Maintaining Your Blog

Tuesday night I did something that I’m betting almost no one else ever does. Probably most people don’t have to do it as much as I do, but it’s something that they should think about doing in some way every once in awhile.


by Pete Birkinshaw

I spent a few hours doing maintenance on this blog. I think this is post #540, and I went through every post on this blog, looking for my ads that might be missing or that might have been altered in some fashion. As you know, I have either an affiliate link or a product at the end of almost every single post. I put products there because I’ve tried to figure out the types of things visitors to this blog might like every once in awhile. The thing isn’t so much that they might want to buy that particular thing as much as they might want to buy something similar to it. They, or you, can still click on that product link, look around the site for other things, and I still get paid from that.

However, what happens every once in awhile is one of three things. One, those advertisers are expired, which means those links are dead. Two, the images have changed and, though the link would still work, without a visual product who’d even think about clicking on it? And three, that product is discontinued, and therefore I have to change products.

So, I spent some time doing that. The next maintenance project will be activating Broken Link Checker, just to check all the links on the site, then deactivating it again. Some of you might remember when I wrote about that plugin and others that kept giving me server errors. It works great, but I don’t keep it running all the time on any of my blogs.

How often do you go back and check things on your blog to make sure they’re still working properly? It might take you some time, but most of you don’t have close to as many posts as I have, so go ahead, take some time, and while you’re at it, think about optimizing or monetizing your old posts in some fashion. Remember, the entire product of your blog helps your blog to rank better, and better rankings means potentially more visitors.

Soulmate Bear
by Swarovski


  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Why Are Facebook Groups So Lame?

I’m a member of a local Chamber of Commerce. Once a month it has breakfast networking, usually at one of the Chamber member businesses. Once a month it has a lunch networking, moving around from a few different restaurants. Then every once in awhile it’s part of helping to host an after hours networking event, always at a Chamber members place, sometimes big, sometimes small.

I can’t say that I’m the master networker. I’m someone who won’t interrupt a conversation if there’s one going on, even if I know the people. If I don’t know them, I’m certainly not stepping into the middle of anything. Sometimes I know people who are there; something I don’t. It seems strange that there are times when I don’t know someone, especially since I’ve been a member 4 years now, and have been to enough of these things.

I’m starting to learn a few things, though. One, the breakfast networking events are, for the most part, useless. Yeah, every once in awhile I meet someone, but there’s no business I’m ever going to get out of it. Sometimes not very many people show up; that’s actually most of the time. The things officially start at 7:30, but people will trickle in until around 8:15 or so. I usually get to these things around 8AM; y’all know I don’t go to bed all that early. This doesn’t give much time for talking to anyone, but truthfully, I’m not much of a talker that early in the morning anyway.

Then it’s time for things to begin. The executive director talks for a bit, then everyone goes around saying their name and the name of their business. No one remembers anyone’s names; it’s kind of a waste if you ask me. Then the host gets at least 15 minutes to talk about themselves and their business; that’s fair. There’s always something to eat, but usually nothing I’ll eat, and something to drink, but nothing I’ll drink. I don’t think I’m going to any more of these.

The luncheons are pretty much the same. You get maybe 15 minutes to try to talk to someone before everything gets going. I’ve shown up early, only to realize that I might be alone because most people aren’t going to show up until around 15 minutes before the meal is served. Anyway, almost every lunch meeting, we end up going around the room introducing ourselves and the name of our business; no one remembers any of it. Then we have a presentation, and often it’s, well, a third class presentation. It’s not really anyone’s fault; not everyone is a professional speaker.

I also have a problem with most of the lunches. I can’t eat pasta or many carbs at lunch time because it puts me to sleep. I understand chicken is relatively inexpensive, but at every meal? I don’t eat the salad because there’s never a dressing I like. And dessert; rarely anything I’d eat (not that I’m supposed to be eating it, but if lunch is lousy at least have a good dessert). I’m considering not going to any more of these either; at $12 a shot, it seems like a terrible use of my time.

Where am I going with this as it relates to the title of this post? Facebook has tons of groups. If they don’t have at least 50,000 groups, I have no concept of how it works. There’s a group for almost anything your heart desires. Yet, for the most part, there’s no real conversation going on in any of them. I don’t always think it’s for a lack of trying; it’s just that people either want controversy, or they just want to lurk, or they join because they’re looking for something, not finding it, and moving on.

Right now I belong to 7 groups; two are groups I created. I used to belong to 13, but I killed the others. I’ve also joined groups, stayed a little while, then left. My reasoning is simple; no one was saying anything. And I don’t mean people were talking but saying nothing; I mean nothing at all.

Out of the groups I belong to now, there’s only one that has even a modicum of conversation, and it’s political. Almost everyone who’s joined the group believes in the same thing; that’s because those who don’t believe have been tossed out. It’s not that the group can’t handle people disagreeing; it’s that the group doesn’t want people coming in with an opposite point of view and suddenly going postal, which they have. They have their own group for that, so the moderator kicks them out. However, that leaves the rest of us without much to talk about all that often; that’s kind of a shame.

With my own groups, I have dismal participation. I’ve come up with enough discussion topics, but no one wants to say anything. I’ve posted links, and posted things on the wall, but without almost any response. It’s like I’m talking to myself; heck, I do that already in my own home, so I’m starting to think I don’t need to do that in public.

There’s this thing about some folks. They like to join stuff, but they don’t want to show themselves. It’s kind of like blogs. If you’re lucky, you have people who are reading your stuff on a consistent basis, but few of them write comments. But many people who don’t see any comments ever coming their way will stop writing entirely; that’s a shame, but it happens.

So, is it that the groups on Facebook are lame, the owners lame, the people who join lame, or am I just being unfair because I’m looking for something that’s just never going to happen? I do know this; I’m going to drop at least 3 groups I’m in now, and then we’ll see about the rest of them. Even my own groups; if no one’s really interested, then why keep it going?

Better uses of time; isn’t that what we all strive for?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Starting A New Eating Plan

On Friday night, while my wife and I were having a general conversation, and I asked her if I could tell her something without her going too far one way or the other in her reaction. She said yes, knowing that, because it’s me, it wasn’t going to be anything overly dramatic, but that I was serious about something.

I told her that I hadn’t been feeling all that well lately. As a matter of fact, it’s probably been since just after my birthday in early September. I’m diabetic, and over the past couple of months I’ve struggled with my glucose. I had been okay, not great, but okay, until my mother got kind of ill, and I had to go take care of that. I’ll admit that I’m also under a lot of stress, and that certainly didn’t help things any.

So, no, I haven’t been feeling all that well. And I know why I haven’t been feeling well. See, there’s two things I have to do to feel well, and if I’m not doing both of them, then I don’t feel well at all. One is I have to eat right. The other is I have to exercise. Oddly enough, I can actually eat well and feel pretty good, but I don’t lose any weight. However, exercising doesn’t overcome feeling bad because I’m eating badly; that’s not fair, but that’s life.

We agreed that, starting today, I would go back to an eating plan, with caveats. Breakfast will be some kind of eggs. After that, every meal I eat, when I’m home, will be chicken and vegetables. And the amount of chicken has been measured. I know because I cooked everything Sunday and put it in containers. The plan is to eat every 3 hours or so, hoping I’ll be able to hold out at least that long before eating again. I’ve done this twice before in my life. Once, I lost a lot of weight. The last time, my glucose came down, but I didn’t lose any weight, even though I exercised twice a day. I’m thinking I can track it to the alfredo sauce, which is what I mixed the chicken with when I did this same eating plan in March of 2008.

One thing that hasn’t happened is that I haven’t gained any weight. But things are shifting, and I don’t feel good. What that means, from a diabetic, is that I feel my blood coursing through my body. You’re not supposed to feel that. You’re not supposed to feel the pounding of your blood when you try to go to sleep. That means your heart is working too hard to pump the blood through your body. When your glucose is up, your blood thickens, and thus it’s harder to push through. Also, if it’s high for a long time, that will start messing with other areas of your body. One day, back in July, my eyesight was affected when my glucose shot way up; that was scary.

So, here’s the eating plan. Sunday through Friday afternoon I stick to my eating plan. Friday night, since we usually do something, I get to come off it, but not to overdo anything. Same goes for Saturday; controlled behavior, but I can eat foods outside the norm. Then on Sunday, back to eggs for breakfast, and chicken and vegetables the rest of the day. That’s mixed veggies now; I don’t eat weird veggies now. And, at some point, I might have to mix some rice in there, for a little bit of carbs. We’re not supposed to totally take carbs out of our diet, though some of those mixed vegetables should count.

As for the exercise, the guarantee is to exercise at least once a day for at least 15 minutes. I have a trampoline, and if I watch one of my documentary DVDs, I can get it done. I put on the timer to make sure I get there. And, as I get used to it again, I should be able to do a bit longer after awhile. Actually, for me, it’s usually mental; just can’t wait to get back to work. But I’m going to follow my 4- week work plan, where I’ve given myself a special permission to take care of my health. It’s part of the Get Clients Now program by C. J. Hayden, but I’ve modified it to help me get other things done.

So, there you go. By the time you see this I’ll hopefully have eaten some breakfast, and I’ll be ready to start my trek towards feeling better. If the past is any indication, I should start feeling better by Thursday, and my glucose should start responding in a positive manner. I can do this; anyone want to join me?

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Low-Carb Meals

Price – $10.89








Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Getting Positive Publicity Through Interviews

Here’s a truth; I want to be famous. I want to be well known. And I want to make money from it. I don’t want to be infamous; I don’t want to have to do something illegal or be outed for something bad to get that fame. I like to think my integrity is higher than that.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and come to this conclusion. The best way to get positive publicity is through doing interviews. This, of course, presupposes that you’ve done something that’s worth getting interviewed about. However, if you have this part covered, it’s the best way to go.

To get interviewed, you just might have to contact someone and make a pitch about why you would make a good candidate. If you’re lucky to have done something already, someone else might ask you for an interview. When this happens, you at least know that someone knows about you, which helps make things go easier later on.

Being interviewed is also a big part of marketing. It’s the reason movie stars go on talk shows when they have a new film coming out. It’s the reason musicians show up in places they wouldn’t want anyone to ever see them, because they want to promote their new album (heck, do people still call it that?). I’ve talked about marketing often on this blog; this is one of those most positive things anyone can have the privilege of doing to help promote themselves.

Basically, there are three different types of interviews, and they help you, or hurt you, in different ways. Let’s look at these three.

The first type of interview is as a part of a piece that will have other people’s opinions at the same time. The best part about an interview like this is that you have the chance to not only focus your message in a short period of time, but if the interview goes well you might get your business name mentioned in the piece as well. The bad thing about an interview like this is that you never know which line the interviewer will use of yours, so it’s possible that they’ll use your line to highlight something negative. An example of this type of this interview I was a part of, which I found while writing my article on searching for your own name on search engines.

The second type of interview is a written interview of some fashion only about you. This can be in a magazine, blog, or newspaper article of some sort. With most of these, you may have the same problem as with the first type of interview, that being that you could say a lot of things that you felt makes you look good, only to find that the interviewer decided against using most of it. The best part, of course, is that it’s all about you, and if the interview is positive, you look good and, hopefully, your business and reputation gets a nice boost. An interview that could help highlight this is doing an interview on another blog. And, actually, this recent interview I did with Jim Turner on this blog is a pretty good example.

The third type of interview is the best, that being a live interview. This can either be on live radio or television. If you’re confident enough to be in front of a live audience, you can be an instant hit if you come across well, and your message will be unfiltered. The downside, of course, is if you’re uncomfortable, or look uncomfortable, and give one or two word responses instead of coming across as easy going and someone people might like to work or talk with. This type of interview can make or break your career. An example of that is an interview I did with Beverly Mahone of BAM Enterprises, which, if you’d like, you can listen to, as I talked about the concept of reinventing oneself; this is an MP3 file.

Sometimes the person doing the interview isn’t all that good, so you take risks with your reputation in those instances. Still, most of the time people will understand if you were good and the other person wasn’t up to snuff, and if you handle it all well, then your message will still come across properly and you’ll be better off in the end. Nope, not giving any examples there. 🙂

Getting interviewed means you’ve at least made some kind of dent into the consciousness of another person. If you handle it properly, you could be on your way to great things happening in your life and career. I love being interviewed, just as I like getting other people to allow me to post interviews with them here. I think everyone can learn something from an interview, and some of us can gain something from being interviewed as well.

So, who else wants to interview me? 😉
 

Russian Spam Heavy Again

Last August, I started noticing that I was getting a lot of Russian spam all of a sudden. I have no idea why, but at that time I had someone register to post on this blog with a Russian email address, which I immediately killed. After about a week, it stopped, and things were quiet for a long time.

In the last two weeks, it’s popping up again, a lot of it, on all 3 of my blogs. It seems like the oddest thing, but there you go. I still can’t figure out what these people think they’re getting out of spam. When I wrote my post on hating spam, I listed a statistic showing how there might be a possibility of some of these guys making upwards of $9,000 a day by sending all that spam out, then followed up less than a week later with another post on an article that showed that some of these spammers were probably getting less than 30 clicks a day, making almost no money at all, even with the volume of email going out.

Of course, we all know that, in general, many of these spammers are only looking for the links on blogs where the bloggers don’t care about their blogs anymore. That’s why I wish someone would pay me to go around the internet and kill all dead blogs, so these spammers won’t get what they’re hoping for.

Oh well; I’ll keep dealing with it, and hoping that it ends pretty soon. Glad I have that Akismet protection.