Lesson 239 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals

A verbal is a verb form used as some other part of speech. There are three kinds of verbals: gerunds, participles and infinitives.
A gerund always ends in ing and is used as a noun. Eating is fun.
A participle is used as an adjective and ends in various ways. A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerund, but remember that it is an adjective. A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly. Examples: played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen.
An infinitive is to plus a verb form. It can be a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.
Instructions: Find the gerunds, gerund phrases, participles, participial phrases, infinitives or infinitive phrases in these sentences, tell what kind of verbal they are, and how they are used.
1. The glancing blow did little damage.
2. Go to the dictionary to look for the answer.
3. This computer game is easy to play and to understand.
4. Have you tried writing it down daily?
5. His chief interests are skiing and racing.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. glancing is a participle modifying the subject blow
2. to look for the answer is an adverb infinitive phrase modifying the verb go
3. to play/to understand are adverb infinitives modifying the predicate adjective easy
4. writing it down daily is a gerund phrase used as the direct object
5. skiing/racing are gerunds used as predicate nominatives

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog
http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-239-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

Lesson 238 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals

A verbal is a verb form used as some other part of speech. There are three kinds of verbals: gerunds, participles and infinitives.
A gerund always ends in ing and is used as a noun. Eating is fun.
A participle is used as an adjective and ends in various ways. A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerund, but remember that it is an adjective. A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly. Examples: played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen.
An infinitive is to plus a verb form. It can be a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.
Instructions: Find the gerunds, gerund phrases, participles, participial phrases, infinitives or infinitive phrases in these sentences, tell what kind of verbal they are, and how they are used.
1. Blaming others is not being honest with oneself.
2. We do not plan to change the rules.
3. Forgetting his promise, Jeff returned home late.
4. My dog is too old to learn new tricks.
5. One way to improve is regular practice.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. blaming others is a gerund phrase used as the subject
2. to change the rules is a noun infinitive phrase used as the direct object
3. forgetting his promise is a participial phrase modifying the subject Jeff
4. to learn new tricks is an adverb infinitive phrase modifying the predicate adjective old
5. to improve is an adjective infinitive modifying the subject way

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog
http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-238-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

Lesson 237 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals

A verbal is a verb form used as some other part of speech. There are three kinds of verbals: gerunds, participles and infinitives.
A gerund always ends in ing and is used as a noun. Eating is fun.
A participle is used as an adjective and ends in various ways. A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerund, but remember that it is an adjective. A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly. Examples: played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen.
An infinitive is to plus a verb form. It can be a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.
Instructions: Find the gerunds, gerund phrases, participles, participial phrases, infinitives or infinitive phrases in these sentences, tell what kind of verbal they are, and how they are used.
1. Signs hung too high can’t be read.
2. You know my weakness, eating late at night.
3. Your weeping and wailing will not change a thing.
4. To decorate for the dance will cost too much.
5. Do you have a book to read?
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. hung too high is a participial phrase modifying the subject signs
2. eating late at night is a gerund phrase used as an appositive
3. your weeping/wailing are gerunds used as subjects
4. to decorate for the dance is a noun infinitive phrase used as the subject
5. to read is an adverb infinitive modifying the verb do have

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog
http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-237-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

Lesson 236 – Parts of the Sentence – Verbals

A verbal is a verb form used as some other part of speech. There are three kinds of verbals: gerunds, participles and infinitives.
A gerund always ends in ing and is used as a noun. Eating is fun.
A participle is used as an adjective and ends in various ways. A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerund, but remember that it is an adjective. A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly. Examples: played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen.
An infinitive is to plus a verb form. It can be a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.
Instructions: Find the gerunds, gerund phrases, participles, participial phrases, infinitives or infinitive phrases in these sentences, tell what kind of verbal they are, and how they are used.
1. To see better, I got new glasses.
2. Sometimes I just need to do more.
3. Having changed his mind, he turned to go.
4. The team winning the match will be given new shirts.
5. You can go home only by crossing the street.
–For answers scroll down.

