Why I’m Writing At Least 12 Posts For This Blog This Month

Not counting last week, I’ve been putting a lot of time into increasing the mobile speed for all my blogs and websites. Even though I kept up with my once a week post for this blog and my business blog, overall my writing output has suffered. Hey, I can’t do it all right?

Memories
Creative Commons License Pascal Häußler via Compfight

I was going to add “or can I“, but that response would be utopian and I don’t believe in utopia in any way, shape or form. What I do believe is that I can do and show more, not only on this blog but across the board. Below I’m going to give you 4 reasons why I’m going to write at least 12 posts for I’m Just Sharing this month and, hopefully, a bit more content for my other sites as well.

1. I need to kickstart the search engines again.

Truth be told, just because I increased the mobile speed of my blogs doesn’t mean that I’ve suddenly started seeing more traffic. Life doesn’t quite work like that; you have to give search engines a reason to check you out a bit more, and once they start sharing you then hopefully your visitors and commenters will take over from that point.

I know that in my post from January talking about a content experiment I did on my business blog where I had a new post every day in December and how it didn’t get the results I wanted, but leadership is a much different animal and it’s harder to drive traffic to leadership sites. Since this blog used to hum back in the day when I was writing at least 300 posts a year, and even though this is only a short term thing, I figure it’s worth another experiment on what’s supposed to be my most popular blog.

2. I want to show people that it can be done.

Depending on your point of view, blogging is either easy or hard, though most people think it’s fairly hard to keep up with. I’ve always believed that the writing part of blogging is fairly easy if you don’t have too finite a niche, if you know your subject well, and you’re ready to be creative. If every one of my posts were going to be 2,000+ words I could see that as being a bit much, but nothing says that every single post you write has to be a pillar post.

3. Inform, educate, entertain

When it comes to blogging or other social media activities, as long as you’re trying to inform, educate or entertain others with your content, and are willing to engage them in conversation or by comments, the general part of it all is fairly easy. The only hard parts are if you decide to pop links into your new content like I’m doing, finding images, and when needed doing the research. Otherwise, you’re good; trust me on that.

4. Show expertise

Some of you new folks might find this incredible, but in the early years I was kind of a known quantity when it came to the blogging world, at least for this blog. After 11 years of blogging (though that link talks about 10 years, I’ve now been blogging 11 lol) I’ve certainly learned a lot about blogging and writing, and I’ve picked up a good bit of knowledge about social media also.

The thing is, I know a lot about a lot, and I’m also a consultant. I find that when I get really busy working on projects paid or not (my 3 weeks working on mobile speed wasn’t paid unfortunately) other things slow down and I don’t get to show any expertise or authority on anything. I also don’t comment on as many blogs as I used to (for multiple reasons, which I’ll be going into in another blog post this month), even though I share more often these days. I rarely get asked to participate in group blog posts offering my opinion on things like blogging mistakes in my past. I also can’t remember the last time my name was added to a top bloggers list; sigh… lol

Even though I’m going to have a lot of content here this month, I have 4 other blogs to consider as well, and it’s my intention to “up” the amount of content for all of them in September. My intention is to have all the posts written by at least the end of this week, and then postdated so I can use the rest of September to work on other projects. Gotta make a living, right?

After that, we’ll see where it all goes. Now, who want to complain about how hard blogging is? 🙂

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People Aren’t Helping Us Help Them On Social Media

Back in March when I wrote what turned out to be my very popular post 31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media, I broke up the thoughts about blogging and social media to make the article easier to read and understand. Lost of folks liked, commented and shared that post and I thought that was pretty cool.

Rudy's lunch
I shared lunch!

Yet, 3 months later and I’m seeing something that’s making me write another post about 3 things regarding social media that it just feels like I’m seeing more of. The funny thing is that it’s the first 3 things I talked about in that other post, which I intentionally listed as the first 3 because I thought they were important enough to get in as soon as possible when I switched to the social media topic.

