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More Visitors For Your Website

Introduction

Having built hundreds of websites, and helping my clients bring targeted visitors to their websites since 1995, I’ve learned a thing or two about website marketing.

Rather than doing it all for my clients, I started coaching them in how to do it themselves. After all, many of the techniques I’m about to divulge are easy to do. Some are remarkably effective.

My most successful client went from 3 visitors a month, one of which was her mother, to over 14,000 visitors per day. It took her less than 20 minutes, and cost her no money. Now, your success may not be as spectacular as that, but you’re still likely to do fine, maybe even remarkably well!

I’ll tell you exactly what she did a little later on. In fact, I’m going to present a whole bunch of techniques. You don’t have to do them all. Just pick and choose the ones that resonate with you. For instance, you may not be a master programmer. You may not even know HTML or WordPress. No problem, many of these can be done by people who can barely work a computer.

You may notice I said ‘targeted visitors.’ By that I mean people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. For instance, if you’re selling harnesses for Saint Bernard dogs, your targeted market is Saint Bernard owners. You don’t necessarily want ten million visitors who don’t even own dogs. You’ll do much better with 100,000 people who actually have Saint Bernards and want to buy your harnesses.

So let’s jump in. Stay tuned all the way through, skipping over what you already know, because at the end of this ebook, I’m going to tell you how about to get your visitors to take your action step. After all, you want your 100,000 visitors to all buy your product, contact you, or do whatever you want them to do. I’ve got some great tips and techniques for guiding people to your action steps.

On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Table of Contents

For the techniques in this first section, you will need some web design experience, or you can pass this information on to your webmaster. In fact, if he doesn’t have access to this ebook, he’s really missing out. You may want your webmaster to buy a subscription.

Note: Don’t share your subscription. When our automated software finds two people signed on with the same account, it may cancel that account.

1. Try to get a descriptive domain name. For instance StBernardHarnesses.com helps people remember your domain name, and is the first big clue to search engines as to what your website is about.

How do you know what’s available? Go to WhoIs.com to test domain names you’d like to use. If the name you want is taken, WhoIs will offer suggestions for other, available names.

1a. You can leverage AI to help find a domain name. Look at this example from ChatGPT:

You
How can i express in a domain name ‘saint bernard dog harnesses?’

ChatGPT
You could express “Saint Bernard dog harnesses” in a domain name in several ways. Here are a few suggestions:

SaintBernardHarnesses.com
BernardHarnessed.com
BigDogHarnesses.com
SaintBernardGear.com
SaintHarness.com
BernardStrap.com
SaintBernardGearHub.com
HarnessesForSaintBernards.com
SaintBernardStraps.com
SaintBernardTackle.com

Remember to check the availability of these domain names and ensure they are not already registered by someone else. Also, consider choosing a domain name that is easy to remember and type, and preferably includes relevant keywords for better search engine optimization (SEO).

2. Try to get a .com extension. Some of the other extensions like .biz, .us, or .info do not trigger automatic linking in social media and elsewhere. For instance, if you write stbernardharnesses.site in a Facebook post, it may not be linked, but stbernardharnesses.com will be linked automatically as soon as you write it. It may turn blue and be underlined, letting people know they can simply click it, and they’ll be taken to your website. People also tend to take domain names that end in .com more seriously.

3. What if the name you want is taken? Let’s say stbernardharnesses.com is not available. There are some tricks that will work nearly as well. You can use dashes, or add something to the name. For instance st-bernard-harnesses.com or stbernardharnesses5000.com. There are some people will tell you that especially long names, or ones that are hard to type on a phone, such as with dashes are a bad idea. As it turns out, that seldom matters. Most domain names are simply copied and pasted these days.

4. According to experts, your home page should have about 300 words. Woven into those words are the keywords people are likely to enter into search engines when looking for what you have to offer. Keywords can actually be phrases. The term should be ‘key phrases’ but it turns out everyone says ‘keywords.’ For instance, ‘Inuit Throat Singing’ is a keyword.

300 words is a loose concept. Some successful websites have very few words on the home page, while others have thousands of words.

