Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is Pampers Crazy or What?


Maybe it’s just me, but I just saw a Pampers commercial that made me cringe.

The commercial starts by telling you 135,000 babies die before their first birthday because of infant tetanus.

Okay. That sounds like a significant and solveable problem.

But then Pampers says they’ll give out 1 LIFE SAVING vaccine for every pack of Pampers we buy.

Are they kidding? They’ll save a baby’s life in exchange for a bag of diapers?

So how many LIFE SAVING vaccines will they give out if there are only 130,000 bags of diapers sold?

It seems to me that if they can afford to pay for a LIFE SAVING vaccine (have I stressed the life saving part enough?) out of the profits from a bag of diapers – they can probably donate the money needed to cure this problem. After all, it’s UNICEF that’s getting the money.

Maybe the advertising department for P&G should consider how much GOOD PR they could get grom being the company that eliminates infant tetanus.

What do you think?

Tell your friends to watch for this commercial. And let’s send a messgae to Proctor & Gamble. This kind of advertising is disgusting. It makes them look like they’re holding babies hostage unless we buy their product.

Or am I just being overly sensitive?


My Randomness – A bit of follow-the-leader

This is a fun post today. It comes from something that is happening with Facebook.
A little while ago, a friend “tagged” me to tell 25 random things about myself. Also recently, Clayton Makepeace and Michel Fortin (just to name two) were tagged in the same way and decided to use their answers as a blog post.
Well, I’m quick enough to see a good thing when I know it…sort of…so here – for your reading pleasure – are 25 random things about me.
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” on the bottom left of your profile page, click “see all” and then “write a new note”. Notes can also be found under the triangle drop down button located in the menu bar above where you update your status. Then paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people [in the right hand corner of the app] then click publish.)

My Randomness:
01. I just learned how to use the Notes application in Facebook. Kinda cool.

02. Staying organised is almost a compulsion for me. Think of the guy spinning plates on tops of sticks – only all plates are numbered, and the sticks are colour coded. Does that make me anal?

03. Classical music is my favourite. Followed by classic rock, jazz, blues, and country. But classical is my fav.

04. I’m Canadian – born and bred. Living in Toronto, Ontario.

05. Hiking is my favourite sport. Is that a sport? How about recreational pasttime.

06. I read more than I eat. And I eat a lot.

07. I’m single. Maybe I should stop eating my dates’ dinner.

08. Two languages comprise my linguistic skills – English and French. A little Spanish – just enough to find the washroom.

09. I sing. Sometimes well. Mostly alone in the woods while I”m hiking – scares the bears.

10. Pretty good at science. Like doing math, and organic chemistry makes me giggle.

11. I knit. Not a lot, but my grandma taught me how.

12. The best thing is to find someone interesting and listen to them talk. It’s kind of a narrow-focus sort of people watching.

13. No pets. No family. Just my friends, and a trainload of energy. It works for me.

14. Writing fills most of my days. It’s fun, pays the bills, and I get to learn all kinds of new thing2nd s.

15. Next to any kind of shorts, blue jeans are my favourite pants.

16. Cycling and Swimming come close to hiking for recreation. Makes me think of swimming at the Marriott in Delray. Those Florida folks have it good. My igloo’s frozen shut again.

17. Animals and little children love me. Dont’ know why – but it’s cool.

18. I just finished my fourth book. Writing it, I mean.

19. I’m a carpenter. Almost forgot about that. It’s been my pleasure to build everything from houses, to condo towers, and a hospital. (Not alone, of course.)

20. Teaching has been a big part of my life. From teaching First Aid & CPR for St. John Ambulance to teaching Construction Estimating at George Brown College. I’ve taught driver’s education, english as a second language, data processing and all kinds of work-related teaching.

21. My favourite colour is blue.

22. Live theatre and music are amazing. Toronto has a great theatre district, and I will always remember seeing the Kodo Drummers. I even got their autographs – very rare – and in Japanese because they don’t know English.

23. I like being up at 4:30 every day – sleep in on Sunday’s though. The world is always so quiet and peaceful early in the morning.

24. I can cook almost everything. Can’t do pastry – my hands are too hot. Just as well since I’d be inclined to eat it, too. My favourite cookbook is More With Less (a Mennonite cookbook).

25. The horse is my favourite animal. My Aunt Geri and Uncle Harold raised standard bred horses. All the important stuff I learned about life came from being on the farm.

New Book – The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula


The final draft is done and in the hands of the graphic designer.

Do you have a book and want to send it to best-seller status? The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula shows you how to do it!

Bob Bly sent his latest release Persuasive Presentations for Business to #1 in three Amazon categories using The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula.

We’ll be reproducing that result – just to prove it really works – with Bob’s next book release, too!

Stay tuned here for the release of The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula. I’ll let you know how to get your copy as soon as the designer finishes making it look great.

Would you like help getting your book written and into print?

Have you bought the how-to resources and tried to write it yourself? And now you’re ready to have some help to get it done?

Now’s your chance to get a foot in the door with Bob Bly’s #1 writer…but you have to be ready to get your book finished.

Bob has already contracted two more books with me, the E-Book Tele-Workshop Series is coming up, and time is always at a premium.

Do you need help with writing, but not necessarily a book? Are you putting out articles and writing reports that you know need help, but you haven’t been able to find an editor?

Now’s your chance to get the help you want…

There are two – that’s just 2 – slots available in my schedule for editing and coaching.

And that’s it for my shameless self-promotion. You don’t see much of that here – and I’m thankful to be busy, believe me. There’s room enough in my schedule for one book project or two editing gigs – and then my schedule’s full (read: no waiting list).

Before I go, there is a post over at The Total Package you should have a look at.

Daniel Levis wrote it – it shows the solutions for four common e-mail mistakes. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about another resource for Whitelisting. Next week, I’m going to follow-up on some advice from Steve Slaunwhite about why you simply MUST write an informatino product.


Book Outlines – How much is enough?


This question just came up with a novice writer. She is writing her first book and is wondering how much detail to put into the outline.

Eventually, the answer to this question becomes: Use as much detail as you want.

Of course, you can guess that this answer works when you have written a couple of books and can rely on  your experience as a guide. For a novice, the answer is a lot easier and more regimented.

Put just the “must have” items into your outline. Remember that your outline will become your table of content. That means each entry in your outline is just one line – maybe even just three or four words.

For example, if I’m writing an article about the components of an essay, then my outline would have just three headings: Intoduction, Body, and Conclusion.

You can always add more headings to your outline. While you’re doing your research, you might find a huge amount of material for one of your headings and decide to split it into two or more sections. Your research might also turn up information you hadn’t considered that you then decide to include – that would mean adding a new heading to your outline.

Other things like: questions to answer, steps to completing a section, or facts to include get written down after the outline is completed.

I’ve written about this before, and it bears repeating. When your outline is done, copy it and paste it on a new page in the same document. Then take that copy, and use page breaks to put each heading on its own page.

This gives you your outline at the beginning as a table of contents, and the first page for each chapter with the title on it.

Now you put all your questions, research notes and ideas on those chapter pages.

Now, someone might be at the stage where all the “must have” items are in the outline and they have a few other “nice to have” items they want to include. What do you do with those?

Put each one at the end of the outline as an appendix.

You can always move these items into the body of the book later. The criteria for changing something from being an appendix to being part of the book body is that your writing has to flow naturally into the subject of the appendix.

Let’s say you’re writing a book about kitchen renovations. One of your appendices is “How to Choose Appliances.” This is good information to have, but it isn’t a “must have” because lots of people renovate their kitchen without replacing their appliances. 

While you’re writing, your research brings up a lot of information about energy efficiency for appliances and the various types and styles of appliances available for a kitchen.

You can see how this new information will tie in very well with a “must have” chapter on electircal wiring and code requirements. Since it ties in well, you might choose to move the appendix into the body of the book.

Your outline is a roadmap to the destination of having a published book or e-book. You get to design that roadmap, and you can make changes to it as the book develops.

That’s why you want to start with the minimum in your outline – the seeds – and watch over it carefully as it grows.

Does this make writing your outline easier? Let me know by posting a comment.


3 Days of Effort – A Plan for Success


The last three days have been amazing.

Gary Rockis and I got together in Toronto for three days to plan the re-launch of the Ultimate E-Book Teleworkshop Series. It was a lot of work – some fun – and incredibly rewarding. Let me share just a few things to keep in mind as you plan your own projects.

Have a budget. That almost seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Take the time to make an excel spreadsheet and list all the expenses and anticipated revenue. It helps you find the obvious items you’ve overlooked. For example, halfway through the process I realised I had left affiliate commissions out of the budget!

It also gives you ideas. When I remembered to include affiliate commissions, it also popped into my head that lets you set up a two tiered commission system. That means all the experts I’m interviewing can pass this on to their affiliates and make a small commission on sales they generate.

Here’s how it works: Clayton Makepeace does an interview and is an affiliate. For every sale generated through his affiliate link, he gets a 50% commission. Then he lets all of his affiliates know about this project. They sign up through his affiliate link to become affiliates for the Ultimate E-Book Tele-workshop. This ties their affiliate ID to Clayton’s affiliate ID. Then Clayton makes a 10% commission for each sale they generate. (I get 40%, Clayton gets 10% and they get 50%.)

Automate the accounting. This is why I’m partnering with Gary Rockis.

Gary has decades of business experience, and he’s a nationally-recognised author with American Technical Publishing. Gary is having his accountant set up “the books” for this project so invoice/payments/receipts are all tracked automatically.

You can see how that saves everyone a lot of work.

Communicate, communicate, communicate…

Johnny Meehan is the tech guy – he does all the web site work. Gary is the financial guy – he looks after the business end of the project. I’m the creative type – I write the copy, get the ideas, and be my screwball self.

Fortunately, e-mail makes communicating easy because you can CC everyone. The thing is – you have to send the e-mails. And this is what’s so important:

Take your time when you write an e-mail. Open a Word file and type out what you want to say. Run it through spell-check (I gotta remember that), and read it over before you copy/paste it into an e-mail.

Something else I do is write an outline of the e-mail before I start actually writing it. This isn’t for every e-mail, of course. But when I’m writing an update for Johnny and Gary, I want to be clear, cover everything, and still try to keep the e-mail as short as I can. These guys are busy, too, and have their own businesses to run.

That’s it. Three things to keep in mind as you plan your own projects. Let me know if they’re helpful, and if you have questions – feel free to ask.


Old Knowledge – It’s Truly Valuable

Good Morning,

The wheel has been around, and around, and around – for a while.

Ever wonder why we keep using it?

Well…duh…because it works, of course.

Same’s true of things like books and knowledge. That came home to me this morning while reading an e-mail from my VA (virtual assistant).

The top item on her Christmas list is a copy of Naopleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.”

What you might not realise is that “Think and Grow Rich” is so old, it’s now public domain material. I have a pdf copy on my external drive and sent Carol a copy when I replied to her e-mail.

So here’s the point: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We’re all in business – some of us are copywriters, others hire copywriters, still others wish they could find a copywriter. Now tell me how long it is since Space Ads disappeared from the advertising scene?

Oh, wait a second, they haven’t disappeared. Come to think of it, direct mail is still going strong, classified ads work, and people really do buy books.

The next time you’re thinking about grabbing the latest best-seller on advertising, or running after the latest social-media craze, stop yourself. PIck up a copy of some book by David Olgivy or John Caples instead.

Remind yourself of the fundamentals. Be sure you’re doing the basics before you go for the frills (or thrills).

Your customers still want value for dollars, good return on their investment, and to know they can trust you. So did their daddies, and their grandmothers, and their great-grandparents.

Here’s a page of knowledge – old and new.

Some of the books listed are old enough to now be public domain material – that means you can find them on the internet and download them for free. Others are newer so you can visit the library and borrow them. (Remember the library folks – talk about a treasure trove)

That’s my incoherent post for the day. Did you like it? Feel free to comment.  😉


Teleseminar Calls – How to Set Up


Several folks have written asking for information about how to set up a teleseminar call. I think it’s a good subject for a report – maybe even an e-book. For now, I’ll answer their questions by giving you the basic elements for setting up a teleseminar call.

There are two parts to setting up a teleseminar call. One part is the web pages and the other is the work you do with the other person on the call.

Let’s look at the most basic approach. Using a squeeze page to get people to sign up for a teleseminar call. Here are the “pages ” you need:

1. The squeeze page – it has copy on it to tell people what to do, and a spot to put in their name and e-mail address. A good addition to this page is allowing people to enter a question for the expert on the call. It helps you develop content for the call, and engages people more fully. They feel involved.

2. The Thank You page – after they sign up, this page says – naturally – “Thank You.” It also gives them the call-in number, access code, and maybe access to a free download that is a homework assignment. This helps people bet engaged with the call.

3. Autoresponder message. This isn’t a web page, of course. You need the autoresponder (mail manager) to stay in touch with people. The autoresponse message thanks people again, gives the call-in number and access code again, and repeats the link to the homework download.

4. Reminder Broadcasts. These also go with your mail manager or autoresponder. You should use at least two – the first one the day, or two days, before the call. The second one the day of the call. The closer the message is to the time of the call, the shorter it can be. Each one is reminding the reader why they signed up for the call, and repeats the call-in information.

That’s the bare minimum for the tech end of stuff. Let me know if you’d like to know more – you can send questions to

The other part is working with the other person on the call. Whether you are the expert, or you are interviewing an expert doesn’t matter too much. The preparation to be done is the same.

Write out the questions you want to have asked an answered during the call. Right off, I’ll tell you to have about 30 questions ready. This gives you more than you’ll need, and you’ll always be happy when you over-prepare.

Start by just writing down questions. You can organise them after you’ve written a bunch.

When they’re organised, send them to the other person. Let them add, subtract or change any questions they want. Remember that the interview is friendly, and you want both of you to come out the other end looking good.

While I”m thinking of it, two people you should pay A LOT of attention to when it comes to teleseminars are Alex Mandossian ( and Dr. Jeanette Cates (

Jeanette’s site is also a great example of a squeeze page. Put in your name and e-mail address and Jeanette sends you (using an autoresponder) a series of e-mails with free information about how to do teleseminars. The squeeze page also sends you on to a sales page for her entry-level course titled, fittingly, Teleseminar Basics.

Understand that you might not get a lot of interaction or feedback when you’re setting up an interview with an expert. They’re busy – just like you and me – and you can be sure they appreciate having you keep them in the loop when it comes to preparations.

When you send them a list of questions, always include the call information. Give them the date/time, call-in details, call topic and how long the call will be. There’s no such thing as repeating this information too often.

That’s it for now. Again, you’re welcome to send questions to I’ll make a point of answering them here.


Why Plans are Good as Goals


Happy Thanksgiving to all you U.S. dwellers.

I hope you have tomorrow off, too. That makes a nice long weekend. It’ll even give you lots of time to lay on the living room floor (guys) with your pants undone – thinking about why you just ate too much.

When I set up the E-Book Tele-Workshop Series, I really didn’t have a good plan. My goal was clear. That part I had right. But the plan was a little too vague.

You see, my thought was to learn as I go and work extra hard to get things done. The learning part worked out – oh boy, did I learn a lot, learn it quickly, and learn it well.

That’s why I can now say the Plan is as good as the Goal. You need both.

Now I have Johnny Meehan and Gary Rockis in my corner. Johnny has shown me ALL the copy I need to have ready for a project like this. Including alternate copy that can be used for split testing. (A very good idea – no, absolutely necessary idea.)

Advice from Howie Jacobson clued me in to the idea of testing the copy with a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign before turning it loose on you guys.

Gary Rockis is helping me with logistics and finance. He has a support staff to take some of the work off my shoulders. Gary is also an “uber successful” business type. That translates into him being able to teach me about cashflow, merchant accounts and all the other stuff I now realise I know nothing about.

Okay. Long post. I”m trying to keep these short – honest. There’s just so much I want to share – about writing e-books and about using teleseminars as a marketing tool.

Tell you what. I’m going to keep making daily posts about topics that occur to me. Anything you want to know about – post your question in your reply, or send me an e-mail at Then I’ll answer it here.


Why mentors are important

Hi Everyone,

This last year has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned an incredible amount.

The most important lesson has been the value of mentors – people who have done what I am doing, and who are willing to share their experience and expertise.

That’s the case with the E-Book Tele-Workshop Series. I started the project and discovered it is a HUGE undertaking. It didn’t take long to realise I was in the deep end of the pool. It’s fun, and I’m enjoying the process – I’m also glad to have found a couple of “life-guard” mentors.

A special mention to Gary Rockis and Johnny Meehan. Gary has graciously offered to help me organise the re-launch of the tele-workhsop series. Johnny has, and continues to, make the tech end work and show me the ropes.

So here’s the value of a mentor from my point of view: When I’m facing an obstacle and it looks like mount everest – the mentor is standing on the other side of the obstacle and can show me that it’s really only one of the Alleghaney mountains.

Sure, it’s still an obstacle. It takes some effort to work through. The bonus part of having a mentor is that they already know what has to be done. You still have to do the work, but your mentor gives you the instructions.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you U.S. folks, and have a good day to everyone else.