.  Some Ghostwriters may choose to specialize in certain areas, where others may be more versatile in their knowledge and experience and prefer to create content on any topic, genre or niche.

Generally they are hired to help create articles for article marketing, blog posts, newsletters, email campaigns, web pages, BIOs, press releases, white papers and eBooks, to name a few. Some Ghostwriters are experienced in helping authors get their books into print publication, proof reading and editing.  Some might even write speeches, eulogies, business plans, and other areas where technical or formatted writing is needed.

How can you find or get connected to a Ghostwriter?

Ghostwriters can be found all across the internet. Many Ghostwriters or Ghostwriting companies have websites with examples or portfolios, contact information and rates. They are also marketing savvy and create marketing campaigns through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like.  Ghostwriters also network with other writers by joining different forums and writing communities, which may lead to referrals and recommendations.  If you’re in need of hiring a Ghostwriter, finding one that suits your business needs won’t be very difficult.  However, finding a great Ghostwriter will take in-depth research or possibly even a referral from a trusted source.

With the way technology is soaring and the marketing needed for online business owners, Ghostwriters are in high demand.

What Skills is Necessary for Great Ghostwriting?

If you are interested in writing for companies within the United States, you must have a solid understanding of the English language.  In addition, you’ll need to have detailed research skills, excellent typing, spelling, grammar, ability to meet all deadlines, work in a fast-paced and stressful environment, marketing, constant contact with your clients, and knowledge of the different writing styles.

How can you be a Ghostwriter?

Becoming a Ghostwriter takes persistence, dedication, discipline, motivation and organizational skills.  It certainly helps to have a true passion for writing. I can’t imagine anyone doing this that doesn’t truly LOVE it and feel it is their “calling.” If you write without passion, then others will certainly be able to recognize it, and that could damage your reputation.

You’ll need to learn how to market yourself, your services, set your rates, set up a website, create marketing plans, perform article marketing, set limits, figure out your niche, stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology, and most important…practice, read and write a lot.

5 Elements Every Ghostwriter Should Possess and What You Need to Know When Hiring One

Ghostwriters can be your life saver for your online business.  They are there when you need them and never miss the recognition or the accolades of their work being blasted all over the internet.  We all know it takes a certain type of writer to give up those rights and continue to perform in the highest professional manner.

I believe that is one reason it is a highly sought after profession.  Tons of people use Ghostwriters on a daily basis and if you are in fact thinking of hiring one of these dazzling writers, I’ve got a few things to consider that will help you make a great decision.

Below are 5 elements that I believe that every Ghostwriter should live by consistently:

1. Fresh and Creative Content

A Ghostwriter who is a professional will come up with their own original and creative content. They will not plagiarize or copy other people’s information. This act is very unethical and illegal. A ghostwriter may use other people’s information to gain insight into what they are writing about, but that’s it.  Ultimately they should construct their own creative material.

2. Content Should Contain Information

By this I mean, when a Ghostwriter is responsible for writing articles published to your site, they need to know that a visitor is only coming there to gain insight on a product or feature you have. Thus, a professional ghostwriter should make the readable content interesting and informative. They will do this by researching and providing information that is fresh or new and relatable to your product. They should however, avoid just cramming an article full of keywords and repetitive information.

3. Speak to me Style

Most people hire Ghostwriters to promote or inform visitors of their products and need their information written as such. It should not be just a “who, what, when, where, and how article,” but rather it should engage the reader as if we were all sitting together sharing an idea. Journalists and fictions writers can give you the run down, but a Ghostwriter needs to have a sales approach, while at the same time not making it into an infomercial type content or too “salesy.”

4. SEO

A Ghostwriter should be well knowledgeable in the area of search engine optimization. Today, with the increase in technology and business on the web, SEO is important, and an article without it is pretty much senseless. The practice of SEO is to place keywords into an article in a strategic manner. If you add too much, your search engine visibility will not increase, and if you add too little, well, you get the point. A ghostwriter, who has experience, will know exactly how to help you in this area.

5. Efficiency with Deadlines

Any writer out there should know the obligation and significance of deadlines. If a Ghostwriter is a professional, they will meet all deadlines in a timely and respectable manner. Acknowledging and efficiently meeting a deadline from a client should be their top priority and they should always follow through and respect that.

