Saying “No” to “Touching My Private Parts” – Not Enough to Protect Your Child from Sex Offenders

The majority of parents do a good job teaching their children to beware of strangers. Yet most victims of child sexual abuse know the sex offender.

In a study of twenty adult sex offenders conducted by Jon Conte, Steven Wolf and Tim Smith; two of the key questions asked were:

1. “Was there something about the child’s behavior which attracted you to the child?”

Responses included:

o “The warm and friendly child or the vulnerable child…Friendly, showed me their panties.”

o “The way the child would look at me, trustingly.”

o “The child who was teasing me, smiling at me, asking me to do favors.”

o “Someone who had been a victim before–[spanking or inappropriate touch]–quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been a victim would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty… Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight…goes along with things.”

2. “After you had identified a potential victim, what did you do to engage the child into sexual contact?

Responses included:

o “I didn’t say anything. It was at night, and she was asleep.

o “Talking, spending time with them, being around them at bedtime, being around them in my underwear, sitting down on the bed with them… Constantly evaluating the child’s reaction… A lot of touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling.”

o “Playing, talking, giving special attention, trying to get the child to initiate contact with me… From here I would initiate different kinds of contact, such as touching the child’s back, head… Testing the child to see how much she would take before she would pull away.

o “Isolate them from any other people. Once alone, I would make a game of it (red light, green light with touching up their leg until they said stop). Making it fun.”

o “Most of the time I would start by giving them a rub down. When I got them aroused, I would take the chance and place my hand on their penis to masturbate them. If they would not object, I would take this to mean it was Okay… I would isolate them. I might spend the night with them… Physical isolation, closeness, contact are more important than verbal seduction.”

We cannot ignore the sophistication of sex offenders’ efforts to desensitize the child through the gradual development of a relationship with the child and progressing from non-sexual touch (touching a leg, back or head) to sexual touch. Given that 95-99 percent of sex offenders are people their victims know and trust–family members and other trusted adults–even children as young as two can be taught to know what to do to protect him/herself.

For a child who has been taught only to say, “No’ to touching his/her private parts–one of the consequences of this relationship building and desensitization process is self-blame. By the time the child realizes that his/her private parts were touched–the damage is done–and the child may believe he/she has given consent to the abuse. He/she thinks because he/she did not say, “No” when the adult rubbed her/his back or head, he/she is to blame. It only takes one second for a sex offender to stick his tongue into a child’s mouth when he is giving a ‘traditional family’ kiss on the lips. It only takes one second for a sex offender to put his hand up a girl’s leg and touch a child’s labia while she sits on his lap.

Studies reveal that teaching a child to say, “No” has little impact because it is rare a child will affect more than weak resistance against a known sex offender. Furthermore, the sex offender will usually ignore a simple, “No.” The sex offender uses subtle or blatant threats, intimidating the child into compliance and silence.

My book, If I’d Only Known…Sexual Abuse in or out of the Family: A Guide to Prevention, emphasizes six important prevention techniques.

o Non-violation of sacred Body boundaries–to thwart the sex offender who counts on–a child who has been violated before–quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been a victim, would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty… Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight…goes along with things.”

o Good, Appropriate Touch

o Appropriate Body Boundaries

o Good Body Image

o Tell Mommy and Daddy Everything–No Secrets Rule

o Appropriate Suspicion

Appropriate Suspicion (intuition, a.k.a. sixth sense) alone when acted upon empowers the child to thwart the majority of would-be sex offenders. Coupled with the other five techniques–your child is well prepared to stop every sex offender in their tracks.

Trusting and acting on your intuition or sixth sense and allowing your child to trust his/her intuition is paramount to protecting children from sex offenders, no matter whether they are family members, family friends, doctors, dentists, teachers, etc. Children are naturally intuitive and often sense an adult’s ulterior motives, although you may not suspect anything.

We need to accept the reality that no one can be considered exempt from being a sex offender, including all family members. As a parent, be appropriately suspicious and trust your intuition. If you err in evaluating a situation, make the error on the side of your child. The important factor is not that you have avoided offending someone, but that you have protected your child, until you can investigate further.

The title of my book, If I’d Only Known… is the lament of my friend’s daughter whose three-year-old son was sexually abused by her step-mother’s ten-year-old son. If only I had known that he would potentially abuse other children because he was sexually abused, I would never have let John play in the backyard alone with him.” She was right, if only parents knew the fact that sexual abuse is perpetrated, ‘anywhere, anytime, and by someone you least expect, they could protect children from this heinous crime.

