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5 Benefits Of Interviewing Others

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 29, 2014
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It’s my bet that most of you wish you had more visitors to your blogs or websites. It’s also my bet that you’re not taking advantage of things you might be able to possibly do to help get your name out to the masses. What am I talking about?

Thomas Shahan (and a Salticid) on NBC's The Today Show!
Thomas Shahan via Compfight

I like to add interviews to my blog, whether they’re written interviews or video interviews. The reason I like doing them is because I think it adds a new dimension to my websites in general, as well as helps expand my presence in social media.

Right now I have 4 requests out to people who said they’d do the interview for me. I sent them the questions and I’m waiting… and waiting… and waiting. I had two people actually follow through on this, one for my local blog (who I also interviewed here, the other by my buddy Brian Hawkins, who also came through with a video interview.

On the first one, the guy asked me to interview him, and since I know him pretty well I did, and he did a little promotion and that was it. Brian came to the page, addressed all the people who commented on it, and even held a contest on his own blog in trying to help promote it. That was kind of neat and it proved a point.

Too many people lament that no one knows who they are, but they don’t step forward to handle the easiest things to help them along. Things like responding to comments on their blogs, writing comments on other blogs, promoting their missives or interviews on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook… Just asking, but how many of you have the link to your websites or blogs in your email signature? Yeah, I thought so.

This isn’t an invitation for you to write me asking me to interview you; truthfully, if you do that I’m ignoring it. I’ll ask those who I want to interview if I can do it. However, I’m always available for an interview because I know I can use it for “my” greater good.

Back in June I wrote another post about lessons learned via an interview I did with Cairn Rodriguez and I also shared the video. I followed that up last October later by sharing my own interview with Meloney Hall in a post talking about blogging and social media marketing. Meloney also interviewed me and posted it to her blog, which I found pretty cool, and I keep sharing that interview of me and other interviews I’ve done with others multiple times because, after all, they’re all a great representation of me.

The thing is that you have to be willing to at least try to do something for yourself if you’re looking to get known or to make money. People aren’t just going to find you; well, maybe they will, but if they don’t know you then why would they buy from you? What better way to help promote yourself than to be found on someone else’s digital real estate?

However, this post isn’t about you yourself all that much; it’s about adding someone else’s interview to your digital real estate. You’re probably thinking “I don’t want to promote anyone else on my page”. Trust me, you’re missing the point. How? Five points below:

1. Interviewing someone who does what you do can help confirm that you know what you’re talking about.

Strange as it might seem, some people who read what you have to say might not fully trust you, especially if they’re unsure of what you’re talking about. However, if someone else comes along and says the same type of thing, you start looking smarter. If you don’t believe this one just tell your spouse something, then have them ask someone else the same question. lol

2. Interviewing someone about aspects of what you do that you don’t talk about often helps highlight just how comprehensive what you do can be.

I did a podcast interview with a guy who does some group leadership training in Florida. In that interview I brought up some things that he himself doesn’t do, but he got it and helped to enhance it with his own words. It makes him look strong because even if he didn’t know anything about what I was saying up front his comment helped to show others just how difficult leadership training can be.

3. Sometimes you can interview someone who was a client and have them tell others how you helped them.

Talk about a coup! All of us in business have some sort of testimonials but you want to know a truth? I know quite a few people who actually write the testimonials themselves and then have someone sign them, making them authentic. Frankly that’s dismaying, and yet I’ve had the opportunity to do the same thing; I just couldn’t do it. However, having someone like that do a video testimonial while it being in the form of an interview… can you think of anything better to help enhance your business?

4. Interviewing someone on the fringe of what you do or are interested in can show you have some depth, thus showing you can be flexible.

I have done some social media consulting here and there. What I find is that depending on who you talk to they always think you talk about only one thing, yet each person has their own thing they’re thinking about. So when I’ve done interviews with other people I’ve expanded the conversation by having them talk about social media platforms in general, and invariably they’ll always bring up something I don’t use or I’m not signed up on. I’ve also interviewed people who have blogs but don’t consider themselves as bloggers; for instance one lady is a lawyer, another a 3D digital artist for media outlets.

5. This is the biggie; you have a major marketing tool that you can use over and over in multiple places. I’ve used my interviews on my blogs. Obviously the video interviews are on YouTube, but then I can embed them in blog posts and share them on every social media platform I have. I can also send links to people via email and, if I so chose to do, I could send out a link in traditional marketing mail and post cards.

There you go; how many times do I have to initiate conversation about interviews, giving them or interviewing others, before you’re ready to take the plunge? Maybe this will help some:
 


 

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Pooling Needed Services With Another Business

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 26, 2014
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Sometimes people balk at the rate someone wants to charge them for services. Often it’s because they’re not sure how certain types of services should be valued. Also, sometimes it’s because even though they don’t know how to do what others do, or don’t want to do what others do, they believe the services are too high and that they can find someone else to do it for less.

pooling SEO service
by Allen Sima via Flickr

Have you ever watched the movie Armageddon? Do you remember this line: “You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

With most things in life, you get what you pay for. I provide writing services. So do a lot of other people. You could actually get 10 articles a month from someone in India who will only charge you $10; that’s the truth. There are some good writers in India; the majority charging that rate aren’t the good ones, though.

You can’t get 10 articles from me for that amount. But if you were evaluating your blog or your business, maybe you don’t need that many articles. Maybe you only need half that amount. The thing is, for someone like me, you pay a different rate per article than you would for a package deal. That’s how it is with many things in life. You can go to the store and buy one 16 oz bottle of soda for $1.50 or you can buy a 6-pack for $3.99; which one makes more sense?

In circumstances like this, obviously it costs less to get into a package deal. But what if the price for the package deal is still higher than what you can pay?

That’s when you should look into pooling services by hooking up with another business. In other words, you find someone else who you know could use some articles, then you split the cost of the articles between you based on either a 50-50 split or whatever the number ends up being.

Or maybe instead of articles, maybe you want some consulting on your social media prospects but don’t want to pay the full hourly rate on your own. You could do two things here. One, you could split the cost with another person or you could sponsor a seminar if you have a lot of people that you want to bring or invite. On that basis you’d get a special rate that covers a lot of people at once, and someone like me or others could market it and potentially get other people to the seminar for the normal price.

This is something to think about when you need either services like the type I provide, or other types of services that others might provide. It’s just another way to get what you need while saving on how much money might have to come out of your pocket. However, try to find someone who’s kind of like your business if it comes to articles. For seminars, as long as the topic is the same (like leadership or management training) business won’t have to be similar to have the same types of issues.

By the way, if you’re a business that can do this type of thing, I’ve just given you an interesting marketing tip to use. :-)
 

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55 Tips And Ideas About Blogging

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 22, 2014
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You’re in for a treat today and it’s all owed to the fact that I’m now 55 years old. I should be sad about that but it seems that I now qualify for senior discounts at some restaurants; I’ll take what I can get. By the way, before you wish me a happy birthday this happened 3 weeks ago so save it and enjoy the post.

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I decided to put together a post sharing the same number of tips as the number of years I’ve been on this earth. Many of you know that I write articles pretty fast so you’ll be shocked to learn that this post actually took me a week to put together. With so many tips it’s all over the board, yet still may not be comprehensive enough for some people. But this is another pillar post on this blog as it tops 3,500 words, and hopefully shows many newer bloggers that with a little bit of effort one can always find stuff to write about.

Without further ado, here we go:

1 Before you start blogging write 10 articles. If you can’t do this, don’t start blogging.

2 If you need to test your courage start with a free blog. WordPress.com or Blogger are the big two that might whet your appetite.

3 Once you’re ready for big time blogging go self hosting. Either add the blog to your existing website or purchase a domain name and try to buy the same name as your blog is going to be. If the name is too long, buy a shortened version, something that will be easy for people to remember.

4 No matter which blogging software you go for, during the setup process do NOT make your username Admin in any form whatsoever. Although you can change it later through some gesticulations, as taught by my buddy Adrienne Smith, it’s easier if you start out on the proper road. Don’t make it or your password too easy, and have capital letters and numbers as a part of it.

