All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Santorum & Gabby Brothers?

Another short post, this time sort of political but actually more just irked by what I see as an apparent attempt by a presidential candidate NOT to utter a racial epithet in public against President Obama. Of course he says he wasn’t even thinking the word and his press secretary said he wouldn’t even dignify questions about it, saying it’s us who are misinterpreting it. But come on… well, you tell me what you think of the comparison of these two videos:

versus…

Well? I’m just saying…
 

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Black Web Friday – 3/30/12

Week number 10 of Black Web Friday is here, and the series is progressing well. I have to admit that I’m not sure part of what I’m hoping for is working, that being to show other black people some of what’s out there as well as everyone else. This is important as well because there can’t be any true support of minority websites if the minorities being written about aren’t helping out in their own way. At least that’s how I see things.

Black Web Friday

Of course, the big news this week in the United States has been the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida and whether this was a true self defense case or the case of another young black man being gunned down for, well, being black. There’s a lot of America that, in this case, have rallied around the cause, but it’s always been there, whether it’s always resulted in people being killed or not.

A part of why I do this series is to show a humanity that many people may not know exists, as well as expose people to a different way that people think based on their background. If you’ve followed the series you’ll realize that I’ve shown some sites that are geared towards black perspectives, and others were you wouldn’t know the person was black unless you saw their picture. That’s all on purpose; no one person represents us all.

And with that, let’s get to this week’s listing.

I initially featured Justice Wordlaw’s eponymously named blog last June in my first series titled 21 Of The Top Black Social Media Influencers. At that time I said he talked about internet marketing but he really talks about business in general, as well as web stuff. I was pretty impressed that he wrote this piece recently, Entrepreneurship, Is It For You? Maybe Not> since I’ve been talking about marketing so much lately. Young guy moving forward with business on his Livefyre comment blog; check him out.

Torrey McGraw writes Grind and Thrive, which is a business motivational blog with a lot of positive posts and, something a little different, many posts and interviews with people in the music business. It’s very interesting reading and could help offer a different perspective to get your mind going in the right direction. He also just became a new father a couple of weeks ago and I almost broke my no Disqus blog rule but I didn’t. Still, if you don’t care go over and give him some love.

Also named after herself, Monique Neeley writes and talks about social media through a mix of writing and videos. She really keeps up to date on the latest trends in social media, with one of her latest posts about Pinterest, and she also has posts on internet marketing and has interviews as well. And she’s a military wife, so since I’m a military child I feel an affinity for her. She has a Disqus blog, just so you know.

Finally there’s Black Like Moi, which is kind of a combination blog/black news site. I say it that way because there are a ton of posts there on black issues, entertainment and politics, but every single post is formatted like a blog, waiting for comments that, well, most of the posts don’t have. Yet I still like the site because it does have lots of content, and it’s a standard blog commenting system which I believe makes it easy for anyone to participate on.

That’s all for this week; enjoy and have a great weekend.
 

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Verify Information That’s Not Yours

Well, yesterday was an interesting day in this country, at least in Florida. I decided that I needed to address this issue, especially on this blog, and further decided that it needed to be a video. The title speaks for itself; anyway, here’s the video:

I hope I got my point across, and I’m doubting there’s anyone who can dispute what I said there. Yeah, I know, it might take some time here and there to do it, but in many cases I think it’s important enough to do. You never know who you might hurt by not doing it.

See, short post, short video; I can do it. 🙂
 

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5 Ways Blogging Is Like A Toaster Oven

I know what you’re thinking: Mitch has gone nuts! lol Well, not quite. I’ve talked about the process of trying to come up with things to write about on one’s blog, no matter what the industry is. I hear from so many people who say they don’t know what to say, or can’t come up with something different to highlight their points, and thus they stop writing.

Farberware Special Select 4-Slice Toaster Oven with Baking Tray






I say that if you pay attention to your surroundings, or what’s going on in the news or life in general, that there’s always something to write about. Thus, as I was toasting a piece of bread in my toaster oven, it hit me that there really are 5 ways blogging and toaster ovens are related. Want to see? Here we go:

1. Each is multi-functional. Take a look at the item to the right. It toasts; it bakes; it warms things up, and it’s sizable enough where you can fit a lot of different things inside it.

Take a look at blogs. When you write, you educate, entertain or inform. You advertise yourself via an About page. You can have ads on it to help you make money. You can link it to other websites for whatever reason.

2. Each can be dangerous. One thing I’ve always worried about is getting burned on the metal thing that my toast or english muffin sits on, and it’s happened here and there. My wife worries about there being a short or it overheating because sometimes she forgets that using the oven portion, the sucker doesn’t shut itself off.

Sometimes what people write on their blog will set off the wrong person or convey the wrong message. Someone might read your post, go back to their blog and totally trash you (yeah, okay, I do that from time to time lol). You might have affiliate links on your site and have someone burn you by stealing them, changing them up, and taking your money from you.

3. Each looks nice and shiny at the beginning, but needs cleaning or changing up to stay fresh looking. If you haven’t cleaned your toaster oven in at least a year go take a look at what’s inside it. You’ll have all sorts of gunk sitting at the bottom of it, some of it a charred mess. The rack your toast and stuff sits on is probably caked with some black gunk as well. It just doesn’t look all that shiny and pretty anymore.

The same happens with some blogs. The writer stops trying as hard and the words are boring to read. The ads never change and you start to ignore what you’re seeing. The size and style of the posts never vary; there’s no variety. There’s too many spam comments and it seems like the owner just doesn’t care.

4. They’re both easy to change in some fashion. The best thing about toaster ovens is that you can put them anywhere in the kitchen; heck, you don’t even have to put them in the kitchen. I remember some folks having one of these in their college dorm room; that goes way back. Also, they come in multiple colors and styles; never boring at all.

Blogs are the same way. If you don’t like the theme, you can change it. If what you’re writing about is starting to feel like a grind, change it. If you want to write in a different style, you can. If you want to add something new, do it; no rules.

5. Both can bring great joy over and over again. Look at that toaster oven again. That bad boy can toast bread or an english muffin multiple times, multiple days, possibly over multiple years. You can always throw something in there to heat up or cook, and you’ll eat that, love that, and come back for more.

The same with blogging, whether you’re the writer or the reader. This will be my 305th post on the topic of blogging, and I hope that each post can stand on its own and not be a duplicate of another post. Yet every time I write about blogging or any of the other items I feel a great joy, like I’m eating a great piece of chocolate cake (love good chocolate cake), and when that’s done, I know that I can come back and write another one tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever. And it may not be on blogging but on something else; how wonderful is that for me, and hopefully for the readers, who know that they’re not going to get the same exact thing from me here on this blog, or see something that someone else has written elsewhere. At least I hope not; people do steal sometimes. 🙂

There; I bet you thought I couldn’t do it. Agree, disagree, mouth agape because I pulled it off? Let me know. 😉
 

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2 Other Ways Of Making Money Blogging

As y’all know, I’ve been talking a lot about marketing lately. I’ve also been talking about the myth, of sorts, of making money by blogging. Well, I’m here to add some things to previous conversations.


via PATV Channel via Flickr

First, I’ve always believed that if one has a highly ranked blog that they should be making pretty good money, enough so that they won’t have to work for anyone else ever again. That doesn’t turn out to be true at all, but not for the reasons you might believe.

There are two reasons a person won’t make a lot of money if their blog is highly ranked.

One is because their audience isn’t quite niched properly. By that I mean like my blog. I talk a lot about social media and technology stuff but at a moment’s notice I’ll change up and talk about marketing, diabetes, whatever. I have a nice group of people that subscribe to this blog and some other folks that stop by on a regular basis, but overall I’ve never niched this blog so that it continually attracts a specific group of people that might be interested in buying any of the stuff I have on the left or right sidebars of this blog.

Two, the other is that some of those people aren’t trying to make money blogging, even if the rest of us think they are. One of my friends who stops by here often pretty much told me that’s not her focus right now; it’s on content, plain and simple, and one day she might give it a real try. I’m not going to mention her name, but I am going to mention someone else’s name, and by extension mention a host of other folks.

I once talked about Steve Pavlina, who has stopped taking comments on his blog, and how much he writes. Truth be told, I have way more posts than he has, but he writes these really long posts, sometimes as much as 7,500 words. He puts a lot of time into researching his posts, sometimes experimenting before writing the posts, and I have to say that until he went on one 30 day challenge for himself that frankly freaked me out a bit, I used to stop in and read his blog a lot.

Now, here’s two things. One, he’s not making any money blogging. He’s got a highly ranked website, and he talks about writing lots of content that’s timeless and valuable to everyone that stops by. Two, he doesn’t have to try to make money from blogging because he’s already got money. The guy makes money in a totally different way that has nothing to do with blogging or writing. In other words, he’s got the money to do whatever he wants, including writing long blog posts, going on vacations whenever he likes, etc. How do I know? Because a few nights ago I read one of his books titled How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog) where he talked about it.

It reminded me that there are many other bloggers with high volume websites that either do or don’t make a lot of money actually blogging because they already make money in other ways. Some that do were making money or already had money when they started, and thus really can’t relate to the rest of us.

The only one I can think of that’s somewhat like us is Darren Rowse, and you know how he did it? By having a niche blog as well as his regular blog, and the niche blog generated the big bucks. He also started off writing 9 or 10 posts a day, which fits the criteria about content. A lot of content will drive visitors and traffic, even if it’s not one long article. As a matter of fact, the highest ranked sites have multiple bloggers or use a lot of guest posts to help populate things. Copyblogger is an example, along with Huffington Post, of blog sites with lots of posts per day.

So, we come back to the two ways; niche blog and lots of content. For the record, a 7,500 word post works out to 10 – 15 posts for most people, and Pavlina does that 2 or 3 times a week. How many of you think you could do that? If I didn’t have 5 blogs I think I could do it, if I knew that’s what was going to make me money. But that’s still the issue isn’t it? You drive traffic but who’s to say that you’d have the right niche topic that brought buyers as well as readers?

I don’t really believe that any of the blogs I have right now would bring buyers, even if I was writing that much content daily. That means I’d have to figure out a way to modify things somewhere so that one blog could be within a broad niche so I could have enough to write about, but also make it a niche where there are buyers. It’s certainly not going to be leadership, it’s not going to be a local blog, and it’s not going to be a blog on SEO. I’m not sure a blog on social media would get it done.

But a blog on technology; yeah, that might get it done. A blog on working out might get it done. A cooking blog, absolutely. Man, too bad that’s stuff I can’t write enough on. If I were in my 20’s I could probably tackle technology but that’s it. I actually do have a friend that was making pretty good money writing on horses and horse equipment, but she found it hard to sustain at a certain level after awhile and turned it into a magazine, where she has a main sponsor that helps her out some. That proves that with the right niche you can do it, but also proves that it takes content, continuous and lots of it, to get it done.

Do you have what it takes inside of you to get it done? Are you at least thinking about things in a different way? Let me know.
 

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