March… and it doesn’t feel anywhere near close to Spring!

Hi readers (both of you? Do I have at least two followers yet?). Hope so.

Well, as in the previous post I’m a couple days behind.. but that’s ok. Today is Mon the 4th. My excuse… overcome by heat exhaustion! Or would you believe fear of cold?

One week ago yesterday we (Ruth Ann and I ) got on an airplane in in Pittsburgh when it was 27Deg F and a little short of 3 hours later landed at the Fort Myers, Fl airport where it was 80! Got picked up by Stacey and David and we’ve been in Paradise all week.

The only complaint.. even with suntan lotion spf 70 you can get a sunburn.. and we have.

What a week it’s been. Mainlly just lying around and hanging out and even taking naps.. I mean, we both came down here with a case of the flu and have had to recover!

We’ve actually gotten in the car and ventured outside the gates of their community and Sarasota is unlike any other part of Fl we have lived in. Our main venture is to the Botanical Gardens (Beautiful!). Then last night up to a favorite restaurant where we met the singer who will be working with them on the June event.

When you say or think Sarasota you must almost say “Bradenton” in the same term… the two are so close together. Combined they comprise a fairly large metropolitan area with so much to see and do. Main claim to fame is for many years it was the winter home of the circus. Then of course there’s big league baseball camp here.

For tourists.. Siesta Key and “the keys” are not islands going out into the Gulf as you might think of the keys south of Miami, but essentially are barrier islands.

Siesta is the largest, and reminds us of Sanibel to the south. We haven’t been out there.. it’s where the beaches are and all the tourists and here in “season” there’s a ton of them and there’s this long bridge you have to drive across to get out there. We’ll wait till summer and the crowds are less.

There’s all kinds of boat excursions just as a few miles south at Sanibel.

Have to get our mind re-set because on Thurs we fly back home.. and we hear the forecast is to be under 20Deg. Ouch. Then vacation is over and b ack dto work. Have not done a lick in this whole week but I have read two previously unread Cussler novels!

Think I could get used to being retired.\

Till the next time then, T T F N

Joe

One Month Down, 11 to Go and Excited!

Hi every one! As promised, two basic posts a month.. 15th and then end or first of month, so here goes!

I started to plan this post about 8 days ago with full plans and expectations of heading down to Fl today… then it hit! Yeah… the flu, and I never saw it coming. Started with the chills like you would not believe. While it was getting cold outside due to the Polar Vortex, the house furnace was working. I went from that to other bodily functions to get rid of anything inside me, any way… but got through that in about 24 hours and one night.. but then comes the “cold” symptoms. I passed this on to Ruth Ann (I’m a sharing kind of guy!) and she’s about 12 hours behind me, but in neither case would we bit fit to get on an airplane, and with my sneezing, etc it would not be right to others. We cancelled.

The other news was experiences we shared with about half of the country… the Polar Vortex. Set new cold records here in our area, but now in the last two days, we’ve gone from cold and blizzard to sunny and relatively warm. In fact, had the car washed today.

In terms of work, on goal and focus with our two principal modalities.. writing and funnel work in ecommerce. In terms of writing, we’ve converted most of our old ebooks that are still relevant to Kindle Format and “unpublished” the ones truly out of date such as those dealing with Obamacare. Added a new one just three days ago on using YouTube. to geneerate leads.

The looking forward events? My 81st birthday on the 10th and Ruth Anns 80th on the 22nd. Looks like we’ll just be celebrating them quietly at home.

Thanks for stopping by this blog. Please leave a note or comment.

Joe

On the meaning of being an American in the UNITED States

While it’s not the 1st of the month yet, as I listen to the news and media and contemplate what’s going on, I feel compelled to share an opinion. While I don’t have many readers in my blog yet, I’m hoping those who do read this and feel that they are patriotic Americans will take this piece and share it.. and if you are one of those people, please feel free to share it as your own. That said, here goes:

I have a statement: It is not a POLITICAL statement, but an AMERICAN statement. This is neither gender, age, or ethnic specific. It is American specific. For those reading this who need a reminder, we live in the UNITED States of America, so named because we live under a principle of UNITY in the interests of avoiding chaos and disorder. It is our strength. As a classic statement says, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. If no one notices, at the moment we are in a massive free fall which if not reversed will continue until our demise.

So what does this “United” mean? It means that as we live, we periodically have the opportunity to decide what we are united in and that is a set of standards that the majority in democratic process determine that for a certain and pre established period of time will define our goals, actions, and commitments. This is determined by vote, and with the long established understanding that once a vote result is determined, we unite and commit. In essence, for the ACTION, it’s essentially a “Winner Take All” We understand this, and during the voting process, we all the the right, duty, and responsibility to fight to the best of our abilities for the principle or item we believe in.

In our country, the person to be held accountable for that principle is our President. Note the word accountable.

But that person is NOT the principle or action, but is the person accountable for the carrying out of that process. We may not like the person; we may love them, but we must separate the person and the action for which they are responsible.

We have our election and have a winner and a pattern we understand once the election is over and for the duration of the term that person holds the office, we unify. Again a reminder, we live in the UNITED states of America.

During this period, we work as a country for the action or platform, but some will want change, and we all know this. The tool is there in the form of a new vote, a new election. WE can choose the new leader at the time of the next election, but in the meantime, it is our duty and responsibility as long as we are residents of the UNITED states of America to get behind the plans, actions, and policies of the elected person, starting the with President

Those who can not do this have the choice to live in some other country. To the best of my knowledge there is no restriction leaving, abdicating your citizenship.

You can stay and “campaign” for a new leader, but while staying, you support the principle, plans and policies the elected leader is following through on his or her promise to fulfill.

At the current time, we are divided to the point of chaos which helps no one, and possibly for the first time in many, many, many years we have a President who, in spite of massive risks to popularity, is doing exactly what we have been saying we want: We want a STRONG leader who stands for and acts on the promises made during the election process..

Everyone reading this knows exactly what the issue is or appears to be. But is it an issue of plans and policy, or is it a misplaced issue of Power and Control?

To my observation, it’s the issue of power and control. It’s an issue sadly misplaced. That issue should be addressed in terms of preparation for the next election, and focused a person or party who says “we have a different and better idea (or ideas); elect us at the next opportunity and we’ll prove it”.

The issue in front of us all right now is the apparent issue of border security.

On a smaller and lesser level, do not nearly every one of us have some form of personal borders,and the more secure, the better? If you answer this, “of course”, why not national and secure borders?

Is the “secure borders issue” to the South simply a political platform, or is an issue well defined by non political but professionals we hire to define and support issues like this?

Again, the answer is obvious. Our President did not simply say “Hey, this border thing might be popular enough to get me some votes to help me attain the office of he Presidency”

So in summary, we have highly irresponsible behavior both of many of our citizens, but probably more importantly, by political leaders who are supposed to understand the basis and understanding of what the UNITED states of America means and stands for.

They need to read again their oath.. who are they “working” for and who have they pledged to stand and uphold the rules and principles of?

The UNITED states of America.

Every reader of this opinion piece should contact their political leadership and quiz them on their knowledge of what being the leader of a UNITED country means. If the answer wrong, remind them of the duty. Then work on finding someone who believes first in UNITY if the country toward supporting majority voted decisions, even if at the time, your personal hope was the minority opinion We can no longer afford to not be UNITED and hold our place of leadership in the worlds.

Mid Month goin’ ons for Jan

First post here in the new schedule I’ve set up.. so let’s have at it.

First thing is one of the things everyone is talking about… and I’m not referring to the “fund or don’t fund” border wall. Nope, talking about the COLD! My blood still has not thickened since moving up North from living in Fl 3 years. It’s probably not that much colder than it was when we lived here for 30+ years. I know that because I know when we lived in our house on McIntyre Rd that on some winter days the pipes in the wall for the kitchen or bathrooms (or both) would freeze. Just I guess that as maybe we get older it just seems colder. I don’t recall wearing 3 layers like I do sometimes now. Not sure how I survived the Air Force years in Minot, ND and 30 below! Well, in a few days we’ll be back in Fl for 10 days. Stacey is moving into her new home and wants help painting inside and then from her mom, making window treatments.

The major event since the last post.. our 58th wedding anniversary was quietly celebrated Jan 14th (married Jan 14, 1961). Hope I did the math right. Time has gone so quickly. When I say”quietly” celebrated, it was just that. We went out and had a nice lunch out the day before, but between the cold and where’s there to go.. it was just a quiet night at home. Early in the week, or about any other time for that matter, there’s no nice place to go and maybe dance, plus no one plays the kind of music we grew up with. Used to be when we were near an Air Force base the O Club generally had nice dancable music, at least on weekends.. but now the o Clubs are all closed and inactive. No place to go. Been that way for New year eves for a long time too Did not even stay up top watch the crowd and ball drop in New York. All the rowdies! Where is the 3rd generation Guy Lombardo band!

Staying very busy with work.. all basic jobs.. the HD, the online digital marketing (freebie give away available at HERE, then our ebook publishing. Signed up for a good course and tng site at apexauthors.com. I thought I knew a fair amount about the topic, but it didn’t take me long to learn how LITTLE I actually knew.

With that, I have started changing most all of my paperback work to the kindle format and repricing down into the 99 cent to 4.99 range. I’m in need of book reviewers, so if anyone might have a few minutes to read and review one or more, I’d sure appreciate that. The more good reviews you get, the better the visibility on Amazon or Kindle.

The latest book is called A Simple No Stress Business Exit plan or guide (or something like that) and it and others can be found on Amazon.com

So that’s five book updates and conversions down with about 12 more to go….and that pretty well brings us up to date until the end of the month.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for this blog, anything you’d like to know, etc. Thanks for checking in!

Joe

Site Overview and Posting Schedule

Hi again! As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m new at this, but I made some reference to some of the reading and lessons I’ve had prior to starting this blog.

In a moment, I’m going to provide the text from that training, and as it’s long, I’ve made it available as a downloadable .pdf which you can find here: http://joeleech.us/blogpc.pdf

That said, I’ve made the decision to post bi weekly.. on 1st and 15th of the month. I won’t bore you with trivia in between. I’ll also try and give you any updates.

What’s going on now is that I’m taking all my previous books and works on Amazon and Create Space and updating them to the new Kindle mode. That’s business.

On the personal side, starting plans for the celebration of my wife’s 80th birthday.

In the meatime, figuring out how to celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary on Jan 14th.

Now here is the article and info on blogging.. if it can help you, please feel free to copy and use.

Introduction

Let’s not beat around the bush. Blogging successfully takes some hard work. You have to write quality content every week and generate some new ideas for blog posts. You also need to be involved in an email and social media campaign.

There are times in the lives of most bloggers when they have to ask themselves “are my efforts paying off?” They don’t know if they should keep it up, write more anyway, or step up their promotional efforts.

They even entertain the thought of just quitting. Not having to worry about what your next blog post will be can be appealing. They’d have more time to spend with friends, read a book, or go sight-seeing.

The reason quitting should never be an option is because the benefits to blogging can be awesome. It can change your life. Blogging generates web traffic, builds your authority, and brings you leads. You blog is the nerve center of your business and social media activities.

Case studies reveal that many companies and entrepreneurs fuel their businesses by blogging. For me, blogging generates nearly all of the leads for my business.

So what exactly can you do to turn your blogging efforts into a raving success, engage your visitors, and create more business without working yourself into a stupor?

I have listed some of the best advice to help you streamline content creation, engage visitors, and close the deal with potential clients who will find themselves wanting to work with you.

Let’s get started…

How to Streamline Content Creation

(1). Create a publishing schedule and stay committed to it. Plan it in a way that works well for you as well as for your readers. Never overextend yourself. It’s not necessary that you publish on a daily basis. Some bloggers post weekly or even bi-weekly.

(2).Throughout your day when good blog post ideas come to mind, stop and write them down. When clients ask questions add those answers and the ideas that come from them to your list.

(3). Create an outline for your posts. This can keep you on point so you don’t wander off on short tangents that are not relative to your post. It helps save time on both the writing and the editing of your posts.

(4). Always have a few backup posts ready for times when life throws you a curve and your time and attention is needed elsewhere.

(5).Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. Follow blueprints of blogs that are tried, tested, and proven. Blogs are structured in a fairly straightforward way.

(6). One neat little trick is to take a kitchen timer and set it at 30 minutes. Every 30 minutes take a break and reward yourself with something like a cup of coffee or a donut. Getting up from your chair is what helps you. When you get back to it you are more re-focused and more energized.

Naturally, streamlining blog content is a great idea. However, never turn it into a speed-writing contest. Blog for the sole purpose of helping and delighting your target audience.

How To Win Customers & Get More Business

If your blog posts all sound like a sales pitch, you’ll have a hard time finding loyal readers. You could alienate your targeted clients. Your blog could easily end up as a whisper in the wind with no-one around to hear what you have to say.

The majority of people don’t want to hear a sales pitch. Some don’t even care about your business. They are looking for something for THEMSELVES. If you want to create business using your blog, don’t think like a salesman and step into the shoes of being a ‘mentor’ for your readers.

You achieve this by –

a. Knowing your target audience. That means understanding what they’re looking for, their desires, their needs, secret wished, and dreams. Put yourself in their shoes and ask the questions they would ask, and then give some good answers in your blog. Work at ‘helping’ them.

b. Never go click-chasing using hyperbolic headlines. Aim your writing at your clients.

c. Don’t worry about alienating some people. You only want to attract the right ones, the ones who will understand you and respond to your message.

d. Define the purpose of your blog. Decide what it is you want to achieve through it. I, for example, teach small business people how to create more persuasive content to help them get more business.

e. Study blogs that are successful and find out what makes them that way. Analyze them carefully and learn from them.

f. Write when you find yourself feeling inspired or enthused. Energy can be contagious and can flow through your words when you write your posts.

Salesmen are always wondering how they can make another sale. Mentors care about what the students are learning and how they are making out. A mentor has a desire to help the students get ahead so they can live a life that is more fulfilling.

Readers are smart and will notice immediately if you are the salesman type or mentor type. Become a mentor and you can watch your business grow.

Creating a Must-Read Blog

There is poor content spread out all over the Internet. Yawn-inspiring blog posts are a dime a dozen. The stock photography is so boring you want to pull your hair out.

If you want to create a ‘must-read’ blog, then make it stand for something. You should be an authority for whatever your blog is about. That means never rehashing old content that is already saturating the web.

8 Major Focus Point for Making Yourself an Authority:

1. Develop a strong opinion and don’t be afraid to say it the way you think it. A true leader stands his/her ground.

2. Leave out the ifs, buts, and maybes. Avoid saying ‘in my opinion’ because it is naturally your opinion if you’re the one writing the post.

3. Don’t waste people’s time with posts that are shallow or plain common sense. You want to add value to the conversation and not fill it with generic babble.

4. Don’t use the ‘free stuff’ ploy that many bloggers do. What you want to give away free is good solid ideas and unique information. Those are the things that will generate loyal customers.

5. Drop names of heavy hitters. It doesn’t hurt to add some clout to your posts by quoting industry experts. It shows you’re on top of things in your area of expertise.

6. Never try to impress people with big, hard to pronounce words. Write things in simple language that anyone can understand.

7. Take advantages of case studies and relevant examples. They help to breathe life into your content.

8. Show up on a regular basis with good quality content.

When you are generous with your advice and ideas, potential clients are going to find your blog and then purchase your products.

How to Keep Your Readers Coming Back Time and Again

Being an authority can sometimes be a boring place. If you mishandle it you can create a total catastrophe. You will never win friends by keeping yourself on some kind of high-horse and lecturing them. They should be treated the same as you. Everybody is on an even keel.

Keep your readers motivated, energized, and inspired. Work at being a great mentor. Empathize with them, try to understand where they’re coming from, and help them find solutions to their problems.

Don’t diminish your most valuable information and tips by listing them beneath very drab subheads. Your subheads need to be vibrant, strong, and appealing. They should appeal to your reader’s curiosity.

Let your readers get to know the real you. Share little insights into your life while remaining focused on how you can help your readers. Sprinkle short little questions throughout your content. That makes if feel more like your readers are involved in a conversation and not a lecture.

Inspire your readers when you write your closing paragraph. Sum up the problem and state the solution to clarify the point of your blog post.

Practice the art of infusing your ideas into the minds of your readers. As the writer you have a lot of control over the interaction taking place between you and them.

Create a voice that is uniquely you. Your readers should be able to recognize your writing style whenever they come across it, and know what you mean and why you say things the way you do. Add personality to your posts.

You are not selling, you are having a conversation. Their decision to buy will spring from a feeling of trust and confidence in you. Work every day on polishing your written communication skills. Create ideas that are worth writing about and never be afraid of being unique. Be passionate about your blog and readers will respond to you.

First Weekend of the New Year… and…

First weekend of the new year.. and it’s nice to see Sunshine. Not only because it always is (1)at my age, (2) because sometimes it’s pretty rare here in Pittsburgh, and (3) because we have Solar panels and we’re making electricity, offsetting our utility co bill!

Headed off to my part time job in a few minutes, and it’s not so much because or for the money (just a tad over minimum wage) but because it gets us out to talk with and interact with people. Again, at nearly 81, unless you go to a senior center (depressing!) you don’t have many chances

I have a great job with a big box glorified hardware retailer where my main job is to interact with people, talk with them, and if I discover they may be a candidate for one of our services such as kitchen makeover, then I educate them a little about that service and book an appointment into their home with one of our in home consultants.

But my passion for a long time has been writing and it goes way back to writing a little monthly newspaper for my community when I was in 10th grade.

Later as a manufacturers’ rep I did a quarterly newsletter (Leech’s Lines) for my company, and did a free news letter for our professional services group.

Along the way, I’ve written about 15 books and have had them published on Amazon… but now I’ve decided to take this more seriously and have started an online course about pubishing on Amazon. What an eye opener. Only though the first week of training (finished it this morning) and have learned how much I did NOT know!

Time to run now.. but looking foward to lwarning more about that and maybe engaging with one of you readers because I’m going to look for a couple people I might be able to ask to review one of the books..

That’s it for now! Again, your comments on this new blog are welcomed

Our First Post.. and Happy New Year!

The title line sort of says it all.

As this is my first post and I’ve not ” blogged” before, hope I won’t bore you with this I’ve been trying to learn about what makes a good blog and sort of how to set one up that brings new friends. One thing I have read is “don’t mix business and make it a sales format”.. so we’ll save our web sites for that as applicable.

We started by putting together an “about me” page, so we won’t have to do that all over. At nearly 81 years old, there’s plenty of history and things to put in there on the “about me” area.

Today I’d just like to say welcome, Happy New Year, and as I also read that the blog is in a way to be a combination of a diary and providing a place for information that might be of interest and value to people who will subscribe.

I’ve not been active on facebook, but I think I see some similarities in function and purpose… but frankly, I just don’t have the time for spending hours on FB or the other social media. Hard to believe, but I seem to find that I have less free time than when I was actively working in my Manufacturers’ Rep business.

I work part time 20 or so hours a week in 4-5 hour shifts at a local Home Depot (lead generation for the Home Services Group with specialization in Kitchen and Cabinet Makeover); We’ve been spending time doing writing in both the Amazon book market (Kindle Publishing) and also freelance copywriting, and then just completing our required annual Continuing Education requirements so we can maintain our health and life insurance license.

Our Christmas Holiday was great.. We had all of our family together and got to share meals together as well as doing some local “outings” including a great afternoon at the Frick Museum learning about and seeing all the clothing made entirey out of paper.. this included many formal evening dresses and the sort.

While it’ s a bit warmer here in Pittsburgh than normal, and we’ve only had one snowfall with measurable snow that lasted more than 4 days, our blood is still “thin” from living in Fl close to 8 years and it feels really cold. Our Fl daughter is moving into a new home and want’s us to come down in Feb to help her get settled. Well.. let me translate that.. she wants her Mom to come down and make window treatments.

We’re thinking of Feb to combine that, celebrate our birthdays (Feb 10 and Feb 22), and get warm!

Guess and hope this enough writing for our first post. Anyone care to comment or grade me on how we did? Suggestions?

Till next time (no posting schedule established yet)…

Joe