Of course this means I have to go over them again, since I really believe that people are missing out on opportunities to help us help them make big inroads on social media, and even potentially their blogs, and y’all know I’m big on talking about blogs.

Marketing All The Time

“Buy my book. Buy my program. Sign up for my webinar.”

Over and over again, I see these messages in many places. I’m not connected to as many of these people because I find this sort of thing irritating, but when I look at lists I’ve created such as my leadership list, which I use as part of my Twitter marketing, there are periods where I see someone marketing their stuff at least every 5 minutes or so. True, at least they change the wording, but who wants to see that over and over regardless?

Should we be marketing on Twitter, or other places on social media? I believe if we’re doing any type of business and have either products or services we think someone might be interested in then absolutely. Is there a correct number of times to do so? Not really I’m probably say. Is there an incorrect number of times? Absolutely!

The nature of social media is to be pretty fluid and fast moving; I get that. Lots of people are trying to eek out their bit of space to get some attention.

What some folks might not realize is that if people are connected to you and you’re marketing too much, you’re being tuned out and all the effort you’re putting in isn’t going to do you any good. How do I know? Isn’t this the generation that tunes out commercials, has ad blindness on blogs and websites, and watches more things like Netflix so they can avoid commercials altogether?

The fact that you might have 120K connections on Twitter, another 100K on Google Plus, and maybe 50K on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean you’re popular. It just means people are lazy and not in the mood to block you like I will.

Try to remember that a little bit of absence can go a long way. Once, maybe twice an hour if you feel the need, is plenty. Heck, did I just counter what I said earlier? lol

Not Sharing Any Of Your Own Content

I love people who share the content of others; way to go! Now, tell us something about you. For that matter, share something that you put out on your own, something that you wrote, something that you did. Please, I want to share your contributions with other people.

funny mug 01
Maybe don’t share
this content lol

I can’t believe how many people I’m connected to who never, and I mean EVER, share anything of their own. I can’t even just go to their blogs to see what they might be producing because they don’t link to their blogs anywhere. I used to think it meant that lots of those folks didn’t have blogs but in my research (I can be a pitbull as it pertains to research sometimes) I find that at least half the people who don’t list their blog anywhere actually has a blog.

Why do I stay connected to those folks? Because sometimes they share something I’m interested in. I’ll read it and sometimes share it… but I don’t always give them credit for sharing it to begin with. That might seem cruel in a way, but what I do instead is look to see who created the article and I’ll add their name to the link instead. I think it’s fairer to share “talent” than share “shares”, if that makes sense.

I often wonder why people don’t share their own stuff. If they’re ashamed of it, why create it? I do know there are some people who don’t create anything that want to share things they see, especially as it pertains to politics or social issues. I guess that’s fine, but there’s little of that stuff I’m sharing with my group, since I have my own sense of things I’d rather share in that arena.

Still, I’m tired of seeing every other post going to Huffington Post or Inc or Forbes or… well, you name a popular website. I’m thinking those folks really don’t need all that much publicity… but you might benefit from getting some. Think about it.

I’m also tired of people sharing things on LinkedIn that they created that never say anything about what they’re sharing. Except for my initial post from this blog and my business blog, if I ever share anything else on LinkedIn I offer my opinion on it when I share it, or ask a question that I hope someone responds to, even my own posts.

Not Sharing The Content Of Others

So you’re not marketing, just sharing all your own blog posts; well, that’s something I suppose. Hey, I’ve got between 4,000 and 5,000 articles online, which means I could probably share just stuff I’ve created and not recycle a single thing after even a year. Sure, all of those things aren’t top quality, but would it matter if I just wanted to talk about myself all the time?

I read a lot every day. I visit all sorts of blogs, and I read articles in all sorts of places. One of the reasons I like Flipboard so much is because I can pick a category and have it show me both popular sites and sites that might not be as popular, but have owners who are on Flipboard sharing their articles. Sometimes it’s other people sharing their articles also; that’s pretty cool.

