Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 18, 2015
In January 2014 I wrote a post titled To Capture Or Not Capture Email Addresses; That Is The Question. As the title suggests, I was looking for a compelling reason to start capturing email addresses, beyond the old saw “the money is in the list”. As the comments on that post indicated, only one person was making any real money from having a list.
My major lament about it all was I had nothing tangible to sell, thus what would the purpose be? After all, without a product there’s no money to make right?
Well, it’s 16 months later, and now I’m closer to going the route of capturing email addresses. Why?
The first is that one of the thoughts from last year, the only one that broke through my mind, was the possibility that RSS feeds might go away. Even though there’s been no more talk (at least as far as I know) that Feedburner will be shut down by Google, since they’ve been shutting down lots of other stuff one never knows what they might do.
I love RSS for my own use and I’m sure lots of other people do also. However, I know some people, out of fear, have gone to something called Feedly, while others have started using Flipboard. I’m using Flipboard myself, but I’ve only connected 3 blogs to it, one a local sports blog that shows up in my general feed, while the others I have to specifically go to.
What am I also worried about? At one point I had nearly 400 people subscribed to this blog. Now it’s down to 151, and I have no idea whether they’re subscribed to the RSS feed or the email feed, mainly because I can’t find that one on Feedburner anymore. I do know that most of those who used to subscribe did so through the RSS link.
Thus, having the ability to capture email addresses might be the smart thing to do to make sure people will continue receiving my stuff… if they want it.
The second is that I’m about to not only have a couple of new products, but I’m going to be doing a massive push for sales of the two products, and starting to capture email addresses wouldn’t hurt the process long term, especially since, if it turns out to be successful, I might be doing more of this type of thing.
Still, I want to differentiate the email from what most people send out. My thoughts are that I would send out an email once a week highlighting every post I’ve put on on all my blogs, any videos I’ve created, any interviews I’ve given, and have a brief thought of my own on there that’s not anywhere else. I don’t know many other people who could claim to offer that much information weekly.
Of course, the issue might be deciding what type of original thought to share. Having multiple blogs gives me multiple topics to discuss, but will the people who subscribed through this blog care about leadership? Will the people who subscribe through my business blog care about finances? Details, details…
I haven’t solidified all the details yet but now that I’m close I’m ready to ask some of you what you think about it all. Remember though… just because you offer advice doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily take it. lol I say that because I’m expecting some of the opinions are going to counter each other, and I’m smart enough to know it’s pure folly to try to appease everyone.
By the way, if I do this thing I found a WordPress plugin that looks like it’d be up to the job. It’s called WE Email Capture, and it sets up a double opt-in process to make sure no one’s subscribing someone else just to be sneaky. After that… I’ll figure out how to send out my newsletters, which will initially probably be manual since I don’t expect a major run early on.
That’s all I have for now; your thoughts on it all?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 4, 2015
Blogging was the first social media. Some people might think it was AOL but I’m not sure AOL really counted as social media since it was more of a news and information site. In any case, blogging continues to be the biggest purveyor of social media information, even in the face of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Why do I say that? If you look at what’s shared most of the time via links it’s one of 3 things; video, news stories of some sort, or blog posts. Huffington Post, in all its glory, is nothing more than a huge blog site; exclusive in its own way, but still mainly a mash of opinions and such.
While blogging can be considered as social media, it’s also different. The idea behind blogging overall is much different.
For instance, I post something on Facebook and I might get some likes. Most of the time, if I get a comment, it’s one line, then on to the next thing.
With blogs, one hopes to build up a community whereby there’s a nice mix of usual visitors with new visitors, with multiple intentions. Some of us just want to espouse our philosophies on things. Some of us want to make money. Most of us want to talk to people, which is why we leave comments open.
With that as a setup, let’s look at this interesting relationship between blogging and social media in the context of being separate entitles:
1. Bloggers promote their articles on social media; social media helps them gain notice.
That’s pretty much how it’s been since the old days of sites like Blogger and diary sites, where the people who promoted you were people who belonged to the same sites. Back in 2004 there were lots of people promoting their blog posts on Ryze; later it became MySpace. Take a look at your Twitter feed one day and you’ll see all sorts of posts going to some type of blog.
2. Social media feeds the bear with blog topics to write about.
I’ve written a lot of posts over the years about all the big social media sites. I got those ideas by participating on those sites. I also got ideas for certain types of topics by reading what people put up on these sites. You don’t always have to think of something on my own… thank goodness!
3. Social media gets more benefit from your blogging than you do.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s true. This doesn’t mean you’re not getting anything out of it, but social media gets more. Let’s use Twitter as our example.
How many millions of blog links do you think goes through Twitter every day? How many of the people you’re connected to do you think are actually seeing your link so they’ll come to your site for a visit? How many more of those actual visitors are retweeting your post as opposed to leaving a comment on your site?
4. If you want to make any real money, you need to get people from social media to come to your blog or website.
In some ways people are missing the idea behind social media marketing. The idea isn’t to get people to like your stuff offsite; the idea is to find ways to entice people to come to your blog or your website. I’d say your affiliate link but trust me, most of those links and posts are getting ignored.
People hate being sold to blatantly. However, if you write an article about a product you like, then promote it on social media, and make it attractive enough to get people to come to your space, then you have a real opportunity to possibly make some money. Think about why we all hate those people posting links telling us they can get us thousands of Twitter or Facebook followers; it’s not only that we don’t believe them (it’s a scam by the way) but how does that help us?
5. Unless you’re already well known, famous people or people thought of highly in your industry aren’t coming to your blog unless they hear about you via social media.
I’ve had a couple of folks known fairly well online stop by here for a comment or two; it’s rare but it’s happened.
However, I’ve connected with a lot of famous people via social media… and they followed me first! lol I’ve ever had the opportunity to talk to them; that’s pretty cool.
Here’s the overall thing, at least from my perspective. I’ve never really tried to get anything from any of these people and I don’t go out of my way to show who I know and how I know them. In 13 years of being online and 10 years of blogging the only person I ever reached out to for anything was asking Guy Kawasaki to add my business blog to the leadership section of his Alltop site, and that was after I helped edit his book Reality Check (and my name’s in the book; pretty cool!).
The thing is, you can connect with someone via social media in a way you probably won’t on a blog. If you’re genuine they might even stop by your blog or possibly help promote you. Don’t ever expect it though; do your own work.
6. You benefit most from both blogging and social media by sharing.
You might benefit more from sharing things on social media but your blog can get a benefit also. If you mention and link to others on your blog you may get more people to your blog. That’s because a lot of people look at trackbacks for their stuff and sometimes if they see you’ve linked to them they’ll stop by to see what you had to say or share.
Social media allows you to easily share the content others produce. If it’s certain people better known than others it can bring you some attention. If it’s regular folks like you, then they’re more apt to stop by your blog or website to take a look… Some of that depends on…
7. Blog titles are important; social media is but it’s not always in your control.
Don’t even think about changing someone else’s article title to fit your own needs, even if it’s just to tell people what the article is about. For your own missives, finding creative titles will be productive because that’s what a lot of people are looking for. They’ve all been told that one way to garner trust is sharing other people’s links so they’ll do that, even if they never read what you’ve written. This leads to #8…
8. More people will read your blog posts than your links on social media, even if more people see them on social media.
Isn’t that a shame? I have way more people comment and share my stuff on Twitter and Google Plus without reading it than I get comments on the blog.
How do I know this? I have posted videos that take at least 5 minutes to watch and seen them shared in 30 seconds. I’ve checked viewer counts later in the day and the counts, if I had any views, never match how many times the link has been shared.
On Google Plus, I’ve gotten responses to a link that don’t match up with the article but might match up with the title. Every once in a while I’ll press someone on it and they’ll admit they didn’t read the article. The same happens on Twitter; although I have a couple of folks who’ll retweet my stuff because I’m on their list and they know me, many more share my links and occasionally comment on the title that never come to the blog.
However, if people come to the blog, I can tell who’s actually read the article or not. Some comments aren’t even worthy of keeping and I immediately move them to spam but that’s not the majority of what I get anymore, thank goodness.
What does this mean overall? It means the people you’re really going to reach are the people you can get to come to your blog. Sure, every once in a while you might get some attention on Facebook if you do certain things, but in general people are going to skip it unless you can bring them into your space.
9. Neither blogging or social media is going away any time soon.
As a matter of fact, I predict that both are going to continue growing in some form or another for decades unless there’s some type of world catastrophe; I hope against hope on that one.
Since both are going to be around, both individuals, bloggers and marketers still have time to figure it all out, how to work with each other, how to make each other grow, how to protect each other… well, I have big dreams I suppose.
There are some things that need to stop. Trolling needs to stop. Bullying needs to stop. Revenge sites need to stop. Honesty needs to be spoken of more. There probably needs to be more social progress. The world needs to find better ways to talk to each other rather than at each other.
I don’t have that answer; I’m probably too old and set in my ways for that one. However, when there’s the potential for discourse, I’ll probably be there. I’ll comment on the blog; then I’ll share it on social media.
How will you participate?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 30, 2015
Although I find blogging to be a popular subject for many people to talk about, there are still a lot of businesses trying to figure out not only if there’s any kind of return on investment in doing it, as well as whether they have the time or the inclination to do it. I have a story that might be illuminating.
A few weeks ago I got an email out of the blue from someone wanting some consulting advice from another state. I sent her my phone number since it wasn’t included in her email (major lesson; always include all of your contact information in your business emails) and said she could call me the next day.
She did just that, and we talked for about 10 minutes about the possibility of my doing some work for her, work that will pay nicely. I asked her how she’d heard of me. She said that a friend had sent her some kind of newsletter that included a link to a blog post I’d written and that it intrigued her because it looked like something she needed for her company.
I asked her if she remembered which blog post it was and at the time she didn’t. She said that she’d find it and send it to me. When I got it I was surprised because it turned out to be a post I’d written almost 3 years ago.
So, someone else liked my post, used it as inspiration in a post they wrote for a newsletter, put my link in it, someone else got it and liked it and forwarded it to a friend, that friend then liked it enough to call me. And I have a shot at getting business out of it. Sure, years later, but what did it really cost me when I wrote that post many years ago?
I tend to write fast, so it might have taken me 5 to 10 minutes at the most to put it together, and it stayed on the blog for years, and now look at what’s happened. Even though I don’t get the contract, I had a shot at it.
That’s the power of blogging; that’s why I talk about it all the time. You never know who might find your content and be impressed enough about it to contact you for business.
Of course, now I have to address the question I’ve seen about whether every business should have a blog or not and whether it can work for everyone. That’s a question that’s hard to answer easily, although it’s an easy answer.
The answers are thus:
* If you can have consistent content, it can work for you;
* If you can’t it won’t work for you;
* If you can’t talk about what it is you do it won’t work for you;
* If you’re the only one who can do what you do in your area, no matter how small a business it is, it can work for you, but still refer to the first bullet;
* Same if there are a lot of other businesses doing what you do but few of them have a blog (I tell this one to accountants all the time, most of whom don’t have a blog);
* If you have a regular website that looks decent that you can associate your blog with it can help
My opinion; if you can blog and you can talk about your business, a blog will help more than it will hurt unless you stop writing on it.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 26, 2015
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…
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:
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 23, 2015
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.
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!
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.