Archive for the ‘Recommended Tools / Products’ Category
Very recently I purchased a new program for writing that has saved me so much time and energy I can’t believe I never heard of it before. Scrivener by Literature & Latte!
How I learned about this powerful content-generation tool for writers is actually quite interesting. My husband, who is not a writer, works in Northern Alberta in a camp environment. He must have gotten into a conversation with a couple of fellow workers who told him they were writers and he probably said “My wife writes also”.
The conversation then led to a program they use that allows them to concentrate on their writing while keeping their material including ideas, notes, research material, photos, and the outline completely organized. It’s like having all the information you gather together in one location instead of scattered all over your desk, stuffed in filing cabinets or stored away in your head somewhere. You have to understand, my husband might or might not even know what MS Office is, I am not sure. However, he was pretty excited to be the one who knew about this processing program before I even heard of it.
It won’t write for you!
But that’s just about the only thing Scrivener won’t do. It does make everything you need available and ready at a moment’s notice, completely accessible and manageable. Working on a long document can become tedious and frustrating, especially if you are trying to organize the material into the right order. It’s just a matter of dragging and dropping the material wherever you wish. It’s simple.
Work in any order you wish.
You don’t have to start at the beginning of the book or project. Start it anywhere you like and use Scrivener’s tools to restructure or organize it the way you want and whenever you want. It’s your project ~ do it the way you like and this program lets you. It’s all about what works best for YOU!
When I review a draft copy of my work I like to make notes along the side of the document with ideas or possible suggestions to expand or change that particular section or phrase. I can do it with Scrivener as well as add tables, pictures, or place bullets wherever I wish. I can view it in segments or see the document as a whole. I can put the pages side by side, split the screen, or even use a font I like to work with and have it reformatted when I am done.
It’s ready for Publishing.
Everyone I speak with is involved with converting their books or documents for publishing on eBooks. It’s not as easy as some people make it out to be. All the tools are ready for you to use in submitting your manuscript or self-publish if that’s the route you wish to take. There’s a large variety of file formats you can export your document into including MS Word, RTF, PDF and HTML. Kindle or ePub formats are available so you can share your work for reading on any e-reader via iBooks or Amazon.
Scriptwriters don’t despair – it’s a powerful tool for you too!
Use the stage play format or switch to script writing mode or set up your own script formats.
Writers can now be organized.
Literature & Latte brags about their program allowing you to “Create order from Chaos” and they are absolutely correct. The next most important factor is that it is so inexpensive it’s almost laughable. Better yet, there’s a FREE trial version for any Window users who wants to try it out. Initially Scrivener was created for the Mac and the Windows version came next. Both are excellent.
All the best,
PS: When I first learned of Scrivener I was skeptical and watched their videos to learn more about what it can do for me. I was so impressed I purchased it right then and ignored the FREE Trial Version for Windows. However, give it a try and if you like it – the price will not break the bank. Get your FREE Version here. Download
This promotion wil last until 11:59 PM CST Friday, August 31st 2012
Web-hosting Provider ~ Hostgator
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All the best,
Upgrade yours skills through VAClassroom
In spite of the fact that I believe everyone should continue to upgrade their skills and take advantage of some of the excellent training programs on the internet I have been so busy on different projects that I have not followed my own advice.
When I first started my business Lorac Virtual Solutions I signed up for as many courses and programs I thought were relevant and affordable. I was lucky to hear about Craig and Kelly Cannings’s VAClassroom and during my business startup I took a number of their courses and not once did I regret it.
However, it has just occurred to me that I haven’t checked with them in over a year and I haven’t upgraded my skills in that time either. That’s why I recently spent an hour reviewing their online training courses, workshops and mini-clinics.
Connecting through Social Media – the right way!
Social Marketing Specialist Program and the Certification Program
I signed up for these courses to help me market my business using social networks and not only did the knowledge I gained help my business I am now able to offer this service to my clients. This was an added bonus. By taking this course I had a better understanding of what social media is and how it affects everyone’s business and I learned how to create a strategy to effectively use the social networks. Not only that, it also taught me how to monitor the results and understand the implications of connecting via social media.
Blog Marketing Tips, Tools and Tactics
The course resource guide and bonus material included a 50 page WordPress Set-up and Start-up Guide, something I devoured. The 8 video lessons are easy to follow, straight forward and relevant. Craig also encourages his students to get involved in their own Social Network sharing ideas and questions about the courses.
Mini Courses for busy people
The mini courses are perfect for people like me who are extremely busy, need the skills but don’t have a lot of time. We have all heard about Facebook but we don’t necessarily understand how we can use Facebook to enhance our business – the new Facebook Pages Course looks very interesting as well as the online Video marketing Specialist Training Programs.
An Added Service to your Business
Although VA Classroom targets Virtual Assistants and provides training that will assist them in providing this service, I feel that this training is good for anyone in business whether they use the skills for their own business or as an added service. I have recommended some of their mini-courses to clients of mine who were struggling with different aspects of running and growing their businesses to their complete satisfaction.
The programs can be taken live at the time they are offered or they can be taken online on your own schedule which is perfect if you are like me and want to study at my own pace. They offer Event Planning, WordPress training, internet marketing, Traffic Geyser, Online Video Marketing Specialist Training, HTML Training, Camtasia for VAs and the list goes on.
By accessing their training programs you will gain a membership that includes many FREE features including attendance at interactive events with guest speakers providing a lot of excellent advice and assistance. The course material is always available to refer back to at any time and I just verified that by checking the courses I took two years ago and they are still available to me.
There is also a very active forum where others will help answer questions you may have or you may even be able to help them with their problems. The monthly newsletter helps you stay on top of topics and trends. And that’s all for FREE.
Help your Clients Find You on the Internet
There is much more than what I have listed in this review so I recommend anyone who is in business and wants to create an online presence or help their clients do so, sign up for training through VAClassroom. It’s important to keep your skills fresh and up to date – something I plan on doing right away. Visit VAClassroom.
All the best,
* Discover an innovative five-step system for setting up and managing your clients’ social networking accounts.
* Identify the most recent changes to the Big Three Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and the profound implications these changes will have for you and your clients’ businesses.
* Develop a unique opportunity to position yourself as a Social Networking authority with the most current skills and certification.
* Learn new ways to help your clients better track and measure the ROI of their Social Networking activities.
* Discover new and authentic strategies for generating traffic, hot leads and sales through Social Networking.
These skills are still in great demand in our industry. I have taken many courses from VAClassroom and have never been disapointed. VAClassroom – Click here!
See you there!
PS: Learn some great tips and tools for measuring your social networking ROI with the Social Networking Specialist Course from @VAClassroom
Everyone on the internet is telling you to blog regularly, write articles, tweet, etc. but do they give you any ideas as to what information you need to write about? Not always. Even writers who write for a living find it difficult to come up with article content.
Last year I wrote a number of articles on the VA industry and after the first 10 I started panicking because it seemed that I had ran out of original ideas. I spent a great deal of time doing more research on the subject looking at it from every angle possible.
And then I discovered PLR and if you haven’t discovered it yet then you need to check it out. I became a customer of Nicole Dean at Easy PLR and for a very small amount (almost pennies) I purchased a list of topics that covered what I needed to write about. It saved me a great deal of stress and made my task of writing articles and blogs much easier.
Nicole has written the following article describing the benefits vs free reprint articles you will probably find interesting. I did.
PLR vs. Free Reprint Articles: Which is Best?
by Nicole Dean
Content is always in high demand. Right now the focus seems to be on Private Label Rights (or PLR) articles. PLR articles are pre-written and sold in packages to online businesses looking for content. The big selling points of PLR articles are that you may edit the articles and that there is no author bio required (so they don’t have any outbound links).
Compare PLR articles to free reprint articles. Free reprint articles from places like ezinearticles.com or freeaffiliatearticles.com are written by people who have something they’d like to share. (Or, they are sometimes written by people just publishing junk, in the hopes that they’ll get some incoming links. But, good article directories will delete those, so we’ll focus on the good ones here.)
So, which is better? Honestly, each has its place. Sometimes you’ll find an excellent free reprint article that you’ll want to share with your readers and you won’t mind a bit having an outbound link, especially if there is an affiliate program associated with it. The free reprint article added value to your readers, and you didn’t have to write the article. That’s what free reprint articles are all about.
Other times you’ll already have an idea in mind for a topic and you’ll just want a boost getting that section of your website done. If you run across a high quality PLR package on that niche, you’re set to go.
So, how do you know which PLR service or membership to choose? Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Some PLR sites offer a monthly membership where you receive a grab-bag of articles – on any topic. If you already know what you need, this may be a waste of money. Other PLR sites will list topics and you can buy the articles in a shopping cart. That ensures you receive the articles you need when you need them.
2. Are the articles written by professional writers with experience? Or are they outsourced to the cheapest overseas help they can find – no matter the quality? If the articles are going to be a reflection of your business, you’ll want to ensure that the articles are well-written.
3. Who’s running this thing? Is the PLR site run by someone who knows about content or someone who thinks they can ride the content wave and make a quick buck? Make sure you’re hitching your wagon to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Those are just a few tips to keep you from wasting money on a PLR site that you can’t use. Continue to use free reprint articles, but look into PLR articles as well. They can both benefit your website and your business.
Nicole Dean invites you to check out EasyPLR.com – where you’ll find high-quality PLR articles on niches sold in very limited quantities.
I, personally, recommend this site for all your PLR article needs.