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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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”.

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Mr. Brightside

If you think I am referring to the amazing hit song by The Killers, you are incorrect. Did you know that many colleagues and friends would call ME Mr. Brightside, because I am always looking on the bright side of things. When I worked part time at AT&T, I sometimes only saw some of my co-workers once or twice a week. When we were all required to attend mandatory … whatever, we were all forced to work past our shift. I saw it as a good thing as I hadn’t seen my favorite coworker in a long time. So, trying to make the best of a shitty situation. No one likes to have to count inventory. At least I don’t, and it is a deal breaker for me.

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So if you have decided a vow of silence on television, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, then you may not know that there has been some nasty shit going on in the United States this past week. I’d like to think you were on sabbatical enjoying your reading and mediation time — and being unplugged is a good thing. So now that you are back with society and checking your email or reading up on this blog, I am here to tell you that the United States government was attacked by some really not so nice people. In a nutshell, there was a “peaceful” protest that turned into a riot in Washington D.C. and sadly 5 people died. Nothing compared to what took a hit due to the coronavirus. But that is not what this blog is about today. It is more about “congress” getting attacked in “their” workplace. Hmmm. When the kids were being shot at in schools, did anyone in congress give a hoot/TWEET? Well, some did, but did anything concrete come out of it? But like most school shootings, they don’t actually directly involve “us”, right? That kind of bizarre behavior is someone else’s problem.

 

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The democrats are adamant about impeaching the president again, … and at this point I’m like, “just let it go”. He will be out of office, the people have spoken/voted. This new president and vice will make amazing things happen that the next term will be a no brainer. Yes, the president was a little too overzealous with his fans/followers. Yes, he should be reprimanded, and maybe just fined. That is what they do to professional athletes. As he has been 86’d from every social media platform, that in itself is punishment. I’m not defending him, but man, that would totally suck if you couldn’t even look at pictures on Pinterest, photos on Instagram, or see updates from friends on Facebook.

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If you are like me, you are still binge watching in your mancave. Speaking of binge watching, if you are not following me on Facebook, then you don’t know that I posted about Discovery +.  Yep, first Disney and now Discovery. It is an add on cable channel subscription that gives you access to those cable channels without having cable. You know I cut the cable months ago, and really the only thing missing was the History channel, since I am kind of a nerd. But VOILA!  Now I can get that and HGTV, the SCI channel and many more. I opted for commercial free for just $7 a month. If you are going to binge watch, you might as well learn something new and old. I am going to be building my dream home in the near future. so all those renovating design shows are just fantastic for me. If you are having a bad day, you can always watch “Naked and Afraid”. Those poor souls are starving, cold, in pain, eaten alive by bugs, … I mean, that is all kinds of suffering.

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If you are reading this via a forwarded email, be sure to hit up the website and scroll to the footer to get your own email when I post. When you are always looking on the bright side of things, your life begins to brighten.

 

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Social Media Platforms

How crazy is it when your favorite social media person is no longer on social media? If you think I am talking about Trump, you are wrong. Ha! No, actually I was talking about Chef Pete Evans, mostly known from his paleo diet show on Netflix. There are a few chefs that I love, like Martha, and naturally I want to see posts from other chefs. So what happened? One day, he was suddenly gone from Facebook. The more I thought about it, I couldn’t remember the last post I saw. If you didn’t know he is from Australia and evidently was spreading conspiracy theories that got himself deleted. He had over a million followers. In this day and age, the number of followers is like a digital currency. The more followers/fans you have, the more power you have. Pete published tons of books. And with his following, he could go to his publisher and almost guarantee countless sales with little to no marketing costs involved. That in itself will cause a publisher to stop and take note. He is still on Instagram, but it isn’t quite the same as seeing his posts show up in my Facebook newsfeed. I would be really upset if I was all of the sudden locked out of my social media platforms.

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I can’t imagine what President Trump is going through right now. His idea of working is sending multiple tweets and Facebook posts and then spend the rest of the day reading all the comments. Seriously, I know that is what his “executive time” consists of. I’m psychic. I’d say he could go on TikTok but he sort of screwed himself over on that platform. There is always Google+, LinkedIn, and owning your own website/blog where you can always post whatever you want. Plus, depending on a social media platform for all your content that they own, is not so smart. I think I have mentioned that I had hundreds of amazing writings on MySpace and then one day they were gone. I also used another platform, Xanga, that also disappeared. I had thousands of readers on that platform. Maybe some of them found me here. You never know. 2021 certainly hasn’t let up on surprises. I can’t imagine what is coming next.

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Facebook vs. Parler

73,923,495 people voted republican. Why did I only lose 1 person on Facebook? Oh wait, she is now requesting me to be a friend, … again. Where was this Facebook mass exodus for Parler? For the record, I voted for Harris, just like the other 80 million legally registered voters in the United States. I actually thought I would have this huge decline in “friends” on Facebook. There are some very vocal people who think they can persuade their own circle/network to think like they do. Interesting concept, but that only works for so long.

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Believe it or not, there are thousands of women who “think” they can change their boyfriend once he is their husband. And that ladies and gentlemen is the reason why there is such a high divorce rate in the United States. NEWSFLASH: You can’t change someone unless he/she wants to change, and even then you cannot modify someone’s behavior to suit your needs … long term. Oh sure you can manipulate someone to get your way, once or twice.

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So what is Parler you may ask? Another new social media platform/app that I have to download, update a profile and try to connect with friends/family/role models? Yikes! Okay, I will be the first to admit that I am sort of set in my ways. There are some “things” that I don’t really want to partake in on a daily or weekly basis. Another social media platform … or I guess in this case, an alternative to Facebook. But is it really an alternative platform when it is secretly a place for grown ass adults to go and bitch about things they have no control over? Hmm… I am going to go with the latter. I took I look at their website, and it appears to be a “free speech” platform where users can bitch about Biden and the election and not get banned/muted/Facebook jailed for doing so. Okay, I get it. You can also write your own blog on your website with no restrictions. Complaining doesn’t get results, and it certainly doesn’t accomplish anything on a positive level. Negativity changes your “vibration” within the universe and as you may know, also causes you to attract negative things in your life. We are all spiritual magnets, and you can attract some negative people very easily. You have heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together”? Misery loves company.

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Now I have not joined so I don’t really know all the tea, but I do know that people are spending way too much time on their smartphones on time wasting apps. If you know me personally, then you know I am usually busying doing “something” and scrolling aimlessly for hours is not one of them. Facebook in general I think is pretty toxic. It used to be a place where you could go and see fun updates about your friends and family. Unfortunately, most of my friends are not writers or authors, and those who are rarely post any actual content of their own. However, many of my republican advocates have REposted various content that usually is just false data that has not been verified. I will be very happy when we go back to a society where lies are not accepted and making false accusations should have serious detrimental consequences. Many of these same supporters also believe that the coronavirus is a conspiracy or a hoax. Just when you think people can’t get any stupider, they pull shit like this. I personally know of a handful of people who have DIED, so there is no trying to pull the wool over my eyes and think that it is a bad case of the flu and those people died of something else. WTF. No. Science and statistical data results are not the liars.

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The scary thought that crosses my mind, is what if the virus has serious long term effects like getting shingles from chickenpox? Thousands upon thousands got exposed to the virus, and many did recover … for now. Thousands upon thousands report constantly feeling weak, no strength, tired, and it is always hard to breathe. We have no data as to what happened to all the vape smokers and their outcome after COVID19. I did watch a video of Alyssa Milana, former Wen spokesperson and Charmed actress, where she is losing clumps of hair when gently brushing her hair. I don’t know about you, but I would probably think that would be a big concern for someone who uses her looks for income. I also don’t want to just lose my hair as an after effect of the virus. We are on the brink of a vaccine/preventative measure. People just need to chill TF out for another couple of months. Start your manuscript. Write your autobiography. For those that are dumb shits and think they are immune, go ahead and write your obituary. I personally did this once as a group writing exercise and it amazing how YOU see your life, versus someone else see it. No one ever “thinks” that it is going to happen to them. Dying that is. If you think about it, you probably have enough supplies to last you for another 30-45 days. I know I have lots of cans of soup in my kitchen. When I was really poor I used to eat rice and egg drop soup. It was cheap and easy to make and it filled me up. Plus with all those eggs, I was getting tons of protein. You bought all those dvd’s years ago on new release day Tuesday. Do you know ALL the lines from each movie? Can you play the “What movie did this quote come from” and always win? I can’t.

 

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In in case you missed all the sales for Black Friday, Cyber Monday is tomorrow and there certainly will be more opportunities for you to spend your voting dollars. Despite the Nintendo Switch and PS5 sold out everywhere, Switch users can go to the eStore and download games at a huge discount. My console is already loaded with games for that rainy day, so I did not get any additional new games. Legend of Zelda Age of Hyrule is waiting for me. I saw online that someone has already beat the game and I can’t get past level 1. Emoji Laugh GIF - Emoji Laugh Lol - Discover & Share GIFsI did watch a cool YouTube video of all the cut scenes made into one. Actually, I saved it to watch it later, as it is almost 2 hours long. Yeah, I know crazy right? If the cut scenes are that long, how many hundreds of hours will it take to finish the game? If you have long hair, did you check out my first YouTube video? I’ll be making another one this week. I got a new hair straightening device I saw on an infomercial. It is crazy cool how it rotates and smooths your hair. Check out my Instagram profile picture. I usually wear my hair in a bun. I tell you, I could totally be an actor or something. I have so many different looks. And with the power of make-up, who knows? Ordinary people get discovered on Instagram more than any other platform.

Although, technically I am writing and producing my YouTube talk show. One thing I have noticed, which most artists don’t do … is market themselves very well. I will be watching something and have no idea who they are. So, with my videos I’ll have my name displayed at all time. Most of my viewers will already know me. I haven’t announced my channel on any of my social media … yet. Why? Well, just like a Facebook page, you really need to wait until you have at least 30 minutes of content/scrolling. If you don’t have very much, people might visit, see you have nothing to entertain them, and they may never come back. I have also noticed that every single YouTube artist tells you to like and subscribe to their channel. I haven’t. Why? Well, I don’t know after one video if I am going to want to see more. It literally took me 20 videos before I subscribed (not liked) Tati. Tati is a beautiful super model YouTube artist/influencer who is super fun to watch and learn beauty product recommendations. What can I say? She is entertaining.

 

Best Buy is running their sales all weekend. Friday morning I scored a new 27″ monitor. They have a 49″ gaming monitor on sale for $750! Normally $999. Too bad my Switch wouldn’t translate into a monitor like that. I wonder if the new PS5 will be full screen for the first person shooter games?

If you liked this article/website, please like my Facebook page. If you read this via forwarded email, you can subscribe on the website in the footer. I am not sponsored by anyone and have no affiliation with Tati Westbrook.

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New YouTube Channel

After months of deliberation, countless excuses of why I was too busy, and hundreds of hours of watching YouTube beauty bloggers, I finally took the plunge and created my first YouTube beauty video. I actually invented a brand new technique to tie up your hair in a man bun.  Or woman bun if it is a lady. It is actually genius and doesn’t rip out your hair when you take it down. For weeks I have been demonstrating it to women with long hair. And every single one of them tell me they do a bun, by making a pony tail first. Ouch. And when I ask them if they rip out hairs the answer is always yes. So, voila, introducing the Bow Tie hair tie man bun by Aaron M. Stephens. I have one subscriber, whom I thought was my mom, but she said it wasn’t. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goVM_nf7EcE&feature=youtu.be

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I will be doing more videos as we are forced into lockdown. It’s not like we have anywhere we can go, and if we did, there wouldn’t be any bars or restaurants to enjoy it. I’m new to the whole YouTube world/community, but my plan is to do more impromptu videos instead of “trying” to write something. For now it will be hair and beauty products that I use to stay young and beautiful.  47 years of age and proud of it. Thankfully I don’t look or act my age.

 

If you like my blogs/writings,  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my new YouTube channel. I plan on chatting about all kinds of things. Give my Facebook and Instagram a “like/follow” and I’ll be sure to post more. A thousand thank you’s!

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YouTube Premium – Network Marketing

I would have to think that most people have an idea of what YouTube is, and probably have watched a few videos. If you don’t know what it is, (it happens) it is a video platform that allows people and businesses to share videos for free. There is no fee to watch or a membership to join, however, if you don’t join their premium plan with a monthly fee, you will be inundated with annoying ads. You literally cannot watch an entire video without it interrupted multiple times.
So if you were not aware, those ads are what keep YouTube semi-free. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars to get you to buy their product or service. The same model that is used for television, however, now things have changed around a bit, as literally ANYONE can start a YouTube channel. Due to this aspect, the internet has brought forth a plethora of knowledge, educating and informing millions. Remember back in the day when you wanted to hear a song, you waited until it came on the radio? Then Mtv debuted and you could watch the videos. It was awesome. YouTube allowed budding artists, and well known musicians the ability to broadcast to anyone, for free. How awesome is it to listen to all your favorite songs, and cover bands for free? I love it. I dealt with the ads for years, tolerating them, watching them, understanding that those ads are what keep those videos free. But wait a second … most of those ads, probably all of them were created by individual artists, NOT YouTube. Yet it is YouTube that is collecting all the money. Sort of, … YouTube stars are paid real money for people watching those ads. However, you have to have a lot of subscribers in order for that to happen. So enough advertisements for me, and I joined premium and it is so nice. One thing that I like is I can play background music, and I don’t get interrupted, or stopped with a message asking if I am still there. Netflix, I am talking to you.

 

New Favorite Channels

I have to say I really enjoy the chakra healing reiki meditation music. Evidently some of these channels play at a harmonic frequency that is enlightening to your soul. There are also channels that play soundtrack music, so Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings can be your soundtrack. There literally is a YouTube about anything you could want to learn more about — like how to light your pilot light on your furnace. I also found some channel on guys growing their hair long. As you know I am on a long hair journey, and for the first time in my life found myself in an area that I wasn’t very educated. The wash and go days are over. There is also a channel by iiLuminaughtii, hosted by Blair who debunks a lot of “things”. I seriously have laughed so much listening to her talk about everything from the fall of Monsanto to the pyramid antics of multi-level marketing. She can be a little uncouth at times so be prepared for an earful. If you are involved in an MLM, I have nothing against them, and by no means am I trying to offend anyone. The reality is that those types of companies are sneaking around labor laws, and technically – unofficially breaking the law. What? What do you mean? Well, in the United States of America, if you work a job, you get paid an hourly wage. UNLESS, you are the owner, a contract employee, or family. Network marketing companies trick people into working hundreds of hours …. for free. They call it “investing in your business”. Many try to convince you it is like being a realtor and you get paid when you make the sale. Real estate agents work countless hours and may never sell the house. Is that fair? Is it legal? Yes, and no. Are you a real estate agent? Well, if you are, then you get a semi-fat commission check one day if/when you sell that house. In network marketing, you get pennies on the hours you spent trying to get that one sale. Now if you are in that company simply to get a discount, they Hey! I applaud, you … you are smarter than most consumers who pay retail prices for products they desire. What you do with your free time is totally your thing.

 

It is Labor Day in the USA, and most people have the day off. But since most people are at home 24/7 it’s not like a real holiday other than there is no bank or mail services.  Colorado is still on fire and the air outside hazy and hard to breathe. And to top it off, yesterday it was 100 degrees and today it is going to snow. Yeah, cray cray. I think God just got tired of no one listening to him since they aren’t going to church and decided to shut everything down. I asked him for the snow, which will turn to rain and put out the fires. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it works.

 

Check out the hazy Colorado sky.

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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.  https://www.youtube.com/c/AaronStephensMBA/ 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!
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Book Marketing Plan?

Are you an author or contemplating being an author?

Okay, if the answer is no, then perhaps you have a book inside of you? Is your journey so amazing that other people would want to hear it also? If so, that is your autobiography or your memoir. A lot of people “think” their story is interesting. It’s not. That is the reason there are literary agents in the world. Their job is to prevent bad writing from making it into the mainstream literary world. I don’t have to tell you that the world is full of struggling authors.

Think of being a writer just like any other skill. Typing for example is a skill. The first time you touched a keyboard or an actual typewriter, you had NO idea how these letters ever made any sense. The A was by the S? Everyone knows that A goes next to B. The thought of using this machine and knowing where all the letters were was pretty overwhelming. I learned on an IBM Selectric. That shows how old I am, right? WRONG. You are only as old or young as you choose.

So on to today’s lesson, the book marketing plan. If you were not aware my background is marketing, my bachelor’s degree is in marketing and I was a product manager and marketing manager for a good portion of my professional career. Amazingly it has come in handy. My point is, I am experienced in this arena. You, just like your book, need a marketing plan. Hopefully before your book has ever launched you have spent some time and energy on your personal branding and now your book branding.

Your book needs a S.W.O.T. analysis with detailed marketing data. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. How you look at your book and who will partner with it is monumental if you want massive success. I have a client who asked me to develop a marketing execution plan for her book. Basically my success of my book and platform put into an easy to follow workbook, marketing plan. I have a pretty good idea of what it is going to include, specifics to marketing strategies, which routes I chose.

Why did I self publish versus going with a literary agent and traditional publisher? What were some of the financial pitfalls I hit and missed? How did I amass such a large following and what were some of the specifics? I would like to say that someone took me by the hand and said, “First you are going to do this. When you complete that you will move to phase 2, which is this …” but it wasn’t anything like that. I spent hundreds of hours doing research, reading other authors blogs, and investigating anything and everything I could find online.

There is a hidden world of eBooks. There are so many eBook retailers that do not exist to the average American. Most of the United States is focused on printed book sales. Getting their books in stores, at Walmart or Costco. Anything to get the marketing and exposure that they desperately want so bad.

You and your I.S.B.N. is also important as is the “imprint” of your book. Whomever owns the imprint is the owner, bottom line. That is who gets paid. If it is not your name, then you have to wait until that entity decides to pay you your percentage. If you go the traditional route with an agent, keep in mind that you will probably be paid just a little better than your agent. 15% of the sale price. If your book retails paper for $19.99, it may sell for $9.99 and you 15% of that.  Bookstores get 60% off of list price, that is why Amazon and B&N can discount books so heavily.

Distribution is also very key in your book marketing plan. Newsflash — not everyone shops at Amazon. Some people HATE Amazon. Some people only shop local, some only shop at Barnes & Noble, some only shop at airport bookstores. Some people only read books from their public library. Did you know that your electronic book can easily be listed in your local library? Yep, it is true.

Your power partners are also important in your success. Who are power partners? They are the group(s) or individuals who are helping your cause. Your partners are also part of your tribe. Your tribe is your 1000 true fans. This is a theory I have talked about before so I won’t rehash it. You can research the details, but basically you need to have 1000 people who will buy your product or service.

Regardless if you self publish or go traditional you will be told by many people you need to build a platform of readers. It is a huge gamble for a publisher to print books that won’t sell. You have to prove that you have readers who are willing to fork over their hard-earned cash. Your power partners or tribe will be a large majority of your sales initially.

I have already been approached by many professionals who want this same marketing plan. Why? Because what I have done has worked quite nicely for me. It’s a proven fact that there are millions of people who are successful simply by following the actions of those who have demonstrated success.

I haven’t decided how I am going to pursue this endeavor. Do I write another book for the world to read? Do I have a full day workshop? A Friday, Saturday and Sunday event where people all over the nation fly to Denver and sit in my energy and learn all the things they need to know? How much would people pay for such knowledge? I could easily put that together. I could very easily incorporate small business know how that would be valuable. Finances, sponsorships, investors, things along those lines. Maybe someone believes in you and wants a cut of the profits?

I think I would definitely devote a large portion to training professionals, how to use their website, make the most of “out of the box” marketing tactics. I bet that portion would be very popular. Right now I am thinking $5000 for 3 days, and I share all my wealth of knowledge. You pay for your own way to get here and stay. You can bring a second person, like a business partner for half price. During that time, we build your website, develop your marketing plan, strategize your book, and partner with other authors to build your social media.  As an added bonus, I read some manuscripts and give some feedback. It could be a lot of fun.

I know for a fact that some authors have spent tens of thousands of dollars and never achieved the results that I have. If you think you might be one of the few that will be interested in this workshop feel free to let me know. I am thinking of keeping it to a low number of participants so I can work closely with everyone.

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Confused with hastags? #hashtags

Welcome to the 21st century

 

Where the little tic tac toe, from your old dial tone phone is now called something else. It’s called a hash tag.

#

I know, it sounds like the stupidest thing to rename something that we all call a pound symbol. Either way it doesn’t really matter what you call it, it matters what you do with it, what you label, and how you retrieve it. It is also very important when it comes to gaining new readers.

Chances are you might know what these little doo hickeys are, but if you don’t then you are in good hands. No one actually taught me about them but I figured them out and have been making them work for me quite well for some time.

Basically because Twitter only gives you 140 characters, you had to somehow “code” your tweets so you could find them again, and other people could find them. It is a code that starts with a # and is followed by a word. They need to be connected #twitter, and they are not case-sensitive. You can use capitals but it won’t matter.

 

Twitter started the hashtags, but its popularity quickly jumped to other mainstream social media, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and many more. Many companies and products have created their own hashtags to brand themselves.

I have used my own #QuotesByAaronMstephens when I write something and think I may want to read it again. It also is helpful for people to find your updates. So if people know this is MY hashtag, then they can easily pull it up without having to go through so many thousands of tweets or posts.

Once I started using hashtags that were more common for people to think of, I started gaining more followers. Now I use them for SEO and search engine relevance. When you are in WordPress composing a new post, there are tags you can use which are in your article/blog.

These are actually just like hashtags, but for search engines. If you are just randomly throwing in illogical words, it is going to have a negative effect on your rankings.  I would say that only 10% of bloggers who understand SEO actually use these hashtags, tags and categories correctly.

 

I have experimented using different hashtags, using ones that are trending, and also posting things without hashtags. It is safe to say that you should ALWAYS use at least one hashtag. I am a writer, so I use a lot of writing reference hashtags.

I have a lot of readers who are authors, aspiring and published, and they look to me for education. “If it is working for Aaron, then it can work for me.”  Some easy to remember hashtags can be #blog #write #writer #author #indie . There are millions of people who love to read blogs. You might be one of them. Make things easy for your reader. If they know they can find you or your blog by a clever or common hashtag, you will gain more followers/readers.

Be a messenger and share your new found knowledge with a friend.

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Facebook Business Likes Decreasing

If you weren’t aware, Facebook has made a decision to clean house. Businesses that have fake “likes” from LIKE farms are in trouble. Facebook has decided to remove dead, inactive accounts. It has not been confirmed, but I am sure they have some sort of advanced software working in the background.

If you don’t know what a LIKE farm is, it is a company that hires thousands of people to just “like” pages if customers pay them. On the surface you can’t tell that a business has fake likes. Meaning they paid an outside company to just like their page and they really don’t. Personally I don’t think that is right. It’s cheating. Facebook thinks so too. They are also attempting to determine the number of fake accounts and duplicates. I only have one Facebook account, but there are tons of people who have more than one, and that is against their terms of service. If they find out, they could ban both accounts. So be careful folks.

Facebook also decided that deceased accounts should also not count. In all fairness, the person who liked that page can no longer interact, like or share postings. The biggest problem companies had with using a like farm is that when they would go to post something on Facebook, there would be zero engagement or likes. So I am sure you have seen pages that post something and there is hardly any like or zero likes. For a lot of people they think that those likes are fake, and purchased from a like farm.

If you don’t own a Facebook business page, then this might be educational for you. I am going to assume you know what a page is, and you just don’t have one of your own. If you do, then you already know that it is not easy to get people to like your page. You might be one of them. You’ve spammed all your friends through the Facebook invite option and only a handful of people liked your page. Why? You have over a thousand, surely everyone is going to like your page, right? Wrong.

First of all, your friends don’t know anything about your new page, and second of all, they don’t know if you own it. It might not be clear. I get invites all the time for people who want me to like their page. Here is my rule, if you didn’t ask me personally, or I can’t tell that it is your page, I won’t like it. Third, I need to see what you have been posting the past month or so, how often you post, and if I find it interesting, educational or entertaining. If it doesn’t meet that criteria, I may not want you showing up in my newsfeed. Sometimes, over-posting can prevent someone from liking your page.

Your business page should have at least an hour’s worth of good reading, just like your website. Many people make the mistake of announcing their premature business page and the only people who like it are the best friends, family and maybe some clients. If you are someone who just reposts other people’s material, ultimately you will just end up sending your potential readers to someone else’s page.

When you do finally decide on your topic for your blog, be sure you write something ample. Use big fonts. If you are using WordPress then you should be using those “H” tags. In the formatting, there is Heading 1, 2, 3, …6, and paragraph and there are some other formats you can use. Those are key in your SEO. I have never mentioned using these in my blogs in the past, but I always, ALWAYS, use them. For one, it makes it easier for you the reader to read. Two, it does some special SEO tricks that help search engines find me. Three, it just looks nicer.

Did you know that your blog/website only has 8 seconds before your reader will make a decision? Think about it. How much time and patience do YOU have? If a page doesn’t load fast then your reader will close out. If your page does load and it is too busy, your reader will close out. If your page loads and the font is too small and a TON of text, your reader may close out. Remember, most people have failing eyesight or are reading from a mobile device. As a blogger you are also a designer now. Layout and design make a huge impact and impression on your reader.

So if you haven’t checked me out on Facebook, I have a few business pages. The main one is my public figure page and the other is my children’s book page. I was asked by a client who has an author page if she should also have a book page. Personally I don’t think it would hurt, and it certainly can help. My marketing of the book was monumental on introducing people to the idea of my book, months before it actually launched. After it launched the likes continued to grow. I have noticed that on both of those pages my likes have decreased like everyone else out there. Fortunately for me it was minimal. I lost like 2 thousand on the angel page and maybe 1 thousand on my public figure page.

I am sure it was due to duplicate or inactive accounts. I know some people are thinking, “Wow, you lost 3 thousand fans? That’s more than I have all together. I’d be freaking out.” I would be except that I have over 200 hundred thousand fans on Facebook, not counting my other social media platforms. I would probably imagine that this website has a pretty large following. There are so many marketing vehicles out there that point people to this website. Lately I have been getting random visitors from StumbleUpon.com. That is another cool website, but I will write a blog on that website another day.

Although, in all fairness, before Facebook was doing their deletion of likes, I would lose likes on a regular basis. Sometimes none, sometimes as many as 30 a day. For whatever reason, someone decided they didn’t want to see me in their newsfeed. I try not to overanalyze and instead focus on the positive.

Thousands of God’s children ARE listening to me, hearing his message. There are also thousands of followers who like reading something spiritual and inspirational. I get messages daily, many of them young boys who look up to me as a role model. It’s a really cool feeling when a total stranger tells you that he wants to be just like you. I also spent a pretty penny (from heaven) on advertising and marketing the book around the globe for almost 10 months. Millions have been exposed to the book, Facebook pages, or websites.

I have some stealth website tricks that I use. On the angel academy website and this one, I have a “like” box that shows up in the right hand corner of the website when you hit page 3 scrolling. If you like the site it asks you to like the Facebook page. The cool thing with this is you don’t have to leave the website to actually go look at the Facebook page. So I got thousands of people to like my page without ever going to see it. It doesn’t activate on the blog posts, but if you click on the header it will take you to the home page.

Once you have your Facebook business page established you should advertise it everywhere you can for free. Your email signature, your personal Facebook cover page and description, your Google+ page, your About.Me page, Twitter profile, any promotions, and anything printed, including your business card. I am not sure how many likes I got from LinkedIn, but that is also another rich platform you can market yourself.

Regardless of profession you are in, if you are seeking clients or customers, you need to be visible. You need your website to come up first if someone types it in Google, Bing, MSN or Yahoo. You never know where your readers are coming from, but you can always direct them to your personal professional website. You are always in control of your website. Facebook won’t be going away due to it’s egregious wealth and power. However there were other social media sites that came and went; Friendster, MySpace are just a couple off the top of my head. If you are blogging on Blogger or WordPress.com, there is nothing from them saying they are going to start charging you or hold your website hostage.

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