As my friend Kelvin likes to say, sometimes we’re more suited to offer someone else advice than remember how to use it for ourselves. Occasionally this happens to me, but at least I’m always ready to try something rather than just sit around wishing I had. However, this all starts with a story from some years ago.

offline marketing
Offline marketing with help

In a Facebook group, a lady was asking for advice on how to better offer her services, as she was self employed and was struggling to keep her business afloat. She owned, and still owns, a dance studio. She’d done a few things such as advertising in the newspaper and putting flyers up around town, and she also has a website.

I decided to take up the challenge because I’m such a helpful sort. I asked what kind of ads she had run in the newspaper, then asked if she’d ever run any specials for visitors to get a taste of what she does or offered discounts for signing up if they mentioned the ad.

I asked her if she’d thought about doing the same type of thing from her website. She writes a newsletter, so I asked if she’d ever thought about putting something in her newsletter, or offering something to her present customers if any of them brought in a new client who signed up for lessons.

I asked more about her flyers, wondering if she’d ever contacted any of her local production theaters to see if she could put flyers up, or could pass out flyers during events such as recitals. I offered a suggestion of putting on an exhibition at some of the local malls, since I know we have a lot of those in my own area. Those folks are always looking for free entertainment on the weekends, and if kids are involved she’s got a winner.

At those exhibitions, she could set up a table to sign up people for either dance lessons, her newsletter, or just get names and numbers to contact later on. I also suggested the possibility of a dance contest that she could sponsor, maybe giving away a free year of lessons to the winner (my consulting group gives away one year of free membership at the yearly business show) or whatever she felt might be appropriate.

Last, I made the suggestion that she could offer clinics, more speaking than exhibition, in places such as her local library or chamber of commerce, on topics related to dancing or even physical education or exercise, which would help get her name and face out there. She’s very attractive, and I believe people would flock to see her and would at least check out her services.

marketing by speaking
Marketing by speaking

That’s a lot of stuff isn’t it? I know she did some of it, and these days her business seems to be working much better for her. I’m not sure if I helped all that much, but I’m glad I came up with what I did as pretty good suggestions, if I say so myself. 🙂

When I look at all the different things I do, I can say I’ve done similar things over the years that I recommended. I’ve offered discounts from time to time on products I’ve created. I’ve offered free stuff to people who can get others to sign up for one of my newsletters (which I no longer have). I’ve put on presentations and performed a good number of speaking engagements, both around town and in other states. I’ve also taken out an ads in the past on both an online newspaper and a business journal, advertising local seminars I was conducting.

I’ve sent out letters, flyers, and postcards. I email people from time to time, though I identify and research who I’m going to send email to so that I won’t be accused of spamming anyone. I’ll pick up the phone every once in a while, which is a big deal since I hate talking on the phone. I do live networking events, though I’m not always crazy about those either. I’ve also written tons of articles and been interviewed a number of times (this is a pdf; I’m 5-9), most of them online but a lot of them in offline publications.

I believe that I’ve done as much as one could possibly do when it comes to marketing, other than making tons of phone calls; that probably isn’t going to happen, though. Oh yeah; I’m not launching a thousand ships with my picture either. 🙂 I’ll often tell people that it’s hard to market one’s business for the masses without being on social media. I don’t tell the other side as often that relying totally on social media to market your business is limiting.

Marketing is something one has to get used to doing if they hope to be successful in business, especially if you want to be self employed. Strangely enough, my offline marketing has been much better than my online marketing, even though I don’t like it as much. I share lots of material online, comment on blogs, and I’m very active on social media.

I’ve learned a heck of a lot, enough so that I can talk the talk with almost anyone. Offline… turns out I’m not so bad there either; I’m just in a tough business to market well.

Are you making sure your marketing efforts aren’t totally one sided? Are you shooting for some kind balance, or are you satisfied enough in what you’re doing?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Many years ago I read a blog post called Customers Won’t Discount Your Dishonesty, where the author was basically talking about internet tricks a lot of online marketers try. The article specifically mentioned this sneakiness when you’re trying to leave a website, only to have a pop up window stop you with a discounted offer without just letting you go. I didn’t like it then and I’m still not a fan of popups.

pop-up windows hate

I remember when my wife and I first moved into this house and we thought we needed new windows. This guy came to the house and was here for 3 hours, first measuring the windows, then supposedly doing all the calculations he had to do so that he could talk to us further. He then dropped the price on us; $36,000. I actually laughed out loud, which is so unlike me, but it was more than 1/3rd of what we’d paid for the house.