If people can do that on Flipboard, why can’t they do that on other social media platforms? For instance, I’m sharing a blog post written by a lady named Amy White titled How We Paid Off $293,000 in Debt in Five Years that I liked a lot. She has just over 1,250 followers, her blog is ranked around 5 million via Alexa, and I found it a fascinating post. I think a lot of other people will benefit from reading it, so I’m sharing it, and I feel good about it.

By the way, if you are actually sharing other people’s content and making it look like you’re sharing your own… shame on you! Not only is it misleading, but you can’t even take the time to share the names or handles of the people whose posts you’re sharing, especially if they supply it, so they can get a bit of extra bounce and feel good about what they’ve done? Shaking my head and wagging my finger… lol

As I said earlier, it’s not all about me. I want to share other people’s content, and I want to help showcase them in the best light. But if they’re irritating, or they’re not sharing any of their content, or they’re just being selfish… it’s not going to happen.

That would be a major shame. What do you think?
 

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Does More Blog Content Work Anymore? Research Results…

I have long been someone who’s believed that the more one writes on their blog, the more traffic they’ll get, the higher their blogs will rank, and the better opportunity they’ll have to be more popular across the board. That certainly used to be true; back in the days where I was writing more than 300 posts a year on this blog it was very highly ranked. Once I slowed down, my ranking dropped, which has happened to all my long time blogging friends who have reduced how much they put out.

it´s not the style ...
ifranz via Compfight

What I didn’t know was whether this was still true. I’ve certainly said it was, the last time being in July when I said that “the more you write the more traffic you’ll get and the higher you’ll rank…“. I didn’t have any information telling me that wasn’t true.

However, what I did have was a lot of evidence that maybe there were other ways of getting higher rankings and better traffic. This is post #1,673 on this blog, which shows you that I have a lot of articles here. One would think all those articles would help this blog be ranked higher than it is; certainly higher than a blog that has fewer than 100 articles.

That’s not the case anymore. I’m not going to specifically point out any blogs here, but there are a lot of them ranked higher than me with a lot less content. Even if some of them are writing extremely long posts, one would think sheer volume might mean something.

Yet, I know someone else who’s been writing for a long time, and almost every day. Jack Steiner, who write the blog The Jack B, has been writing his blog for 12 years, sometimes pretty lengthy articles, yet his Alexa ranking (don’t start with me on that one lol) is still in the 2 million range. His blog is very entertaining, so one would think his ranking and traffic would be off the roof; what gives?

I decided to do a research project to test my long standing belief, which was hanging by a thread. For 31 straight days, I had a new blog post on my 3 Bad Management Processes and it went live, on a Thursday… and that was that. For the rest of the month only one day beat that one in traffic, and that one had dropped a bunch from what I’d had going on. It was also the shortest post to that point, just over 500 words, but it was on point, about leadership, which is the main topic on that blog. It should have been an easy read after all the other articles I’ve been sharing… but it wasn’t.

After that… dud city. My Star Trek article got a lot of shares on Twitter but it didn’t generate in a lot more visits overall; that says something that in its own way supports what I’d wondered about Twitter sharing and traffic to one’s blog. I thought about attributing some of the drop-off to the holiday season and could get behind that theory except the issue started a week before Christmas; freaky.

It leaves me with an unsatisfied conclusion, that being… the research study is inconclusive. If it was working then suddenly stops, does that mean it does or doesn’t work? That traffic has started going back up, slowly though, mean anything? Inconclusive; sigh…

A recommendation… write; just write. That’s the best I’ve got at this point. I’ll add promote, which I’ve talked about as it concerns Twitter, where it seems to work better than in other social media spaces. I’ll continue researching and testing things from time to time and then writing about them it’s what I do after all. 🙂
 

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Three Crucial Items Before Creating Your Website

First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Second, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT! LOL

On the 5th of this month I put out this question: should you have a website. If you’re going to have a website, there are some things you want to consider when having one designed for you. These things not only have to do with how your site will work on the internet, but have to do with how you want yourself being represented for your business.