5 Don’t leave that very first post that blogging software puts on there introducing it to the world. Delete it or add your first post to it and change the title and initial link.

Blog With Authenticity Without Getting Fired
Creative Commons License Search Engine People
Blog
via Compfight

6 Everyone will tell you to write a niche blog. Do this if you’re hoping your blog will help make you money in some fashion. Otherwise, if you just want to write then write whatever you want to and don’t worry about it.

7 Some people will tell you that paid themes are better than free themes. Paid themes can be as tricky as free themes because of #11 on this list because sometimes you don’t know where images have come from. There should only be two rules for themes overall: one, don’t make it so busy looking that it takes eyes away from your content; two, don’t have colors that drive people’s eyes nuts like the combination of pink and lime green (ugh!).

8 Learn how to post date articles so you can write them ahead of time and set them up to go live whenever you want them to. Sometimes when I’m inspired I can write 5 or more articles in a day and I bet you can also.

9 Tags and categories are two different things. Tags pertain to a specific article, whereas categories are used for, well, categories of articles you might want to write. It’s best to try to stay under 10 tags if your blog is going to mainly be about the same subject all the time but you can always add as many tags to your blog as you want. However, don’t go tag crazy per blog post; search engines might have a tough time trying to figure out what your article is really supposed to be about.

10 Learn about different plugins and determine which ones you need versus what you want. Of paramount importance in my mind are those for security and protection, such as a good backup plugin, one that protects against too many logins and a firewall program.

11 While you’re at it, figure out which plugins you’re going to use to protect your blog from spam as much as possible. If you’re up to spending a few dollars I’d recommend purchasing CommentLuv Premium (I’m not an affiliate by the way) which will give you two great plugins for some protection, GASP Anti Spambot and Anti-Backlink. You can only get the second by purchasing the Premium product but it works wonders. Akismet comes with WordPress software and some people don’t like it, but I use them all and I’m fairly content.

Now go blog about this
Creative Commons License Justin Russell via Compfight

12 Putting images in a post actually turns out to be a big help, and with longer posts, having more images can help also. However, learn the lesson that not all images that are on the internet can be used without attribution or payment. It’s best if you use your own images or go to a site that offers some images that mention Creative Commons. I use a plugin called Compfight when I’m not uploading my own images; works wonders.

13 A blog’s purpose should do one of these three things: inform, educate or entertain. The first two are fairly easy to understand but entertaining is an interesting one. Being intentionally abrasive or intolerant might be seen as entertaining to some people and if that’s your bailiwick then have at it. But being entertaining in other ways will keep more people coming and make the experience a positive one. And who doesn’t believe that more positivity in the world is a good thing?

14 With that said, sometimes truth will turn out to be controversial, whether you intended it to be or not. If you’re a blogger you have to realize that sometimes people aren’t going to like what you’ve written, and you might not like their comments. As long as people are courteous there’s nothing wrong with people who disagree with you.

15 It never pays to get into a long, protracted fight with one or two people on your blog because it’ll drive other people away. Stand up for yourself but also know when it’s time to leave. And never fear having to delete comments where people use language you don’t approve of, or don’t want your audience to see. Remember, you’re paying for it, thus that allows you to be a dictator in your space. Just be fair.

16 Even if planned well, sometimes people decide to change the focus of their blogs. Don’t worry about having to go buy another domain to start another one; just change and move on. However, if you can handle more than one subject at a time go for more domains. Right now I have 4 1/2 blogs… more on that another time.

17 If English is your first language you still don’t get a pass for horrible grammar. You will get a pass for typos but more often than not you’ll get that squiggly red line if you misspell something; try to pay attention to that. Most of the time, unless it’s egregious, people will be more interested in seeing if they can understand what you’re saying instead of whether you’ve spelled the words correctly or not… most of the time that is.

18 I don’t believe anyone can write too much most of the time but many people write too little. If you can’t write more than 100 word posts don’t create a blog. Instead, go to Tumblr and use that as your platform. However, I believe that with some structure anyone can write at least 300 words for each post.

Bloggeur, after Cassandre
Creative Commons License Mike Licht via Compfight

19 Though I don’t believe articles can be too long, I do believe that horribly written articles can be too long. If you keep repeating the same thing over and over, you’re going to drive people crazy. That’s why I always recommend starting with an outline if you’re going to write something long or write a list post, like this one.

20 One other idea for writing long posts is to learn the art of storytelling. By starting with a story you can write about almost anything. On this blog and some of my other blogs I’ve used stories to talk about all sorts of things, trying to make sure my points integrate well together so people can enjoy the story and learn a lesson at the same time. Don’t you love a good story?

21 When you’ve published your first blog post, send the link to everyone you know, or at least everyone you’re comfortable with. Send it via email, social media, text… however you can get it out, do it. This might be the only time you can get away with it but the early criticism might help and you might get some supporters to help you on your way.

22 Online writing is different than offline writing. Online it’s easier to read content, even long content, if paragraphs are 4 lines or less. Some people have each line as a paragraph; depending on how long the sentences are that might be appropriate sometimes, but if your article has lots of sentences that are only 4 or 5 words please don’t do this. However, sometimes a paragraph needs to be longer to continue a singular thought, like we learned in school; just don’t make your entire article like this is you can help it.

23 Most of the time your first few lines need to be strong enough to capture people’s attention. Don’t overstate what the article is going to be about if it’s not about that because you’ll irk people. If you’re telling a story you can be evasive, but mysterious. Notice I didn’t do that for this post, but I had something to lead into what it was going to be about and why I wrote it.

24 Many times people, including me, will talk about the SEO principles of having a blog. They’re pretty valid and for people looking to make money off their blogs it’s the way to go. With that said it’s more important to write cogent posts that make sense so that visitors will keep coming back to read them, which helps your SEO work better.

25 Internal linking means linking to something that’s already on your blog or your website. When it’s valid, doing so helps not only with SEO but might entice readers to check those links out also. If you have a lot of posts it helps to bring attention to some of the older ones.

26 External linking doesn’t have any immediate benefits but can have some long term. For instance, if you link to someone else’s blog post and let them know, and it’s in a positive light, they may stop by & invite friends to see it. Search engines also love it, but for the people you’ve linked to, not you.

27 As it regards external linking, always give proper attribution, whether it’s a blog or website. Don’t represent it as if it’s your own work.

1-888-STFU-LOL
Michael Porter via Compfight

28 A great way to find something to write about is to search news stories or blogs talking about something you’re interested in and then writing about it. This is when external linking works best.

29 When trying to find inspiration for things to write about and you’ve done the previous idea, look back on previous things you’ve written to see if they need an update. Also, look at things you’ve written that might be on your computer already to see if any of those things might work for you.

30 The most popular blog posts are list posts, usually shorter than this one. Many people like having something that not only breaks things out for them but are relatively short and doesn’t take long for them to read. You can always go back and write longer, more in depth articles on those points.

31 Rehashing a blog topic after a year or longer isn’t such a bad idea. Most of the time you’ll find that maybe there’s a way to write a totally original thought that what you wrote previously. If you do this you should link back to your original post and if need be make changes.

32 Speaking of making changes, if you’ve written a post that no longer has any validity, it’s okay to make that post private. I wrote a post years ago on how to set up Oauth between blogs and Twitter but that no longer exists so I removed it.

33 You need to monitor blog comments to determine if they’re real or not, and if they’re real you need to get into the habit of responding to comments. Leaving a response like “thanks for your comment” and not adding anything to it doesn’t encourage people to interact with your blog. Unless you’re famous people won’t come back if you don’t show them value. They also won’t come back if there are too many spammy (not a real word by the way but we bloggers use it so… lol) comments.

34 You might decide you want to accept guest posts to help your blog grow. There are lots of people ready to load your blog up with articles. You need to know that editing will be a big part of your life, and that many writers won’t respond to any comments. Set your rules and if people don’t abide by them, remove their links and possibly the articles also.