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Adult Dating – Better Sex Better Orgasms and More Romance

Here are some adult dating tips for better sex and better orgasms. Adult dating , or courtship as it was called in the old days, is a way of getting to know each other. Here is a sure way to score points on a date. Be nice, show some respect, and be fun to be with.

If you make it too obvious that all you want from your date is to get lucky you are putting too much pressure on yourself. This is going to blow your chances of getting anywhere . Your date already knows if you are going to get lucky or not.

So you want your date to be a success, yes? These adult dating tips will help.

Tip one. You do not have to have sex on the first date. However it could happen that you both “click” and sex naturally happens. It is not planned but is more spontaneous as a result of the attraction between both of you. Sex is fine then. But don’t force it. You might want to get to know each other better.

Tip two. If you are a guy it is nice if you pay for the first date. You do not have to pay for every date. But paying for the first date makes her feel kind of special.

Tip three. Don’t fall in love with your first date. Shop around and compare the qualities of the person.You do not have to marry the first date that comes along. Shop around like you do for shoes. You’ll know a good catch when you find one.

Tip four. Make your date fun. The fact is that dates can lead to seduction. Pay attention and put some effort into it. Make sure you smell nice. Make sure you look nice. And give your date a little bit of yourself. The real you inside of yourself.

Tip five. Be yourself. Don’t lie and try be something your not. This only wastes your energy and paints a false picture in the mind of your date. Be yourself and like it. This is an inner feeling that will attract the opposite sex.

Adult dating and adult sex is fun. It is a pleasure of life. Through dating you can find someone nice to share your time with. Commonsense with dating pays dividends and will make your relationship go a long way.

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Sex Offenders Groom Their Victims

Acquaintance Sex Offenders often ‘groom’ their victims prior to any sexual abuse for a period of weeks, months or even years. When the parent(s) is physically or emotionally absent it makes the child the most vulnerable to a sex offenders cunning tactics.

Grooming activities include, but are not restricted to the following.

o Befriending and gaining trust with the parent(s)–especially single women. The sex offender offers to watch the child so the single mother or parents can have a ‘free’ night out; or provide fun activities–taking the child away from the home. During these activities the sex offender deepens the grooming activities–touching the child in ways that are seemingly inocuous… yet sexual in nature. Such as hugging often, touching her buttocks, putting his hand on her leg, kissing her on the cheek and exculating to kissing her on the mouth. At any stage of the grooming process if she protests he apologizes to quiet her discomfort. He knows he will gain acceptance again, if the protest is weak or she readily accepts the apology.

The sex offender is keenly aware that the child needs to be controlled to the extent he/she can sexually abuse the child without fear of disclosure. This manipulation may be obtained in many ways: favors, threats, guilt, shame, ‘This is our secret,’ ‘If you tell anyone, they won’t believe you,’ ‘You can’t tell, I will lose my job, ‘You know you wanted to do this too. You could have stopped any time.’ Thus, making the child equally responsible for the sexual activity.

Other ways Sex Offenders gain access to children:

o Securing jobs and participating in community events that involve children. Then, befriending those who the most vulnerable.

o Volunteering to coach children’s sports, thus, having opportunities to befriend the parents and then groom the child.

o Attending sporting events for children, thus, learning which parents are absent during the game. Offering to give the child a ride home.

o Volunteering in youth organizations, volunteering to chaperone overnight trips.

o Frequently being in places children socialize – playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc. Befriending the child, who projects loneliness, offering to buy them treats or small items of interest.

o Engaging in Internet gaming and social web sites, learning the online interests and lingo of tweens and teens. Befriending those who seem to be seeking attention, love and affection.

o Being foster parents. It is foolhardy to assume someone, who is married with children would be less likely to be a sex offender. Sex offenders might only sexually abuse other’s children and not their own. Thus, sex offenders will become a foster parent to have ready access to children. If the foster child is returned to his/her parent(s), or an adoptive family, another child will soon need foster parents.

Grooming can be done in the presence of others, often without the other person recognizing the intent of the behavior.

A mother revealed her husband played a tickling game with their three-year-old son. The rule of the game was to play with Daddy and have fun-the son was instructed to tickle his father’s nipples while sitting in a straddled position over his father’s nude body from the waist up. The object of this game was, ‘Make daddy laugh.’ Of course, the father could withhold laughing until he experienced the sexual stimulation he desired. When the mother objected to this game, the father admonished her for being jealous of his time with their son.

Another mother was horrified when her three-year old daughter asked her to play the ‘pee-pee’ game. She asked her daughter to explain this game. Her daughter lay on her back on the floor; legs spread and said, “Touch my ‘pee-pee,’ Mommy, that is what Daddy does.”

Fathers frequently cuddle in bed with their daughters in a spoon position, arm across their mid-body with only underware or pajamas on. Several clients have reported feeling their father’s penis against their legs or back, while not knowing what to do-as they wanted their father’s affection-they didn’t like the feeling of his genitals against their body. This cuddling seems harmless, most mothers reason. The women also reported sexual abuse occurred sometime later. Was the cuddling in bed a form of grooming or was the cuddling an ill advised way to show affection with the child that unwittingly led to subsequent sexual abuse? In either belief; the damage is done.

In a study of twenty adult sex offenders conducted by Jon Cote, Steven Wolf and Tim Smith; two of the key questions asked were:

1. “Was there something about the child’s behavior which attracted you to the child?”

o “The warm and friendly child or the vulnerable child. Friendly, showed me their panties.”

o “The way the child would look at me, trustingly.”

o “The child who was teasing me, smiling at me, asking me to do favors.”

o “Someone who had been a victim before [sexual abuse or spankings], quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been, a victim would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty. Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight… goes along with things.”

2. “After you had identified a potential victim, what did you do to engage the child into sexual contact?” The responses included:

o “I didn’t say anything. It was at night, and she was in bed asleep.”

o “Talking, spending time with them, being around them at bedtime, being around them in my underwear, sitting down on the bed with them. Constantly evaluating the child’s reaction… A lot of touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling.” [Desensitizing the child with appropriate behavior.]

o “Playing, talking, giving special attention, trying to get the child to initiate contact with me… Get the child to feel safe to talk with me. From here I would initiate different kinds of contact, such as touching the child’s back, head… Testing the child to see how much she would take before she would pull away.”

o “Isolate them from other people. Once alone, I would make a game of it (red light, green light with touching up their leg until they said stop). Making it fun.”

o “Most of the time I would start by giving them a rub down. When I got them aroused, I would take the chance and place my hand on their penis to masturbate them. If they would not object, I would take this to mean it was okay… I would isolate them. I might spend the night with them. Physical isolation, closeness, contact are more important than verbal seduction.”

Many of my clients have reported their sexual abuse grooming started when they showered with a parent-or the parent/caretaker washed the child’s genital area with bare hands and soap long past the stage a child needed assistance to cleanse their genital area. While for some this activity was the extent of the covert sexual contact, but for others it evolved into overt sexual abuse. Even though the activity was only ‘rubbing’ the genital area ostensibly for bathing purposes, many people suffered classic aftereffects of sexual abuse.

How? You might ask, would the child experience sexual abuse by having their genital area washed with bare hands and soap? The answer is simple. At birth, children are complete neurological sexual beings, who can experience erotic sensation, although they are sexually immature and without an active sex drive. Furthermore, the child experiences the adult’s physiology, which has sexual overtones, thus although the child doesn’t have a name for the experience the child knows his/her body is responding in a unfamiliar manner and the experience with the adults is unfamiliar. Within the definition of sexual abuse it is abuse, “If a child cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse she/he has been violated.”

Grooming or sexual abuse activities also include:

o Playing pool tag-when the child is tagged ‘Playfully’ pulling the child’s swimsuit down.

o Pulling her panties down without her permission.

o Male holding a child on his lap while he has an erection.

o Kissing the child in a way that is sexual for the giver and inappropriate for the child.

o Seemingly innocuous touching, caressing, wrestling, tickling or playing, which has sexual overtones or meaning for the other person.

o Adult treats the child as an equal/peer, pseudo or surrogate spouse.

o Teacher/coach or activity leader befriends a child in the guise of helping him/her with studies and/or sports.

Unique and less frequently reported grooming activities:

o Male demonstrates and instructs the child how to suck on a peeled banana without breaking or putting teeth marks on it. Once the child has complied and masters the skill; this activity is shifted to his penis-often using the con-”I have a big banana between my legs, you can suck on it.”

o Male initiates a game of ‘sucking the jelly’ out of my big toe. Once the child has complied and understands the ‘game.’ This activity is shifted to his penis.

o Invading a child’s privacy, such as entering the bathroom or bedroom without knocking, catching her/him unaware or indisposed. This invasion is a power play-disempowering their victim-indoctrinating the child to comply with the adult’s authority and control in all situations and circumstances.

o Enemas or frequent inspection of the child’s genitals ostensibly for health reasons.

In the thirty plus years I have worked with sexual abuse survivors in the healing process, I have discovered a child is rarely subjected to only one type of sexual abuse. Furthermore, I have learned the sad truth about the human mind’s ability to seemingly conceive of endless ways to sexually abuse children.

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Why Adult Toys Are Not Bad Either

There have been leftovers of the free love generation who have managed to survive and the great thing is that in recent times there has been a sexual revival of sorts in America. A good example of this is that in the past 5 years or more, America has witnessed a baby boom, women once more want to be pregnant and have babies. This time though people are a tad wiser and mindful in their approach to sexual exploration. This has also meant that the once struggling sex toys industry is now able to breathe a sigh of relief. Even the most adamant people who refused to use such products as a means to derive extra sexual pleasure are not turning towards sex toys and no longer believe that adult toys are a social taboo. Yet there will always remain some people who will think that adult sex toys are not a good thing to use.

The reason for neglecting or brushing aside sex toys like a vibrator is mainly because of a misunderstanding about the uses and ramifications of such products. They would think that sex enhancement products simply undermine their self confidence of being able to satisfy their opposite sex in bed. While some others are of the view that adult toys are limited to extreme versions of fetishism. Well it would not be an understatement to say that both these conclusions are from the truth.

As we just mentioned earlier in the article that people from every walk of life are accepting the use of adult sex toys is not bad and therefore manufacturers are coming up with a wide range of products to suit the needs and wishes of consumers. Surely there are many products that experienced people can use but there are also quite a few products that cater to the needs of a novice user.

Major sex toy industry players are well aware of the fact that consumers want to keep their toys discrete. Therefore manufactures do design a number of products keeping this in mind. Today the vibrator is designed to look similar to a lipstick container plus lubes are described using terms such as ‘relaxation’ instead of using any explicit sexual terminology. Adult toys are not designed in a discrete manner so that when purchasing one the consumer feels as comfortable as when they are buying chocolates.

Now that your fears regarding buying and using sex toys has been addressed let us move to the question of the effect such products can have on an existing relationship. Till not a couple of decades ago the use of sex toys showed the person in poor light and it was suggested as an act of fetishism. In recent times though adult toys have entered the bedrooms of millions of couples looking to find that extra bit of pleasure in their sex life. Such toys are certainly a great way to explore hidden and never before tapped erotic relationship between two people. Surely sex toys will not lead to a division between couples, and are often a source that brings about new and exciting romantic situations.

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Adult Sex Fantasy – 3 Reasons Why She Doesn’t Want to Try That Experimental Orgasm Technique

Bringing up the subject of sex fantasies can be intimidating. Even men who are usually dominant socially find themselves stuttering and murmuring whenever they suggest anything beyond the missionary position. There is something about a quiet, not confident voice that just says ‘wimp’ to women. At best it shows that you are only confident in certain situations: not an attractive trait!

The first thing that all men have to work on is their voice. Confidence and sex-appeal come from men who know exactly what they want and how to get it. Communicate directly about sex and be honest about what sexual fantasy scenarios turn you on. This kind of communication gets your message across and she will respect you a lot more!

I Want to Try This Fantasy, Why Won’t She Let Me?

There are many reasons why women don’t want to try certain fantasies. One of the key ones is that she worries that you will consider it degrading or slutty if she says ‘yes’. This is one key thing that it is never too early in your relationship to make sure that she understands: nothing that she could possibly say will alter your perception of her. I also make sure that she feels that her sexual side is as valued as her classy side. Understanding that she has both sides to her personality will go a long way in making sure that you have a strong relationship and great sex.

A lot of men forget that sex fantasies are not just about them: there are two people involved! This can come as shocking news to many guys as they have some crazy ideas that they don’t believe women could possibly enjoy. If you are doing any sex fantasy correctly then it should be pleasurable for her and for you. If you do anal sex correctly it should stimulate a lot of erogenous zones in the vagina. Likewise bondage can be about dominance and giving complete control to someone else, which can be erotic if done correctly.

Being A Sex Master

Generally women like men who are in control and know what they are doing. A guy who stumbles through a sex act, not really knowing what is going on is not just un-manly, but also potentially dangerous. Whoever is playing the dominant role in a sex fantasy must know exactly what is happening at each stage of the fantasy. If a fantasy gets out of hand and you lose control, you must stop it immediately. This is your responsibility.

The great thing about sex fantasy is that it is a celebration of the two of you and your relationship. You can show each other your most sexual, uninhibited sides and know that your partner will love that side of you. Make sure that it remains mutually enjoyable and soon you will be having the kind of sex that you only fantasized about.

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There Are Really Only Four Ways To Make Money

People are always looking for money. We need finance to exist in this life, no matter who we are. Millions of people everyday are trying all sorts of gimmicks and get-rich-quick schemes and millions more are being hoodwinked with scams. There are really only four ways to make money!

FOUR WAYS TO MAKE MONEY

WIN IT. Not a sure way to raise finance and many people end up losing more than they win as they try to gamble their way to riches.

INHERIT IT. Not a sure way either. You have to have some rich relatives who think you’re the best thing after sliced bread.

BEG, BORROW or STEAL IT. Absolutely not recommended. All are short-lived with long-term consequences. Fraud, scams, dishonest dealings and lies have a short life. Ask “Bernie” Madoff, an American swindler, former stockbroker, investment advisor and financier trusted by thousands. He got away with his nefarious schemes for a long time, but they finally caught up with him. The FIFA chaps also found that this is a slippery slope.

TRADE SOMETHING FOR IT. Now we are talking! You either have to trade your TIME, ASSETS or EXPERTISE for money. There is no other way to real financial independence.

Once you understand this, the rest is much easier to figure out.

Ask yourself:

Do I have time available? Get a full-time or part-time job and work for someone. Look for opportunities or create them. Join sites like elance.com or fiverr.com and offer your services. Remember, though, you only have so many hours in a day.

Do I have assets I can trade for money? Good question. You can get into Affiliate Marketing by recommending products from online marketplaces like Amazon, ClickBank, JVZOO and get paid good commissions for sales without having to handle the goods and finance yourself. Then you have eBay, Craigslist, OLX, Bid&Buy and a host of other sites that allow you to buy and sell. You can even sell at Fleamarket stalls, and bazaars. There are opportunities everywhere.

Do I have some expertise? This is a far better question and the results are more satisfying. Write some short reports and sell them to people who need to know what you know. Write Kindle books and publish them for free on Amazon’s global platform – and earn great royalties ranging from 30% to 70%. Teach courses on Udemy. Run seminars and webinars.

Why would people want to pay you for information when they can find it free on the internet?

Simply because they have to search for the information they want, sift out the good from the not-so-good and put it all together in a workable plan. It’s so much easier to pay someone who knows exactly what to do and worth the money as they exchange their cash for your expertise.

Think about it. Everybody knows something that others want to know. You can write one course, one eBook or one report and sell it over and over again.

All you need are some creative ideas.

You can get the “how to” by asking Google and watching some YouTube videos that walk you through the technical side of things.

I have an Author friend who ends every teaching session with the words: “Now Go Home… and Write Something.”

I end this article with the same thought: Now Go Home… and Trade Something!

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The Best Personal Development Tools Recommended

Anytime I remember the beginning of my journey into establishing my presence and business online, I smile and laugh because of how I run my business back then. The truth is that I didn’t have any direction. Remembering those days when I drag myself out of bed to do a bit of blogging here and there, and placing ads on those blogs still makes me laugh.

I didn’t set any goals for myself and was not cocksure of what I really wanted to achieve. The resultant effect of this was that I bounced from opportunity to opportunity because I was distracted by the different kinds of marketing strategies and ideas that captivated my unfocused and goalless mind. But the day came when I realised that results only comes from focused efforts in one or two areas.

The reason am telling you this is because I want you to learn from my past experience and to relate it to what I am going to talk about. Apart from not having any clear cut plan, I also didn’t have any personal development tools in my arsenal to ensure a continuous success. Believe me, for you to build your dream business (I assume this is the reason you are reading this post) or climb the highest mountain in the world, you need the “right” tools to accomplish this.

Just like a mountaineer needs the “right tools” to climb the mountain, a business owner also needs the “right tools” to use in order to achieve success in their business. You have to embrace personal development because ignoring it will definitely be to your detriment. Those who ignore personal development on a personal and corporate level will surely experience stunted business and personal growth. Hence, the right personal development tools must be utilized alongside a focused plan to achieve and ensure success.

Over the years, I have come across different type of tools and resources which have contributed to my success in the different industries I have been and am involved in. Though these tools are a big part of my ongoing learning process (yes, I am still learning because I want to sustain my success), the success I have attained in my physical rehabilitation business can be attributed to a strong personal development plan and the right tools I use in order to keep me on the right track.

You see, this applies to every aspect of your life too and I want to help you with that. In this post, I will share with you some of the key personal development tools I have come across on my business journey. Like I said at the beginning of this post, apart from not having a clear cut goal, I also struggled with a lot of personal issues, one of which was confidence and self-assurance.

As I am being honest with myself, I also want you to be honest with yourself because I know that once you use these tools am about to teach you, your life and business will be positively affected. So open your mind. Know what you want to get out of this post and what you want to change because this is the first step to positively change your life and business.

1. TED

Have you ever heard about the TED talks? And if you have, how many of these talks have you watched and listened to, and how many of the individuals giving speeches on this site are you following? If you haven’t heard about the TED talks, then you are about to find out what it’s all about.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk is a global set of conferences run by a private non-profit organization known as the Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It is one of the best free resources on the internet for education, fresh ideas and enlightenment as far as business and mind-set issues are concerned.

It is a website where people watch videos on a variety of different topics. Though some of the videos there might not be related to what you are looking for, you will surely find some that you will be of use to you. One thing I also want you to know is that the individuals who give speeches on this site are some of the smartest and most successful people in business and in the fields they specialize in. I highly recommend that you check out this site, see what stirs your mind and apply the ideas being discussed.

2. Mindbloom

As the name suggest, the aim of this site is to enhance your life. This site enables you to work on whatever it is you want to work on by way of creating a “tree” for free. One of the core aspects of Mindbloom is the “bloom” programme. Apart from using it to wake up on the right side of your day, you can also use Bloom as your morning wake-up call, to remind yourself to eat a healthy snack between meals, to shift gears after work by scheduling a bloom with your favourite song and family photos, to remind yourself to pack lunch so as to save a few dollars each day.

You might think these “little things” have no effect on your life, but I can assure you that it had and is still having a great effect on mine. So these “little things” can improve the quality of your life and there are many more personal development tools on this website that can help you with the different aspects of your life. I definitely recommend that you check out this site.

3. Udemy

This is another site that I strongly recommend you check out immediately. If you are looking for a course in a particular area, look no further than Udemy. The site provides a wide range of courses on different subjects. Just name it and Udemy will probably provide a well-structured course on it. These courses are handled by experts who have excelled in their different fields. So you are definitely in good hands.

Let’s also look at this from a business perspective. We all know that knowledge is power (that is if the knowledge is put into action) and the more knowledge you have, the more valuable you become. By being more valuable in your chosen niche, you will be able to improve your business income by improving yourself and the business. Less I forget, it is worth knowing that some of the courses on this site are free. What can you get for free these days? What are you waiting for? Check out this site.

4. Lumosity

This is another mind blowing site designed and maintained by neuroscientists. Yes, these neuroscientists really know what they are talking about when it comes to the optimal performance of the brain, the subconscious and conscious mind. Believe me, just as you know your conscious mind is always at work, your subconscious mind too is “never” on holiday.

The development of the mind is so important because the state of your mind can either positively or negatively affect any endeavour you undertake. This is why am also recommending this site for you. The strength of the mind is equally as important as the strength of the will. With more than 50 million users, many paying $15/month or $80/year for full access, the services being offered on the site has caught on like wildfire. Like anything other personal or business endeavour, you only get out what you put in.

As a company, Lumosity work with over 100 researchers all over the globe. Test results after a 10-week period have shown that after working with 4000 participants completing crosswords, half online and half on Lumosity, the Lumosity group improved more than the crosswords group on an assessment of cognition. Like it or not, the statistics are strong. So it may be worth a go.

5. Vision Board Deluxe

This is a great app which does pretty much what it says on the tin. You are at liberty to create your own vision board which will propel your success even further than you think. And this can be done on the go by using your phone or tablet. You may be familiar with this concept of creating a vision board and why people do it if you are a big fan of personal development. And in case you are not or you want more information on this, let me explain.

As I have said before, your subconscious mind is always working. In fact, whether you realise it or not, it’s working really hard, even right now as you read this post, filtering all kinds of stimuli from the environment around you. If it doesn’t do that, you would go completely mad from everything you have to process. But the subconscious mind is far more important than just filtering all kinds of stimuli. It is also the most important factor in many successful people’s journeys.

Once you create a vision board, you activate your subconscious mind by constantly reminding it that what you are doing is so important. You are focusing your mind on what you truly want and because of the excellent bit of kit it is, it will work to ensure you receive everything you desire. You may not fully understand this idea (though I would be happy if you could catch this idea right away), but I promise you, your subconscious will open doors and your eyes to opportunities you didn’t even know were there.

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Digital Marketing on a Budget in 2017

The most important thing about cost-effective marketing is to focus on high-return activities. Different channels work for different companies, there’s no one-size-fits-all. If there’s one thing we know though it’s that you should absolutely spend money on marketing your business online. Even a budget of $1,500 can go a long way.

Research $0

The great thing about research is that the only resource you’ll need to spend is your time. If you don’t do thorough research before spending your first marketing dollar you probably won’t put the remaining $1,499 to particularly good use.

