7 Ways to Make Writing Easier

A few weeks ago, I received an interesting comment from someone who wanted to hire me to write an ad, and one of the things she said was I make writing seem “effortless.” Which I found kind of ironic.


Because the reality is I don’t find writing effortless at all. I find it extremely hard. I actually HATE writing. In fact, to quote the late, great copywriter Sir Gary of Halbert: “Writing sucks!”

But… since it pays the bills I do it anyway. And thank God there ARE ways to make it easier (and even fun). Below are just a few of these ways…

1. Write every day

Hey, it may sound corny, but it really is true the more you do something, the easier and more “routine” it gets.

2. Write like you talk

If you can talk, you can write. I know of one person who writes entire BOOKS just by reading into a recorder while driving around and then transcribing it.

3. Don’t try to impress anyone

Forget pleasing other writers or copywriters or whatever. Say what needs saying and let the chips fall wherever they may. Yes… some people WILL whine and complain. Might as well expect it. But most will love you for it and even become your biggest fans.

4. Be “real”

Be YOU and not a warmed-over version of someone else. Frankly, it makes writing easier, faster and more persuasive.

5. Keep it pithy

When in doubt… snip it out.

6. Tell stories

This is the EASIEST way to write. It’s also the easiest way for people to remember your message. Even memory training experts teach putting everything in story format because it makes it easier for peoples’ brains to remember and “process” information.

7. Respect peoples’ time

This is a biggie. One reason ads, emails, blogs, etc are ignored is because people are too busy to be bothered reading them. And if you simply respect your readers’ time (like for example, by being pithy), they’ll be FAR more likely to hear you out (and, yes, buy). Anyway, those are some “tried and true” ideas for making writing a lot easier.

Dog Training Advice – What the Professionals Know

When people find out you’re a dog trainer, it’s amazing how often the first question they ask revolves around dog training advice.

I’m always more than happy to oblige, because as I often say, “I don’t train dogs for a living. I train dogs to make living worthwhile!”

Dog training advice can take many forms, but what I thought I’d do here is just share two very basic fundamental principles that I stress in my own training. When you learn to internalize these two pieces of advice, you can’t help but have a better relationship with your dog.

One great piece of dog training advice is this…

Learn the difference between a “reward” and a “treat.” This was taught to me very early on when I was learning the art of dog training, and it has served me well over my 17 year career.

Here’s why making this distinction is important:

Rewards can help you teach your dog to avoid unwanted behavior, and to do more of a behavior you find desirable. A reward is “behavior contingent.” It’s not a piece of food that you give your dog because he looks cute or because it’s bedtime.

A treat, on the other hand, is something you give your dog that has no “strings” attached. When you make a distinction between a reward and a treat, your training sessions will start being much more productive.

What else should you be doing?

Catch your dog doing something right.

And what do you do when you catch him? Reward him. This, in fact, is my training philosophy summed up in one sentence.

The basic problem most dog owners have is that they’re very good at telling their dogs “No!” but not so good at praising them when they do something right.

Dogs, just like people, need to be taught not only what NOT to do, but also what you’d like them to do in order to please you.

How You Can Get Scholarships for High School Seniors

Scholarships for high school seniors can save you and your parents a lot of money. Are you in a situation where you will have to pay for school after you have graduated? If so, you need to exhaust all opportunities to look for scholarships. Many college graduates leave schools with heavy financial burdens and begin life in debt. As such, many parents and students are looking for ways to ease the burdens that come with college.

Fortunately, there are many scholarships that go unused each year because people don’t know about them. Here are some tips for how to get scholarships for high school seniors:

The first thing you need to do is thoroughly investigate all programs that are out there.

Check with local organizations, scholarships from the state, from local clubs, churches and organizations, and sometimes even local businesses. Many states, especially those that have state lotteries have a lot of money to use for scholarships.

Decide what schools you would like to attend, and check with those individual schools. Many schools offer scholarships based on different requirements. You won’t know what is available until you check it out.

Do a detailed web search for scholarships. If a local business is advertising a scholarship, and everyone you know is applying, your chances aren’t very good. But if there is a scholarship that few people know about, obviously your chances are better.

Second, when applying for scholarships, read the rules. Don’t waste time applying for scholarships that you aren’t eligible for. This may seem elementary, but it’s a huge time saver. Check the eligibility before you sign up for it. Also, don’t ever pay to apply for a scholarship. This will almost always be a scam.