Answers:
1. to see better is an adverb infinitive phrase modifying the verb got
2. to do more is a noun infinitive phrase used as the direct object
3. having changed his mind is a participial phrase modifying the subject he/to go is an adverb infinitive modifying the verb turned
4. winning the match is a participial phrase modifying the subject team
5. crossing the street is a gerund phrase used as the object of the preposition

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog
http://dailygrammarlessons.blogspot.com/2017/08/lesson-236-parts-of-sentence-verbals.html

Don’t Let Go of Expectations … Put Them to Work in Your Marketing

"Are you willing to write like a million people read your words, even if only one person currently does?" – Stefanie Flaxman

We all know the potential trouble associated with expectations:

If you expect something to turn out a certain way — and it doesn’t — you likely end up disappointed.

Subsequently, traditional wisdom has advised that we let go of our expectations to soften the blow of disappointment and train ourselves to be content with the outcome we get.

Even though I hold that outlook to be true most of the time, I wanted to explore how we could use expectations to our advantage in certain situations, rather than try to (unsuccessfully) forget about them.

If you struggle with letting go of expectations for your business, I have three steps you can follow to put them to work in your marketing instead.

Step #1: Get clear about what you want

During this step, you examine each expectation you have and turn it into a goal.

When you don’t deny or downplay what you hope for, you’re free to get specific about what you want. Those specific details can then help you uncover and perform the work you need to do.

Step #2: Assess your current routines

This step can be tricky because it requires a critical evaluation of your current work routines to see if they support your goals.

You want to be open to different options you may have not considered before.

A topic I find fascinating is the difference between people who work hard and meet their goals and people who work equally hard but don’t experience the type of success they want.

If both types of people work hard, why don’t they both see satisfying results?

My hypothesis is that people who succeed are more flexible and acknowledge when something isn’t working for them. They reassess their methods in a timely manner and move toward a similar goal that may be easier.

They keep setting and meeting new goals … until they eventually reach the one they originally wanted or achieve something even better.

The work they perform every time they adjust their focus moves them closer to that initial expectation they hoped for.

On the other hand, people who work hard but don’t meet their goals may get stuck working hard on the wrong things and ignore their great potential in other areas.

Step #3: Align your actions with your goals

Let’s go back to the expectations that helped you set your goals.

Rather than strive to have something you don’t currently have, commit to working like your expectation is already a reality.

When you create your next piece of content, ask yourself:

  • What is one thing my ideal clients and customers need help with?
  • What information will help them?
  • What is the best way to deliver that content?

You may decide to write a content series that also educates them about your business or an ebook that becomes part of your business model.

The idea is to shift from focusing on what you don’t have (yet) to putting out meaningful work into the world. You get to where you want to go by helping other people get to where they want to go.

Channel your expectations into smart work

You have to create content on a professional website as if you already have the audience you want to engage — it’s how to attract the right people to your business over time.

This perspective on how to use your expectations could be summed up with the widely known phrase: “Fake it ’til you make it.”

I find that saying a little trite, but it’s essentially the mindset I’m talking about. 😉

It may not be as concise, but let’s refer to it as:

Your expectations can drive excellent work and direct you to your next milestone as you move closer to your ultimate goals.

The post Don’t Let Go of Expectations … Put Them to Work in Your Marketing appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Making a Living Writing Ebooks: Here’s How It Works Today

"An excellent ebook can provide both revenue and a doorway to greater things." – Sonia Simone

Once upon a time, there was a straightforward solution to “monetizing” your website when you got tired of trying to make AdSense work:

Write an ebook!

Having something of your own to offer, even a simple $7 ebook, virtually always beats trying to monetize your traffic with advertising.

And that’s still true. (In fact, sales of ebooks hit $9 billion in 2015.)

But as more and more people have taken that advice, we need to get a little more strategic to build strong businesses around ebooks.

It can still be done, and I’ll be talking about folks who are doing it. But you can also let ebooks become part of a bigger game, within a larger digital business strategy.

The straight ebooks-for-sale play

We all know that some fiction authors are making a killing selling digital-only books on Amazon.

In fact, a few of those authors are dear friends of ours.

But that’s not what we’ll be talking about today. The world of fiction is a fascinating one in its own right, but the other type of ebook — the somewhat traditional “information product” designed to teach something valuable — is one we have a lot of experience with.

Two powerhouse ebook publishers

It’s getting trickier to build a business around ebooks alone, but if you look at Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School, that site grew to an ecommerce powerhouse on the strength of ebooks.

(In recent years, DPS has expanded to offer courses as well — a natural evolution that can be remarkably profitable.)

The DPS ebooks each focus on a topic the audience wants to know more about — with titles like Life in Natural Light and Captivating Color.

There are a few keys to the success of their library:

  • The books are gorgeous. Darren’s team does an exceptional job with the design of their ebooks, creating digital equivalents of “coffee table books,” featuring, of course, lots of superb photography.
  • The books are also ultra useful, walking the customer through a specific photography technique so she can get better results in her own work.
  • And the ebooks offer impressive value at just $10 each. That’s a small transaction, but because there are lots of them, and because DPS enjoys a large and passionate audience, the revenue adds up.

Another person who knows a thing or two about ultra-successful ebooks is Brett Kelly, author of Evernote Essentials.

Brett wrote the definitive guide to the popular app Evernote. Despite the fact that there were dozens of $1 and $2 guides available, his (at $29) won the war — because it was, quite simply, massively more useful than the cheaper guides.

Brett has done lots of projects since then. He even worked for Evernote for a while — the company loved his book so much, they brought him on, while allowing him to keep his lucrative digital business.

Both Darren and Brett showcase three features that any successful ebook needs:

  1. Great design
  2. Incredible usefulness
  3. Excellent value for the investment (of time or money)

The low-cost introductory product

With the explosive rise of Amazon’s Kindle, readers have become accustomed to paying just a few dollars for ebooks.

(Note that isn’t always the case — Brett’s pricing, mentioned above, survived because of that book’s excellent reputation and quality.)

If you’re trying to make your entire living with ebooks, a low price point can be tricky. But you can also use the lower price point to your advantage by using ebooks as ultra low-risk entry points to your business.

For example, on Big Brand System, Pamela Wilson uses low-cost ebook guides as launching points to an ongoing relationship with her business.

Titles like Business Name and Tagline Guide and Quick-Start Guide to Branding your Business showcase Pamela’s expertise and give potential clients a taste of how she can help grow their businesses.

Her library of low-cost ebooks creates a list of buyers for Pamela’s pricier offerings, including private coaching slots.

Why is that cool? Because a list of buyers (even if they’ve just picked up an inexpensive item) is always much more responsive than a simple interest list.

Buyers have already made a micro-commitment with your organization, which research has shown often leads to a greater willingness to take similar actions.

For many of your lower-priced buyers, going on to a more intensive offering will be a natural next step. And if you put the work in to make your low-cost ebook exceptional, there’s no better “ad” for how you will handle a larger project or product.

A list of buyers, of course, also weeds out the “looky-loos” who subscribe to lists but don’t read them or are only on the list to get free resources.

The thought leader

For a long time now, writing a book has been a way to open many more doors beyond the revenue you get from the book itself.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours, puts it this way:

“Writing a book still tends to have a positive effect on your reputation: if you invest the effort to write a good/useful book, you’ve spent more time thinking about the topic than other people, which makes you rare and valuable to people who are interested in the topic.”
– Josh Kaufman

Given enough time and exposure, an excellent ebook (or series of books) can provide both revenue and a doorway to greater things.

“When we launched Copy Hackers on Hacker News in 2011, we sold $20K worth of ebooks in a few days’ time. That money was everything to me then. It was a signal that our little ebook experiment could turn into a business, that there was a market for what we had, and that the market would pay us for what we knew. Without our ebooks, I would have had to find a job (ugh) at someone else’s business (ugh); with the ebooks, I could afford to try my hand at blogging.

“Years after our launch, our ebooks have become far less about generating revenue. Promoting them on sites like AppSumo and Freelancer has helped us grow our list. And getting them in the hands of makers and influencers has brought us consulting projects, interviews, and speaking engagements.”
– Joanna Wiebe, Copy Hackers

The relationship builder

Many have written about using an ebook as an opt-in reward. In other words, you can use an ebook as an “ethical bribe” to get people to sign up for your email list.

And it works really well for that — but it’s smart to understand the deeper business reasoning.

Offering something valuable, like an ebook, is a reward for taking action. But it also needs to become the cornerstone of an ongoing business relationship.

As any competent sales professional can tell you, before they make a purchase, buyers need to:

  • Know you,
  • like you, and
  • trust you.

An ebook that only gets the prospect to sign up for your email list isn’t living up to its potential.

Those “ethical bribes” need to entice the prospect to take action, and they also need to further the professional relationship to build the case for an eventual purchase.

For example, My Copyblogger is a completely free membership site with an extensive library of free content marketing ebooks.

When we created the free membership library, we took the traditional “trade an ebook for an email opt-in” to a completely new level (and increased our email sign-ups by about 400 percent).

Could we have offered them for sale and made a few dollars? Definitely.

But by using them as the cornerstone of a valuable free membership experience, we’re nurturing relationships for more advanced products like Digital Commerce Academy. (Digital Commerce Academy will reopen to new students on August 21, 2017, so if you’re interested in joining, add your email address to the waitlist below.)

A rose is a rose is a rose

As you’re deciding the role an ebook might play in your business strategy, remember that you don’t actually have to call it an ebook.

In fact, ebooks in other guises can be powerful business-boosters.

So, a values-based, inspirational digital entrepreneur like Chris Guillebeau might (and did) call his ebook a manifesto.

If you offer B2B products or services, at least some of your ebooks will probably be white papers.

At Rainmaker Digital, we’re fans of the special report, but we also like other downloadables like checklists, worksheets, and infographics.

And one of my favorites to play with recently has been the workbook, with the pragmatic, hands-on associations that label brings.

The more flexible you are about how you think about and package your ebooks, the more powerful a tool they can become in your digital business strategy.

Would you like some help with that?

Digital Commerce Academy (DCA) helps you build the business of your dreams by teaching you how to create and sell profitable digital services and goods (like ebooks) without squandering time and money, stumbling to find the right path, or making unnecessary mistakes.

DCA features full-length courses (including Brian Clark’s Build Your Online Training Business the Smarter Way), 20+ webinars featuring in-depth case studies and education on cutting edge tools, as well as Q&As with the Rainmaker Digital team.

The doors to DCA are currently closed, but we are reopening them on August 21, 2017. Join the waitlist below today to get an exclusive offer when DCA reopens.

Enter your Email:

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How to Unlock the Door to Effective Content with Your Creativity

How to Unlock the Door to Effective Content with Your Creativity

We definitely had a creativity thread weaving through the week, both on the blog and the podcasts.

On Monday, I continued our “Quick Copy Tips” series by talking about the difference between benefits and features. It’s one of the first topics covered in nearly every copywriting book, but even experienced writers often get it wrong — because it can be so tricky to see with fresh eyes. I gave you a fast way to do exactly that.

On Tuesday, Stefanie addressed that nasty creativity killer: perfectionism. It takes many forms and hides in many disguises. She reminded us of the one thing we all have to do to defeat it.

And on Wednesday, we posted our creativity and productivity prompts for August. We’re offering a new pair of prompts for you every month this year, to help you create stronger work and more of it. This month’s prompts were heavily influenced by Growing Gills, Jessica Abel’s terrific book on productivity for creative people.

Over on Copyblogger FM, we republished an episode on writing (much better) blog comments. Blog comments can be a surprisingly great way to forge connections with web publishers … but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way. Quit writing flat, stale comments and start leaving comments that actually make an impact.

And in an encore episode of The Writer Files, Kelton Reid shared a fascinating conversation with neuroscientist Michael Grybko about the nature of creativity — where it comes from and how to nurture it.

That’s it for this week — have a great weekend, and we’ll see you Monday. :)

— Sonia Simone
Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content


quick copy tipBoost the Relevance of Your Content with Benefits and Features

by Sonia Simone


you can care about quality and produce meaningful work without driving yourself crazyThe Non-Perfectionist’s Guide to Noteworthy Blogging for Your Business

by Stefanie Flaxman


2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The August Prompts2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The August Prompts

by Sonia Simone


How to Write (Much Better) Blog CommentsHow to Write (Much Better) Blog Comments

by Sonia Simone


How to Write (Much Better) Blog CommentsHow to Know Exactly What Content You Should Create

by Jerod Morris


The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part One: CreativityThe Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part One: Creativity

by Kelton Reid


How Website Personalization Grows Your Business Faster, with Brennan DunnHow Website Personalization Grows Your Business Faster, with Brennan Dunn

by Brian Clark


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