Now that you know the five elements a Ghostwriter should possess, the next time you are in need of hiring a Ghostwriter you will know what to expect.  Make a list of questions such as, “How do you feel about copying other people’s work?” and “What is your turn around time on an article or blog post?” Or, “How do you go about performing research on a specific topic?”  Knowing what to ask and these key elements will make your search for a Ghostwriter less stressful and more efficient.

Have you hired a Ghostwriter before? What are some of your questions or key elements?

3 Critical Areas That Need Attention before You Submit Your Article to Article Directories

Most Granbury business owners, writers, ghostwriter’s and freelance writers know how important article marketing is and can be for your writing website, or any website for that matter.  Many online business owners use article marketing daily and if you’re not using it, you should be.

Article marketing plays a critical role in getting targeted traffic to your sites and converting that site traffic into buyers.  That’s why article writing and marketing, submitting to article directories and publications are extremely popular and very important.  There are tons of article marketing tools to use that make distributing your articles a lot easier, however, even though it is imperative in gaining exposure to your content, it is only half the story.

Here are some pretty common mistakes most people make when submitting content to article directories:

1.  Some people get confused over their reasons to promote articles with the reason of writing them.  There are three main advantages in article writing and why you promote them; promotion, lead generation and branding, which are part of your efforts in optimization.

However, there really should be only one reason why you write articles, and that is to keep your readers informed.  If your articles are not focused on this main reason and purpose, they will not achieve the three benefits of optimization because no one will want to read them.

It is critical to figure out how to get your audience to actually read what you’ve written, and the next step is for them to click on your resource box or BIO.  This can be accomplished by writing better content.

2.  Not taking advantage of the promotional benefits of your article marketing efforts.  Articles can help in generating links to your site, but did you know that you can also get better search engine results and more visitors from those same articles?

You’ll need to add your keywords appropriately to each article, and some anchor texts as well, but be sure you don’t misuse and overstuff your keywords.  Some article directories may not support this and it is important to know and understand each directories rules and guidelines.

One thing to remember is that it isn’t all about the links to your site; it is about getting your article picked up by others who have a huge audience.  This will give you tons of great exposure and the advantage of using other brands, all of which are a result of the quality of your article.

Of course gaining better search engine results are also a huge benefit, but it does not actually put money in your pocket.  That comes from generating enough traffic and then converting that traffic into buyers.  Put an article marketing plan together and make sure your articles serve the purpose you want it to have, and the traffic and sales will follow.

3.  Creating content that serves no purpose to your audience.  Most often people will write articles with thoughts of only generating traffic and links to their sites, as any audience is better than no audience at all, right?  Wrong!  There are some article directories that will not accept your articles automatically and there are rigid rules and editorial guidelines you must follow to get your articles accepted.

It is imperative that you write articles that the article directories are willing to share with others, as well as potential publishers.  You can increase your audience overnight by having just one publisher with thousands of readers pick up your article and publish it.  Therefore, you need to write the best articles you can possibly muster and be sure you have met the guidelines, do your spell check, and conduct outstanding research on an excellent topic.  You might even consider hiring a ghostwriter to write the article for you.

In conclusion, it really depends on you and your choices.  You might gain a few back links to your site on a basic level by submitting to tons of article directories, or you can gain massive exposure from just a bit of extra effort by making your article truly valuable.  To gain the best exposure, find niche-related article directories to submit your articles to.  Most of the time these are geared towards a smaller group, however, it is a highly targeted audience which could produce some amazing results.

By knowing the difference between the two, it will help you to know the types of articles you need to be writing, and the sort of article directories you need to submit that content to.  Put a strategy together, track your results, find the most appropriate article directories for your niche, and submit like crazy!  Most all article directories are free to use, and what an excellent marketing tool that is!

What are some of your article marketing tactics?

Funny Story

I’ve decided to start posting some funny or humorous jokes from time to time. Nothing makes me feel better than a good laugh and I hope all of you enjoy it as well.

Today our funny comes from Amusing Facts.com

Two avid fishermen go on a fishing trip. They rent all the equipment:the reels, the rods, the wading suits, the rowboat, the car, and even a cabin in the woods. They spend a fortune.

The first day they go fishing, but they don’t catch anything. The same thing happens on the second day, and on the third day. It goes on like this until finally, on the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.

As they’re driving home they’re really depressed. One guy turns to the other and says, “Do you realize that this lousy fish cost us fifteen hundred dollars?”

The other guy says, “Wow! It’s a good thing we only caught the one!”

I hope you enjoyed it and please come back for more.