As Bitcoin ETF Nears, Analysts Warn of Trading Frenzy

As Bitcoin ETF Nears, Analysts Warn of Trading Frenzy

Some predict a speculative rush if SEC approves a new fund in March

If the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund next month, it might set off a speculative rush into bitcoin.

An easily accessed ETF that tracks the value of bitcoin could cause money to flood into the fledgling bitcoin market, analysts say. Indeed, what some see as a chance for average investors to participate in one of the great financial innovations of recent years could set off a trading frenzy in an already wild market.

“My concern is that the launch of an ETF could lead to irrational exuberance if the price of bitcoin appreciates dramatically,” says Christopher Burniske, blockchain-products lead at money manager and research firm ARK Investment Management. ARK invests in Bitcoin Investment Trust, an ETF-like fund that already trades over the counter but currently is only available to wealthy investors

After a nearly four-year wait, the SEC faces a deadline of March 11 to decide on a rule change that would allow the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF to trade on the Bats Global Market exchange.

Two other funds have filed similar applications that would offer ordinary investors broader access to bitcoin investing as well: Bitcoin Investment Trust, run by tech entrepreneur Barry Silbert, and SolidX Bitcoin Trust, run by SolidX Partners, are waiting for the SEC to rule on their applications to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

There’s no guarantee that any of these applications will succeed. But most bitcoin observers say that a bitcoin ETF is an inevitability eventually.

If Bitcoin Investment Trust obtains SEC approval, it would likely mark Mr. Silbert as a new style of Wall Street wunderkind. Similarly, if the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, succeed with their ETF, they would see vindication after they were elbowed out of social-networking phenomenon Facebook.

Further, the Winklevosses stand to gain from any price increase caused by the ETF as they are among the largest individual holders of bitcoin—alongside Mr. Silbert’s fund.

The Winklevosses declined to comment, through a representative; Mr. Silbert said, in an email, that his lawyers had put him on “total lockdown” with the press since filing for his fund’s NYSE listing.

How bitcoin works

The novel nature of bitcoin—essentially a chain of numbers linked to another number on a public ledger stored in the internet cloud—intrigues investors but has given the SEC pause.

Andrew Odlyzko, a mathematician at the University of Minnesota, compares bitcoin to the Pacific island of Yap, where long ago the people carved giant stone currency and ferried it across the ocean in canoes. On one voyage, according to an anthropologist’s work, a boulder fell off the boat. The community decided to recognize the value of the stone at the bottom of the sea, making it a virtual currency.

“Everybody knew it was there; nobody could see it; nobody could touch it…but it was there,” Mr. Odlyzko says.

Once a bitcoin is created in a computer “mining” process, the community recognizes ownership of the invisible abstraction through two numbers produced in that process. One is the public key, which is like the owner’s PayPal address. Anyone can send bitcoin to this address. The other is the private key, a number that is mathematically linked to the public key but is revealed only to the owner of the bitcoin.

Bitcoin has proved useful as a low-cost way of moving money around the world. But its price is volatile. Last year alone, bitcoin closed in a daily trading range between $358 and $993, according to data provider CoinDesk.

SEC’s task

Since the Winklevosses applied for approval of their ETF in 2013, the SEC has teased out the many, often bizarre risks of a bitcoin ETF. Among the issues: Could robots hijack more than half of the mining capacity and bring the whole system down? Could the bitcoin universe split in two as a rival cryptocurrency did? Could the fund be hacked?

(Closely held SolidX, based in New York City, and the smaller entrant in the race, distinguishes itself from the other two by promising to insure its bitcoin.)

Spencer Bogart, an analyst who follows bitcoin for boutique brokerage Needham & Co., says the Winklevosses have addressed security concerns—planning, for example, to keep private keys locked inside offline computers, which would themselves be locked away in secure locations. Multiple individuals in multiple locations would have to grant access simultaneously to a bad actor wanting to see the keys, he says, for a theft to occur—an event he considers unlikely.

Still, Mr. Bogart figures the SEC could refuse approval on more pedestrian grounds: a perceived conflict of interest because the Winklevosses have kept so many important fund functions in-house.

‘It’s just really difficult to grab that amount of bitcoin quickly.’

