Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ghostwriting Cash Course by Tiffany Dow - Part 4

Today, I'll be reviewing Part 4 of the fabulous Ghostwriting Cash Course by Tiffany Dow and Craig Desorcy. Time flies... but where? I have no idea but it sure does!
I am glad to be reviewing this course and I was thinking about the number of great other courses I bought from Tiffany that I will review during the course of this month and the next! If you haven't noticed yet, I am a die-hard fan of the girl! And, I am seriously hoping to "convert" you too, so by all means, stay tuned!
And, one last word before I start discussing the course, I only ever review courses that I have bought and implemented! I will never ever understand people who can review courses they haven't bought and implemented. When I say "implemented", I mean not implemented 3 years ago but recently or even currently. This is what I am going to do with a few of them and I'll be updating them as I go along!
Okay, on Part 4 of the Ghostwriting Cash Course, I want to start reviewing a few chapters at the same times! In fact, these are all intertwined so it's difficult to separate one from the other. They complement one another and I'll write as it flows to me! It's not always easy to write in a linear way especially when you know the product well and have had some experience with it! So here we go!
On Your Marks, Get Set, Go...
After reviewing the skills and some of the techniques and tips chapters, we are now leaving behind the theory bit and approaching the practical stage and this can scare people away, especially when you are going to work for someone! I was scared too and I hesitated long and hard before taking the dive! And, honestly, what else can I say? Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Before jumping ahead and looking out for clients, there is a bit of preparation to do and Tiffany explains very well the few things you can do to get the best possible start. I guess you can compare it to going for a casting! When you go for a casting or an audition, you need to bring something with you; either your book, some film rushes or a song, right?
As far as ghostwriting is concerned, the same applies, except that you won't have to sing, dance and you won't be judged on your face... but on your ability to write. So, how about some of your writing samples? Have you got any? Just like for a casting, you should have a portfolio handy to showcase your skills because no internet marketers would take you seriously if you got in touch with them and said you can write but have nothing to show for it. Again, common sense!
In the chapter, Tiffany gives a few useful tips on how to build your portfolio, if you haven't got one already. If you do, I am sure you'll find her advice useful and you'll find things to improve! And, if you do not have one, no need to panic or start undermining your confidence, she has the solution for you and it doesn't involve writing long essays! Far from it! In fact, it is very simple and you won't be spending countless hours on it either! I once sent her my portfolio with many samples of my writing and she said that the writing was good but some of the content was not marketing-oriented!
What was I thinking? So, she gave me extra advice and I applied it right away before posting my writing showcase somewhere! This example shows that it is important to have someone who's had a lot of experience and knows the way the industry works to help you get started on the right foot! Learning from the masters is so true and Tiffany is one of them!
Freelance Sites or not? That is the Question!
Now, once your preparation stage is done, what's next? Well, there are several possibilities and signing up with freelance sites is one of the options she discusses. I'd like to give my personal account about this particular choice and why it didn't go well with me!
I had signed up with Elance months before I bought The Ghostwriting Cash Course and started building my portfolio but never got round to actually bidding on jobs! I guess I was apprehensive and each time I logged in with the intention of bidding on jobs, something stopped me! I read the chapter on freelance sites and decided to go ahead and give it a try.
Now, in the PDF, she gives excellent advice on how to create a profile too by the way! You see, there is a lot of space allocated for branding yourself and marketing your services on these sites, and yet when you go through people's profiles, you just realise that most of them have a couple of lines, no pictures of themselves or their companies and no portfolio! Tiffany directs you to her own page on Elance so you can see for yourself what a really good profile should look like!
Once I had built up my profile and filled in the necessary bits and pieces such as payment terms and bank account details, I went through the job search section and selected the few ones that could be of interest to me!
Now, what's interesting again is that Tiffany provides 4 samples of bids she placed and won, so if you don't know what to write or don't have any inspiration, those bid samples will help you get started!
Plus, she also comments on each line of her bid and explains why she wrote this, for what purpose and how she managed to convince the contractors to take her on. That's actually very generous and practical and it's a really good guide. Also, since each case is different, all four of them are worth reading. Finally, you'll see how she has a dig at those who place canned bids and she is right!
Okay, back on my own case! After applying myself and responding to offers, I realized that freelance sites weren't for me for the following reasons. Freelance sites work a bit like auction houses and until you have branded yourself and have a great reputation, you will be exposed to some massive competition and I just don't like that! I don't like the work "bid"! I am not a product and I don't liked being bid on, lol!
There is also a rating system that puts me off completely since my idea of working as a ghostwriter was to be able to choose your projects and your clients! Now, when you get started on these sites, you really don't have much choice and the first few bids will have to be low just to get some exposure and feedback! And, being who I am, I refused the "system" and withdrew all of them before the bidding date expired!
Now, was I right to do so? I think so because nothing matters more than my own freedom and Elance, Odesk and other such sites can be restraining, hence my choice to create my website and post a few ads on the Warrior Forum.
At the time, I also need quick money and some it can take 15 days for some contractors to pick someone so, that was another reason to choose to create a website with the great help of Craig Desorcy and his videos, which I will comment on shortly!
When you buy the Ghostwriting Cash Course, you should still try the freelance sites and have a feel about it! It might be just right for you and some people prefer to have a structure around them and yes, these sites do provide lots of perks too! Okay, more on the perks of getting your own website soon and the other places where you can advertise your writing services!
How much are you worth? Honestly?
Right now, I want to talk about your worth as a ghostwriter and how you should price your writing because this is a difficult subject for a lot of people! How do you evaluate yourself, especially when you have never worked as a ghostwriter before?
These questions are answered in the PDF too and what's good is that Tiffany gives you a general idea of how much you can charge when you start, depending on your experience and the nature of the work. She also discusses how much she used to charge when she was on Elance and discusses a very interesting point regarding the "perceived value" of your work and how you should increase your rates gradually.
As far as I am concerned, I started with a simple $5 a page price tag on the Warrior Forum. Some came by and told me bluntly that the cost was outrageously expensive and I knew right away that these guys were typical bullies trying to "lowball" me! Some paid upfront, which is by the way the normal procedure and you shouldn't start any work unless the cash is in your Paypal or bank account.
I guess those who didn't fuss about the $5 were more aware of what the value of a good article really is, and no I am not boasting. I am just telling you the truth! My articles are researched extensively and not re-written! They are written from scratch and again, I used the Gathering and Structuring Ideas course by Tiffany to really get a good grip on how to write high quality articles! And it has paid off!
I have now increased my rates and offer quotes instead of set prices! It's a personal choice and I believe that people prefer the idea of a quote rather than a fixed amount for a set of article. So, pricing is tricky but can and must be mastered or you'll risk becoming a "slave"! There is no other word for it but in my opinion, there is no place for "haggling" in ghostwriting!
It takes research, discipline, time, hard work, talent and when marketers come to you, it's for a good reason; they can't write their own so, you'll find the "pricing your work" section of the PDF of great value. Tiffany also goes through the different "specials" she used to do to attract and secure clients straight away. This is another thing I never thought of doing and it works great!
As you can see, The Ghostwriting Cash Course Review is still ongoing and will be until I have torn it apart completely (in a good sense by the way)! I've always liked that course and I am sure you'll do to! But wait for the exciting part about creating your own website that will help you get your name out there with the big ghostwriting stars of the moment!
Part 5 of the Ghostwriting Cash Course Review will be available shortly!
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Admissions Requirements for a MBA Program

What are the ways to real success in career? What does it take to get a highly paid and challenging position in a top rank company? What should I do to receive a managerial position and lead a company to success and growth? If you ask yourself these questions, this means you can make them come true.
If you always look for the ways to improve your skills, get new knowledge, be a leader, you should obtain an MBA degree as it gives people like you the possibility and all necessary knowledge to be the best in what you do.
Having MBA degree you can pursue the career in any company you like, as you can choose programs among the wide range of specializations (for example you can get general MBA degree or the degree in marketing, medicine, healthcare, music industry etc.). This degree can help you to start your own business.
Entering the company of the best managers and businessmen MBA degree would serve as a business card that represents you as a highly qualified professional with all necessary skills and knowledge required to perform tasks and assignments. You have to complete a special MBA program.
Each business school specifies its own requirements for the future applicants. But usually these requirements include submitting the statements of purpose, recommendation letters and composition of essays on different topics (for example "My Previous Work Experience" or "My Reasons to Become an MBA"). Statements of purpose and recommendation letters are the crucial elements of you success.
For some people it can be a hard task especially for those who don't like boasting about his own skills but in this environment it is more than necessary sometimes.
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ICSE - How to Frame an Argumentative Essay

Writing an essay is no mean task. And if it is an argumentative essay, the task becomes all the more uphill. An argumentative essay demands that you should be able to portray your point of view very clearly. Thus there is no place for vague generalizations in an argumentative essay. This is the basic that you should bear in mind before starting out on an argumentative essay. Having said that, let us look into the argumentative essay in some more detail.
The Introduction: The best way to start the argumentative essay is by taking the subject head-on. Your stance should be clear from the very beginning.
The Body: Every paragraph in the essay should be geared towards establishing your stance. To do so, you may take the help of personal examples, well known historical events, facts and statistics, quotations and the like. But do not use these just for the sake of it. That would fill your easy with fluff. Rather, you should concentrate on those points that really strengthen your argument.
Each statement is a double headed Janus. It is the first rule of studying law. There are always multiple ways of dealing with an issue. Arrange the arguments in order of strength. Validate each argument with substantial evidence supporting or rejecting it. Balancing the arguments is the name of the game. Remember, leaving an impact on the reader is your prime focus. Attend debates or listen to news debates and see how each speaker fights it out for what he believes to be right. Convince the reader you are the most logical and you have his vote. It is what politicians do all the time.
"No fence-sitting". You must take a stand while writing an ICSE essay. So make sure the counter arguments you put forth do not water down your essential argument. Use facts to strengthen your viewpoint. Nothing replaces the bare effectiveness of real statistics and facts. Define key terms where necessary and outline any assumptions you may have made while reaching to a conclusion.
The final word. Like a hangman's axe, the final sentence of your essay must say it all in a single stroke. A nice quote, a witty detail or an interesting anecdote will finish the job.
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Advantages of Paper Folders

Paper folders are simple to use and to operate. Paper folders save businesses time and money by increasing productivity and reducing the labor hours spent folding statements, invoices and correspondence. Paper folders are used in churches, schools, print shops, quick-copy centers, banks, mail-houses and many other types of organizations. Paper folders are able to fold anywhere from 4,000 to 115,000 sheets per hour depending on the machine. A good employee might get through 1800 in an hour.
These machines have a long history and the technology continues to develop. From the manual paper folders clients have now the possibility to purchase automatic paper folding machines, which operate extremely fast and save a lot of energy. Still, selecting the suitable machine for you depends on various factors and the main one refers to the type of work you are involved in. When you go online to search for them you must take into account the speed of the machine (sheets/hour), how frequent will you use it and most importantly what type of paper you require. Knowing all these things can help you narrow down your choices for paper folding machines and help you pick out the one that is perfect for you. Paper folder Increase the number of sheets folded per hour and Increase productivity by freeing employees to work on other tasks.
They are used widely in offices from various companies, including banks or other financial institutions. They are needed to spare precious time and especially for mass documents. All enterprises handling and spreading information have found them useful and used the Internet in order to find one suitable to their preferences.
If we were to make a comparison between a manual and an automatic paper folding machine, we would discover several difference but also a lot of similarities. The manual paper folder uses a technology called friction feed, moving paper with the help of synthetic rolls and it is quite cheap to use. The automatic paper-folding machine is indeed a great asset for any office. Though not so cheap, it has a lot of interesting features and can handle almost any kind of paper. Paper folders reduce mental fatigue and paper cuts. Increase or customize the types of folds you can use. There are many variations of folds used by churches, schools, engineering firms, print shops and other businesses.
Half-Fold: the sheet is folded into two equal sections with a single fold, can be utilized to create 4 separate panels/pages to be printed upon. Tri-Fold: Tri-folds are a very common fold style in the market. Some paper folders consider a tri-fold to be 3 equal sections (brochure fold) and some do not. Make sure you identify whether your application is a tri-fold or brochure fold.
All adjustable machines will do this, but if the machine is designed to leave a slight difference between the edges then the adjustments would need a minute adjustment to get 3 equal sections. Z-Fold: similar to the letter fold with sections the same size, two folds create two outer panels folded in over the third center panel. Common applications are brochures, letters, statements, proposals and purchase orders.
A Z-fold requires an adjustable machine, and if the documents must be kept in order then the unit should have conveyor belts and stacking wheels on the delivery to facilitate the process. Baronial Fold: The Baronial fold is also becoming more and more common in the market, and has similar issues. Because the folds on this document cross each other the material has to be ran through the machine twice in order to achieve.
Engineering fold / fold-out: typically used for ledger size sheets (11" x 17") that are bound in proposals or technical documents. Gate fold: the sheet is folded into two equal wing panels that close like a gate over the larger center panel using two parallel folds. Common applications are presentations, brochures, invitations, menus and wine lists. French Fold: The French fold is also becoming more and more common in the market, and has similar issues. Because the folds on this document cross each other the material has to be ran through the machine twice in order to achieve.
Double parallel fold / accordion fold : (also referred to as an 8-sheet or quarter fold) the sheet is folded in half and then half again using 2 parallel folds, creating 4 panels on each side of the sheet. Folds a legal size sheet (8.5" x 14") to fit into a standard #10/#9 envelope. He invention of paper folders has proved out to be more than useful. There are a multitude of companies out there presenting their products. The Internet can present to you all kinds of products for office equipment and supplies, all at different prices and having various features. Today, folding experts work non-stop to come up with better features and advanced equipment.
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Education Versus Training

Many people don't understand the difference between education and training. Education is giving out information and communicating to your trainees. Training is about practice and building skills. Today's younger generation of employees wants to be trained, not educated.
Problem is, if we don't educate them before we train them, it could lead to problems. Think about how you learned to drive. You need knowledge of the laws and then the actual training of getting behind the wheel. Same can be said for learning about the birds and the bees--if the education part isn't done effectively, the training could lead to undesirable results!
Mark Flores, director of ops for Chuck E. Cheese's, uses the macaroni-and-cheese example to demonstrate the difference. We've all made mac & cheese plenty of times in our lives, but if we don't follow the instructions exactly, we might get macaroni soup, crunchy macaroni, or something else other than what we intended. So how do we deliver education and training to ensure consistency?
Manuals. Boooooooooring! We do need documentation, but make it fun! Include tons of photos and minimal text so it's more of a comic strip look. People are more likely to remember what they see versus what they read, so retention of information is better. Additionally, it's easier to translate into other languages.
Videos. Better than reading for most employees, but they need to be short segments (3--5 minutes maximum) with tons of visual image changes. Our employees today are used to watching CNN with talking video, a crawler message along the bottom, and the weather forecast on the side--all while having four online chats with their friends. Long, drawn-out videos lose their attention quickly. Watch a segment and go practice what you learn. You can watch the next segment after that.
Online. Golden Corral, White Castle, Sea Island Shrimp House, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Chuck E. Cheese's are all using or testing e-learning. Since it is self-paced, it goes at the speed of the learner. Be careful: As we've seen with e-books, it's not too comfortable to read a book on a PC, so keep the text to a minimum. Review questions can be built in as a checkpoint for the learner to advance to the next section. Great way to replace video and print, but it's still not "training."
Tests. We all hate tests! To ensure consistency in tests, keep them simple and visual (use as many pictures as possible), and use multiple-choice, ordering, or true-false format to ensure consistency in grading. Most of our employees no longer take fill-in-the-blank or essay tests. Ensure they have the basics down. Do all your trainers actually grade tests the same way?
All the above forms of "training" are really just education, yet most managers think it's training. We didn't get our driver's license after reading the book, watching the video, and passing a test--we had to demonstrate our skills to the authorities before we received permission to drive. Education is the necessary evil that must come first, though.
Do we follow the same format with our employees? Many companies do not--we just memorize a bunch of useless information the guest cares little about and then we're ready. You need to be validated on the skills it takes to do the job and re-validated periodically in the future. Knowing the job and doing the job are two entirely different things--and the guest notices.
Skill Validation
Having the new employee demonstrate skills for a manager shows you two things: how good the trainer was, and that the employee can do the functions of the job. We all might think we have the same definition of "greet the guest" or "suggestive sell," but when we see our employees in action, we find it's all across the board. If we don't coach them through the skill, they will simply do what they see at other restaurants (which often isn't good). Conduct these validations every 90--180 days to keep standards top of mind.
People train people. Just because someone is a good employee doesn't mean they will be a good trainer. The proper tools to educate will help, but the payoff is in the trainer demonstrating, coaching, and validating the skill of a new employee. To illustrate this point to your team, ask your trainers to train you on how to tie your shoes or put on a shirt. Act like you know nothing about it. Point being, it's a simple task we can all do in our sleep--like ringing up orders or making burgers--but it's incredibly hard to train someone else how to do it.
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Best IELTS Essay Writing Strategy

Recently a student asked me, "What is the best IELTS essay planning strategy?" I was so pleased to hear this question because it meant that this student understood the importance of planning before answering an IELTS Writing question and didn't want to just 'throw his ideas onto the page.'
For all types of IELTS Writing tasks, both Task 1 and Task 2, academic or general, it is important to be aware of the following:
  • effective preparation
  • effective planning
  • appropriate style
  • appropriate tone
  • correct structure and format (i.e. make sure your letter 'looks like a letter' or your report 'looks like a report'.
In this post I'd like to introduce you to what I think is the best IELTS writing procedure.
(prepare, prepare, prepare; I've just said it three times because that's how important I think it is!)
1. Read the task question very carefully.
While you are reading the question, you should ask yourself the following questions:
  • What exactly do I have to write about?
  • What style (formal or informal) and tone (informative or complaining etc?) do I need?
2. Brainstorm and make notes of your ideas.
Here you are trying to think of the maximum number of ideas you have that relate to the task (make sure they're relevant!). You should write these notes on the question paper, rather than the answer sheet, so then you know that they examiner will not read them as part of your answer.
3. Plan your essay
Here you need to select the ideas that you're going to use, decide which are the most important and group them so that your essay has a structure and isn't just a fragmented catalogue of ideas.
I find a lot of students are concerned about 'wasting time' on planning. In the IELTS Writing test, do NOT glance at anyone else in the room and panic because they appear to be writing their answer and you're making notes. There are two reasons for this;
  • never look at other people in an exam, you don't want to look as if you're trying to cheat
  • we're trying to use our planning strategy to get the best IELTS Writing score possible; it's not a race to see who can write the most quickly!
That said, it's important to be aware of time in the IELTS Writing test. You have 20 minutes for Task 1 so I suggest you spend maximum 5 minutes on the preparation stage. You have 40 minutes for the longer Task 2 so I suggest you spend maximum 10 minutes on the preparation stage.
4. Write your essay on your answer sheet, following the plan you wrote in the preparation stage
Make sure your handwriting is legible. Although you can choose whether to write in pen or pencil, I usually recommend that my students write their IELTS Writing answers in pencil; much neater if you change and correct things.
I usually recommend that this stage takes about 10 minutes for IELTS Writing Task 1 and 20 minutes for IELTS Writing Task 2. (You need to leave some time for the next stage; approximately 5 minutes for Task 1 and 10 minutes for Task 2).
5. Here the aim is to check that you've written the best IELTS Writing answer you can. You're going to review and improve your work.
Here's what you should be checking at this stage:
  • make sure you've answered the task fully (all aspects of the task)
  • check that your style and tone are appropriate and consistent (e.g. NOT, Dear Sir,............'Hi, how are ya doin?'!
  • make sure your paragraphing is clear and logical
  • all your supporting points are relevant to your answer to the task.
  • look for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Finally don't forget that IELTS Writing Task 1 needs to be at least 150 words and IELTS Writing Task 2 needs to be 250 words.
These word counts are good guidelines. In my opinion, Writing Task 1 answers should be somewhere between 150 and 180 words, Writing Task 2 answers should be somewhere between 250 and 300 words.
Here's to the best IELTS score possible!
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College Grant Money - 5 Tips For You When Applying For Funding

There is a lot of college grant money available at the minute but the big question remains, how do I actually get any of it for myself. Well, the simple answer is that you apply for the funding which is sometimes easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help get you on your way.
1. How To Find Aid
Firstly, consult your local financial aid office for information on federal grants available. You can also read up more on the FAFSA web site. Then, pop in to the college or university you would like to attend and go and find out what scholarships they have and how to apply for them. The web is a great resource too, so remember to look online for scholarships, there is heaps of information for you.
2. Never Assume
A lot of people simply do not apply for scholarships because the make certain assumptions. Never assume. Do not think that you need to be a straight A student in order to get a scholarship. There are many scholarships out there based on non-academic factors, such as financial need and minority groups.
3. Write The Essay
Yes, some scholarships do require lengthy, labor intensive essays but take the time to write them and write them well. These kind of scholarships will get fewer applicants and your chances will be so much greater if you put in that little bit of effort.
4. Apply Early
The time to apply is right now. Stop delaying and putting it off and just get out there, find the information and apply for as many scholarships as you can. Do not overlook the small scholarships either as a few of these could add up to a reasonable amount of funding.
5. Beware Of Scams
In this world we live in, there is always a scam around so just beware of the scholarships you apply for. Very few of them will require payment and you should not need to provide personal particulars such as credit card details.
The above tips should help get you going in applying for your scholarships. You could get going right now by applying for a $10000 scholarship online. It is quick and free so take the time to do it now.
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