5. Make use of the <h1> tag. This shows a large title. There should be one <h1> tag on every page, or at least your home page. It should contain a title that once again tells readers and search engines in just a few words what your website is about.

6. You can have one or more <h2> and smaller headings on your pages.

7. Use images, even if generic images. I mean, how do you picture an insurance product, or a self-improvement concept? You can just find pictures of happy people. Your website visitors will be more likely to stay and read your material if pictures are interspersed. (See how I used the crowd image above?)

7a. You can get public domain images from Pexels.com, and other sources. Make sure they are truly public domain. I have had three clients who were hassled legally for use of copyrighted images. Most such cases are merely nuisances. For instance, one client was used for use of a cartoon image from a television show. A hot-shot lawyer representing the TV show sued my client, and received a grand $300. However, until the resolution of the case after several months, my client was quite worried and paid quite a bit in legal fees.

You can also get images from Wikimedia Commons but you need to either add attribution, or make sure the images are clearly marked, ‘public domain,’ ‘free use,’ or ‘coo.’

8. In HTML, the scripting language of webpages, every picture has an ‘alt’ tag. This was originally designed for very low bandwidth situations or for people with vision impairment in which the picture could not be seen, so alternative text would be presented in its place. With many images these days, the alt tag is left blank, like alt=””. However, you can fill this with keyword content. This has two advantages: The small one is that people who really are vision impaired will have some idea what you’re showing. The bigger advantage is the search engines will pick up what’s in your alt tags. This makes little difference in overall search results. However, there are people who will switch to a list of images when using search engines. The search engines cannot interpret what’s in a picture without an alt tag, but if you have included content, then your picture will show up in image search results. This can make a bigger impart in bringing visitors than you may at first imagine.

9. Add meta tags. Some search engines’ documentation generally says that meta tags carry little or no weight, but some of the experts will tell you they are still important. There’s a lot of guess work of this sort in search engine optimization. Search engines are always evolving to try to beat people who are trying to gain unfair advantage.

For instance, you may think you can hide keywords by using a text color the same as your website’s background color. The search engines will actually demote your site in results if you do things like that.

The two meta tags that are most important are <meta keywords> and <meta description>.

The list of keywords can be long, with each being separated by a comma. For instance for our St. Bernard harnesses example, it might be something like this:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”dog harness,dog collar,St. Bernard harness,St Bernard harness,St Bernard collar,St Bernard collar”>

The description meta tag can be up to 260 characters. Some experts will tell you that 255 characters is the limit. This should be a human-readable description weaving in as many relevant keywords as you can. This meta tag’s content is what will show up in search results where people will see your domain name, and followed by what’s in your meta tag.

If you’re working with WordPress, and if you’re not using an SEO plugin, you can write your meta tags directly into a child theme’s header.php file.

10. If you’re providing a product or service to a specific area, you can greatly boost search results with a line, typically at the bottom of your pages, like this one, which applies to where I live:

Serving San Anselmo, Fairfax, Woodacre, Lagunitas, Nicasio, Forest Knolls, Point Reyes, Olema, and the rest of West Marin County.


Redwoods in West Marin County, California

That way, if someone googles your service plus the town they live in, you may be at the very top of search results.

11. Provide things like a sitemap. Most people think of ‘sitemap’ as a list of links to the pages in your site, typically at the bottom of your pages. The sitemap the search engines want is a file that’s invisible to end users, but the search engines use to understand the architecture of your website. It’s not essential, but helps with search results.

12. If you’re working with WordPress, you can add Yoast SEO, a free plugin that builds sitemaps automatically, notifies search engines of changes to your website, and gives you guidance on SEO procedures such as writing the meta tags.

There are a few more, less important SEO tricks, but these are the basics. Beware of ‘professionals’ who will try to sell you “SEO Optimization” for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Most of it is smoke and mirrors.

I once had a client who had been paying $2,000/month for “SEO Maintenance” for two years. I asked how well it was warking. She told me that as far as she could tell, not a single client came from that SEO maintenance.

