All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Posting Times – The Experiment

Back near the end of August I wrote a post titled Posting Times On Social Media. It was based on an article that I linked to on that post that highlighted the premium times to post blogs or articles based on patterns they had observed of how people interact on social media. I said I would experiment and show the results of that experiment; this is that post.

21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1
Βethan via Compfight

I decided to compare the periods from August 1st through August 31st with September 4th through October 4th. There’s actually a one day difference, but I figured it wouldn’t make all that much difference overall if the numbers were drastically different. I was also using Twitter as the tool of choice in trying to see if more traffic came from there during the new times.

The results… well, certainly not what I was expecting, but still interesting in their own right. I used Google Analytics as my tool; who doesn’t?

The period from August 1st through August 31st had 2,799 visits, 8,819 page views, at an average of 2 minutes and 27 seconds per visit.

The period from September 4th through October 4th had 2,841 visits, 9,037 page views, at an average of 1 minute and 58 seconds per visit.

So, the shorter period did have more views and page views, but nothing extraordinary. During the second period, all posts went out between 11:30 and 4:45 EST in the afternoon, whereas all the posts in the earlier period went out between 9 and 10AM EST. So traffic did increase; did that prove anything?

Actually, not in the least. I then decided to check times that articles were viewed, and things took a strange turn. For the earlier period, most people looked at the blog posts around 10AM, 5PM, 9PM and 2AM; the latter is probably because I’m often up and will repost my articles then. For the later period, the views were noon, 8PM, 11PM and 3AM most of the time. There were some sporadic views earlier in the afternoon, but the peak times articles were viewed weren’t the times I expected.

As I said, that was strange. What did it mean though? Well, one more statistic to check, which is Twitter traffic itself. For the early period, Twitter was my 10th highest referrer. The the second period, Twitter was my 8th highest referrer. On the surface it looks like the second was better, but it wasn’t because the 1st brought 38 visitors while the second brought 31 visitors. Even with the extra day the math shows that the early period would have brought more visitors.

What does this tell me? It basically says that, at least for me, time meant nothing. Since search engines and email subscriptions brought the most traffic to the blog, time turns out not to be much of a factor for me. A better test might be Facebook if I posted most of my posts here on Facebook, but it’s rare that I do that.

Does time really mean anything in the long run? I have to truthfully say I don’t know. It doesn’t mean anything for me, but that doesn’t mean it might not mean something to everyone else. By the way, I also ran the same test on my finance blog during this period. The strange statistic on this one is that traffic did indeed go up almost 500 visitors in the second period, but page views dropped; what the hey?

I will be going back to my normal posting times pretty soon because I’d rather have an idea what time my posts are going live rather than having them going at random times and my trying to remember when something’s coming out on which blog. Way easier to plan it otherwise.

Has anyone else decided to try this, and if so, what were your results like?
 

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Google Authorship – Pretty Cool!

Last week on our Hot Blog Tips newsletter, Brian Hawkins talked a little bit about the new Google Authorship program and how, with a Google Plus account, you can how have your image show up next to your content in Google search, along with some other cool stuff. I wanted to show you what some of it look like and just how cool it really is.

First, check out the image below:

That’s what comes up on Google when someone is lucky enough (lol) to put in a search term that brings up my blog, in this case my business blog. You notice how it not only brought up the post along with my image, but it brought up more links from my site highlighting the same post in different ways. It also brought up some of the other posts that I linked to, but I didn’t want the image to go on and on. Truthfully, this is really cool, and to make sure it wasn’t a fluke because I was signed in on my Firefox browser I pulled up the same search terms on 3 other browsers on my computer and the same thing came up, with my picture, in the same order. Trust me, that’s pretty cool.

