From Tracie

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Traffic Secrets: A Must-Read Book For Bloggers And Entrepreneur

Tracking Pixel For the last thirty days I've been participating in a traffic secrets challenge on Twitter as I've worked my way through Russell Brunson's new book, Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers. It's been a great opportunity to learn more about cultivating an audience and driving traffic to a website. Today, I'm going to share a little bit more about the book, and what you can learn from it. This is a sponsored post for the Traffic Secrets book, but all opinions are mine!

Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers

It doesn't matter if you are new to the online space or if you have been here for a long time – you need to consistently work at bringing in more traffic to your website or sales funnel. In the world of online marketing, a sales funnel is usually a landing page that walks potential customers through the decision process to purchase. A funnel can also be more than just that initial landing page and include an email sequence, text messages, and other communication that keeps your potential customer engaged until they are ready to buy (because a lot of people need to be presented with an offer up to 20 times before they will buy).

Those of us who have been doing this for years know that strategies have to change as Google and social media algorithms fluctuate. Every year, tens of thousands of online businesses and websites start and then quickly fail, because the owner doesn't understand how to bring in the audience they need.

What I appreciate about Traffic Secrets is the way Brunson takes you through fundamental steps that build a strong foundation. It's not a bunch of sketchy tricks that will work for a few days or months and then leave you with a huge disaster when a social platform finds the loophole you've been exploiting or Google decides to change their guidelines.

The first step to driving traffic to your website is identifying your ideal audience: What do they need? What do they want? Which problems are they trying to solve?

Once you identify your audience (your ideal customer/reader/follower), you can focusing on getting to know them. Figure out where they are spending time. Hone in on ways to reach them and get them to click through to your website or funnel.

This is the journey Traffic Secrets walks you through. Brunson also reveals direct marketing techniques that will allow you to be at the front of new online trends and see opportunities other people haven't picked up on yet.

Traffic Secrets Author: Russell Brunson

Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and best-selling author. In 2014, Russell and his partner Todd Dickerson launched ClickFunnels, which became the fastest-growing non-venture backed software company in the world and is now a $100M company. In addition to being the CEO of ClickFunnels, Brunson has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books, and popularized the concept of sales funnels.

Get A Copy Of Traffic Secrets Today!

If you want to drive more traffic to your blog or online business, or you are thinking about starting something new online, this book is a must-read. You can learn more about the book and grab a free copy of Traffic Secrets here (you just pay for the shipping and handling)! It's a great deal.

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Russell Brunson and Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Climbing Camelback Mountain (Take One)

I wanted to climb Camelback Mountain for my birthday this year, and Katarina agreed to do it with me. I was a little worried about the extra hard rating, and some of the scary reviews I read online, because I've never really hiked before (and Camelback is the tallest mountain around here), but I got advice from hiking friends and decided I could do it.

Tracie and Katarina on Camelback Mountain

While I would love to post this picture here, and let you believe that I climbed a mountain this weekend, I have to admit something: we didn't make it all the way to the top.

I'm still counting this experience as a total win, though.

We learned a lot of important things that are going to help us make it to the top next time – because there WILL be a next time. I'm going to keep going back until I conquer Camelback Mountain all the way.

cactus on camelback mountain cholla trail

Why I Didn't Make It To The Top of Camelback Mountain (And What I Learned About Hiking)

1. You can't climb a mountain when you have chest congestion (or, at least, I can't). 

I've been coughing for the last week, but didn't feel feverish or weak. I didn't realize how congested my lungs were, or how much it would impact hiking, until I was about 30 minutes in and could hardly catch my breath. The higher we hiked, the worse it got, and the longer I had to sit each time to get my breath back.

2. Proper footwear matters. 

I should say that I knew my shoes weren't the best going into this adventure. My boss even asked me if I had proper footwear and told me to get hiking shoes last week. But I didn't make it to the store, and decided my seven year old running shoes would work okay. They were okay, but they were not the best choice. I'm definitely getting the right shoes before I do this again.

Tracie taking a break on Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail in Phoenix

3. Going down is faster. 

The final reason we decided to stop where we did was time. With all of the stops I had to take to rest during our ascent, we were moving slowly. I wasn't sure how long it would take to go back down, and wanted to make sure we didn't get stuck partway if my breathing troubles worsened. When we got to the halfway point, we decided to turn around and come back another day.

4. Two people = two bags for water. 

I wanted to take lots of water, because, Arizona. But I packed all of it into the one hiking backpack we own. It wasn't too heavy to carry comfortably, but it was heavy enough to impact my balance. Next time Katarina and I will take separate bags and split up the water. (Shout out to Nature Valley for the hiking backpack they sent me probably 10 years ago as part of an influencer campaign that I finally took on a real hike!)

hiking backpack

5. Hike early. 

We got to the mountain at 7:30am and that was nearly perfect. I think we will try to get there a bit earlier next time, but I definitely wouldn't want to go later. When we were on our way down, it was getting super crowded. Which leads me to this...

6. I'm glad I wore jeans.

Near the end of the hike, a group of guys jostled me as they pushed past me on their way up the mountain; I went down hard on one knee. My knee is pretty torn up, but it would have been worse in leggings or shorts.

Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail

Stay tuned...I'm going to try this again soon, and will have more tips for you on how to successfully climb Camelback Mountain.

If you want to see more pictures of our Camelback Mountain adventure, check out the highlights on my Instagram Stories.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Remembering Rich Mullins 20 Years Later

I worked with the soundtrack of Rich Mullins behind me today. Not unusual, I often play his music. But today, as I listened through every song Rich gave us, I felt the weight of the music. I was struck by the history of who I was 20 years ago and the reality of who I am now all contained in those songs.

It's been 20 years since Rich Mullins reached the other side of the Jordan.

I was in 9th grade when he died. Now I'm the parent of a 9th grader.

Rich Mullins

I could link to a dozen or more articles published in the last week about the impact Rich Mullins had on people's faith, and probably a few that debate his faith, his theology, and his weaknesses. But I've only glanced at everything that is being written about Rich on this anniversary. I'll probably go back in the next few weeks and read all of it, because I never stop longing for that community of people who knew Rich, either personally or just through his music. But today I'm taking it old school. Reading articles linked up on Calling Out Your Name, a website that makes me smile in all of its late 1990's glory. Feeling that weight.

Music can take you right back to you were when you first heard it, and it can speak to you right where you are in the moment you are hearing it again. And this is where I sit today.

And I had to sit here — on this blog.
Much neglected this year. To be honest, totally neglected.

One of the only things I've written for myself in months was this: "I don't write anymore, because my words are all too painful and incendiary."

It was short enough to tweet, but I didn't need 140 characters.

I could have summed that sentence up in one word. It isn't a word about not having time, as much as I toss lack of time out as a handy excuse for not writing. It's a word both simple and complex.

The word is FEAR.

I don't write anymore, and it all comes down to fear. 

The fear of telling stories and not having stories to tell. The fear of people reading and no one reading. The fear of being too much and not enough. The fear of being weak and finding strength. The fear of words both raw and honest.

So today, I sat and listed to every song Rich gave us. And I soaked in the rawness and the truth.

As I was on the elliptical machine at the gym (I really really don't recommend listening to Rich Mullins while working out — the singing, the the hand raising, and the crying can all be very dangerous while ellipticalling) I heard Bound To Come Some Trouble deep in my soul.

I've listened to this sound hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, but today I was struck by the fact he intentionally addresses fear more than once.
There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't nothing to be afraid of
There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
But reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there  
There's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't nothing to be ashamed of
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
Reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there  
This is what I heard:
Trouble and tears are coming.
No fear. No fear. No shame. No fear.
Reach out to Jesus. Hold on tight. 
My moment of clarity came. I've been doing this backwards.

Holding on to fear. Holding on to shame. Holding on to fear.
Not holding on, so much, to Jesus.

So today, I brushed aside the dust, and blew off the cobwebs, and I let go of fear, and I showed up to write, and in a few minutes I'm actually going to click publish.

And that is enough.

I'm not going to tell you the story of Rich, but know that his music changed my life. And 20 years later, I still listen and I still miss him. But I encourage you.... check out the articles written about Rich, the old ones and the new. Read the articles Rich wrote for RELEASE back in the day. Watch the movie and watch the old documentary and the new documentary. Listen to the music. Read a little Brennan Manning. It's all good for your soul.

But most of all... Don't be afraid. Hold on to Jesus. And be God's.

Monday, October 10, 2016

What Is Sexual Assault?

What is sexual assault? What is the actual definition of sexual assault? 

This term seems to be super confusing for people this week, primarily Donald Trump supporters, many of whom are scrambling to defend him since the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape

There is a lot to be said about what you see and hear on that tape, all of which is bad, but today I'm only going to focus on this section:
Donald Trump: "I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” 
*Billy Bush: "Whatever you want.” 
Donald Trump: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
There are a lot of defenses going around as people try to fix these unfixable words, most of them center on focusing on the date the tape was made or comparing Trump to other people (as if their moms never taught them "two wrongs don't make a right").

Senator Jeff Sessions took his defense a step further, after the second presidential debate, when he was interviewed by The Weekly Standard:
Jeff Sessions: This was very improper language, and he's acknowledged that. 
TWS: But beyond the language, would you characterize the behavior described in that [video] as sexual assault if that behavior actually took place? 
Jeff Sessions: I don't characterize that as sexual assault. I think that's a stretch. I don't know what he meant— 
TWS: So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that's not sexual assault? 
Jeff Sessions: I don't know. It's not clear that he—how that would occur.
According to Jeff Sessions, he doesn't know if grabbing a woman by the genitals is sexual assault. You would think a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama would understand the definition of sexual assault, but maybe it never came up in his law classes.

What is sexual assault?

The Justice Department defines sexual assault like this (emphasis mine):
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
That is a pretty heavy list of things that fall under the definition of sexual assault. Let's break this down further.

You may not know (although I would hope that former U.S. Attorney-turned-Senator Jeff Sessions does) that different states have different laws around sexual assault. RAINN has a great resource for viewing the sexual assault laws for each state, including information on statutes of limitations. I won't walk you through all of them here, but let's take a look at the sexual assault laws in the State of New York, where Donald Trump lives.
Forcible Touching - Misdemeanor 
Intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touching the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire. (N.Y. Penal Law § 130.52)
This crime is considered a misdemeanor in the state of New York, and the possible punishment is a maximum of 1 year in prison.

Now let's take a look at the sexual assault laws in the state of Alabama, where Jeff Sessions lives, and used to be a U.S. Attorney:
Sexual Abuse In The First Degree
An actor commits sexual abuse in the first degree if he:
1. subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion; or
2. subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. (
Ala. Code § 13A-6-66)
Alabama takes a tough view of this crime, they consider it a Class C Felony and the possible punishment is imprisonment of not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day as well as a fine not exceeding $15,000.

As to Senator Sessions comment about not being clear how grabbing a woman by the pussy would occur, I would invite him to spend some time reading the responses Kelly Oxford received on Twitter after she asked women to share the stories of the first time they were sexually assaulted.
That was sexual assault.

Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient is sexual assault.

But it's more than that.

The words sexual assault seem so big, so damning, so grave to those who are trying to dance around them right now. How can you possibly use something that serious to describe this bus conversation? But to those of us who have experienced sexual assault, the words feel almost sterile. Small. Not enough. It's impossible to take two words, and fit into them all of the feelings, the violation, the trauma, of being the victim of sexual assault.

I was four years old the first time my uncle touched me. That was not the last time it happened. Every time was an act of sexual assault.

The definition of sexual assault isn't hard, unless you are trying to excuse it.

It's actually quite clear. And it's always wrong.

*This is the same Billy Bush who once told Mackenzie Phillips that incest should be a "private thing" and didn't want to talk about it on tv.


If you have been the victim of sexual assault and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

If you suspect that a child is being abused, or if you are a child or teen who is being abused, you can contact Child Help or call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Luke's Diner Popped Up In Arizona, And It Was Amazing

To help celebrate the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls (it's dropping on November 25th, so cancel your Black Friday plans — there will be 4 new episodes of Gilmore Girls to watch), Netflix set up pop-up Luke's Diners in coffee shops all across the country this morning.

Luke's Diner Coffee Cup

You know my Gilmore Girls-loving family had to visit Luke's Diner in Arizona. We woke up to the crisp feel of fall in the air, which was perfect for our trip to Stars Hollow, otherwise known as the Octane Cafe. The line was already forming when we arrived, so it was a good thing we got there early.

Luke's Diner Sign Octane Cafe Mesa Arizona
Katarina wore her classic Luke's Diner t-shirt. I wore plaid in honor of Luke along with a denim jacket and hat Lorelai would love.

Octane Cafe and the baristas were decked out in Luke's Diner accessories.
Luke's Diner Octane Cafe
Octane Cafe Mesa Arizona

We used cell phones to take these pictures (don't tell Luke!), and then we ordered cups of coffee and orange cranberry muffins, both of which were delicious.

Netflix Luke's Diner Sign

It was the perfect start to a beautiful, fall morning.

Tracie and Katarina at Octane Cafe for the Netflix Luke's Diner Pop Up

Underneath the Luke's sleeve was a quote from Gilmore Girls.

The other side had a snapchat code for a fun filter.
(I'm snappy: @fromtracie)

gilmore girls snapchat filter netflix

I drank coffee out of my Luke's Diner cup all day. It accompanied me to all of the video conference calls I had at work, too. Everything is more fun with a cup of coffee from Luke's.

luke's coffee and twitter scheduling

Li'l Sebastian P. Merrywinkle agrees. He quite enjoyed snuggling up with a good book and my Luke's Diner coffee cup this afternoon.

If you live in my area, check out the Octane Cafe in Mesa, AZ. The coffee is super awesome. And no matter where you live, check out the Town of Stars Hollow website. You won't be disappointed.