No such thing as ongoing maintenance would make sense, unless the content of the website is changing on a regular basis.

13. You might borrow keywords from other fields. One of the best is to mention locations. For instance, “Here’s a picture of a St. Bernard wearing one of our harnesses in Balboa Park, San Diego.” Or, “Here’s a picture of Martha Steward’s St Bernard wearing one of our harnesses.” These of course leverage Balboa Park, San Diego, and Martha Stewart.”

14: What if you can’t get all possible keywords into your pages? You might consider adding a blog to your website. There, you can add pictures of St. Bernards with your harnesses accompanying various owners in various locations. That way, you can leverage the names of hundreds of celebrities or locations. Or for that matter, you can write simple textual posts such as, “We recently discovered the Mount Pillar Ski Resort uses our harnesses.”

15. Notify the search engines of changes to your website. WordPress has a built-in mechanism for this, as does the Yoast SEO, All-In-One SEO, Jetpack, and other such plugins. You can also do it manually at Pingomatic.com. That website refers to all websites as blogs, but you can disregard that, enter your domain name, and check four checkboxes. It then tells over 100 search engines that your website has changed and should be re-indexed.

Ping-O-Matic, part of your SEO plan
Ping-O-Matic

16. You can add social media links. You’ve probably noticed them typically at the bottom of many website pages. They’re even at the bottom of this page. They are icons representing Facebook, X, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

You may be surprised to discover that most people misunderstand the best use of these icons. They think that these are links to their own pages in social media. In other words, if you’re maintaining a business page on Facebook, or a feed on X, you should link to that. In most cases, that’s not so. It does nothing for you. You already have the people on your website. Why distract them? The only exception would be if your website is static, but you have ongoing news on your social media. For instance, if you’re offering classes on your website, but the actual up-to-date scheduling is on social media, then yes, by all means, link people to your social media sites.

However, the more useful approach is to give people a link to their own social media pages. These icons can not only link people to their own social media presences, but can carry an excerpt from your page and a link. They then have the option, as easy as the click of a button, to create a post on their own page with a link to your website. In most cases, they can post an excerpt from your website verbatim, or they can edit to add their own flavor. Imagine the potential: As more and more people add posts or their social media about your website, your visitor count can grow exponentially. The downside is that almost everyone ignores those social icons at the bottom of your website pages.

17. Post interesting, useful or eccentric content. An example is a website for high-tech radio antennae. This website provided charts and graphs of interest to radio professionals, so it became the go-to website for that sort of information. They ended up with pretty much all the people who needed their antennae, so of course they sold a lot of antennae. To put it in the context of St. Bernard harnesses, if you could add some content about the care and feeding of St. Bernards, you’ll eventually build a reliable collection of well-targeted visitors. Or, you might simply build a gallery of St. Bernard photos. People who love these big dogs, and I’m sure there are lots of them, would enjoy your gallery, bookmark your website, and come back often.

18. Ask people to support your website by bookmarking it and telling their friends and associates. You can simply add text somewhere on your website asking people to do so.

19. Is your website running fast enough? I had a client with an online store that was getting no sales. I checked, and her pages were taking on average 21 seconds to appear. No wonder no one bought anything! I migrated her website to another hosting company, and suddenly, with no other changes, her website was being presented in less than one second. A remarkable number of hosting companies oversell their capacity, resulting in slow websites. Not only that, when you complain, they may try to upsell you, and sometimes that still doesn’t speed up your website significantly.

The hosting company I’ve been recommending for the past four years is Siteground.com. They have plans that start as low as $34 for the first entire year, which includes free email accounts, free automated daily backups and free SSL, services for which some other hosting companies charge extra.

20. You can check your page speed at www.webpagetest.org. When you run a test, look at the fourth column, ‘Speed Index,’ to get an idea of how long people have to wait to see your home page. You might check at various times of the day since the number can vary. If it’s particularly slow, it’s costing you big-time.




