Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 25, 2013
As you know by my last post, I have conducted some live interviews, and been interviewed once (I think it’s just the one time lol). At this point I think it qualifies me to talk about what makes a pretty good live interview; see how we can delude ourselves?
I think every person should think about doing a live interview at least once in their lives. In the video below, and you know I had to have another video, I talk about ways people can improve their skills in doing live interviews. Truthfully, some of those tips can be used in doing interviews like the one I did with Brian Hawkins because there are things in the video that I matched in the written interview, as well as in interviews I’ve done with other people, like the one with Morayma Makay, an actual working model.
There really are two main things, both covered in the video but I’m going to state them differently here. One, you have to have some curiosity in your mind. If you ask the standard questions that everyone else asks, what are you giving anyone that’s new or unique? If I asked Morayma “What’s it like being a model?”, have I asked anything that thousands of other interviewers haven’t already asked? I asked some questions in that interview that I’m betting people have wanted to know but never had anyone to ask; that’s something you don’t see all that often.
The other is the willingness to do some prep work up front. I always have a few questions to ask someone about their past, and so far I’ve been able to ask people questions based on information I’ve found on the internet. One of my first audio interviews was with a lady named Wendy Y. Bailey, who is a group coaching coach (try saying that 5 times fast lol), and we did that one after she answered my standard business interview questions on my business blog. There’s a link to the audio interview on the link I’ve just given you, and there were a few questions that threw her about her, which is always kind of interesting because it either means people weren’t expecting you to know something about them or they really don’t want to answer it to begin with. Talk about a bit of fun!
See there, now with what I just gave you that’s 9 overall tips in how to conduct an interview, and the two above could also work in a live interview. In any case I hope you watch the video, and I hope you think about adding some interviews with people in your spaces. Hey, I’m always available for an interview; did I share this one I did on leadership, a podcast, with you?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 20, 2013
What a last few days I’ve had! Social media is fun and interactive and, well, sometimes it can be good for your ego. Of course, you can’t take anything for granted, which means that I did end up putting a lot of work into the fun. This post is going to cover a number of things, but overall it’s going to contain some lessons in how to write a guest post.
True, I’ve fussed a lot about guest post requests, but this is something different. I was asked by my buddy Adrienne Smith to write a guest post for her eponymously named blog and it went live on Monday. I actually wrote it 3 weeks ago, and I titled it 11 Essentials of Social Networking. It’s an epic post if I say so myself because it was more than 3,000 words on, well, social networking, things to do and not to do to make better connections online. And it seems to have been well received, with at least 130 or more comments so far; that’s after 2 days.
But that was only the last thing that happened. Things actually got started last Wednesday when I had the opportunity to interview a lady named Meloney Hall of Big Uptick Social Marketing, who actually interviewed me and had me give some blogging tips to her readers via a YouTube video. She gave many tips on how to set yourself up for success in social media marketing, including supporting one of my major views that if you’re any kind of business or professional that you should be on LinkedIn. You can view that interview below:
Now, for most people that would be a steal and a nice grab for getting some success tips to help you and your business. But that’s not how I roll. I wasn’t satisfied with that, so I had a second treat for people. That treat was Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips, one of the top blogging sites on the internet and she’s one of the fastest rising internet stars we have. I’ve known Ileane for years and even wrote a guest post for her back in 2011 titled 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post actually had around 150 comments on it at one time, but Ileane’s been getting tons of spam on her old posts and she’s shut off comments, and for some reason it also had hidden all the comments that post had. Still, it was another pretty good post, coming in around 1,800 words or so.
In the interview I did with her I got the lowdown on how she got into blogging, why it will always be her first love but her second job, and her ideas for how to grow your blog and get people to help promote your posts without you even having to ask anymore. We also touched upon a subject that’s been on my mind for years, but you’ll have to watch the video to pick up any of that knowledge and let me just say that it’s the fastest viewed video I’ve ever had:
At this point, if you know any of the folks above, you’re probably saying “wow, that’s pretty good.” You probably also think it’s over already; nope. On Sunday I led the discussion for my Hot Blog Tips crew as I had the opportunity to interview one of the most prolific bloggers and writers on the internet, Kristi Hines of Kikolani.com, Search Engine Land, Mashable… you name it, she’s probably written for it. Once again, she has one of the highest ranked blogs online, and I knew that having her as our Sunday guest would be amazing, and it was. If you want to learn how she pulls everything together, as well as learn more about her new course on how to market and network yourself online (are you sensing a pattern here?), check out the video below:
See there? I didn’t hit the trifecta, I hit the… well, since I don’t watch horse racing, I have no idea what it’s called if you win 4 times in a row, but with the finale, for now, being the guest post on Adrienne’s blog, I’m thinking that’s some pretty stellar work in one week’s time. It also means that it was time to come back to my blog and put out something strong as well because I’ve played in everyone else’s spaces (well, two of those videos are on my YouTube channel but you know what I mean) and it’s time to come back home for a bit.
Guest posting; I’ve mainly talked about it in terms of having people coming to me or going to others asking if they can write a guest post for their blogs, and how the process often fails miserably, even though some guest posts do make it through. I can honestly say that every guest post I’ve ever written I was asked to write, and in doing so I’ve always followed guest posting tips that I wrote back in 2010 to a large degree. I’m glad I went back to share this post because it reminded me that I had written another guest post I’d forgotten about for my buddy Connie Baum of The Healthy And Wealthy You titled Internet Marketing Scams. I can’t say that one was epic, mainly because her audience was different than some of the audiences I’ve written for lately, and yet I did follow the commandments I wrote about back then.
This is now though, so it’s time to make the list of how to write guest posts just a bit more thorough. This is both for when you’re asked to write a post or when you want to write something for some else:
1. Know the blog you’re going to write for. For the one blog I get a lot of requests for, people write and tell me how much they enjoyed a post on the blog, yet it’s almost always the most recent post on the blog. Man, can we spot a fake request a mile away or what? You can never know what a blog is truly about unless you take a look at 5 or more posts. If you’ve been a long time commenter on a blog then you probably have a good idea of what might work but if not, do your research. After all, it should really benefit the blog owner as much as you hope it’ll benefit you.
2. Know your subject well. I have to admit that many guest posts I get for my finance blog are fairly basic on their topics. Yet I allow them because I’m figuring that many of the readers might not know what all that stuff is, since there are a lot of financial items where I know the terms but don’t fully understand. However, it’s always easy to tell by the writing style whether the person actually knows what they’re talking about or whether they’ve done some research and have basically put together a mini term paper. If you want to stand out and be able to give your post a personal feel, know what you’re talking about.
3. Do an outline; do it! I just can’t believe how many people are scared of writing outlines for what they’re going to write about. I don’t do it for most of my own posts but if I’m putting together something for another person, it’s critical to do. You want to know what you’re going to address and have the opportunity to put it into the proper order; sometimes you want everything to flow in a specific pattern while other times you want to make sure you start strong and end strong.
4. Unless it won’t fit with previous blog content, always try to write more than what you normally might. On my own blogs, I pretty much write like Mozart. That is to say that I write as many words as what my thoughts lead me to write and then I stop; no more, no less. But when I’m putting something together for someone else, I want to make sure I don’t leave anything out, and that every thought I have is thoroughly covered for each point; hence the outline. I did this on another guest post I wrote some time ago for Sonia Winland of Logallot.com titled 7 Certainties Of Blogging; her site is down for maintenance until next Monday but save the link & check it out. Anyway, you can write more and if it’s consistent the blog owner will probably love to print the entire thing. If you’re asked to trim it down some it’s always easier than it is to try to add more.
5. Always give examples for the points you’re trying to make. In the post I wrote for Adrienne, I talked about how some people on Twitter are always posting links to their blogs or sales pages and it’s almost like they’re online 24/7, which means you know they’re automating everything. Yet if it was a TV show would you want to watch 5 minutes of a show and be marketed to 55 minutes to complete the hour? Things like that help to make your points memorable and people can relate to them.
6. Don’t write anything you don’t believe in with your whole soul. If you’re writing something you think people want to hear so you can appease them, you’ve already failed. Don’t ever be fake because everyone will know. If you hate chocolate, say you hate chocolate (and be prepared for me to come to your house to protest lol). If you like puppies proclaim your love for them and tell people why you love them (I love them because they’re just so innocent and cute and want to play). If you’re going to teach someone something teach it all to them, every single step, and don’t leave anything out. Don’t assume what people know; as Ileane said in the interview, everyone’s level of knowledge is different and you never want to leave anyone out.
I’m going to stop there before I make this one too long. Here are 5 tips, there were 4 on my other post, so I’m thinking you now have 9 total points from me and still have Kristi’s video and Ileane’s video to get more, since both of them have written guest posts. I mean, what more could you want? Well, I want you to read this, watch the videos, share all of it wherever you are on social media, comment here and on every video you watch, and above all send me chocolate chip cookies… wait, how’d that get in here? Please, let me know what you think below or somewhere; don’t make me hold my breath!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 8, 2013
Last week I read a blog post that was supposed to be about leadership that irked me to much I had to write a blog post about it on my business blog. The topic was about whether it was better to be the best or even try to be the best versus being unique when it came to getting business and leading others.
In my eyes I believe that it’s imperative that people always try to be the best they can be, and to be the best overall if possible. Being unique… heck, everyone’s unique when you think about it, but there are times where being unique can help when you’re trying to catch someone’s eye if everyone happens to be very good. Unique can help one get sales whether they’re good or not, but being good, or trying to be the best, keeps people coming back for more.
And yet, I’m not sure these two concepts are necessarily antithetical. Yup, it’s vocabulary word time again; always trying to educate when I can. The basic definition of “antithetical” is “being in direct and unequivocal opposition“. Sure, I could have gone with dichotomy, but I’ve over-used that one over the years.
Getting back to the topic, who wouldn’t agree that one could not only try to be the best but also be unique? I know many people who believe that everything Apple is both unique and the best. I know people who believe Ferrari’s are both unique and the best. Personally I think Snoopy is unique and the best; that’s about as far as I’m going with this analogy.
It’s one of the things I’ve indirectly talked about all these years when it comes to blogging. Often I see what looks like the same content and the same lists and the same recommendations coming from different people in exactly the same way. Even if it’s good advice there’s nothing unique about it. And at a certain point it’s not even great advice anymore because all it’s doing is parroting what someone else is saying and not offering anything that’s even close to great or attempting to be great. I add that because greatness is pretty subjective based on whoever is doing the evaluation when all is said and done.
In any case I’d like to know your thoughts on this subject, but with a twist. Many of the long time readers know that I will remove lousy comments. Let’s see if some of you newer commenters can leave a response that’s either great or unique in some fashion. If it’s not either, I’ll probably just delete it. Long timers get a break because they’ve left good and great comments before. In other words, put your mind to use on this one; unique or great. Otherwise, you’re not even trying; hey, I did use the word “antithetical” after all.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 26, 2013
Last weekend when I was home I went for a walk at the lake with a friend of mine. He asked me a question about making videos that made me create a video about it. In essence he was asking me what I was getting out of making videos and I believe it was a question about publicity, making money, etc. My response wasn’t bad, which is why I’m popping the video about it below so you can check it out if you so choose.
However, upon reflection I realized that when I responded to the question, I felt like my back was against the wall and that I had to justify what I was doing. Sometimes all of us feel like that, where we see a question or hear a question or are confronted with something we’re doing and we’re not quite sure how to answer it. And I realized that overall my response was, well… because I like it!
Frankly, I think that’s a great answer that can be applied to many things that we do… when it’s true. For instance, anyone who tells me they like smoking when they know it causes cancer and emphysema, or that they like getting drunk and passing out every weekend, I know is lying. Anyone who says they like brushing their teeth without adding “because I want to keep my teeth healthy and cavity free” is lying because it’s not something that’s done out of pleasure… well, there’s probably one or two crazy people who might love doing it. lol
But for many things it’s the perfect and true answer, even if it didn’t start out that way. When I started my first blog back in 2005 it was with the intention of showing business proficiency. All these years and extra blogs later, I do it because I like it.
When I first started doing video I did it with the intention of improving my craft of speaking as well as getting my face out to the public in case someone liked what I had to say and needed a speaker/presenter for their organization that they were willing to pay for. After awhile I realized that I like doing them as well.
Why do I eat so much dessert? Because I like it. Why do I eat a lot of hamburger? Because I like it. Why am I an independent consultant who doesn’t have a full time job, doesn’t have insurance paid for by an employer, and doesn’t get vacation time so I can go to all these exotic places knowing I’m still being paid? Because I like what I do.
Think about the different things you do. How many of them are you doing for the pleasure of it? How many are you doing because you feel obligated? How many are you doing because you ARE obligated? What can you give up? What can you make more enjoyable to move it into the “because I like it” realm?
Anyway, that should have been my true response because, when all is said and done, it’s my reality. I hope you check out the video because in the middle of it all I reveal something about pretzels; did that get your attention?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 23, 2013
Last Monday I was interviewed by a lady named Meloney Hall of Big Uptick Social Marketing, a consulting company that helps businesses with their social media presence. I had a good time and the interview is below, though be warned that it’s almost an hour long. Hey, you can put up with me for an hour of stories and advice can’t you?
Over the years I’ve always talked about blogging being a very crucial aspect of social media and marketing, and I’ve supported that view by pointing out the types of links that most people end up sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Outside of images, blog posts are probably number two, or at least a very close third to news stories, and at least in my Twitter stream blog posts are easily the top link shared.
Why is this so? People tend to share what they like for the most part and the blogging community is like no other. We read each other’s posts, and even if we don’t leave a comment sometimes we just feel like sharing a post we’ve come across with those who we’re connected to. Most of the time when I do it I offer a brief bit of commentary, but really it’s more about the sharing and approval of another post that’s pretty cool.
By the way, let me just say here and now that anyone who says that their sharing a link isn’t an endorsement of what’s at the link who hasn’t actually read the post is being disingenuous to both the writers and those who see those links. Sharing must be an endorsement of one or the other; otherwise, your credibility is shot and, well, who’d want to trust anything you had to say?
Anyway, in the interview I offer my thoughts on sharing, my thoughts on why if you’re representing a business or your own skills and such that it’s important to monitor how and what you say because there are many tales of someone crashing and burning when they thought they were just out there having fun. Remember, if it’s out there and even slightly intriguing it’ll remain forever, so bad behavior, which is your right, can also be your downfall.
What’s your general thought on the topic of blogging and social media? Let me know, and please, if you decide to watch the video leave a comment there or at least give it a thumbs up. And, if that’s still too long for you, then think about taking a gander at my 100th YouTube video where I gave a perspective on making videos and hitting my first true milestone with video. Yeah, I’m like that.