5 Reasons To Disable Blog Commenting

You can turn your blog comments off or on at will. So the question is, will you accept comments or not?

On a positive note, allowing comments sometimes gives you great feedback on your posts. If you have a highly read blog with lots of comments, it also provides social proof to newcomers that you and your blog are popular. But on the negative side…

1. Allowing comments opens the door to spam. Frankly, the majority of blog comments tend to be a waste of time for your blog readers. Some are outright advertisements, and others simply contribute nothing to the conversation. Of course, you can install spam prevention software. But some spam will still get through, meaning you now have to invest time locating and deleting those comments or pay someone else to do it for you.

2. The tumbleweed effect. This is when you allow comments, but then you don’t get any or you only get one from your Aunt Silvia. If you enable comments but get very few, it will appear as though no one is reading your blog. You and I both know that most people who read blogs don’t comment, but most blog readers don’t know that. They’ll assume your blog is unpopular and they’ll be less likely to stay themselves.

3. Watered down SEO. While a small percentage of comments will help you with your SEO, a larger percentage can actually hurt your chances to get your post on the first page of Google.

4. Loss of control. Unless you’re prescreening comments, anybody can post anything. This means your competitor can post lies about you and your products, and those comments could be on there for a day before you see them and delete them.

Then there’s slander. Someone posts libelous falsehoods about another person or company. Sure, there are laws to protect you. But until things get sorted out, do you really want to endure a lawsuit? Unlikely, but it can happen.

5. The reply catch-22. Someone leaves a great comment and you reply. Or someone asks a question and you post an answer. So far so good, right? But now EVERYONE expects a reply. This is a great way to encourage comments – and it’s also a great way to spend your entire day answering replies instead of creating new content.

Now then – for every reason to not enable comments on your blog, there is another reason to do so, most of which you probably already know.

Bottom line: If you already have comments enabled and you like the results, then don’t change. But if you’re just starting your blog, or if you’re tired of having to act like the blog police to weed out the riff-raff, you might do yourself a favor and disable comments.

It could result in the best night’s sleep you’ve had in weeks.

Keep Your Brain Happy to Enjoy Success

It’s time to talk about your goals, right? Goals are important, yes… But I’d like to focus for a moment on one of the real drivers that will allow you to achieve all of your ambitions, whatever they might be: Keeping Your Brain Happy so it can help you to accomplish your tasks and see your intentions through to success.

We all know what it’s like to try to work when our brain is in a fog or just doesn’t want to cooperate with us. We feel like we can’t get it in gear, like everything takes too long and the end result is sadly lacking.

Just like any other part of the body, brains can get tired. Suffering from cerebral fatigue results in a lack of new ideas, poor thinking, lousy problem solving and can even be a cause of depression.

Here then are 12 tips to keep your brain refreshed, energized and happy:

1. Mix it up. It’s just common sense that if you spend hour after hour on the same task, you’re going to get burned out. So instead of writing articles for 8 hours straight, try writing articles for 2 hours, researching your next product for an hour, returning emails for an hour, etc.

2. Don’t multi-task important stuff. Sure, you can listen to the radio while you’re doing the dishes, but that’s because neither one requires your full attention. When doing something important like learning a new skill from a webinar or working on your next product, don’t be checking email or the score of the game. By not multi-tasking, you’ll accomplish more in less time, and your quality of work will be better, too.

3. Stand up and move around. If you can, get one of those standing work desks and use it at least half the time. If you alternate between standing and sitting you’ll find that you’re more alert and your brain works better.

4. Take a quick break every 20 minutes or so. 20-minute “bursts” of work followed by 2-3 minutes of non-work can make you productive and keep you and your brain energized. BEST: Do something physical on these short breaks like push-ups, sit-ups or deep knee bends.

5. Engage your senses. Use some peppermint or orange oil to wake you up. Make your workspace interesting to look at with thought-provoking art. Use colored paper and pens. Get a worry stone or some kind of object you like to hold and pick this up for tactile stimulation when you’re thinking through a problem.

6. Relax for 10 minutes every 90 – 120 minutes. Take 10 minutes off to meditate, walk around the block or work on a puzzle. Your brain will love this.

7. Work when your brain wants to work. Everyone has their own circadian rhythm. Some people are morning people, others are night owls, and many fall in between. Find out what time of day is your most productive and then schedule that time for your most intense and important work.

8. Prioritize. Work on your most important task first, when your brain is at its freshest. Getting this task done first will also give you a much-needed feeling of accomplishment and free you up to focus on smaller goals and tasks.

9. Work less, play more. Seriously, if you’re working 100 hours a week then I suspect you’re only doing 50 hours worth of work. Think about it – how much of your time is truly devoted to working, and how much is devoted to “getting ready to work?” Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by emails, games, news, weather, etc.

Instead, focus yourself on getting your tasks done as quickly as possible, and then leave your computer, leave your office and go do something totally unrelated to work. While you are out “playing” your brain will be rejuvenating. One unexpected benefit to this is you’ll find your brain becomes more creative and a much better problem solver when it gets periods of rest, relaxation and diversion from work.

10. Take a weekly vacation. No, I’m not kidding. Getting away once a week does wonders for every part of you, especially your brain. And you don’t have to leave your area to take a vacation. Go someplace locally you’ve never been to, take a class, go to events, spend the day walking downtown or in the woods, etc.

Is the weather terrible and you don’t want to leave home? Then grab that book you’ve got of nature photographs or travel shots and sit in a comfortable chair and transport yourself to the exotic places you see in the photos. In terms of benefits to the brain, it’s almost as good as being there.

11. Exercise. I’m not going to tell you all the reasons why you should exercise here – you probably already know them. And one of the biggest reasons is because when you exercise, your brain works better. You think better and more clearly. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if people who regularly exercise improve their IQ scores – it’s already been proven to increase memory and comprehension.

