My 10 Favorite Blog Posts Of 2009

We’re winding down the year, and since I’ve already posted my goals for 2010, I thought I’d take a look back to see what I really liked that I posted in 2009. That’s not necessarily an easy task, as I had well over 200 posts, but I do what I do for my readers, and also for myself I suppose, as I get to see where my mind was at certain times throughout the year.

The posts below weren’t necessarily the most commented posts of the years, although, as it turns out, one of them actually was. These are posts I liked for some reason, and that means it’s a selfish reason. Maybe later on, at some point, I’ll actually post something about the most popular posts for the year; we’ll see. In the interim, I hope you enjoy some of these posts that you might have missed throughout the year, and heck, you might think about doing something like this on your blog.

1. Barack Obama – Our Time Has Come – There shouldn’t be any question why this post is here, even though it may not have been one of my better written posts. You just can’t imagine how proud I was on this day, and man, I wasn’t hearing any mess from anyone about “well, he’s not all black”. If he were walking down the street no one would be saying “Hey, there goes half-white Barack.” So, my wife and I were proud, my mother was proud, my grandmother was proud, my dad would have been proud, and it was a great day.

2. Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me – This one was part of a meme that someone else started, and I decided I’d go this route rather than the 25 questions meme that was going around.

3. Massive Traffic To Your Website/Blog – This post was a rant against all those other posts you’ve all seen where someone is talking about how to drive massive traffic to your blog, but it’s the same thing you read over and over, without any proof that any of what they’re talking about works. You know me; I hate when people copy from each other without offering anything new.

4. Six Things I’ve Learned About Affiliate Marketing – This post turned out to be the most commented on post of the year for me, and Sire, it topped out at 88, so no, I still don’t have a post that’s reached 100 comments. These were pretty good lessons; if I’d only listen to myself every once in awhile.

5. Dad, Mom And Computer – My story about how I used to talk with my dad on the computer and how it meant so much to him, then my mother later on, and of course me.

6. The Keys – Talk about having faith. This was my sharing the story of how I lost my keys on the day of a Syracuse University basketball game, how I knew I’d find them, and how it all came true.

7. Five Personal Lessons On Health Care – This one told the story of what I went through when my mother fell ill in September, and is probably the first time I gave advice to people with my background as a health care consultant that everyone needs to know.

8. No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete – Someone else wrote on the topic “is writing obsolete”, and I decided to counter her argument, so to speak, with what I thought was really the problem.

9. My 13 Favorite Singers – I loved putting this one together, and I felt I needed to go there because one of my most popular posts, Top 100 Singers Of All Time, was based on a list that Rolling Stone did and I just commented on it, but a lot of people thought those were my choices.

10. World Diabetes Day – 2009 – They do this type of thing yearly, and being diabetic, I always have some kind of story to share on the subject. This bad boy is growing fast, and I’m sorry but I just don’t believe that all the people gaining too much weight is actually all their fault. So, this is my tale for this year.

And there you go; if that’s not enough to read back through, I don’t know what is. I hope you enjoy going back through a portion of my year with me.

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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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The Long And Short Of Twitter

I thought about it and realized that one can’t really create a series on Twitter because it just keeps coming up over and over. There are things we like about it and things we don’t.

It seems that I have mentioned Twitter in 87 posts overall, 88 if I count this one. Out of all my posts, 19 are specific to Twitter, with only two of those not having Twitter in the title. I could probably just post all the links throughout this post and hit every gripe and positive thing I’d ever want to say about Twitter. Well, almost, since I don’t think I’ve griped about the latest thing. Let’s see what I’ve addressed so far; I might not mention all of my previous posts here.

Probably the post that should start everything is How Do You Twitter, as it not only talks about what Twitter is, but there are a few videos there, including a couple that Sire absolutely loved. lol

After that, things have gone all over the place. Here are some topics I’ve addressed here:

Why I Don’t Want To Follow Some Twitter Folks

Why Are We Attracted To Twitter

Are You Twitter Selfish?

10 Things Not To Do On Twitter

Grabbing For More Twitter Followers

It seems that as much I might like Twitter, there are habits that just irk the heck out of me. One of those are all those posts that talk about getting lots of Twitter followers. It’s amazing how some people have grown to have tens of thousands of visitors without saying anything of importance. They don’t talk to anyone and they don’t link to anything interesting, only selling stuff consistently and retweeting what others say. No balance, but they have all these followers, and are following lots of people themselves.

Something else I don’t like are the automated direct messages post. Now, I can tolerate the ones that welcome you. I don’t like the ones that try to sell me anything, or even have a “free gift” for me. I immediately drop anyone who does that, no questions asked.

And now there’s something new. I always thought people you weren’t following, who weren’t following you, couldn’t contact you directly. Well, it seems they can, and a lot of it is not only spam, but porn spam. I mean, what’s the real point of something like that anyway? If it was more like spyware or a virus that was trying to steal a password, it might make more sense, even though it would still be bad. Do these people really think they’re putting something over on us?

Of course, there’s also lots of Twitter information that people can glean, as well as lots of Twitter stuff you can use and do. For instance, I use Tweetdeck which not only gives me lots of options for tracking how people contact me, but protects me from viruses and a lot of stupid changes Twitter makes from time to time. There’s this thing called Twitter Grader which tells you how wel you’re doing on Twitter overall.

If you want to find out how irritating you are to other people, there’s always Follow Cost. And the best thing to check out from time to time, if you’re doing a lot of stuff on Twitter, is Friend Or Follow, which will tell you who you’re following that’s not following you, who has you on their friend’s list, and who you’re not following that’s following you.

Like I said, I don’t think that really qualifies as a series, but I’ve certainly written enough times about it to come close to qualifying, that’s for sure. I don’t know what else there is to talk about Twitter at this point, but I’m sure there will be more gripes about it and more things to applaud about it. One thing I’m not sure I’ve mentioned is that I’ve been to something called a TweetUp, and met some of the people in person that I’ve talked to on Twitter. That’s actually a lot of fun, and something that anyone who’s on Twitter should experience at least once in their lives. So, what’s your thoughts about Twitter overall?
 

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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