—Bitcoin analyst Spencer Bogart on the $300 million he says would flood into the ETF in the first week

“I don’t believe there’s any ETF that trades in the U.S. where a single entity is the sponsor of the ETF, the provider of reference price for the underlying asset and the custodians of underlying asset, and that is what the Winklevosses are proposing,” says Mr. Bogart, adding that the Winklevosses likely used proprietary indexes and security for reasons of design rather than personal gain.

In a November letter to the SEC, Kyle Murray, a lawyer for Bats, argued that the disclosure of the Winklevosses’ multiple roles and the involvement of independent auditors and administrators mitigated any potential conflicts.

The small size of the bitcoin market, however, could still be an impediment to orderly fund trading. Across all U.S. exchanges tracked by data provider CoinDesk, the average daily volume of bitcoin traded is about $30 million. Much more trading occurs in China, but those exchanges wouldn’t be used by a U.S. fund, Mr. Bogart says, because they function in an opaque manner.

Mr. Bogart estimates that at least $300 million would come into any approved ETF in the first week, as a convenient door to bitcoin opens up to investors. Institutional investors like pension funds haven’t been able to partake in bitcoin because many of their charters require that portfolio securities are registered with authorities.

Mr. Burniske says it’s impossible to buy $2 million of bitcoin on any given day on U.S. exchanges without moving the market.

Yet, for every share of the ETF sold, an “authorized participant”—the fund’s market maker—will have to buy an equivalent amount of bitcoin.

“The market will feel the effect of authorized participants going out there and looking to source [$300 million,] 10 times more than the daily volume that goes through any of the exchanges,” says Bobby Cho, who trades bitcoin in “institutional sizes” for proprietary trading firm Cumberland Mining, a bitcoin-focused unit of Chicago-based proprietary trading firm DRW.

“It’s just really difficult to grab that amount of bitcoin quickly,” says Mr. Bogart.

If the Winklevoss fund isn’t approved, the closest thing to an ETF will be Bitcoin Investment Trust, which uses a private-trust structure and is managed by Grayscale Investments LLC, a unit of Digital Currency Group Inc. Only accredited investors can buy the shares on the primary private market, where they are priced in line with bitcoin. The investors must keep holdings for a lockup period of a year. Then they can sell on a secondary market, the over-the-counter OTCQX, where they currently sell at a 15% premium to the value of the underlying bitcoin, a margin that has been even wider in the past.

Strong demand and perhaps a lack of sophistication are causing OTC traders to overpay for the shares, Mr. Bogart and others say. The private trust had $162 million in assets under management as of Dec. 31. This size makes its actions influential in bitcoin markets.

 

 

 

Cryptocurrency Reputation Alert

Cryptocurrency Reputation Alert

I realize that a tool is only as good or bad as the saint or criminal who uses it but the following article makes a good point: When too many of the wrong kind of characters start using something, it sooner than later leads to guilt by association.

The following article points out the dangers to the reputation of bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, from the fact that there are so many gambling sites that use it. I don't gamble but I'm not anti-gambling. Nevertheless, for such a young and (in some ways) vulnerable technology, I think everybody would be wise.

Undoubtedly there are/will be some trickle-down advantages from the exponentially accelerating amount of bitcoin that is flowing into online gambling.

But when you combine the potentially shady and societally disruptive side of cryptocurrency gambling with the equally scary explosion of shady crypto-oriented MLMs popping up all over the place, it's not good for anybody…. except the crooks.

Just like aren't as easy to figure out as most people think they are….neither is something as new and complex as cryptocurrency.

Proceed with utmost caution. We must police ourselves. 

Here's the article I'm referring to (which came, btw, from www.themerkle.com).

Will Bitcoin’s Reputation Suffer due to Online Gambling?

 

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
email contact

Do a Vanishing Act With Cryptocurrency

Do A "Vanishing Act" With Cryptocurrency

Maybe not 100% of the people interesting in cryptocurrency are primarily interested in its anonymity feature but a lot of them sure are.

In this video, the founder of HowToVanish.com, (his name might be "Lohengrin" but that sounds rather operatic to me) points out the danger of our data being manipulated, in the course of typical internet commerce and activity,  without our knowledge, against our will, and possibly even to our detriment.

