Tag Archives: making money

Day After Christmas; Best Of 2014 & A Look At Goals…

It’s the day after Christmas and I hope everyone had a nice holiday. If you celebrate a different holiday I also hope your holiday was nice. I really don’t celebrate any holidays anymore but Mom does, so there you go. 🙂

IMG_20141119_141914

I thought it was a good time to review last year’s goals, see what goals I have for this year, and highlight what I think were my top 10 posts for the year. They might not have been the most popular, might not even have a comment; I’m not saying one way or the other. But it was a strange year for me so I’ll just go with “it is what it is.”

Last year I put my 2014 goals into a video, which some folks went over to check out; thanks for that. For those that didn’t, and for those of you who either weren’t paying attention or forgot, these were them:

* Generate more passive income
* Take better care of myself
* Create 75-100 videos
* Finish editing my book & writing 2 other books
* Double my income
* Better social media balance between business and pleasure
* Focus!

In the video I went into greater detail but this will do for now, unless you watch the video at the link above. Let’s see how I did.

I actually ended up taking better care of myself; how about that? After a bad run of health issues related to my diabetes I finally downloaded Myfitnesspal and that brought some immediate results. I added a Fitbit Flex to the mix and the next thing you know I started walking more because it not only tracked my steps, but added calories back to my daily menu.

What that resulted in is an A1c of 5.9, which is below diabetic standards, reducing my daily average glucose reading from 230 to 123, and I lost 5 pounds also. That’s not bad; actually it’s great! The only problem I’ve had is now I have to try to make sure I eat enough because I’ve had some lows rather than highs, and that immediately affects you in a negative way, whereas highs affect you long term. Still, I’m healthier; yay!

I said I wanted to create 75-100 videos. On my regular YouTube channel I’ll probably end the year with 58 videos, which included 4 interviews. On my business channel I created 38 videos, which included a video 30 straight days in June and one interview. So I hit my target number with 96 videos, but I didn’t hit the number of interviews, which was 10. I don’t know what it is with folks and being interviewed but that’s still going to be a goal for this upcoming year.


Cindi via Compfight

I finally finished editing my second book on leadership and I have about 8 people reading through it. I hope to get them all back within a few days so I can get the final edit completed and then figure out what I’m going to do. My last “real” book from 12 years ago I took to a printer and published it that way but now there are tons of other options I could select that I’m going to have to research it. I didn’t get to any other books because I was traveling a lot but I have a couple in production; we’ll leave it at that.

I didn’t quite double my income but I got close. I got stiffed on a payment by a company called Serene Corporation (happens sometimes, but since they’re ignoring me they deserve to be called out) but that wouldn’t have greatly affected my income. The thing is I had a pretty successful year but I have to start 2015 hard if I even hope to equal last year, let alone surpass it.

I can’t say I succeeded in my balance wishes, but I also didn’t think I’d be traveling as much as I did. However, in the year when I was going back to Memphis from home all the time I also visited Louisville, Orlando, Washington DC, Tunica MS, and San Diego, my first trip to California where I actually left either an airport or train station. lol Tunica was where the casinos were, and Orlando was for a wedding and a visit to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, which I’ll talk about soon in a different blog post. Meanwhile, I did have an interesting adventure this one day in Memphis that I never shared here, which I’m sharing now in a video lol:
 



 

That last one; I’m not even mentioning it because it’s going to be a part of 2015 also.

That’s it for last year’s goals. What are this year’s goals? The first two you’ll know because I’ve already mentioned them:

* 10 video interviews combined for both video channels
* Focus!
* Publishing 2nd “real” book (I don’t count my Website book as a real book since it’s short, but I might not be all that fair to myself)
* Completing 3rd book
* Get 3 speaking engagements
* Get as many subscribers to my videos as videos created
* Work on an idea to take my business and career to bigger heights

That last one is really the most important of all. I hate admitting it all the time but I am 55 now, which means it’s time to really figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I do know that I have an ultimate goal of having $10 million in the bank, and doing it based on what my career is now isn’t going to happen unless I figure out how to be “the” one and only person hospitals look for help from. Yeah, I don’t see that happening either.

Me and cup

Still, at least I have that down because I need to get it done in 10 years time, which means I need to figure out how to make $1.5 million a year for the next 10 years (taxes you know). I always offer the opportunity for others to share their particular goals with me; it’s still there, and I won’t steal your ideas (unless they really were mine first lol).

