My first podcast

Would you like to actually HEAR me reading the blog to you? Yes I know I have a lovely tenor/baritone voice that blends harmoniously in the choir. Actually a lot of my readers have bad eyesight so listening would be very cool for them. So here is my first podcast of today’s blog.–Texas-Abortion-Ban-e16qala

I actually have had readers request that I do author readings so they can hear or see me. I used Anchor, the free software that is attached to Spotify. So if you use Spotify my podcasts will be available soon. Too bad for Joe. I hear he is the #1 podcast streamed on Spotify. I also hear he has COVID. Hee Haw.



More New Content!

You would think that with every artist and writer locked up at home, alone, that there would have been some really cool masterpieces created. Right? New award winning grammy songs, new plays, and of course, new books from your favorite authors. Don’t look at me, I update the blog WEEKLY. Some writers haven’t written a tweet, let alone an actual blog. Although, I think that more celebrities and authors SHOULD write more. I think reading the thoughts, hopes and dreams of some well known stars would be fun. If you can talk, you can write. While some authors may not be the best at writing, at least they were trying. Some people write differently than how they talk. As I have instructed many aspiring writers, … are you “telling” me what happened, or am I experiencing it using all my senses? Do I “feel” what you feel? Can you smell the fresh baked bread in gramma’s kitchen as the amber sunlight slowly creeps in her flower box window? So I am taking a short break from the job search blogs, today. Yes I know they are entertaining and informative, but they are actually really boring for me. My days were filled with looking at bad resumes from students for years. I could quickly scan a resume and find at least one error … every time. But it takes a trained eye. Some HR recruiters might not even notice some errors. I think I covered most of the bases. Y’all should be able to get a job on your own now.


So let’s flip over to talking about social media training. I know there are thousands of readers that would love to have a huge social media following. First ask yourself, why do you want that following? Maybe it is so you can build a platform so you can get publishers to notice you and print/publish your book? Your ability to prove to a publisher that you will sell future books is monumental. They claim it costs a lot to print books. Wrong. It costs a lot to print unsellable books. Just think how many stores Barnes & Nobles has, and how many books have to stock each store. Some readers want a following so they can monetize their content. Right. So if you get enough views on YouTube, then advertisers will pay money to put their stupid ad on your video. But you get paid. You might have a big “voice” that other people want to hear. Maybe you have a different take or perspective on a particular issue, and your platform shares those concerns? If you are in the spotlight, your personal lifestyle choices might be “reviewed” and if not deemed appropriate, YouTube can/will demonetize your channel and you get paid nothing. I can think of a certain individual who not only got banned but also lost monetary abilities.


So if you own a website it may or may not have a blog incorporated into it. Believe it or not, that is something that is extra. If it is a WordPress website it is super simple to use the blog feature. If you didn’t know, WordPress allows additional software, called plugins to be installed to enhance your website. I think this is what has made their platform so successful. One thing that I would encourage website owners (you) to do, is use the Jetpack plugin which has all kind of cool features. If you have subscribed to the site, then you know you don’t have to visit it daily to check if a new blog has been posted. Super convenient for you, and also gives the site a rest from getting too many hits. That is a Jetpack feature. I don’t own my server, so if it gets overloaded, it causes it to stall or get a 503 error. You refresh and it is fixed. But imagine if you were say, Lady Gaga, who has millions of fans. Everyone’s website is different and has different reasons/usage. Some sites actually sell products, and when they launch a new product, … it crashes.



So if you are a normal person, you probably won’t get millions of hits. But when you do, you can upgrade your site with your hosting server. Just so you know, there will be fans that love you so much they will actually set your website as one of their start up tabs. From the back-end you will know this happens as the same IP address is registering daily in your logs. Everyone has some interesting “hobby” that they are sort of an expert. You can write about it, or YouTube about it, and someone will like it and be a new fan. If you create interesting, new, fun content then you will start your social media following. What are you known for? Then brand yourself that way. Or what do you WANT to be known for? If you knew you were going to die next year, what do you want your legacy to be known for? Or do you have a secret recipe that you really should share with the world? Pin it. Instagram it. Write about it. Do all of the above.


Maybe you don’t want a huge social media fan base, but you can still start a free blog and document/write your thoughts that you want shared to your family and friends one day. I know you’re just bored, so do it out of sheer boredom. Writing out your thoughts can really help your mental health.

June. Teenth. What a stupid name for a federal holiday. Wow congress really has their priorities don’t they? May 4th should be a federal star wars holiday. I am sure there are lot of other “groups” that say “Where’s my fucking holiday?” Just saying, since no one else will. Evil is now streaming on the Paramount app instead of CBS. It is like $5 a month. So $1.25 an episode as they launch now every Sunday. I saw it, and it’s worth it. You do get a free trial.



Entertainment Subscription Websites

How many websites do you pay a monthly fee? Yes, some are for entertainment, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, cable, … all of these are things the occupy your time and feed your need for entertainment. I think “most” people are okay with paying for music or video, but when it comes to reading content, they just simply refuse. How many times have you visited Wikipedia and seen the “help us, and donate anything you can” banner? Web hosts and services aren’t free but yet every day people use that website and don’t pay a dime. Why? Surely if you were accessing some information you found valuable you could easily justify the expense. So this is a teaching article, and mostly I am targeting any artist who is self employed, such as myself. So, if you get a 1099, or you send invoices, then this might be you. If you create something that someone can buy, this also might be you. Your customer base/fans love and support you. I watch as “collectors” go crazy when a limited edition anything is released. So maybe things are a little slow for you now. COVID sucks for everyone and networking and art shows, festivals, and other performances are extremely limited. I am willing to bet if you asked your fans/customers for donations, they just might do it. I saw Billy Gilman doing a livestream on Facebook, and just like me, he is an artist that can’t make an income, so he listed his Venmo “tip jar”, and believe it or not, people gave him money. If you aren’t familiar with Venmo, it is an app that you link to your bank account that allows you to transfer money to friends easily and for free. We literally live in a cashless society. Some of us, rely upon customers to make our rent/mortgage. I’ll admit it, I’m one of them. Things are tough for everyone. So if you have a website, or a Facebook page, go to your Venmo app, take a screenshot of your QR code and post it so your fans/supporters can donate to your cause. Here is mine. If you are a long time reader and found one of my articles/blogs helpful, handy, inspiring or just entertained you and took you away from this nasty world for a few moments, then do me a favor and help me out. Did I help you out with a job issue? HR situation? WordPress or website ah ha? Btw, if you are running WordPress there is a new core out and you need to upgrade. Did you close a sale, get a new job, new customer, or negotiate a better salary because of something you learned from this site? Is that worth the equivalent of buying me a drink or a dinner? For my fans/readers who have already told me they want to support me, this blog is for you. And if you are also an artist, you should be putting your Venmo code out there too. People generally are good heart-caring people. So put your code out there, and maybe if you get a donation, you can share the information with your circle to do the same, and then hit me up with a donation for teaching you something new and creating some income for you.


When I was in college, I was the VP of Finance for the American Marketing Association for the University chapter. Fancy title huh? Yeah, it actually came in very handy when I interviewed for jobs years later. A lot of interviewers wanted to know what all that big fancy title entailed, and of course I was happy to talk, and talk, and talk. I partnered with dozens businesses amassing thousands of dollars in “door prizes”. I was amazed how easy it was to ask for gift certificates, prizes, food … and businesses gave it without hesitancy. I called it active fundraising and partnership affiliate marketing. I also had check signing rights, and held a pretty heft budget for college organization. Little did I know that simply asking for money was a real job in the real world. Some places call it grant writing … again asking for money. Later in life I used that valuable skill to get companies to pay for something called “Sponsorships”, so their name would be advertised prominently to a captive audience. Gold, Silver, Bronze levels … honestly was the biggest con ever. Oh yay, your name is on all the ____ at the event. You get a table and a banner (that you provide).