DSC03655
Alex Avriette via Compfight

The first is a sense of symmetry. For your main page, you want things to be aligned in certain ways so that the site isn’t visually offensive to your visitors.

Having pictures scattered all over the site instead of placed in strategic places looks junky.

Having text show up in different areas on the page looks amateurish.

Having multiple fonts throughout your text, without a specific reason why, destroys ones credibility.

Having your content centered in some fashion is a must, whether you decide to have your page left justified or not. Your customers are going to question your judgment and competence because your site won’t look like it represents a professional, whether a professional created it or not.

Symmetry goes beyond the first page, though. If you have multiple pages on your site, trying to maintain some semblance of similarity for each page is preferable to having each page look totally different. Moving your menus around is a terrible idea, and not having each menu item work on each page is a mistake I’ve seen over and over.

There can be changes here and there, as long as the basic structure has been kept. For instance, on one of my client’s sites, there are two pictures of the client on the first page that slightly throw off one of the menus as far as alignment goes, but the menu is in the same spot on each subsequent page so that the visitor knows to expect that menu in that place.

Color is a part of symmetry, and changing colors and fonts for each page could be risky. If you have a specific reason for it, then that’s fine. For instance, for one of my client’s sites, the individual articles off the articles page have a totally different layout and color than the rest of the site, because the articles open up in a different window, as kind of a stand alone site. However, the rest of the pages, which are linked, have the same look and feel on each page.

The second thing to consider is making sure you have keywords and keyword phrases scattered throughout the pages that you actually expect people to search for on search engines, if you’re hoping to be found.

wedding shoes47

Anyone who’s used a search engine knows that if people go looking for shoes you’re going to end up with millions and millions of pages. So they start refining their search terms. Something like “shoe” will get millions of pages. “Blue shoes” will start to reduce the number a bit more. “Leather blue shoes” will reduce the number even further. “Handmade leather blue shoes” reduces the number even more.

Now that you’ve got one search term, you think of another that someone might put into a search engine to find your items. The trick is to find search terms that someone might legitimately put into a search engine that will help separate you from the pack; with the above example, even the last term I chose ends up being too broad. That’s why it’s best to find multiple search terms, even in businesses that don’t have as much competition as the word “shoes” might.

The final thing to consider is the amount of content you want to have on your site. For instance, going back to “shoes”, if you wanted to try to have one single page for all the shoes you sold, you’d be doing yourself a disservice and you’d make very few sales. That’s because there are many different varieties of shoes.

You probably want to think about dividing up your site into the different types of shoes you might market: sneakers, books, loafers, heels, etc. Each one of these types of shoes would have its own page, which now gives you more chances to optimize your site even further with keyword phrases. All of these pages help your site to be found by search engines, and it makes going through your site easier for your customers in general because they can go to the pages they want to specifically visit.

This works the same with a business website as opposed to a sales website. You always want to say more about your business than what you might mention on your main page, and if you have other pages to talk more about your services, your bio, your customers, whatever, it all helps in the overall optimization of your site. That, plus the more pages you have, the more your potential clients may see how valuable your services are. It may only be perception, but any benefit your site can give you in a positive.

Think about these things before you get too deep into creating your website; they could save you a lot of time and grief in the long run. It may not hurt to talk to an internet marketing consultant to help you sort these things out.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

3 Blogging Concepts That Do Work, No Matter What Anyone Says

That looks like an antagonistic title, doesn’t it? In a way it is, but in a way it’s not. This is one of those posts where I’m going to use my own expertise to dispute something someone else wrote where, in my opinion, they’re totally wrong. I’m also going to link to the post because one, it allows you the visitor to go see the entire post, and two, linking to someone you’re talking about, good or bad, is just being courteous.

Architecture at Kings Cross Station, London
** Lucky Cavey ** via Compfight

Before I move on I just want to add that this is the type of thing that can help to make a business blog work well. It’s not bad when you agree with what someone else says and want to enhance it, but it’s also not bad when you don’t just follow along with what someone else says when you don’t agree.

Anyway, on a blog called Hongkiat, the writer wrote a post titled Popular Blogging Advice That Don’t Work (and What Does). Forgiving the grammar since English isn’t his first language, he listed 5 points that he believed don’t work, or aren’t true about blogging. I disagree with 3 of his points, and I brought those points up on his blog in the comments. But I wanted to say a bit more, hence this post.

Here’s the points and my commentary on them; I’m paraphrasing them since he wrote the points differently:

1. Blogging every day doesn’t do your blog any good.

His point was that no one could write every day because they’d run out of things to say and that the content wouldn’t be very good. I want to negate that statement; it’s not impossible but it’s not easy. On one of my blogs I was an almost every day blogger. I averaged just over 300 posts a year my first three years with that blog. In one stretch, I wrote 37 days in a row, 5 of those days 2 posts a day. Were there some duds? Yes, but I felt that all the rest were pretty good.

Here’s the truth. The more you write, the more traffic you’ll get. That’s been proven over and over. The other truth is that, for a blog, if there are too many articles in a day or in a week, visitors might get confused by what they need to read. Sure, I had a great output, and my traffic showed it, and thus my rankings went up; that was good. But I didn’t get tons of comments, and some posts didn’t get any comments at all.

Still, it built up my web presence, and I was willing to write that much to help that blog gain prominence, which it has. After 3 years I decided to slow down some, not commit to writing every day, but to commit to having a new post at least every 3 days or so. That I have stuck with, and I now get way more comments. But writing a lot established the blog, so it does work.

2. It’s impossible to write great content if you blog every day.

As I mentioned above, this is a fallacy, but let me take it a step further. In a post I wrote back in 2011 titled What Is High Quality Content, I stated that it’s a recommendation I see people making all the time but no one has ever tried defining it. So I did, and came up with these four points:

* If you’re writing about something that’s supposed to teach someone something new, did you explain it well enough?

* If you’re trying to tell a story and you don’t skip on details, such that people are left wondering “what the heck was that about”, then you’re creating high quality content.

* Are you writing something about a particular belief or thought? Have you taken the time to explain why believe as you do, or are you just saying something and moving on?

* Are you being true to yourself?

People from my generation remember B-sides of 45’s, and sometimes those songs were just as good as the songs being pushed by the studios. Not every post you write will be a home run, but if you tried to get it right in some fashion, were on point, and even if it was short it’s an honest post, it’s great content. You’re telling me that you can’t do that every time out, even if you wrote something every day? Sure you can; never sell yourself short.

3. Commenting frequently on other blogs doesn’t do anything for your blog.

In 2011 I did something as an experiment. I was interviewed on a very prominent blog by a young man who’s an up and comer in the online social media world. I also wrote a guest post for a very high ranking blog, something I don’t do all that often. During the same period, I decided to complete the test by making sure I wrote comments on 5 blogs every day for at least a week; I do comment on a lot of blogs but often I do a bunch in one day.

The results were staggering. Out of all the traffic numbers 85% of my visits came from blog commenting out of those 3 things. The guest post I wrote had around 200 comments, which is pretty phenomenal since I’ve never reached that on any of my blogs, but it only accounted for 9% of visits. The interview I gave accounted for the other 6%. I tracked these numbers via Google Analytics. Indeed, blog commenting does work, especially if you make sure your comments are good.

Since that time I’ve tested this one a few times, and blog commenting always works. They can’t be garbage, throwaway comments; you have to offer something based on the topic, even if it’s minor criticism or faint praise. If your comments are pretty good, people other than the owner tend to read them.

There you go. Myths dispelled with some home testing and proof. Now, does it take a lot of work? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. But if you have it, and can apply these 3 things, your blog will take off and you’ll be a very happy person.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell