All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

The 2nd Half Of The Year; How Am I Doing On My Goals?

Yup, the short break I’ve been taking is finally over. My wife left town last Thursday morning but she spent Wednesday night at a friend’s house. She’s still out of town, not coming back until Saturday, but since I’ve basically rested until, well, yesterday I figured it was time to get back to my regular schedule, of sorts. And I figure it’s a good time to see how I’ve done on my goals for this year, which I posted and talked about at the end of December.

To save some time, in case you don’t want to go back and check out that entire post, let’s see what my goals were for 2011:

1. Earn $5,000 on the internet overall.

2. Earn $500 on this blog.

3. Get this blog up to around 50,000 on Alexa.

4. Write at least two pillar articles.

5. Increase my influence through this blog towards helping other business goals long term.

How have I done? Actually, I haven’t done bad I have to say.

For #1, I’ve actually earned around $2,300 in the first half of the year. However, I’ve had a couple of affiliates not pay me so that means I’ve probably actually banked closer to $2,000. That’s still not bad, as it means I’ve probably already tied my best year of making money online and I still have half a year to go. Most of it has been made through Adsense on my medical billing site, but I’ve also had advertisers on my finance blog and my anti-smoking site.

For #2, well, I had a feeling that one might be a pipe dream anyway. Adsense took away my right to earn anything through them on this blog, although I pretty much made nothing from them in the years I had it here anyway. Since I stopped adding products with every post I took away my opportunity to make money that way. I have made a couple of product sales of my products, but I’m not sure if they were made by people coming from the links here or not so I’m not giving it any credit. So, that might be a pipe dream goal since there’s few things I market only here that I’d know for sure were responsible for sales.

For #3, I was cruising along for awhile there when Google put its Panda update through and my Alexa ranking started to tank. Right now I’m hovering around that 100,000 magic mark again, so my actual goal will be to get to at least 90,000 by year’s end at this point.

For #4, I actually wrote a pillar post, my two-part series on Better Blogging. I’m actually probably going to turn that bad boy into a small book, adding other things I’ve written to truly flesh it out, though I’m not sure when that’ll come as I have another project to work on first. At this juncture I’m not sure what other topic deserves to be a pillar post, but I really enjoyed writing that one. It’s too bad that it didn’t get the attention I feel it deserved, but that’s how it goes sometime. If the guy who inspired me to write it is correct, by this time next year it could be one of the most popular posts ever on this blog; we’ll see.

For #5, I realize that it’s not really a measurable goal so I can only think about what I’ve written and what I’ve done to see if I’ve at least taken a shot at it. And I think I have actually done it. Though I’ve yet to get a speaking engagement or any other work out of it, I’ve made a small difference in a few posts. I’ve talked about race already more this year than I have in the past, and a couple of those posts ended up being well read and shared. A couple of these posts have been shared on Facebook and got a pretty good response as well. And if I believe Post Rank I’ve had some posts do really well this year. Did they make a difference in someone’s life? Only others can really answer that one, but I know I’ve done my part.

So I still have a ways to go for some of these goals, I’m on the right track for others, and I still have half a year to tackle it all. It should be a very interesting second half of the year; I appreciate everyone who sees where it all ends. For those of you who planned some, how are you doing with your goals so far?

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Are Your Views On Money Holding You Back?

A few days ago I introduced a guy to you named Brendon Burchard, who wrote a book I recommended called the Millionaire Messenger.

Over the course of signing up for some of his free videos, I have had a chance to check out some of the comments after the videos. Most have thanked him for the information he’s given and have written that they felt inspired to look at things in a different way. But what has surprised me is how many people are put off because he talks about how much money he’s made in such a short period of time, saying it’s distasteful.

I often wonder if some of us are kept from success because of our beliefs about money. In another book I’ve talked about here, T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he talks about how he would make a million, then lose a million, and how this pattern was perpetuated a few times before he realized that, because of how he was brought up, he was equating wealth with being evil, and since no one wants to be seen as evil he’d then lose it all each time. Once he came to grips with the inaccuracy of the belief he started holding onto his money and life improved dramatically.

Let’s get this one out of the way; there is no such phrase in anyone’s Bible that says “Money is the root of all evil.” No matter which Bible you believe (if you do), every time the statement is used in 1st Timothy, it begins “The love of money…”, and then goes on to explain what it means. Basically, it’s not the idea of having money or being wealthy it believes is evil, it’s how one gets that wealth that might be evil.

I don’t think anyone can gripe with that one. We’re allowed to applaud titans of industry who saw a lack of something, created what was missing, and made millions of dollars. Anyone who faults these people for filling a void, no matter what it is, and making lots of money from it is a hypocrite because all of us probably wish we could do the same thing. How many of us see something and say “man, I had that as a thought years ago; I wish I’d followed through on it”? I certainly do, and often; ugh.

The fact is that most of us don’t have a love affair with money; we can’t because we never seem to have enough of it If we did most people wouldn’t fall for the scams I talked about. We’d already have the money we needed and wouldn’t give these things a second look.

Think about it another way; why are there so many “make money now” blogs? Or so many posts, including many of my earlier ones, about making money in some fashion? Because we don’t have enough, and we want more.

Some of you have seen my buddy Sire and I debate the merits of those people who promote themselves and talk about themselves because they’ve made money, and they want you to know it. He sees it as bragging; I see it as telling it like it is. If I’ve succeeded I want to tell you I’ve succeeded and I want to tell you how I did it. Who wants to follow someone that hasn’t succeeded if the intention is to make money? And if we have the big name bloggers that we know have done it and achieved financial success, what’s so wrong with them letting us know about that success?

I say all of this as I celebrate my first $600 month blogging income. It may be a fluke but it was the next step up after mentioning my first $500 month some time ago. No, it’s not enough to live off just yet, but at least it’s moving forward. Of course I’m looking for other ways to make money because I have things I want to do, things I need to do. All of it takes money.

And if I have to find and listen to the guys who can tell me how much money they’ve made, I’ll do that.
 

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A Decluttering Update & Problems With Some Comments

Back in January I wrote a post titled Decluttering My Online Life (Kim, now you don’t have to search for the link lol). In it I made some declarations as to what I wasn’t going to do to anymore as it pertained to helping to speed up my life online.


via Flickr

I’m one of those people who visits a lot of blogs. If I were a spammer, someone who writes horrible comments, that probably means nothing to anyone. But in general I tend to write comments that show I actually read the article, and sometimes mention some of the other comments as well. They’re not all super long, thank goodness, but there’s no impression left that I didn’t really read the post and that I didn’t attempt to offer some value. That is, unless it’s a funny post that I only have a one liner for; that’s rare, though, and most of the people know me already so they’re cool with it.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be even more people moderating comments than I would have ever imagined. Many of these people seem to be accomplished bloggers who you think would know better; obviously not. Some of them are people that were listed in my post last Friday on 21 of the Top Black Social Media Influencers.

That’s disappointing because I want to be supportive to this group and I want to help promote this group, but some of them have set their blogs up to be, I have to say, irritating. That just won’t do for long term comfort, at least for me. So, I didn’t subscribe to some of those blogs and probably won’t be going back either; it seems duplicitous but my reasons for highlighting someone and for then not going back are different; my conscience is clear.

One thing that helps decluttering is to have a plan and your own rules of engagement. This is the same in your offline life. I have certain rules for how I live my life, and I stick by those rules wholeheartedly. On my business blog the other day I wrote a post on race where I basically indicated that if there’s a racial issue that needs addressing, I’m going to do it. You don’t get away with racial slurs, or slurs about any other group, without my saying something to you about it, even in public. I just can’t let stuff like that go.

My decluttering has helped me to stay true to myself. I could still be following around 250 blogs if I hadn’t given myself some criteria. True, a few people get to slip under the radar because I know them and knew them before my declaration, but anyone new, nope, not doing it. So much simpler life.

When one thing gets simple, something else gets harder. In my case, it’s some of the comments I get on this blog. I have a comment policy that I thought would be sufficient enough but it seems it’s not. Oh sure, it’s made some things much simpler because I can exclude a few comments and not worry all that much about it. But then there are a lot of comments that are borderline passing; those are giving me consternation.

What’s the issue? I know these are people who have actually stopped by the blog. I know they know what the topic is because they address it in the comment. But the comment doesn’t really say anything. Something like “I have that and it happened to me as well” isn’t quite a developed comment is it? Writing a comment without separating the 2 or 3 shot sentences doesn’t give one pause that it’s overly legit either; even people who learn English as a second language are taught to put a space after the period.

And then there are those commenters that have missed the part of the policy that says I don’t allow fake commenter names unless I have a real name as well. Now, in my policy I state that I’ll change the name to only initials but I think I’m going to modify that to state that I will be deleting those comments from this point on. After all, I’ve noticed that no one ever comes back to check on a comment I’ve written back to them. Then again, most of the people doing that aren’t writing great comments anyway my responses back aren’t all that enthralling either.

What to do, what to do… I’ll put it out to some of you. What would you do if you were in this position? This one should be interesting for more than one reason. Those who actually read the post will probably give me something good. Those that are the types of commenters I’ve talked about either won’t comment here or will comment only on the declutter part because it’s easy. Let’s see what happens. 🙂

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When “Scam” Is A Scam Of Sorts

Last weekend I finished reading a book by a guy named Brendon Burchard called the Millionaire Messenger, which was recommended by Mitchell Allen of Morpho Designs. It’s a wonderful book with great ideas on how to earn money by promoting yourself as an expert.

I was curious as to what Brendon looked like because he’s a fairly young guy; actually it turns out he’s around 38, but I had the feeling he was much younger. I go to Google and start typing in his name, and you know how it starts listing topics. The second thing that pops up with his name is followed by the word “scam“. I was curious so I decided to click on that link to see what I got.

There were a lot of links under that topic, more than 60,000 to be precise. A lot of the links had his name and “scam” in the topic line. A few asked if it was a scam, and a few mentioned it in the description of what we might see.

Y’all know me; it was time for some research. I clicked on about 10 of these things. I discovered that none of these people actually believed he or his books or ideas were a scam. Indeed, all of them praised the book and the man, even though some didn’t believe it was the type of thing for everyone.

Suddenly I felt scammed by all these people and all the other people that had the word “scam” and “Brendon Burchard” associated with each other. And yet, I know this type of thing isn’t the first time I’ve seen it.

Tell the truth; doesn’t it bother you when a headline totally misleads you? I see this type of marketing all the time; as a matter of fact, many of the so-called online marketing gurus tell you this is a great tactic to increase sales, whether you believe a product is a scam or not. I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll check out these types of sites, but I think it’s disingenuous to us, the readers. Hence my calling it a scam in and of itself.

For the record, this guy’s very legitimate, and he’s got a lot of energy. He’s written some other books as well. He talks about how he’s made millions and talks about pricing and marketing and getting the money you deserve to get. He also talks about everyone being an expert in something (with his definition of an expert being to know something others don’t know, even if you don’t know it all). He gives you both pointers and motivation. True, it’s really not for everyone, but what book or program is?

This had to follow up my post about not falling for scams, didn’t it? I dislike people who report something as a scam only to find out it’s not a scam; that’s the real scam. I wouldn’t buy anything from these people; I’d find someone else who was talking about that product legitimately and buy from them instead. I can’t imagine supporting anyone that tricked me like that; would you?

Or am I being too sensitive about this type of thing because I wouldn’t do it? What do you think?
 

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Firefox 5 Already?

Wow, that was fast. It was only in April that I was giving my review of Firefox 4 and now Mozilla is already releasing the Firefox 5 browser. Is there a major problem with Firefox 4? As it turns out, no.

It turns out this is the plan by Mozilla and the way they’re going to be doing things from now on; at least until they get tired of doing it this way (that’s my prediction). Their expectation is to have a new release every 3 months to try to better keep up with quick and ever-changing web technologies. The fact that, in my opinion, Firefox 4 was much better than Firefox 3 (though one of my friends differs on that view) and now we’re switching to something else is slightly irksome, but it’s hard to gripe about someone that actually keeps improving on things that we’re not paying for, unlike my rant in January about many things being new and unimproved.

What’s new in this release? Other than a few cosmetic changes the only thing I’ve heard about is a few bug fixes. Frankly, that leaves me less than impressed, but it might turn out to be a big deal. This time around I haven’t heard anyone talking about reducing how Firefox hogs resources, and that’s a major difference in past browser updates. Also, I wish someone would work on updating the Adblock Plus add-on to better help us block things we don’t like such as popups and the like.

And, based on the speed that we’re now going to see, we can look forward to Firefox 6 and Firefox 7 coming out before the end of the year or possibly at the beginning of January; gush! This is the way things are going, so it’s probably a waste of time asking what your thoughts are about the speed of coming changes, but I’m going to do it anyway; how do you feel about all of this?

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