12. Feed your brain. Good nutrition is vital to your brain’s well being. If you’re eating processed foods or junk foods, you’re starving your brain. If you’re eating things like fresh fruits and vegetables and fish, then you’re feeding your brain. Don’t believe me? Cut out all junk food and processed food for one week. Add in fish oils or fish, along with plenty of veggies and some fruits. See if you don’t notice a massive difference in both the way you feel and how well your brain functions.

Be good to your brain and it will help you reach your goals this year, and beyond!

Morning People Vs. Night Owls: 9 Insights Backed By Science

Night owls are drunker, smarter, and get more booty–but morning types may be happier.

By Eric Jaffe

Chances are you already know whether you’re a morning person or a night person (and if you don’t, just ask your significant other). What you might not know is that social scientists use pretty specific—and, by academic standards, pretty casual—names for these two chronotypes. “Larks” are up and at it early in the morning, and tend to hit the sack at a respectable evening hour; “owls” are most alert at night, and typically turn in long after dark.

These labels are less an either-or than a spectrum; chronotype can shift over a person’s lifetime, and recent work suggests adding two more subsets to the list: early to wake and late to bed, and late to wake but early bed. But generally speaking the larks-or-owls construct has stood the rigors of research, with evidence really growing since the development of a 19-part Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire in the late 1970s that sorts folks into chronotypes based on things like when they’d ideally get up, how alert they feel in the morning, when they normally get tired, and so on. More involved than asking a spouse, but effective.

An exhaustive list of lessons to emerge from this line of study isn’t possible (or, frankly, something that sounds fun). But we gathered some of our favorite lark-versus-owl studies from recent years and identified nine general insights worth passing along—for your late night, or early morning, pleasure.

1. LARKS AREN’T HEALTHIER, WEALTHIER, OR WISER.

Ben Franklin, that jack-of-all-Founding Fathers, once advocated for a lark lifestyle in a famous saying: “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But a pair of epidemiologists at Southampton University in England—perhaps still bitter over that whole Revolution thing—directly challenged Franklin’s tyranny of the morning people in a 1998 paper for BMJ.

The researchers analyzed a national sample of men and women who’d been surveyed years earlier on sleep patterns as well as measures related to, well, health, wealth, and wisdom. There were 356 larks in the group (in bed before 11 p.m., up before 8 a.m.) and 318 owls (in bed after 11, up after 8). Contrary to Franklin’s decree, night owls had larger incomes and more access to cars than did morning larks; the two chronotypes also scored roughly the same on a cognitive test and showed no self- or doctor-reported health differences.ADVERTISING

Night owls might be a bit smarter than morning people.

“We found no evidence … that following Franklin’s advice about going to bed and getting up early was associated with any health, socioeconomic, or cognitive advantage,” the authors concluded. “If anything, owls were wealthier than larks, though there was no difference in their health or wisdom.”

2. IF ANYTHING, OWLS MIGHT BE A BIT SMARTER ON THE WHOLE.

A lark v. owl study published the following year looked more closely at the question of brains. Psychologist Richard D. Roberts of the University of Sydney and Patrick C. Kyllonen of the Air Force Research Lab, measured the chronotype of 420 test participants then gave them two intelligence tests. Together the tasks measured vocational knowledge (e.g. mechanics and engineering), general math and reading comprehension, and working memory and processing speed.

The results, though not overwhelming, did come down slightly on the side of evening types. Night owls outperformed morning larks on most of the intelligence measures—with significant differences on working memory and processing speed. Especially interesting was that the finding seemed to hold up even when the cognitive tests were taken in the morning.

“The results indicate that, contrary to conventional folk wisdom, evening-types are more likely to have higher intelligence scores,” Roberts and Kyllonen reported in a 1999 issue of Personality and Individual Differences. Wise old owl, indeed.

3. NIGHT TYPES HAVE MORE GAME.

Evening types weren’t just good at scoring on intelligence tests. They also proved to be prolific lovers—at least according to a 2012 paper in the same journal.

The study, led by Christoph Randler of University of Education Heidelberg in Germany, tested 284 male participants for their chronotype and their sexual behavior. While both morning and evening types got busy equally often, the night guys reported more total partners. This held true even when Randler and company controlled for age, extraversion, and a tendency to stay out later. Evening types were also more closely linked to infidelity; to take the bird analogy way too far: it seems owls, and not larks, breed cuckolds. Evening types were more closely linked to infidelity.

As for why night owls might close more romantic deals, the researchers wonder if “a high activity during evening and night may honestly signal a better performance in sexual activity because most sexual activity in humans takes place around bedtime.” That’s a dubious conclusion, though we’d love to see What’s your name, what’s your chronotype? catch on at the bar.

4. NO, LITERALLY, THEY PLAY BASEBALL BETTER.

In a delightful study, a research team that included a representative of the San Francisco Giants issued a morningness-eveningness questionnaire to 16 Major League Baseball players—nine owls, seven larks. The study group then paired this chronotype information with game statistics from nearly 7,500 innings during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. They reported their highly preliminary findings in a 2011 supplemental issue of Sleep.

When morning types played in early games (with start times before 2 p.m.), they batted a respectable .267. But when evening types played in night games (with first pitch after 8 p.m.), they hit a dazzling .306 as a group—nearly 30 points higher. It’s worth noting owls suffered more than larks when game-time conflicted with chronotype: morning players hit eight points lower in night games (.259), but evening players hit 54 points lower in day games (.252).

5. OWLS ARE PARTIAL TO BAD HABITS—NAMELY, SMOKING AND DRINKING.

Franklin’s adage about morning types being healthy does seem to hold in one regard: larks might be a little less vulnerable than owls to substance abuse.

A number of studies support these connections. One analysis of 676 adults from a Finnish twin cohort found that evening types were much more likely to be current or lifelong smokers, much less likely to stop smoking, and at much higher risk for nicotine dependence as per diagnostic criteria, compared with morning folks. Another study of 537 individuals found that owls consume more alcohol than larks.