Jeff Napier, curator, 500Ways.comI hope you have enjoyed or benefited from this so far. Can I trust you to make a small payment in order to read further? $8 is suggested, but any amount, even $1, will support ongoing additions to 500Ways. Thanks! – Jeff Napier, curator




Off-Page SEO

Table of Contents

You can only go so far with SEO. Not only that, it takes a while to kick in. Rumor has it that the Google spiders, for instance, crawl the entire web about once every eight weeks. Note that if there is no link anywhere on the web to your own website, it won’t be crawled. Without a link, the search engines, which jump from link to link, will not discover your site.

So, what can you do?

Off-page SEO has become a nebulous term that isn’t necessarily SEO at all. It’s any combination of techniques that don’t involve actually editing your website.

As it turns out, you can do as much or more through social media than what can be done with SEO. Social media means the websites where the public can post and see posts by others. Some of the big ones are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) and Pinterest.

The true way to use social icons

1. Creating accounts with all these sites is free and easy. You can choose one or two, or post concurrently on many social venues.

With most of the social media sites, you can start by creating a profile. In your profile you should post a link to your website, and optionally add a little bio as to what you do, or why people should visit your site, and add relevant pictures. That, in itself, will bring some visitors to your website.

2. The magic really begins when you start making posts. This is free and easy to do. You can do it as often as you like. For instance two former presidents of the United States used to post on X (formerly Twitter) up to 20 times per day. Each post should carry a link to your website.

These links are called ‘backlinks’ and can have a surprising effect on SEO. It turns out that if two websites are equal in all ways, except one has more backlinks than another, it will be higher in search results. This is a good way for the search engines to understand the value of a website. If many people have linked to it, then it must be important and therefore should go higher in search results, right?

Not all backlinks are equal. Early on, people assumed the search engines merely counted backlinks. So, they started making websites that were merely lists of links, with no value in their own right. These are called ‘black hat backlinks’ and the search engines actually demote your site’s position in search results if they find these. Legitimate posting in social media creates ‘white hat backlinks.’ Even so, they are not as strong as backlinks from other, non-social media sites. I’ll talk more about that later.

3. You could simply make textual posts, but if you add pictures, you’ll get much more attention. You can find public domain pictures at Pexels.com and Wikimedia Commons among other sources.

4. Memes takes pictures one step further. These incorporate a bit of text in the pictures to better capture the attention of the people you want to come to your website. If you’re not experienced with Photoshop, Corel Paint, Gimp, or other image editing softawer, you’ll find there are some free meme generators online.

5. If you have the capability, you can make videos to post on X, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and other venues. Videos can be very powerful compared to textual content or static images. YouTube can be a particularly great place to post.

6. Whether you are posting pictures, memes or videos, take advantage of the description that accompanies your posts. Of course you want to capture your targeted audience and cause them to want to see your website. Make sure to incorporate your important keywords into your descriptions.

7. Consider obscure keywords. For instance, if your post utilizes the keyword ‘dog,’ it will be in competition with 10,000 other posts containing ‘dog’ posted on the same day. No one will ever see it. So, maybe it would be bettor to use keywords like ‘St. Bernard,’ and ‘Saint Bernard.’ Even that may be lost in the shuffle. You might instead try to incorporate keywords like ‘St. Bernard health,’ or ‘cute St. Bernard’ or ‘St. Bernard puppy,’ or ‘St. Bernard training.’ Now, you have a post that if people enter any of those terms, it will be seen.

8. Add hashtags. These are keywords that start with #. If your keyword is a phrase containing multiple words, such as “St. Bernard Puppy” remove the spaces and punctuation. To make your hashtag more human-readable, you can capitalize the first letter of each word after the first, like so: #stBernardPuppy.