He left, but three days later we got a call offering the same package for $16,000; once again we said no. Then four days later we were offered the same package for $9,000. At that point I told the person that I didn’t want their company calling me anymore because I didn’t trust them.

A couple years later, my wife contacted one of the big home improvement chains and asked someone to come look at our windows. This guy gave us a quote where most of our windows came to $70 each, with the big bay window coming to $1,000 on its own; I could understand that, as it’s a different style. We didn’t go for that one, but we did replace a lot of the other windows, at a very affordable price.

You’re probably wondering why I told the story about the windows after introducing my issue with popups. Suffice it to say that I’m not a fan of popups, which used to be referred to as popup windows. I’m the guy who’s gone so far as to eliminate javascript from all the browsers on my computer so I would stop getting those stupid newsletter popups that so many people are using these days.

That’s actually worked quite well on my main computer… but it’s done nothing for me as it pertains to my smartphone. And Google was supposed to take care of that for me.

The thing is, it’s much worse having popups on the phone than it was on my computer… for the most part. The problem is that often one of two things happens way too soon. The first is that you’ve just arrived on a page and you’re ready to check out the content when suddenly this long thing pops in from the top, totally obliterating what you were about to read to smack you in the face with a newsletter or product offer. The second is that you actually get to start reading when this popup appears and not only blocks the content but is so big that you can’t even X it out.

It’s in these moments when I think back on my initial windows issue back in 2000 and makes me not want to trust the people whose content I was hoping to read. I spend a lot of time online and on Flipboard looking for content to read and later share with my online audience. I hate having my time wasted because I got sucked in by a blog or article title that looked intriguing, only to get a bait and switch that won’t let me see what I thought I was going to see.

Do Not Trust Robots
Creative Commons License Matt Brown via Compfight

It brings two thoughts into my mind. The first is that the content might not be all that good, which is why the owner is trying to get me to sign up for something without being able to read it first. The second is that now I don’t trust them because it seems they’re more concerned with getting subscribers than is catering to their audience.

Just so you know, even though I hate all popups, I do understand why people use them. Some studies have shown that one can increase their subscribers by as much as 40% by using them. Those same studies have shown that traffic and visits to those sites decreases by about 10% over time. If you’re running a large site or making money from your newsletter that’s probably negligible. If not, why are so many so willing to alienate visitors so early?

I may hate popups, but because I understand why some people use them I’d like to put in a request for using them more responsibly.

First, stop making them so big that we can’t close them out on our smartphones. All you have to do is check your own site on your phone to see if it’s bothering people.

Second, stop adding things that have nothing to do with your site as a popup. I have no idea how this happens, but sometimes I’m either getting affiliate program popups or that weird window talking about some type of Facebook survey where I can either win some prize or that I need to take in order to read more of the content. I mean… what the heck?!?!?

Third, stop having popups go live within that stupid 30-second window. If your content is actually good (which means it’s got some meat) then you could set it to go live 60-90 seconds after someone’s been on your site.

Fourth, stop having your popup drop from the top seconds after someone’s gotten to your site or, better yet, block all content immediately unless you click on a stupid X or a stupid link telling someone you don’t want to play right now (I’m talking to you Neil Patel lol). My favorite request, the one thing that could get me to add javascript back to my computer (nah; ain’t gonna happen…) is to have something pop “in” from the side as the reader is getting close to the end of the article. For those of you doing this… yay! 🙂

I know mobile’s happy with me because I don’t have any popups on any of my sites. I’m not sure that’s translating to more visitors since only 15% of my traffic comes from mobile (more than half of those being Apple phones; I should be nicer to Apple people lol). I’m also not sure if Google’s supposed mobile penalty is actually working against anyone because it seems to still be prevalent based on what I’m seeing.

If you’re a content publisher using popups, have you modified what you’re doing since Google made its proclamation?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

I’m going to tell a truth up front; I want to make money off my blogging efforts. There’s nothing wrong with trying to make money, especially if you put a lot of time into it. I may not be blogging 24/7/365 because, after all, I do have a life and responsibilities, but I put enough time into it that it wouldn’t be depressing if I started making money off it (by the way, did you ever notice that little blurb just underneath the commenting policy before you leave a comment? lol).

With that said, I decided long ago that the first thing I wanted to establish with anyone who ever visited any of my websites or blogs or even my videos is that I could be trusted, and that I had ethics that would preclude me from doing anything I didn’t believe in or that gave me the impression that I couldn’t trust the people who might want to work with me. To that end, let’s start with a video:


What Helps You Trust Others
https://youtu.be/SIW8wPqCcNA

As you can see, I’m not overly trusting of a lot of people. Of course I trust most of you who comment here (okay, no I don’t lol), but in general I like to make people earn my trust, just as I work at getting people to trust me.

In the early days of this blog, I used to add a product at the end of every blog post. That’s when I used to be with Commission Junction and I was new to affiliate marketing. I was probably familiar with 50% of the items I shared, but I definitely wasn’t familiar with the rest of it.

I was trying to appeal to the people who were coming to the blog, which means that sometimes I had things like shoes, dresses and baby items… none of which I’d ever use. It took me a couple of years to realize that wasn’t the way to go and I stopped doing that, only posting things I actually used or knew about (which is why I link to a lot of books). I also never made any money from any of those things, and I didn’t deserve to (the only thing I ever made money off was that Mailwasher Pro ad over there on the left; I still use that and yeah, you should too. BTW, this isn’t an affiliate link, but a link to the original article I wrote about the product).

Mitch and Shanice ethics
Don’t I look ethical?

Over the years I’ve come up with my own ethics as it pertains to affiliate marketing and accepting sponsored posts (which I don’t do on this blog or my main business blog). I used to apply these standards to guest posting on my finance blog when I accepted them and, because so many people didn’t follow through on their agreements, became one of the reasons I stopped accepting them. It was way too much time upfront and on the back end that it just wasn’t worth all the effort anymore.

A phrase I hear all the time these days is “side hustle”, which basically means finding ways to make money off your blog via ads and such. Many of these folk are doing it the right way, but I also know there are folks who are doing things that they really don’t believe in because, to them, it’s all about the money; money trumps everything.

Man… if y’all knew how much money I’ve let slip by me over the years because there were things I just wasn’t going to do you might want to slap me across the face and say “get real”. Hey, if it violates my own ethics or standards I couldn’t live with myself. This isn’t a religious thing either, since I’m a non-believer in anything like that. It’s just my belief that there are way too many people willing to do literally anything for money, and I refuse to be one of those people.

Anyway, that’s me. I’m not going to ask anyone if they believe in being ethical for money or if they’re being ethical in making money because I don’t want to put anyone on blast. Instead, I decided I’m going to share some of my positions regarding my ethics, or “rules” if you will, that help me determine what’s good and not good to do.

1. If you really don’t believe in a product or service, don’t write about it.

It’s rare that I’ve written about products on this blog other than when I’ve talked about books. I did write on that Mailwasher Pro item and since I’m still using it all these years later I think I’ve proven that I really believe in it. The last product review I wrote about was concerning the Fitbit Flex, and I was as detailed as I could be about how I use it.

honest product reviews

My friend Pete sometimes writes product reviews on his main blog, but one of the best he ever wrote was when he talked about buying solar panels for his home and all the research he put into it before deciding on who to go with. Check out this post and notice the quality of the information he give about solar panels in general and why he selected the people he did. This is the kind of quality one can give you if they’ve actually used a product or service, and he’s not even making any money off it.

If you want people to trust you, your words will come across better if you’ve actually seen what you recommend personally, rather than many of the researched reviews about products that, if you’re actually paying attention to the articles, you realize folks have never used.

2. If you accept guest or sponsored posts, have a policy and make sure people read it before you work with them.

Some of you know I’m not big on guest posting, and I don’t accept it on any of my blogs unless I ask someone to write one based on their expertise. With that said, I do accept sponsored posts on 3 of my blogs (although only one actually gets requests), but I have one rule that I stick with.

That rule is… people need to use my name in the email. It might sound petty but I’ll tell you why I have it.

I learned that my finance blog is on a lot of lists of sites that accept guest posts. I learned about it 4 or 5 years ago. This meant that, though I have an advertising policy on that blog that most people aren’t even seeing it.

I know this because most of the email I get is something like this:

Hi,

My name is XXXXXX and I recently found your blog and wanted to reach out on behalf of some of my clients.

Specifically, we are interested in guest posts and sponsored posts. Is this something you offer?

If so, could you please send over more information.

My gripe is that the advertising policy is right on the main page of the blog, with the link just under the About link. It’s nice and bold, very easy to spot. That I’m always asked about guest posting or sponsored posts and what it entails when everything is written in the policy is irksome.


Babies know ethics 🙂

The advertising policy also tells people to write to Mitch at the blog’s email address. I do that because it’s a test. See, I’m big on responding to comments (along with 29 other things as it regards blogging), and if I accept a comment on this blog I’m going to respond to it (because unfortunately we know that some comments won’t pass muster).

Thus, I expect anyone who wants to have a sponsored post on my blog to respond to any comments those articles get. A good test to see if people will pay attention to the rules is to see if they’ve even made an effort to see if there’s an advertising policy (or guest posting policy) on a site before reaching out to the person. If they don’t, it’s easy for me to tell. After all, the rules are in the policy; it’s not like I’ve made it hard to follow.

3. If you accept banner ads, at least check out the advertisers first.

I not only accept banner ads, but I’ll accept sponsored links on posts that are more than 6 months old. That comes with two caveats though. The first is that the link has to have something to do with the article. The second is that I get to check out all links before I approve them.

I check out all links and websites. There are topics I won’t accept, so if they have blogs I check those out as well just to make sure we’re on the same page. If I’m going to link to it I want to make sure it’s trustworthy because my name is going to be associated with it. We also know the Big G is always looking at everything we do online, and even though I won’t go out of my way to please them or any other search engine, it’s stupid to intentionally antagonize anyone right?

4. Have established policies or procedures that you want others to follow and that you yourself follow.

I shared my advertising policy for my finance blog above. I haven’t added it to either of the other blogs that I would accept advertising for because I’ve yet to be asked. I have comment policies on 4 of my blogs where they’re easily seen (if not always paid attention to) just above the comment area.

I also have a way to show people when I’m linking to an affiliate product (a light blue line under the link) and this year I’ve started adding a disclaimer at the end of any article that has a link in it (I used to put a note pretty much anywhere in the post). That’s actually requested by search engines, although I’m not sure how they’d know there was a notice or not.

5. Let people know whether or not you’re providing the service

You might be trying to make money by providing services instead of products. In that case, I’m going to assume that you’re including it in your articles when you write on certain subjects or in your About page.

However, I’ve also known people who say they’re providing services, then turn around and give it to someone else to do. If you have employees that’s fair, but if you’re giving it to someone you don’t know via Fiverr or some other service, that’s disingenuous and sneaky, especially if you’re not telling people that’s what you’re going to do.

I see that often with people who contract with someone to provide articles, then pass it off to someone else and pay them way less than what they’ll be getting. That’s when quality starts to fall, and you’re going to be the one who takes the blame and gets the criticism.

Your ethics don’t have to be my ethics when it comes to making money. All I’m suggesting is that you think about your ethics when you’re ready to start trying to make money online. In person people are pretty forgiving; online, not so much. Be honest and real; that’s all I’m asking for.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

A week and a half ago I bought a new mattress. It only took me 20 years to do so, and 20 years to realize how mattress technology has changed. Let me share the little video I did about it with you:


https://youtu.be/kO8ZIUMy6HI

Kind of cool, right? For those who didn’t watch the video first, the company I bought this mattress from, Raymour and Flanigan, is the same one I bought my other mattress from along with the cool looking headboard. As a matter of fact, my previous dining room table, which is hidden somewhere in the basement, was also purchased from the same company; I’m saying it that way because the location of the main store has moved to a new and much larger location. In this area, this furniture store is one of the big names in town and because I’d purchased other things for them I trusted them much easier than I trusted a couple of the other stores I visited.

Also, because you might not have looked at the video (go ahead, look at it to see how neat it is lol), you may not know that I purchased a Beautyrest, which is a top brand name and one of the top ranked mattress companies in the country. I’d also heard of them so that also made it stand out in my mind and helped encourage me to buy it. Of course it didn’t hurt that it was on sale, and they threw in new box springs and added free delivery and they took the other mattress and bed springs away for free also; win! 🙂

We Have Tubes - Ottawa 01 08
Mikey G Ottawa/Street Photographer via Compfight

The thing is, this isn’t where I started my research for mattresses. It started online, mainly because of my wife, who’d had some mattresses recommended to her. All of them were off-brands, and some of them were mail order only. Even with research I couldn’t imagine ordering a mattress that I couldn’t test first.