That’s not a huge surprise when you consider that nightlife is conducive to drinking and smoking. What’s less clear to researchers is whether evening people are more inclined to partake because they’re already out late, or whether the addictive behaviors—at least in the case of a stimulant like cigarettes—keep them up longer in the first.

6. LARKS ARE PERSISTENT, COOPERATIVE, AGREEABLE, CONSCIENTIOUS, AND PROACTIVE.

The tendency to drink and smoke among evening types is consistent with a broad personality trait that researchers call “novelty-seeking.” Multiple studies have connected owls with that characteristic. In a 2011 paper notable for focusing on adolescents, Randler and a Heidelberg colleague discovered a link between night people and novelty-seeking already present among German teenagers (technically, ages 12 to 18).

The same research—which evaluated 346 test participants on both chronotype and a through character inventory—found that larks scored higher than owls (as well people who didn’t fit in either category) in terms of persistence and cooperation. These positive traits among morning types built on other personality work from Randler showing that larks tended to be more agreeable and conscientious, and that they tend to be more proactive than owls. Showoffs.

7. THEY ALSO PROCRASTINATE LESS.

Given that larks are generally more compliant and conformist than owls, it comes as little shock to learn that evening types seem to be worse procrastinators. A 1997 study led by veteran delay researcher Joseph Ferrari of DePaul found that trait procrastinators called themselves “night” people. Based on six days of daily task records, Ferrari and company linked procrastination behaviors with a general tendency to partake in evening activities.

That study focused on college students: night types and procrastinators almost by definition. But the finding held true in a 2008 study of an adult sample with a mean age of 50. Once again, being a night owl was associated with avoiding a task that needed to be completed, the study team (which included Ferrari) reported in the Journal of General Psychology.

The researchers also suspect that this general preference to delay tasks until night could create problems at jobs with strong daytime work expectations.

8. MORNING TYPES MAY BE HAPPIER.

This disconnect between conventional daytime expectations and nighttime preference might make life harder for owls in general. Social scientists call this outcome “social jetlag”: evening types that force themselves to wake up early and perform at their peak during the day might cause themselves some sleep loss and emotional distress. They might also be less happy as a result.

That’s the argument put forth by two University of Toronto psychologists in a 2012 paper. After assessing a sample of 435 young adults (17 to 38) and 297 older adults (59 to 79) on their chronotypes as well as their current moods, the researchers found that morning people had higher positive affect across the board, compared with night people. Mood isn’t the same as general happiness, but the findings may speak in part to the challenges owls face on a daily basis.

“Waking up early may indeed make one happy as a lark,” the researchers conclude in the journal Emotion.

9. BOTH TYPES MAY BE MORE CREATIVE ON THEIR OFF-HOURS.

So there are clear benefits to matching someone’s chronotype with that person’s lifestyle, but the occasional mismatch isn’t the end of the world. It might even brew some creativity, according to a 2011 study by psychologists Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks.

Wieth and Zacks determined the chronotype of 428 test participants then randomly assigned them to a morning or late afternoon test session. During the session, the participants had to solve six problems. Some were analytical problem, which can be solved with logical thinking, and some were insight problems, which tend to be figured out via “aha” moments or bursts of creative thought.

(Brief pause for an example insight problem: An antique coin dealer gets an offer to buy a bronze coin with the date 544 B.C. stamped on one side, but instead of buying it he calls the police. Why? We’ll give you a moment. No coin truly made in B.C. would label itself B.C.—that’s an A.D. construct)

In the journal Thinking and Reasoning, Wieth and Zacks report that, overall, people were more successful at the analytical problems. But participants had a higher solution rate for insight problems when doing them at their non-optimal time of the day—say, an owl doing the test in morning—than at the time that aligned with their chornotype. The results lend support to the incubation theory of creativity: taking a break from a problem, often out of mental fatigue, can produce unexpected insights.

Maybe even insights about morning and night people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Jaffe is an editor at CityLab, where he writes about transportation, history, and behavioral science, among other topics, through the lens of urban life. He’s also the author of The King’s Best Highway (2010) and A Curious Madness (2014)

How to Write a Book… Without Writing!

Here’s what happens when most people sit down to write a non-fiction book: First, they procrastinate because they don’t know where to start. Next, they finally get going and they even manage to write a chapter or two, but then they get stuck. Finally, they shelve the book to “finish later” and it never gets done.

Frustrating, right?

But if you have a system, writing a book can be nearly painless and possibly even fun. And if that system involves speaking – something you are likely far more experienced at than writing – so much the better. The best part? You can finish your book within weeks or even days, instead of slaving over it for the next 6 months.

So here’s how you ‘write’ your book without (much) writing, step by step:

Solidify your idea. Hopefully you have a topic picked out, be it How to Care for Tropical Fish, How to Raise Chickens or How to Build a List Using Skype. It should be a topic you’re already familiar with, one you can already speak about with authority. You don’t need to have all of your facts lined up, but your working knowledge should be fairly extensive for this system to work. If you don’t know a good deal about your topic, see below for a work-around.

Now then, for the next few hours or days, keep asking yourself what you want to teach others about this topic. Make notes of the ideas that come to you. Take time to research on the appropriate forums and find out what people want to know, and make further notes. At this point, you’re getting ideas for your chapters. Don’t edit, just make notes on whatever comes to mind.

Once you have enough ideas, go through them and pick out the best 10-15 ideas and arrange them in the order you want them to appear in your book.

Make notes on each idea. Jot down what you want to say under each heading. These don’t need to be extensive notes if you already know your topic. The time you’ll need for this will likely be one day to one week. Stay at it, and you’ll find all sorts of things popping into your head at the oddest of times. Write them down so you don’t have to try to remember them.

Place the notes for each chapter in an approximate order of how you would like to cover them. For example, if you’re writing a book on vegetable gardening and you have a chapter on cucumbers, you might start with how to choose the best variety of cucumber, where to get the seed, how to prepare the soil, how and when to plant, how to take care of the plant as it grows, how to extend the growing season, etc.