Many people don’t fully understand hashtags. They may believe that they are just another way to express keywords. It turns out they have a real function. Let’s say someone has posted something about St. Bernards, and they included the hashtag #stBernard. Now, a visitor sees that post and is particularly interested in St. Bernards. That user may click the hashtag, and will be taken to a list of all the recent posts containing the hashtag. That way, they may come across your post that they otherwise would never have seen. You might think of hashtags as a way or sharing new viewers. You’ve gotta give to get – but the tradeoff can be big. I often put a series of hashtags at the end of my post descriptions, like so:

We found that the best time to introduce St. Bernard puppies to harnesses is when they are around 8 weeks old. See more about harness training at StBernardHarnesses.com (#stBernard, #stBernardPuppy, #stBernardHarness)

It is said that some social media venues will shadow ban posts with more than three hashtags. Shadow banning means that you can happily create posts all day long, but the public will never see them. I have published many posts with more hashtags, and so far as I can tell, I have not been shadow banned. Still, it’s something to consider.

Most social venues including Facebook, Instagram, X, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn utilize hashtags.

9. Go crazy. The average social media post is seen by only a handful of people. However, if you can make a post that is interesting, cute, or positively eccentric within reason, it could potentially go viral. If you get it just right, everyone will click their [Like] buttons, upvote your post, or promote it in various ways, and you could end up with literally millions of people coming to your website overnight. The reality is that this seldom happens. Another reality is you can keep posting until one of your posts catches on. You may not get millions of visitors, but maybe 100,000? Or maybe just six, but the exact right six that will license your patent, become your business partner, or take an action step that makes you wealthy.

10. Boost certain posts. With some of the social media sites, notably Facebook, you can pay a little money, and suddenly a post that might have been seen by six people will be seen by 6,000 people. You can experiment with boosting on a small scale until you find something that works. Starting with a post that seems to get good organic results, meaning no money was paid to the venue, you might boost it modestly, such as for $5 per day for four days. Most of your experiments are likely to fail, but suddenly, you may boost a post that brings you a lot of business. When that happens, you can raise the amount your willing to pay, and realize potentially great results.

11. Consider outright advertising. You can run similar small experiments with Google AdWords and other advertising paradigms. You must be prepared that most will bring dismal results. However, if you try a number of experiments, some possibly highly eccentric, suddenly you may come across something successful.

12. You can post on several sites concurrently. For instance, you may have discovered this very ebook originally through one of my posts on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest. Because the various sites have different image aspect ratio requirements, and different text requirements, I have learned to make all my memes square, at least 600 x 600 pixels, and keep my text under 255 characters to accommodate X. Then, I’ll simply upload my meme and text to all five sites, one after another.

Below, are some example social media posts. Stay tuned, because below that, I’ll give you some ideas for making your website more effective, now that you’ll be having more visitors.



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She doesn’t know what’s expected of her. Can she bark or not? How does she walk with a leash? Who’s in charge? Dogs need to know this stuff. Obedience Training is the answer, but dog training is expensive, right? Not if you do it yourself. Check out the puppy training videos at trainingforpuppy.com (#dogTraining, #dog, #puppy, #puppyTraining, #obedienceTraining)


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Making Your Website More Effective

If your website is like like most, the whole reason for its existent is to cause people to take an action step, typically to buy your product or contact you.

Unless you have a very unique product or service, they’re not going to take action right away. So you have to funnel these your visitors into an action step.

1. First, grab them. The average attention span on the Internet is said to be 1.5 seconds. So, you don’t want to try to sell your visitors on the action step right away. Instead, the first thing they see on your website should be something that convinces them they should stay tuned a little longer. They should invest some time to learn what you’re up to. That can be an intriguing picture, or a big header. It should be ‘above the fold.’ That’s an old news paper term meaning just like it sounds, something they can see without unfolding the paper. In website terms, that means something they can see right away without scrolling. So, place something above the fold that catches their attention. A tactic that can work well is to ask a question that makes them wonder. A scratch that needs to be itched. An example I was thinking of for this very thing you’re reading, was “What’s Wrong With Your Website?”

2. After you’ve got them invested enough to spend a few minutes on your website, you can start guiding them down toward your action step. If your product or service is obvious and they just came to your website to get your contact info, you’re all set. Make sure your contact info is readily visible. If you publish your phone number, it should be clickable on mobile devices (<a href=tel:123-456-7890;’>(123) 456-7890).

Avoid the common mistake of presenting a contact form without also showing your email address. It is true that spammers could get your email address and run with it, but on the other hand, contact forms often don’t work right, or quit working with GMail or other services change the rules about what seem to be machine-generated emails, and some people find contact forms objectionable.

Also, don’t assume everyone can click on you email address to launch their email client. Make sure your actual email address is visible in case they need to copy and paste it.

3. Be careful about over-selling. A current trend is really long pages that have section after section extolling the wonderful virtues of the product to the point where it seems like hype or snake oil, and people will leave.

4. If you’re selling a service, make sure your picture, or the picture of someone that the visitors will be contacting, is on the website. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a movie star, or even if you are downright ugly. Once they’ve seen you, they’re much more likely to pick up the phone, or send that email.

The Magic Technique

Table of Contents

Finally, I’d like to tell you about the technique that brought my most successful client 14,000 visitors per day.

It’s link exchange, another case of giving to get. In its simplest form, you contact the webmasters at other sites, and ask whether they’d like to do a link exchange. That means you’ll place a link to their website on your own website, and expect them to do the same on their website for you.

You’re right to assume you’re building leaks. In other words, some users may click away from your site before they’d take your action step, but there are some things you can do about that.

You can add the target=’_new’ designation to each link link so that they’ll open in new tabs, leaving your website open in it’s original tab.

You can make a dedicated links page where you place all your reciprocal links. However, this is a little underhanded unless you mark it prominently, like adding it to your main menu, and giving it a name like ‘Additional Resources.’ You can also try to make associations where the links you’re adding to your website aren’t directly competing with you, yet the owners of the sites that are going to carry your link will not feel threatened by your link.

If you get place on an active website, the results can be amazing. And this is how my client got 14,000 visitors a day. It turns out she contacted a few webmasters, one of which happened to be working for a major news service. I don’t recall for sure, but I think it was USA Today. I doubt the webmaster was authorized to do that, but perhaps he didn’t know. I never followed up, but I’ll bet the link was removed after a week or two. By then, she had such a following on her own website, that the reciprocal link was no longer required.

That’s it. I hope you find this information very prosperous! – Jeff, 500Ways.com

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This Drummer is at the Wrong Gig


What’s in a name?

Someone posted this video of the incredibly skilled Steve Moore at the drums under a different title. For two years the video just sat there with very few visitors. Then the video was relabeled, “This Drummer is at the Wrong Gig.” Suddenly the video went viral. As of today, it has been seen 53 million times.

Do you have a product or service that’s not getting the attention it should? Whether on Craigslist, social media, or YouTube, you might simply renaming it and see what happens.

I set this video to start 60 seconds in. That’s where Steve really starts cutting loose. If you were to see it from the beginning, you might not know what’s about to happen and quit before you see Steve’s magic.

There’s more about Steve Moore, especially as the tactical move of renaming the video relates to business at General Business Action Pack.

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How to Write Poetry

Embrace inspiration: Seek inspiration from your surroundings, personal experiences, emotions, nature, art, or anything that sparks your creativity. Keep a journal to jot down ideas, observations, or phrases that resonate with you.

Choose a poetic form: Decide on the poetic form or structure you want to work with. Common forms include sonnets, haikus, free verse, or experimental forms. Each form has its own rules and guidelines, so study and experiment with different forms to find what suits your style. You can learn about these forms with a Google search.

Understand meter and rhythm: Learn about the different types of meters like iambic, trochaic, anapestic, and dactylic. Practice scanning lines of poetry to identify stressed and unstressed syllables. Develop a sense of rhythm and experiment with various patterns to create musicality in your poems.

Explore imagery and figurative language: Utilize vivid imagery to engage the reader’s senses and paint a picture with your words. Experiment with metaphors, similes, personification, and other forms of figurative language to add depth and evoke emotions.

Master the art of word choice: Select words carefully to convey your intended meaning. Consider the connotations, sound, and impact of each word. Use sensory language, such as taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound, to create a multi-sensory experience.

