10 Keys to Write Copy That Gets Results

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Whether you're writing a brochure, copy for a newspaper ad, a script for a radio announcement or your web site, there are some tried and true techniques that can help you make sure that your copy gets the results you're looking for.

Think about writing copy as making a sales pitch to a customer. Your goal is to persuade that customer to do something – most likely to purchase your product or service. Here are "10 Keys to Writing Copy That Gets Results":

# 1: Put yourself in the consumer's shoes.

People do not take action unless there is a reason to do so. "What's in it for me" may seem like a selfish motivation but it is, nonetheless, human nature. In order to effectively persuade a consumer, you need to put yourself in their place and consider why what you have to offer meets their needs. This should not be a quick exercise or one that is taken lightly. Spend some time to really think about the appearances that you could make that would really resonate with your target audience.

For example, suppose you're selling housecleaning services to busy professional men and women. Obviously there are benefits to purchasing this service – the customer will save time. But what else? What really motivates these people? Here are some possibilities:

– We'll take care of the cleaning so you can spend more quality time with your family.

– Your time is valuable. Spend it where it really counts. Let us take care of the rest.

– You work hard at your real job. We work hard at our.

What if you do not really know your customers? What if you're a 25-year-old woman and you've created a product that appeals to 50 year old men? Then you need to get out and interact with your target customers, either one on one, or through market research. You must know your customer to be able to write effective copy.

# 2: Make it as long as you need to.

Ignore anything you hear about recommended length of copy. There are no hard and fast rules. Your copy simply needs to be as long as necessary to convey your key selling points. That does not mean, though, that you should ramble on and on. No. You should identify 3-5 key points that directly refer to customer needs and then clearly and concisely provide enough detail about your product or service to convince the customer to take action.

Sometimes you can do this effectively with a single line of copy and an effective photo. Consider a full color photo of a tasty slice of pizza, with a single line of copy that simple says: "Hungry?"

Sometimes you can not do this effectively without several paragraphs of copy, along with photos or schematics describing your product, how it works and how it will meet customer needs. Consider a brochure describing a piece of manufacturing equipment that costs several thousand dollars.

Always remember that your objective is to convince the consumer to buy. If you can do that in one sentence, do it in one sentence. If not, make your copy as long as you need to.

# 3: Keep it simple.

Whatever your target audience is teenagers or doctors, you need to convey a simple message. Your audience is busy and your message is competing with literally hundreds of other messages and distractions. Know the points you want to make and make them simply and clearly. Edit your copy mercilessly so that it contains only those "need to know" elements that will guide the consumer in making a purchase decision.

# 4: Convert features to benefits.

Too often copy focuses on the features of a product rather than its benefits. What's the difference? Features are the attributes of a product or service – a statement of fact. For example: "XYZ orange juice has calcium." Benefits, on the other hand, answer the all-important question of "What's in it for me?" In this case: "XYZ orange juice has calcium to help you build strong bones." Make sure that your copy goes beyond a description of features to clearly focus on the benefits for consumers. What's in it for them?

# 5: Do not be an "also ran."

Make sure that you distinguish yourself from your competition when you're writing copy. Spend some time reviewing the advertising of your competitors. Note their key copy points. Note the benefits that focus on. Then be different. You're trying to convince consumers to pick your product or service over the other options available to them. That means differentiating yourself.

Keep in mind that you have indirect as well as direct competition. Indirect competition are the other choices consumers could make. For instance, in the housecleaning example given earlier, indirect competition would be the consumer doing the cleaning on their own – or assigning the task to children. Your copy needs to address all of the alternatives to your product or service – and offer compelling reasons why the consumer should overlook those alternatives to choose you!

# 6: Be consistent.

Advertising or communication needs to be consistent to be effective. It's the cumulative impact of your communication that will ever make an impact with consumers. That's why it's so important that you use consistent themes and messages in all of your advertising. That consistency will help to reinforce your product benefits; continued emphasis on the same points will absolutely lead to sales. Make sure your copy is consistent in all media – radio, print, etc. – and that you're reinforcing the same points, not sending "mixed messages."

# 7: Do not forget the details.

Remember, your copy is your sales pitch. But unlike a real sales pitch you do not have the luxury of responding to any questions that the potential customer might have as he or she reads or listens to your pitch. That's why your copy needs to include all of the key points and information necessary to help the consumer make a decision. Spend some time thinking of the potential customers that consumers might have about your product or service – then make sure you've provided answers to these questions in your copy.

# 8: Consider the "look."

When you're writing copy for print – newspaper or magazine ads or brochures, your copy will be working in concert with graphic elements. These elements can help to drive your point (as in the pizza example earlier) or they can serve as distractions, or worse, detractors from the copy. Some examples are photos, line art, bulleted lists, bold headings, etc. Make sure you're considering the "look" of your copy and how it relates to graphic elements, noting how the reader's eye is likely to "track" through the copy.

# 9: Read it out loud!

A good salesperson is often said to have "a silver tongue." The same should be true of your copy. Remember your copy is your pitch. Whatever you're writing a radio script which will be verbalized, or newspaper copy, you need to consider how it "sounds." The best way to do this is to read your copy out loud. You'll be surprised at the little "glitches" you'll notice when you do this. It's a simple technique to tighten and improve your sales copy.

# 10: Know when it's time to hire an expert.

Copywriting is an art. Good copywriters can drive sales of your product or service upward. Poor copy – copy that does not motivate consumers to buy – is simply a waste of your money. A newspaper ad that does not persuade is a bad investment. If your ads are not getting the results you'd like, it may be time to find outside help. It can be worth every penny!

