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5 Reasons Blogging Helps Your Website’s SEO

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 28, 2014
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One of the biggest recommendations many SEO specialists offer to their clients is to add a blog to their website. That’s because it offers great SEO benefits if done right, as well as helps your potential customers see you as an expert in your field. You might not always have someone tell you the reasons why it works, so here are 5 reasons that blogging helps your website’s SEO.

1. Search engines like new content.

Oh no, here come the Bloggers
Creative Commons License Brett L. via Compfight

Search engines send bots out through the internet looking to see if your website has made any changes in awhile. If there’s none for a long time, they stop sending the bots and your web presence declines. With some kind of consistent content, even if you only write once or twice a month, your website keeps some kind of relevance.

2. You get to reinforce your expertise in what you do.

No matter what your industry is or if you sell products, being able to write about either on a consistent basis helps the search engines definitely show everyone what you’re about. Sometimes all it takes is having more niched content than the next person to help you stand above the crowd.

3. You have multiple opportunities for internal linking.

Something you don’t hear a lot of SEO specialists talking about is linking to your own content, whether it’s other blog posts or pages on your website. One of the best optimized sites on the internet is the W3C Organization, which has almost no external links but internal links like you wouldn’t believe. Not only does it help your SEO but it encourages your visitors to check out other pages of your website.

4. It’s easier to gear your content towards multiple keyword phrases.

With just a website you can only cover so many keywords and keyword phrases unless you have hundreds of pages. By adding a blog you can write multiple posts with multiple keywords and phrases that helps you compete with all of your competitors.

5. If others like your content, they’ll share it.

They could share it on their own blogs or through social media, which not only drives more visitors to your site but ends up creating backlinks to your site without your having to do anything except have exceptional content on your blog. It’s always great with others promote you because they think you’re content is awesome.

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Are You Spreading Yourself Too Thin?

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 25, 2014
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A different start than normal on this blog. I’m going to begin by posting one of my recent videos where I highlighted my progress on my 2014 Goals. I’m doing this, even while knowing that most people who visit this post and possibly comment on it won’t watch any of it. Still, it highlights a lot of what’s going on with me now as it regards trying to reach some goals, knowing I’m not going to reach some goals, and in its own way addresses the topic:
 


http://youtu.be/tDhOvzLPmAI?list=UUYMVX_ehmfnV_BhvTOj-5_w

That’s just for starters. Lately I’ve decided to address some of my health issues by downloading the app Myfitnesspal and tracking what I’m eating (that link leads to another video, just so you know) in an attempt to lose some weight and also try to stay away from what was another health scare related to diabetes; sigh…

To say that I might be spreading myself thin with all that’s going on in my life is an understatement. To say that I can’t handle it all is another matter; I can and have been doing it. Just not in the manner that I was handling it before.

See, when I was home most of the time I spent a lot of time writing. Not just on my 5 blogs but on 4 other blogs as well. I also wrote a couple of newsletters, none for myself, was on 3 boards (still am) and in an officer position in all of them. And I was marketing, marketing, marketing… that’s what you do when you work for yourself. Throw in all the social media stuff… whew, I’m tired reading it.

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I’m not close to a super man; nowhere near it. I’m tired often, but I’ve got goals to go after, things to do, things I want, a lifestyle I want to live, and I’m closer to retirement age than a beginning; that’s a little scary I have to admit. Thus, I know I don’t have the time to just sit around doing nothing; I have to get things done, or at least work towards getting them done.

What I am though is a realist. Over the last year, as I’ve been traveling and consulting out of town, and not close to home, I’ve realized that I had to modify how I did what I did so I could keep up with almost everything I have going on.

I have had to let some things go, some things that just aren’t feasible for the moment, and slow down on some other things that I was pretty good at keeping up with. Kind of like this blog; instead of 3 or 4 posts a week I’m down to 1 or 2. Has it suffered some? Maybe, but we do what we do right?

Some of you know that I consult in two areas: health care finance and leadership.

One of the things I decided early on as a leader is that you take care of what’s most important first but always have the other stuff on a list that you look at here and there, and when you get an opportunity you try to address the issue. There’s always going to be a period where things aren’t as hectic, even in the most hectic jobs; trust me on this one.

In health care finance, there are two major concerns: bringing in as much money as possible fast and doing it in a compliant way so you don’t get hit with major fines later on.

As a consultant, this means going in and looking at the most obvious stuff first because most of the time that’s where the big issues are, and if I address those issues the money starts rolling in. As a director I found the money was in the training; if employees are top notch not only will the money come rolling it, but it’ll continue rolling in so you can go take care of something else.

Student Design Charrette 21
PLACE Built Environment
Centre
via Compfight

Back in May I wrote a post about using my Franklin Planner. That’s been a big help because it not only allows me to write down everything I want to do but I also write down little motivational messages here and there to keep me on the straight path.

Part of my planning has been to write down when I need to write something for a blog, which blog, and when I want to release it. That’s obviously a big deal for me, but my local blog, Syracuse Wiki, has had to suffer. That’s because I want it to only be about local stuff, but if I’m not home it’s hard to write about much of it. In the high world of “finance” that’s known as a tough business decision; can’t do it all, right?

Marketing has been shut down because there’s no real reason to do it. I’m an independent consultant; for the most part I can only work on one project at a time, although I can do some consulting via phone (and have). Luckily, those folks have been finding me; nothing wrong with that.

Something else I’ve had to learn, which wasn’t a part of anything I was doing before all that much… I’ve had to learn to take breaks, even have some nights where I don’t do anything close to work.

When I was working for 3 months in New York City some years ago it was much different because every night was a new adventure, but not every place is like that; certainly where I am now can’t compare. So, I rest more when I’m on the road, and I rest more when I’m at home because I don’t have much time to do anything, including the stuff I need to do at home. Without the Planner, I’d be in really deep.

Okay, that’s all been about me; kind of selfish but I felt I had to establish a bit of authority on the subject so I can get to the main thrust of this post which is giving 5 tips for you to figure out how to pull your center together when you start feeling like your life and time is being spread too thin, because sometimes when that happens you just want to up and quit; never quit!

Tips time; here we go.

And What shall I Write
Lew (tomswift) Holzman
via Compfight

1. Get a planner, journal, memo pad, etc, and write stuff down. What makes most people feel really stressed? Trying to keep everything in your head. There are two main problems with that: you forget stuff; you can’t prioritize things when they’re all in your head.

Writing things down is not only cathartic but you might find that there are many things on your list that you can eliminate, pass off on someone else, get done pretty quickly, or is a major project that you need to do in stages. Nothing else works if you don’t start with this.

Snow plow
Creative Commons License Jeroen Kransen via Compfight

2. Find some support systems, even if they only take care of one or two things. For me, even though I could do them, I needed to have someone else do my accounting work and I needed someone to cut my grass and plow my driveway (I live in snow central; look it up lol).

That may not sound like much but for the first one, if you saw the amount of receipts I have to plow through and trying to manage who’s paying me and how, and separating expense payments from work payments, and then categorizing it all and having to then do all the taxes… ugh.

My lawn was taking me 3 hours to do pushing a mower, and when I got a riding mower, though it came down to about 45 minutes, because it turned out I was allergic to grass… well, if I showed you the picture of what I had to wear, in the hot sun… lol As for the snow, try living in a place where it literally snows every day in winter, and even though 6 to 8 inches is kind of a norm it all takes time to remove… so much easier to pay someone else for it.

This is how you need to think; it’s not about what you can do but what you don’t have to do so you can concentrate on the important stuff.

Golden Light at the Hour of Death
Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

3. Decide one main thing that you want to accomplish in your life and center everything around that one goal. Make it a BAHG, or “big audacious hairy goal”.

In some ways this might seem simplistic but look at it from my perspective. There’s lots of things I do and at times I might start feeling spread a bit thin. In those times I start thinking about the reason I’m trying to do them all, an ultimate goal where, if I ever achieved it, I could feel really free and relaxed.

Before I tell you the big one I’ll tell you some small ones. Initially I wanted enough money to buy a soda fountain machine. That morphed into an ice making machine. Those were kind of stupid as each only cost around $200 or so, thus I decided to shoot for an Aeron chair, which cost around $1,300.

That turned out not to be big enough so I decided on buying a car with cash. Not only did I do that but I bought 2, one for my wife and one for me. So I upped the amount and a few years ago thought about the goal of being able to design a different house and paying for it with cash.

All fine and dandy but I realized my goals were aligned in the wrong place. Those were all things I wanted, and I got some of them, but it was wrong. What I wanted for real was security, the ability to do anything I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and wherever I wanted to do it. My goal… $10 million in the bank.

Now there’s a real goal! Realistic? Well, some might say no, but there are a lot of people who started something in their mid 50′s and became millionaires so why not me? Here’s the side benefit, and it’s a lesson learned from Jack Canfield, the Chicken Soup for the Soul guy. Decades ago his goal was to make $100,000 in one year selling his book. He made $92,000. Do you think he was disappointed? Nope, because it was more money than he’d ever made in his life, he was close to his goal, and look where we went from there.

So, have a BAHG; even if you don’t get there, you will progress, and you’ll know that all the stuff you’ve been doing, if you’ve been focused, is worth it.

~♥~ And my heart will go on and on ~♥~
¤ [B~B] Bourne Bedweey [B~B] ¤
{Away}
via Compfight

4. Don’t be afraid to let go of certain things, but make sure you look at it from all sides first before doing it. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (won’t be a secret after this). I’m thinking about shutting down one of my websites and blogs. In a way, this makes me feel like a quitter, but in another way I’m thinking it might help me focus a bit more while remaining true to my goal.

This isn’t a new thought, and part of my thinking was reignited this weekend when I was having a conversation with Lynn Terry of Clicknewz. I was telling her about all the blogs I was writing and she asked if there was one or two I could reduce or stop doing. Over the last few days I’ve thought about it some more and, well, it just might happen; I’m just not sure yet.

Still, if I decide to let it go then it’s gone. Last year I stopped writing one of my newsletters after 10 years and the year before I stopped writing a different newsletter after 9 years. There are some other things I’m thinking about removing myself from, not because I don’t like them but because I need more time to focus on my $10 million.

I know I’m not alone on this one. What things are you doing out of obligation that maybe you loved at one time but now it’s more of a chore to do? Is it taking you away from something you’d much rather do, something with a more positive endgame?

Be Awesome

5. Take care of yourself first. Remember earlier I was talking about motivational messages I keep writing in my Planner? This is one of the first, and every month I write it again before anything else. That I feel the need to remind myself of this over and over is proof that I’m not doing it right.

If you don’t take care of yourself first you can’t help anyone else for long. If you don’t plan for your future it’ll be upon you before you know it and you’ll be in dire straits. If you don’t take care of yourself there might not be a future; scary isn’t it?

If you feel that you’re spreading yourself too thin think of this particular statement. Go through all the steps I mentioned because they’ll help give you some direction. If you have any conflicts whatsoever… take care of yourself first. We all know what to do; sometimes we’re conflicted. Don’t feel guilty; just do it and you’ll see that not only will you feel better, but things will start going your way.

Like that last picture says… Be Awesome! ;-)
 

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Fighting Anger And Depression

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 19, 2014
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Can I tell you a secret? It’s personal but I figure if you’re a regular reader you won’t mind it. There might even be something in this for you.

Halloween is Bloody Fun
Billy Wilson via Compfight

Quite often I’m holding in a lot of anger and a bit of depression. I don’t know that the first has always been with me but the second has.

What makes me angry? Goodness, what doesn’t make me angry. I get angry with a lot of things I read in the news. I get angry when I see a lot of the things I read on social media. I get angry when I have to hear things about politics or religion or racism or… name anything where people show hate towards someone else.

I get angry when I feel someone demeans what I do. I get angry when people speak to me in a manner I don’t like. I get angry when people don’t show courtesy to me or others when I’m in their presence. I get angry for many of the bad ways that people treat each other.

Because I fight all these things, as in work hard to keep them suppressed, I then get depressed. I get depressed because at a certain point I realize that there’s nothing I can do to stop any of it. There’s probably little I can do to change anyone’s behavior because, frankly, if people don’t already care about themselves then what the heck would I ever be able to say so someone to get them to change right?

Now that I’ve said that I want to say two other things.

One, luckily I don’t manifest my anger all that often in public. There are so many people I just want to smack or hurt in some fashion for their being jerks. But I don’t, which is smart for more than one reason. Instead, I get quiet, get introspective, and try to find something to move my mind to a calmer place, a happier place, a place where I can regain my perspective if needed. After all, no one wants to hang around a person who’s angry all the time, right?

Two… I know I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, I’d bet that most of you are angrier people than I am and probably get even more depressed than I get. But you probably have outlets for your anger, things you do that maybe you want to or need to apologize for later on, things that I don’t do.

See, I’ve never cursed, never had a drink, never taken any illegal drugs. I’ve never hit anyone first, never really beat anyone up, rarely have said hateful things to intentionally hurt a person’s feelings… wanted to, but didn’t.

I have been sarcastic though, and I’ve had a mean streak. For me, my mean streak is to make someone feel belittled without my having to have said anything.

One of the reasons I push myself is because I want to be better than any detractor who ever believed I was less than them, or couldn’t achieve something I said I wanted to do.

Yeah, I can be spiteful. I never forget, and I’ve never quite gotten that forgiveness thing down. Most of the time I let things go, or so I tell people, but I never forget; of all the gripes I’ve had about my short term memory as I get older, I want to smack myself because it would be nice to forget the slights, or perceived slights.

Why am I talking about all of this stuff?

grouch
Creative Commons License greg westfall via Compfight

One, because it’s a bit cathartic, as today I end my self imposed week away from all social media. I needed time for myself, time to do things like editing my latest book some more, time to lay back and relax and watch a few movies.

Two, because of the words of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix coming back to me when I felt like I was being split in two:

We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

Of course that’s just a version of an old story where a man tells his grandson a story about two wolves going through the same battle, mentions that each person has this within himself, and answers the grandson’s question of which one will win by saying “The one you nourish.”

I know many of you go through these same things. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of you are probably like me in not hurting someone else physically, trying not to hurt someone unintentionally, holding those emotions in until you’re alone and then finding your own way of dealing with them. Hopefully, you recognize that you’re not evil and that you are a good person and can and will eventually overcome these feelings and distractions.

And if you need to step away for a while to do so then do it. If you have to write about it then do it. If you have to eat lots of cake and ice cream and cookies… well, do that also! :-)

The real words to follow: “don’t let the haters get you down“, which appeared there first and then was plagiarized here, but looks better at the second link.

Man, I hate thieves… makes me so angry… ;-)
 

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Independence – Emancipation Day

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 9, 2014
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In what could be seen as a controversial stance I take, I actually consider today, July 9th, the real Independence Day. That’s because, for me, the day the 14th Amendment was passed, which brought equal rights and protections to all citizens of the country, was the real Emancipation Day, which many misinformed people think was January 1st, when Abraham Lincoln gave his decree known as the Emancipation Proclamation.

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What’s the truth? The reality is that when Lincoln freed slaves, he only freed slaves in the southern states during the Civil War. And let’s face the fact that it didn’t free a single slave, and probably 99% of them never even heard of it at the time. Not that he didn’t have encouragement to do so, as it was believed that putting it out there would encourage free black people to join the army and fight for the cause, which did happen although Union military leaders really didn’t want them… that is, until the losses started to pile up.

What many others don’t know is that many of the states that voted for it did it under threat of not being established as a state again, which pertains to those southern states that had to bite the bullet after losing the Civil War. And in truth passing it did little to equalize things or make them fair in any way… at least at the time. Actually even now, even so many years, a bill has to come before Congress known as the Civil Rights Bill; that’s just a shame…

I don’t get political on this blog all that often and I don’t necessarily want to go there now, but I feel like I have to. I go that way because of the topic of immigration and how there are so many who are fighting this, even though it’s a protection that was granted, to a degree, by the 14th Amendment.

There are many who believe that just because someone was born in this country that it shouldn’t automatically give them citizenship. Not only would this violate the Constitution because of this amendment (which was supported by United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, but it throws out history in general as that’s how this country not only came to be in the first place but how it grew.

The attack is also against those who came to this country in an unorthodox manner (I’m preferring that to “illegal) and have not only lived here a long time but many have served in the military and done great deeds for this country. Many people say they should be deported and not be allowed to remain, that they’re a drain on the financial resources of this country (like they care since they don’t want to take care of people who have been citizens of this country for centuries) and that they bring heavy crime (uhhh, who’s in jail more than anyone else by the numbers?).

You know what? Yeah, there’s some criminal elements, and there are some folks who live off governmental benefits. That’s going to happen. But the overwhelming majority work hard, travel hard, make little but are honest, proud people who have tried to be great examples of the opportunities this country has to offer.