A thousand thank you’s for my long time readers/supporters. Post your Venmo code. Start your fairy garden today. YouTube has fairy music that you can play to attract fairies.


Branding Yourself

If you are reading this blog/article via email, then you won’t see my website header, which includes my smiling face, my educational credentials, and other fun aspects of “who” I am. This is called branding. Here it is for those readers:
AaronMstephensMBAIf you were one of my clients I would instruct you to do something similar in your own efforts. It will help you to narrow your audience and help your readers determine if they want to keep reading. Also, as a … we will just say “influencer” or future influencer, you want people to remember you “for” something. And if you are selling something, they will automatically think of you. You may not have as many “things” you are branding, and maybe you just want people to know you are a _____. (realtor, attorney, writer, artist, actor, salesman … you get the idea)



In addition to spending time writing expert articles on your blog, you will want to cultivate some of the more popular platforms. The great thing with your blog/website, is you can very easily share your articles to all your platforms. Chances are you already have “some” followers, people who are not your friends or family. I am sure you are still using e-mail, so in your footer signature, you can add your website and Facebook business page. Over the years I have gained thousands of new readers by someone who got an email or forwarded email from me. When you manage and develop these platforms, it is important that you do not repeat the same content across all platforms. What? So, if you post a photograph of an awesome dinner on Instagram, do NOT put it Facebook, or Snap it. Why? Well, a lot of your fans/followers follow you across multiple platforms. So it is best to only share certain things on certain places. Does that make sense?  Of course you can do whatever you want, but if you want to gain new followers, then you will want to create new content across different platforms. I don’t have millions of followers, and I’m just a normal guy. I’m not a celebrity, a rock star, or even anyone remotely famous. I just have a lot of people that like to read my thoughts. Or so I have been told. Content is key, and writing or creating good/entertaining content is king.



One more thing, when you are branding yourself, it is a really good idea to use a semi-professional looking picture for your profile shot. Now, once you have a million followers and you are identified because of your keen unique sense of style, then do whatever.  But for starters, it is not hard to get a decent background and good lighting for that first impression. Yes, I am guilty of taking car selfies, and they are all over my Instagram. Do yourself a favor and take off the sunglasses and pretend for five minutes that you are someone’s role model. That one day, someone may just want to interview you, hire you, photograph you, and you really want an amazing first impression. There literally are over a billion Asian men on this planet. I’ve been told I am remembered by my beautiful smile. Awww. That is a good thing, since I have literally spent thousands on dental work.

On a final note, if you are a parent, a teacher or a caregiver, you are also a role model. Probably a very important one. A thousand thank you’s for all you do. With great power comes great responsibility.




Who is YOUR news source?

We all get our news from somewhere, whether that be an official media news outlet, maybe it is Twitter, Instagram or even Facebook. But something that all of those platforms have in common is … it is owned by someone who wants to make money. So you know a lot of sites have been implementing a “1/4 articles” for free, then you have to pay. Some sites make you do a stupid survey or questionnaire.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Australia, but Facebook is now restricting all of your access to media and news outlets. What? That’s crazy! Yep, it is true and if they want to get their information, they are going to eventually end up paying for it. Publishing companies worldwide are suffering financially and they struggle to find new sources of revenue. Is this something that might happen all over? It is hard to say, but like I have been saying/preaching for years, you cannot rely on someone’s website that you have no control over, as your primary social media outlet. Facebook accounts and business pages have already been deleted. Chef Pete Evans was just the first of many. Now he has been removed from Instagram also. So no pretty pictures of his amazing dishes. So that was 1.5 million from Facebook and 279k from Instagram. I “think” he has a website, but I do not know if he actually uses it writing articles or blogging. So I just checked and he does have a website, which he is selling all his many endorsed products. The only platform left is something called “Telegram” which I am guessing is some new site. He also is on Parler, but as you may know, that has been having its own struggles. I’m not on either of those.  If Pete had a Twitter account, that too is now gone.