35 If you guest post on someone else’s blog, try to write the best article possible, something you’d put more work into than on your own blog, especially if it’s a high traffic blog. You might only get one chance to be seen by a large group of blog readers and it could prove invaluable to you later on.

36 Every topic lends itself to creativity if you open your mind. On this blog I’ve related the topic to chess, airports, poker and a host of other things. On my business blog I’ve linked leadership to Charlie Brown, Harry Potter, piano lessons and such. One of my latest popular posts linked marketing and PR to Yosemite Sam.

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37 Don’t ever be afraid to leave your main topic here and there to address something that’s special to you in some way. On September 11th I wrote a post about that, which I’ve done many years over the course of my blogs. I also often partake in something called Blog Action Day, where writers around the world all write on the same topic.

38 In addressing blog comments earlier, I talked about on your own blog. The top way to get people to come back to your blog is by commenting on other blogs, and leaving good comments. If you don’t have the time to go crazy pick at least 5 blogs you like and comment on just those when they have new comment. It’ll get things picking up pretty quickly for your blog.

39 Think about posting interviews on your blog. There are many interesting people in the world and most of them like talking about themselves. Try to find questions to ask that no one else will ask when possible. Also, if you’re asked to do an interview do it, then make sure you mention it somewhere on your blog at some point.

40 Adding videos to your blog here and there is a good lesson to learn. I’ve added some of my own videos but sometimes I find a video that I want to share with others, so I write a post and pop it in there. Every once in a while the video might not even be on topic, in which case I’ll add it to the end of a post with a caveat; people like that type of thing.

41 Many bloggers are offering podcasts, which is the audio equivalent of videos. As long as you don’t have audio starting as soon as someone shows up at your blog all will be fine.

42 Offering alternative ways for people to consume your content makes sense. On my blog I run an app called Readspeaker where people can listen if they’re not in the mood to read, since some of my posts are long. The technology isn’t perfect but it gets the job done.

43 If you’re up to it, at least once on your blog you should try to write a post that’s called a pillar post on your main topic. A pillar post is a very long article that helps to establish yourself as an authority on what you talk about. These work great on search engines, even if they might not get a lot of attention from readers who won’t read something long. By long, I mean close to 3,000 words or more. I’ve written 3 on this blog (actually 4 if I count this one); some bloggers only write posts that long.

The Dave Olson Show on Podcasting
Megan Cole via Compfight

44 Having some type of blogging schedule helps your consistent readers figure out when they should expect something new from you. The frequency is up to you, whether you want to try to write 5 articles a day (yeow!) or one article every 2 weeks or so. Writing often drives more traffic but it’s usually lots of new visitors. Not writing often enough does the same thing. Only you can figure it out based on your history.

45 Unless I’m writing a funny story that everyone knows isn’t true (which I’ve done once in all my years here), I follow my own moral code, the top 3 of which are these: loyalty, trustworthiness and honesty. As long as you always follow your codes of decency, if you have any, you can pretty much talk about anything. If your code of decency means putting others down for things that are out of their control, it’s probably better to keep it quiet.

46 Expounding on the previous thought, writing about things like religion, politics, race, sexuality, body types… probably not a good idea unless you’re using yourself as an example. With topics like these, there’s always going to be someone who disagrees. I will write about race though; that’s the main issue that drives me.

47 The previous points and #13 regards the topic of being controversial. Understand that sometimes you just have to go that route in being honest, but there are always ways to say things to minimize it. At the same time, sometimes you’ll write something that will become controversial and catch you off guard. You have to be ready for that and be ready to respond to defend your position if needed, or see someone else’s point of view as being valid.

48 Never plagiarize someone else’s work; never! What you can do, as long as you offer attribution and a link, is comment on something someone else wrote by listing their points and offering your commentary on it.

49 There are lots of commenting systems, some whose purpose is to try to limit spam. My only advice here is that anything you set up that irks a lot of commenters will reduce the number of comments you’ll get. If you’re popular you might get away with it unscathed, but if you average fewer than 10 comments per post and you do it you’ll kill traffic to your blog. There are so many ways to control spam, some of which I mentioned in #11 above.