Enough of that. Time for my favorite 10 posts of the years. Actually, one of them was already linked above, the one for my 55th birthday, so it’ll be 11 overall. Here we go:

10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 Minutes

15 Lessons From 1,500 Blog Posts

We Are What We Consume; Not Talking About Food…

Your Speech Is Free, But Consequences Aren’t

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

7 Blogging Beliefs You Interpreted Wrongly

First Seven Steps To Small Business Blogging

Yosemite Sam Marketing

Inequality – Blog Action Day

7 Certainties Of Blogging

By the way, I guess I should add one more goal, though I may need some help with it. I’m tired of seeing all these lists talking about top 50 or top 100 bloggers and I’m nowhere to be seen. I’m thinking that 7 years with this blog, 6 with my finance blog, and, come February, 10 with my business blog should count for something. So if you believe that I know a little something about blogging, I’d appreciate a good word here and there; thanks in advance.

That’s all I have except the many thanks for you veterans and you new visitors who indulge me every once in a while by visiting this blog. I hope to continue producing even more content with opinions, tutorials and some personal stuff in 2015. Not sure if this is the last post of this year or not but if it is, have a safe New Years holiday and be safe; you don’t want to miss what’s coming in 2015! 😀
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Making Money Is Not Evil

Back in November I tackled the subject of making money in a post titled Are Your Views On Money Holding You Back. I pretty much made it clear that I tend to believe most people hold themselves back because they see rich people, or at least people they view as doing very well, as untrustworthy, and even though they want money themselves they don’t want to be seen in the same light by others.


by 401K via Flickr

Lately there’s been a lot of bashing against people who write these “make money” blogs. Yes, a lot of it is warranted, but not because they’re writing about making money.

The bashing comes because most of the people writing about it aren’t making any money at all. Some of those people might be making some money, but they’re not making a sustainable living wage. If you’re making $20 a month by blogging, you’re certainly not an authority on it. If you’re even making $1,000 a month, that’s actually pretty good but it doesn’t make you an authority on it.

Some years back, one of the topics I used to write about all the time were the affiliate marketing programs I was testing; I tested a lot. With each program I tested, I wrote about it, what I saw, and if I’d made any money off it and how much. Late last summer I started a series on all the programs I’ve tried and talked about the kind of money, or lack thereof, that I made. You can see an example of my talking about these affiliate programs here. In my mind it was the most honest way to talk about these things. I mentioned Commission Junction in that post, saying I love how many things they have and how it offers lots of options for advertising, yet also admitting that I’ve not made a lot of money in, what is now, 4 years.

Making money is NOT evil; how you make it might be. Those that pursue income by lying or being sneaky are evil. Well, that might be a bit strong but go with me here. When I was first learning about selling items online I purchased a book from a site called Rich Jerk. The book was actually pretty good, and its follow up, which was a series of extra chapters, weren’t bad at all either. They have an interesting schtick that I didn’t mind of being rude to customers; I thought it was pretty funny.

Then one day they sent a special link to show us how we could make some easy money online. It took us to a video where this guy showed us a way to make money using Craigslist. What he did was find an image of a cute dog on Google, and used it in an ad on a squeeze page. Then he posted something on Craigslist about the need to give his dog away to someone because he was moving and couldn’t take his dog with him. Within hours he’d had around 25 people send him email asking about the dog. What he did was reply to every person, telling them he’d found someone for his dog, and then talked about the training he did on his dog and sent them a link to his sales site. And he actually ended up making 7 sales from it, since his squeeze page was for a dog training manual.

Some call that effective marketing; I call it smarmy. It’s that kind of thing that keeps the hairs on the back of my neck raised high, wondering if certain things are scams or not. And that’s a horrible way to go around the internet thinking, but it’s also the safest way.

Please, go out and make money. I want everyone to live the life they want to live, which I hope is a happy life. Just do it honestly; trust me, if you don’t, you will eventually get called out on it, and then where will you be?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Time To Start Talking About Marketing – Real Marketing

I’ve written around 1,250 posts on this blog since 2007. It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve touched upon some topics often, and one of those topics is marketing. It turns out I’ve written 115 posts on marketing, and my very first post on the subject came in October 2008 when I first started marketing my ebook Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool.

Mitch Mitchell
This guy is serious!

However, that was internet marketing, and as I took a look back through the archives I realized that most of the time I’ve talked about marketing as it relates to making money online. I’m not even including the posts where I’ve talked about affiliate programs; we’d have to add another 43 posts into the mix.

I did write an article on the reality of making money by blogging, and it turned out to be quite a popular post, at least by readers, even though it didn’t get a lot of comments. And yet, even in that post, where I got real in telling people how one really makes money blogging, I realized that I missed something, something that many people probably both think about and don’t think about at the same time.