There were a couple other stores we checked out before I went to this store because one was closer and one we happened to walk by in our large city mall and decided to check out. I’d actually tested what I considered a perfect mattress, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on a $5,750 mattress! Maybe when I hit the lottery I’ll consider it. lol In any case, I didn’t know those stores all that well, so even if I’d found something I liked I probably would still have hesitated.

Let’s face it; we love what we love and buy what we know. I’m pretty loyal to foods and desserts that I’ve loved since I was a child. I still buy Tide because Mom bought Tide. I buy Ragu because it’s the first spaghetti sauce I liked. I’m a loyal Hershey’s chocolate fan, Miracle Whip fanatic and Velveeta lover because they’re foods I trust and the company’s behind them are brands I trust. It would take a lot for me to even think about trying something else, let alone switching permanently. That’s what branding does to and for us; it simplifies our life and makes us consumers for life.

This is one of the things most of us who blog or are self employed are working to be for someone else. I find it’s not all that easy to do, although I know it can be done. I know this because I can name names, although I’m not going to do it right now (I’ve done that before).

There are people making pretty good money online because they’ve been able to brand themselves well; I’m certainly not going to hate on them. I don’t want to be against them; I want to be in the place they’re in. I’m working on being seen as an authority in multiple areas, and I’m working on being more influential in those same areas. I don’t need thousands of people, but I’m definitely shooting for those 100 true fans to help me realize my long term goals.

I know what will work if I only want more traffic, but that takes a lot of time and effort and isn’t the best way to reach your target market. I know many people say success is in the numbers; that’s turning out not to be true anymore, especially for a lot of people on YouTube lately.

For once I’m not giving advice in one of these posts. Instead, I’m looking for a conversation to see what some of you think is the best way to build yourself as a brand. I know I’m not convinced in guest posting, email lists, Adwords or Facebook marketing. I’ve actually done all of those things and, because of stupid Google Panda I got smacked down like a lot of other people over the years. Who knows; maybe I did it wrong, so I’d be interested in hearing what y’all have to say.

That’s all I’ve got; let’s see what happens…
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Last March I wrote a pretty comprehensive post titled 31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media. It’s still one of my post popular posts, and it almost reached 100 comments (okay, 50 comments since the other half are mine lol).

social media tips
School’s open on
social media

One thing bloggers need to know is that sometimes you have to rehash a particular topic because time goes by, and you’re not marketing some posts as much as the articles get older. You can either address the entire post or you can bring over elements from a previous post and add new items. If you bring previous topics you need to be ready to write about them in a different way.

Out of the 9 topics I’m going to address about things people do wrong on social media, I’ve touched upon 3 of them previously. This time around the title topics are written differently and I’ll talk about them differently, using different words and examples. After all, one should only copy from themselves a little bit; am I right?

Before I go further, let me say this one thing. Though I’m saying these things are wrong, these are actually things that irritate me more than their being wrong. If you’re into doing any of the things I complain about here, keep at it; don’t let me dissuade you. If you’re open to seeing why I’m irked by these things, since I’m sharing my thoughts for your benefit, then please check them out.

Enough of that; let’s get into it:

Posting too many times in an hour

I love Twitter; it’s my favorite social media platform. I love the chance to interact with other people and it’s proven to be the place that generates more shares than any other site.

I know the same happens for a lot of other people, which makes Twitter a great place to market one’s services, products and thoughts. Yet, something I see happening too often is a person deciding to share lots of posts in an hour or two. And I mean a lot of posts! Often the exact same thing, even if it’s worded differently.

Folks, there are 24 hours in a day. There are ways of posting on social media sites that allow you to spread out your marketing. You can try Buffer for many of them; I use it for everything except Twitter, where I use Tweeten. This will help you alleviate the overkill while you’re online, which is probably why you’re posting that way, and allow you to space your messages out to reach a higher audience.

Posting non-business articles on LinkedIn

I have two points that are specific to a social media site, and this is the first one.

I know that Linkedin wants to be Facebook in the worst way possible. Just last week they mentioned that they’re adding trending topics to the site; ugh! However, it’s still supposed to be for business purposes, even if they’re making it harder to do.

Since that’s the case, and almost everyone should know it, then why are people posting things that have nothing to do with business? Motivational quotes; Facebook & Twitter. Motivational images; Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Fashion pictures when you’re not a designer; other places please!

The way I see it, if you’re not doing anything to help promote yourself or someone else, or you’re not sharing something that’s within your industry or business related, you’re making yourself look like you really don’t care about business or making business contacts. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just visit your profile page and you’ll see people you’re connected to posting and making inappropriate comments that has to be making them look unprofessional. Do you want people thinking that about you/

Posting too many sales messages in your personal Facebook stream or Instagram account

Nendoroid And Figma Prezzie
Danny Choo via Compfight

I love Instagram because I love looking at the pictures. I like Facebook because I like seeing what’s going on with my friends and family. What I don’t like on both of these sites is that lately more people are using both sites for advertising their wares and services more than as a truly social medium.

I get it; Facebook has over a billion potential customers is hard to keep away from, and they also own Instagram. You never know where a customer might be, and that’s a lot of people to have the possibility of reaching. With that said, there are other ways of reaching people if you’ve got a message to put out that not only will be of more benefit but could end up going to a targeted audience, which will improve your potential to make sales or get business.

First, there are business profile pages you can create like like this one I have for my business. There are also group pages that sometimes allows people to post advertisements of some type, which you could get around by creating your own. Finally, there’s Facebook Ads where for a nominal fee (depending on genre) you can not only post an ad but gear it towards specific demographics and potentially reach a lot of people you’re not even connected to.

I’m not saying that you should never post any type of marketing to your Facebook page, because your friends and family might not know what you do, so it never hurts to clue them in from time to time. I’m saying to please, PLEASE, don’t do it all the time!

By the way, I know that Instagram doesn’t have groups and such, but they do have advertising that uses the same algorithms that Facebook does. Also, I believe that we’re all marketing all the time no matter what we do or where we are, so you might as well make yourself a kind of brand celebrity and show people a bit of what you’re made of. Most buyers like to know who they’re working with or buying from so take a break every once in a while and show something of yourself. Please! lol

Never posting anything of your own

I’ve mentioned this one before, and now I’m going further with it. I used to only see this on Twitter, but now I’m seeing it on all social media sites.

First, if you’re ever sharing my stuff I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s always appreciated.

With that said, every once in a while I’d love to have the opportunity to promote your stuff when I see it. The problem is that most people either don’t have anything of their own to share, or are too cowed to do so. Those who are doing it don’t understand what they’re missing.

As LinkedIn becomes Facebook, this has become quite pervasive there as it’s always been on Facebook. LinkedIn is supposed to be a place where we can promote ourselves and our business, but few people actually do it. Facebook might be a place where more people are socializing yet I see a lot of people (including me) posting things they’ve found on other websites, including YouTube.

The difference for me is that I also post my own things, although not all that often. I post my business works on my business site on Facebook, but I also post them on both LinkedIn and my business profile page on Google Plus. I post my local missives in my local blogging group site. Every once in a while, if I write about diabetes I’ll post it in my diabetes group on Facebook. If I feel I’ve done a video that I want to get some outside feedback on that I think my friends or family might enjoy, I’ll post it on my Facebook timeline.

Twitter… everything goes on Twitter! 🙂 I space it out so that I’m not inundating people; no one wants to deal with that. Still, there are a lot of people who aren’t even trying; don’t let that be you.

Never sharing anything from other people

IMG_5020
The Advocacy Project via Compfight

This is the antithesis of the previous gripe. It’s “all about me not about you” syndrome. You might put out some pretty good stuff, but if you don’t look like you’re ever going to share other people’s content which shows that you’re actually trying to help or inform others I’m probably never going to follow you… unless you’re a celebrity who follows me first (it happens more often than you think)! 🙂

“Sharing is caring” isn’t supposed to be empty words that sound pretty. There’s more to life than just talking about yourself all the time. You’ll find that the law of reciprocity as stated by Amirah Hall benefits all parties, way more than you might anticipate. Give it a shot and prove to yourself how it can benefit you.

Never giving credit where credit is due

I’ll own up to the one being hard to do most of the time because people or sites don’t help us to help the authors give them credit. Sometimes we have to go above and beyond to find a way to highlight someone whose words we like, kind of like I did above with Amirah (whom I don’t know).

Going out of your way can be time consuming, so I don’t fault anyone for not going the extra step I do most of the time. What I will do if fault people who never show love for someone by mentioning them in a blog post, even if they link to someone else’s site, or acknowledge that they wrote something when you repost something they’ve written when they give you share buttons with their social media personal contact information in them. Even if it’s not in the share button, if you’re on someone’s blog they’ll probably have a link to Twitter or some other site right on the page where their content is (I know everyone doesn’t but most do); it won’t take much longer to add that link to something you might share when it’s possible.

I know it’s harder doing it when someone posts an article on someone else’s blog or website, but many times if it’s a quality site they’ll have a person’s links next to their name somewhere. I’d rather give credit to the writer than the website, since the website’s going to benefit just by your going there; who’s with me on giving credit where credit is due?

Arguing too much with others

I’ll admit I have a trigger topic that used to get me arguing with people at a moment’s notice. What I’ve learned over the years is that arguing accomplishes nothing except getting one or both people upset. Discussions are always a better option, but you won’t find a lot of that happening online because we don’t know each other all that well, and we can’t see facial expressions or body movements.

Getting into an occasional argument is no big deal. Doing it all the time, everywhere is definitely a big deal. It got to be a big deal for me, even though I’d stopped participating in it (especially during the election season) that I almost left social media. I know a lot of other people who either left social media or just dropped certain sites, never to return. Even now, a lot of it just seems to have gotten worse.

Think about how too much arguing might make you look in the eyes of people you’re connected to. I can tell you that I’ve muted a lot of people on Facebook and removed a lot of people from my life on both LinkedIn and Twitter. I don’t have time for arguments in my life anymore as I reach for peaceful living. Discussions are a different matter because those have a chance to lead to understanding.

If you like arguing then go ahead and keep doing it if it makes you feel better. If not… just stop!

Hitting on people inappropriately

DSCF5091 #LDEAfrica
Paul Saad via Compfight

Ugh! This one is mainly for the men who might read this. Y’all need to get a grip on yourselves and stop being jerks by targeting women on social media sites.

I see a bunch of punks (yeah, I said it!) every day on Instagram and YouTube saying some of the meanest and vilest things to women about their looks, about their believed behavior, about the positions they take, about what they want to or are going to do to them while hiding behind fake names and fake accounts that it’s sickening.

Every once in a while when I see someone saying things like this I’ll follow them back to their page, especially on Instagram. I’ve been amazed at how many of these people have pictures of their children or family members there, or talk about religious things. What a bunch of phonies!

The way I see it, you purveyors of filth need to grow up and take some accountability for yourselves. I’ll block people in a second; occasionally I’ll call someone out, and I might even “accidentally” leak some of their contact information so others can see who they are (it’s amazing how many people hiding behind fake names and profiles don’t realize how much information about themselves they’ve actually shared lol) and address them in a more open battlefield. I don’t suffer fools kindly, and I hate misogynists almost as much as racists and bigots. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, sister or daughters (or, for some of you, granddaughters), stop saying it to women you don’t know!

Not engaging others when they reach out

It’s called social media for a reason; the idea is to try to be social.

On Twitter, I’m following just under 1,360 people at the present time. On LinkedIn it’s just under 1,000. On Facebook it’s just under 600. I think it’s around 150 people on Google Plus.

Those are pretty low numbers for a lot of people so I’m not close to bragging here. The point I’m trying to make is that almost everyone I’m following or connected to is a person I’ve talked to at least once. Sometimes I’ll reach out to someone, while other times they’ll reach out to me.

Occasionally someone I don’t know will reach out to me because they saw something I wrote or shared. When that happens I’ll talk to them. After all, they took a moment out of their day because they felt compelled to say something. What kind of jerk would I be if I didn’t respond (unless they were mean; that almost never happens lol)? What kind of jerk are you if you don’t respond?

If you’re shy online get over it! I understand not making the first connection because that can be tough; believe it or not, I’m somewhat introverted when it comes to that sort of thing. But someone coming to you while you’re in your safe place and you not responding; that’s not cool at all. Go ahead, answer or say hello to those people; it can only benefit you and even make you feel good.

That’s all I have for the day; I believe I’ve probably said enough. If you have any thoughts on this article please go ahead and have your say. Hopefully it’s made you think of at least one thing you might not be doing that you can improve on.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell
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