Proofread your scholarship. Remember that your scholarship application needs to set you apart. Nothing can damage your chances more than shoddy spelling or grammar.

How can you make yourself stand out? Remember that there are many scholarships for high school seniors and there are hundreds, if not thousands of applicants. You need to list all activities and accomplishments that separate you from the pack. Did you get a high ACT score? Highlight that fact. Are you involved in community service or some other unique and interesting activity? Make sure and put that in your application.

If you don’t feel you stand out in these areas, what can you do to change that? Can you study harder for your ACT and possibly improve your score? Can you take part in any activities, clubs or sports teams that might help you to stand out?

Scholarships for high school seniors are a highly coveted achievement, as they are basically free money. Don’t miss out because you didn’t fill forms out on time, include interesting things about yourself, or didn’t do enough research. Take the time to save yourself from the heavy debt-load that can come later in life due to high college expenses. If you do this, you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to attain a scholarship and help your financial situation as you begin your life as an adult.

Master & Learn Guitar – Master Guitar in 3 Simple Steps

No matter how long you’ve played your six string for, at some point, every guitar player has a choice to make. Either you can decide to play just for fun, or, you can decide to get really serious and decide to master and learn guitar.  If this is you, congratulations, you are about to embark on a fantastic, challenging and yet rewarding musical journey.

There are many different ways to master and learn guitar. I would like to share with you three simple steps that will allow you to focus your quest in pursuing the guitar more seriously.

1.  Find a guitar instructor
2.  Increase your practice schedule
3.  Practice in modules

1.  Find a guitar instructor:  It is of utmost importance that if you’re going to get serious in learning how to master and learn guitar; that you find an instructor that has played the guitar for more than 10 years. If your teacher has a musical education behind them, even better.  Having someone to tutor you on guitar will allow you to stay focused and learn proper technique more quickly than if you were to try learning on your own. The guitar instructor will also be able to challenge your playing abilities and give you homework that will allow you to improve your playing skills

2.  Increase your practice schedule:  If you are a casual player who practices occasionally, this will need to stop. I generally recommend to a beginner guitar player a bare minimum of two times a week for a half hour. In the case of a serious musician wanting to master and learn guitar, I recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 times a week for an hour. Increasing your practice schedule will allow you more time to practice all of the various techniques such as  scales, chords, and arpeggios that you will be learning on the guitar.

3.  Practice in modules:  Now that you’ve decided to increase your practice times; you will want to make sure that you stay focused during these times practice. It can be very easy to get distracted, or play what you have already learned in the past. The secret to staying focused is to practice in module units. Module units are mini 10 minute learning periods of time. For example, during a one hour practice session you’ll warm-up for 10 minutes, practice chords for 10 minutes, scales for another 10, arpeggios for another 10, a new song for 10 more minutes, and end off with some sight reading practice.  Remember, if you’re serious about learning how to master and learn guitar your modular practice times are not the time to play whatever you want to.  Save playtime on your instrument as a reward for your hours worth of practice.

How to Study to Maximize Your College Success Or University Success

I remember when I was in high school, I would be studying for tests and exams in my room while my radio was turned up really loud. It just felt like a cool thing to do. And I got through high school well enough to get into university. When I started university, I of course used the same study methods since I thought they were my proven way. The result was that I almost ending up failing some of my first year courses.

It’s great listening to music blasting away in your room but if your head isn’t absorbing the stuff you’re suppose to be studying and your grades suffer, then you need a change in study environment. This means turning off the tunes until your study session is done. Can’t concentrate in your room or friends always interrupting? Then hit the library and find some quiet space.

Also, make a habit of studying regularly, even right after tests so that you will be prepared well in advance for the next one. This way, most course material will still be fresh in your mind by the time final exams come. This is one of the secret strategies college success or university success. Taking the time to study even when there are no exams just around the corner helps you learn your material so much better so you won’t have to do any last minute cramming for exams. This way of studying was a drastic change in my study habits. It was time consuming since I had to allocate regular study time during my days even when there were no exams in the near future. But it did work extremely well in helping me know the course material.

Back in high school, some teachers might have hassled you if your grades were low. At university or college, nobody is going to be on your case to study. This might sound good but if your study habits are lousy, you might end up failing out and many professors won’t really care. Again, I almost failed out of my first year and had to really improve on my studying to stay in. I did improve my grades well enough by my fourth year to get accepted into one of the MBA schools.

When I got to MBA school, it was a good thing that I had developed better study habits because we needed a B average to stay in the program. During our first semester, we lost about a quarter of our students because they couldn’t make that minimum B average.

There’s much more competition from other students for the top grades at this level of learning. It really pays to have good study habits. Good money was paid for your tuition so don’t fail out. Put in the time to study as if it was your full time job for the present. This will help insure that you are a college success or university success.

Of course, getting exposed to good external guest speakers on campus will also add to your college or university success since they often teach you about things that are not normally covered in your courses. Plus you don’t have to study the material presented by the guest speakers which is a welcome change.

How to Select the Right Educational Software?

Educational software is among the many things brought about by modern technology that has indeed revolutionized the manner for learning just about anything you can possibly think of. Software of this kind are now proliferating the market. You sure will no longer have a hard time looking for the right one that will surely address your need. But having a wide array of choices for simply anything can also give you much confusion in having to decide which among should be the best for you.

It would be much easier for you to pick out the right educational software that will surely address your needs. That is if you also know what exactly do you want from these kinds of software. You should therefore evaluate your need first before finding the right kind of this software that will surely help you learn whatever it is you wish to learn.

The fact that educational software is now getting more and more popular, you can definitely see a lot of different kinds of it in the market be it online or offline. From simple mathematics to a more complex algebra or calculus, you name it and you will definitely find one software for just about anything. You should therefore set some parameters on how you want this software works to address your needs.

One of the basic thing you need to consider in looking for the best educational software is its being user friendly. Yes, you heard it correctly, it should be user friendly or in simple term so easy to use. You need have to seek professional assistance just to have your software working the right way you want it to be.

Other then being user friendly, educational software should not drain anyone’s wallet. There are many of this software which are truly efficient yet inexpensive. You will also be amazed to find out that some of these are even accessible in the internet for free though I cannot vouch for its efficiency. These are among the many things you need to think about if you want to have a real efficient educational software.

EMT Courses – Dream! To Achieve

We have all lived and cherished dreams when we were young. Each of us as children have ourselves or at least heard our children proclaim that he/she wanted to be a cop or a fire fighter. Someone who is very close to living this dream is the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). All of us naturally and normally have a strong urge to save other’s life, but sadly this loses focus more and more as we grow up. And once we lose sight of these passions, we tend to forget them forever for the fear that people may label them as pointless or unachievable. Search yourself for such dreams and give it a new lease of life. Analyze them and try to devise ways to make them a reality. Calling up a person and wishing him hello might be enough to save his life if done at the right time. In some occasions, it is more complex and may involve injecting intravenous fluids or helping people who have difficulty in breathing with an airway device. The second category might seem too complex for a layman, but a certified EMT will get to posses these skills through thorough training.

A novice level EMT certificate is one of the requirements for applying for the post of a fire fighter or police officer. This level includes a good understanding of basic first aid and also examining a person and being able to decide the course of action to be taken. The novice EMT is also called “first-responder” EMT because the people who normally take up this certification course are cops or fire fighters who are most often the first people on the scene of the accident.

EMT-Basic or EMT-1 is the first level of the official EMT certification. The skills taught at this level include giving first aid, delivering a baby in emergency, treating fractures, handling pathogens that spread through blood, and other skills that may be required by the first responder. When a person gets certified at the Basic level, he will be registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians(NMERT). He/she is then ready to take up the next level of courses. EMT-Intermediate or courses 2 and 3 are more tedious to finish than the basic level. They take up more hours to teach and learn. But a person who has finished these two courses will have their skill set greatly increased. A person who manages to successfully complete this level, will be certified as EMT-Intermediate and will be registered at this level at the NMERT. You are allowed to take up Intermediate courses only when you have registered yourself with the NMERT after the Basic course. Note that your responsibilities will be on the rise too. You will be taught to approach each crisis in the most effective way. When you take up higher levels, your pay scale will go up to taking into account your knowledge and skills.

The highest level of certification is the 4th level or EMT-Paramedic certification level. To achieve this certification, you must have put in 2000 hours in the classroom and over a hundred hours at the emergency ward at a hospital. You will then have to register yourself with the NMERT. On successful completion, you can continue as an assistant to a physician or even higher. When you get registered, your chances of getting a job increases rapidly and also you will be contacted directly in case of any crisis. When you are just a Basic level EMT, you may not be saving lives, but you most certainly will be as you keep taking up higher level courses. They will be given a new lease of life just because of your simple plan of educating yourself. else’s.

Grants and Scholarships For College – Are They Free?

When you take your step towards your college life, your financial conditions must be strong so that, you can spend your college life easily and comfortably. Grants and Scholarships for College are really FREE. In this article I will tell you how you can get grants and scholarships for college without investing anything.

Internet is getting more and more advanced daily, you can find almost several websites which provides free college grants and scholarships and to find one, visit any search engine and type a phrase such as: “free scholarship”, “free college grant” etc. The search engine will then bring several pages and you have to choose one website wisely.

Afterthat, visit a search engine again and type the URL which you have just found followed by a phrase: “Scam”, “Scammers”, “Rippers”. If the results came negative then forget about that website and search for another but if the results are really good and positive, then you’re good to go.

Finally, when you visit the website, you must have to fill a short application form. Make sure that you fill out that form with necessary and correct information as there would be no other way for the website to contact you except by through your application form.

After submitting the form, wait for at least 24-48 hours and the company will send you an e-mail. If you filled the form correctly and your luck is really good, you may get a $5k or $10k scholarship.

This is really a FREE process, just rinse and repeat. No limits and no charges, you just have to try again and again and you never know when you will succeed. So that’s how grants and scholarships for college students are free.

Mike Shanahan, the New Coach of Redskins

Coach Mike Shanahan has always been a great head coach. Many nay sayers have always thought that the only reason for his success was the great John Elway. With this in mind it will be very interesting to see what happens with coach Shanahan has planned for his new team, the Washington Redskins.

It will be quite interesting to see what coach Shanahan can accomplish with the Redskins offense seeing as how he has always been considered one of the greatest offensive coordinators in the NFL. The interesting thing about Mike Shanahans deal with the Redskins is that he has not only been given the position of head coach but he has also been given the title of Executive Vice President. Shanahan made his formal debut on Wednesday, one day after signing his contract and only two days after Jim Zorn was fired after a 4-12 season.

When he was asked about what he felt what the outcome of his stent with the Redskins would be he said “It doesn’t happen overnight,” “but we’re going to give it the best shot we have.” Head coach Mike Shanahan has head his fair share of rough times as a coach to go along with his glory and honor.He was fired a year ago after the Broncos missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

The great thing for coach Shanahan has to be the pay off. He has signed a five-year, $35 million contract so regardless of what happens he will fair well. All and all I think that the new relationship between Shanahan and the Redskins will be profitable for both parties, team and coach.

Get Your Dream Career – Even in This Economy

Today’s economy is creating a FEAR that is racing through our world psyche and causing people to pull back, hunker down, and put their dreams away.

That’s true for the person who has lost their job and for those who have decided to stay put, and not go for their dream career.

This parasite of FEAR is telling us that now is not the time to go for that dream career. Instead, we’re focused on just getting a job – any job.

It’s the wrong approach in a fearful time.

What happens to a rabbit who freezes when a hunter’s gun is aimed at him? That’s right. He’s dispatched to rabbit heaven – pronto!

What happened to companies like C.W. Post when, during the Great Depression, they pulled back on marketing? They lost market share and customer trust and never again regained their market position, especially relative to their main competitor – Kellogg.

The Kellogg Company has a very different story.

Kellogg increased their marketing efforts during the Great Depression. As a result, they increased their market share and customer brand loyalty – which continues nearly 80 years later.

Proctor and Gamble created their biggest growth ever during the Great Depression. They sponsored radio shows and had their brand associated with over 21 programs.

What’s the point?

The point is that pulling back on your efforts to develop a meaningful career during economic stress is exactly the wrong thing to do. Here’s why.

When you allow fear to dominate your life, you play small. You’re afraid to look for new ideas, trends and possibilities; you may find yourself ‘sucking up’ to the boss you dislike just so he won’t think of you first if the time comes to cut staff.

Or, you may be afraid to try new things. You hide out, hoping no one will notice you, so your productivity suffers.

You may experience stress induced headaches, stomach aches, colds, lethargy, fatigue or sleeplessness.

Finally, you start to believe that your dream career is not within your reach – and you give up. How sad is that?

But there’s another way.

I’ve often said that action trumps fear – every time!

  • If you want that meaningful career, take action!
  • If you hate your current job, take action!
  • If you want a work purpose that matches your values and vision for your life, take action!

Consider this: during every time of stress, downturn and difficulty, there are hidden opportunities, needs and problems to be solved. Those who survive and thrive in difficult times, are those who look for the opportunities – and take action on them.

Isn’t it time for you to take action?