How Can You Prosper Through Publicity?

Talk about an interesting issue, at least to me.

This year I’ve probably been a part of more interviews than ever before. Some have been online live interviews. Some have been in magazines. Some have been articles I’ve written. No matter; I’ve been out there, working things as I had hoped I could.

However, when all is said and done, I’ve gotten some publicity, but haven’t figured out how to fully capitalize on it. That’s not quite true; I haven’t figured out how to capitalize on any of it. I think that’s a major issue, as I’ve been getting publicity for years and haven’t yet capitalized on it.

Part of my problem is that I haven’t fully directed myself into one arena, which makes it hard for people to figure out just what it is I do. One wouldn’t think it would matter, but it probably does. My health care crowd has no idea what social media is, just as most of you who visit this blog have no idea what a revenue cycle consultant does. Throw in leadership and SEO and some other things and one might consider themselves as being renaissance, but others might not have a clue what to think.

Even with all of that, I think it’s been interesting over all this time to learn that publicity on its own doesn’t mean anything. Yeah, you get a minute or two of a bounce from some quarters. A newspaper article I was in back in May is on the wall of one of my favorite breakfast restaurants, which is very nice. I also got a free meal out of it at a local steakhouse; loved that as well. But business; none.

In any case, this was a pretty good year, and I’d like to share the links to some of the things I did this year as far as interviews or publicity went, since some of what I did isn’t producible. I wonder how most of you would have found a way to use any of these things to generate new income; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

My most recent magazine interview, though my participation is short, in Oswego County Magazine.

A radio interview I did on a subject called Men Have Issues Too.

A radio interview I did on the subject of Reinventing Yourself.

This is only a link to my business blog talking about my first national podcast on a diversity topic, Celebrating Differences.

An interview I did that ended up on a blog called Ramama’s Musings, where I talked a lot about dealing with diabetes.

A radio interview I did on the subject of blogging.

A radio interview I did on the subjects of social media and SEO.

A newspaper interview with my picture (in my red room) on Staying Positive.

An interview I did with Murray Newlands on affiliate marketing and business in general.

A health care interview I was a part of on Persuasive Compassion.

Finally, I’m listed as one of the top Baby Boomer Men of 2010 by Boomer Diva Nation.

So, did I put myself out there enough in 2009? Nope; I need to do even better in 2010!

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My Online Goals For 2010, And A Look Back At 2009

It’s been a year since I wrote about my online goals for 2009. Let’s take a look at those goals and see what happened.

1. Earn at least $2,500 online. Nope, I didn’t make it, but I did make a little bit more than half, coming in at $1,384.65. I had 7 months over $100, including one month where I was over $225. I think I’ll need another year to see if history has anything to do with sales, as the last two months and the first two months of this year period were the worst for me.

2. Revamp my Services and Stuff site. I looked at it all year and in the end, just didn’t have my heart into changing it around. I did make some minor updates here and there, but nothing dramatic in any way.

3. Work my way up to 500 subscribers to my blog. In January I had 54 subscribers. My best day for subscribers was one day this month where the number showed I was up to 126 subscribers. That’s more than double of what I had, but far shorter than where I was. Oddly enough, things jumped drastically when I said I was going to start writing more personal posts than technical posts; I’ll take that to mean that folks were actually more engaged than they had been before, and I thank those of you who have subscribed to this blog.

4. Determine at least three series to write on this year. I ended up the year with only one new series, but I’m thinking about creating another one because I’ve talked about it enough, such that it’s probably going to be an upcoming post. The series I created was SEO, and the topic that might turn into one is Twitter. Twitter doesn’t quite fit as a series, yet I think by now I’ve written about it in some fashion at least 20 times.

5. Get into Technorati‚Äôs top 60,000. This one I didn’t even have a chance to do because at some point this year Technorati totally changed how the numbers worked and looked.

That was a look at where my mind was last year at this time and what I had hoped to accomplish. My mind is in a much different place this year, and yet there are still some major goals I want to reach. I have been reading many other blogs lately that have talked about their 2010 goals, as well as how they did last year. I’m on the failed end, as I didn’t achieve a single one of my goals. And with what I’m about to put up, I’m not sure I’ll hit any of these goals, as they’re going to be somewhat audacious. Sometimes, it’s not hitting the goal that’s as important as the process for improvement. Let’s take a look at my five goals for 2010.

1. Earn at least $15,000 online. Yeah, I know, I didn’t even hit $2,500 last year, so what makes me think I can do even better this year? One has to have a goal, and one has to make plans towards that goal. I’m going to be changing some things up on this blog, and probably my other blogs. I know of some changes I’m going to make on at least one of my sites. In essence, I figure it’s time to set myself up for the possibility of making more money. I need to start putting together more of these things that I’ve learned rather than waiting around for the big epiphany to hit me. I’m not about to change up the frequency of my blogging, but I hope to make some of it better.

2. Reach those 500 subscribers. I had a nice increase this year, but it wasn’t my goal. When I wrote about that fine line between blogging success and failure I recognized that making small changes can sometimes have drastic results. This will be year three of having this blog, and I’ve got a lot of content that I might think is pretty good, but it’s not reaching as much audience as I feel it needs to reach. The same goes for my other blogs and websites, but I’m concentrating on this one for new subscribers.

3. Increase real visitors to this site to 3,000 a month on average. Yeah, that “real” word is there for a reason. If I believed the numbers that my host is telling me, I’m getting more than 25,000 hits a month on this blog. Well, hits aren’t actual visitors, and we all know that. My real visitors has come back up from the hit it took after I left town last year for a consulting assignment, and I need it to keep increasing. I’ve noticed, as many others have noticed, that when I write more, I get more visitors. However, now that I’m making a part of my living doing writing, I’m not sure I can get to a point where I can write two posts a day for this blog. In this past year I only had one month where I wrote fewer than 20 posts for the month, but I didn’t hit 30 once either. I’m going to be doing more of that, and if one of those two posts a day is a sales post of some type, well, that counts as well. I’ve noticed that there are some internet marketers who make sure they mention things more than once that they’re marketing in their blogs; heck, you see how this campaign for the Beyond Blogging book has gone. If I made even 3 sales I’m going to consider that a success for me; if I make more than 5, I’m going to consider it a lesson learned.

4. Get even more publicity this year by guest posting. In 2009, I did a lot of interviews and ended up in both print and online radio. What I haven’t figured out is how to turn any of that into major benefits for myself. The one thing I didn’t do in 2009 was any guest posts; I did my guest posts in 2008. I wasn’t asked, but I also didn’t put myself out there in saying that I would write any guest posts. I’m doing that now; anyone who wants guest posts, write me at the email address on my About page and let me know what you’d like me to write about. Heck, for that matter, if you’d like to write a guest post for my blog on any appropriate topic, let me know that as well.

5. Get my Alexa rank for two of my blogs into the top 100,000. This one is going to be harder than I think it is, but it’s got to get done. This blog is right now sitting at 142,467, which isn’t all that bad, but back in March it was 127,242. My Top Finance Blog was only created last December, and it’s got an Alexa rank of 361,787. My business blog is tied into my entire business website, and I’m not sure if the blog can help the entire website move any higher, but if it can, it’s sitting at 382, 865 as of today. With the two blogs, getting ranked into the top 100,000 means asking for advertising is a legitimate prospect, even though this blog has a 0 page rank because of previously having those nofollow Text Link Ads. I’ve asked Google to evaluate me, but I guess they have better things on their mind so I’m not pushing the issue.

Anyway, those are my 2010 online goals. What do you think, and what are you hoping to achieve in 2010? By the way, if you’d like some help in setting goals, download this free gift from Paul Myers on goals.

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My MySQL Upgrade Battle; The Short Version

Goodness, what I’ve been going through with my business blog!

It all started when I tried to upgrade it to 2.9. My business blog is my oldest blog, which I began in March 2005. It was created in MySQL 4.0. To use WP 2.9, you have to be on MySQL 5.0. This meant I had to upgrade my blog to the new database.

The first thing I did was to export a file of all my posts. I did it straight up instead of as a zip file; do both, which I eventually did, just to cover yourself. Then I went to my host, 1&1, and I exported my current database to my computer, then created the new database. All good thus far.

They I tried to import the new database, but there was a problem; my file was too big. You can only upload a maximum of 2 MB on most hosts, and my file was 3.5MB; lots of data over 4 1/2 years.

So I had to contact my host to ask them to do it. They were hesitant, and instead walked me through a process of uploading it myself through a special SSH program. That process didn’t work, though they didn’t know why and I did. I had to use the unzipped file to upload and it only allowed a maximum size of 16MB, but my file was 29MB; you’d think they would have known that.

The next step was on their end. They ended up finding a way to get my old database files into the new database, though it took them half a day to get it done. I went in, changed the WP-Config.PHP file to the new database settings, and all was a go.

Nope, not quite; nothing works that easily. All my posts suddenly didn’t work anymore, and that was problematic obviously. Nothing was coming up, but the strange thing is that I could get into my dashboard without any problems, and I could get into the editing area of each post. This was freaking me out.

My blog was down for two days, as tech support looked at it and determined they didn’t know what to do. They told me they had gone as far as they were allowed, and that maybe I should hire someone to fix my database. Hey, this is me!

The first thing I did was go online to see if anyone else had my problem. I couldn’t find that specifically, but I did come across this video called How To Fix WordPress MySQL Crashed Tables, on a blog called WonderHowTo. I thought that might be the issue, so I logged back into my host control panel and went through that process. One of my tables, WP-Options, had a lot of stuff that I had to run the “fix tables” process on, but it worked almost immediately. I went back to the blog; nothing.

I decided to see if upgrading to 2.9 would work. I tried the automatic upgrade, which has never worked before, and viola, it worked! Well, the upgrade worked; now I have at least one blog where that works. I still didn’t have any of my posts, though, and that stunk.

Still thinking, I decided to try deactivating all my plugins to see what happened. Nothing. However, something stuck out in my mind that I had seen while going through my searches. There was a lot of conversation about permalinks and checking the structure of those things. I went there and didn’t see anything out of place, but then remembered that, on that blog, I had a unique plugin called Dean’s Permalink Migration. I had added it to that blog to remove all the dates from my posts, which get in the way of SEO efforts.

I reactivated that plugin and went to check its settings. Then I hit update options, and all my posts were back; whew!

Then I went back to the plugins page and added the most important ones first and tested; all worked perfectly with the dashboard. Then I added the other plugins one at a time; all worked perfectly once more. Then I thought I’d try something and I added the WP Database Backup plugin, which used to shut all my blogs down; works perfectly.

I decided to go one step further. I went and found All In One SEO to see what would happen. And, of course, it loaded, my dashboard works perfectly, and all is right with the world.

At least on that blog. It seems that by upgrading the database that blog works the way it’s supposed to. As for my other two blogs, I’m still confused because they’re already on 5.0, so I shouldn’t be having any problems with anything. For now, I’m not going to worry about it.

What are the important lessons here? First, always make sure you back everything up, just in case. Export whatever you can to your computer for your protection. Second, if you have to, contact customer service and let them handle some stuff, even if they seem somewhat irritating. I’ll be writing a post about that on my business blog. Third, don’t panic if things don’t go correctly. Fourth, verify to see if you have your blog database first. If you can actually access your information in some way, you’re still running good. Five, test and question everything you have, and you’ll probably figure it out.

And if none of that works, go through forums, or, of all things, mention it on Twitter, and you might get a response or an offer of help. I’ve licked this one; whew! Since I probably won’t be posting on Christmas Day, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday!

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Beyond Blogging; The Video And Affiliate Program

Yup, time for the next stage in promoting the Beyond Blogging book, for which you can read my review of here. You can also lay your hands on a special report talking about the book by clicking on The Truth About Blogging In The Next Decade.




The next step in the promotion of the book is the Beyond Blogging Video, which is pretty neat and gives you a little bit more information about the book. I’m telling you, I really believe you’re going to like this book, and the video just might be what puts you over the edge in saying “I gotta have that.”

Now here’s the next thing. Initially all the affiliates were invited to join in, which of course I did. Now they’re opening it up where we can invite other people to sign in as 2nd Tier Affiliates. This means you not only get to make sales, but if you do I earn 10%. And, if you get anyone to sign up under you and they make a sale, you get 10% of their sales. I don’t think I get anything extra out of that deal; that would seem to be a bit much, and there’s nothing that says that would happen. So, if you’re looking to join the group marketing this program, sign up now.

Now y’all get to check out the video, sign up as an affiliate, get the free report, and then relax and enjoy Christmas and know that you now have a few free days where you won’t hear me talk about this again until Sunday, the day before the book finally goes on sale. This product launch thing is kind of interesting, and it’s being run way better than when I tried the same thing back in April 2008 with my book. I’m learning a lot.

I hope you check these things out; if you read my review, you already know how I feel about it. Thanks!


What’s The Deal With Disqus?

You know, sometimes it seems like some of us repeat ourselves because we just have to. The lessons that we feel we learn by our own experience are put into what we write on our blogs, people see them and comment and seem to agree, then they go back and do exactly what they wanted to do in the first place.

I have spent time on this blog talking about the benefits of commenting on other blogs, which I truly believe helps people get noticed in the blogosphere, at least initially. And you know by now that I believe there’s a fine line between success and failure and a lot of that could be because of many people not feeling that commenting will do them a world of good.

At the same time, I’ve lamented at how many people seem to set up roadblocks to commenting on their blogs. I wrote a post asking if it was easy to comment on your blog. I wrote one saying why I hate logging in to comment on blogs. And there was quite the discussion when I talked about why I dislike Blogger blogs.

Lately, I’m turning my attention to these blogs that make you double opt-in to comments. They haven’t made it hard for you to leave a comment, but they do make it generate a lot of stupid extra email to make you do something extra just to see if you really want someone to notify you when or if someone has responded to your comment or not. I hate that also, obviously; if I left a comment of course I’m hoping to know that someone commented back on it. If I didn’t, why would I leave a comment in the first place? Yeah, I know, some people only want link bait, but those folks know the consequences of leaving comments to begin with.

Now there’s this thing with this plugin some folks have called “Disqus.” The basic principle behind it is to create kind of a discussion community that potentially has the ability to spread beyond just the one blog you’re commenting on. This link potentially can help spread your reputation far and wide, and the only thing it requires is for you to create an account and make sure you sign in.

Uhhh, just asking, but did anyone notice I posted a link above about not liking to log in to things to comment? So, I’m not doing that. Disqus doesn’t make you do that. What it does do, however, is ask you if you want to log in or post as a guest, which is irritating, and then you get an email asking you to respond to the link if you want to receive comments to your comment or any comments after yours. Hmmm, I think I addressed that above also.

Sometimes we get enamored with the next great thing. We like to find these things that we think are cool and use them for our benefit. That’s all well and good. But if we’re blogging with the intention of having other people participate, the idea is to make it easy for them to do so. Irritating people isn’t a good way to encourage them to keep coming back. Sure, there are certain people within the community who will love coming back and playing the game, but the overwhelming majority are going to move on.

I find that I rarely comment on Blogger blogs these days, because I don’t always want to comment and have it directed to my business blog. And I’m not setting up another account; to be truthful, I never remembered setting up the one I have. I’ll probably find myself not leaving comments on more blogs that have this Disqus feature, and there’s another one I’ve seen often enough that I can’t remember right now that does somewhat the same thing.

I’m taking my own stand; any more blogs where I comment and receive email asking me if I want responses to the comments, I’m removing from my blog reader and never commenting on again. I may miss out on a lot of stuff, but I guess I’m ready to take that chance. As for some of you who I already follow, well, I probably won’t remove your accounts immediately, but if you hear less from me you’ll know why.

Freedom, justice, and the right to comment without restrictions; viva la commenting!

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