All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Starting Your Blog Social Media Campaign Via Commenting

Last April I wrote a post to add to my Blogging Tips series titled How To Start Getting Visitors. It was a super basic tip on how to get some notice for one’s blog by contacting certain folks and letting them know you had a blog.

While that’s nice and all, one couldn’t quite call it a campaign towards increasing awareness. In essence, it was really like becoming an insurance salesperson and calling all your family members first, then all your friends, then your pseudo friends, and after that not knowing what to do with yourself.

I decided it was time to at least get more people going on this front. I do this because of two things. One, I had a meeting last week with a couple of ladies who wanted ideas on how they could create awareness of their new business through social media. I told them about blogging, based on what it is they do, and then told them the process they should go through to get going. Two, I made the same recommendation recently to someone who visits this blog, and though I’m not sure if he’s done the entire campaign I know that he was willing to listen and give it a try, so I have high hopes.

This is mainly for beginners, but it’s also for people who aren’t getting any real traffic to your site as well. This isn’t a talk about niche marketing; it’s a talk about working the process, meeting the blogging community, and getting known by others. And if you want some more starter information, check out my blogging tips.

Let me set the scenario for you; it’s possible you’ll have more or less time, but this is a great starter scenario. You’re someone who doesn’t have tons of time, but you want to get people to your blog. You write 3 posts a week, and often you have some time left over after you’re blogged, or some on days when you don’t blog. We’re going after the 30 minute process for you to undertake.

Your goal is to make comments on at least 5 blogs during that 30 minute time period. What you do is go to Google Blogs, which can actually be found by going to Google, clicking on “more”, then scrolling down a little bit. When the next page opens, you’ll see all sorts of blog posts on trending topics that look like news. But they’re all blogs, though some aren’t personal blogs. That’s really your goal, because you want the opportunity to stand out; that plus big time blogs like Huffington Post don’t have CommentLuv; this is a part of the strategy.

In the search box, put in a topic that you want to read on. It could be something in your niche, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Believe it or not that statement is controversial, because everyone else will tell you that you need to comment on blogs in your niche because you want targeted traffic. At this stage what you really need is traffic, and you also want the opportunity to not only show that you can talk to people and offer something good, but you still are hoping for the opportunity to stand out. So, you will be looking at blogs in your niche also, if that’s a part of your strategy, but that’s not what it’s all about. Networking; that’s what it’s all about.

For the first two weeks you need to be committed to commenting on at least 5 blogs a day. You can continue going to Google Blogs, but hopefully in your searches you have found a few blogs that you like well enough to return to. That’s important because something blog owners like are people who will come back more than once. You also want to look for a mix of blogs that have CommentLuv and those that don’t. You look for CommentLuv because it highlights previous blog posts of yours; you look for the others because you don’t want to look like one of those guys that “only” comments on CommentLuv blogs; it’s just a little smarmy.


by Petras Kudaras

In the next two weeks, you’re going to comment on blogs that you’ve found you like and now you’re going to make sure to look for blogs within your niche. The thought now is that you’ll have started establishing yourself with at least a couple of people, you’ll have left your links on their blogs, especially if they have CommentLuv, and now you’re going to go out on a campaign to see what others in your niche are saying and take the opportunity to make sure they know you’re around.

After four weeks, look at things this way. If you only had 3 days a week to do this process and only those 30 minutes, you’ve made at least 60 total connections, whether some of those folks received return visits or not. You’ve planted the seeds of knowledge that you’re out there. I would almost guarantee that you’ll have started seeing more visitors, especially if your titles have captured people’s imaginations and your content doesn’t stink.

Once you see the process starting to work, you’ll be hooked. I’ll throw this out there; how many of you who visit these days saw me as one of your initial commenters? How many of you picked up on that and decided you were going to start commenting on other blogs? How many of you found it contagious and uplifting when people finally started coming to your blog? You may not have followed it in the manner I’m recommending here, but you did this in some capacity, right?

Yes, blogging does take more work than just writing posts. But your rewards on the end could give you more than you can imagine; that sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Black History Month – Differences In People

Wow, it’s Black History Month and I waited an entire week before mentioning it. Actually, it’s not all that surprising for this blog when I think about it. In the just over 3 years that I’ve had this blog, the only time I ever mentioned a black person by name on this blog during February was the first year of this blog when I talked about Bobo Brazil, the first black wrestler inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.


Bobo Brazil & Muhammad Ali

The funny thing is that I’m old enough to remember when black people were called “Negroes”, and that was the nice word. I’m obviously old enough to remember when we were first “black and proud.” I’m not quite old enough to remember when Muslims like my hero Muhammad Ali used to talk about the “so-called Negroes”, but in retrospect that was an inkling that things were really about to change.

Or were they? Sure, the names have changed. These days we’re called African American, a term I rarely use because, well, I grew up “black and proud”, and African American just has way too many syllables to be effective.

I remember when I was younger this month meant a heck of a lot to me. As a kid, I wasn’t the typical reader. One of the first books I bought for myself was a small book that gave a brief biography of Frederick Douglass. Of course that wasn’t enough for me, so over the next couple of years I would go to the library and request other books on him. I lived in Limestone, ME at the time, but I was on Loring Air Force Base, so they’d take requests and order the books to be sent up there.

It’s hard to put it in your mind in this day and age, but this man taught himself how to read and write, as a slave, when it was against the law. Then he ran away, came up north, went to England, wrote an autobiography, came back, had a lot of people come together to buy his freedom, settled in Rochester, wrote a couple of newspapers and more books, worked with President Lincoln, then later married a white woman and alienated everyone; that was in 1884. He lost the support of his family, she lost the support of hers, even though her family were staunch abolitionists. But in 1888 he actually got a vote to be his party’s representative for president of the United States at the… Republican National Convention. Yeah, it was different back then, the party of Lincoln and all.

Anyway, I was a major fan all through elementary school, high school, and college. I was a major advocate for a number of years. And every year through my early and late adulthood I thought it was still important enough to try to get the word out. After all, there’s a lot of stuff we wouldn’t have now if it weren’t for black people.

Then in 2005 I wrote this post on my other blog, Mitch’s Blog, which is my business blog, called Black History Month – Why Don’t People Care More. And I realized that the month really doesn’t carry any meaning anymore. There are no protests for equal rights anymore. There’s a black president, and lots of black people on TV and in sports and entertainment. People can stay in the same hotels now. There’s interracial marriage without mass protests. Goodness, in some communities people are actually trying to segregate schools now to save money (idiot move, North Carolina).

In other words, the differences are still there, but people just don’t really care anymore. I realized that, in some way, I can only state my piece and go with my opinion on things, but it’s probably an old opinion. I’m asked by younger people “Why can’t you just be yourself totally in public and forget what other people might say.” I say because I remember being the “only” enough times when I was younger and knew that I had to “represent”. I then say because even today I’m often the “only”, and I still have to represent. It’s important enough to me, if not them; that’s a shame. But it proves my point; if young black people don’t care, then I’m not going to force it upon them, nor upon anyone else. I’ll state my piece when I’m in the mood, and then I’ll move on.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to shake things up from time to time. It also doesn’t mean I don’t still want some things to occur. So, in that vein, I present the video below. Elon James White is funny and on the ball and calls it straight. And for once he put out an entire video without saying any bad words, although, well, you just can’t account for the shirt. So, Happy Black History Month; this is all I’ve got for now:

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Don’t Ask – Book Review

I figured that since I’m pimping stuff today I might as well finally get around to talking about our friend Beverly Mahone’s new book Don’t Ask, And I Won’t Have To Lie. It comes with another subtitle as well, ’50 is the new 30 and other tall tales’.

Don't Ask book

Don’t Ask book

At just under 80 pages the book is a very easy and entertaining read. Bev talks about her own “lie” and how it almost cost her life because she wasn’t telling her physician the whole story on how she felt and if she’d been taking care of herself. That started her exploring this concept of lying and the intricacies about it.
Continue reading Don’t Ask – Book Review

Testing The Webcam

Lo and behold, I have a new webcam, my first ever. I was going to say that Santa bought it for me but that would be a lie. I’ve thought about having some kind of camera on my computer for a long time and decided to give myself a Christmas treat.

It turns out not to be as easy as one might think it would be, especially for someone who’s used to professional speaking. Figuring out where to look was an interesting challenge, and I was doing some things during the couple of practice runs that I had to quickly train myself not to do. Anyway, here’s the video:

There’s a few things I had to do to get the video on here.  I didn’t want to have to go to YouTube, so I installed a plugin called Embedded Video.  Then I had to switch to WYSIWYG so I could access the program, as that’s the only way it shows.  The last tab of the program allows you to pop in the link to the video, which is on my own website, and thus you see the video. Once I saw what the code looked like, I went back and got out of WYSIWYG and only used the code I saw before in my normal mode to see if it still worked, and it didn’t. So, it would seem that you can’t just write the code and add a video that way; sigh…

Also, my original file was around 183MB, so I had to upload it to my site, which took awhile being that big, but the video seems to be doing its job, and I’m a happy guy.

So, this post ends up being a great learning tool as well as you seeing my video; it’s all good. I did go back and find out that the webcam I bought today is the one I’m showing down below; it’s pretty neat and fairly inexpensive. I bought one for my wife as well today to replace her obsolete one once I got her a Win 7 machine.

What do you think?

Update If you don’t have a very fast internet connection it’s going to take forever for the video to load. I’m learning on the go, and I realize that’s a really huge file for many people. Sorry about that in advance.

Update II It turns out I actually have a YouTube account, though I have absolutely no idea where it came from. Anyway, the video is now able to be viewed by everyone; go for it! 😉
 

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Revisiting Website Grader

Back in June of 2008 I introduced a site on this blog called Website Grader. Basically what the site will do is review your site, which can be a blog, give you a ranking of some sort, then tell you some things about it that you probably didn’t know to give you the opportunity to improve, if you’re so inclined.

When I did this back then, my rank came out at 84; as you can see, it’s ranked much higher now, and that’s out of 100 so I’m not complaining one bit. It adds that I’m ranked #32,194 out of 3,127,474 websites it’s reviewed; I’ll take that, as it puts me around the top 1%.

The weird part is that it ranks this site as a blog differently, since it is a blog. My ranking there is only 74, which is weird. That must be a new statistic, since I didn’t catalog anything like that in the past. It says I have 1,870 Google indexed pages, which is weird since I only have a bit more than 900 posts, and not tons of pages either. It’s telling me I’m missing out on some SEO because I haven’t put anything in my ALT tags, which is probably true. It says I have 14,206 inbound links, which is pretty neat because back then I only had 837.

And it shows me as having a MOZ rank of 5. I had no idea what that was, so I clicked on the link it provided and it took me to a page called seamoz, where I found a page of all their ranking factors that gives you a rank of something out of 10, like Google page rank. It seems that have all sorts of tools you can play with as well; if you’re interested, take a look around.

It tells you a lot of other stuff as well, but I’m not getting into all of that. I will say that Website Grader will tell you some things that you might want to address if you want your blog being seen in a better light. Or not, since it told me I have too many images on this site, and I’m keeping them! lol For kicks and giggles, go ahead and pop your website’s link in and see what it has to say. And trust me, it has some funny things to say to you while you’re waiting for your results.


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