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Source by Linda Pophal

How To Write Follow-Up Articles For News Outlets – 3-Step Guide

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One of the best ways to make your mark as a freelance journalist, apart from knowing how to write, is to provide a newspaper or similar news organizations with timely articles.

Timely means following up on news issues that are already being covered by the news outlet, whether it’s a newspaper, magazine or website. To do this, it is important that you abide by these three rules: identify the issue, take the story further and write it in proper journalism style.

Editors are unlikely to accept anyone who is not staff coming off the street and submitting what they want, let alone paying for such articles.

However, if you follow the three steps mentioned above, you can greatly improve your chances of getting your article published and opening the door for more work.

Identify the issue – by simply reading your targeted news outlet for a few days, you can get an idea of what stories and issues they care about. You can also read rival publications to see how they treat the same stories. Look at all sections: general news, business, sports and so on to decide which topics you are most comfortable with. Zero in on any particular news issue and make yourself an expert on it. Get to know whom the main players and what their views or grievances are.

Take the story further – for each day that passes, an issue needs to be freshened up to make it newsworthy. If an athlete is injured one day, the next day people would want to know how long he or she will be out for. If a tragedy strikes, the follow up would be casualty count and reaction. But remember that the news outlet would either have their own staff or a syndicated wire service providing articles for them. This means you have to think of an angle that is completely different. If you can think of one that is newsworthy and not covered by anyone else, you would have won the trust of the editor involved. Check out relevant blogs to see what the man on the street is saying. Some of them may have inside information that no one else has.

Write in journalistic style – the article you are reading now is not written in journalistic style. This is more of a “how to” article. Journalism news writing means employing the who, what, why, where, when and how system that gets the news out as fast as possible. You also need to know what kind of story you are going to write. Is it a hard-hitting news article, a poignant quote story or an investigative feature?

With all three elements fulfilled, you are ready to call up the editor and sell your article. If you have a good story that is relevant to the issue, provides fresh perspective and is different from what the news outlet or any of their rivals are likely to have, then you have an excellent chance of seeing your byline the next day.

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Source by Nazvi Careem

What Is The Best Video Phone?

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The digital revolution is taking over. Every single technology is transforming to become digital. It is now the time of home telephone service to join the club. In America we are currently experiencing the shift from analog phone service (telephone poles and wires) to digital phone services. In its most basic form what this means is our phones now operate over the Internet. In a matter of a few short years every home in our country will be Internet based.

Since the technology is changing it follows that the actual telephone device itself will need to evolve as well. Analog phones will soon become obsolete. Therefore we will all need to acquire new telephones and new telephone service. You can choose to remain with a traditional cordless phone if you so desire, but why not upgrade your equipment along with your service? Especially when this upgrade will not cost you an arm and a leg? In fact, highly advanced technology is available at an extremely competitive cost.

Internet video phones are far superior to regular telephones and cost almost the same amount of money. That’s right! You can own the very best video phone for about the same price as a cordless phone. The great part is video phones offer all sorts of features regular phones do not, starting with video capabilities! Imagine being able to see the person you are talking to. It’s the future, today!

This concept alone is thrilling. No more worrying about your elderly parents. No more missing out on family events due to distance and travel. No more feeling guilty or remorse for living far away from loved ones. No more worrying about money to travel in order to keep up relationships. With digital phone service you can even conduct a video meeting for business. Do you have business associates across the country or even in other parts of the globe? No problem, maintain the face to face, personal contact with video VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).

Futuristic forms of communication such as shown in movies and even TV shows like “The Jetsons” are no longer fantasy. VOIP video phones are here. This technology is available right now at the same price as what you are paying for regular, outdated analog service. On top of this, digital phone service monthly fees are probably less than what your current phone bill is. Thanks to decreased costs to implement and run phones digitally, that savings has been passed right along to consumers, allowing you to receive better service, higher quality, many more standard features along with video capabilities, all for  the same price or less than what you are used to paying.

Now is the time to get in on the digital phone revolution. Since we are on the cusp of this new wave, competition is minimal and prices are a bargain. Don’t let the optimal time pass you by.

I have prepared a detailed FREE report on all the benefits home video phones have to offer. Take a few minutes to read it and pick the best video phone for you. I’ve also created a short video for you to watch as an introduction to the value of these improved phones. Click here for both.

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Source by Rick Phares

Church Letter Writing Success Mini Course – Tip 12 of 13

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It is recommended you use all 13 Tips in your Ezine.

Our twelfth lesson in “13 Tips For Church Letter Writing Success” will build off the letter “R” in our Church Letters

acrostic.

So far, we have looked at the following:

C – Be Clear

H – Be Hopeful

U – Be Understanding

R – Be Responsive

C – Be Consistent

H – Be Helpful

L – Be “Letter-Ready”

E – Be Evangelistic

T – Be Tactful

T – Be Timely

E – Be Energetic

Today, we will take a look at:

R – Be Right

People do not want to be viewed as just “people”, they want to be seen and known as “individuals” and certainly do not want to feel like a number when they are part of a church body.

This is a great challenge for every leader, and that is to

communicate on a personal level with those in your congregation.

A most unpleasant scenario would be to write a letter to “John” when the man’s name is actually “Steve”, or most likely you have received letters such as: Dear (First Name).

While most churches now utilize Mail Merge operations today and most people know it, there is still something about receiving a letter like this that makes it highly offensive especially within the church body.