A good place to start is by doing a quick Google search of your industry, identifying patterns, understanding consumer behaviour, studying your competition, and even reaching out to your target audience for first-hand market research. The data you collect during this process will serve as the foundation of your campaign.

Certainly, there are ways you can spend money on research. There are organizations that sell reports with seemingly critical information, as well as tools that’ll pull data from around the web for your consideration. Services like Springwise and Trendwatching are great for this, but can be a bit pricey. There’s more than enough free information out there to help get you off the ground.

Email marketing $350

In spite of all the new tools and techniques, email marketing continues to prevail as one of the most effective marketing methods you could implement. The fact is, your email list is gold – these are people who have responded to your outreach, opted in and are primed to hear from you. If you do nothing else, take advantage of email marketing and center your campaign around it.

So what does $350 get you? Right now, it’s the equivalent of a one-year subscription to MailChimp, which needs no introduction. An email list of 2,001-2,500 contacts will cost you $30/mo, technically totalling $360/year. Depending on the size of your list and needs, you can pay more or less – it’s free for up to 500 contacts.

New apps such as Conversio, showcased on my startup’s website evercloud.co, allows you to easily grow revenues by supercharging existing customers through intelligent email receipts and thus increasing lifetime customer value.

Video marketing $300

According to Cisco, consumer internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic globally in 2019. That is a whopping 64% increase from 2014. For marketers, if you’re not already taking advantage of the impact that videos have in your content marketing strategy, then you absolutely have to jump on the bandwagon.

Posting unique content to YouTube or Vimeo and sharing it on relevant social media channels can help establish an online presence. Of course you can also just share interesting third-party videos to your followers if they’re relevant, but it’s also important to create your own videos.

Alternatively, you can sell videos on Udemy, an online learning platform, which can be a powerful sales vehicle for individuals and businesses who want to share their knowledge and leverage their expertise and generate a scalable, recurring revenue stream.

Costs associated with video marketing can vary. Video editing software and hosting doesn’t come cheap, services such as JWPlayer cost $300/year, but can easily prove to be a very shrewd investment.

Paid social media marketing $450

With a bit of testing you will quickly know which social media platform to focus your content creation and promotion efforts on. This isn’t to say that you should forget about posting or interacting on other channels. But when it comes to spending money, nail it down to the one or two platforms you’re confident will get the best engagement.

Once you’ve identified your channels, start promoting your best content with paid ads. Get up and running with a business page on Facebook or promote content from any type of account on Twitter, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn. A Twitter card, for instance, can give you a brand boost and build your email list at the same time. LinkedIn not only offers boosted posts, but also detailed analytics that helps ensure your posts are reaching your desired market. That $450 budget will prove one of the most inexpensive ways available to get your message in front of (highly targeted) new eyes. When used effectively, any major social media site can help you gain traction and collect followers quickly, leading to more interaction and sales in the future.

Sometimes managing all your social media and online presence can be time-consuming. That’s where companies like Hootsuite and Mention become extremely useful. Hootsuite lets you manage all your social media pages from one dashboard and has other tools such as scheduling your posts, and Mention is your eyes and ears for what people are saying about your brand online. And then there are newer services, like Kickstagram, a platform to successfully manage and make the most out of your Instagram account. Additionally, Publicfast lets you connect with social media influencers, which can have a massive impact on your social media efforts. And of course you can always outsource your social media marketing to pros like GoodAudience, who have the knowledge and experience to really grow your social media presence.

Don’t be afraid to look beyond social media platforms – community sites like Quora, Reddit, and Medium can be a great way to advertise your product or service. Just make sure you aren’t blatantly promoting your business, it won’t be well-received!

Content Marketing $400

Never underestimate the power of good content. Blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, videos, webinars, the list goes on! If you’re not a confident writer or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to writing your own blog you can look into outsourcing this task. Blog Hands is a blog content writing service meaning your blog will be one less thing to worry about, and costs are completely dependent on the length and number of blog posts you’d like. Allocating roughly $400 would be a good place to start, which would get you ten 400-word blog posts. 400 words is a bit on the short side, but they also have plans for 800, 1,200, and 2,000-word blog posts. The key here is to post relevant content that shows visitors your company is a thought leader in your respective field, while also helping with search engine optimization.

Ultimately, the strategies you choose to invest in may be different, and they probably should be, as every business and every target audience is different. What works for one group of followers may fall flat with another, which is why research and ongoing testing is so important. But what I want you to walk away knowing is that marketing doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. With just $1,500 and a little research, you can successfully implement a full-stack digital marketing campaign. The great thing is that you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t, and you can re-allocate your budget accordingly.

