All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Don’t “Stink”; Not Quite A Rebuttal

Last week, Mitch Joel wrote a post on his blog titled Don’t Suck. It’s a tongue in cheek yet kind of harsh statement on what you shouldn’t do if you don’t want certain negative things happening to you online or with your products.

Whereas I kind of like it, and I understand its purpose, I have to kind of counter it in saying that I don’t believe that it necessarily means you or me, well, stink (yeah, I changed up the word; so sue me, but I just don’t like that term) just because you have difficulties doing certain things or achieving certain results. True, there might be something lacking here and there, but that doesn’t mean you stink.

For instance, this missive: “If no one “like”s you on Facebook…” I’m not sure one thing has to do with the other. I see lots of things I like and comment on that I forget to “like”. I have many posts on this blog that people don’t end up “liking” for whatever reason. I see many things on Twitter that other people write that are very good with very few “likes”. I’m just not sure that a Facebook “like” is the end all – be all of one’s popularity or competence.

Another one is “If no one is leaving comments on your Blog…” I’ve talked about it often, as has Sire, in determining that some of the best writing we’ve seen will show up on blogs where almost no one comments, mainly because bloggers haven’t quite figured out the community part of it all. True, there are some folks that have no real sense of community that will do very well, but I tend to think that’s more of a fluke than the norm.

Finally there’s this one: “If no one is clicking on your banner ads…” Almost no one clicks on any of my banner ads, and I think that pertains to lots of other people who blog. Does that mean we all stink, or does it mean that people just aren’t clicking on them because it’s not why they’re visiting your blog, or even website, if you have a sales website, so to speak? Even if I happen to write about a product and add the link to it at that point, and no one clicks on it, does that necessarily mean I stink, or anyone else stinks, because no one clicks on it? And, by extension, does it mean I stink if no one visits any of the products I posted last week on this blog, even if none of those products apply to the audience I’m writing to? Or do I stink because I know the folks visiting this blog aren’t the market for those products and I wrote it anyway?

As I said, I really do understand the premise behind the post, which is this; “be good!” Heck, it’s probably “be outstanding”. Those who exceed will achieve better than those who are just middlin’, who don’t give full effort, who leave the public wishing for more. If you can go over the top with what you do and people see it, they’ll flock to you and your products and you’ll do well. If you don’t give your all, or you present something lackluster that people feel they were cheated on, not only might they ask for a refund but they’re going to spread the word about you and, unless you’re really big already, you’re going to suffer. That’s never good.

I hope you read Mitch’s post (yeah, I like the name :-)) because overall it’s pretty good.


Vantec DSH-200U2 Laptop Docking Station
from Tiger Direct
 

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Blogging Step Seven – Staying Motivated

Seems it’s been a little while since I wrote my last “blogging step”. Of course, if you want to see the other steps you can click on the blogging tips at the top of this blog, one of the special pages I created to highlight when I write about blogging specifically.

In this case, it’s the topic of staying motivated. The one thing I hate seeing is a blog that was going along fine and suddenly there’s no more posts, or else a post once a week, once a month, etc. Actually, I don’t have a problem with those folks who only post once a week, but anything less frequent almost begs the question why you’re bothering.

There are usually 3 main reasons why people stop writing a blog:

1), they can’t think of what to say

2), they’re not getting much feedback and thus are discouraged

3), they’re tired

Let’s take this last one first. There are some people who have written for years, and they’re just plum tuckered out. I have that feeling every once in awhile. Maybe this blog is only about to celebrate its 3rd anniversary, but my other blog is more than 5 years old. I still have plenty to say, but you know, there are times when my mind just feels really tired. Some big time bloggers quit in 2010, though I can’t recall any names as I’m writing this. They announced it, then moved on. There’s really nothing to do with those folks except thank them for their service and try to move into their slot.

The next two are workable, though. Let’s start with not being able to think of what to say. To me, every day there’s a new topic of something to talk about. But this isn’t a niche blog. I’ve often cautioned people not to make their niche so finite that they have nothing to talk about anymore. Dead blogs are embarrassing, and blogs that only have a post every 3 to 6 months aren’t worth anyone’s time.

Almost any topic lends itself to something else one can write about. Almost, that is. Early this year I was writing a blog for a chiropractor in another state. I knew that if we stuck with just that I’d be out of topics within a week. That’s a topic where it probably takes a chiropractor to find new things to talk about that keeps it fresh. However, what I was allowed to do was write about controversial medical subjects as well as maladies people suffer that could be addressed by a chiropractor. This opened the world to many possibilities and I wrote about things that I’d heard about but never had a reason to research before. It was pretty fun, and it’s too bad it only lasted 3 months.

Also, there are no real rules in length of posts, and nothing saying you can’t divide a long post into two posts and link them to each other, which I’ve done with other blogs on occasion. No one is going to beat you up for that; it’s all about figuring out ways to be creative, both for yourself and for others. If you feel something, you’ll be able to express it and show it, and your readers will feel it as well.

Now, this brings us to the last point, which is getting feedback. You folks who visit here hear this over and over; blogging is a community. This isn’t Field of Dreams; if you build it, they’re not just going to come. We all need to show others that we care about them as much as we hope they care about us. Yes, blogging takes time, but it doesn’t necessarily take work.

It’s not work if you’re visiting blogs that offer something you’re interested in. There are wonderful writers out there writing on your topic, as well as off topics you might not have considered before. If you need to find blogs on your topic, go to Google, click on “more”, go down to blogs, type in your topic and you’re good to go.

Or join a blogging community of some sort to find blogs to read. I belong to both BloggerLuv and P50 Allied Bloggers. Not that I needed to join a community but it was both a fun thing to do and a way to expose my blog to some people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

And, by the way, let me dispel this old saw you’ve probably heard. Just because a blog might not have any comments or no indication that it’s not well visited doesn’t mean it has no value to you. Every blog you want to comment on has value of some kind. One good comment can earn many more in return. You might even get someone to write a post thanking you for being one of their early commenters.

Remember, everything you see or do is a potential blog post, possibly on your main blog topic. Just be alert and willing to see things as a story unfolding before your eyes. And work on engaging with others; we all love that.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home






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Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool

It took me about four years to decide it was time to create another product. This time, it wasn’t going to be about leadership or management, but about websites.

This is my first e-book, Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool, and it’s up there in the most prominent sales spot of this blog. The story behind this one starts in November 2006.

I’ve mentioned here and there that I am a member of an organization called the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York; I’m also on the board. What happened is that the Monday before our November meeting that year the president sent out a notice saying that our speaker had canceled at the last minute. He asked all the board members what we should do about the meeting on Friday. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but I volunteered to do a presentation on search engine optimization (SEO).

The funny thing is that I was already giving a presentation on Wednesday on hospital charge changes as it relates to coding that was going into effect on January 1st. So I already had one presentation that I’d been rehearsing for, and here I was volunteering for another one; I must’ve been out of my mind. Still, I was up for the challenge.

After the presentation I gave on that Wednesday, I came home and I sat at my desk trying to figure out exactly what I was going to talk about for my presentation on Friday. Late that evening, I came up with an idea that was going to put something together, and I went to bed around 4 AM, woke at 9 AM, and spent the next seven hours putting it together. I thought it was pretty good, and then did a little bit of rehearsing to get the time down, figuring that just because I was doing a last-minute presentation didn’t mean that I had the luxury of walking in and not being prepared. I do consider myself a professional after all.

The next morning I gave my presentation, and let’s just say that it went over very well. It was like I was bringing a whole new concept to these guys, and seeing as how at the time I was probably the youngest person in the room, I can understand that; isn’t that a shame? Anyway, afterwards I ended up having some of the members of the organization asking me if I would do some things with their websites. I thought that was pretty cool, and I realized there was another way I could generate some income. As you know I’m a big proponent of The Secret, where it says that you never know where an opportunity for success will come from, and I figured this might be one of those ways.

At that time I also decided it was time to create a new business website, so I came up with the name SEO Xcellence; actually, all those letters were initially linked together, but for some reason people couldn’t see the one word without seeing the word “sex”, even though I couldn’t see it. So it took me about a year but I finally made the change to what you see above (as of December 2014 the site has been shut down).

A year later I created this blog, and a few months in, with very little traffic and a whole lot of chutzpah, I decided to see if I could do a legitimate product launch. Truthfully, I had no real idea what I was doing, and the truth of the matter is that I didn’t have enough people following me on this blog or Twitter for that matter for it to have had a chance at success. Yet, I still gave it a shot.

I wrote the book, I sent it out to a few people I not only trusted, but figured might learn a couple of things about the topic. I got positive reviews from everyone, and luckily one guy really scrutinized it and saw some typos in it, and once I get those corrected I was ready to go. So I announced that the ebook was coming, and five days later I had the product launch.

In retrospect it was a moronic way for me to do it. You don’t do a product launch with only five days notice because there is no way you can build up enough enthusiasm in only five days. Also, you need followers, or at least some kind of big list of people you can send something out to, and I had neither. So on the day of the launch I sold two books, then didn’t sell another book for about a year and a half. Still, I have made some sales, and it’s a product that helps me advertise how I can help small to medium-size businesses with their websites and internet presence.

There’s the story of Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. It will be interesting to see if the search engines think that the title indicates that this is a duplicate or triplicate post, since I’ve probably had at least two other posts with the same title on them; probably not. I made sure when I wrote this not to make it too complicated, so it’s not overly long. But it is about 56 pages worth of information, and if you’re new to the whole thing I think if you liked how I write explanations on this blog of things you will like that ebook.

And that’s that; one more product to go.
 

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Working Out; My Gym Update

Many people might not care, but I’m revisiting my health progress as it pertains to going to the gym. Part of this is a little bit of narcissism; part of this is accountability; and part of this is just sharing the realities of what working out is all about. It could help someone, entertain someone, or bore someone to death; this blog is called I’m Just Sharing after all.


by David Shankbone

It seems the last time I wrote about the health club at all was back in July; I can’t believe it’s been that long. I’m betting y’all thought I had given it up and gone back to the bad stuff. Well, there have been some changes, so let’s get to it. By the way, that’s not me; even I can’t lie that well. lol

I’m still going to the gym. I’m going 4 to 6 times a week still; it’s hard to believe. I find that I actually like going, mainly because of my MP3 player and all the songs I have on there. I really hadn’t had that much time to listen to all the songs I have on my computer, and the time I’m at the gym allows me to listen to many of them. Sometimes I go twice a day, once in the morning then again when my wife gets home. Sometimes our Friday night date night is spent at the gym; now that’s sad!

I finally lost some pounds, though not close to what I want to lose. I had talked about joining the health club and gaining 9 pounds; what the hey? Well, it wasn’t until I went on a metabolic eating plan that I started losing weight. I’ve lost about 15 pounds, which is fine except all it accounts for is losing the weight I gained and then a little bit more. But my doctor is happy with it and I’ll take what I can get.

The biggest change has been inches. Truthfully, I look at myself and still see the same guy. But last weekend I put on my suit for a funeral and was stunned at how nice it fit. When I got on the plane to fly to Ft. Lauderdale I was amazed at how much more room I had in the seat and with the seatbeat; that felt nice. Many people who haven’t seen me in awhile say they see a big difference; I’ll take that. The measurements don’t lie; I’ve lost at least 4 inches everywhere on my body except my neck and calves. There’s no exercise for the neck, and my calves were already rock hard and have remained so, only losing about an inch.

My glucose readings still fluctuate, depending on how well I’m following the metabolic plan. Sometimes I drop too low; that’s never good, but it’s my fault. A part of this plan, oddly enough, is making sure I eat enough food so my body has something to burn. When I was doing well I was only having one dessert a week. Well, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick with that, but I’m not eating it every night or day, and that’s a big step forward, though the cravings are hard to overcome.

Anyway, that’s my tale. I now find that I miss those days when I can’t exercise; who’d have thought? And I like the loss of inches, even if it’s not fully translating into weight loss. My wife says it’s coming if I keep it up; we’ll see.


Link to iTREAD
 

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Mitchell Manager Training Program

When I first went into business for myself, I only had plans on working in leadership and management consulting and training. I figured that I needed products, and you’ve seen some of the early products I created. I started thinking that I needed a product that could be seen as a legitimate training program.

The Mitchell Manager Training Program (you notice that everything has been named “Mitchell” in it; I’m terrible at titles) came from a mixture of some seminars I’d done on leadership as well as taking parts of my book in integrating it into a full training program. The idea was to give tips to folks who were going to be new managers or leaders of some type, but to make it simple so that they could actually learn some of the tips and apply them to the job they had to do later on.

One of the problems I’ve seen with some training manuals is that those things are really difficult to understand without someone helping them learn all the concepts. This training program, which comes in around 130 pages, has five different sections with a mini test at the end of each one. The fourth section of the training program is actually more on stress and budget management than it is actual managing, something I’ve never seen in any other training manual for managers.

With this particular product, there really wasn’t much of a story behind it except I knew it was something I had to create. Of course, one of the problems I had with it is that I couldn’t really find anyone to test it on. So what I did was have a few people read it and give it a shot and asked them their opinion of it. It got a pretty good rating from people, but it wasn’t the type of thing that I felt really could lend itself all that well to testimonials, so I let it go. I think I sold only two of these over the course of all the years I’ve been marketing it, but that’s okay.

And thus I’ve introduced the Mitchell Manager Training Program to you, and it being Thanksgiving day, it’s also the shortest of my little advertisements. Hope y’all have enjoyed your turkey for the day, at least those of you in the United States who had turkey today. 🙂

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