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Make Your Site Stand Out Without Tricks

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 30, 2015
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I have a friend who used to have an interesting thing happen on his website when you visited it. You’d see cartoon people walking around in the header when all of a sudden you notice one of them walking towards the front.

Suddenly it starts talking to you and it’s him, the real him, enlarged a bit more than the rest, telling you about his business. When he’s done he walks off to applause, and now you not only see people walking across the top but also the bottom. It was pretty cool.

Standing up
Nina Matthews
via Compfight

That’s one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen. But most sites I go to that have some kind of enhancement aren’t quite that cool. You’ll see things flashing out at you or spinning or have music suddenly playing and frankly all of that stuff is irritating.

I have 5 blogs, but I also have 4 other websites; at least I think it’s only 4. lol Each site has its own unique look while still being somewhat similar. I’ve created other websites that are all different but similar as well. What’s going on?

Well, the similarities are that each site has menus and certain categories of pages, depending on the business. In other words, you’ll find what you’re looking for because I’ve set it up that way. That’s the smartest thing you can ever do on your website; make sure people can find what they’re looking for.

Otherwise, the sites are all different. Some have white backgrounds, some have blue backgrounds. One of my sites has a brown background with dark blue lettering.

You see this blog being different in the color of its content. You’ve also noticed, I hope, that any links I put on this page are a different color than that standard, boring Google blue that a lot of people are used to. Yes, it takes just a tad more coding, but it’s so minimal that it’s not a big deal at all.

You can have a website that’s different than the norm without buying a template, without having lots of fancy tricks, and without assaulting the senses by having loud, bright colors. Since I tend to believe that anything online is marketing, you give yourself a better opportunity for branding and standing out from the crowd if your site has something different than the norm, without being too different.

Think about what you like to see when you go to a website and start from there. That is, unless you’re the type that loves hearing a heavy metal song blasting you as soon as you get there. That’s one you might want to rethink. :-)
 

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1,600 Blog Posts; What A Year!

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 26, 2015
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Goodness, it only seems like it’s been days since I wrote Post #1,500 and yet here we are, post #1,600; wow! Thanks and congrats to me… though this time around there are some differences…

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For one, this is the longest it’s taken me to get to 100 posts. My last milestone of this type was last March 14th, so it’s about two weeks past a year. Not that I wasn’t busy though, so I’m not upset.

Second, not all of the posts during this period were brand new. As some of you know, I shut down another blog and business back in December. I brought a lot of those posts over here since the topics were the same. I still have a lot of those posts left to add here so that’s proven to be smart if you ask me.

I spent most of my time talking about the art of blogging… why am I not on more lists about blogging? No matter; I’m working my way there. I added more on social media also but in the past year I talked a lot about the myth of freedom of expression, this belief that people can get away with saying anything they want to without suffering consequences, or at least being willing to suffer consequences if they occur.

Please folks, if you decide to say something that can be perceived as antagonistic or mean spirited towards someone, be willing to take whatever comes from it… unless it involves murder or being physically hurt, which no one supports.

Instead of what I usually do, which involves some research into the Analytics to see what Google says were my most visited posts, I’m just going to share my favorite 16, since it’s 1,600, and leave it at that, without explanation. Take a look or not, comment or not (but please take a look and comment lol), they are what they are; honest, pure and worthy… so says me!

Onward and upward towards the next milestone:

We Are What We Consume; Not Talking About Food…

Bigfoot Lives In My Backyard

5 Lessons On How Not To Let Others Try To Run Or Ruin Your Life

Airport Stories

7 Blogging Beliefs You Interpreted Wrongly

When Free Speech/Privacy Advocates Lose Their Mind

Are You A Lazy Networker Or Marketer?

Personality – Gauging Between Too Much And Too Little

First Seven Steps To Small Business Blogging

Yosemite Sam Marketing

55 Tips And Ideas About Blogging

7 Certainties Of Blogging

The Dangers Of Being Yourself In Other Spaces

My 7th Year Anniversary; This Means 7 Lessons Of Course…

15 Blogging Wishes For Other Bloggers And Maybe Myself

What Are You Willing To Risk Your Reputation For?


 

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Is It Ever Good To Take Content From Another Blog? Maybe…

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 23, 2015
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Did that title get you to come or were you coming over anyway? Either way, this will be an interesting post as I justify when it might be legit for you to take content that was previously online and use it on your blog. And, in my opinion, it’s not stealing.

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mike5150 via Compfight

Just to get this out of the way, in my opinion stealing is bad; don’t do that! However, I don’t think it’s stealing when it involves you and there’s no one else getting benefit out of it that maybe you can. Now, explanations.

First, I’ve written a lot of guest posts. Those I’ve written I was asked to write and contribute to those blogs. What I’ve found here and there is that sometimes those blogs go away; actually, it seems to happen more often than one might imagine, and we’re not talking blogs that have no visitors or traffic either.

Occasionally I’ll do a search on my name, which isn’t easy because of Jimi Hendrix’ former drummer. So I’ll use the name of a blog or a particular topic to help me drill down to mostly it being me.

Thus, there are a few articles on this blog over the past couple of years that I actually wrote for someone else that disappeared… kind of. I’ll get back to that later.

Anyway, the blog is gone and I know the article was pretty good. How do I know that? Because I follow my own rules for guest posting and try to write something so epic that people will wonder who this guy is who wrote that post and want to come over here to see more. Of course that doesn’t happen in real life but it’s what I strive for.

So I’ve posted those articles here. If I told you which articles they were you’d go on Google, look them up, and probably not find them; yeah, I’m that good. :-) Where are they, and how did I find them? More on that later…

Something else I’ve found is where someone has interviewed me on their blog and then shut their blog down. In this one particular case the blog was shut down for a couple of years, it back now but all old content was removed so it’s like the person is starting from scratch.

Once again, I’ve found a couple of these, and in a minute I’m going to share a portion of that interview without telling you where I got it from. Of course this time around you might get lucky to find it… or not… but it doesn’t matter. Since it involves me and I was happy with it at the time (it’s not overly deep but publicity is publicity), and now that it’s not out there I’d like to get it back into the mainstream… so to speak…

Now the big reveal; where did I get these things?

There’s a website called the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (think techie Mr. Peabody) that pretty much saves copies of old content, whether it’s still live or not. If you ever have your blog eliminated and you didn’t save your content you can probably find it here; thank goodness for that!

Me Adrianna

It’s here that I found the text of the interview I did, and to segregate it from everything else I’m putting it in blockquote format. I’ll finish my initial thought before doing that by asking you if you think my logic is sound, or if you think that once something’s in another place, even if you originally wrote it or were the subject of it, that it should remain with the other entity. Go ahead and give me your opinion… after reading a portion of this interview:

Mitch Mitchell is an incredible blogger. He’s the blogger who promises never to be dull, deliver SEO and marketing advice & be honest in the process.

You can find his blog over at I’m Just Sharing. What I love about Mitch is his candid, honest way of writing. When visiting his blog I know it will be all Mitch – 100%.

Who do you look up to?

It’s kind of an odd question so I’m going to give kind of an odd answer; no one. There are some people I respect as far as blogging goes, but in an odd way I find it hard to say I look up to anyone I’m older than.

In what ways do you build traffic to your blog?

I work on building traffic in many ways.

Every blog post goes to Twitter from all four of my blogs. I also use some RSS coding to highlight at least one of my other blogs on each blog site. One of my blogs automatically posts to LinkedIn while another automatically posts to Facebook. Overall, my biggest traffic building comes from the blogging community, as I comment on a lot of blogs and build up a repertoire with many of them.

What are some of your passions?

Blogging is actually a passion of mine, along with writing in general. I love poker and playing chess as well. I also like watching certain movies over and over, along with certain TV shows that involve anything Trek or X-Files.

Why do you enjoy blogging?

As long as you’re honest and fair you build trust in people whether they agree with you or not.

Blogging is a great way to express yourself to others and see if your opinions matter to anyone else. It’s great when you make connections with others, and it’s interesting when you find some people who disagree with you. As long as you’re honest and fair you build trust in people whether they agree with you or not.

What do you wish you would have known sooner regarding internet marketing?

Goodness, there’s things I wish I knew even now! Overall, I wish I’d known sooner that just building a website and putting products on it doesn’t mean people will visit and/or buy. Many people are sold a bill of goods on that one, and it just doesn’t work that way. It’s called “marketing” for a reason.

What can a blogger do to be better?

I tend to think that most bloggers find reasons they can’t just write as much as they want to and thus end up beating themselves up to write posts. I average more than 5 posts a week and often go weeks writing a post a day. I always have something to say and something to write about and I think other people would if they viewed their lives as a story worth telling rather than not seeing themselves as something special. Everyone’s special; gotta believe that.

How do you find happiness?

Now that’s a good question.

Actually, I find most happiness in the simplest things.

Laughter really is great medicine; I hope everyone takes some many times a day.

I can enjoy seeing pictures of babies and baby animals. I get enjoyment out of listening to some of my favorite music. I get enjoyment out of chocolate and peanut butter, not necessarily always in that order.

I get enjoyment out of blogging and writing and talking to all my online friends. And of course I get enjoyment spending time with my wife, since we have the same sense of humor.

Laughter really is great medicine; I hope everyone takes some many times a day.

 

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3 Things You’re Probably Doing Wrong With Your Blog

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 19, 2015
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I often talk about the need for businesses to have blogs. I talk about how they can help with search engine optimization, promoting one services and products, and giving the business of personal voice.

Who are YOU?
Ian Sane via Compfight

All that is good and well, but now it’s time to refine things just a bit more. I am seeing more small businesses getting into blogging, but there’s a few things that a lot of them need that would really help them to go further.

I thought about going for five points in this post, but I thought that I would just stick to three and make this a quick hitter instead. So let’s look at the top three things you’re probably doing wrong with your blog.

1. Is the name that showing on your posts “admin”?

If so, this means that you haven’t gone into your users area and changed the name that you want showing from admin to your name. If you’re writing your own posts, you want people to see your name associated with your post as opposed to someone else’s name, or admin. After all, you’re looking for name recognition.

If you have a blog that has multiple writers, each writer deserves to have their name associated with their post. By the way, if you have your name associated with your post you also have a way of setting up your name with Google so that if people find your blog through the Google search engines your name and possibly your picture, if you set one up to show up with your name, will come up as well. Google says they’ve killed this, yet I’ve noticed when I’m signed into Google that I still see some people’s images next to things I’m looking for.

2. Are you linking to other articles or other blog posts that are on your site or on your blog when you write your new posts?

This isn’t something you can probably do all the time, internal linking, but what this does is gives people an incentive to check out some of your other information that on your site, and keep them on your site a little longer. Studies have shown that the longer someone stays on your site the more apt they are partake of some of your services or buy some of your products. It’s a great advertising opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

3. Are you engaging your audience by responding to comments or asking questions within your articles?

I should have started this by saying that if you don’t have comments open you don’t really have a blog at all; you’re just talking to people. This is a bias of mine; so sue me. lol

If you are accepting comments, you need to make sure you take time to respond to them. You don’t necessarily have to respond to every single comment, but those comments that are really good you should respond to.

Every once in a while in your article you should ask a question. Did you notice that I asked some questions above? Asking questions helps get people engaged, even if they may not read a comment. If you can make people think, most of the time they will appreciate that and they’ll want more from you.

There you go, three things you should check to make sure you’re doing. Are you doing them? Let me know.
 

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It Only Took 7 Years To Follow 1,000 People On Twitter

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 16, 2015
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Okay, it’s not even quite 7 years yet but it’s pretty close.

I joined Twitter in May of 2008, not having any idea what to do with it or even whether I wanted to do anything with it. I was kind of reluctant at first… now I’ve come to love it.

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Tim Dennell via Compfight

Why do I love Twitter so much? I’ve talked about it often on this blog but I love the idea of engagement. I’ve talked to a lot of people on Twitter from all over the world. I’ve talked to some famous people also, most of whom followed me first. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about good people and bad people and see some folks crash and burn. I’ve seen news break on Twitter before the media got it. I’ve seen so much…

Why do I hate Twitter? Because there’s a lot of hatred and mean things that a lot of people say. Luckily, one can block those folks. There’s also a lot of noise, aka blather, which means lots of people selling stuff constantly; you can block those folks also, especially the bots.

I have over 3,800 people following me. At the time I’m writing this I’m actually following 999 people; I expect that when this drops I’ll probably finally be at 1,000, since I’d never hit even 999 before. Milestones aplenty this year. :-)

What’s changed? Well, to get there we have to look back at why I’ve been so perspicacious with the people I’ve been following.

Engagement; remember I mentioned that earlier? For all these years, after the first six months or so, I decided I had to have criteria for the types of people I was going to follow. I’m big on criteria; gotta have rules so I’m not just adding people I could care less about and who I know could care less about me.

The criteria for people I wouldn’t follow? Here we go:

* listing your religion in your profile
* listing your politics in your profile
* listing stuff I had no interest in on your profile
* posting nothing but pictures
* posting nothing but sales links
* not having an avatar
* never talking to anyone

That’s it; those 7 things have governed the people I’d follow on Twitter… although I’d modify from time to time.

For instance, I’d follow some local people who might have violated some of the criteria because I knew them. Also, if I’d talked to someone elsewhere I might go ahead and connect with them on Twitter, even if something irked me.

Twitter Stream
Dan Slee via Compfight

The criteria has served me well. I’ve been able to talk to all sorts of people, have fewer people to follow, and pretty much move on with a pretty good Twitter life. Also, I never had to worry about Twitter wondering if I was only following people who followed me and dinging me for it; I didn’t even know that was a thing until I saw people complaining about it, including a couple of friends of mine.

For the most part I’d kept the number of people I was following under 900; I took pride in that in fact. Even at that number, I could keep up with anyone I wanted to see, and sometimes everyone. Pays to be a speed reader, and also that not everyone posts at all the times I was looking at the entire stream.

What’s happened to change things?

My post on March 2nd talked about my new social media strategy to help increase my online influence and get more people to know who I was. It’s been working wonders; way better than I could have imagined.

What’s happened is that on both LinkedIn and Twitter I’ve had a lot more people wanting to connect with me. As it pertains to Twitter there were suddenly some fairly well connected people who were noticing me and wanting to connect with me.

That was pretty cool. I had a couple of problems though, based on my criteria.

One was the religion thing. It’s never really occurred to me how many people feel the need to put their religion in their profile; trust me, it’s a lot. I had to figure out if that was criteria enough to stay totally away from people.

The second one had a lot to do with figuring out the first. The second criteria was engagement. I had to ask myself if my criteria of engagement was too strict. I mean, it wasn’t that people had to talk to me, it’s that I wanted to see people at least talking to someone. Then, as I started getting more attention, people sharing more of my stuff, people adding me to lists… I wondered if that could count as engagement.

Also, a lot of folks whose pages I was looking at had some pretty cool things they were sharing. Frankly, I found myself interested in a lot of it. And, as part of my new strategy, I wasn’t only sharing my own stuff but stuff of others, and I found that there was a lot of content I could be sharing with others that I was interested in. And, while going through the pages, I looked to see if any of the people who listed their religion mentioned it too much for my comfort.

IFA 81
Blogging Dagger via Compfight

Some did and I didn’t follow those folks. Others were fine; I could handle it here and there.

I decided it was time to open myself up a bit more and started following more people. A fully thing happens with that; more people start following you that are following some of those other folks. Yeah, I knew that happened already but it wasn’t something I dealt with in a long time.

Still, I did what I could to keep it down, kind of my own challenge. I checked to see who wasn’t following me that I was following and dropped those folks. Turns out it’s almost no one; just one person actually, and he’s my favorite Syracuse University player ever so he stays. lol

Then I started dropping people who hadn’t been on Twitter for a while. That worked some but it turns out I’ve been good at following people who still participate on Twitter over all these years, even if I don’t always see them; wow!

So… I had to talk to myself, smack myself across the face, stuff some cookies into my mouth (okay, that I enjoyed) and decide that this arbitrary number of less than 1,000 had to come to an end. If I’m going to expand, I have to be willing to expand everything (except my waistline; I’m still working on bringing that down).

There you are; the tale is complete. I’m breaking down the bonds. Some of my criteria remains steadfast. Some of it is now modified. Time to connect with some of the bigger names on Twitter who connect with me first. I mean, I’m not a snob! :-)

What do you think of this? Do you have a Twitter strategy? Let me know; comment!
 

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