Play with line breaks and stanzas: Experiment with line breaks to control the pace and flow of your poem. Consider how breaking a line at different points can create emphasis or alter the reader’s experience. Organize your poem into stanzas, which can be used to group related thoughts or create visual structure.

Engage with themes and emotions: Explore themes that resonate with you and find unique ways to express them. Reflect on your personal experiences, observations, and emotions to infuse authenticity and depth into your poetry.

Edit and revise: Writing a first draft is just the beginning. Revise your poem multiple times to refine your language, structure, and message. Pay attention to the flow, clarity, and coherence of your poem. Remove unnecessary words and refine your metaphors for precision.

Seek feedback and learn from others: Share your work with trusted friends, fellow poets, or writing groups. Accept constructive criticism and use it to improve your writing. Read poetry by established poets to learn from their techniques, styles, and themes.

You may find Beyondosaurus helpful in honing everything including synonyms, rhyming, idioms, and more.

Embrace experimentation and growth: Poetry is a creative and evolving art form. Embrace experimentation, take risks, and develop your unique voice. Keep reading, writing, and exploring new ideas to continuously grow as a poet.

Remember, writing poetry is a journey of self-expression. Enjoy the process, be patient with yourself, and let your creativity flow.

Study the venues in which you can publish your poetry. Study Kindle, Audible, conventional publishers, poetry websites, and other ways to get exposure both conventional and unconventional.

Understand that having many people read your poetry will take time. Just like one can’t pick up a guitar and become a rock star in a month, very few poets have been successful until after years.

Happy writing!

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Abraham Lincoln’s Ultimate Organizing Technique

Abe Lincoln did a very simple thing that you can do too. It helped him keep track of an entire country. It worked back in the 1800s, and it will work just as well today.

He had an envelope on his desk marked, “If you can’t find it anywhere else, look in here.” In a way, that’s kind of the motif of 500Ways.com also. If you can’t find it on the entire rest of the Internet, you may find it here.

The one change you might like to make is to use a folder on your computer rather than a physical envelope for all the miscellaneous files.

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Three Crazy Words

Three very common words do not usually have the effect you’d expect.

When you say “don’t,” you are setting up a situation that is the opposite of what you literally say. For instance, if I tell you, “Don’t think about dragons,” what happens? Right, you immediately think about dragons. It seems that on some level, the mind understands that whatever follows “don’t” is important, but the “don’t” part itself is not emphasized. It’s as if parents who tell their children, “don’t put your milk so close to the edge of the table,” are asking for trouble. Teachers who tell their students “don’t run” are almost commanding them to run.

In NLP, you can use this aspect of “don’t,” to help people focus on new thoughts or behaviors. One of the most powerful uses is at the end of a session when you can offer a hypnotic suggestion such as this: “And, don’t be surprised if in the next few days, you’ll have wonderful revelations born out of our conversation today.”

“But” is a word that also has a special effect. Any part of a sentence before the word “but” is pretty much wiped out by whatever follows. For instance, if I tell someone, “I like what you wrote, but the last paragraph confuses me,” guess what happens? Right again! All the person hears is the critique. The entire complimentary part of the sentence is lost.

Another such word is “why.” When you ask “why” you get ‘story.’ Asking “why” is like an invitation or a challenge to defense – it puts the person who is asked in a space where they have to try to tell you “why,” on a conscious level, and this is often counter-productive. A better question is “How,” or something like, “What let you know to…” or “When…”

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How to Cinch a Job Interview

Using a combination of the techniques below, mostly borrowed from the techniques of NLP, you’ll be far more successful at a job interview. You don’t have to use them all. Pick the ones you like. The more you use, the better your chances.

1. Take a moment to imagine the interviewer’s perspective. It may be that this person is protecting her team from an ‘intruder’ or that this person is desperately looking for a new friend. You’ll be able to better identify the interviewer’s motives as the interview progresses. By understanding the interviewer’s needs, you may be able to present yourself as suiting those needs.

2. Build rapport through mirroring posture. When you see the interviewer take a certain position, copy that position as much as possible several seconds or a minute later. For instance, if the interviewer crosses his ankles, cross your ankles. Use mirror image, as opposed to using the same side of your body. So, if you’re facing the interviewer, and she puts her right hand on the table, and her left in her lap, then you can put your left hand on the table, and your right in your lap after perhaps seven seconds.

You would think that the person being mirrored would feel mocked. In fact, they almost never consciously notice, unless your gestures are overdone, or done immediately. And if they do notice, they feel complimented. You can try this with friends. Next time you are with friends, mirror them, and see what they do. Interestingly, the unconscious reaction is one of comfort, or rapport. The people being mirrored feels that you are like them in some fundamental way.

Another advantage of mirroring is that it puts you a bit on the interviewer’s map. This means you start to feel like the interviewer just a bit, and can better identify with their situation. Rapport works both ways.

3. You can also mirror gestures. This works best if done at least a few seconds after the interviewer’s gestures. Again, you’d be surprised how much this is not noticed, even with big, grand gestures, yet it can make the interviewer feel more comfortable with you. If there is not room to gesture as big as the interviewer, or if you feel that your gesture would be overdone if as big as the interviewer’s, you can make the same movement, but smaller.

Many times gestures point to specific areas relative to the interviewer’s body. The interviewer may be imagining an event in the past as over her shoulder, or a co-worker to her right or something heard is indicated by gesturing near the interviewer’s ears. When you mirror these gestures, indicating the same general position, it makes the interviewer feel ‘understood’, and in the case of a job interview, that’s a good thing!

You get bonus points if you can match a gesture with backtracking.

4. Backtracking is repeating key words or phrases. A recent popular trend called ‘active listening’ teaches that you can indicate that you understand a speaker by using your own words to state back what you heard. This may have a bit of merit, but backtracking works much better. You’re looking for words that stick out in the conversation a bit. They may be pronounced more loudly, slowly, consonants may be emphasized. A few seconds later, you want to incorporate these words or phrases in your conversation verbatim. For instance, you may notice the interviewer has said the word, “crazy” twice and rather loudly. You may not even know exactly what he means by ‘crazy.’ Still, if you use crazy in a sentence, ideally with the same inflection, the interviewer will unconsciously think you understand him perfectly.

5. If practical, ask for a tour. For the interviewer to have you in the work area, makes him comfortable with your presence, and starts him in a thinking process in which you are already included in the work area.

6. Turn the interview around. Most people in a hiring position have feelings about their work. They may be proud of the team, disappointed in the product, etc. Feel free to interview the interviewer. This gives them a chance to vent, show off, whatever they like, to you, their prospective new employee. You’ll get many points if you can cause them to digress into a long chat about their working life. You’ll become their friend. If you were hiring, who would you rather pick, a stranger, or a friend?

7. If you are asked a technical question to test your grasp of the work required, such as, “What color is ff0000,” and if you don’t know the answer, there is no need for panic. You can simply state, “I don’t know the answer off-hand, but I certainly know how to find out.”

8. Notice words or phrases that indicate the person’s primary mode of sensing the world. If the person says he likes the way something looks or ‘everything appears’ a certain way, then you can sprinkle similar visual ‘predicates’ into your replies. The speaker is likely to use visual, auditory, feeling or neutral predicates.

9. You might want to consider ‘meta-programs.’ Typical meta-programs are “away from / toward,” or “global / detail.” You may notice that the interviewer is always considering the big picture and his eyes glaze over when you talk about details. Or, the interviewer is always ‘moving forward,’ not ‘running away’ from a goal. You can modify your replies to work in the same meta-program, and/or an appropriate one. For instance, if the interviewer is looking to fill a detail-oriented job, such as one involving paperwork, you might want to use detail-based concepts in your conversation, instead of global ones, which would indicate to the interviewer that you are likely to be lost in the big picture and not able to complete the details properly.

10. Speak a bit with everyone around you, if you can, and practice these same techniques with them. They may be consulted by the interviewer after you’ve left, so you want them to be your friends also.

11. Enjoy the process. How often do you get to be interviewed? It may be a long time before you get this chance again, so you might as well have fun!