That “something” is marketing, plain and simple. What’s funny is that I actually wrote a post back in November, around the same time as the post about making money by blogging, titled Social Media Marketing Is Just Marketing, and even in that post I didn’t talk about marketing, or the reason why marketing is important. I almost feel ashamed; almost that is. I tend to believe that all of us get to a point where we suddenly begin focusing on something, and when that happens it’s time to take steps forward, time to do something about it, time to talk about it. And as I went through a period last year when I was talking a lot about influence, I’m going to be obsessive for a short period about marketing.

Here’s the reality. Many people probably aren’t going to be interested in this series of posts coming up, which is why I’m writing this preamble on the topic. Let’s talk about who these posts probably aren’t for. If you have a job and you’re happy with that job, these posts won’t be for you. If you’re not running a business, consulting, small, medium sized, these posts probably won’t for you. If all you want to do is affiliate marketing and nothing else, these posts won’t be for you.

But if you want to work on your overall business, no matter what it is, and you want to read about the trials and tribulations and ideas and, hopefully, successes of marketing, and I do mean marketing, not sales, since marketing leads to sales if you’re lucky, and I mean sales of all kinds, then stick around with me on my journey, which can become your journey. I have big dreams to fulfill, things I want to do, need to do, and I can’t do any of them if I don’t step up my marketing, my real marketing, marketing mainly for my offline businesses, some of which can be done online, some of which can be done offline.

It won’t be all I write or talk about; after all, this is I’m Just Sharing, right? But it’s going to become the next focus, and quickly. Are you with me?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Charging For Advertising

In my last post I talked about how, suddenly it seems that my word is gold in some fashion, at least for my other two blogs anyway. Well, what’s also now happening is that I’m getting a lot of requests to put some kind of advertising on the main page of my finance blog, Top Finance Blog. This has presented somewhat of a conundrum, so I thought I’d express my thoughts in public here, in case someone wanted to jump in and offer alternative advice. You might have to take a quick look over there to offer advice on this.

First, I’m now hesitant to allow any text advertising on the blog. It’s not because I had it on this blog and it lost its page rank. It’s mainly because even back then on this blog it seemed out of place. I mean, I have other text links, but they’re associated with the blog itself or my own businesses. I consider a blogroll as being associated with the blog. The text link, though; I personally can’t figure out how it fits into the scheme of things, and I don’t want to go that route at all.

That means, second (I always figure there should be a “second” if there’s a “first”), the only thing left is a banner ad of some type. I don’t have a problem with a banner ad, because those I already have on the blog. I’m telling everyone that the largest it can be is 200×200, since that fits a side panel; I don’t see myself popping anyone else’s 468×68 banner ad into any of those posts, and I’m only running that type of ad at the top of each individual post through Commission Junction.

What I’ve been offering is to run banner ads at $10 a month. One guy said it was too high, others haven’t commented yet. I don’t think it’s too high at all; matter of fact, I’m wondering if it’s kind of low. I’ve also said the banner ads would be nofollow; I don’t think they like that either, but that’s my prerogative, right?

At the same time, though I’ve made the offer, I’d also have to figure out where I’d put it. Too high and it messes up the seemingly balanced site if people go from the main page to one of the articles. Too low and the advertiser might feel like they’re not getting their money’s worth, no matter what I charge.

Also, there’s the thing about relevance and location. I have a lot of UK companies wanting to advertise on the site, but I’ve stuck with American only. My thought is that most of my readers of that blog are from the United States, and I don’t want to intentionally be sending them to the UK for something they might want, then find out they can’t use it here. And relevance to finance is important as well; I’ve outright turned down products such as medical equipment because it’s not a medical blog of any sort, even if I do comment on medical finances and, of course, health care reform.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Am I being too tough or too lenient, and would you care about text ads, relevance, or location?

Desert Biodome






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2015 Mitch Mitchell

Marketing Or Advertising Your Business

Yesterday I gave a presentation on the above topic to a consultant’s group I belong to, The Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York. I’m also on the board, write the monthly newsletter, and I’m the webmaster of their website.

Anyway, it was interesting talking to these folks, most of whom are older than I am (scary since I’m 50), and though I got through it all, it seems they all got hung up initially on social media and just what its purpose was. One guy kept asking the question “did you get any business out of it”, to which I could answer to each one “yes”. He didn’t ask if I got a lot of business out of it, but he was missing the point.

The idea of doing things online isn’t always to immediately get a return on your investment (ROI). Yeah, that would be pleasurable, but the truth is that unless you’re already well known, or fill a need that the market has nowhere else to turn to, it will take some time before you really start making money. Sometimes it takes years, but I digress.

The basic thing about marketing a small business as opposed to a large business is that you probably don’t have a budget set for advertising. Oh yeah, let’s get the definitions of the two terms out of the way, just to be clear. Marketing is planning for how you want others to learn about your business and products. Advertising is money spent on producing materials to help you market your business and products.

Small businesses usually start out doing the same thing because it’s the only thing we know. We buy a lot of business cards, which isn’t so bad except often we haven’t fully defined ourselves before we buy the first batch. We either buy or make brochures, which means we spend a lot of money buying supplies or paying someone else to design and copy these suckers. We buy a lot of paper and envelopes to attack things that way. And we try to make endless calls (well, those who have the mettle to do it; I don’t) trying to talk to people who won’t return phone calls. It’s a tough life sometimes.

What we all eventually find out is that, through some kind of networking, we finally have a chance to make some money and do some business with others. It can be a long struggle for some of us, whereas others find success pretty quickly. There is no one way that it happens for everyone.

It’s the same with marketing online. We have read some of the stories of marketers who seemed to hit the ground running into success with internet marketing, and that’s good for those folks. But that’s not the norm. Even Darren Rowse didn’t make money initially, and it probably took him a couple of years to really ramp up his empire, so to speak. And here’s the next part; almost none of these guys continued making money the way they started out making money.

Don’t believe me? Joel Comm started out making money through Adsense; he’s moved on from there. So has Darren Rowse, who actually makes his money through many other services rather than just blogging. Lynn Terry and David Risley make most of their money in other ways than blogging, and John Chow has always said he makes more money from other sources than just blogging. Everyone has to be ready to diversify in some fashion to keep making money; you can only prime this particular pump so many times before the effect wears off. Think about 10 big name internet marketers from 6 years ago, then think of how many of them you still see on a regular basis, unless you’ve stayed on their mailing list forever. If you need to, check out Gurudaq, which I wrote about back in October 2008.

Enough of that. I figure that some might be interested in my outline for the presentation, and at the risk of someone stealing it, well, I really don’t care this time around, although it seems some of my content has been stolen by a site calling itself Lua Cheia (they stole an entire article from my business blog; I wrote them and they said it’s a version of Digg & Stumble Upon, only I got no attribution; here’s the link to it if you want to see it, but I’m not making it an active link: http://luacheia.soup.io/post/44468305/When-Protecting-Your-Reputation-Isn-t-Worth). Anyway, here’s the outline; enjoy, and do NOT ask me where I got the statistics from, as I just took the first stat I found on each of these from wherever I could find it.

Traditional Marketing Ideas

1. Mail
     A. Letters
     B. Flyers
     C. Postcards

2. Printed Materials
     A. Flyers
     B. Brochures
     C. Business Cards

3. Networking
     A. Join Groups
     B. Get On Committees
     C. Work on getting people to know you

4. Hire someone to market you
     A. Agency
     B. Sales people

5. Phone calls

6. Media
     A. Magazines/Newspaper
     B. Radio
     C. Television

New Ways Of Marketing

1. Email

2. Websites

3. Blogs

4. Social Networking

5. Speaking/presenting

Costs of Advertising

1. Printed materials can cost a lot of money

2. Cost of postage

3. Costs of joining groups

4. Costs of labor in hiring others

5. Websites can be expensive to create, but are easy to change

6. Blogs are inexpensive to create and maintain, but still need to “advertise” in another way

7. Social media is free, but can be time consuming

8. Email is free, but some people don’t respond well to it

Effectiveness/ROI

1. Mailings only convert at an average of around 1%, and only if you submit in high volume

2. Business cards only convert at an average of around 2%, but once again, volume drives the figures

3. Websites have a 2.5% conversion rate, based on high traffic

4. Blogs can help conversion rates go up by 3% if you have a niche market

5. Email converts at less than 1% for people you don’t know, around 25% for people you do know

6. Phone calls convert around 2 to 3% for product based companies, less for service based companies

7. Speaking engagements convert around 1% initially, but can increase to 5% over time for some

8. Networking converts at around 1% short term, but can increase to 5% over time for some

9. Advertising on media depends on product & location; products always do better than services

10.No figures on social networking yet, but people have gotten business from it

What Personally Affects How / What We Do

1. Comfort level

2. Finances
     A. What can we afford to spend on stuff
     B. How much in need are we of making money “now”

3. Control

4. Knowing our market too well / too little

5. Trying too hard / giving up

Big Question – What do you do in marketing/advertising & how does it work for you? Are you missing ways that might be beneficial to you long term?

Transaction Holdings THAF0919 Romance and Valentines- Love Eternal

Transaction Holdings Romance and Valentines – Love Eternal

Price – $30.71


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell