3 Reasons Why You Should Pre-Order My First Book

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Lots of people say they want to write a book, but most never get around to it. That’s because it’s hard. Damn hard. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and determination to see it through. I’ve had this story in my brain for as long as I can remember. It’s changed, it’s evolved, it’s combined with others, but it’s now ready to be told. I’ve outlined, character developed, plotted, shared, revised..you name it…I’m ready. I’m ready to do this.

But I need your help. I’m partnering with a platform called Publishizer. It’s pretty cool stuff. They allow authors to launch pre-order campaigns in order to gauge interest in book ideas. Think of Kickstarter for books I guess. If I can hit roughly 500 pre-orders, I’ll be able to attract a publisher for my project thus making my dream of publishing a book a much bigger reality.

So why you should you pre-order? Well if you’re family or a friend, hopefully you’re already convinced. If not, or for those who aren’t, try these 3 reasons on for size.

    1. It’s a killer story. I know I know, I’m impartial. But trust me when I say that the hundreds of people I’ve pitched the story to all have the same reaction…I want to read that book (or see that movie). This is a concept I’ve worked on for 10+ years and I believe with every ounce of my being that it will be a great story to read.
    2. Charity. I don’t care about the money on this deal. I just want to hold up a book and be able to say “I WROTE THIS!”. I want to feel that sense of accomplishment. And because of this, I’m donating proceeds of this effort to Holding Hands, an incredible youth homeless shelter in my neck of the woods that helps kids in terrible situations with a safe place to stay while they transition to a better home.
    3. Proving if I can, anyone can. The publishing industry is all over the place, and it’s an incredible mystery and monumental task to try and figure out how a first time author can get published. I’ve learned so much, and while my fate is yet to be determined, I’m confidant I’ll reach the finish line and I have every intention of using my experience as a spring board to teach others of the model that got me there and help them achieve similar goals.

I could go on and on, but the whole purpose of this blog post is the hope that you will click through to my Publishizer Pre Sale page and check it all out. The story, my book trailer, and most importantly, your incredible support in purchasing the book. I promise it will be a fantastic story to read and in the process you’ll be helping me make this a reality and giving to a great cause in the process.

Small Business Owners And Data Security

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This post brought to you by Carbonite. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Jason Yormark.

The importance of data protection in our day and age has grown exponentially. Practically everything is moving to the cloud, and at the same time, more and more instances of identity and data theft are happening at an alarming rate. It can get really easy to de-prioritize how you manage your data whether it’s local or cloud based. Most people feel like they are immune to the threats, and small business owners are no different. Options such as Dropbox and OneDrive are great for personal use but don’t offer data protection and automatic back up solutions. When you own a small business, you really need something that is designed to be flexible and grow with your business. That’s where a company like Carbonite comes in that is a leading provider of data protection solutions.

There are plenty of small business stories involving lost data and I’m a perfect example of such in that I just never felt I was ever at risk, but I learned the hard way that it happens. I’ve experienced data loss on hard drives and laptops in my past before moving my data to a cloud based system. It felt more safe to me to have my stuff “protected” by not having it in the cloud, but that approach was the opposite of what I needed to do. Being a content creator I had quite a bit of documents, video, audio and photos that were lost simply from an external hard drive crashing and being unrecoverable.

In addition, during my time as a small business owner I found myself purchasing frequently on corporate cards on online sites and despite my mild attempts at protecting my financial and personal data, I was hit hard. My personal information was stolen and used to open a corporate credit card in my name. I believe this came from storing personally identifiable information locally as opposed to keeping those things more secure in a cloud based system. That’s what you get if you just keep your data on your laptop with little to no security. After experiencing both episodes of data loss I’ve moved to a cloud based system for all of my data, and haven’t had any episodes of data loss or identity theft.

On the surface having your data backup in the cloud might seem counterproductive to staying safe, but it’s quite the opposite. Cloud solutions like Carbonite are built from the ground up around keeping data safe from all threats such as vindictive ex-employees, accidental deletes, or even acts of nature. While it’s important to use traditional protection such as firewalls and anti-virus programs, that just protects your borders. All it takes is one errant click on a bad link by an employee and you’re compromised. Same goes for insurance coverage; important, but insurance is only going to cover replacing systems, not lost data that lived on those systems.

What small business owners need to get right with (and anyone for that matter), is that moving your data to the cloud is the safest, most cost effective way to protect your data not only from theft, but from situations often out of your control.

Protect your data your data today with a free trial from Carbonite.

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Do People Really Suck This Bad?

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I’ve never cared about politics. It’s all bullshit really. Nobody is going to save us. Nobody is going to swoop in and make your life better. That’s up to you. I’ve always concentrated my effort on the things I can control. Taking care of the things in my world. My friends, family, co-workers, etc. It’s a far better and more productive use of my time. But this past election cycle has been unavoidable. It seeps and oozes into your life no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s been the ultimate shit show. If it wasn’t so depressingly sad and pathetic, it might actually be entertaining to watch.

Because of what I do, I see everything. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. And because of that, I’ve had to endure months of people’s political BS. It’s become like a car wreck. You practically can’t turn away. When did we become a society of people that can’t respectfully disagree with one another? For months all I’ve seen are people attack one another on who they support and/or what they believe. Not to mention 2 candidates that can’t seem to spend a single minute talking about their qualifications or what they would actually do in office. They’ve spent the majority of their time attacking and disrespecting each other. I get it. That’s politics. But sure seems like it’s reached an all time high.

Name calling, profanity, anger, un-friending, you name it. It starts to really hit home when you start to see it in a network of people that you thought you actually knew. Friends, family, acquaintances. People you thought you knew or kind of knew, all of a sudden losing their shit, or acting like their opinion is the ONLY opinion. And if you don’t agree, well than you’re a racist, homophobe, criminal, etc. Guilt by candidate association.

I’ve tried to stay out of it, and for the most part I have. Sometimes I feel like my wifey and I are the only normal people left in the world. The only people that can see that both candidates are seriously flawed. But also that both of them could probably change some things for the good. We’re not blinded by everything we read, see and hear. We don’t feel so strongly about a candidate that we completely dismiss other’s opinions and certainly not to the point where we judge others based on their’s. Where are all those people? Can we all go live on an island together and get away from the crazies? I feel like I’m living in an episode of The Walking Dead, but instead of zombies it’s Clinton or Trump zealots.

Lots of people say as you get older you start to like people less. There’s certainly some truth to that. I think it’s more about you having less patience and tolerance for things that are upsetting or shitty in your life. Makes sense. Hell, I’m all about maximizing the remaining time I have on this marble and spending it doing the things I want with the people I actually give a shit about…and I find that number shrinking.

Do people really suck this bad? I hope not. But this election cycle has certainly brought out the worst in a lot of people. I feel like this has opened up a can worms that is not going away anytime soon. Let’s be honest, there’s a very high likelihood that whoever wins this thing is going to be a 1 term president. I know there is better out there to choose from, but they probably don’t have the money, power and influence to be more than a blip on the radar.

Such is life. Maybe I’ll start a Kickstarter for Normal People Island. Anyone in?

How To Create A Business Blog With Massive Traffic

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Perhaps you are in the early stages of creating your blog. Or maybe you have a blog, but the traffic is low. Traffic is vital to the growth and success of any blog and should be the top concern when building your online presence.

Success Is In The Title

The very first thing anyone sees on your blog, or shared links to posts, is the title. It should be catchy, relevant to the subject, and contain keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases people use in their search engines when looking for pertinent information, so they are essential to helping you be found, while also describing what the post is about.

Enjoyment Is Key

Are you writing about something you really enjoy and are passionate about? Your attitude towards the subject always comes through. Be sure all your content is something you enjoy and are knowledgeable about. Your readers are more likely to share something they can get excited about because you are excited about it.

Sharing Is Caring

You want people to share your posts, right? But if you’re not sharing them, how can you really set everything in motion? Share your posts across all social media networks  you use. Don’t think you can only share them once. People are on social at different days and times, so there’s nothing wrong with sharing the posts again a few days later.

Make it easy for your readers to share your posts with their audience. Include social sharing buttons on all of your posts – making sure to include the top networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. However, don’t discount some of the smaller platforms your readers may also enjoy using. If you build your blog with WordPress, there are a number of social sharing plugins available you can use to automatically include buttons on each of your posts.

Bring On The Guests

Bloggers love to network with one another, and guest posting is a wonderful way to expand your audience. When you post content on someone else’s blog, their audience gets new, fresh content, and will likely check out your blog. If they like what they see, you’ve just earned yourself a new reader.

If someone asks to guest post on your blog, you’re not obligated to accept the offer, but, keep in mind that they’ll send traffic from their blog because they’ll be promoting the post, too. And, it gives you content with a fresh, unique perspective, without having to write an additional post yourself.

Revamp Your Posts

If you find that one particular post is more popular than another, consider how to revamp that post. Perhaps you should embellish more on the subject in a podcast or YouTube video? An e-book is also a great way to take a short subject and expand on it. An added benefit of an e-book, you can link to other posts so that people can read more on your site. Pay attention to what your readers are really enjoying and grow with it.

It may mean deviating from your initial strategy and focusing more on a certain topic, but you’ve got to listen to what the audience is saying and give the what they want, if you want any kind of long-term success.

Share The Link Love

Being knowledgeable is fantastic, but having the ability to research and prove your knowledge is even better. It lends you to more credibility. Google loves to see you linking to other useful, related, outside sources and will increase your ranking in searches. It also helps other businesses know who is appreciative of their information and are more likely to reach out to you and even link to your blog. It’s a hidden gem of networking that is highly beneficial.

Know What They Are Looking For

While you do want to create content pertinent to your business, what is it that people want to know that is related? Searching keywords about your business is great because you can see what people are saying. Quora is super helpful as you can type in your keyword and see what people are asking. This is a great way to help with those times when you can’t figure out what to write.

Respond To Your Audience

Whether it is a comment on the blog or a comment on a Facebook status, answer and engage with those who took the time to read and comment. The more engaged you are with your clientele, the more likely they are to talk to you and about you online. And that leads to new people finding you and reading your posts. If you continuously avoid responding, people won’t want to read you anymore, because they don’t think you’re paying attention or that you care about what they have to say.

Write More Often

If you are only writing once a week and not seeing growth, it’s time to write more. People forget about your blog when they don’t see a lot of updated information. Your posts need to be informative, but they are also conversations with your clientele. Growth is often stunted by limited conversations. Grow it slowly until you find that manageable amount of posting to substantial growth that benefits you in the long run.

It is not easy to create massive traffic. There is an incredible amount of information available online so becoming noticeable is a challenge. But these tips should help you travel the road to increased visibility and long term benefits to your business.