Facebook in general is targeted to certain users. Most of them are probably 30 years old or older. Baby boomers finally “get” Facebook, and are terrified to try new apps/social media platforms. If you say “Snap me” they literally snap their fingers and then say “Okay, now what?” Yes seriously. I just laugh when that happens. There will always be people who stay away from technology.  Are those people actually secretly blessed to not be inundated from all that “noise”? Twitter in my opinion is just a big waste of time. WAY too many people sitting on their app, wasting time. I can think of a few off hand that need to just put that phone away. I can’t even begin to list all of the tweets that have gotten someone fired, cancelled or removed. But wait! Aaron, you have Twitter too. Yes, but when was the last time I actually tweeted? Exactly. There are just too many tweets to compete with when trying to get your message out.


And in other news, Texas is still frozen as millions are without power. Their senator, Ted Cruz is laying on a beach in Cancun. Rush Limbaugh is finally dead at 70. Ding dong the witch is dead. Or so the munchkins would be singing. I bought a little propane heater online that you use those little 1 pound tanks. I figured it would be good to keep in my car in case I ever got stranded. Crazy thing is it is cheaper at Walmart online, with store pick up, than it is at Amazon, with earliest delivery next week. Stay warm friends. Stay home. If you are a Texan, so sorry you are suffering. Let’s all say it together “SNOW ANGELS GO AWAY”.


20/20 Vision – Thoughts – Writing – YouTube Video Launch

Welcome Friends! I’ve changed, have you?

If you aren’t following my Instagram account, here is the latest picture of me with my hair down. Cray cray right? I got a lot of comments that some of my fans were not getting my Facebook postings and they were sure they clicked the like/follow/subscribe button. So I looked up a bunch of my favorite celebrities and you guessed it, they posted and I never saw the posts. Well that is disappointing, I really liked seeing the Kardashians pretty smiling faces. So what I did was change the notifications to “See First” in my newsfeed. You can do the same on my page, but I probably am going to take a break from posting on Facebook. I have thousands of fans and only a few ever get to see my posts.


Facebook Owns My Content

So I made an announcement on Facebook, since they are changing their terms and basically said they can and will delete anything they don’t like. I didn’t actually read the whole terms, but honestly, I am really disgusted with the fact that Facebook controls who can and can’t see what I write. Don’t get me wrong, it is an easy to use platform available on every smartphone with their app. However, if you are like millions of people in the United States, it is your only source of news, connections, resources, articles and entertainment. It doesn’t need to be. You don’t need to be restricted on what you should read and see.

A long time ago, when my first real website was for personal, and not business, I did a daily “Thought of the day”. If was fun, I could be creative, post a pretty picture, and the site was basically a portal of all the sites that I used and were “Aaron Approved”. There were no blog postings, but there were lots and lots of pages. That was back in the old days of having to know and read computer code. HTML to be specific. Oh those were the sad days. If I remember correctly I was blogging on Xanga, Blogger, and MySpace. Cray right? Where are all those writings? Gone. Never to be seen again. So anyway, that site is now my work site, and this one, is my primary blog/writing space.


Welcome new friends

If you are new to the site, hello and welcome. Wha’s up? How YOU doin? Hopefully you read through my bio on the main page so you already have an idea of who I am. When I meet new friends I always ask what they were like in high school. Why you ask? Well, I can see a lot about someone inquiring as to what activities and extracurriculars were important to him/her. Plus, I was in a ton of things, so I quickly relate to someone when we have the core commonality. Apologies in advance for my extended writing absence on the blog. But if you check out my Facebook personal and business page, you already know there is a ton of stuff that I have written. So since Facebook is taking over what content is allowed on their platform, I have decided to take the initiative and action to move my thoughts BACK to this blog where it has no censorship. Meaning, Facebook can’t delete my post/message.

Big Hair

So I am sure a lot of y’all are just blown away with my new hair. When I say new, I do mean new. It’s not extensions, or  weave. It is all virgin Vietnamese hair. I have to say I really like having long hair. I can put it in a ball cap, tie it up, or put it under a bandana and it is like it isn’t even there. So like 5 years ago, like a middle-aged man, I started losing my hair. Yep, it sucks, but it happens. Well I wasn’t satisfied with that and I took it upon myself to reverse the damages of time, neglect and sun UV rays. Not to mention all the bad hair decisions I made throughout my life. So fast forward to today, and look at my long big hair. Wow. How did I do it? Well I was hoping  you would ask. Magic. Hahahahaha. The magic of science and changing of my lifestyle.

YouTube Channel

Actually I was working on a Ted talk, a short 20 minute stand up presentation, but I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon due to the current state of the world. Don’t worry, that message will still come and I am thinking more of launching my YouTube channel where I talk instead of write. The Aaron Stephens Talk Show has a nice ring to it. There are literally tons of things that I could rattle on for hours. So if you want to subscribe to my YouTube, you can see my cat, Sparkles. My secret chili recipe is also on there. I think my mom is my subscriber. I will be working on my series of how I regrew my hair. Seriously, there are new little hairs growing all over my head. It is like there is a beard secretly hiding underneath. It is pretty exciting and I am getting really excited about sharing with the world. Seriously, wouldn’t life be so much happier if people had more hair? Initially I was thinking of cancer patients, but as I discovered just how big the hair industry is, my plans got bigger and bigger.


So thanks for stopping by and plan on hearing more from me on a regular basis. I “think” that subscribers get an email when I post something new. Cheers!

Guerilla Marketing –


My book, Angel Academy, has been popular on many platforms since last November when it launched. One of the best little secrets out there is I decided to share some of the magic of pay per click.

Stats for All Time

Status running
Start at 2015-06-22
End at when credit runs out
Remaining credit $50.00
Daily cap $50.00
total credit purchased $100.00
Total views 134,340
Total clicks 25
CTR for all time 0.02%
CPC for all time $2.00
Auto renew off
Daily email reports enabled 
What I want you to notice is the number of total views and the number of clicks. As you can see, my book was seen by a lot of people for very little amount of money. My ad keeps running on the side of the website (Goodreads) on specific authors that I targeted. Below you can see whom those authors are.
I just added additional funds to the campaign. Facebook is great to establish a platform but perhaps is not the best targeted due to the nature of the website. People don’t go to Facebook to buy books. They may like a book page, but they read and add books to read on Goodreads.

Stats for February

Spent $24.00
Views 49,721
Clicks 12
CTR 0.02%
CPC $2.00


Create a New Ad in This Campaign

Ads in This Campaign



Interview Questions for Authors

InterviewsThere will come a time when you, as an author, will be asked to speak in public or in private. Your journey as a writer and soon published author, has been an incredible journey and people really do want to hear how it happened and what it entailed for you. I have been interviewed on the radio once, newspaper once and television once. As an author I highly suggest you seek out these vehicles and see if you can get some exposure. There are lots of internet radio shows as well as local radio stations that may be interested in what you have to say.
Here are some questions that will aid in creating an intriguing conversation.


What inspired you to write your first book?
Do you have a specific writing style?
How did you come up with the title?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
How much of the book is realistic?
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books have most influenced your life most?
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What book are you reading now?
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Do you see writing as a career?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Who designed the covers?
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?


Think about some of these questions and actually take the time to write out the answers, and then practice doing a talk with these questions as your foundation. The worst thing you can do for your book is to “wing it”. Go unprepared and make a fool of yourself. Don’t do it. Work hard and reap the rewards. Use your smartphone and record yourself. Watch your video. Listen to how you sound. Practice until you are perfect.



The Entrepreneur Boot Camp

With more and more millennials leaving the nest later in life, society and the workplace has seen some dramatic impact on the job market. Many economists have analyzed the baby boomers and for many companies, they have focused their marketing efforts at this large group of buyers. What probably is shocking for a lot of people is the overwhelming number of baby boomers who are leaving the workforce, now able to retire.
As I predicted a decade ago, the job market would eventually shift and those upper level management jobs are now being filled by their younger counterparts, the Generation “X”. What they leave behind are many middle management and specialist position that remain open. I did some research in the Denver market on what employers are hiring, which jobs and where there is a huge gap in talent. For anyone to say that there are no job, then they are not looking hard enough. Are more companies moving to Colorado? Are new jobs being created? Yes and yes. Are there a lot of people who have the luxury to retire early, leaving more career advancements for others? Yes.
There are also millions of inspired individuals who have an idea for a small business. Some create it by ingenuity and intelligence, others take what they learned from a master and branch off as a specialist or a generalist. I myself am one of those people. I have a formal education and I still found things challenging. Back in the day I did not know that entrepreneur, self-employed, and sole proprietor were all the same thing. Funny right? A majority of the things I learned to be successful I learned by asking questions of people who failed and people who did not fail. I watch. I learn. I observe. I have an uncanny talent for processing large amounts of data and putting it into valuable data.
What I have noticed, is despite the large number of business schools, there really isn’t a lot for everyone else.  There are some things that need to be taken into consideration when starting a new business, and right now, there is not one book or manual that can guide you through all of the things that you need. As more and more aspiring artists and authors spread their wings they are going to need some help. I still have not looked or read Darren Hardy’s new book. Yes it has a bunch of 5 star reviews but we all know that they were by friends and employees. Whether or not it would meet my expectations for a great small business owner start up book is still to be seen.
So right now, I am in the process of putting together the marketing plan for my book so I can share that with a client. What I have found is my spreadsheet of all the things to check off, are the blueprints of what anyone would need to do. It will take some explaining on the how, why and when of each. After analyzing each portion and what is involved with learning each new item, I decided that I really should put together a boot camp. It could be a few days or even up to a week, depending on how much information I am going to compile and include. Ideally I would start the camp with training trainers, who would then work for me presenting the material for me. The first few camps of course I would conduct and do the training. Many people would find value learning from my expertise and experience.
My bootcamp would literally educate leaders on all the aspects of a new business and what they will need to continue to be successful. This could be in addition to a formal education, but chances are the things you will learn will be much more valuable. For instance, there is not a class that teaches you how to advertise on Facebook and how to maximize your marketing dollars. Sure there are lots of blogs and articles out there on the internet, but everyone’s experience is different. Or as I like to say, your mileage may vary. YMMV.
I have run the idea by a few small business owners and already the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The future is in small business to medium businesses. Many people were deterred to go work for themselves due to the fact there was no insurance options that were affordable. Now with Obamacare that removes that barrier. Be prepared as a new revolution of entrepreneurs explode. You can be prepared and cater to those new businesses. They are all going to need my book, workbook, and or bootcamp. Everyone needs a website.  What are you doing to maximize your talents on this emerging market?

How do I become a great writer?

Many people have their own set of rules that they consider when determining if something is a good piece of work. Whether it be a short story, a television episode, a novel or even a movie, there is something deeply hidden within it that give people a feeling or emotion to moves them to recommend it to a friend.

While not really fair, many writers know some little tricks that can aid in the development of your fondness for that story. One trick that I know near and dear to my heart, is the killing off of a likable character. Some writers hate this part of the story development. Others, know that this is critical to the plot and for the reader to experience some sort of loss.

Aspiring authors come to me often asking for advice about their story. I am not a literary agent, but I do know what makes good writing, great writing. I usually will ask for a short 30 second overview of chapter 1 and then ask the plot. What happens and why would I want to read more? You can find out so much in the first chapter. In many classic stories there is always a “hook” in the first chapter. Something exciting happens, there is a discovery, maybe someone dies right away. Whatever it is, something is there to draw you into the story. Did you know in the classic story Psycho, it is not about a motel, but about a large some of money?

If someone is writing about their life story, I ask if it is actually an autobiography? Are you telling me your life, or are you painting a picture so I am so deep lost in your past thoughts and words I forget that I am only a bystander? Or am I living your greatest accomplishments over and over again as I FEEL your words and emotions?

Many writers will tell you what happen. Few are talented word smiths who can really make you feel attachment to their characters. Some will let you live in their world, seeing, hearing, and smelling all of the ambiance of that virtual reality.