There’s the thing though. Because I have to many different blogs I wondered if it would pull up my picture for those blogs as well under my name. Below is one of the topics for this blog:

I posted the same link on Google Plus some days later and this comes up:

I’m not mad at that. But there’s one more thing that I thought was pretty cool. By having that Google Plus account, it also accessed my YouTube channel and pulled this up for one of my more recent videos:

I don’t know about you but I’m uber impressed and think this is the coolest thing. Two of my other blogs have images as well, and only my local blog won’t show the images. Why?

The only way G+ will do this is if you’ve verified the email addresses associated with those blogs. I have all the email addresses on my G+ profile except that one because I didn’t create a separate email address for it, using my personal email address that I subscribe to newsletters and the like instead. I don’t want that one out into the public so it only comes up if I have to write someone from that blog, which to date I never have. But I can live with that.

In our never ending quest to be better known, I have to say this works great for me, and the thing is that if someone just put in my name and a topic I might be associated with, it works out as well, as the example below shows what came up when I typed Mitch Mitchell Leadership, no quotation marks:

It listed a bunch more articles as well because, well, I have written lots of articles on leadership on my business blog.

Anyway, I wanted to share that with you in case you want to think about doing it for yourself. By the way, if you’re wondering why Google looks like this for me, check out an old blog post I wrote about Stylish.
 

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One Month Update On The Dream/Goal

Many of you know that on September 1st I mentioned that I had come up with my dream goal for the year, something I want to reach and will strive to reach by September 1st, 2013. If you don’t, check out my dream post to catch up. I wanted to give a quick update after the first month but I’m not going to make this a regular thing so don’t look for it in November or any other months, though I might mention it again around six months or so; we’ll see.

r☼sita
schaaflicht via Compfight

Why am I doing this? First, I think I’ve proven that I’m somewhat transparent in what I’ll share, though you certainly will never know it all. lol Second, I think it’s important to show you the types of things that occur, even with the best made plans, and how one has to be prepared for altering things or accepting certain things about themselves. Change is never easy, but some changes are easier than others.

One last thing. I won’t be posting updates here, but I have been doing a weekly synopsis of how things are going on my YouTube channel, which I haven’t advertised anywhere so this is the first mention of it. Truthfully, the videos are so I can look back on things to see if and how I progressed, but they’re also there if anyone else wants to see what’s going on. So far they’ve not been seen by many people but that’s okay. 🙂

Let’s begin. I’m going to start with the health thing. I said that I needed to make sure I took care of my body more often. Out of the first 30 days I exercised 21 days, a couple of times twice a day. I found that when I scheduled the time in for my back exercises I did them almost all the time; there were 2 days I didn’t do them because I wasn’t in the mood, but on one of those days I went to the lake for a long walk later in the day. That comes out to 70%, and I have to say I’m proud of that.

I’ve also monitored my eating most of the time but I went off base a few times and that affected me in a couple of different ways. A couple of times I had to sleep beyond scheduled time; that’s never good. One day I didn’t eat properly early on and it affected me later in the evening when I met a friend for dinner, had dessert, and went into overload mode; that’s not pretty and I don’t want to describe it too much because, well, it’s not pretty, and it ended up shutting me down the next day; ugh. Otherwise I was pretty good and even lost a pound during the month.

My mental state was pretty high for most of the month but I went into a 3-day funk, followed by the above scenario a week later, and truthfully that’s a pretty good month for me so I’ll accept that. Positivity does have its place.

Leaving health, let’s talk accomplishments. I ended up having 5 major projects in the month and I accomplished 4 of them. Those are helping me with some of my marketing efforts because one of them is based on my own unique selling proposition (USP) in one of my fields of expertise. I have started putting that out there and early in it’s getting limited hits and activity but any activity is pretty good. In this particular area I don’t need lots of clients; 6 clients for that one particular thing gives me the money for the year that I need to achieve my goal, which is why that was so important.

The one thing I never thought about until near the end of the month was that I didn’t have a real plan for generating any new revenue in the month; oops. Actually, now that I’ve completed the other things that brings me back into revenue generation for this month, even though I’ll be losing a week with a trip to Florida for a conference. But now I can push forward in marketing and hopefully sales.

What else didn’t happen? I didn’t get any accountability partners. I couldn’t convince anyone else to take the challenge with me so it’s me alone; sniff!

I only did defined people in one industry to contact but that’s my most profitable industry so I’ll take that for now.

I almost had a speaking engagement in NYC but it was going to be tight since I’d have had to drive down there the day after I came back from Florida; that would have been rough.

That’s pretty much it, unless you can think of something I’m missing or something else you’d like to know about what’s going on. Yeah, this is a “me” post, but it’s always my hope that in revealing how hard the process is that if you decide to try something like it in the future you won’t beat yourself up when pitfalls come, and that you won’t give up.

However, if you did set a goal but didn’t want to say what it was how are you doing?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Morayma Makay – Interview With A Fashion Model

I have known Morayma for close to 5 years, but I’ve only gotten to know her well over the past 2 because of Facebook. Not everyone knows fashion models in person, so I’m honored.

Morayma Makay

She’s not one of the big names that most of us know but she’s the real deal. You know all those magazine ads with models whose names you never know? Morayma has been modeling for a couple of decades now and still does modeling part time. She’s traveled the world and knows many other models and can talk about the industry from the inside. There are thousands of pictures of her on and off the internet, and she’s been on the cover of many magazines as well.

I think this is a fascinating interview and I’m glad she answered the questions as thoughtfully as she did. She dispels that false belief that models are vapid; this is one small and engaged lady.

1. What was your life like growing up?

I grew up in Santa Monica, California…even though I am a Los Angeles native I didn’t grow up exposed to the Industry. I had a very normal, quiet, and actually strict upbringing so school was what I was expected to focus on and that’s what I did. I did have a love for theater and dreamt of someday becoming a stage actress….so I performed in the school plays, etc. Modeling was not something I ever really thought about, to be honest.

2. Did you always want to be a model?

–Nope. I wanted to be a theater actor or an interior decorator! LOL

3. How were you discovered?

–While I was in college in Portland, Oregon I walked into a talent agency to see if I could get sent out for local work to make a little extra money and they decided I had a look that would work well for modeling. Within 2 months they had sent me abroad to work.

4. What is it like to travel around the world as a model? I know it can’t all be glamorous, based on a few videos I’ve seen of Sports Illustrated models on photo shoots, but I’m assuming lots of it is pretty fun.

— It was amazing. I am not going to lie. I am something of a gypsy at heart, so being on the road and traveling to different places all the time was a dream come true for me. Yes, it was tiring to work long days in either freezing cold weather or sweltering heat (keep in mind you always shoot the clothing collections during the opposite season…so you freeze in swimwear and summery dresses, and roast wearing coats during midsummer).

You are constantly being poked, prodded, pinned, hair messed with, etc. so you have to lose your sense of personal space very quickly. When you are on a job you are a mannequin and that’s that.

Some clients are kinder than others. I’ve mostly worked with wonderful people, but I do remember one time on a booking I had the stylist pull a sweater over my head so forcefully (they were in a tremendous hurry to get done) that I ended up with a pulled neck muscle and that hurt for days!! Rejection is also never a nice thing, but for every job I didn’t book, there would be one that I did book so that wasn’t enough of a reason not to love my work.

We got a lot of privileges and perks….VIP treatment at clubs, restaurants, etc. I made a lot of wonderful friends from around the globe. Ahh….just writing this is making me miss it so much! =)

5. So many people talk about models and how they eat? What’s your opinion on models considered too thin, bad or good eating habits, and the positives and negatives of trying to keep your body looking a certain way? Is the pressure high?

–That has always been a pet peeve of mine…that people assume models don’t eat. I have to be honest, while there are certainly girls that do starve themselves to look as skinny as they think they need to look, the majority of the models I met, lived with, worked with and became friends with had very hearty appetites and rarely worked out.

Honestly, the majority of models are genetically built the way they are. I knew more girls in college with eating disorders than models. Generally, if a model is not naturally thin, she will start to gain weight or reach a plateau in her weight and will eventually either quit or go into Plus/full figure modeling.

I never felt the pressure because I am naturally thin, although one year in Tokyo I was sent home because my agency there told me my hips (34 inches) were too large and wanted me to have 32 inch hips. That was mortifying but I got over it….the ridiculousness of that was laughable.

I think the models that do feel pressured to lose weight or be really thin are not naturally thin so they are trying to fit a mold that they are not genetically predisposed to fit….but like I said, I knew very few girls in the industry that had an eating disorder….truthfully only two (one of which was a roommate of mine in Milan).

My belief is that eating healthy and having an active lifestyle is the only way to go. Should models be thin? It may not be popular to say so, but yes…I think so. Not skeletal, but healthy and thin….models are paid to showcase clothing and a thin, taller model will be able to showcase a garment better than a shorter curvier girl. The curvier girls have their own markets for clothing too…I am talking about couture….Really there are many types of modeling (sportswear, lingerie/swimwear, etc.) that prefer a healthier, curvy body-type….but for straight up fashion, thin is always going to be in. 😉

6. We were talking recently about a guy who dated a model saying she didn’t know how to handle her money. Would you say that most models are good with their money or do many suffer like athletes in that they spend it as fast as it comes in?

–I think it really depends on the girl and how she was raised and how old she is too! I cannot imagine how the baby models who are 14 and 15 years old could possibly know what to do when handed checks for thousands of dollars!!

My parents brought me up to be very responsible and frugal and that is how I’ve always handled my finances. I had college loans to pay while on the road too so I knew that I had to keep good track of my finances since you really do not know when your next check will come or how much it will be for! I actually found it easy to save money and take care of my bills at home while traveling because we were always being offered free dinners via the agencies, eating on-set, free lunches at some restaurants (in Milan). All of my expenses were fronted to me (the agencies then take money from our earnings to pay off what they have fronted us) really all I needed to pay for was my airline tickets!

7. I’ve seen a lot of your pictures and you don’t always look like the same person. But some models we see always look the same. Do you feel your versatility is better or do you think it matters in the end?

–I think my versatility comes from my original passion for the theater. As a theater actor you have to be able to convey emotion…not all models can do that. I do see many models that ALWAYS have the same expression. That annoys me…haha! My agencies have always called me a “chameleon”.

I think versatility is a great thing and it helped me work a lot….but I don’t think it matters all that much in the end because a lot of the monotone-faces (lol) still end up working a lot too and I do think that “who you know” is a powerful tool in this biz…as in many others.

8. What’s the best thing about modeling and what’s the worst thing?

–Best thing? Traveling. Good pay (when you get it!). Meeting interesting people. Wearing clothes I could never afford on my own….aka playing dress-up and getting paid for it. 😉

–Worst thing? How fickle the industry can be…and not knowing when your next paycheck will come….

9. How has your husband and kids handled your modeling? Do your kids even really understand what you do or did, since they’re very young?

–I stopped traveling when I became pregnant with my son….I know other models that do travel for lengthy amounts of time and have kids, but I can’t justify doing that. I will travel to a location for a specific shoot, but anything longer than that is not going to happen. I don’t want to miss these moments with the kids because they are so fleeting…..even though sometimes I fantasize about taking off for a while, for some peace and quiet! LOL!

My husband doesn’t think much about my work one way or the other. He knows I enjoy what I do so he’s happy and supportive when I work, and luckily he’s not a jealous type. My kids like when they see me in an ad or a TV commercial…they think it’s funny, actually!

10. Time to shine; what are you doing now and are you enjoying your life?

–I am still modeling and working on commercials part-time. I like that I can do a job here and there and still be afforded the time to be here for my kids whenever they need me. I am enjoying life here in Los Angeles again…..the sunshine and proximity to my family is wonderful! I like that I can work as little or as much as I want because I don’t have to use this as my way to make a living anymore…..it’s nice not to stress about when the next job will come….my husband is the main breadwinner, so that takes the pressure off.

I am also in the process of seeing what else is out there for me career-wise. I don’t want the ol’ brain to rust! LOL! Toying with the idea of going back into the medical interpreting field as I am fluent in Spanish as well. I did that for a while before modeling took me on the road and I remember really enjoying it.

I also need to get back to my own blog one of these days, now that both kids are in school…I have no excuse to not write again! 😉
 

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Undecided; I’m Not Buying It

This is a minor rant. I’m about to get political, without getting political. This isn’t one of those posts where I declare my intentions as to which presidential candidate I’m going to be voting for. Instead, this is a post that is addressed to that phantom group that is known as the “undecided”.

Have you?
Oliver Hammond via Compfight

Why am I saying that this group is phantom? Because there is no way I’m buying the excuse from anyone that “I don’t know who to vote for the office of president”. I just can’t believe this, and I’m going to explain why.

This isn’t a decision between wanting pizza or pasta? It’s not a decision between wanting cake or pie. This isn’t even close; you’re one way or the other when it comes to what you believe politically; come out of the closet on this one.

Every country that is a democracy has at least two political parties to choose from. Each political party has drastically diverse beliefs on how things should go. If they didn’t have drastically diverse beliefs, there would be no need to have at least two political parties.

The United States is no different in this regard. Sure, there are some minor political parties that have some candidates in the race (Roseanne Barr would be one of those this year), and yes, third-party candidates have made an impact on electing a president here and there (Ross Perot and Ralph Nader as examples), but it’s not the norm.

There are a few people out there who are saying to anyone who’ll listen to them that they’re not sure who they’re going to vote for because they’re not sure who the best person is for the economy. Are you kidding me? With everything else that’s on the line, no matter what party you belong to, you’re really going to try to convince me that you don’t know who to vote for because of the economy?

What I tend to believe is that the undecided are really people who are scared to let anybody know who they want to vote for. I have never met a single person who realistically could tell me that they didn’t know who they were going to vote for until they walked into the voting station. Come on now, let’s look at a short list of issues:

Are you pro-choice or are you pro-life?

Are you for or against gun control?

Are you for or against universal healthcare?

Do you believe the rich should pay fewer taxes because they create jobs or that everyone should pay their fair share?

Do you believe the federal government should stay totally out of your life or do you believe there are some things the federal government should help protect people with such as Welfare, Medicare, and disaster relief?

Now, those are American issues, and major issues when it comes to the presidential election, and I’m sure every other country has issues that are diametrically opposed that are core to particular political parties. Those are also issues when it comes to any of the federal offices up for grabs. Every once in a while you find a candidate that agrees with the candidate on the other side on a particular issue, but you can bet they’re not going to agree on all those issues and any other issue that comes up. And of course you might support the ideals of a third party candidate; no problem there either.

In general though, this means one of two things, at least in my opinion. One, you’re afraid to take a stand because you’re worried that someone is going to hate you. Two, you have no idea what any of the issues mean and you’re probably going to vote for someone based on a stupid reason such as the way they look or what their voice sounds like. Yeah, I said it.

Something I’ve talked about on this blog and my business blog is that we all have to take accountability for our actions while still being brave enough to take the opportunities to improve our lives. If you are wishy-washy in your political beliefs then you’re probably wishy-washy in the rest of your life. How’s that working out for you?

Frankly, even though I believe more people should take advantage of their constitutional right and get out to the polls and vote, I also believe there are some people who should just stay home and leave it to the adults who aren’t afraid to let their opinions be known.

And by being known, I’m not saying that you need to go out on the street and declare who you’re going to be voting for. What I’m saying is that if someone asks you if you’ve made a decision, just tell them the truth, say yes, and if you don’t feel like revealing it to them tell them that as well.

But if you say you’re undecided, you know you’re lying and I’m calling you out on. Now, try to convince me I’m wrong.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell