Category: Writing and Speaking

3 Levels and 3 Profiles of Technical Writing

If you are wondering what levels one can expect to reach in a technical writing career, here are 3 profiles just to give you a rough idea.

Please don’t forget that this is just an approximate picture and does not mean that you have to go through each level in exactly the same manner.

You may perhaps start off from the Intermediate level if you are bringing with you a strong background in software skills and job experience.

Or who knows, you might reach a senior level within just 5 years? That’s certainly possible too.

Individual cases always vary. But I believe what follows is still a useful general picture in terms of presenting you an overall survey of the technical writing landscape and providing some general benchmarks. They are not based on any scientific study but on my personal experience of over 10 years as a technical writer.

Please let me know if you’d have any questions about these career profiles.

Profile 1: Junior-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: 0-5 years

Job skills:

  • Writing interface documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, help files.
  • No supervisory or management skills.
  • Optional: graphic and illustration skills.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Optional: FrameMaker (Unstructured)
  • Optional: Photoshop
  • Optional: Illustrator
  • Optional: Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Optional: Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)

Profile 2: Intermediate-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: 5-10 years

Job skills:

  • Writing and editing interface and procedural documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, system configuration guides, help files.
  • Single-sourcing and structured authoring.
  • Graphic, illustration, print-page and web design skills.
  • Assisting projects as lead-writer and supervising one or more junior writers.
  • Optional: simple document and web site localization and translation skills.
  • Optional: publishing articles in popular professional periodicals like STC’s Intercom.
  • Optional: serving as a Juror in professional technical communication competitions.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • FrameMaker (Unstructured and Structured)
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)
  • Optional: Advanced version and content management software (Agile, etc.)
  • Optional: Dreamweaver and/or HTML coding

Profile 3: Senior-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: Over 10 years

Job skills:

  • Writing and editing interface and procedural documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, system configuration guides, help files, API guides.
  • Single-sourcing and structured authoring including DITA structuring and database publishing.
  • Graphic, illustration, print-page and web design skills.
  • Leading projects as lead-writer and supervising one or more junior and senior writers.
  • Advanced print and online documentation project localization skills.
  • Publishing articles in peer-reviewed professional periodicals like STC’s Technical Communication.
  • Optional: serving as a Lead Juror in professional technical communication competitions.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • FrameMaker (Unstructured and Structured)
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)
  • Optional: Advanced version and content management software (Agile, etc.)
  • Optional: Dreamweaver and/or HTML coding
  • Optional: XML Editor (FrameMaker, Arbortext, Oxygen, etc.)
  • Optional: Database Publishing editor (TEX, PatternStream, etc.)

Source by Ugur Akinci

Public Speaking – Opening Your Speech to Catch the Audience’s Attention

The opening and the closing are the two most important elements of a speech. You should spend the majority of your time writing and rehearsing these two components.

There are three primary objectives to any opening. Firstly, you must grab the audience’s attention. The second objective is to give the audience an idea of what you will be speaking about. Finally, the opening also sets the tone for the speech.

Here a few secrets for brainstorming a memorable opening:

1. Some speakers like to start by posting an interesting question to the audience. The reason why this type of opener works is that it forces the members in the audience to come up with an answer. Eg. – “What is the leading cause of death among teenagers?

2. Another tactic to use is an outrageous or challenging statement to grab attention. An example might be: “Your grandchildren may never see an elephant due to poachers that threaten extinction all in the name of ivory tasks.”

3. You may also look to bridge the opening of your speech by relating something personal to the event. Short Personal Stories work best.

4. Arouse curiosity in the audience. Here is an example from Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) during a commencement speech he gave in 2005: “I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?” This intro makes you curious to learn “why did he drop out of college?”

5. Quotations are often used to open speeches. It is not important that the quotation be famous but rather that the quotation used is relevant. I remember one example when a presenter discussing labor arbitration opened with this quotation by Benjamin Franklin: “A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.”

How NOT to Open a Speech

1. Don’t tell a story or a joke that has nothing to do with the speech topic.

2. Don’t try to be funny. There are a dozen easier ways to seize attention.

3. Don’t apologize – eg. “I’m not much of a public speaker but I’ll give it a shot anyway…”

Source by Alexander Thornton

3 Levels and 3 Profiles of Technical Writing

If you are wondering what levels one can expect to reach in a technical writing career, here are 3 profiles just to give you a rough idea.

Please don’t forget that this is just an approximate picture and does not mean that you have to go through each level in exactly the same manner.

You may perhaps start off from the Intermediate level if you are bringing with you a strong background in software skills and job experience.

Or who knows, you might reach a senior level within just 5 years? That’s certainly possible too.

Individual cases always vary. But I believe what follows is still a useful general picture in terms of presenting you an overall survey of the technical writing landscape and providing some general benchmarks. They are not based on any scientific study but on my personal experience of over 10 years as a technical writer.

Please let me know if you’d have any questions about these career profiles.

Profile 1: Junior-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: 0-5 years

Job skills:

  • Writing interface documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, help files.
  • No supervisory or management skills.
  • Optional: graphic and illustration skills.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Optional: FrameMaker (Unstructured)
  • Optional: Photoshop
  • Optional: Illustrator
  • Optional: Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Optional: Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)

Profile 2: Intermediate-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: 5-10 years

Job skills:

  • Writing and editing interface and procedural documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, system configuration guides, help files.
  • Single-sourcing and structured authoring.
  • Graphic, illustration, print-page and web design skills.
  • Assisting projects as lead-writer and supervising one or more junior writers.
  • Optional: simple document and web site localization and translation skills.
  • Optional: publishing articles in popular professional periodicals like STC’s Intercom.
  • Optional: serving as a Juror in professional technical communication competitions.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • FrameMaker (Unstructured and Structured)
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)
  • Optional: Advanced version and content management software (Agile, etc.)
  • Optional: Dreamweaver and/or HTML coding

Profile 3: Senior-Level Technical Writer

Time on job: Over 10 years

Job skills:

  • Writing and editing interface and procedural documentation including user guides, installation guides, quick reference guides, release notes, system configuration guides, help files, API guides.
  • Single-sourcing and structured authoring including DITA structuring and database publishing.
  • Graphic, illustration, print-page and web design skills.
  • Leading projects as lead-writer and supervising one or more junior and senior writers.
  • Advanced print and online documentation project localization skills.
  • Publishing articles in peer-reviewed professional periodicals like STC’s Technical Communication.
  • Optional: serving as a Lead Juror in professional technical communication competitions.

Software skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • FrameMaker (Unstructured and Structured)
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Help file editor (RoboHelp, Flare, Quadralay, DoctoHelp, etc.)
  • Version control software (MS Source Safe, etc.)
  • Optional: Advanced version and content management software (Agile, etc.)
  • Optional: Dreamweaver and/or HTML coding
  • Optional: XML Editor (FrameMaker, Arbortext, Oxygen, etc.)
  • Optional: Database Publishing editor (TEX, PatternStream, etc.)

Source by Ugur Akinci

Features vs. Benefits vs. End Results

If you’ve been in the copywriting realm for very long at all, you’ve heard the phrase “features vs. benefits.” It’s a fundamental copywriting principle and driving force behind much of what we, as copywriters, create. But there’s also another aspect to this equation.

What happens after customers buy your product or service? Once they’ve used what you have to offer, what will be different in their lives? What will the end results, of their buying decision, be? Getting your customers to look at the end results of their actions can be an extremely powerful persuasion tool that you’ll want to incorporate into your copy.

Let’s look at features, benefits and end results and see how all three work individually and collectively to create a targeted push to the point of purchase.

Features – The Basic Outline of Your Product or Service

Features, in copywriting, are a starting point. They provide a basic outline for what your customer needs to know. Features describe (most often) the attributes of a product or service. If we’re using the example of a cordless, telephone-answering system, some features might be:

• 5.8GHz FHSS

• Talking caller ID

• Expandable to 4 handsets

• Selectable ring tones

• Speakerphones

For a person who knows nothing about cordless phones with answering machines, this list might not mean much. It’s a basic blueprint of the telephone and nothing more.

Benefits – Make the Product or Service More Personal

Benefits enliven the features. Benefits make the features, and the product or service, more personal. They explain how the features will improve the customer’s life in some way. Using the features list above, see what the benefits might be. (The list below was taken from Panasonic™ marketing materials and relates directly to their KX-TG5230M model phone.)

· 5.8GHz digital system: The 5.8GHz frequency lets you go anywhere in your house and still have clear reception without interfering with your home network. The frequency-hopping digital technology keeps calls secure from outside sources.

· Talking caller ID: No need to be within visual distance of your phone. You can hear who’s on the line before you pick up the phone. No more running to find the handset or base!

· Expandable: Keep a phone in any room—extra handsets cost less than other phones and don’t need a phone jack. This base unit supports a total of four handsets. Add up to three handsets for a complete set.

· Selectable ring tones: Customize the sound of your phone by choosing from three ring tones.

· Dual speakerphones: Talk directly into the base with the base speakerphone, while the handset speakerphone provides convenient hands-free calling wherever you take your handset.

Benefits make the features personal. They explain how the features will be of use in the customer’s life.

End Results – A Glimpse Into the Future

We can take this process one step further, however. After customers buy the phone, and after they use it, what end results will they experience? As asked before, how will their lives be improved? What will the effects of their buying decision be? Let’s go back to our list and add end results as the last sentence in the benefits list.

· 5.8GHz digital system: The 5.8GHz frequency lets you go anywhere in your house and still have clear reception without disrupting your home network. The frequency-hopping digital technology keeps calls secure from outside sources. You’ll have complete freedom to talk with no interference on one of the most advanced systems available.

· Talking caller ID: No need to be within visual distance of your phone. You can hear who’s on the line before you pick up the phone. You’ll enjoy the ultimate in convenience with this feature. No more running to view the handset or base!

· Expandable: Keep a phone in any room—extra handsets cost less than other phones and don’t need a phone jack. This base unit supports a total of four handsets. Add up to three handsets for a complete set. Expandable phone systems are smart investments that save time and money.

· Selectable ring tones: Customize the sound of your phone by choosing from three ring tones. Make your phone an extension of yourself.

· Dual speakerphones: Talk directly into the base with the base speakerphone, while the handset speakerphone provides convenient hands-free calling wherever you take your handset. You’ll have the flexibility of speakerphones wherever and whenever you talk.

Do you see what the end results have done? They’ve given the customer a glimpse into the future. The feature states that the phone offers 5.8GHz technology. The benefit goes on to explain that 5.8GHz technology is important because it offers clear reception and safety. The end result wraps things up by stating the customer will have a life filled with freedom and no interference from their highly advanced system.

Other end results point out how the phone system will make each user’s life more convenient, how this smart investment will save time and money, how it will conform to one’s personality and how the phone will lend flexibility to the customer’s life.

When you create your copywriting plan, be sure to list the features and build your benefits as usual. But, for added power, don’t forget to include end results that will help the customers visualize how your product or service will make their lives better.

© 2005 http://www.copywritingcourse.com

Source by Karon Thackston

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2017

Resolution: the act or process of resolving: as a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones, b: the act of answering: solving, and c: the act of determining.

The new year is upon us – resolutions of every shape and size seem to come out of the woodwork: dieting, exercising more, eating right – you name it – we all make them. We writers tend to put them on paper in hopes of keeping them at some point and time during the new year. This being the case, I have compiled a list of resolutions for all of you writers out there, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, whatever it is, so that you strive to write more and write better this year (I ' m speaking for me as well).

Resolution # 1: Back in that drawer somewhere or your old filing cabinet is a stack of old rejected manuscripts that you promised yourself you'd edit, revise and rewrite them at some point in your life. Now is that time. Take each one out and file it under one of these categories: FICTION, NONFICTION, CHILDREN STORIES, CHRISTIAN STORIES OR DEVOTIONALS, POETRY – you get the picture. This is your number one resolution!

Dedicate one day for each manuscript. Edit that one manuscript, taking notes of any particular message the editor may have written on the rejection letter. Once you have etched the story in your mind and you have some clear idea of ​​where you'll go with it during the rewriting process, research several potential markets that might accept the newly revised and rewritten manuscript. Take note of word length and particular needs of each market.

Now, start the revising and rewriting process until you feel the manuscript is ready to be mailed. When you feel the manuscript is perfect, then get it in the mail and out of the way for now.
The next day, start anew with manuscript number 2, then 3 – you get the picture!

If you have multiple manuscripts in those files, you'll have a substantial amount of editing and rewriting to do for the next several weeks. Who said finding ideas to write about is hard work? Your old files from years back is a storehouse for wonderful new stories just waiting to happen.

Resolution # 2: Somewhere in those files you may have a novel you started working on but never finished. Or maybe you finished the first draft and it's still sitting there untouched and unpublished. It's the new year, for crying out loud! It's time to get that old book written or rewritten and ready for its new home on the shelves of all the major bookstores nationwide! Who knows, it could be the next best seller! It's certainly had time to season after all this time! Two down and eight more resolutions to go! do not worry, you'll get there!

Resolution # 3: For the past few weeks, you've been dusting off the cobwebs of a bunch of rejected manuscripts, revising and rewriting each one until they shimmered! Now it's time for you to get a little exercise of your own. Take a walk in the woods every afternoon or join an exercise or aerobic class. Eat a salad for dinner at least twice a week to cut back on eating all that fattening food. Since you're a writer, a good idea is to write in your journal on the days you're not working just to keep the creative juices flowing and keeping you in the habit of writing everyday. Get out for an hour every day – go to a museum or an attraction that you've been meaning to go to since you moved to this town but never did. Write about the people you meet and the things you saw and learned. You never know when you'll luck up on some great writing ideas!

Resolution # 4: All the old manuscripts that were salvageable are now on their way to some lucky publisher, and you're free to start writing something new. Somehow, because of all the weeks of cleaning up old manuscripts and rewriting them, you're burned out and new ideas just seem a million miles away. You may need to regenerate yourself by reading a few back issues of Writer's Digest Magazine – you can get a free newsletter online that offers tons of advice and weekly writing prompts that will rejuvenate you and help you get started writing again. Subscribe to the To <br> free newsletter and get your weekly writing prompts, visit hwy website at Http://www.writersdigest.com . For this resolution, try your hand at writing using four of the weekly prompts offered. Write a story using each one from 500 to 1500 words. Let the words flow, and do not worry about editing until later.

Resolution # 5: Four down and six left to go! William Zinsser once said, "Writing is thinking on paper." Using an inexpensive composition book, for the next thirty days, record some of your innermost secrets, dreams, and thoughts each day. Be careful if you have a spouse and some of your secrets, dreams and thoughts are not meant for his / her eyes to read! Thinking on paper could get you in trouble if it's thoughts about someone else! These thoughts do not have to be in story form. Your goal is to 'think on paper' each day for the next thirty days.

Resolution # 6: How's that exercise or gym class coming? Working for you, is it? Great. Now that your health issues are currently considered and all is well, let's seriously consider joining a writer's group. Most groups meet once a month and offer inspiration, motivation and encouragement. Membership varies with each group, but these groups are a valuable asset to writers. Resolve to attend the group each month for six months or one year. Let's see what happens.

Resolution # 7: For the next twelve months, send out at least one query letter a month for the next twelve months. In the meantime, work on each manuscript that will be forwarded to the editor once the query is accepted.

Resolution # 8: This year, dedicate as much free time to writing as you can. If you're not writing stories for submission, browse your local newspaper and find an issue or topic that ticks you off or interests you to the core. Submit letters to the editor of that newspaper expressing your opinion – seeing your letters printed is great writing therapy! And you're writing and being published!

Resolution # 9: This year, you deserve a break after all the long hours of writing, rewriting and keeping your resolutions. Take a vacation to your favorite destination. Take your laptop, and your camera. Oh, you can bet there are story ideas everywhere!

Resolution # 10: At midnight on December 31, 2016 reread these resolutions and see what has been accomplished, if any. Save the ones that are not complete for the following year! 2017 will be here before you know it!

BONUS RESOLUTION: Every two hours, get up from your desk and walk outside and walk around for at least 5 minutes before returning to your desk. Not only will help your circulation but help you get a breath of fresh hour, and help you see your work with fresh eyes when you return to your desk.

Source by Marcella Simmons

What’s the Difference Between Informative and Persuasive Speeches?

The average audience member listening to a speech probably doesn’t spend much time thinking about the type of speech he is hearing. After all, a speech is a speech is a speech, right? In reality, speeches come in many types and each type has a different purpose. Just because a speaker is skilled at one type of speech doesn’t mean he is equally effective at another type.

The most common type of speech given throughout the United States is the informative speech. The speaker is conveying information to an audience in a business, civic or social situation. On the other hand, the persuasive speech is one of the most difficult types of speeches to give. The speaker must have polished speaking skills but also needs to be able to capture the attention of an audience who may disagree with the speaker’s main premise. The speaker’s job is to change the audience’s mind. Not a simple task. Often it’s not even possible.

Let’s look at the purpose of each of these two speeches:

Informative Speech: In an informative speech you are usually talking to the audience about a process, an object or idea, or an event. Your purpose is to convey information. You might be explaining how to do a particular thing, describing something or instructing.

In an informative speech you are presenting information to an audience that is usually willing to listen. Your information is not controversial and your goal is to give information, not try to change anyone’s opinion. People expect that they will gain knowledge or insight as a result of listening to your speech.

A major problem with writing and presenting an informative speech is the potential for information overload. When you are trying to speak on a particular topic it’s difficult to know when to stop. When you really like your topic and are knowledgeable about it, it’s natural to try to disseminate as much information as possible. This has the opposite effect of what you intend, however. Your audience can only absorb a certain amount of information and when you keep adding more and more it becomes frustrating for the audience and they turn off. It’s much better to have 3-4 points about your topic that you talk about in more detail. You’ll never cover it all anyway and it’s better to keep in mind that “less is more.”

For each of the points that you choose to cover have examples of each- preferably a story that captures audience attention and helps personalize the topic.

Persuasive Speech: Persuasive speeches typically deal with a controversial topic. Your goal is to change a belief or behavior or at least create a willingness to consider your viewpoint.

It’s important when giving a persuasive speech that you do not condescend or demean your audience for their beliefs. If you are a representative of Planned Parenthood, referring to the audience members who oppose abortions as “Doctor killers’ is not going to convince any of them that your view is legitimate. Don’t scream, use slurs or inflammatory language. Your goal is to show them that those who are part of Planned Parenthood are rational, knowledgeable, credible and likeable.

Your speaking style should be conversational, as if you were chatting about your issue with a friend. Make sure you have facts and statistics to back up what you say. If pictures will help the audience visualize your message, then use them. Include a call-to-action at the conclusion of your speech. In the Planned Parenthood example, you might be inviting this audience to attend an open house tour of the facility and then a question and answer session afterward. If you can convince audience members to do this first step your speech is a success.

Persuasive speeches need to be extremely well-prepared. Don’t think for a minute that you can give an effective persuasive speech off the top of your head. It takes a great deal of practice and preparation. If you don’t come across as sincere, knowledgeable likable and rational the chances of changes anyone’s opinion are nill.

Here are some tips that will help you write an effective informative or persuasive speech:

Tips for Informative Speeches

  • Don’t cover too much information. Pick 3-4 ideas. It’s always better to cover less information more thoroughly than to just recite a long list of information that the audience won’t remember.
  • Give examples for each point.
  • Summarize your points at the end to increase retention.
  • Try to use stories to illustrate your points when possible
  • Use simple familiar words and and be very clear, especially if you are discussing complicated information.

Tips for Persuasive Speeches:

  • Your job is to convince your audience to share your view and take action as a result.
  • Be very clear in giving your position and why it’s correct.
  • Be likeable. Likability is a huge issue when you are giving a persuasive speech. If the audience doesn’t like you or relate to you, it’s not likely that they will listen to what you have to say.
  • Be passionate and rational and credible in presenting your argument. Screaming, ranting and raving will not encourage anyone to listen to you.
  • Realize that changing someone’s mind through a short speech is not a realistic goal. Your goal should be to get the audience to agree to consider your viewpoint enough to be open to further information.

When you are asked to give a speech, make sure that you know the specific intent of the speech. The first key to an effective speech is to make sure you know exactly what the audience is expecting. If you are asked to give an informative speech, their expectation is to learn new information of some type. If you’re asked to give a persuasive speech you will be expected to be convincing in your supports for your view. As with any speech, the key is preparation and practice!

Source by Barbara A Toney

Suicide is Far More Dangerous Than You Think

Suicide carries with it a profound series of serious consequences, which often changes the lives of everyone around that person. We all know those drastic effects. What is often overlooked or chalked up to being a sad occurrence, are the pre-suicidal circumstances, which actually increase suicide rates, and probability of, that disaster. Suicide prevention is the goal of thousands of professionals when a depressed patient makes the issue recognizable.

But, what happens to the large numbers of suicidal candidates who show no suicide warning signs nor openly communicate their deepest thoughts of suicide? Certainly, not all depressed people contemplate taking their own life, at least will not admit it. Wedged in between the person who is depressed and their choice of death by suicide by that person is a trigger of some type that changes the thought of suicide into a planned commitment.

The danger related to suicide that can and will increase suicide risk can be anything that may be intentional or unintentional and words or actions by others, even lack of supportive remedies. Medications may reduce the tone of the dilemma but may not actually alter the decision about suicide at the time it's made. It must be the greatest frustration for all mental health providers when they try to alter the course of events and fail.

One dangerous and destructive facet of efforts for suicide prevention that increases the risk of suicide is the perception that a suicidal person is not only dangerous to themselves, but also dangerous to others around them. As a result, a potentially suicidal patient, as determined by a psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional, becomes a victim instead of a patient.

Just imagine a situation where a person truly is suicidal and surrounded by those who want to help. But, instead, those standing there see the person as a highly potential homicidal person to be reckoned with. This happens in reality to American military veterans being treated for mental illness of one type or another by the Veterans Administration physicians. In fact, when the civilian armed police (usually four) show up at the VA mental health clinic, they are quick to quote the legal statutes that mandate their action.

How would that make you feel if you were being treated for depression at the VA mental health clinic, went there for help one day, then were physically forced into a lockup institution immediately for a minimum of three days, with the doctor's option to keep you for many more days? Most veterans probably never heard of that law, nor understood that they could be physically confined involuntarily to a psychiatric facility. Most understand that it occurs with alcoholics and drug addicts commonly known to harm others, but to suicidal patients bent on harming only themselves ……. incredibly cruel punishment.

Mind you, this unlucky individual was not armed nor threatening anyone. He just needed counseling. The three keywords that trigger this confinement are those elicited during the scripted questions psychiatrists ask depressed patients to screen them, like these:

1. Do you have a weapon at home? Yes (Who doesn't-a knife in the kitchen drawer, the rifle your uncle gave you for hunting, a rope in the shed for hanging, etc.)

2. Have you thoughts about suicide? Yes (depressed patients intermittently think about suicide off and on for years, depending on the depth of their depression.)

3. Have you planned how you would commit suicide? Yes (Your answer would reveal which method you would use if it ever came to that — most probably have thought of it)

Answering these three questions with three "Yes's" will get the veteran involuntarily confined. Many extraneous factors influence the psychiatrists decision about that person, which are often enough to avoid triggering the confinement-but are totally disregarded intentionally, are not considered at all, are not going to change the mind of the psychiatrist no matter what, and are indicative of a second rate physician who barely made it through medical school.

Take that depressed person suddenly into lockup, and it results is additional significant increased mental trauma, which exaggerates the depression and increases suicidal risk. Anyone who has a brain must understand it happens in every single person treated in the same manner to some degree.

What are the additional traumatic conditions added by confinement:

a. Isolation-no friends, patients there keep to themselves, rare staff attention, lack of family support and attention, controlled phone calls outside.

b. Controlled environment-complete loss of self-esteem, hopelessness, boredom, group counseling usually about a topic not pertinent to the patient's situation.

c. Physical disintegration-loss of appetite, decreased care about cleanliness, reduction of physical activity with sleep used as an escape.

d. Incompetent staff-especially psychiatric social workers who are making decisions and diagnoses far above their competency and training. They are the cause of many patients being kept well over the usual three days — for extra counseling this staffer has decided the patient needs because patients are sicker than everyone else can see.

e. Mental confusion-forget time and date, concern about what family will think and how they'll treat them later, increases the isolation feeling, future worries about what this episode will do to jobs, life pattern, and medical treatment.

f. Increased desire for suicide-all of the above increase the desire to escape life and treatments, elicits fear of ever going back to the VA clinic for mental help for fear that it could happen again, have disappointed family and deserve punishment, worthlessness becomes supreme.

This patient, once confined, is now permanently labeled by the VA as a violent person on the records, even if they have never performed a violent action in their life. Any history of combat experience makes it easier to label him or her.

This experience of confinement suddenly by police action insures that the veteran will need to do certain things to protect themselves, like, lie to the psychiatrist or psychologist, give up on any mental health help from the VA, alert all the other vets about the trickery .

This is the system in force now. It may be a wakeup call for other agencies who treat depression, and function in a suicide prevention format.

Source by Curtis G. Graham

5 Content Marketing Ideas For The Love Month

Although popularly known as the love month, February abounds with other holidays and events from which you can gather inspiration for content marketing.

Providing useful content on your eCommerce site is an effective way of gaining customer interest, and eventually boosting your sales.

How you lay out your content is absolutely up to you; you can never go wrong with videos and blogs, though.

Here below are five content marketing ideas which you can work on, depending on the product line that you wish to push in this month of hearts.

Idea #1 Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about giving gifts, flowers, chocolates and cards, among many other things, to people that matter to you.

It’s like Christmas all over again as shoppers flock to online stores, and retailers happily accommodate them.

This is the perfect time to promote your product with a how-to article or video tutorial.

A how-to content is very powerful because people in general love information that is not only useful, but also easily digestible.

Be sure to tie it in with your business by adding in the key features of your product, as well as high-resolution images.

Idea #2 Winter-to-Spring Transition

Here’s something for those of you who are in the apparel and footwear industry.

With the winter season culminating soon, you will want to start promoting those items that will rev up your spring sales.

What better way to achieve that than by publishing something that is focused on spring cleaning, to encourage customers to get rid of their heavy winter clothing and make room for lighter numbers.

We suggest that you come up with a video or slideshow of refreshing spring outfits and footwear that are available in your store.

That’s a subtle but effective way of promoting your goods.

Idea #3 Industry of Things World USA

You wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to create valuable content regarding this very important event, as it looks into the future of the Internet of Things (Iot).

The top IoT influencers participating in the Industry of Things World USA are going to explain how cloud, robotics, automation and other technologies are going to affect your business.

Think of this two-day event as a saga with several chapters, which you can present in instalments to visitors to your site.

You can blog about each speaker’s speech, and even make a commentary video on it if you want to.

What matters is your ability to get everyone involved in the issues that were tackled in the event.

Idea #4 London Fashion Week

Now, who doesn’t want to know what the fashion trends for 2017 are?

If you are selling designer clothes, find inspiration from the upcoming London Fashion Week.

You can make a video that shows snippets of the runway show, or come up with a photo-driven blog post featuring new designer creations-along with the clothes that you sell, of course.

If you can get someone to model your clothes, all the better as this shows your website’s relevance.

Idea #5 Pancake Day

Pancake is a relatable topic for everyone, so might as well base your content on National Pancake Day.

A blog post on the origin of Pancake Day, or a fun how-to article that shows the steps to flipping a pancake flawlessly, can increase your website traffic as people love this stuff.

For those of you who are selling kitchen appliances, a video tutorial that demonstrates how to make a delicious pancake recipe is a good way to showcase your wares.

There you have it. Five content marketing ideas which you could use in your business.

However, it’s worth noting that the success of your content marketing highly depends on how well you know your target market.

Source by Mary Antonette Pua

How To Sell Christian Songs

If you’ve written a faith based song and want to make money from it, here’s how to sell Christian songs!

The income stream from Christian songs includes radio airplay on Christian stations, CD sales through Christian book stores; CD sales through secular stores such as Walmart; CD sales at live events, downloads direct from your own ministry website; and sales through Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites.

It can also include income from your song’s use in Christian movies, cable television and network television; use in product commercials, music book publication, royalties from churches using your song in plays or worship, foreign uses for all of the above… the list continues and it’s long. If your song garners radio airplay you’ll receive royalties from SESAC, BMI or ASCAP.

To get the stream flowing you must decide if you want a music publisher to handle your song and exploit the copyright or if you prefer to keep a higher percentage by self-publishing.

Next, you’ll need to have either a demonstration recording (a.k.a. “a demo”) made for pitching your songs to Christian music publishers, producers and record companies, a master recording made or have a limited release CD made containing your song(s) for your self-publishing efforts.

A master single or a limited release CD can also double as a demo but it’s more expensive. This step will cost money but if your song is good enough to sell, it’s a necessary investment you will recoup later.

Most songwriters write both lyrics and music. If you only have lyrics written so far you’ll need to have a melody and chords created for your lyric because music industry professionals don’t read lyrics, they listen to demos. Most demo services will write music for a fee under a “work for hire” agreement that lets you keep all rights.

Note that you can’t sell a song outright for cash to anyone, anywhere, that’s not legal due to laws passed years ago. Songwriters were being taken advantage of many years ago by song publishers who would pay starving songwriters a few dollars for a song then make millions, so Congress intervened. The cash flow comes from mechanical and airplay royalties. If you self-publish you’ll get cash from downloads, sales of your CDs, and other sources listed above.

These days you can assign your publishing rights but you can’t sell the entire copyright or your songwriting share of the rights.

That covers the basics of How To Sell Your Christian Songs. Whether you use the royalties and cash proceeds to support yourself, fuel your ministry or donate it to a good cause is something you need to consider and pray about.

Source by Bill E Watson

Amazon Kindle KDP Vs Lulu Books: Which Is the Better Option?

OK, you’ve finally written your eBook! Great, now what do you do with it? As an author who focuses on the web, instead of print, you have many options. Many independent writers today are using Amazon and Lulu to publish print on books (PDF versions) or do their own DIY publishing. So, which approach should you take? It doesn’t matter, they both are good choices.

If you are just getting started, it’s best that you list your eBook for sale on both Lulu.com and the Amazon Kindle Store. The primary reason for this is that by placing your eBooks on multiple sites you can target a wider audience and maximize your earnings. But the questions still beg, which one should I use? Is it better to market my books more on Amazon than with Lulu? Which site can I make more money? Don’t stop reading; the answer is just a few paragraphs away.

Lulu Books

It’s not difficult at all to list your eBooks on Amazon or Lulu; the process is about the same for both. The biggest difference is that Lulu.com requires you to create an account before you can log in, but don’t worry, it’s free. Once you are done, you can begin a new project. Pick from the two project options presented; you want to select the eBook option. Next you want to describe the e-book and provide a summary; this is what buyers see so make sure it is informative and captivating. After you have done that, you’ll want to upload your formatted eBook and an eye-catching cover. The last thing you need to do is set a selling price and review your listing to make sure you are good with everything.

Amazon Kindle KDP

To sell your eBook on Amazon, go to kdp.amazon.com. Follow the steps on the site to create your account, which is also free. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link titled “Self-Publish with Us.” Select ‘Amazon Kindle’ on the next page; this will take you to Amazon’s digital book platform. In order for people to read your eBooks on any of the Kindle devices, you have to format your book to digital text, there are a number of tools available to accomplish this task. Once you upload a properly formatted file, it will be converted automatically into an eBook to be downloaded to an eReader. If there are no issues, all you have to do next is provide a description and set a price for your book.

Conclusion

The fact that it is so easy to list your book on Amazon’s Kindle KDP or Lulu books, you can go with whichever one you want first. My recommendation is Lulu for your print on demand books and Amazon for your eBooks. Either way, the whole process should take no more than an hour to complete. In fact, spend a day and do one right after the other. You can upload as many books as you want if time permits; this will allow you to have multiple books on the two different sites.

As it pertains to marketing, you don’t have to worry. Amazon and Lulu’s brand are well-known, and their marketing dominates their respective industries. But you should still spend time marketing your eBooks as well. For example, you can do so with a catchy sales page, links to your eBook pages, message boards and more. Promote on both Amazon and Lulu, but focus your efforts more on Lulu. Lulu lets you keep a greater percentage of the profits compared to Amazon.

As previously stated; the Kindle is one of the top eBook readers on the market. Even though it is widely used, not everyone owns a Kindle. Thus, your market will only target this section of buyers; this doesn’t mean you don’t need to promote your Amazon Kindle Book, you do. But you don’t want to leave your PDF e-book on Lulu.com without any sales either. Since many people can download eBooks to their tablets and smartphones, you stand to earn more money publishing your eBook on Lulu.

Simply speaking, if you wish to sell an e-book, then make sure you maximize your profits by employing different selling options. Lulu and Amazon are two examples, but there are other sites that allow you to do the same. Don’t dismiss other means of marketing your eBooks. Building a landing page and using social media are just as helpful, but Lulu and Amazon are two well-known and preferred self-publishing programs.

Source by Maurice Colbert