Speak your chapters. Start with any chapter you like and record yourself speaking the chapter (rather than writing it.) You’ll have your outline in front of you, and you’ll be speaking just as if someone were there in the room with you. In fact, if it’s easier you can record your sessions with a friend who helps to prompt you with the appropriate questions and prods when you leave something out.

Do this for each chapter, and then get your recordings transcribed.

Edit and fill in the missing material. You’ll need to do some editing to get your chapters just right. And in some cases, you’ll need to go back and add something in that you either forgot or didn’t have at the time. For example, you’re recording and you realize you didn’t know a piece of information – you can simply add it in at this point.

Get someone to edit your nearly finished manuscript for you. There’s nothing like having another pair of eyes on your writing to make it the best it can be. If you can afford a professional editor, terrific. If not, get a friend who’s good with communication to do it.

Remember, your book doesn’t have to sound like it was written by a stuffy English professor. In fact, it’s better if it’s written in a conversational tone, which gives you a real advantage using this system because you really are speaking rather than writing.

Rinse and repeat. Now that you see how easy it is to ‘write’ a book using this system, you’ll want to do it again and again.

What if you’re not already knowledgeable about your topic? Then you can speak as you research. This is a bit trickier but can be done. Write down what you want to cover in your outline, and then research each item. As you find the information you seek, read it to yourself and then without looking at what you just read, explain it into the recorder. This way you convey the same knowledge but in your own words.

You’ll find there’s an extra bonus to using this method – by immediately explaining what you just read out loud, you’ll remember far more of it later. Basically, you are learning and teaching simultaneously, which means that once you become adept at using this system, you can ‘write’ about almost anything while learning it at the same time.

Magic Words to Build Your Business Exponentially

It’s fine to build your business gradually, a step here and a step there. But it’s so much better, faster and just plain more FUN to build it by leaps and bounds.

Below you’ll find the magic words that will help you to do just that. Forget taking the long, slow painful route and resolve to achieve a quantum leap or true metamorphosis in your business.

1 Magic Word That Quadruples Productivity And Profits

There are a myriad of tasks anyone online marketer needs to perform, and the faster and better those tasks are completed, the more profitable the business can be. But struggling marketers who are trying to balance administrative duties, product creation, social media, customer service, formatting and uploading books to Kindle, writing blog posts, setting up JV’s, recruiting affiliates, writing emails, setting up autoresponders, doing research, writing sales copy, answering emails, forum posting and all their many other marketing tasks might be better off doing less, not more.

If you’ve ever been on a ship, you probably noticed the captain doesn’t cook the meals or swab the deck. Nor does he maintain the engines, hoist the sails, plot the navigation or the other 101 duties that are done aboard a ship. Rather, he is the pilot of the entire operation, instructing everyone else on what to do.

Perhaps it’s time you think of yourself as the pilot of your own business. Do those tasks which you are extremely good at, and OUTSOURCE the rest to professionals who excel in those areas. You will not only get far more done, but odds are the work will be completed faster in a more professional manner. And when you can quadruple your efforts by adding a few part-time outsourcers, you can also quadruple your results and your profits.

Don’t kid yourself – you cannot do it all and make the kind of money you want. As soon as you can afford to, start outsourcing. It’s not only one of the most profitable things you can do, it also gets you away from the grindstone and able to see the big picture so you can better navigate the waters of your business.

2 Magic Words To Make You A Marketing Rockstar

If you want your content to be seen and shared, and if you want it to make a lasting impression on prospects, then the written word is seldom enough anymore. Let’s do a test: Tell me everything you can about the person who wrote the blog post you read yesterday. Drawing a blank? Now tell me everything you can about a video you saw yesterday. Different story, right?

What if someone calls you on the phone to sell you something you’re interested in, versus someone that shows up at your door. Which one are you more likely to buy from? Assuming you’re not freaked out that a salesman appeared out of nowhere with the product that adequately fits your needs, you’re going to buy from him, not the faceless person on the phone.

Obviously you can’t visit your prospects in person, but you can do something almost as good – USE VIDEO. People remember video over the written word because it engages more of the senses. If you only use the written word, you’re simply not going to make nearly the same level of connection that you could have with video.

Now then, you might be afraid to get in front of the camera. If so, you can start out with slideshow videos, animated videos or screencast videos. Then move up to videos of yourself because this is the real pay off. This is where people start to feel like they can really connect with you and they KNOW you. Remember, content is more important than quality. You don’t have to be the next Steven Spielberg to make this work, you just have to be authentic with something to say that people want to hear.

3 Magic Words That Can DOUBLE Your Sales

You should be doing this every single time you sell a product or service because it will invariably increase your bottom line. Marketers have added hundreds of thousands of dollars to their sales funnels by simply incorporating these three words into every sales system they create.

What are the 3 magic words? ALWAYS BE UPSELLING. Every single time you sell anything, offer an upsell / down-sell sequence because it can turn your original $47 sale into a $300 sale or more, simply by offering the customer additional options.

Offer something that is complementary to the original offer. It might make the original offer easier or faster to implement, go into more depth, offer more options, or even perform a service for them. It could be coaching, an additional information product, software, a membership program or anything else that helps the customer to achieve the result they want.

What if you don’t have a product or service to offer as an upsell? Then find an appropriate affiliate product that matches your original offer. And here’s a secret: When a customer turns down an upsell, they are typically more open to buying a lower cost (down-sell) product. It’s almost as though the higher ticket item warms them up to the down-sell offer. This is why car dealers and real estate brokers like to show cars and properties that are too expensive for the client. Once they show the client something more affordable, the client is more likely to make an offer than if they’d been shown the lower-cost model in the first place.

4 Magic Words To Get You More Clients

If you’re selling big-ticket items or services, I’m about to utter the 4 words 9 out of 10 marketers dread: PICK UP THE PHONE. Nothing sells as well as face to face contact except perhaps the phone. Let’s face it – your prospects are inundated with emails and shout-outs on social media. If you really want to connect and make the sale, you need to pick up that 500-pound phone and establish a real one-on-one relationship.

If you’re phone-a-phobic, start with existing customers. Find out how they’re doing with the product(s) they’ve purchased and what you can do to help them along (coaching, perhaps?) Next, move on to your lowest hanging fruit – those prospects you deem most likely to bite. Make it a rule to call 5 people each day, and within 3 weeks you’ll notice 2 things: First, being on the phone isn’t so scary anymore. And second, business is definitely picking up.

5 Magic Words That Virtually Eliminate Any Competition

Whatever your niche, there are others who are doing very nearly the same thing, better known as your direct competition. For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, there are thousands of other weight loss coaches you’re competing against to gain clients.

That’s why you’ve got to find a way to stand completely apart from the crowd, and the best way to do this is to CREATE A UNIQUE POSITIONING POINT for yourself and your business. Find that one thing that makes you totally different from all the other weight loss coaches out there, that thing that draws customers to you like flies. And mind you, saying that you’re better, that your work is higher quality, that you’ve got more experience, etc., isn’t unique. Everybody says those things.

Can’t think of anything? Try this: “I will show you how to lose weight while NEVER feeling deprived and still eating the foods you love.”

Sign me up!

Here’s one from a carpet cleaner: “If I don’t remove your stain and get you sparkling clean carpets, I’ll pay you $50 for your time.”

You’re hired!

I wouldn’t need to hear another word in order to choose this carpet cleaner over all the others – would you?

A Chiropractor might advertise: “I’ll get you immediate relief from your back pain or your visit is completely free.”

That’s what I want to hear – make me an appointment now!

6 Magic Words That Double Subscribers

You already know how crucial it is to continually build your list. But are you being aggressive enough? The vast majority of websites are missing opportunities to grab more subscribers because they don’t PLACE OPT-IN BOXES ON EVERY PAGE of their website. Yet this simple step can as much as DOUBLE the number of subscribers you get from your site.

Most websites have an opt-in box on the homepage or none at all. But very few have an opt-in box on every single page. And fewer still place opt-in boxes on both the right sidebar above the fold and again at the bottom of each post. But adding these boxes along with a great incentive to sign up will increase the number of subscribers you get. And make sure your opt-in box stands out with clean lines and no clutter.

Go ahead and place opt-in boxes in unexpected places as well. Do you have sales pages? Place an opt-in box on each one. Do you have more than one sign-up incentive? You might place one incentive in the right sidebar, and the other at the bottom of the page. This way if one incentive doesn’t interest them, then the other one might. You can then position your follow-ups according to the incentive they chose.

You might even place a video with your opt-in boxes, instructing the reader to fill in their email address and press the button to get the incentive. By telling people what to do, you increase the chances they’ll actually do it.

Can you make a short, snappy and powerful quiz people can take? This is another way to capture email addresses. Once they finish the quiz, you request their email address so you can send them their confidential results via email.

7 Magic Words To Build Your Visibility And Reach a Larger Audience

If you’re not doing Google Hangouts yet, you’re missing the boat. Google Hangouts will increase your visibility, help you boost traffic to your site, improve your search engine ranking, improve your authority, increase the distribution of your content, and connect you to your potential customers, affiliates and joint venture partners. Therefore, HOST REGULAR GOOGLE PLUS HANGOUTS ON AIR. Hangouts are multi-participant video chats. When you host a hangout, you can carry on a training or conversation.

Your Hangouts might be informal chats, scripted or anything in between. You can keep the Hangout private, or you can live stream and broadcast your Hangouts on Hangouts On Air. By publicly streaming your show, it’s automatically recorded and added to your YouTube account. You can also embed it on your website.

If you don’t want it to go live, you can make it private, download it when you’re finished and edit it before posting it.

This is a great way to reach a huge audience and strengthen your reputation. Make a plan on how and when you will use Hangouts on Air, and set up a regular schedule for broadcasting. Think about using Google Hangouts for teaching and lecturing, for coaching, consulting, interviews, webinars, product demonstration, hold question and answer sessions, etc. The possibilities are exciting and nearly endless.

Live Hangouts On Air8 Magic Words That Increase The Money In Your List 10 Fold

A list full of buyers is worth at least 10 times more than a list full of people who haven’t purchased anything from you yet. In fact, in most cases a buyers list is often worth closer to 100 times more than a list of prospects, and here’s why: When someone purchases anything from you, even if they only spend $1, they are now in a vastly different mindset concerning their relationship with you and your products. They now have an OWNERSHIP mindset because they own one of your products, and because of this, they are far, far more likely to purchase from you again and again and at higher and higher price points.

So what are the 8 magic words that increase the money in your list 10 fold or more? TURN PROSPECTS INTO BUYERS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. In the beginning, it doesn’t really matter if they are spending $1 or $100. The important thing is they have crossed that threshold from prospect to buyer.

How do you get prospects to immediately buy? The easiest way is to get them pre-sold by people they already know and trust. This means having affiliates refer people to you. If you cookie the affiliates in so that they receive commissions on anything prospects purchase for a long period of time, such as a year or even lifetime, affiliates will be more than happy to send you referrals.

Other ways to get people pre-sold on you before they even hit your site is to guest blog, to do joint ventures, and to create products that others in your niche can give away as a bonus to their own product. Whatever it takes, turn your prospects into happy customers as quickly as possible and you’ll be able to continue to sell to them for a long time to come.

San Bernardino punk originators “The Reactors” slowly earning a place in rock history

By Harvey Kahn -March 9, 2017

Photo Courtesy/Armando Castro The Reactors had to overcome ridicule as the IE’s first punk band during the peak of 1970’s disco era. Pictured here 26 years after last performance. From Left: Al Zenno; Rob Vasquez; Dash Colter; and Mike Rodriguez.

The Reactors were not your typical San Bernardino neighborhood garage rock band of the 1970s. However, from a garage off Mount Vernon Avenue, The Reactors became the first to produce punk rock music generated from the Inland Empire. While eventually earning billings with some of the top new wave and punk acts of the era, their two self-produced recordings on vinyl were basically given away free.

Over the years those original releases by The Reactors have become a much sought after collector’s item. They released a five-song extended play record entitled “Meltdown” and the full-length album “WW4.” Although they have not performed in 30 years, The Reactors name continues to grow in popularity.

Photo Courtesy/The Reactors
The Reactors were considered the first punk band from the Inland Empire in 1977. At right, Mike Rodriguez, Dash Colter, Al Zenno, and Rob Vasquez.

Band co-founder Mike Rodriguez said he and singer Dash Colter took The Reactors as far as possible at the time. They opened shows for alternative rockers “X”, the Plimsouls, the Penetrators, and Rubber City Rebels. and performed at the Whiskey A-Go-Go and Madam Wong’s in Los Angeles. Made the rounds in San Diego, San Francisco and got airplay on regional college radio stations. Yet, at the time never reached national recognition.

“The current growth of social media has created a rebirth of The Reactors,” said Rodriguez. “Since I signed on to Facebook and posted our songs on Youtube, many former friends have contacted me. I’ve had requests for our original recordings from Japan, Canada, and Germany.” He said the Meltdown album peaked at $1,000 per copy, down to $800 and $500 and now has dropped considerably. A copy was found on eBay for $100.Local Advertisement

Rodriguez explained at the time, The Reactors were just happy to make music and cared little about becoming rich and famous. He said recent notoriety has encouraged the group to release old songs that have been in storage. “Now, we’d just like to keep our name alive. Independent bands could never make money from recordings. Unless you’re a big name you still only make money from live performances.”

They were booked locally at clubs like the Redlands Fox Theater, The Ritz and Squeeze in Riverside. The Beat, Cuckoo’s Nest, the Kaiser Dome, and at local colleges. Their songs were short and to the point. Through their Nuclear Waste record label they released songs like Sabotage, Red is Red, and To The Core. Another song, L.A. Sleaze was included on a various hits CD in 1996.

He said members of The Reactors currently live within four miles of each other. They have toyed with re-uniting for a few live shows but the task would be too difficult. “Dash (Colter) is married and has a family. We’d have to practice and the time is now hard to find.” Rodriguez called Colter the heart of the group. “She had just moved to San Bernardino from Arizona and when she answered our ad for a singer, she came in prepared. She had professional equipment, could write music, and made friends quickly.”

Rodriguez said it was the idea of he and Al Zenno to start The Reactors. After hiring Colter, they included drummer Brad Uhl. Later adding Tony Brummel and Rob Vasquez. Rodriguez told of transitioning with Colter onto the gloom-style group, the Pagan Myth. He now is retired and back living in his home where local punk music got its start. He was employed for 26 years as a graphic designer by the Press-Enterprise and still works in the field.

Music magazine reviews said The Reactors where as talented as the best punk bands of the era and “with any support from a larger label had the ability to become a household name.” Rodriguez said punk music thrives today primarily in Mexico.

Conquer Your Fear of Failure in Business

Personal question: Is it possible that you already know everything you need to know to be successful online – but something other than knowledge is holding you back?

If it’s as simple as the mechanics of online marketing – setting up websites and so forth – you can always hire someone to do that part for you.

But if it’s a lack of confidence, or fear of failing that’s holding you back – then it’s up to you to squash that particular bug, or at least quarantine it to the furthest corner of your house.

And if the thought of failing is enough to keep you from starting your online empire, then welcome to the club. Fear of failure is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. Fear of failing is so oppressive and destructive, it can cause you to willingly set aside your dreams – forever.

So why do we fear failure so much? It goes back to life experiences that inadvertently taught us it’s better not to risk, than to risk and lose. When you fail at something, it’s natural to worry what other people will think about you and if they will lose interest in you. You worry about how smart and capable you are, and whether you can effectively pursue future endeavors. In fact, when you fear failure you’re actually worried about an entire host of possible outcomes, most of which will never come to pass no matter how many times you fail.

But the mind isn’t rational, and simply talking yourself out of being afraid doesn’t work any better than trying to manifest an iron will.

The secret to overcoming fear of failure? There are several, but I’ll give you one here that you can use right away.

Experiments in the 1970s showed that there are two distinct groups of children when it comes to learning new skills. There are the “ego-oriented” children whose main concern is to not lose face in front of their friends. Some of these children fear failure so much they invent ways to get out of the activity, do the activity in such a way that they cannot fail, or make it impossible to succeed so that failing doesn’t hold a stigma.

The second group of children is what they term “mastery-oriented.” These kids don’t care as much about losing face as they do about acquiring a new skill. In fact, they realize that initially failing is simply a part of the process of learning and take it in stride. These kids are happier and succeed much faster than those who fear failing.

Thus, if you can change your focus to acquiring a new skill and deciding that no matter what happens along the way, you’re going to enjoy the process – you are on the way to overcoming your fear of failure.

Gradually Overcoming Your Fear of Failure

You might start small with something that doesn’t hold a great deal of significance, such as learning a new game. Let’s say you’re going to take up billiards for the first time in your life. Your focus would be on learning how to hold and shoot the cue, the angles to use, the rules of the game and so forth. When you miss a shot or scratch, it’s no big deal because you know that’s part of the process and you’re just learning.

You might be astonished at the difference it makes. You’ll be happier, you’ll have less stress, and you’ll learn your new skill much faster.

From here you might stretch yourself further by doing things that scare you. For example, if you’re a shy person you might ask 15 strangers a simple question (“Do you have the time?”) in the space of 30 minutes. Note how you feel after the exercise. Odds are you’ll not only have conquered a fear of talking to strangers, you’ll also get a boost of confidence, which leads us to our next point…

Are You Lacking in Confidence?

You’ve got a great idea for a new business, but frankly, you just don’t have the guts to go for it. Or maybe you do decide to go ahead with your idea, but then someone says it’ll never work and you chuck the whole thing. Why? Low self-confidence. This goes hand in hand with the fear of failure.

So why doesn’t someone have enough confidence in themselves? Usually, it’s because they judge themselves unworthy, or they see major disconnects between what they think they’re capable of and what they’re actually doing.

Growing Unshakable Self-Confidence, Step by Step

The good news is, self-confidence can be raised with every new challenge met, no matter how small. Remember the exercise to talk to 15 strangers? I can almost guarantee your self-confidence to talk with strangers will be significantly raised after you do this.

In fact, if you will make it a habit to do one thing every single day that is out of your current comfort zone, you will find that your confidence improves immensely within just a few short weeks.

Make yourself a list of all things you’d like to do that you’re not doing. Maybe you’ve wanted to join a group, take up a new hobby, try a different sport or go to a fancy nightclub. Maybe you want to get better at talking with the opposite sex, or at making friends, or get better at making online contacts. Maybe you’ve wished you could get 5 minutes with the big guns in your niche, or regularly post to forums and blogs.

Whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t, put it on the list. Even small stuff like taking a walk around your neighborhood and ringing doorbells of neighbors you haven’t yet met can go on the list, as well as chatting up that stud or beautiful woman who works in the supermarket. Write down everything you can think of that you’ve been holding back on. Add in skydiving if you’re inspired to do that kind of thing, and keep adding to this list daily as you think of new things.

Now that you’ve got your list, pick one thing and do it right now. That’s right – do it now, or at least before you go to bed tonight.

Notice a difference in how you feel about yourself? You should.

When we don’t do the things we wish we would do – for whatever reason – we lose self-esteem. But when we finally do those things, not only do we become more self-confident, we also find we’re happier, more fulfilled and more ready to take on even bigger challenges.

You’ll notice that most of the examples I’ve given haven’t been IM related. That’s because raising your confidence in any one area can help you in all other areas as well. When you have success learning tennis, you can use that boost in confidence to tackle website building or product creation. And when you overcome your fear of talking to strangers, it gets easier to network on Facebook with people you don’t know.

One last thing – it’s far better to take multiple baby steps than try to overcome the world in a day. Making slow, steady progress anchors your triumphs and makes it that much easier to achieve a little bit more tomorrow.

The Top 3 Problems Nobody Tells You About Keto

Don’t abandon the plan without trying this first.

By David Perlmutter, M.D.

There’s a great reason the ketogenic diet was the number-one health-related search term on Google in 2018. Adopting a keto diet can absolutely be transformative to your health, helping you drop and keep off weight, improve cognitive function, and can potentially be therapeutic for a host of chronic conditions, including joint pain, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.

As is the case with adopting any new lifestyle plan, choosing to go “keto” may come with some side effects. These three issues arise most, but they all have solutions:

You Get “Keto Flu”

It’s not uncommon when to feel run down, achy, and generally not well when beginning the ketogenic diet. The solution may actually be fairly straightforward. When ketones are produced, they induce diuresis, meaning increased urination. This causes the body to lose important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Simply restoring these electrolytes is often enough to put an end to the keto flu. One effective and convenient product I like is LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix from LMNT Labs.

You Get Constipated

This is, in my experience, the most common complaint when people first adopt the ketogenic diet. And it’s the easiest thing to explain. Keto constipation arises when people go all in and cut their carbohydrates to really low levels. This is absolutely a mistake because in doing so, dietary fiber, which is indeed a carbohydrate, is reduced or eliminated completely. It’s important to focus on net carbs. That is, while dramatically reducing carb consumption is critical, it’s important not to include dietary fiber in this calculation. Net carbs means total carbohydrates less carbohydrates from dietary fiber. Lots of good dietary fiber not only helps with bowel function, but also helps to nurture our 100 trillion gut bacteria, allowing them to keep us healthy.

You Get Overwhelmed

Finally, many people, myself included, tend to want to aggressively jump into things with both feet from the start. So when you choose the keto diet—a diet that is focused on changing the body’s metabolism away from using carbohydrates as a fuel source to one that is burning fat—not everyone can make this dramatic shift easily. So, it isn’t reasonable to expect that everyone’s going to easily adapt to the keto diet overnight. We are all different based upon our genetics, body morphology and dedication. In some people it may take as long as two weeks, and adapting to this new way of eating may best be achieved by making the shift to higher amounts of healthy fat and lower levels of carbohydrates over several days.

DAVID PERLMUTTER, M.D.David Perlmutter, M.D., is a board-certified neurologist, a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and a New York Times bestselling author.

Why Introverts Make the Best Marketers

First of all, let me clarify that introverts aren’t necessarily shy. They are, however, quieter than extroverts. Introverts talk plenty when they have something important to say, but they tend to stay quiet when the topic is small talk. Why? Because small talk isn’t important to them. Now, let’s say you have 2 salespeople – an extrovert and an introvert.

WhyIntroverts Make the Best Marketers

The extrovert is likely to talk – and talk – and talk – which is exactly what you expect from a salesperson. And in the midst of all this talking, the extrovert will make sales.

But the introvert will do something the extrovert commonly fails to do – the introvert will ask questions and LISTEN to the answers.

I don’t mean they wait for the prospect to stop talking so they can begin extolling all the many benefits of the product. I mean they LISTEN. They want to know what’s keeping the prospect awake at night in relation to the problem the product solves. They want to know the prospect’s fears, desires, dreams, etc. They want to know what’s worked for the prospect, what’s failed for the prospect, and what that prospect really, truly wants so they can help this prospect get it.

And this same salesperson will continue to use questions as they present their product or service, questions that direct the prospect to the desired conclusion – that this product is what they want and need.

Everything else being equal, 9 times out of 10 the introvert salesperson will outsell the extrovert – all because they asked questions and listened closely to the answers.

Introverted marketers have the same advantage as introverted salespeople. They dig to discover what it is their prospects truly want. They ask questions, be it in person, over Skype, in forums, via email, etc. And they pay close attention to the answers.

These same marketers spend time researching what successful marketers are doing. They don’t assume they already have the answers – instead, they look to those who’ve succeeded and they ask how it was done and how it can be duplicated.

Now mind you, extroverts can master the skills of asking questions and listening to the answers as well as any introvert, if they try. It doesn’t come as naturally for them, but it will come with practice.

And if you look at the most successful people in the world, what you will find is they stand on the shoulders of those who came before. They asked questions, got the answers and used this knowledge to carve their place in the world.

Try it. Next time someone asks you for advice, ask them questions first. Next time someone asks about your product, ask them about their needs first. Next time someone is on a forum looking for help, ask them for more information. And then pay close attention to what they say before you make your reply.

It’s an almost unknown fact that asking the right questions and listening to the answers can be one of the highest paying skills in the world.

Eating for Healthy Vision

By VSP.com

An explosion of food-related research shows a strong connection between food and health. Growing evidence supports the idea that vitamins and minerals in various foods fuel your body and protect vision for the long haul. 

We talked to an expert to get the scoop on vision-protecting nutrients. Leland Carr, OD, is a VSP network doctor and professor of optometry at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. Dr. Carr also sees patients regularly at several university-run eye clinics. 

“One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, but also low in saturated fats and sugar,” says Dr. Carr. “Along with the vitamins, you should be sure to take in adequate amounts of the minerals zinc and selenium, both of which help protect the retina – the light-sensitive part of the back of the eye. You also need some fatty acids – usually from fish – to ensure adequate moisture in your eyes. Ask your family doctor if taking food supplements containing these substances is right for you.” 

Vitamins A, C, and E form a fitting acronym (ACE) when it comes to vision. A major federal study showed that the combo, plus zinc, is a winner when it comes to lowering risk of advanced AMD. Just another reason Dr. Carr touts the importance of “developing good eating habits and taking in the right nutrients” for healthy vision. 

Below are some simple ways to stay healthy and care for your vision. 

Foods to Keep Your Eyes and Body Healthy 

Nature has just what you need for energy boosts and vision protection. Get the most from what you eat by choosing a variety of colorful produce that’s rich in antioxidants. Bump up your nutritional intake by selecting foods with selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, zinc, and omega-3 fats. Throw together a colorful salad or steam some vegetables for a terrific side dish or grab some fresh fruit or vegetables for a wholesome snack. 

Tasty foods for good health

Bell Peppers – Did you know that brightly colored bell peppers are a nutritional powerhouse that could help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and age-related macular degeneration? Just one cup of these beauties provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C. Plus, bell peppers are fat-free, low-calorie, and contain three grams of fiber per cup. In addition to giving your body the dose of vitamins it needs; bell peppers fill you up fast and help curb your hunger. 

Carrots – These portable vegetables are perfect for on-the-go snacking. “Eating carrots won’t make you see better than you already do, but there is a lot of truth in the idea that they can help protect vision,” says Dr. Carr. “Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A, and there have been several studies recently showing that this vitamin – along with vitamins C and E – helps to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Toss them in your salad, dip them in hummus, or just munch on them plain for a flavorful burst of nutrition. 

Spinach, Kale, and other Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables – Deep green and leafy, spinach is filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Use spinach in salads, steam it, or mix up a low-cal spinach artichoke dip and scoop it up with carrot and bell pepper sticks. 

Blueberries – It’s no secret that blueberries are packed with antioxidants, but did you know they pack a punch for overall eye health and wellness, too? According to a study by Tufts University, blueberries may help to reduce your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Blueberries are also good for the brain. Studies have shown that blueberries may not only help improve learning and memory capacity, but also can fight the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. They’re high in the soluble fiber pectin, which can help lower cholesterol. Put them in a covered container in the fridge and they’ll last for about a week. They’re very delicate, so don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. Then, just pop them in your mouth, or add them to yogurt or cereal for a burst of blue goodness. 

Sweet Potatoes – This bright-orange root vegetable provides beta carotene, just like carrots. For an easy and fun way to get your vitamins, cut a sweet potato in thin strips. Roast the strips in the oven with a little olive oil and your choice of spices and you’ll soon be enjoying sweet potato fries. 

Turkey – This all-purpose protein is delicious in chili, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and more. It’s also loaded with zinc and B-vitamin niacin, which can help prevent cataracts. 

Wild Salmon – Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3s can help protect tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Broil some wild salmon for dinner—this luscious, pink fish is a perfect way to get the omega-3 fats you need. For a tasty and nutritional treat, serve a delicious spinach salad on the side! 

Chia Seeds – Want an extra boost of nutrients? Add some chia seeds to your diet. Chia seeds contain more omega 3s than flax seeds or salmon, more calcium than a glass of milk, and more antioxidants than blueberries. They are also a great way to get more fiber into your diet. 

Choose Foods by Nutrients 

Here’s a rundown from Dr. Carr on health choices you should be getting at least three servings per week — from each group. 

Vitamin A: Carrots, kale, spinach, dairy products, egg yolks 
Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (especially kiwi fruit) and juices, green peppers, broccoli, potatoes 
Vitamin E: Eggs, whole grains, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds 
Lutein: Spinach, corn, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts 
Fatty acidsColdwater fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and rainbow trout; sunflower oil, corn oil 
Zinc: Meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, dairy products 

Along with getting the most from what you eat, you can protect the health of your eyes by getting an eye exam every year. Combining good nutrition with yearly checkups will increase your defense against serious health conditions. Find a VSP in-network doctor and schedule your annual eye exam today! 

Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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