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How to Learn SEO: What Training Methods Are Best?

At its heart, SEO (search engine optimisation) is simple. The basics of SEO haven’t really changed since Google first started dominating the way people search the internet: make each page relevant to the topic it’s about; keep to just one topic per page; get some proof that it’s a worthy page by getting links pointing back to it.

Of course, like everything that’s outwardly simple, there are a lot of small details that need to be right.

Which is where SEO training comes in.

There are a number of different ways you can get SEO training:

Learn online

This can be done via articles such as this one, videos on YouTube, forums that deal with internet marketing and quite a few other sources.

Whilst this can be cheap – depending on how much you value your time – you need a certain amount of knowledge in order to be able to filter out information that’s no longer relevant or is just plain wrong.

For instance, a lot of the finer details of techniques such as link building change over time as Google does its best to reduce or remove the influence of the spammier techniques.

Which means that, yes, links are still important but some links are better than others and how the link actually links is getting more important.

Buy a course or a book

Amazon is awash with books on SEO. It gave me 8,325 in the books section alone when I checked just now.

You can check through the reviews of these to get an idea about the usefulness of the book. If you do that, pay more attention to the reviews from people who are marked as verified purchasers.

The look inside feature will also help you decide whether or not you get on with the style of the book.

And remember to check the copyright date. Books take a while to get through the publishing process, so the more recent this is, the better.

Courses are more difficult to check unless they’re on a site like Udemy which allows feedback and tells you the number of subscribers to the course.

The best online courses are membership based as these have the revenue to keep abreast of current techniques.

Personal SEO training

This is probably the best way to learn SEO.

The biggest advantage is that you actually have to set the time aside to learn.

Unlike a book or an online course where you can put it aside and – at least in theory – come back to it later.

That discipline can make all the difference to your learning experience. As much as anything because you’ve actually been physically (and hopefully mentally) present during the training.

You can then use what you’ve learned in your training to implement SEO on your website.

The implementation isn’t difficult. If anything, most of it is repetitive and relatively mechanical.

Even if you decide to hire an SEO expert to carry out the work involved, it’s worth doing some training yourself so that you can check whether what’s being done on your behalf is using the right techniques.

That’s something I was taught at university and have never forgotten. It means that you know the right things to ask and can check that what’s being done to promote your site will be likely to work positively for you.

The best way to learn SEO is to have face to face training.

You get tailored help to make sure that your precise needs are met and you can ask questions to make sure that you fully understand the search engine optimisation process.

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How to Choose the Proper Limo Service for Your Upcoming Special Event

There are several different event types that could require limo service. From weddings and proms to airport transportation and group events, riding in a limo driven by an experienced driver takes some of the strain off of the host. With the proper limo company in charge of the travel details, there is no need to be concerned how your party is going to get where they need to go.

The first and perhaps most important factor to consider when choosing a transportation company is how many people you have to fit in the vehicle. Some companies have large stretch limousines and stretch SUVs while other companies may only have town cars and vans available. Be sure to get an accurate count before deciding what type of vehicle you are going to get.

Some of the common types of vehicles available at many limo service companies include stretch Hummers, Lincoln Town Cars, and stretch limousines. All of these cars can transport various amounts of guests. A town car or sedan is sufficient for one or two people while a stretch limo or SUV works better for larger groups.

The next factor to think about is where you are traveling to and from. Many companies will only work in their local area while others will drive you anywhere you want to go. There are even some limo service businesses that will take their passengers across the country if that is what they want to do. Just be aware that the farther you go, generally, the more expensive the trip is going to be.

When calling around to various limo service companies, be sure to get quotes before you choose one. Every business is different and to get the best deal you need to shop around. Ask them about any added services that you may benefit from as well. Some businesses will add on more time or a beverage package for an additional charge if you want it as part of your trip.

If you are ordering your limo service for your wedding, you want to make sure that the company you hire will be accommodating to your needs. You are most likely going to want to stop and take pictures at various locations while still keeping a certain schedule. Be sure the transportation service that you choose allows you to be in complete control of what you are going to do while you are in the car.

Before making your final decision, go and visit the limo service company that you have decided on. Ask to take a look at the vehicle that they are offering you so that you can be sure it is one that you are going to be happy with. If you do not completely agree with what they have picked out for you, you will have the opportunity to view the rest of the fleet on the spot.

Whenever you are planning a special event and you want to get transportation, make sure it is done by a professional company that Is well-known and trusted. The most important thing is that you get where you need not only on time, but also safely. Check reviews and ask friends and family for suggestions before you settle on any one driving company.

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