I’m not saying that the borders shouldn’t be tightened so that people would be forced to go the correct route to get into this country; goodness knows that if uneducated people can get in from one country terrorists with a bit more education can also get in, and do. I’m saying that if someone has been here a long time and proven their worth, which is the majority, that they not only should be allowed to stay but should be given the opportunities for citizenship that, in my opinion, they’ve earned.

There; that’s my political post for the year… I hope!
 

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Are You A Lazy Networker Or Marketer?

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 7, 2014
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Some of you know I own a blog about financial stuff. Some of you also know I used to accept guest posts on that blog, but ended it last December after being bothered by the types of requests I was getting, the lousy editing and, well, just the time it was taking away from doing other stuff.

Portrait of a Traveller
Dick Vos via Compfight

Even though I still get those requests, I can easily deflect them. However, if the offers are good, I still entertain letters about advertising, although so far I haven’t found any of them to be up my alley. I’m just not going to allow links or banner ads to any businesses or companies that aren’t aligned with finance on that site; that’s the smart way to do business right?

One type of email I get, that most people get, is the form letter. You know it, where you see the same language all the time, the lies about how they’re impressed with your site, yada yada.

One rule I’ve always had, even with the guest posts, is if my name isn’t in the email I ignore it and move on. When I was accepting guest posts, if I got a second email I’d write back quickly informing them that they hadn’t read the guest posting policy; yup, I had one of those, fairly extensive. Nowadays I’ll ignore that second email and move on with life.

Well, the other day I got a third email from someone. However, in both the second email and the third, instead of writing something new, and still not having my name anywhere in it, the emails said “contacting you again; see message below.”

Since I got a third email from the guy, I decided to write him back. This is what I wrote:

Greetings,

I’m responding to this email because it seems ignoring it hasn’t taught anything.

Yes, I saw the other emails. Why have I ignored them? Because every single email is proof that you or nobody else who works with you has ever visited my website. If you had you’ve have seen that I have a name, I have an about page and I have an advertising policy.

Frankly, it’s always been my assumption that if people who say they want to work for me show that they’re too lazy to look at anything on the site that I don’t trust them to keep their word on anything they have to say, thus I’m not working with them. I’m only writing you because you’ve sent this more than once.

If you’re actually representing the company you state you are, you’re doing it poorly. Maybe you’ll treat your job and give the people you hope to work with a bit more respect after this email. In any case, at this juncture I’m not interested. I wish you well as you pursue your career, hopefully with a bit more circumspection on how to contact potential customers and partners.

Was that too harsh? I didn’t think so, and I actually felt it was a good lesson that might help make this guy a little bit better at what he does and how he works.

Y’all know I’m an independent consultant in health care. Because I can’t call all the hospitals within a 7-state radius all that often I have a set of marketing letters to help introduce myself to the people I need to talk to.

Pushkar, chai wallah (tea vendor)
Creative Commons License Arian Zwegers
via Compfight

What I have done is researched every hospital I wanted to send something to and found the names of the people in the position, as well as the actual title they hold, and that goes on the letters I send out; almost never email. I do that because I know if a letter is a bit more personal there’s a better chance it’ll at least be opened, and hopefully read. I also try to mention something about the hospital that I’ve learned that might flatter them in some fashion, such as acknowledging a new service they have or an award they’ve recently won.

Sometimes you get a name wrong because, in health care, people move around pretty fast. But that’s not a big deal because you’ll get the correct name when you follow up by phone. And that’s interesting because at least someone will talk to you, maybe not your intended target, if you have a name.

It’s just lazy marketing if you don’t try to find out someone’s name, or if you haven’t even looked at the website or blog of a person or business to see if maybe the information you’re looking for is there already.

Add this to the process of networking, where you reach out to someone without even attempting to know something about them. At many networking events I go to people only talk about themselves, and are pushing their business card at you before they’ve even told you their name. Sometimes I don’t even reciprocate by giving my card out because I know this is someone who could care less about me. Who wants to spend money, or sometimes even make money, working with someone who doesn’t care about you in the least?

Am I in the wrong here? Am I not being forgiving enough to those who obviously don’t know any better? Or do you see where I’m going, what I’m saying, and possibly agree? Let me know, and thanks for reading.
 

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