All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Blog Posts, Comments, Business, Rankings…

I found this quite intriguing, enough for me to decide to write on the topic. I got inspiration for this post from not one, but two blog posts. The first one was from Marcus Sheridan on a post titled 10,862 Comments Later, I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model. This post led me to the second post by John Falchetto, titled The Right Traffic And What The 4hour Workweek Post Taught Me About Blogging.

John started with the premise that out of all the blog posts he’d been writing, he was getting lots of comments but none of it turned into business. At the same time, he felt that people reading some of his posts were missing some of the points he was trying to make, and of course that took away from the effectiveness of them, in his mind, and thus the possibility of getting the kind of traffic he was hoping for.

Marcus took this a bit further, and added a conversation he got to have with John.

First, he owned up to how many comments his blog has gotten in a very short period of time; puts me to shame. Second, he owned up to the fact that he hasn’t sold a single product geared to his main business from this blog, even with all those comments.

Third, after his conversation with John, he started to wonder if maybe there were things he could do with his blog that John was starting to do, that being to make sure to write a post a day, sometimes more than one, and increase the prominence of the blog, at the possible exclusion of comments, to potentially generate more income. Of course I’ve kind of simplified the thoughts of both posts, so it’d be a good idea to go read each one of them.

I commented on Marcus’ post, but not on John’s, mainly because John asked a question I wasn’t sure I could answer in a short comment: ‘Which lessons has your blog taught you?‘.

Good question, eh? Well, let’s take a look at it if I may, based on not only the question, but their two posts and the title of this post as well. Numbers please!

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1. I used to have a pretty tight blogging schedule for this blog; I still do, but not necessarily by design. I had a yearly goal of 300 posts a year, plain and simple. That meant 25 posts a month on average, and I was able to do it. At some point, though, I decided that it shouldn’t only be about the numbers of posts; I wanted more comments.

So I slowed down the number of posts somewhat, and I started getting more comments. I still don’t come close to the number Marcus or many other people get, but it did increase.

Yet, do you know when the biggest period of growth this blog ever had was? That week last November when I had two blog posts a day, the first one being a regular post and the evening one advertising one of my products.

The overall traffic for this blog shot up drastically, even if comments dropped significantly. Both my Alexa rank and Google Analytics said my numbers increased. And do you know when I had the most traffic to my business site?

The week after when I did the same thing on my business blog that I did on this blog. Very few comments but a drastic rise in visits.

This does seem to prove one thing; the more posts one has, the more traffic one gets. I know someone is going to say “I don’t write that many posts and look at my numbers.” I’ll just point to my latest business blog as an example; I added it to my SEO site in August and without many comments traffic has risen 65% in less than 90 days; wow!

2. With traffic comes higher rankings… of sorts. My Alexa ranking for my SEO site has gone from 2.78 million the day I started the blog on that site to 483,000 and change on Thursday.

That’s not bad for less than 90 days, and that’s just with a post every 3 days. And without all that many comments; it does say something for having more activity. It doesn’t address where the blog would be if I were posting daily, but for now the traffic stats are undeniable.

3. Well, we do have to come down to business, don’t we? Comments don’t equal business; both Marcus and John are correct on that. We all still want comments, but John’s now increasing the number of posts regardless of the number of comments, and Marcus is thinking about it.

Me… I’m not sure. Well, I am sure, but I’m not sure what I can do about it. I’ve always said I didn’t expect this blog to make me a lot of money, but I did hope that it, in combination with other things I was doing, would at least generate more business interest than it has. However, my SEO blog has yet to generate any business interest either, but I figure it’s still kind of early.

I might be able to get a boost after a live presentation I’m a part of next week at a conference called the BizBuzz Social Media Conference here in the Syracuse area, where I’m talking about business blogging; at least it’s part of the overall strategy. But a stat I will report based on a little case study is that out of 36 keyword phrases I came up with before starting the blog I’ve increased in the number I’m found by from 13 to 23, and the rankings are higher as well for all but 2 of them. So, the potential for business there has increased, even if it hasn’t happened yet.

Anyway, those are the lessons blogging has taught me regarding these things. Now, I have my own questions. Do you believe writing more blog posts would help your blog improve its rankings? Do you believe you’d be capable of increasing the number of blog posts you write, even if it were just as an experiment? And finally, what do you want from your blog, or blogs?

Man, I love when people make me think! 🙂
 

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How To Deal With Stupid Clowns – The Review

Wow! I just got through reading and enjoying the latest ebook from our friend John Garrett of Hypertransitory.com called How To Deal With Stupid Clowns. He didn’t ask me to review it, but shared a copy with me, and man, after reading it how could I not review it? Great follow up to yesterday’s more serious post by me, that’s for sure.

Let’s get this stuff out of the way first. The link above is to his post/advertisement for it, and if you enjoy that then you’ll love the ebook because it’s all that and more. Half the book is, well, comics, and very funny stuff. The other half is his take on the stupid clowns most of us meet in life, and he hits them on the head. I laughed, then I shook my head because I knew some of these people; still do. It’s a short book, about 80 pages, but reads much faster because of the comics. Some might balk at the $10 price (only $7 if you sign up for his newsletter), but after looking at it I can say that it’s worth it for the artwork alone.

It’s basically a mixture of comic book and life lessons, and the lesson you need to take away from this book is to pick well the people you listen to, let affect your life, and basically let into your life. Don’t let anyone mess with your dream, your job, your life, or anything else if you know they don’t have your best interest at heart. Many people have their own agenda, and if it’s a bad one they’ll take you down with them; that’s what I took from this ebook.

There’s plenty of satire, and one would imagine there would have to be. After all, calling out bad managers, hanger’s on, and generally anyone that’s a drag on your life as a ‘stupid clown’ takes guts. Drawing all sorts of clowns, and I usually hate clowns, is even funnier. And the way he inserts himself into the book, in a green sweater with the Charlie Brown zigzag, is classic. The funniest books are when people can laugh at themselves as well as make a point, and John’s done that here.

What are you waiting for? Click on the link, go take a look at his sales page, read the book and let’s talk about it. Don’t be a stupid clown! lol
 

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The Lament Of An Old Black Radical

This is one of those posts where I’m not expecting a lot of commentary because it’s going to be hard for a lot of people to relate to it. It’s not a ramble, and it’s not necessarily a rant, though there’s some rant in it. It’s basically a post where I just have to have my say; some people might be uncomfortable with it.

On Tuesday while on Twitter, I retweeted something that was posted stating that there are more black men in prison now than there were people in slavery back in 1850. Within an hour one of my local friends kind of discounted it, at least in my mind, by saying the physical numbers of people are different now than they were back then.

I had a quick flash of anger for many reasons. One, I felt like it was another white person discounting something because it was about black people. Two, I’d been reading about some mess with aged idiot Pat Buchanan, who’s on tour promoting his new book that basically says diversity in America is going to “wipe out white people”; I mean, what the hey? And he had just finished promoting it on a white supremacist radio program, which I didn’t even know existed outside of Rush Limbaugh (yeah, I said it!).

But there’s a three, and it’s a hard one to deal with. I’m going to call it the lament of the old black radical, which is kind of how I feel at times. I’m not as bad a radical as Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have turned out to be (for those who don’t know them, they’re both black radicalists, for lack of a better term, that believe President Obama should be beholden to them and every other black person in America just because we’re all black, yet don’t realize that the reason he’s not giving them the time of day is because they started trashing him even before he was elected president and have both lost some of their most ardent former supporters at this point, which includes me). But I’m holding onto things that I just can’t let go at this stage, late 2011, because I truly believe things haven’t really changed all that much from 1971.

What, 1971? Yup, that’s when I read my first book on black history, the shortened version of a biography of Frederick Douglass. That got me going, and for the next 10 years I read all sorts of books on black heroes and leaders and history and the like. At times I was the angry guy because people I knew kind of wanted to avoid looking at it and wanted to dismiss it.

Early on I was living on an air force base in northern Maine, where I found few people who’d even talk with me about it, and then I moved to Liverpool NY, where the school had more than 3,800 kids but maybe only 50 of us were black. In college my first two years I was the only black kid in my dorm, and I think by my last year there might have been 7 or 8 of us in the dorm. There were so few black people on campus that one of the theater professors, who did happen to be black, put on the play Harriet Tubman yet asked every black student he saw to be in it, including me; wasn’t happening, but I did go see it.

Yet, Oswego State, where I went to college, had an African-American Studies program, and the head of the department was one Dr. Alfred Young. He embodied the spirit of the radical, from the long sideburns to the beard to the long fingers that had that Malcolm X point to them. I took almost every one of his classes, as that was my minor, and we’d debate things in class that no one else ever participated in, probably because I doubt any of them had read the books I’d read before coming to college. It was fun; I had my outlet, I had my statistics, and I was ready to go at anyone who violated my “blackness”, to a degree. I say it that way because if I’d only had black friends in college I’d have been a lonely guy. lol

I had lots of friends, and lots of other people who knew who I was; it was kind of easy to be known by a certain point. I got lots of invites to parties and lots of free food and milkshakes and loved it. I had a white girlfriend I loved, and because the one really hot black girl in college didn’t date black men; go figure. lol

Yet, I got to be the black guy, the one many people came to and asked stupid questions, the one who’d field the stupid statements like “I don’t think of you as black” and think it was a compliment until I set them straight. I was the one who told them how Ronald Reagan didn’t care about black people and how John Wayne had said black people made bad actors because they weren’t all that smart and how Lincoln didn’t free the slaves and Jim Crow laws and many other things.

And then it was a time of many firsts. I was almost always the “first” or only in many things, and it continues even to this day, which seems a bit strange. And as I said earlier, not all that many things have changed when we look at positives, but the moods have changed.

There’s no such thing as a black leader anymore. There’s no such thing as true advocates for black issues. Goodness, in a strange way black people are more of a minority than ever as Hispanics (or Latinos; take your pick) have passed us in numbers; if they ever figure out how to become a true political base many present politicians will be out of jobs.

Black unemployment is the highest in the country; blacks in prison by percentage is the highest in this country. Black educational scores are the worst in this country. Most of the businesses in black communities aren’t owned by blacks. And, just to throw this in, one black Republican in Congress… just saying. Goodness, Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain don’t even want to be known as black; what the hey?

No one really cares anymore; I lament that. When did things pass me by to the extent that it can still be bad, or worse, and on one cares? Why haven’t I been able to let it go? How come I still feel like I have to keep my shields up when I’m in public, not only to make sure I don’t get jumped from behind in a sneak attack but being prepared for that time when someone might say something insensitive that I didn’t see coming?

How do I react with a young white kid pulls up next to me at a gas station with a rap song blaring loudly with a lot of filth, misogyny and the n-word (I was going to actually type it but decided not to go there) being said over and over and then he looks at me? What could that kid be thinking? Is he thinking? And how am I supposed to feel instead of feeling insulted and overlooked and insignificant at the same time?

Goodness, I’m only in my early 50’s and I feel so out of touch sometimes. How is it that I touched a nerve when I wrote my first post on 21 Black Social Media Influencers yet when I wrote the followup 29 More Black Social Media Influencers it barely made a dent? Why is it that some younger black people, even some my age, are now telling me that it’s not up to me to try to save the black race, or to even think about trying to help it out, and that I don’t have to worry anymore about trying to set a good example because no one cares about it anymore? Why is it hospitals talk about diversity all the time yet there’s less than 3% black management, not including C-level positions where the figures even worse, in the entire country? And where do I fit in?

Sigh… as I said, this is the lament of an old black radical; I should have added “tired”. Do I ride off into the sunset? Do I continue to fight the good fight when presented? I don’t know; I don’t have any answers. And there’s no one to talk to about it either; sigh again…
 

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What If Your Dreams Came True?

Last week I listened to an interview on a blog by Ray Edwards with Carrie Wilkerson, whose new book called The Barefoot Executive has just come out. I bought it and I’m about 1/4th of the way through and it’s very good, so I’m recommending it to you as a great business purchase.


 

Anyway, I was drawn to one particular point where she talked about dreams and how people will have dreams of things they want to achieve, yet sometimes it scares them to think about getting there and then, if it comes, what to do about it or where to go from there. She used two great examples from two of my favorite movies (y’all know I’m just a big kid, right?), Tangled and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Continue reading What If Your Dreams Came True?

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Does Social Media Create Agoraphobics?

As some of you know, my grandmother passed away in August. Before she went to the hospital in May, then subsequently to the nursing home, she lived with my mother for many years. Now that she’s gone my mother has pretty much adopted the mode of not really wanting to leave the house except when she absolutely needs something, or if I visit. Basically her life has devolved into a 10-mile radius.

The thing is that my life isn’t all that much different than my mother’s, but for a different reason. In the early part of the decade most of my income came from my traveling at least 4 hours or more from home on a very consistent basis. Now, most of my income is generated from being at home, with the occasional foray out of the area. And most of my life is within 10 miles of my home in every direction.

Social media basically says that you can communicate with people via the computer. You don’t have to go down to the club or to the bowling alley or the bar to meet people. Sure, if you want to have dinner or a drink with others you do, but truthfully you can eat and drink at home and talk to more people in 10 minutes than you would in an entire day if you left home.

For some people that also involves games of all types. How many thousands of games are there on Facebook? I hear that Google+ even has games now. And there are plenty of game sites where people can play against each other and have conversations as well; I do that on two separate chess sites.

Is social media creating agoraphobic people, or has it just enhanced what was already there for a lot of us? Sure, many people still have to go to work every day, but more people are spending time online in the evenings instead of watching TV. They’re talking with friends and family on Facebook or Twitter. More people are starting to stay home on the weekends as well. It was really big when online poker was still allowed in the U.S., and when it comes back (yeah, it’s coming back at some point) those people who haven’t known what to do with themselves will be right back at their computers playing for hours.

Have any of you started feeling like you want to be home more often because of social media? Will you own up to it if you have? lol
 

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