Toward the end of the video, he recommends making all purchases possible with bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency).

I totally agree with him. I'm so sick and tired of seeing and reading about big business and governments treating normal people like databytes.

Signal Instant Messaging App vs. All The Others

The Signal Instant Messaging App vs All The Others

 

Publication 41
Privacy is very much a hot topic lately. And well it should be. Nobody else can be trusted with the kind of information that even normal people have grown accustomed to transmitting on their smart devices, PCs, laptops, and tablets.

 
Somebody saying, "Well, if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about…that's bullshit because today the law has gotten so out-of-hand that you can be put in the slammer or at least seriously hassled for almost anything. 
 
After reading recently that certain Hollywood actors, part of the anti-Trump crowd, were switching to the Instant Messaging App, Signal, and then also seeing that Edward Snowden has said, "Use anything by Open Whisper Systems", I figured it would be smart to check Signal out. 
 
I did..and now it's on my phone right along side my What'sApp. Eventually I plan on moving as much of my communications over onto Signal as I can. 
 
The bottom line about Signal is that the judges seem unanimous. It beats them all for privacy even if it might lack a few minor features that What'sApp has.
 
Here are 5 articles to show you why I made the decision.  
 
Top 3 More Secure Communication Apps than WhatsApp
As far as security is the main concern for you, WhatsApp cannot be the primary communication app to consummate your demands. Although, WhatsApp was acquired by the social media giant,…
Why we still recommend Signal over WhatsApp ...even though they...
ByMaria Xynou and Chris Walker Posted2016.05.23 If you're using the latest version of WhatsApp, then you might have noticed the following notification: WhatsApp Crypto message Or you might…
 
Which encrypted mobile messaging app is most secure: Telegram or...
Answer (1 of 5): Indications are that Signal is likely more secure than Telegram. Signal comes from developers with a very strong reputation and the code is open source so it can be audited…
Is Signal still more secure than WhatsApp?
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for information security professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute: Sign up Here's how it works: Anybody can ask a…
Battle of the Secure Messaging Apps: How Signal Beats WhatsApp
This spring, text messages got a lot more private. In April, the world's most popular messaging service, WhatsApp, announced it would use end-to-end encryption by default for all users,…
 
Art Williams is a

Freelance Copywriter
specializing in Case Studies
and eMail Copywriting
 
 
created in Publicate

Trying Out Publicate w/ Markethive

Note: This is a 'round-up' type article curated with Publicate.it. I tried Publicate last year and, although I thought it had promise, I wasn't totally happy with the UI. But Publicate kept on going and when I got an email from my friend and Publicate CMO (I think that's what he is) mentioning some upgrades, enhancements, and the fact that they had even presented it at a recent SXSW event, I thought it might be wise to check it out again.

I have no doubt that it interfaces just fine with a traditional WordPress blog (of which I have several) but the big question is whether of not it will survive the MH 'experience'. Let's just try it, shall we?


 

Publication 38
Making Sense of Blockchain Governance Applications - CoinDesk
In this opinion piece, Stark seeks to provide a high-level framework for understanding the power and potential of nascent blockchain governance applications. Governance has long been one of…
It's important to understant the terminology that permeates this new blockchain and cryptocurrency phenomenon. You've probably heard the term 'Governance' but do you know what it really means. The first couple of paragraphs here will bring you up to speed.
 
Michael Savage cautions Trump about inner circle
He's been dubbed "the Godfather of Trumpmania," but Michael Savage noted on his nationally syndicated radio show Thursday that he also promised he would hold Donald Trump accountable if…
Michael Savage is a very wise man. He was one of the very first Trump supporters. He is also the guy who coined the terms, "Borders, Language, and Culture". In this article he makes a wise observation Trump needs to be careful to keep a close rein on his new team. Great movements can fail by outright sabotague but also out of sincere but overexhuberant conviction.
 
Attorney General Has An Interesting Plan For Helping Trump: Sue...
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has a plan for helping the new administration: Sue the government. The government needs to move quickly, he told a large…
Here's an interesting way for Trump to use the left's own legalistic tricks against them in order to get some things done.
 
What if a substantial portion of Trump's Republican congressional support gets 'cold feet'?____________________________________Limbaugh: Trump has 1 much bigger problem than protesters
While protests continue over President Donald Trump's "extreme vetting" of foreigners from seven Muslim-dominated countries, radio host Rush Limbaugh says the commander in chief faces a…
 
 
Bitcoin "Faucets" might be the quickest and easiest tool to push cryptocurrency into the developing world. Do you know what they are?___________________________Press Release: Bitcoin Faucets become the new entry points for...
99Bitocins' Bitcoin Faucet WordPress plugin is now powering more than 200 Bitcoin sites around the world, allowing more than 2.5 billion unbanked adults from around the world to…
 
 
3 'triggers' for Islamic uprising under Trump presidency
A former Homeland Security officer who spent years screening Muslim immigrants points to three "triggers" of confrontation between the new administration of Donald Trump and the global… (the author of this article is a whistleblower who was actually forced out of the DHS because he pointed out some dangers that his superiors and their superiors didn't want mentioned. Point is…he's a smart guy and this article is worthwhile reading).
 
 
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Meetings – What’s The Point?

Meeting – What's The Point?

I've been trying to be more focused on just a few projects that have income and/or enjoyment potential for my particular life's desires. Part of that behavior modification is that I'm going through another round of getting DIS-connected from all the junk that gets into my Inbox (although I'll admit that much of that is my own fault for clicking on certain 'once in a lifetime offers' in the first place).

This Inbox pruning process is something I find myself having to do at least every 6 months or so.

But there's another time waster of a different type and, although I don't have a major problem with it right now, the potential is always there and I read an interesting article tonight that relates to it. 

What is that evil, time-wasting problem?

MEETINGS!!!

Meeting conduct and management have long been a staple item of management literature and training. One reason the problem persists is because technology is constantly changing the way that people can have meetings  whether they be productive or not. Note: One example of that is Dropbox's new product—

Note: One example of that 'progress' is Dropbox's new product— Paper which I just read about tonight (I don't see any use for it for myself).

But it seems to me that meeting in general tend to gravitate toward becoming time-wasters rather than becoming more efficient. 

I just read this article, a very short article (coincidentally), about the way that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and several other hi-tech projects, holds his (infrequent) meetings. It made so much sense and was articulated so well that I felt compelled to share it with some spin of my own.

The basic message of the article (and presumably part of the reason Mr. Musk is so successful) is: 

Don't have meetings without a purpose and don't go to meetings unless you have a purpose and/or can make a contribution to the group.

I think that's a good rule to follow. But I also think it's worthwhile to recognize why it's easier said than done in this digital and entrepreneurial age where 'meeting technology' is everywhere and many so-called gurus preach the necessity to 'build a tribe').

First of all, we need to remember that there are employees and entrepreneurs. Usually (but not always) most employees in companies are less of an entrepreneurial mindset than the stereotypical entrepreneur working from his/her home office.

Group Member Type 1 – These group members are usually employees. They're paid to come to work and/or be part of whatever meetings the 'boss' wants them to attend. If he/she wants them to waste time listening to him tell fishing stories, rant, or preach, that's his prerogative but those cases he/she is just keeping those employees from actual productive activity and abusing his authority and his employee's time.  

Group Member Type 2 – These members are voluntary members of the larger group, i.e. a decentralized organization or interest group of some sort. They are entrepreneurs who presumably believe in the mission of the company or organization. But, even those these people are independent contractors and leaders also need to be careful when holding meetings with this group.

Why?

Because it's easy for leaders to get addicted to the ritual of having their fan club gathered around their dais hanging on his/every word like N.Korean generals when Kim Jong-un is 'in the house'.

It's also often tempting for members of Group 2 Tribes to attend these meetings because (1) they like being entertained, (2) they think somehow it's going to increase their positive Karma, (3) they're hoping the boss will throw them a trinket, or (4) they really don't have anything better to do.

In my humble opinion, meeting policies needs to be re-examined periodically… especially as an organization grows. Meetings can become productive events or counterproductive time wasters that ultimately do more harm than good.

