How to Write a Report or E-course

Whatever you are planning to write always starts with what you know, and the easiest way to get started with that blank page is to make a list. So make a list of what you already know about your topic. Do this quickly; it should be easy because you can just write down the titles of articles you’ve already written.

In my article about offering bonuses, I suggested writing your own report as one possible bonus. You could also write a report or ecourse as a stand-alone product. You may find the very thought of writing these intimidating, so I’ll help you get started.

I’m assuming you are working with a website or product in a well-defined niche area, one in which you are at least somewhat knowledgeable. I’ll also assume you have been writing web copy, articles and/or sales letters. You’ve already generated lots of information.

Whatever you are planning to write always starts with what you know, and the easiest way to get started with that blank page is to make a list. So make a list of what you already know about your topic. Do this quickly; it should be easy because you can just write down the titles of articles you’ve already written.

I’ll talk about writing a report, but the only difference between that and an e-course is that an e-course is a step-by-step process. If your information lends itself to that format, then use it instead of the report, which simply provides information; a course leads you through action steps.

I’ll use my favorite golden retriever example. You’ve decided to write a report about finding the right puppy. You’ve already written articles about puppy mills, SPCA and other animal shelters, pet shops and breeders. What haven’t you written about – maybe it’s classified ads from unknown owners, golden retriever rescue leagues, and buying purebred vs. a mixed breed. You also haven’t written about any diseases or other physical disorders common to the breed, which will come into consideration when deciding what puppy to get. There’s your list, open to being edited, of course.

That’s what you know. The next step is to research and fill in some details. You’ll also be looking out for things you’ve forgotten about and important things you don’t know, which should be included.

You’ve gotten about 5 pages in writing already done (your articles), you should write a 10-page report at least. You may want to add a few pictures, charts or diagrams, so it may end up being a 15-page report, including cover, table of contents, and resource page.

It’s good practice to add something to your articles that you’ve already written, so start your research there. You may find a picture of a puppy mill and an article by someone else that you can add a reference to, giving it’s author full credit. You can add links to the SPCA and rescue leagues, and call up a friend who works in a reputable pet shop to ask him a few questions. Quotes from experts also make valuable additions, as do new research findings or news articles.

You then tackle each of the additional subjects one at a time. Inevitably, reading about each topic jogs things in your memory that you already know. Write that down quick. It helps when you’re doing the final editing and writing to have as much as possible already in your own words.

Alright, you’ve got the subject matter of your report done, but it’s all for naught if you haven’t got some structural elements in place as well. Use plenty of white space, this gives the reader’s eye a rest. Choose an attractive font that is also easy to read. Then focus on what I call the interest-catchers. You can have the most interesting report on the planet, but if your title and cover isn’t provocative, creative, intriguing, or otherwise captivating, no one will download and read it.

Also, your chapter headings, which will be read in the table of contents, must be engaging. And finally, assuming that somewhere in the report you are promoting yourself, your webpage, your newsletter, your ebook, some action that you want your reader to take…promote with pizzazz. Ask yourself, why would someone feel they have to click on your link? Make it so.

With planning, research, and creativity, your report can establish you as a writer, expert, and trusted information source, so execute it carefully and spread it around. Whether you give it away on it’s own, use it as a bonus, or sell it, you will be amazed at how it enhances your online presence and ultimately, profits.

Spyware, Adware and Virus Removal First Steps: Get Rid of Temporary Files

Temporary Internet Files result simply from visiting web sites. Each web page usually consists of a number of individual elements, including one or more images. A typical business page is made from a large number of individual images, even if only a single image is visible when the page is fully loaded. Each of these images is stored on your hard disk in the Temporary Internet Files folder, also known as the Internet Cache. Other elements such as cookies and multimedia files are also stored here.

There are many software programs available designed to remove Viruses, Spyware, Adware and other nasties from your computer. Uneducated users simply run these programs in the mistaken belief that once they do, all is well.

For the best results, and to optimise computer performance and efficiency, it’s best to eliminate the many temporary files and temporary Internet files that build up on one’s hard disk over time.

Temporary Internet Files result simply from visiting web sites. Each web page usually consists of a number of individual elements, including one or more images. A typical business page is made from a large number of individual images, even if only a single image is visible when the page is fully loaded. Each of these images is stored on your hard disk in the Temporary Internet Files folder, also known as the Internet Cache. Other elements such as cookies and multimedia files are also stored here.

Particularly useful in the early days of the Internet when only dial-up accounts were available, the use of this cache idea helped speed up access to web pages on the second and subsequent visit. Because images and multimedia objects take a lot longer to download than text, once they were stored in a local cache, they would be displayed directly from the hard disk, and didn’t need to be downloaded again. Web access was therefore a lot faster. There appears no way of automatically deleting these files, and so the number increases constantly.

Temporary Files appear for other reasons. In the course of normal operation by some programs, they require working space and will create one or more temporary files. When programs are installed, particularly from zipped or compressed files, they usually need a temporary storage area in which to store files during the installation process. It would make sense in both these cases, for the programs to delete the temporary files when finished. However, it seems that in a lot of cases, the obvious doesn’t happen.

Why should we care that we have all these unwanted files on our hard disks?

First, they do take up disk space unnecessarily, and secondly they reduce the performance of our computers. But in the context of viruses, spyware, adware, malware and other nasties, there are two reasons why all these temporary files are unwanted.

Most of the nasties mentioned above, apart from viruses, infiltrate our computers whilst visiting websites. Objects downloaded from web sites sit on our hard disk in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting these files, therefore, is the first step to eliminating nasties. Some viruses and nasties will install themselves, or a copy of themselves in the Temporary folder where no-one can find them. Have you ever run a virus or spyware scan only to find that the culprit comes right back afterwards? The other reason to delete these files … and there could be a great many of them over time … is to minimize the time the scanning software has to run by reducing the number of files it has to scan.

Fortunately, Windows gives us a simple method to delete these files.

Click on Start and My Computer. With the right mouse button, click on your primary hard disk, usually the C: drive, known in Windows XP as Local Disk (C:). In the menu that opens, click on the Properties selection at the bottom. The window that opens will display a graphically representation of your hard disk showing the total space, and the amount used and free. On the left is a button called Disk Cleanup. Press that button.

Windows will now check your hard disk and open another window showing how many temporary and temporary Internet files there are. If you click on ok, Windows will proceed to delete those files. It’s safe to do so. The recycle bin is also listed, and if you haven’t emptied it for a while, now is a good time to do so. Leave the other options unchecked.

Your virus scanning software and anti-nasties programs will now run more quickly, and in fact, you might find your whole computer seems faster and more responsive.

There is one limitation of the Windows built-in file cleaner though: it often doesn’t delete all files, and the only way of doing it is to manually delete them. That’ll be covered in a future article.