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Business 9, Lesson 155 – Marketing Advantages

This week I started reading The Ultimate Guide To Local Business Marketing by Perry Marshall and Talor Zamir and analysing Bob Bly’s landing pages for his books.  In today’s essay, I am going to talk about what I learnt from reading Bob Bly’s landing pages.

Before I begin, here is a link to one of the pages I had to analyse this week.  You do not have to read it, but I would advise skimming through it for a few seconds so you know what I am going to be talking about.

Number one, small paragraphs and lists are easy on the eyes.  One of the main characteristics of Bly’s landing pages is how short the paragraphs are.  I know that short paragraphs are easy on the eyes and entice readers to continue reading.  I also noticed how he consistently lists of all the information his book offers and cites the pages where he talks about the certain topic.  People do not want to read long, dry paragraphs.  They want quick and easy.  Bob Bly knows this, which is why his pages are enjoyable to read and analyse.

Number two, the Order Now button.  Earlier in the week Dr. North stated that when writing a landing page you should bring up the order now option frequently.  At the time, I did not like that idea.  In my mind, it felt like I would be forcing the ordering option down my reader’s throat, but Bly showed me how to do this without seeming forceful. 

If you clicked on the link I gave, you would see that his page is very long, but he shows the Order Now button multiple times throughout the page.  By doing this, your reader can click the link and skip the rest of the extensive advertisement.  This brings me to the final thing I learnt from him.

Number three, there is nothing wrong with lengthy advertisements.  At first, I was convinced that good advertisements are short and concise, but persuasive.  But Bob Bly showed me that you can have long advertisements and still be persuasive.  I personally think that the only reasons Bly’s long pages work is because of how often he gives the Order Now button.

As you can see, Bob Bly’s landing pages taught me a lot about marketing this week.  After reading his marketing pages this week, I can see why he is as successful as he is.

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English 9, Lesson 170 – Equiano’s Attitude to the Navy

This week I started reading Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography.  Equiano was a man who was kidnapped from his home in Africa and sold into slavery.  In one of the chapters he talked a lot about his experience in the Navy.  In this essay, I am going to talk about his attitude towards the Navy.

Before I begin, here is some background on Equiano.  When he was 11 years old, Equiano and his sister were kidnapped from their village in Africa.  The two were taken together, but eventually separated from one another.  Equiano was placed on a slave ship heading for Virginia while his sister’s fate remained unknown to him.  He described this ordeal in great detail.  He talked about how bad the conditions were and how many people died on the journey.  He recalled how a few slaves even committed suicide by jumping off the ship and into the sea.  Equiano talked about his anxieties and fears of his future.  He knew that he would not be treated well, and that scared him.

When he arrived in Virginia, he was sold to a man who was in the British Navy.  This event changed his life.

Equiano was miserable on the slave ship, but on the Navy ships he was happy and content.  He loved the daily adventures that came with being part of the Navy, and like many young boys, he longed to go to war.  In his childlike mind, war was exciting and he wanted to do something exciting.  His fears and worries from the slave ship were still present, but considerably lessened.  He stopped dwelling so much on the future and focused more on the present.

As you can see, Equiano was still a young tween when he joined the Navy, meaning that he could be easily distracted.  In this case, the excitement of the Navy and his new surroundings distracted him from his fears of his unknown future.  He was able to find contentment on the ship, even if he was a slave.

English 9, Lesson 165 – Descriptive Note-Taking

This week, I finished reading Frederick Douglass’s autobiography.  One of the things that amazed me while reading the book was how Douglass was able to give a vivid description of events.  He wrote the book seven years after he escaped, meaning that he made lots of mental notes while the event was happening.  Today, I am going to talk about how I can take descriptive notes.

There are many ways to take descriptive notes, the most classic being journaling.  The idea sounds easy, but as a person who has tried journaling many times, it is not.  At first, you will get really excited about it and journal almost every day.  But over time, you will get lazy and try to come up with excuses to not write anymore.  Eventually, you will stop writing altogether and your journal will remain incomplete to the end of time.

That may be a little overdramatic, but you get the idea.  Now with all of the technology we have available to us, it is a lot easier to take descriptive notes.  One of my personal favorite ways is to take pictures or videos of the moment if possible.  Later on, I can look back at the pictures or videos and I can write a descriptive summary of the event.  I can even record a voice message of myself talking as a reference for a later time.

One of the most important things about writing descriptive notes is the details.  After all, descriptive usually means adding a lot of details to make the story vivid.  For this, there is no app (that I know of) that can help you.  The only thing that you can do is pay attention to the things around you.  Use all five of your senses, and then write them down later on.

As you can see, writing descriptive notes can be quite easy.  You only need the motivation and time to do it.

Business 9, Lesson 150 – Procrastination Kills

This week in Business I have been learning about why people do not start their own business despite all of the advantages.  One of the reasons that Dr. North spent a lot of time talking about is procrastination.  In one of the video lessons this week, he stated that he believes that procrastination kills, and I agree with him.

If you have not taken the Business course with Dr. North, you may think that I am over exaggerating and that there is nothing wrong with procrastination.  Before I started the 9th Grade Business course, I thought that as well.  But Dr. North gave many points that procrastination is not a habit you want to keep.  In this essay, I am going to show two examples proving that procrastination can kill.

Example One

When I was younger, I loved to write stories.  I would come up with story ideas and write them down, then get lazy and tell myself that I’ll finish writing it later.  “Later,” never happened and now, years later, I have a notebook full of incomplete stories that I never finished because I procrastinated.

Procrastination killed my ideas.

Example Two

A man starts waking up in the middle of the night with extreme chest pains and struggling to breath.  A few days later he also starts to feel lightheaded randomly.  His wife gets worried about him and finds out that he is displaying warning signs of a heart attack.  She informs her husband and advises him to go to a doctor.  The man brushes it off and says he will go the next day.  When the next day comes, he brushes it off again.  The man continues to do this and eventually a week passes.  Then two weeks, then three, then almost a month.

One night, the man goes to sleep and then next morning wakes up in a hospital bed surrounded by machines.  His wife informs him that he had a heart attack in the middle of the night and that he almost did not make it.

In this very extreme example, the man procrastinated so much that he almost lost his life. 

Conclusion

As you can see, procrastination is a habit that you should learn how to break.  If you notice yourself procrastinating, I strongly encourage you to start trying to break this habit.  It is not a harmless habit and it can cause serious harm to yourself, and possibly those around you. 

English 9, Lesson 160 – Life Changing Impact

This week I started reading Frederick Douglass’ autobiography.  Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who was assumed to be born in 1818.   In one of the chapters I read this week, Douglass talked about being sent to a plantation in Baltimore.

Douglass was seven or eight when his master sent him to Baltimore to work at a new plantation.  His new master was a married man, and his wife was described to be an angel.  Douglass talked about his new mistress started to teach him how to read and write.  His lessons were put to an end after his master found out.  His master managed to convince his wife that teaching Douglass how to read would make him discontented and his wife believed him.  Douglass would try to teach himself in many ways, but he would get caught by his mistress and would be punished for it.  But Douglass would not give up.  He found other means to learn, one of them by asking the local white boys to teach him in exchange for food. 

These lessons that Douglass’ mistress gave him ignited a passion for learning within him.  He was determined to learn how to read and write, even if he had to face punishment for it.  Douglass’ new ability to read opened a whole new world to him and was the first step to him escaping from slavery.

Because of the small lessons Douglass’ mistress gave him, he was able to escape slavery.  Talk about butterfly effect.

I can confidently say that I have experienced a similar thing.  I am an aspiring actress and I have been working towards this dream since I was four years old.  My whole love for acting and performing came from one incident during the summer of 2011, when I was three years old.  I do not remember anything that happened that day, but my parents have told me the story countless times.

At the time, I was still living in America.  That summer my parents decided to take me to a street fair in one of our neighboring towns.  There was a lady putting on a small play for young children, and my parents and I stopped to watch it.  The woman was asking children from the audience to come up and help her put on the play.  I immediately raised my hand and the woman chose me.  The play she was putting on was The Three Billy Goats and I was chosen as “Billy Goat #3.” 

My parents said that they knew I had a talent for performing as soon as I stepped up on the stage.  To me, it sounded like a eureka moment.  After that summer, my parents started putting me in acting, singing, and dancing classes and I have not stopped since.

If my parents had not decided to stop and watch the show, I may not have ever been able to find my love for acting.

As you can see, both Douglass and I experienced small moments that led to something much bigger.  Who would have thought that a small decision could lead to people finding their dreams?

English 9, Lesson 150 – As a Writer of an Autobiography About Life in the Woods, Would You Spend More Pages Describing an Ant War or Loons?

This week, I continued reading Walden’s Pond by Henry David Thoreau.  In this essay I am going to answer the question “if I was the writer of an autobiography about life in the woods, would I spend more time describing an ant war or loons?”

For those that are not taking the 9th Grade English course with RPC or for students who have not reached this lesson yet, you may be wondering why the essay topic is so random.  For some background, I am currently reading Henry David Thoreau’s autobiography called Walden’s Pond.  The book describes Thoreau’s time while living the woods next to Walden’s Pond.  In one of the chapters I had to read this week, Thoreau described an ant war he witnessed and loons, a type of bird that lives on the pond with him. 

To answer the question, I would not spend time on an ant war or loons unless I found something extremely interesting about them.  When I write, fiction or non-fiction, I always make sure that the information I am giving is interesting for me and the reader.  Personally, I do not think there is anything thrilling about ant wars or loons and I doubt many will find them attention-grabbing.

Out of all of the lengthy descriptions I have read in the book so far, only the ant war makes sense to me.  Thoreau used the ant war to demonstrate his view of the political drama at that point in time.  The ‘war’ was a battle between red ants and black ants.  The red ants represented the people while the black ants represented the politicians.  He noted how there would be three or four red ants fighting against one black ant, but the black ant would always win because it had more power than the red ants.  He used the war to demonstrate that the number of people does not matter if the opponent has more power.

Thoreau also talked about loons, a type of bird that lives on the pond with him.  The common loon looks like a duck with black, white, and grey feathers.  Thoreau hated these birds with a passion and made it obvious in his writing.  He thought their calls were ‘demonic’, and I cannot blame him for thinking that.  At first, I thought that this was one of Thoreau’s odd views of the world.  However, when I found a recording of their calls on YouTube I cannot say I blame him for hating the bird.  Loon bird calls are the classic horror movie bird calls that Hollywood loves to use.

As you can see, I would not include ant wars or loons if I ever wrote an autobiography about living in the woods.  I think that Thoreau’s description of the ant war was a clever way to show his opinion on the politics of that time.  If I ever do end up writing an autobiography about living in the woods, I will be sure to look out for things that could correspond to my views on things happening in the world.