50 Don’t be afraid to make money off your blog, no matter who likes it or not. Sell your own products, do affiliate sales, do joint ventures… whatever works for you. You can even start selling the day you start writing your blog, no matter what someone says. Just don’t push it all the time; without other content here and there, unless your site also markets coupons and special deals, recurring traffic might not work as well.

51 Although there’s a lot of great blogging advice in the world, there’s also a lot of bad advice. I’d recommend taking things that you might find workable and using them in what you do and ignoring things that aren’t for you. For instance, some people will say to define a niche to the nth degree but there are some topics where that’s just not going to work.

Blogging Workflow
Creative Commons License Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter
via Compfight

52 Make sure you add something to your blog that allows people to contact or connect with you, whether it’s a contact page or widgets for Twitter, Google Plus or others. While you’re at it, find a plugin that helps people share your content on these sites if they like it.

53 Always add an About page, whether you’re looking to do business or not. People love knowing something about the people whose blog they’re reading and this is the best way to control the message about who you are and what you do.

54 Get used to this fact: most of your friends and most of your family will NOT read your blog. Sometimes it’s better that way. It also might be hard getting people in your community reading your blog. Think about this while you’re writing your content; make it such that people around the world will also be interested because that’s going to be your biggest audience.

55 Even if you’re blogging for business this is supposed to be a fun thing to do. If you’re stressed about it in any way, including having to deal with other people, don’t do it or just stop doing it. Life is too short to continue doing something that’s upsetting you.

That’s it for now. Do you need more? Are you a masochist? Stay tuned as there’s plenty more articles coming around here. Please comment and share this bad boy if you think it’s worth it, and enjoy your week!
 

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Blog Writing 101

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 18, 2014
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I’ve written a lot of posts about blogging on my other blog, including some tutorial stuff, so if you want more than what I’m going to talk about in this post you can check those things out here. I find it incredible how many people I run into that, when I start talking about blogging, they start having palpitations. Did almost everyone really have that much trouble writing papers in school?

Catbert and the company blogger
Niall Kennedy
via Compfight

Writing is as easy or as hard as one decides it should be. Earlier this evening I was reading someone else’s blog post where the guy said he spends 6 to 8 hours writing each blog post. Most of mine takes between 10 & 15 minutes, depending on how much I write and how much internal linking or image adding I do. Most people I talk to say it takes them between 30 minutes to 2 hours to write blog posts.

Remember story writing when you were in school? The teacher told you that every story has to have a beginning, middle and end. Any time you start thinking about writing a blog post, the beginning and the end should write themselves for you most of the time. If you start with a certain point, that’s going to be one paragraph. Unless you write a list post your closing paragraph will be kind of a reiteration of what your opening premise for your post was, with a few things thrown in from the middle.

That should take care of anywhere from 50 to 100 words for you, maybe more. Since the recommendation is to try to write at least 250 words (300 or more is better) you’re already 20 – 40% of the way there.

What should your middle be? It can obviously be almost anything but what are you prepared to do? If you don’t consider yourself all that prolific then let me help you.

Let’s use baseball for this exercise. Let’s say you wanted to write something about the Boston Red Sox and their chances for winning their division in 2014. You don’t know everything about the team but you know enough to be dangerous.

In your opening paragraph you indicated you were going to talk about the Red Sox in 2014, so in your second paragraph you could start by mentioning how the team did in 2013, which included winning the World Series (yes, I’m a Red Sox fan). You could mention the immediate offseason hopes and dreams and how it all collapsed quickly (oh yeah, that’s how this season is ending; sigh…).

Then you could talk about players the team still has, how David Ortiz might fare in his final season, and so on. You could mention any new players coming into the fold and how good or bad they played the previous season.

Finally you could talk about whether you believe they improved, went backwards, or stayed the same. You could mention how you they didn’t so enough to catch the Yankees, or how management seemed to have given up on the team early by sending off its two best pitchers.

With your first paragraph pretty much done and your middle complete, your last paragraph could be a quick summary, something like “The 2014 Red Sox lost their momentum from last year’s World Series victories but looks like a contender heading into the next season. With unbridled enthusiasm and some great young players coming up it should be an exciting season next year.” That was 41 quick words, and I could have said more.

Blogging doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s not necessary to hit a home run, if you will, with every single post. Blogging isn’t meant to be a series of white papers; it’s meant to be a series of thoughts that not only help you show whatever expertise you have, but to help your main website, if your blog is attached to it, with its SEO properties. You can do this; trust me.
 

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10 Influential Books In My History

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 14, 2014
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Because of a challenge from my long time online friend Sunny, I had to put together a list of 10 books that I feel were influential in my life and why. Unlike how some other folks might have done it, I chose books because of their significance, not necessarily because they were the best. In explaining that, on my list I have the first book that got me thinking a certain way or doing something specific without really naming the best book in a particular series.

89/365: To do: ...
Kit via Compfight

I think influence can be a different thing that “the best”, if you will. For instance, though many people say Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time, my favorite player, Wilt Chamberlain, made basketball change rules because of his dominance.

With that said, below are my top 10 influential books. The links… well, if you’re interested you can check the books out, and if you buy… I earn affiliate money. I think that’s fair! :-) Here we go:

1. Go Dog Goicon, Dr. Seuss. This wasn’t my first book but it’s the first book I actually remember reading on my own, which I still own, and loving it for not only its bright colors but because it taught me the words Constantinople and Timbuktu lol

2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglassicon. In my preteens I was introduced to black history on a fluke and this was the first book I read on the subject. It changed the course of my life in realizing the legacy of black people in America.

3. Ender’s Gameicon, Orson Scott Card. My introduction into sci-fi other than Star Trek books, well written that became a 4-part series (5 if you count one book that concentrated on a different character from the original). I was surprised I got into it because I hadn’t read much fiction at the time; I have now because of it.

4. Secrets Of the Millionaire Mindicon, T. Harv Eker. Not only a business motivational book but one that helps break down the barriers to what keeps people from having money in their life, even if they get rich a couple of times only to lose it all. It’s what helps me keep my eyes on the prize.

5. Rich Dad, Poor Dadicon, Robert Kiyosaki. I was already working on my own when I came across it and in a story form it helped me to see wealth in future terms as opposed to having and wanting things now.

6. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenixicon, J. K. Rowlings. This is an odd choice because it’s actually the 5th book in the series. I didn’t know it was a series and I had no real idea what the entire story was about but after reading this one I went back and read the others in order, have read everyone by now, and continue reading them (actually listening to the recordings) over and over; I can’t think of any other books I’ve read more than three times. (the link here goes to a page to buy all 7 books)

7. Clemente!icon, Kal Wagenheim. Roberto Clemente is my favorite baseball player ever, but this was the first book I read on him. Since that time I not only have read every other book that’s come out about him, but it inspired me to start reading biographies of all sorts, athletes, musicians, presidents, scientists… whomever.

8. The Autobiography of Malcolm Xicon. I actually read this twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, and I’m glad I read it as an adult because it’s a much deeper book with a lot more truth and understanding than I could have taken in when I was much younger. Strange enough, in his way he predicted some of what’s going on now in the states.

9. The 100icon; a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael Hart. Very intriguing look at famous people (it’s about 20 years old now) and ranking them based on significance in historical consequences and not by popularity. Something that might intrigue some of you is that Muhammad is at #1, Jesus is at #3; try to figure out who’s at #2 (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite person lol).

10. Feiffer’s Album, Jules Feiffer. This is the only other book I’ve read at least 3 times but it’s different than all the other books here. Feiffer was a political cartoonist for almost 50 years and his take on life, politics and presidents are both spot on and funny. Seeing Gerald Ford depicted with a little tin can cup on top of his head… classic! (unfortunately, this book’s out of print, so you might have to go to eBay to see if someone’s selling a copy)

There’s mine. As a meme, why not do the same thing on your blog and then let me know, or go ahead and share some of your favorite books here. As a blog topic, it’s one that will make you think, and it gets others thinking also. So, get ‘er done!
 

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