Personally, I’ve made this mistake in writing these e-mails, and while I recognize that most of the hundreds of people receiving e-mails realize these are not written one by one, it still is something that shouldn’t happen! So if it has happened to you, thanks for your forgiveness… 🙂

One thing that I need to point out here is when you are using the resources of churchletters.net or churchcards.net to be sure to change some of the information that appears in each letter. For instance, your church name may, or may not be, “First Christian Church” as you see in all the letters. This is our “generic” church name, so be SURE to edit that when sending letters. Also, not many of you are named Pastor John Doe, so again, be SURE to edit the letters you send for accuracy instead of just copying and pasting.

Below is your twelfth complimentary letter which you may modify and use in your own church communications.

We Miss You Letter

I write briefly to let you know that you have been missed at church the past few weeks.

I trust all is well with you and your family, however, I wanted you to know that when you are not able to be with us, you are missed very much.

While life can be busy for all of us to the point it seems we have no time to just relax for awhile, I encourage you to place your relationship with the Lord and His family near the top of the list of priorities. I believe with all my heart that as we allow God to take His rightful place, many of the other areas of life find a way of working out as we are dependent upon His wisdom. James 1:5 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Wisdom means more than just knowledge. It means using the knowledge that God gives to us in a right way, at the right time, and in the right place. This is the kind of wisdom God grants to us without finding fault!

My letter to you is not about finding fault, but it is simply meant to encourage you to guard well your relationship with the Lord and His family.

Blessings in Christ,

PASTOR’S NAME

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Source by Norman Lawrence

Early Church Persecution

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The Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church. -Tertullian

INTRODUCTION

This article is an introductory look at the persecution of the early church. The Jewish social setting and subsequent persecution of the Christians by the Jews will be looked at first, followed by the Roman social setting and persecution of the Christians by the Romans.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS BY JEWS – IN JERUSALEM

SOCIAL SETTING

Jewish Scholars point to the rejection of the Torah as the basis of the conflict between Christians and Jews, while many Christian scholars have pointed to the rejection of the Messiah as the basis of the conflict.1 A closer look at the complex social setting of Jerusalem during the first century will reveal a much more complex set of events.

Judaism of the first century was composed of eight very different groups of Jews. In the same way that it would be a gross misrepresentation to lump Mormons, Muslims and Atheists in the same category, so it would be likewise inaccurate to lump Jews of this time period into one category, simply based on their national or ethnic identity. Here is a brief overview of the various groups, focusing on the political aspects of their identity, since politics were at a fever pitch in this complex and struggling nation:

Sadducees: This was a group of wealthy Jews who controlled the Temple, which enabled them to continuously generate the financial resources to remain in power. While not completely embracing their Roman occupiers, they sided with the Romans to help themselves remain in power over the temple.

Am Ha- ‘aretz: The people of the land. These were the segment of the common peasant population, which paid little attention to the observance of the Torah and seemed to shun the study of the Torah.2 This group would have included any Jews who proclaimed atheism and by and large held little political power.

Scribes: Literally translated as one who can write. These were the scholars of their day.

Essences: A sect which separated themselves from the cities, observing extreme purity and piety in the deserts, awaiting a sure eschaton to come in their generation, which would remove the foreign invaders from Judah and establish a new order.

Zealots and Sicarii: The Sicarii were the terrorists of their day. They would hide small knives under their garments and in the midst of busy crowds stab specific offenders. Politically they served to stir up sentiments of war against those they opposed.3

Hellenized Jews: An ever-growing population of Jews who were embracing the new order of Hellenism to the exclusion of Judaism. The reasons for this transformation were numerous, chief of which were financial and political gains that came with embracing and trading in Hellenized areas.

Pharisees: The people who were most focused on Torah worship and observing with rigid detail not only the laws of the Torah, but also the laws created to build a fence around the Torah. This group of people felt great pressure from multiple directions. They had the Sadducees controlling the temple, the Hellenized world enticing Jews to view Judaism as the old way, Hellenism as the wave of the future and the Roman government oppressing them. They were holding on to a belief that seemed to be fading away in this complex and changing world.

Going back to the initial arguments of why the Jews persecuted the Christians, Jewish scholars who point to the lack of Torah worship as the basis for the conflict discount the fact that many groups in this world were not observing the Torah, with little to no persecution being directed at them. Paul was said to have observed the Torah worship when in the company of Jews, but he still faced persecution.4 In addition, records found in the Dead Sea Scrolls speak of an anti-ritualistic sentiment within the Jewish population. Christian scholars who point to the rejection of the Messiah as the basis of the conflict fail to recognize than the Essences and other obscure sects used messiah language and some even claimed to be a messiah, yet there is no record of directed persecutions among those groups. To better understand what could have caused the persecution of the Christians within Jerusalem, the record of Christian activity in Acts must be observed.

In the first seven chapters of Acts, during the Apostles’ witness to Jerusalem, the Apostles were found in the temple preaching. Those in attendance of such sermons would have been the Sadducees and Pharisees. The message of a new kingdom reserved only for those who professed Christ would have angered the Sadducees by threatening their power hold on the temple. As much as they would have desired freedom from foreign invaders their link with the Romans helped to keep them in power and thus the Christian message was an affront to their capital. Likewise, the same message would have been even more distasteful to the Pharisees. It would have struck the same already raw nerve of the invading Hellenism in that Christianity, like Hellenism, demoted the very symbols of their ethic solidarity of purity, food laws, Sabbath and circumcision. Judaism was once again being portrayed as obsolete by yet another new philosophy in the new, enlightened world.