I even think a case could be made for not inviting people to meetings without the understanding that they will try (or, in some cases 'be allowed' to make) a contribution.

Meeting formats where participants are ridiculed or belittled for asking questions or voicing unsubstantiated opinions do not set a good example although the damage is not always immediately apparent…. unless the specific agenda for the meeting is only information dissemination. 

Note: The problem with 'information dissemination only' meetings is that it's very difficult to have a meeting with absolutely no two-way conversation. Long-term… most people are not interested in being a part of any group where their input is not at least allowed (or better yet…respected).

Next time you think about putting on or attending a meeting, remember the advice Tom Hopkins gives in his sales training seminars: "Is this the most productive thing I could be doing with my time (right now)?"

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies and eMail Copywriting
email me here

It’s Simple Stupid – There Ain’t No Money

It's Simple Stupid – There Ain't No Money!

You know, by some interpretations of the Bible it's pretty clear what we can expect in the End Times.

It will be a world full of crooks where honor and integrity will be hard to find. But perhaps the most shocking part of that scenario, for 'average folks', will be that so many professionals and so-called leaders will be among the biggest crooks and liars.

By professionals I refer especially to bankers and politicians but the same thing can be said about anybody who promises one thing and then suddenly changes their story later as if anybody who remembers the promises (or perhaps 'assertions' would be a more accurate word) which they made not so long ago must have been on drugs or something…. e.g. something will be worth $1 on such and such a date when it actually turns out to not be so.

I've long been a fan of Infowars.com and Alex Jones and I was interested  just a few days ago when Alex had Harry Dent on his show. In case you don't know Harry Dent, he is Founder of HS Dent Investment Management, an investment firm based in TampaFlorida that advises, and markets the Dent Strategic Portfolio Fund mutual fund. Mr. Dent is also the president and founder of the Dent Research and H.S. Dent Publishing.

But first, a little info about what makes Mr. Dent unique. His basic claim to fame is that he is an expert on demographics. He's not somebody who makes predictions on theories of economics. He looks at history and spots recurring cycles.

For example, he's the kind of guy who says that if a car is going 60 mph on an icy road as it approaches a curve in the road and there's historically been plenty of accidents on that particular part of the road in icy weather, it's logical to expect that the present speeding vehicle is going to have an accident.

This relates to the Bible in the sense that the Bible clearly says there will be very bad times for the average person in the End Times. Somebody has to be wrong and somebody has to be right, either the Forbes readers or Bible scolars, wouldn't you imagine?

You can't have it both ways just because its momentarily expedient for you to see one rather than the other. Or, as the great Arthur L.Williams Jr. used to say: "Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first."

Indeed, Mr. Dent has an incredibly accurate record of economic predictions based on:

  1. Demographics
  2. Historically validated geo-political cycles
  3. Historically validated cycles of Innovation
  4. Historically validated 10 Boom and Bust Cycles

To be honest, I've never read any of his several books but I have heard him discuss his ideas several times on Infowars and everything he says makes perfect sense to me. It it just seems foolish to have a particular set of circumstances that are eerily similar to a previous time where the exact same set of circumstances existed yet to expect a different outcome.

It was amusing, on this recent Alex Jones show, to watch Alex, who is a huge Trump supporter, try to tactfully argue with Mr. Dent and Dent's prediction that the US economy is headed for 'Deep Doo-doo' (a prognostication which I tend to agree with). Harry insisted that there is no way to avoid an extremely disruptive correction of decades of bad economic, monetary, and geopolitical policy which not only the US but almost the entire world has engaged in for at least an entire generation (if not more).

Before Donald Trump emerged as a surprisingly refreshing factor in the US Presidential elections, Alex was an excellent source of honest statistics and commentary about the dire state of the US economy, the US consumer's situation, and the global economy. But lately he seems to have conveniently forgotten the reality of the very facts that he dutifully reported just a couple of years ago.

Mr. Dent's contention is that the implication of those facts has not magically disappeared simply because a guy with orange hair and wearing a white hat suddenly arrives in town. Dent says that the corrections will and must take place…. an assertion of course very similar to that of two other contrarian prognosticators, Peter Schiff and Gerald Celente.

But there is yet another example of storm clouds gathering.

Maybe you've heard about the War on Cash?

Simply stated, the war on cash is about the admitted fact that the traditional banking industry, supported by accomplices and shills in worldwide governments, wants to deprive the consumer (AKA: the voter) of the right to have and use cash money. Although that battle has been going on for a few years already, the average consumer is relatively unaware of it… sort of like the story about the frog which doesn't realize it is being slowly boiled to death.

However, this article from www.sovereignman.com is a clear indication that the enemy is still very active…in Europe anyway. And one would naturally wonder what might be going on behind the scenes in the US. After all, Trump's new team comes in large part from the traditional banking and Wall Street sector, right?

The SovereignMan article gives some pretty shocking examples of very restrictive regulations already imposed or soon to be imposed upon Europeans (i.e. restrictive in relation to the economic freedom one enjoys with a pocket full of cash vs. a worthless credit card on a closed bank).

Think about this….

Anybody who knows anything about America, its Constitution, and the country's history knows that America is unique among nations for its 2nd Amendment, i.e. the Constitutional freedom we have to own firearms. Constitutionalists, embodied in the NRA, have thus far been able to resist globalist efforts to disarm America.

But what would happen if patriots didn't have any money to buy ammunition for their guns?

There is a connection here.

How effective would a resistance movement be if the government can peer into any room of your house via government mandated 'smart meters'?

They already can.

Or what if the government was recording virtually everything you say on your smartphone or the internet?

They already are.

How easy would it be for an oppressive government to demobilize a patriotic resistence movement, on the pretense of COG (Continuity of Government), by either the kill switches already installed in some vehicles or by more surreptitious means which they also might already have? Note: Not to mention the fact that they already control the nation's fuel supplies.

It wouldn't be that difficult even now.

Now, assuming some patriots will see the impending danger of these converging forces, especially regarding government restrictions on cash-money, what might they do?

Remember bitcoin?

It's all the rage right now, right? 

Some people are expecting that cryptocurrency will usher in a new age of entrepreneurship, freedom, prosperity,  sunshine, and flawless completions for everybody. 

I'm not so sure. If you've read my articles, Will Cryptocurrency Become Another Fascist Ripoff?, or, "Excuse Us – Perhaps You'd Like some Fedcoin?" you'll know why.

There is no doubt that today's banking elite are seriously interested in the cryptocurrency phenomenon. They've already admitted being interested in it. But don't forget that JP Morgan (our buddies, right?) have already tried to get a patent on their version of a virtual currency like bitcoin. Luckily their application was rejected for lack of anything original.

But you can bet that they're very worried about cryptocurrency and they're not happy about letting something that potentially powerful escape from their control. Wouldn't it be rather naive to expect them to use something that powerful in any way different than they use the power they already have?

Assuming the government acquires any substantial degree of involvement or control of cryptocurrency, would that be a good thing for us.

I don't think so. Wouldn't that just be exchanging a cast iron pair of handcuffs for a stainless steel pair?

And if the government succeeds in eliminating cash money from our lives, we will be equally less free.

I think that would be a pretty dumb-ass decision to trust the government with control of the medium of exchange we use in our daily lives. Look what it's gotten us so far. But that's what things are moving towards right now.

But look at the advantage to the government in a cashless society or a government controlled cryptocurrency system.

if you suddenly don't have any cash because the globalists have made it illegal to have more than $50 of it in your pocket, and/or the government has slowly restricted and virtually choked off its availability, and/or because the government has closed all the banks (remember COG?)…. you're screwed, aren't you?

Well Brian….welcome to the Brave New World. If Jesus doesn't come pretty soon…I think we're all screwed.

Governments don't have any money. They spent it all and their ain't no more.They're all crooks. It won't be long before they won't even need to lie to us. They'll just do whatever they want….because they can. I read the script.

 

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies and email Copywriting
email me here

 

 

 

Markethive – A Unique Writers Market?

Markethive – A Unique Writer's Market?

When computers first started hitting the market, back in the days of the Radio Shack TRS-80 and others, some industry observers thought that the computer would be the death of paper. But now we know that the exact opposite happened. People started generating more data…not less. And they needed paper to print it on.

The computer age has had a similar effect on the writing profession. Especially B2C and B2B copywriting. As digital publishing has boomed, the demand for writers has had a parallel boom. In fact, not only has the digital age resulted in an increased demand for content of all kinds but modern computers have also made the job of writing easier and quicker than ever before.

But still, job seekers in almost every profession still face the age-old problem of, "Where can I get the experience I need to build my portfolio?"

With writing as easy as it is nowadays (e.g. blogging), the simplistic answer would be, "Just start writing and somebody will read it". 

But a smarter and more tactical answer would be for the copywriter to find a community wherein he/she has an easy opportunity to write and be read.

Markethive might be such an environment…. but do Markethive community members, or the outside world, realize what a golden opportunity their community is to practive and hone their copywriting skills? 

Actually, I think not.

No doubt the demand for all types of writing has never been greater and although artificial intelligence and some recent software is capable of pretty good writing when used properly, there still is no substitute for a human writer. Especially for longer forms of writing and sales copywriting.

Publishers face the challenge of creating a steady stream of content on a regular basis but there is no way that any but the very largest and/or the most narrowly specialized entities can afford to keep writers on full-time payroll.

That's why the market for freelance writers gets stronger every year.  Freelance copywriters can always find work of some sort. The better they get at their craft, the more they can make. They can literally 'earn while they learn'.

The opportunites are huge. Here is a list of the top copywriting niches for 2016 as forecast by Carol Tice, Founder and CEO of Makealivingwriting.com:

  1. Case Studies
  2. White Papers
  3. Long Form Blogging
  4. Brand Journalism (think 'infomercials' in written form)
  5. Annual Reports
  6. Top Tier National Consumer Magazines
  7. Trade Publications
  8. Video Scripts
  9. Web Content
  10. Marketing eMails (including email series)
  11. Book Ghostwriting For CEO's (complex but very lucrative)
  12. Online Courses (a relatively new but booming niche)

All of these copywriting niches are wide-open to freelancers too. In fact, some experts estimate that as much of 50% of the copywriting work being done at any one time is being done by freelancers. Even companies which have their own writing staff very seldom do all of their own work all the time.

If you're in Markethive, you'll also notice that numbers, 3, 8, 9, 10 (of the list above) should be very familiar to anybody who has been around the internet marketing niche for very long. The only niche which has a skill subset unique to itself is #11, Book Ghostwriting For CEO's.

NB: If you can catch Carol Tice's 'Writers Den' membership site when it's open for membership, it offers courses in all of these subjects for only $25 a month. I've been a member of the Writers Den for a year and I highly recommend it. Right now they have an expert doing a course on Book Ghostwriting for CEO's. I've also taken their eMail Copywriting course and their Case Study Writing course….all taught by experts in the respective field.

There are two keys to becoming a good writer.

1. Practice
2. Mentorship

You need both.

You can get a lot of practice in Markethive and the Markethive blogging system makes it possible to get very wide 'reach' for your finished product.

Markethive does not offer any mentorship or training in copywriting. For that I recommend MakeaLivingWriting.com or AWAI. I'm a member of both. I actually owe my official start in copywriting to an AWAI course (Passport To Romance… a travel writing course).

But Markethive is a great place for a writer to practice his/her craft and potentially pick up some gigs from the built-in community and wide reach of its publishing system.

Markethive is free to join too. Join here.

 

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies and eMail Copywriting
email me here

An Overlooked Part of The Swamp That Also Needs Draining

An Overlooked Part of The Swamp That Also Needs Draining

Here's something somebody forwarded to me today, supposedly circulating of Facebook and supposedly at least partially attributed to George Soros. Although I'm not a Facebook or a George Soros Fan, it does make sense.

It has to do with the original intent of our founding fathers that we would be served by citizens who were only temporarily serving as politicians. Most of us would agree that politicians have become a very unique privileged class which for the most part has done little to really help our country.

Since the majority of the problems Trump was elected to fix are primarily if not entirely financial, what about these interesting facts?

Consider these facts, whether they are justifiable, and whether or not they contribute to (or set a good example is solving) our financial problems:

Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . . . .. . $180,000 FOR LIFE.

Salary of House/Senate members .. . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE. This is stupid

Salary of Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE. This is really stupid

Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE. Stupid

Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .$40,065

Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. $38,000

Here’s where the cuts should be made! 

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election".

The 26th Amendment ( granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds ) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simply because the people demanded it. That was in 1971 – long before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet, in addressing these facts, once said that if each person (like I'm doing now) asked each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list and in turn asked each of those to do likewise, in just three days most people in The United States of America will have the message.

This is one idea that really should be passed around and here is the suggested essence of what knowledgeable people think should the….

The Congressional Reform Act of 2017

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.

2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. Social Security funds may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message. It's time!

I agree that this is a very reasonable suggestion. What do you think? If Trump wants to "drain the swamp", how about draining the part of it that has flooded Congress?

 

Art Williams
Freeland Copywriter
Case Studies and eMail Copywriting
email me here

Steve Mnuchin Can’t Be Trusted

Steve Mnuchin Can't Be Trusted

If what people say is any indication of the way they think, entrepreneurs hoping that Trumps new administration and cadre will be true friends of the people may be in for a big surprise. Just listen to what Trump's new Secretary of Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, has to say about the IRS, in his recent confirmation hearing before the US Senate. Here's the link.

Anybody who says that the IRS is underfunded and understaffed certainly doesn't have a Libertarian bone in his or her body but yes…. that's what Steve-O thinks.

What planet does he live on?!

Only an elitist bean-counter and pencil-pusher would focus on increasing the power and/or reach of an organization (the IRS) whose perception by the American public is carefully constructed on deception, obfuscation, and intimidation, and whose basic purpose only facilitates the continuance of activities the US government has no Constitutional authority to do anyway. 

If you think the IRS is 'the good guys', spend some time that will be good for your patriotic soul reading any part (but especially the first two chapters) of the late, great Irwin Schiff's book, "The Federal Mafia" .

What amazes me is that Trump allowed (or condoned without correction) one of his key guys to say something like this that is absolutely not what his supporters elected him to focus on.

Also note Mr. Mnuchin's statements in this video:

1.  He laments, "the tax-gap". Gee, did you know we had a tax-gap? I didn't. It's my understanding that the government has been collecting more taxes every year so where in the hell is all that money going? $150 toilet seats and US embassies in Timbuktu? Here are a few examples of the answer to that question…. but Steve-O thinks we need to spend more money on the IRS??!!!

2.  He says, "This is something I'm concerned about." Wouldn't any rational person who understood Business 101 know that cutting business expenses of operation (i.e. in this case by cutting the size of inefficient and/or rogue elements of government) is a more reasonable way to increase revenue than simply making an already inefficient organization even bigger?

3.  He says, "I'm concerned about the staffing of the IRS." What about all the lives ruined by the IRS? (Google "Lives Ruined By IRS" for more examples). Notice how you never hear the media defend any of those people. And you also never hear of government punishing 'their own'. (Cases in point: Lois Lerner and of course the famous "Smartest Woman In The World" Hillary Clinton).

I will admit I was very surprised to read the above-referenced article and hear Mr. Mnuchin make these statements. But…it all ties in with what I think should be the obvious danger of having, 'a great businessman' (Trump and his crew of business aristocrats) in such high authority. One would hope that he does not turn out to be one of these corporate efficiency experts who thinks replacing everybody with robots and financially 'milking the financial life out of those who remain' is the way to solve a nation's problems.

NB: Did you know that Trump's new tax plan would raise the federal income tax on the current two lowest income levels? Yeah…read about it here.

If it's not obvious yet…"No, I'm not unequivocally enthusiastic about Trump."

I don't like the fact that his new home-boys are mostly Wall Street and Banking types yet there is not one real Libertarian in the crowd. I worry that the voters' critical attention was diverted from the issue of freedom from big government to one of efficiency and honesty in government. I want both. 

If it turns out that all Trump brings is cleaner big government…there will be a lot of very red-faced voters. What we really need is cleaner and better small government. And damn sure not a bigger IRS.

 

Art Williams
Freelance Copywriter
Case Studies and eMail Copywriting
email me here

 

 

 

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