All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Blog Abandonment Mini-Research

Something I’ve said to potentially new bloggers over and over is that if you don’t think you’ll be able to sustain a blog, don’t even start. Technorati estimates that only 5.5% of all blogs that have been created still have new content, that criteria being within 4 months of the current date for the last post. That’s a horrible statistic; then again, it is only an estimate, right?

Well, overall I’m not sure Technorati is the best arbiter of deciding what’s what; after all, their new algorithm makes absolutely no sense, and that thing about only counting the last 6 months of recommendations for them to rank you higher makes no sense either. I decided to do my own little survey, as I hadn’t had a research post in awhile.

Here’s what I did. I went through all the comments on this blog from 2008; yeah, I did that just for you. I eliminated people who I knew were still blogging because they still comment now. So, this little test only concerned those people I hadn’t heard from in a long time or whose names I didn’t recognize. If they had a blog or website I decided to take a look. The numbers might seem a bit low, but as I said, there were some people I eliminated, and of course I didn’t count anything I wrote. I counted any blog that hasn’t had a new post within a year as being dead. And there are some blogs that haven’t written a post in a long time, and I capture those as well. Here’s what I came up with:

Blogs no longer working – 43

Blogs still current – 29

Blogs that haven’t written in:

a month – 5

2 months – 2

3 months – 2

4 months – 1

8 months – 2

So, if I look at only the working and current, that comes to an abandonment rate of 60%. That’s obviously a much different figure than what Technorati gives, but it’s still a terrible number. Based on my figure and the estimated number of blogs coming in around 133 million (that’s the last figure I’ve seen) that’s almost 80 million blogs that have been abandoned; ugh!

Well, there’s nothing we can do about it except lament the fact and move on. I wonder how many of you are thinking about bailing out on your blog some time in the near future. I’m sticking around; yup, you’re stuck with me for awhile longer. 😉

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Quick Hitters Two

Wow! Almost a year to the day I wrote a post called Some Quick Hitters For A Sunday. That was before I started my weekly Sunday Question series. In that post, which turned out to be more than 1,100 words and thus not very quick, I tackled Olympic hockey, Syracuse University Basketball, a Commission Junction affiliate that never paid me, people stealing my posts, and snow; it’s always about snow in central New York. This post will be on different topics as well, but I expect it to be much shorter than last year’s post. Then again, it should be, right?


No, not Jerry Mouse!

Let’s start by talking about your mouse. Yes, the mouse you use on your computer. Does it have a scroll button on it? If so, did you know that, while looking at your browser, if you hold down the Ctrl-key and scroll either up or down that you can increase or decrease the size of the window you’re looking at? up, works for both fonts and images. There are some things that won’t get larger, though, but 98% of everything you try it on it will work. And it doesn’t matter the browser, although someone who has a Mac will have to tell me if it works there.

Second, you notice how the code on this blog is set up to do what’s called “justifying”? That means that the right side is always even; the blog does it automatically. Thing is, this was the only one of my blogs that did it; none of the others did, and none of my websites did it either. I decided I needed to change that so I went into the Stylesheet CSS of each of my other blogs, looked for something that said .postContent, then added this line of code: text-align: justify;. That’s it; and yes, you have to add the semicolon as well. Saved it and everything worked like a charm. In general I’d want to slap myself for teaching those who aren’t all that familiar with coding something like this, but it’s simple and your blog will look fantastic. And yes, there might already be another “text-align” in there, but that’s okay.

And, just to mention this, you can use this same code, only in a slightly different way, to get your websites looking smooth as well. At the very beginning of your wording, add this tag, without the little stars: [div align=”justify”], but obviously instead of the brackets use < and >. I had to put the bracket in there to keep the post from making the code disappear. Then at the end of all your wording, add this: [/div], again using < and > instead.

One more justification tip, this time with Word or Publisher. You probably know already about left, center and right justify. If you’re like me, you’ve never clicked on the last one next to right justify. Well, click on that, and your entire paragraph will justify; freaky! I haven’t been able to find it in Excelyet, but I’m going to keep looking.

Next, have you ever wanted to add the year of copyright to your blog? My friend Keith wrote a post titled Dynamically Add A Copyright Year To A Website. Basically there’s this bit of code you add to your footer and viola, somehow it knows what year it is and it’ll add that code to every blog page. Neat, right?

Then I decided I wanted more. I wanted something like that for all my websites, because I always forget to update that and don’t want to always have to do it every year. I came upon this blog by a lady named Cathy Stucker, who wrote code on this post titled Update The Copyright Date On Your Blog Or Website. The code she has works great, and I’m now using it on all my websites, although I have so many pages that I haven’t added to all the pages yet. I did change one thing, though; instead of having the word ‘copyright’, I use this HTML code instead to give me this © symbol; remove the stars, and make sure to add the semi-colon: &*#*1*6*9*;

You probably think we’re done, but I have one last thing for you. If you’re like me, every once in awhile you copy something that you want to paste somewhere else. Sometimes it’s in all caps, and what that usually means is that you have to re-type it. Not anymore! Copy it and pop it into Word. Highlight it, then hit Shift – F3. That will change everything to small letters. Hit it again and it’ll capitalize only the first letter of each word. Hit it one more time to go back to all caps; course, why would you want to do that? Neat little trick, right?

And there you go; some quick hitters, this time something useful. And it is shorter than the last post, though not by much. 🙂
 

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What is on Your Mind? – Guest Post

I’m not sure when I met Rachel but my mind thinks it was possibly on Facebook. Anyway, she’s big into motivation, and she’s involved with the Bob Proctor Life Success program. Some of you remember him as the guy in The Secret with the white hair and glasses. Anyway, I asked her to write a guest post, and this is it:

Have you ever attempted to create a fulfilling life, become more successful, or reverse the course of events in your favor only to end up feeling taxed and out of energy because things are not working out? I suppose we all can feel thwarted.

We often miss the notion of “scarcity consciousness” and how it shows up in our life. Scarcity consciousness can be simply defined as “a belief in lack”. For scarcity to appear in your life, you must think on it, believe in it, and allow it. It may sound something like this:

* I am living paycheck-to-paycheck
* I do not have any money
* There is not enough to go around
* I cannot afford that
* I do not have control
* It is all about luck

According to the Law of Attraction, scarcity appears in your life when you consciously or unconsciously project a belief in “lack”. Let’s say that you are driving around town and you notice yourself focused on all of the beautiful homes you are seeing. You love to look; however, you believe and project from within “I will never be able to afford THAT kind of house”.

This is an example of a lack mentality and this is a belief and focus that will draw that experience to you. It is the Law of Attraction. You will attract into your own experience what you think about and put your attention on.

If you did not have a scarcity consciousness, you would believe that all things that you desire are available for creation — hence a “prosperity consciousness”. Prosperity consciousness is present when:

* You know and feel that you have more than enough right now
* You take total responsibility for what you have created in your life
* You are flexible and open to life’s changes
* You see abundance all around
* You know that life is a feast

You will attract more abundance and prosperity when they are your focus and you feel good about them. Conversely, if you are holding thoughts, ideas and an outlook that focuses on lack and scarcity, you will create just that as well.

I occasionally speak with people who say, “I am focusing on the things that I want to create in my life; however, I still am NOT creating what I want.” If you desire something and are not receiving it, then you are not aligned with it. You are out of alignment with it because something is blocking your access to create that “desire”. The main thing that prevents your from being in vibrational alignment with your desires is your belief in scarcity and lack.

Example: You may state that you want to earn $1,000,000; however, you really do not believe that you are worthy or wise enough to earn $1,000,000. With conflicting attitudes, wants and beliefs you most likely will remain right where you presently are. Your wants and desires must line up with what you believe is true. If they do not, you should start the inner work to make this happen. You must be aware of your larger belief system and recognize when it is not serving you.

Always be aware of the Law of Attraction. Ask yourself “Do I want to generate more of this thinking? Do I want to generate more of this belief in my life? Do I want to generate more of this result? If not, make the switch and focus on the things that you do want.


Formerly an IT Consultant designing and implementing global enterprise solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, Rachel Lavern is a Certified LifeSuccess Coach and a business partner of Bob Proctor. She specializes in using success principles to help people live without limits via workshops and keynote speeches across the country. Her mission is to teach women entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to earn a six- or seven-figure income how to become WILDLY SUCCESSFUL at selling. You can find here at her site Fearfully ‘n Wonderfully Made.

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Black History Month – The Wind Down

Yeah, I know. You thought I was done with Black History Month when I wrote my post at the beginning of the month talking about differences in people. Well, I thought I was as well, but there’s always something that seems to bring one back into the fold, even if it’s only for a brief visit. I’ve got a few things to highlight, and I figured this was as good a way as any to do that.


’68 Olympics

I ended up writing about Black History month twice on my business blog. The second post was yesterday, and I’d like to share it because I added 5 videos that show others either talking about the month or black people in general. I thought they were all pretty cool videos, but y’all know I also had something to say before the videos. That post is titled As Black History Month Winds Down….

A couple of weeks ago I heard about an interesting website that does a thing during Black History Month as well. It’s called 28 Days of Diversity. The person who runs the site features a different minority blogger each of the 28 days; not everyone is black on this one, but they are definitely minority. I like the concept, and if I have an issue with it that issue would be that the creator doesn’t link back to anyone. So, the honor is there, but this person is missing out on giving backlinks to the sites. I guess it’s year two, and I went through last year’s crop of folks and it seems at least 25% of those blogs are no longer around. I have an interesting post on this topic coming out on the 2nd, so stay tuned.

I have people that contact me for the strangest stuff; too bad I don’t make any money off any of it. Anyway, there’s this site calling itself Best Colleges Online.net, and for whatever reason someone wrote a post and popped it on that site called 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black History Month. The bad thing for them is that they didn’t know I minored in African-American Studies in college, so I knew all of their facts. The good thing for them is that I’m sharing the link in case the rest of you don’t know the history. 😉

And finally, out of the blue our friend Mitchell Allen of Morpho Designs, with whom I’m playing email chess against (and losing :-(), mentions someone to me I don’t know, named Marlee Ward. And this month she put together an interesting plethora of thoughts from 31 black bloggers on the topic of What Does It Mean To Be A Black Blogger? I think you should check it out because there are a few people there that I know you know, some who comment on this blog, and of course Mitch is also part of the group. Man, I must be waaaayyyy off the grid! lol

And that’s all I have for the month. I decided it was time to add a little video to the mix, and I’m going with You Will Know by… well, officially the artists were called Black Men United, but in reality it’s a bunch of stars who came together to sing this song for a movie, and the message is motivational for any and everyone who’s struggled to make it in this world. Enjoy.

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What Is “High Quality Content?”

On the heels of my little rant on writing a few days ago, I find myself reading a blog post talking about ways to reduce your bounce rate and find myself getting irritated once more. It’s a guest post, which I figured it had to be because I’ve never seen the author, Karen, write anything this, well, I said I would be nice. So, let’s just jump to what’s irking me, as if you hadn’t already figured out by my title and by checking out that blog post.

The first recommendation is to write “Fresh, High-Quality Content”. Frankly, I see this particular phrase often, and at this point it makes almost no real sense. Well, not that it doesn’t make sense; it makes no sense that no one ever tries to explain what they mean by it.

Let me ask you this in two parts. One, how many times have you seen that phrase in some incarnation? Two, how many times have you actually seen anyone describe what they mean by it? I’m betting the answers are “a lot” and “none”.

To me, unless people start backing it up, it’s a useless statement. Here’s the reality; everyone thinks they’re writing high quality content. That is, if they’re actually writing the content at all. Scrapers aren’t writing anything so we know they don’t care. And the people who pay a dollar a post don’t care either.

But those of us who do care, me and all of you who visit this blog (and I thank you for it), believe that we’re writing high quality content. But are we? Well, for the first time someone’s going to break down what is considered “high quality content”. Yeah, it’s going to be me. Of course this is my opinion, and you can debate me on it later on. But I have a feeling you won’t, and either you’ll learn something new here, or be able to finally say “hey, that describes me” and know that you can pass right by any other posts that talk about “high quality” content as the way to get more visitors or subscribers or backlinks or reduce bounce rate or… well, anything that’s not actually new, tangible, or a case study.

1. If you’re writing about something that’s supposed to teach someone something new, did you explain it well enough? Did you write something like “take this code and paste it into this file, upload it and it’ll work”? Or did you write something like “if you’re trying to fix something add this code to this file in this place so that it will do this; then upload it and look to see if it worked? To me, if you take the time to explain in some fashion why you’re asking people to do something, or giving step-by-step instructions, you’ve just written high quality content.

2. If you’re trying to tell a story and you don’t skip on details, such that people are left wondering “what the heck was that about”, then you’re creating high quality content. No one wants to read War and Peace every day, but no one wants to read Dick and Jane anymore either. If you believe you can tell good stories and you can do it verbally, then you should be able to do it by writing it. Don’t try to finish your story too soon, and don’t try to be funny if you’re not funny. Tell it like it is, and if it’s a funny story and you tell everything that happened then it’s high quality content.

3. Are you writing something about a particular belief or thought? Have you taken the time to explain why believe as you do, or are you just saying something and moving on? Saying “I don’t believe in same sex marriages because the Bible says so” is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen or heard. Saying it and then getting into a rational reason (because there’s no place in the Bible that even talks about same sex marriages; people “infer” it from a few places, but it’s not there specifically), even if I or anyone else disagrees with you, ends up being high quality content. The same would hold true with “I think Lady Antebellum stinks” and not following it up with something that you really don’t like that makes sense. If you said “I don’t like the way they look”, that looks and sounds idiotic; if you have constructive criticism about it, or want to say that you like someone else better for whatever reason, that’s high quality content.

4. Are you being true to yourself? This is the real truth. If you’re writing because you want to get ratings and you’re trying to write what you think people want to hear, you’re fooling yourself. You can’t ever write high quality content if you don’t believe what you’re writing. Trust me, with all the blogs I’ve written for other people, there are times when I’ve looked at the content and said “man, this stuff is garbage”, and I knew it was. The people I sold it to thought it was great because that’s what they wanted, but it was garbage all the same. Some of what wrote for Demand Studios way back when was junk because that’s what they wanted; that’s why Google’s going after those article farms.

If you’re writing what you know, what you feel, to the best of your ability, you’re writing high quality content. And you know what? Unless you’ve cracked the top 100 blogger list you’re going to have lots of bounces. Unless you have a sales page that draws in a lot of people who spend a lot of time looking around you’re going to have a lot of bounces. And the best high quality content isn’t going to reduce it one bit.

Think of it this way. What we strive for is to get people to subscribe to our blogs in some fashion. We want them coming back. That’s our first goal. Our secondary goal is to try to encourage people to look at some of our other content in some fashion. I link within posts to previous posts on this blog. On another blog I use the recent posts widget. My two main blogs are both under 200,000 per Alexa, and both have bounce rates of more than 70%. That’s just how it goes.

Overall, you want to do the best you can. People love that, and they’ll love you and keep coming back for more. High quality content; you do that with every post you write. Keep that in mind; y’all are great! 🙂

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