It was not merely the message of the Christians that resulted in persecution, but the combination of the wrong message to the wrong people at the wrong time. Had the Christians been preaching their message to groups such as the Hellenized Jews or the Am Ha- ‘aretz they would have probably been met with either acceptance or at worst disinterest. However, their choice of groups and venues ignited a powder keg that was already set to explode. Josephus observed this great hatred and unrest poised to strike back at the Hellenistic and Roman threats. In his autobiography he talks about his effort to defuse an impending revolt:

I perceived that innovations had already begun, and that there were a great many very much elevated in hopes of a revolt from the Romans…. [I] Persuaded them to change their minds…and this I said with vehenement exhortation, because I foresaw that the end of such a war would be most unfortunate to us. But I could not persuade them; for the madness of desperate men was quite too hard for me.5

Needless to say, “loving your enemies” was not met with the greatest enthusiasm.

So the motivation for the persecution of the Jews in Jerusalem changes, based on which group is being addressed. The Sadducees were fighting to maintain the established order, the Pharisees were fighting against the degeneration of the Torah worship and many others were poised to invoke a revolution against the Roman invaders. There was no one reason for the persecution, but rather a complex web of cause and effect relationships.

RESULTING PERSECUTION

In the eyes of the Roman government Christianity, which at this time had no official title, was seen as merely another religious segment within Judaism. With so many sects within the Jewish community, it is easy to see how Romans viewed Christians as merely one more peculiarity in a nation of peculiar people and religious beliefs. So the Jews had very little recourse in turning to the Romans to persecute Christians. This resulted in the trial and stoning of Stephen without help from the Roman authorities.6 While it was unusual for Jews to execute capital punishment under the Roman governance, it was not unheard of. In John’s account of the trial before Pilot, Pilot tells the Jews to judge him themselves. They respond that it is not lawful for them to put anyone to death.7 However, in the context of them demanding Jesus be put to death, the comment by Pilot seems to suggest they were known for doing just such a thing, on occasion.

Before the stoning of Stephen, the Christians were living in Jerusalem, worshiping and praying in the temple daily. After the beginning of the Christian persecution in Jerusalem, they were forced out and subsequently began to travel to other cities, spreading the gospel to the Diaspora Jews first and the Gentiles second. It must also be noted here that the persecution of Christians by the Jews was not a unified effort. It was largely the Pharisees and the Sadducees who pressed for the persecutions.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS BY JEWS – IN THE ROMAN WORLD

SOCIAL SETTING

Unlike the Jews of Jerusalem who viewed the Romans solely in terms of an enemy occupation, the Jews of the Diaspora had learned to co-exist with the Romans in a tense truce, having lived in many of the Roman cities for generations. The Roman Pagans had accepted the Jewish people as a reality and each group had their own butchers and did their own separate sacrifices for their meats to be sold in the marketplace. The Jews in the Roman Diaspora had also attained a measure of wealth and influence in the Roman world.8

RESULTING PERSECUTION

When Paul would arrive at a new city he would first go to the synagogue and preach to the Diaspora Jews. The Jews who rejected his message were often the ones who would go to the Roman authorities to incite them against Paul. This union of Roman and Jewish persecution of Christians is seen in Acts 14. In that story, the Jews go to the Roman authorities to seek Roman action, subsequently resulting in the punishment of stoning, which was the Jewish form of capital punishment.9

Jews who rejected the message of Paul, desired both to disassociate themselves and to prejudice authorities, portraying Christians as dangerous revolutionaries. It was a mass-conversion in Antioch when Christians first received a nickname differentiating themselves from their Jewish counterparts.10 This differentiation opened a new era of persecution from a Roman world that gave no such religious immunities to Christians, as it had for the Jews.

ROMAN PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

SOCIAL SETTING

It was not long before Christians became a recognizable and particularly detested segment of the Roman world. By 64 AD they were already so set that Nero was able to use them as a likely scapegoat in his Smokey the Bear campaign, which will be discussed in the next section.11

The problem with converted Christians is the way in which they broke from the social norms that were vastly important in the Roman world. From arranged marriages to well prepared dinner banquets for select guests, political positioning of families was key to survival in this world. However, when friends or political acquaintances converted to Christianity they would withdraw almost entirely from the political structure. They refused to partake in the festivals and games, rejecting the gods, which they felt kept their nation strong for so long. They rejected the divinity of the Emperor–a sin that the gods would not allow go unpunished for long. They even refused to partake in joyous sexual ritual prostitution and lively drinking bouts. In addition, some of the Christians refused the meat from the markets, because it was routine for the cuts to be part of the sacrificial system. And most personal, they refused invitations to dine with other long time friends and families. These kill-joys were shunning their former political alliances and beginning to make enemies out of one time allies and friends.12

The difficulty for Christians only compounded as the tensions leading to the persecutions grew. For Jewish Christians the temptation to fall back to their safe Jewish roots in which they were raised also held the lure of being able to once again claim Jewish religious legal immunity. Gentile Christians had no natural link to this religion with its’ roots in Judaism and no political power to protect or aid them or their families. The fact that the Christian church was able to survive was nothing short of a miracle.13

RESULTING PERSECUTIONS

And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…having…ten horns…drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.14

The ten persecutions of the Christians spanning from 64 AD to 313 AD was ascribed by the fourth century Christian church as the ten horns of the beast in Revelation and by the ten plagues seen in Egypt.15 The persecutions, each with varying motives and reasons, all share the same peculiar markings in that while the persecutions were historically verifiable, no recorded laws have survived that specify reasons for the persecutions. As the persecutions evolved from one generation to the next, the subsequent generation seemed to use the past persecutions as edict enough for continuing or reigniting them. For example, in response to Pliny on how to deal with and prosecute Christians, Emperor Trajan writes, “No general rule can be laid out in fixed terms.” However, he does say unequivocally, “Certain accusations published anonymously should not be entertained on any charge. For they both set a very bad precedence and are alien to the spirit of our age.” Pliny was content in sentencing Christians to death for simply being too stubborn in their holding to Christianity in the face of certain death.16

Stemming from the second persecution under Domitian, the charge of refusing to worship the Imperial Cult seemed to be the first and great charge against the Christians. Some have argued that atheism was the charge against Christians; however, atheism in and of itself was not a crime in the Roman Empire. If, though, Christianity was held to with such stubbornness that one refused to pay alms to the Imperial Cult, then the subject was in violation of law. However, the worship of the Imperial Cult was not an issue until the reign of Domitian who, unlike his predecessors, forced the people to address him as their “Lord and their God” during his lifetime, and not after–when Caesars ascended to the level of a god. Domitian even had coins made bearing his likeness that read “father of the gods.”17

THE TEN PERSECUTIONS

1. Persecution under Nero 67 AD — Nero burned a great portion of Rome in a fire that lasted nine days. When word got out that Nero started the fire an uproar forced him to find a scapegoat and so he blamed Christians. During this first great persecution of the Christians Nero started a trend that lasted throughout all ten of the persecutions in that he devised new and increasingly gruesome punishments, including sewing animal skins to Christians and releasing wild dogs to eat them alive. He also put shirts dipped in wax on some of the Christians and then lit them on fire, using them to illuminate his gardens for his invited guests. His acts were so heinous that even the Romans felt sorrow toward the Christians. Paul and Peter died in this first round of persecution.18

2. Persecution under Domitian 81 AD — Known for cruelty, he killed his brother and many senators, some due to his hatred of them and others to simply confiscate their lands. He also ordered the death of the entire lineage of David. His persecution of Christians stemmed from their refusal to worship him as a god, something most emperors up to this point refused to accept. Among those killed during this persecution was Simeon, the Bishop of Jerusalem. He tried to boil John alive, but when he miraculously survived he was banished to Patmos. Timothy was beaten by a crowd of people on their way to celebrate a pagan feast. He was beaten so badly that he died from his wounds two days later. During the persecution, if any famine pestilence or earthquake happened, the blame was laid on the Christians.19

3. Persecution under Trajan 108 AD — Much the same continued regarding Imperial Cult worship during Trajan’s reign. Ignatius was the most famous of the martyrs of this persecution.20

4. Persecution under Marcus Aurelius Antonius 162 AD — So brutal were the means by which these martyrs were persecuted that it is said the Pagan onlookers would shutter with horror at the sights and some became converts at, “A faith which inspired such fortitude.” Polycarp and Justin Martyr were given crowns of martyrdom during this persecution.21

5. Persecution commencing with Severus 192 AD — The age of Tertullian, who said that if the Christians removed themselves from Rome at this time, it would have suffered a great depopulation. In a reversal of the source of the persecutions a Christian healed Emperor Severus of a sickness, but the multitudes demanded the execution of Christians and the reapplication of the defunct Imperial Cult laws to apply to Christians. Many who suffered martyrdom under this persecution fell during games at the amphitheaters. Leonidus, father of Origen was beheaded during this persecution.22

6. Persecution under Maximus 235 AD — In Cappadocia the president Seremianus did all he could to exterminate the Christians from that province. During this time Christians were martyred without trial and their bodies were cast into pits as many as 50 or 60 at a time.23

7. Persecution under Decius 249 AD — There were two causes of this persecution. First, Decius hated his predecessor Philip, who was deemed a Christian and second he was jealous of the rampant growth of Christianity, causing the heathen temples to decrease in attendance. By this time many schisms in the Church body had formed and the persecution was met by a divided Church. Fabian, Bishop of Rome was entrusted by Philip to care for his treasure. When Decius seized it and found less than he expected he had Fabian decapitated–the first martyrdom of this persecution. Many soon followed with yet another new set of imaginative deaths to befall those refusing to renounce Christ. Of note, Origen, like his father before him, was sentenced to death. He was thrown in prison where his feet were pierced and his legs were stretched for several days. He was threatened by fire and tortured with long, slow pains such as these for days upon days. However, before any death could befall him, Emperor Decius died and his successor Gallus engaged in a war with the Goths, leaving the Christians with a respite. Origen, having been given a release, retired to his home and died of natural causes five years later. During the reign of Gallus a plague broke out in the empire. So Gallus ordered sacrifices be made by all in the empire. When Christians refused the magistrates had many of them put to death.24

8. Persecution under Valerian 257 AD — This emperor likewise invented new and distasteful ways of persecuting Christians. Most interesting, however, was the turn of events that marked the end of this, one of the greatest persecutions of the church. Sapor, the King of Persia, captured Valerian and literally used him as a footstool when he mounted his horses. After subjecting him to be a slave in his kingdom for eight years the Persian king then had Valerian’s eyes put out. Still seeking more gruesome ways to torment him, he had Valerian flayed alive and then rubbed with salt until he died.25

9. Persecution under Aurelian 274 AD — The reign of Aurelian, though not this persecution, was short-lived as his own servants put him to death. However, the following emperors who replaced him (and subsequently were likewise met with quick ends) continued the persecution.26

10. Persecution under Diocletian 303 AD — Commonly called the Era of martyrs. Christians were increasing and becoming wealthy. On February 23, 303 Diocletian set forth his work to extinguish Christianity in one day. Watching on from on high the churches were raided, razed to the ground, and the documents burned. Not satisfied with just this, he purposely burned a portion of the city so that he could blame the Christians and further his cause. Countless Christians were martyred in an endless number of ways. The entire city of Phrygia, known for all of its inhabitants being Christian, was burned to the ground with all the people of the city dying in the fire. The torture and martyrdom was so severe that several pagan governors accused the Imperial Court with impropriety. Because of this, some Christians escaped death, but not before having their ears cut off, right eyes poked out, noses slit, limbs dislocated with such severity that they were rendered useless, and finally branded with red-hot irons.27

One final item of note: The persecution of the Christians was not a continuing event in the Roman Empire. With some expected exceptions, the time in between these distinct persecutions was rather peaceful for the Church. With each new emperor however, they were met with new uncertainties.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the reasons for the various persecutions of the Christians were as varied and complex as the world in which the early church lived. It is a mistake to oversimplify the issue in an effort to categorize it. As has been documented, Christians suffered persecution from both Jews and Gentiles. The reasons for the persecutions varied with each group, as well as from within each group. There is much speculation as to the motives and reasons behind the persecutions. However, there are very few surviving documents, legal or otherwise, which express the grounds for such persecutions, other than the fact that they were simply, “Christians.”

WORKS CITED

Fox, John. Fox’ Book of Martyrs. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962.

Hare, Douglas R. A. The Theme of Jewish persecution of the Christians in the Gospel According to St. Matthew. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.

Josephus, Flavius. The Works of Flavius Josephus, Translated by William Whiston. Philadelphia, PA: Henry T. Coates & CO.

Roetzel, Calvin. The World That Shaped the New Testament. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Whittaker, Molly. Jews & Christians: Graeco-Roman Views. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Workman, Herbert. Persecution in the Early Church. London: The Epworth Press, 1923.

APPENDIX

Christian and Pagan Primary Sources Speaking of the Persecution

This information is taken largely from Molly Whittaker’s Jews and Christians: Graeco-Roman Views. See the Works Cited Page for more details. This is not intended as an exhaustive list.

New Testament:

Mark 15:39

Matthew 27:54

Luke 23:47

Acts 11:19-26

Acts 13:42-50

Acts 14:1-6

Acts 14:18-20

Acts 16:13-40

Acts 17:1-9

Acts 17:10-14

Acts 17:17-21

Acts 17:32-33

Acts 18:12-18

Acts 19:23ff

Acts 19:40

Acts 22:25-9

Acts 23:26-33

Acts 24:22-7

Romans 13:1-6

I Peter 4:12-16

Hebrews 10:32-4

Revelation 2:13ff

Early Christian Sources:

Ignatius Letter to Romans 5.1

Martydom of Polycarp 1-19

Justin martyr Apology 2.9-20

Acts of Justin

Letter of the Gallican Church

Octavius 8.3-5

Octavius 9.1-6

Octavius 10.1-4

Octavius 31.1-2

Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs

Origen Celsum 1.9

Origen Celsum 1.28

Origen Celsum 2.55

Origen Celsum 3.12

Origen Celsum 3.55

Origen Celsum 5.14

Origen Celsum 7.9

Origen Celsum 8.24

Origen Celsum 8.67-9

Origen Celsum 1.28

Galen Reference 6 (Pg. 15)

Epictetus 4.7.6

Lucian On the Death of Peregrinus 333-8; 341

Alexander the False Prophet 232.25; 244.38-245

Tertullian Apology 50

Pagan Sources:

Tacitus Ann. 13.32.3-5

Tacitus Ann. 15.44.2-8

Life of Nero 16

Pliny Letter 10.96.1-10

Pliny Letter 10.97

FOOTNOTES

1. Douglas R. A. Hare, The Theme of Jewish persecution of the Christians in the Gospel According to St. Matthew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), 2.

2. Calvin J. Roetzel, The World That Shaped the New Testament, (London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 59f.

3. Ibid, 57ff.

4. Hare, 6f.

5. Flavius Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. William Whiston (Philadelphia, PA: Henry T. Coates & CO.), 3.

6. Molly Whittaker, Jews & Christians: Graeco-Roman Views, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 133.

7. John 18:31

8. Whittaker, 133

9. Whittaker also notes similar incidents in 13:42-50, 17:1-9, 10-14, (Whittaker, 133).

10. Acts 11:19-26

11. Whittaker, 134.

12. Ibid, 133f.

13. Ibid, 133.

14. Revelations 17:3, 6.

15. Herbert B. Workman, Persecution in the Early Church, (London: The Epworth Press, 1923), 9.

16. Wittaker, 134.

17. Roetzel, 113f.

18. John Fox, Fox’ Book of Martyrs, (New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962), 5f.

19. Ibid, 6f.

20. Ibid, 7f.

21. Ibid, 8ff.

22. Ibid, 12f.

23. Ibid, 14.

24. Ibid, 14ff.

25. Ibid, 18ff.

26. Ibid, 22ff.

27. Ibid, 24ff.

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The 5 Ws of Newsletter Or Ezine Publishing

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You have a website that sells a product or service. You have decent traffic, but most of the visitors are unique visitors, meaning, they visit once and then leave and potentially forget that your business even exists. One of the single most important things that website owners should do, but all too often do not, is capture the names and email addresses of visitors to their site. Obviously it's not usually possible to capture the information of every single visitor to your site, but that is really ok, because you do not want every name. What you do want to capture is the information of individuals who visit your website, are interested in your product or service and either, want to learn more from you, or want to hear about deals or specials you may offer. But how do you get this information? The simple answer is with an ezine or newsletter. To help you decide whether to develop such a tool, here are the 5 Ws of Newsletter or ezine creation:

(1) – Who should publish newsletters? Just about any online business can benefit from distributing a newsletter or ezine. There is no better way to promote your business with little expense than by sending an ezine to your opt-in list.

(2) – What kind of content should my ezine include? The key to any successful ezine is great content. Your readers have subscribed because they have an interest in your industry or area of ​​expertise. The information you provide to them should there before be relevant and fresh. Topics can include anything from product reviews, industry news, useful resources, tips and tutorials and specials or promotions. The content can be written by you, by a ghostwriter or obtained through some of the hundreds of free article banks on the internet (as long as proper credit is given to the author).

(3) – When do you send a newsletter? This depends on a few things. First, how much time do you have to put into it? If you do not have much time, you might consider sending a quarterly newsletter to at least get your name into people's consciousness four times a year. This may however, give readers too much time to forget about you. With quarterly newsletters, there is always the danger that by the time recently subscribed readers receive your newsletter they will have forgotten you. Sending an ezine monthly or bi-monthly provides a higher probability that your readers will remember you, but you will not feel that you are monopolizing their inbox.

(4) – Where do website visitors opt-in? There are various ways that you can have your readers opt-in to your newsletter. Some ezine services provide you with code to add a pop-up window to your site asking visitors to opt-in as they arrive at, or leave your site. Although these methods have proven successful, many fear that their visitors will be annoyed by these tactics and opt for a simple sign-up form. Placing your form so that it is immediately visible to your visitors when they arrive on your site is likely to gain you more subscribers, as will having an opt-in incentive such as a free e-book or a discount on a product or service.

(5) – Why distribute an ezine? An ezine or newsletter is an incredible way to develop a relationship with your website visitors. As you probably already know, repeated exposure to a brand promotes familiarity and usually encourages positive feelings towards that brand. The more familiar consumers are with your product or service, the more likely they are to buy from you rather than one of your competitors. By sending your readers information regularly, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field, so increasing your readers' receptiveness to your products or services.

For most, the benefits of putting out a newsletter well outweigh the work that you will put into creating it. Every online business should have a means to capture visitor information and ezine or newsletter distribution is a great way to do just that.

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Viking Mystery in Michigan – White Indians

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Rune Mysteries – Michigan White Indians

Michigan is full of Viking Artifacts dating back to 1000 AD.

In 1876, Johan Bauer from the village of Wallsange, Sweden went in search of the “Rings and Runes of Kolberg.” He found them and started his life long quest for rune mysteries. In 1891, he emigrated with his parents to America where he became editor of a Swedish language newspaper in Ashland, Wisconsin.

One day, an Indian came into the office asking to buy a subscription. Bauer thought if was a joke. The Indian told him several Indians in the area were descendants of White men. The Indian spoke several Swedish words that peaked his interest.

Bauer recorded the Indian’s story in a 63 page booklet in 1930. The title was “Viking Mettles”. The story of the coming of the White men, with their Rune Mysteries to America in 1010 AD.

The Indians said the white men wore “ice” (armor and helmets.) The Indians uttered strange words (Swedish) and wore Runic Charms to ward off evil. Where else could these Indians have learned Swedish words except from the Vikings themselves.

The coming of the Vikings in 1010 AD is told in dozens of legends and folk tales from the old men of the Chippewa, Menominee, Choctow and Arapahoe.

Why are American historians reluctant to write about these Indian legends.

In 1969, a hunter and five friends went hunting in Lake Country Michigan, near the Town of Baldwin. One of the hunters slipped while coming down a slope. He fell through a covering of sod and stones that laid over a roof of rotting logs.

It was a room about eight feet square. The floor had fire rings filled with carbon. There were conical piles of rocks, cairns, next to the pit, inscribed with runes.

Betty Sodders in her book “Michigan Pre-History Mysteries” reported other similar runes in the upper peninsula.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope you will join with us and surf the net for more Hidden Viking History.

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Source by Ellis Peterson

Books Set in Vietnam – Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

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If you are traveling to Vietnam, then it is pretty much impossible to ignore the fact that the country was at war for more than 20 years, and when looking at books set in Vietnam, it is just as difficult to escape the impact of the war on most literary endeavors. There are many fine novels written about Vietnam, but this selection attempts to present a range of views, giving you a wide perspective on the country and its history before you make your journey.

‘Matterhorn’ by Karl Marlantes

Written in 1977, but only published in 2010 after more than thirty years of rejections, this novel is being described as an ‘epic’ and the first ‘great’ novel of the Vietnam War. There is no getting away from the realities of the war in this book, as Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his Bravo Company face their fears of combat and the harshness of the jungle highlands of South-East Vietnam.

‘The Man from Saigon’ by Marti Leimbach

Books about the Vietnam War are often written from a male perspective, but with this one we meet Susan Gifford who is sent to Vietnam to write human interest stories about the war for a women’s magazine. While she may be quite naive to begin with, Gifford is soon covering the actual conflict, and finds herself in love with Marc, a fellow journalist. But if you think this books is going to be some kind of soppy romance, then you are wrong — there are very few books I have read that so completely immerse you in the horror and fear of war as this one. And while there is romance – the complications of Gifford’s relationships, both with Marc, and her Vietnamese photographer, Son, give this novel real emotional depth.

‘Novel without a Name’ by Duong Thu Huong.

And what of the North Vietnamese soldier? In this novel we share the story of Quan a soldier who has been at war for ten years, only to return to a village much changed in his absence. Written by a woman who has been imprisoned for her political beliefs, the novel captures Quan’s disillusionment and loss of innocence, giving us a side of the war which is rarely revealed. Here we see the ‘glory’ of the cause giving way to displacement of civilians, the hunger of villagers and the inevitable breakdown of families and relationships that are a result of sustained conflict.

‘Dragon House’ by John Shors

And now to modern day Vietnam, where two Americans try to deal with their own past by setting up a center to look after Vietnamese street children. On arrival the duo are confronted with the corruption and chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, and as readers we are treated to all the sounds and smells that bring the streets to life. But it is the children who will steal your heart in this novel, taking you with them as they battle the squalor in which they live. This book is a story of love, hope and redemption which is a stark reminder of the legacy of conflicts past.

‘Daughters of the River Huong’ by Uyen Nicole Duong

Spanning four generations, this is a book which takes us far back into the richness of Vietnamese history, before leading us through colonization and war to the country we know today. Written by a political refugee who arrived in the United States when she was just sixteen, this novel tells the story of one family of Vietnamese women, and in doing so reflects the struggles of a nation.

If you are about to visit Vietnam, you are visiting a country which has a particular fascination for those of us from the West – it is impossible to travel through Vietnam without being confronted by the roles colonization and war have played in its history. Arm yourself with these novels and you will be able to understand just that little bit more about the people who walk the roads of Vietnam today.

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Source by Suzi Butcher

Bright Future Prospects for Content Writers

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Every day, thousands of jobs in content writing industry are advertised on the internet. With the ever-altering algorithms of search engines, significance of web content has significantly risen, contributing to the bright future prospects for content writers. Websites carrying top-quality content are ranked higher by the search engines in order to serve the users with the best result. Because of this reason, the need for quality writing services would always be in great demand. Online businesses would always be looking for more and more copywriters to provide their website with good content.

However, those who are new to the world of content writing do not realize how significant they could become to the website owners by providing them well-written content. Many people think of content writing as an extremely easy job.

Most importantly, without the human touch, readers will not feel connected with the content. People usually come across some websites on the internet carrying content that make no sense. Such website owners try to copy the text from other websites and then use the same a bit differently. However, they do not understand that not only humans but even the search engines do not like such copied content.

Moreover, search engines like Google and Yahoo strongly discourage any content which is in spin format or created to fool the readers and makes no sense. That is why while searching for anything on most of the search engines you would find no robot or software rewritten content (particularly on the top 5 pages in the results). Thus, without good content, the success of online businesses would always be uncertain.

This further gives way to quality writers who write innovative and creative content for websites and help the internet to grow as the best place for knowledge.

All the above mentioned reasons suggest that jobs for content writing definitely have a sound future. However, to be a successful content writer is not so easy. You bought to have exceptional skills and talent to write content that can drive significant amount of traffic to the website you are targeting and therefore boost up its search engine ranking. So, do brush up your skills regularly to come up with your best and fight the competition in the content writing market.

So, hire someone who can write good text for you and help your website stand apart from others on the internet such that people get good information from the same.

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Source by Shinam S Sharma

4 Steps For Being in the Mastermind Hotseat

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The hotseat in a mastermind group is where you are center stage. You get to share what’s going on with your goal achievements. To keep the mastermind group focused and businesslike, here is a four step list to follow when giving your report. Some mastermind groups have the hotseat last ten minutes, and others have the hotseat go thirty to forty-five minutes. The mastermind group will have their set of rules for how much interaction and follow-up questions are allowed at each stage. My recommendation is not to spend too much time rehashing old things or negative things, but learn the lesson from each and move on to the new opportunities and commitments.

  1. Your Achievements
  2. Brag! This is a time to tell everyone what you did that helped. It reaffirms your feeling of success and provides inspiration to the other members.

  3. Your Stumbling Blocks
  4. Did something not work out as you expected it would? The rest of the group can learn from failures and frustrations. Especially if they helped come up with the plan that didn’t work. Or perhaps they can provide the cheerleading to help you stay the course until success is achieved. Often we give up too soon from achieving our goals, and just need to be reminded that it’s OK to be frustrated, just keep focusing on where you’re going.

  5. Your Opportunities
  6. Do you have a trade show coming up and you are eager to network? Perhaps your website is about to relaunch with a new look? Other members might have some suggestions for the best way to use these opportunities such as referring a copywriter for a press release announcing the new website. This is a great time to create strategies and evaluate how effective each might be with your ultimate goal.

  7. Your Commitments
  8. How well did you achieve your opportunities and commitments from last time. This isn’t where you’re in the court being interrogated by Perry Mason but rather a supportive detailing of the facts. It’s also where you commit to your next steps.

To really be successful, you should have one big goal that you’re working towards. When you have many, you get scattered and often don’t achieve as well as you may like. Find one big goal and create mini-goals that work you towards it. Communicate with your mastermind, and you will be amazed at how quickly you achieve that big goal. Then you can use your mastermind to find another really big goal!

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Source by Lara Fabans